Let’s Make Comics! Flashtista’s Design…

Have you ever really looked at a turtle’s face? There are some pretty cool looking turtles out there in this world!

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And then, there are some very… um…. strange ones…

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When I was deciding what Flashtista should look like, I couldn’t pick just one kind of turtle to model her after. There are just so many variations! So I picked what I liked best out of a few different types of turtles, and melded them together, to create the “warrior turtle” look.

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I really like the markings that pond turtles have on their heads, so I added a few stripes to the top of her head and her cheek.

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And those alien-like eyes were inspired by the sea turtle.

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And the rest is all Flashtista!

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Check back to the blog next week to read all about Flashtista’s tribe!

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Let’s Make Comics! Karma’s Design…

I think I can safely say that tigers are my favorite animals to draw. I mean, what’s not to love? You’ve got the stripes, the big teeth, the predator eyes… so much fun. When I’m at the gym, I always draw a fierce-looking tiger on a little whiteboard so that I can look at my power animal while I’m pumping iron.  I love drawing tigers so much that I usually try to talk myself into drawing another animal for any given project, just so I don’t look too tiger-crazy.  But naturally, many tiger still make it through, as seen in this sample below:

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So, of course I was glad that we decided to include a tiger as one of the animals on our crew. A tiger with baggage and conflicting emotions, to boot. There is just so much to use on a tiger’s face to show a variety of expressions and emotions. Just take a look at these real tiger expressions:

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So, really it’s not so hard to translate all these looks onto our very own emotional space tiger. I can’t wait to get further into the story, where Karma really gets her chance to express herself!

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Let’s Make Comics! Snuffs’ Design…

Snuffs was another one of those characters who’s design just came super quick for me. I had a very clear idea of what I thought he should look like almost immediately- and I think that was the key to why the design came so fast!

SNUFFS_SKETCHI see Snuffs as the every-man family guy Dan Conner of Roseanne, with a healthy dose of Seymor Krelborn of Little Shop of Horrors, and his love of strange and exotic plants.

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With these two characters in mind as inspiration… voila! Snuffs came to life! Admittedly, I find him to be one of my favorite characters to draw.

Star Beasts Fan Art!

This is so cool, guys! We have our first ever piece of Star Beasts fan-created art, by the very prolific Katelinn, aka Ahsoka626, aka SquishyPanda626! Here it is…

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I think she captured the personalities of Zayd, Karma, Maria, Clio, and Eleanor perfectly! Quite an accomplishment for not even having a chance to see them in action yet. If this isn’t motivation for me to finish the art for issue #1, I don’t know what is!

We would love to see more fan drawings from you all! You can tag your art on Instagram or Twitter (#starbeastscomic) or email us (starbeastscomic@gmail.com)!

If you want to check out more of Katelinn’s awesome comic art, visit her Deviant Art Page or follow her on Twitter!

Let’s Make Comics! – Clio’s Design

Well, what can I say about Clio? Hmm…

Well she was a pretty easy one to nail down the look for. I had a pretty good image of her in my head, and I drew it out pretty easily. I love it when that happens!!

I think part of the reason she came together so quickly, is that she’s just so fish-y! Most of our other heroes are physically anthropomorphic (or, they have a human-like body). But for Clio, I wanted her to look more like a fish… with a fish body! So here she is!

CLIO_SKETCHThe only real problem we had to solve with Clio, was how she gets around in an environment filled with air. A fish needs water to survive, so she needed to have some kind of container of water surrounding her. Maybe something like what Spongebob wears when he visit’s Sandy’s treedome!

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My initial thought was to give her a fish bowl… maybe a fish bowl with rocket control that could fly around wherever she needed to go. But instead I landed on just a glob of floating water. That way she can stick a fin out in any direction to grab a shell book off a shelf, or shake hands with a creature diplomat, or interact in any way with the world of air around her!

I know what you’re thinking… “how does that work!?” well, I don’t exactly have the credentials or scientific knowledge to answer that question. I’ll just have to refer you to Doctor Curly on this one!

Fun space stuff, coming soon!

Hey friends! We are working hard over here on the first issue of Star Beasts, but we’re also working on some other fun space stuff too! I wanted to give you a little preview of some new character art that will be featured on a couple of things available in the near future!

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Can’t wait to show you what these become! But for now, I’ve gotta blast off and draw some adventures!

 

Let’s Make Comics: Zayd’s Design

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I’m not afraid to admit that Zayd is probably my favorite character from the Star Beasts crew.  A cool, easygoing guy who just wants everyone to get along and have a good time – who wouldn’t want to hang out with him!? Plus, I love dancing, and Zayd is the right creature to have around for providing stellar galactic beats.

But when it came time to design his look, I had a little bit of trouble getting him to look quite right… Here’s how he looked the first go-around:

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I finished the sketching process and wasn’t 100% happy with the results… but I didn’t quite know what I should change about him. So when this happened, I decided to just let it sit, and move on to the next character. Zayd was among the first few characters I designed, so I was still working out the kinks of the overall look of the comic, and hadn’t quite gotten into the groove of things yet. Throughout the next few weeks, I would pop open the file and take a look, wondering what the problem was. The look just didn’t quite jive with my mental image of the character.

Then I realized that whenever I thought of Zayd, I had a real-life person in mind. My drawing was not quite reflecting the qualities of that person, so it didn’t feel right! My IRL muse is a tall, somewhat lanky dude, and the original version of Zayd was a bit bulky. So with a few adjustments to the face and head, and after shedding a few pounds from the chest, the true Zayd finally came to life!

Let’s Make Comics! Eleanor’s Design

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When I started doing the initial drawings of all the characters, I was very excited to design Eleanor, because I love to draw birds… they come in so many varieties – many colors, sizes, markings, different beaks, etc. I knew from the start that Eleanor should be a Parakeet. But even just ‘parakeet’ doesn’t narrow it down! have you seen how many different parakeets there are?

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…And those are just the Australian types! In the end, I decided to go simple… I imagine Eleanor as a yellowish green parakeet with a orangey-pink cheek mark.

As simple as she was, however, Eleanor was probably the character that gave me the most trouble once I started on her. Everything I drew just looked wrong. It turns out, anthropomorphizing a bird was a little trickier than I imagined. Finally, I decided I needed some inspiration. I tried to think of a cartoon bird that I liked the look of… Where else did I turn, but one of my childhood favorites, Disney’s The Three Caballeros!

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Jose Carioca, the green parakeet from Brazil, was just the bird I was looking for! The beak on that guy is amazing! Although it may not look like it, studying the way Jose’s beak was drawn really helped me figure out how to draw Eleanor’s. Her beak ended up a lot daintier than our caballero here, but he definitely helped me get there.

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Let’s Make Comics: Laying out the story

When the story has been written, and it’s time to figure out how everything looks on the page, Crewcreature Steph and I put our heads together and plan it all out. We go through the script page by page, and make sure the pacing is right, and there is room for everything we need to show.

I make a VERY rough sketch of each page, as you can see below:

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Sometimes, as we are going through, we find that there is too much action in one page of the scrip, and we need to let it have more room. This is where working together so closely comes in handy. Steph can just make an adjustment in the script, and we can give the scene an extra page, or let it smoosh into the next page a little bit.

Once we are all done walking though the story page by page, (which takes several mornings over pancakes – In this issue, we spent a whole morning figuring out how to show a handful of characters entering a room. An unexpectedly tricky scene!) I have a completed board of thumbnail sketches of the entire issue, with notes and sketches where needed. I then use this when I’m working on the first draft of the sketch, and it makes things soooooo much easier!

Here’s our crazy door scene (looks so simple, right!?):

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Horbue? A gold shooting star to the person who can translate that bottom left frame! And what character is that?? Is it a Sea Lard from Ooo?

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Anyway… this part of the comic-making process is a true example of the value of teamwork and cooperation. I don’t know how others are able to make great comics without this step! If you are working on a comic with a friend, we highly recommend the layout huddle. Give it a try!