I thought I’d take a minute to introduce you to the lovely Illustrations that debut at Ninja-con 2014 for the badge artwork. Eugene and I wanted to freshen the characters for the new start. We couldn’t have been happier with the way that they turned out. After so long we get to see the characters in all of their different personalities and glory. I’m sure that you’ve seen some of these photos lurking about the site in various posts, I thought that I would stop teasing you and show them in all in one post.
So without further wait, here they are!
The lovely Angel of Stone in her human form. ( I personally love her freckles!) This is the first time that we’ve ever drawn her in her human form, and I’m so glad that we did! It really captures her sweet vibrant personality. Now imagine her nestled deep into Vida’s adolescent subconscious.
Here’s the Angel of Creed in his human form. For years I wrote him under the description of a strange young man that follows the characters from a distance in a business suit and a suitcase. I like the fresh young look that we gave him, and that Wiley hair makes him look slightly out of place. If you hadn’t noticed the trend, the Angel’s have tips on their hair. In their ethereal form we go with the color blue. This is because in various cultures the color blue is considered a sacred scerene color.
Finally! Dr. Olivia Gentry in all of her wonder. We wanted a woman worn with age, but strengthened with determination. I love that distant look on her face, it shows a secret story that she has to tell with her actions. Imagine the fantastic stories she could tell over a coffee meet up about all her immortal clients and her dances with death.
The handsome devious Julius Kros. It’s safe to say that out of all our characters, this was the one that has kept a timeless unaltered look. How could we not? His features are what gives us a face that can express so much! From that twisted smile to the knit eyebrows, devious is written all over our villain.
Now we have a good look of Sparrow (real alias Sylvia Bishop) the caretaker of Vida before reuniting with Josh. Page may be an endearing character, but be warned that she packs a punch! I can’t wait to write the beautiful scenes with her in it. Because she’s the voice of reason for the mortal aspect of the story.
Joshua Ayala(the Black Shade) with a beautiful distant look. I know he’s one if the more commonly drawn characters out of the cast, but this illustration draws out all of his features.
I put more research into this version of Vida. My struggle was keeping her youthful looks without something rosy and bubbly. It’s a bit cliche, but I almost gave her the features you would find described in a victorian classic female. She’s not as delicate, but she carries those piercing focused eyes that speak multitudes for the character. A big inspiration for her is Jane Eyre, for the very essence that she carries herself and the ones that she love. “Clever little Vida… You can get into trouble that way”
As a bonus, I wanted to show you Michel whom we used to represent the staff badges. Michel doesn’t show up in the story until after Project Italy. I used him for the staff as almost a ‘hidden character’. If I had to chose a favorite character Michel would have to be it. He’s saved by Angel of Stone and later becomes Vida’s scribe. I’ll save him for another post.
This concludes our current set of illustrations. We hope that you enjoy them! Thank you for your continual support,
I was raised to believe in God. My father was Catholic, my mother was Protestant. It was a very confusing childhood. On TV, evolution was taught to be the factual truth, while every city my family brought me to had an a occult to follow. Buddhism was soothing, while Taoism was economical, the Jewish were rich, while the Hindi were loving – so many faiths surrounded me, and it seemed we all had a problem with our parents thrusting their preferred beliefs on their children, as if we were compensating for their doubt in being in the wrong religion.
Placed in private school since kindergarten, I’ve dealt with the overzealous “I am holier than thou” Christians to the creepy bible thumpers who troll you online. But going to Village Christian High at the turn of the century, I met a completely different religion – one that didn’t need a faith. They called themselves Atheists. Much like most kids, they had problems with their parents too, but unlike us they’re parents put them through therapy. Rather than demon possession or accusations of ungodly sins, these kids were blamed for having personal problems with themselves – relieving their parents from the responsibility of actual parenting. When religious parents needed this same fix, they would turn to priests, pastors, rabbis, and monks. We would say that there was a reason for the problem, much like a Therapist, and give a verbal remedy, much like Psychologists. The only funny thing that differentiated us though were the drugs. When we were told to pray, these kids would come to class with a pill to make them happy: anti-depressants. In a way, this made me jealous. On the other hand, it made me reconsider religion. The point is, I started to think about enduring the living, rather than fearing death.
I mean, put yourself in the shoes of a Psychiatrist. Now imagine what would happen when your client was the devil himself. Can you imagine how hard it must be to tell Satan that Hell isn’t bad, and that God made a mistake? That’s how I felt about my experience with Atheists, and the Christians who then turned Agnostic after these Atheists moved into our school. I don’t know who’s bright idea it was to mix these kids in with guilt-convicting self-righteous Jesus freaks without learning or living as one, but thanks to it, I began to ask better questions than “What does God sound like?”
So then, I began to write personal sessions by myself, and would talk to everyone about believing in an invisible Deity and their purpose in life. Its incredible how many people couldn’t live with themselves, and how the practice of worship and fellowship is universal in being human. Even knowing a certain movie with a certain clique gave people a peace of mind. It felt as though anything could be a religion. And during my high school years, I felt that mine was writing. And so I wrote.
The pages of self reflection I collected in my journal turned into a script, and soon I turned it into a character. In mafia movies, they would turn to the Church for forgiveness, but in this case, I had the Black Shade turn to Dr. Gentry – an ex-exorcist turned paranormal therapist. At first, the character was just a side role for the Black Shade to develop through the story, but after a few short stories and a couple of Plays, Dr. Gentry grew into the keystone of the whole story. The more we wrote, the larger our cast of characters grew, and when each character became a complex creature, the main person to tame these beasts became the modern soothsayer: Dr. Gentry.