Wednesday, November 28, 2012

STS-45: Redesigns

Through the comic, we've reached a few points where I've come to realize that a particular character design just isn't working, or needs to change to fit where the story is.

Aram got a complete redesign between issue 0 and 1.  His original costume was too garish and all over the place.  When the comic headed in a more grounded direction, he needed a more unified and realistic wardrobe.  So he went from some weird Korean/caveman combo to barefoot Frontiersman.

At the same time, Nika got tweaked a little.  Her gypsy skirts were replaced with a heavy wool skirt and thick belt, her ballet-inspired slippers became baggy boots, we cut off her long ponytail to give her a rough charm (and to remove the genie semblance), and added a long necklace to give back some girliness. 

Seren went from long hair to short at the same time, and upgraded her knives.  But her haircut was not a redesign.  It was something she did herself, off camera, probably with one of her daggers.  In a perfect world, all the other character changes would not have needed to happen, and Seren's own subtle change would be more unique.


Lately, Marguerite's design just hasn't been working for me.  She seems out of place, even for a mystical creature.  My main concern was to make her look more resilient.  While I loved her original design, I felt she needed more coverage up top, and more weight in her outfit below to balance the design and allow the loose fabric of her dress to really pop.  And real shoes.  No one, no matter how magical, should have to trek across the countryside in dress sandals.

So from left to right: First we have Marguerite's original design, by Karen Ledford of Melfina Cosplay.  Second is our concept for her, though in the comic I never put the necklace and I pinched her waist more and lengthened the dress.  Last is the new design that will pop up next issue. (hah!  And I didn't notice until now that I put her in the same pose as Karen did!)

It was a challenge to stay true to the silhouette and colors balance of the original.  I also had to make sure I wasn't repeating design elements inherent in the other characters' outfits, so cap sleeves, loose sleeves, and longer gloves were not an option.  The boot covers are a favorite of mine that I've been itching to use, and keep the boots from being too Sailor Moon.


  1. Great work with the redesign! I'm at the point in the archives where she changed, and you did great in incorporating the change into the story. I love that your characters are dressed appropriately for what they are doing and not unnecessarily exposed. This seems to be a problem with a lot of fantasy that makes you wonder how they can even fight. Also, you seem to have put a lot of thought into their design. Keep up the good work! Hopefully, I can get some osmosis going and learn a bit from your product. ;)

    1. Thanks, Nef! The skimpy outfits aren't as fun to draw either. I've found that adding more layers, texture, and volume is always more interesting anyways. :)