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,
Remember The Godfather, Good Fellas, even the old Al Capone movies? The romanticism of how a group of thugs ruling the world in secret, through crime and murder. Remember? Dabbling in the idea is fun, but suppose you needed a good hard look in what it really means to be human within a few episodes. Wouldn’t you peek in with the lowest of the low to see what God allows to exist, under his grace? Someone with a conscience, someone who will sin, and someone who can fight to live?
In Project Italy, I wrote that Joshua Ayala worked for the Mafia as a bodyguard for his Boss’ daughter. The idea was to exhibit the standards of morals in a private circle. These days, we find that capital punishment is the only right reason to prove executions justifiable. But in feudal eras around the world, taking action on your own was normal. So if one did not live in the modern legal system, what system would they actually follow? That is, if they ever did have a need for such a thing.
Across the globe, old feudal governments have left remnants of the old world in not just artifacts and artworks, but with certain societies themselves. In Japan, the old Samurais roam as the Yakuza, functioning as a criminal syndicate to fortify their centuries’ old traditions; in Italy, the old Crusaders function as a Mafia in Sicily, commiting crimes in a global scale secretly through “Cosa Nostra”; Hell’s Angels do the same, and many others too go by their old code of honor, or chivalry as our history books call it, in one shape or form. Their purpose is defending their tradition, even if it means to sabotage the new ones. It’s kinda like Religion, but with a little more theft going on.
To associate Ayala with people like the Mafia was to give a more complex sense of humanity for the character’s development. Imagine who it must be to uphold honor in the face of the law, even if it was illegal. Would your sense of loyalty falter, or would you fight to save your family? The government wouldn’t understand. The depth of the syndicate digs deeper than just one heist – they wouldn’t know what fighting to stay alive meant, or how many people rely on your family’s dignity to function their culture, as a family, as a tribe, as a Society. You would be a fool to destroy it. The new government finds all of the Mafia’s ancient properties invalid, and Politics have demolished the old world – the same world that your family needs to live traditionally and socially.
To put it in a better perspective, we no longer have slavery as a norm in the western world. Abolishing slaves killed the Blue Bloods’ way of life for a couple of centuries, and now they have to pay the new standard wages to keep a Nanny – when the wages in the 1800s weren’t even half the amount comparitively by conversion or tax-wise. It’s inflated, by far! I mean, if servants were paid with our salary nowadays, almost half the population would’ve paid off their debt as slaves, and would be walking as free men before the end of the Civil War. Now, old money circulates between the Blue Bloods alone, and the new ones die with every recession our country suffers – though replenishes quite well afterwards.
But nonetheless, the Mafia go to Church, do community charity work, and kill anyone that gets in the way of their livelihood. To them family comes first, even if it means Prison. They will do whatever it takes to keep their chivalrous way of life alive. Anything beyond that is judgment under God. Anarchy at its best!