Let’s Make Comics: Macca Design

MACCA_SKETCHWhen I was thinking about the look of Macca, the first thing that came to mind was the unicorn depicted in the series of unicorn tapestries from the late middle ages. I like to think Macca’s extra long unicorn horn may have come from the legendary creature shown here, in this piece called “The Unicorn in Captivity”


For a long time, I have been inspired by these tapestries, and the story of the unicorn hunt. There are many tales of humans searching for the elusive and pure unicorn, in order to acquire the beast’s magical healing powers. (my favorite version of this legend comes from “The Once and Future King” by T.H. White – a great book if you’re looking for something to read by the pool this summer.) There is a big project I’ve had in the back of my head related to this story that has yet to come to life, so I was glad to finally put some of this research into practice when coming up with Macca’s design.

Macca wears the uniform of the Zoorb Council, but with a bit of flair in the form of the flowers representing his Dirt source of power. (Learn more about sources of power in a previous blog post) The inspiration for using flowers comes from the Millefleur (or ‘thousand-flowers’) technique used in the Unicorn Tapestries, and many other works of art created in the late middle ages. This is when you see a field of tiny flowers, graphically depicted as the backdrop to a scene. Each member of the Zoorb Council has a reflection of their source of power on their attire, and since Macca was the first Dirt creature I designed, he got the say in how they represent their group.

The last bit of influence that I borrowed from this art, and many other images of unicorns from medieval times, is Macca’s beard. Oftentimes in Unicorn art from this period, the unicorn is made to look almost like a goat, sometimes as small as a goat or a dog-like creature, with a curled beard. I’ve always liked this difference from the modern unicorn, which is almost always highly feminine and pony-like. I thought I’d give Macca a little unicorn goat beard to give him a classic look, and it was just the extra bit of fancy that he needed.

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