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Monday, March 31, 2014

DSNG CHARACTER FAN ART & CONCEPTS - AZZAR, CHEBEYAH, ETC

I don't post a lot of sketches from the drawing board, but today I decided to do this, just to show this stuff to some of the new fans of this manly blog... yes, this is a blog for guys [and some gals] that like comics, anime, hot chicks, sci fi action and explosions; and it was made by a guy that also feels entertained by those things :)

Anyway, the first fan art pic shows Prince Azzar and Chebeyah. And I've done several articles about them with colored posters, in the past.
Azzar is the main protagonist in the DSNG sci fi series, hence all of the tales in the 12 ebooks revolve around him and his associates. Azzar is an elite Alpha Senturi soldier and per his personality, he is quite unique; he is not a mild mannered Clark Kent kinda-guy, and neither is he a knock-off from Batman or a hot-headed snarky Wolverine. I'm proud to say that Azzar is unique, and per his super abilities, he can match up against the best of them.
Although there are five other super soldiers colloquially tagged as The Top 5 Centura elites, Prince Azzar isn't grouped among them. And that's not because he is inferior, but simply because he and his regal cousin, King Titron, are placed in a separate category. Azzar and Titron are tagged as the two most powerful beings on planet Avera, per comprehensive biothermal abilities such as speed, strength, flight, shield generation etc. But those who follow the story are aware that there are a host of other alien beings, like the Legendary Paragons and the Dinatours, who are more powerful than the regal cousins...

Now let's focus on the next character, a lovely female Kataran. Chebeyah is one of the Prince's associates, and she is actually the ex-girlfriend of Azzar's best friend - since Chebeyah was dating Commander Vince when the saga began. Later in the timeline of the series, Azzar and Chebeyah do start dating for a while, before some peculiar drama unfolds...

The last pic on the right shows a concept that I've been working on, for one of the alien races from planet Planoris, the icy world. Planoris is home to the Katarans [they are wolf-hybrid beings, like Chebeyah]. But that planet is also home to other wondrous races, like the giant Yetirons and the potent Dinatours [remember Ellystra, aka Elly, who was on the cover of DSNG book 6].
And another race that resides on Planoris is the Iglonoids, and that is the alien race that I was attempting to design on the right [or perhaps redesign, per lots of old sketches that I've never posted before]. Those fans familiar with the ebooks will probably recall a few names like "Rellia" and "A-Tron", who were presented in DSNG Book 10: Devious. And those two characters do hail from the mystic Iglonoid race.

Here is a brief reminder of the events in DSNG Book 10: Over on planet Avera, a female Scalatan CEO named Deelilah summoned Prince Azzar for protection and help, because of some threats she'd gotten from a guy named Darion Majors; that threat was linked to some Razerbacks - alien werewolves - that were on a rampage in the capital city. Thus Azzar was drawn into an explosive adventure, while Sargon [one of the Prince's mentees] was also involved with helping a sexy female Lizardian named Rebba.
But in that story, at the very beginning, over on planet Planoris both Rellia and A-Tron where showcased, as they entered into an alliance with some Kataran soldiers, in order to hunt down a certain four-armed assassin.

BTW, The Galactic Map showing the 7 major planets in the DSNG sci fi series is over HERE
While the new World Map showing planet Avera [the focal world] is over HERE

All right, I'll post more stuff from the drawing board later....

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

AVENGERS 2 MOVIE, BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS - [PECULIAR] COSTUMES FOR QUICKSILVER AND SCARLET WITCH

I'm a big supporter for originality and fluent designs. But after seeing the character costume pics that Marvel released today, I was rather... stunned, and somewhat ambivalent.
At this point, we all know that Scarlet Witch is going to be played by Elizabeth Olsen [remember the cute lil' baby girl called Michelle from the sitcom Full House? Well, Elizabeth is the younger sister of the twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who both played that little girl like matching stunt doubles].
And Quicksilver will be played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson [he was the lead actor in the rather controversial Kickass movies]. Anyway, I added the blur effect to the pic of Quicksilver below just to make it look cooler, since he's Marvel's version of Flash.

  


Take a close look at these movie costumes above, and compare them in your mind; and see if they really give you the right vibe. Personally I'm wondering if they are only going to be the "temp-gear" worn by Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver [while they are portrayed on-screen as new recruits], v.s. their final team-member costumes, kinda like what Captain America and Black Widow usually have on.

Beyond the crooked-left-leg pose that Scarlet Witch was displaying, I was also a bit concerned about the on-screen chemistry that  the director for Marvel's Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is going to create for these two new recruits. Remember that they are a brother & sister team; and that means the director Joss Whedon has a chance to make them a bad-ass fighting duo, or a creepy lip-locking couple [as is portrayed in one of the past Ultimate Avengers comic storylines].
Nevertheless, I hope to see more real costumes for the two new characters, since the attire that they have on in these behind the scenes photos look more like street clothes, as opposed to sleek combat gear.

Monday, March 17, 2014

SCI FI, FANTASY & COMIC FRANCHISES - INSPIRATIONAL NOTES AND BLATANT PLAGIARISM

I came across some Shera fantasy fan art the other day and it made me think about a few issues. A few years ago, I wrote an article on the distinct difference between Sci Fi and Fantasy, while giving several posters and examples of each genre [that article is over HERE]. Anyway, I'll build on those principles today, in this new article.

Every epic sci fi / fantasy saga usually has a well of inspiration that it draws from; and that means if you see a classic TV series like Lost in Space [it debuted back in 1968], then you don't have to look too far before you find Star Trek [debuted earlier, in 1966]. And if you saw a cartoon in the 80s called M.A.S.K. that  debuted in 1985, then you can be certain that there are other franchises that it drew inspiration from [namely G.I.Joe and Transformers, which both slightly predated M.A.S.K.].

You can consider Superman [from DC Comics] and Sentry [from Marvel Comics]; and this comparison lets you know that characters can be designed as alternate counterparts, with similar powers and different costumes.
Also, look up Blue Jay [Dc Comics], vs Hawkman. And when you do, you'll realize that DC Comics literally copied itself; alas, there are no restrictions when it comes to copying a great idea. 

[BTW: The sexy image of Catra, above, from the Shera cartoon was done by digital artist scebiqu]


Additionally, when plagiarism gets out of hand, you have characters like Major Victory and General Glory. Who are those two patriotic guys you may ask? well, they are sloppy / poorly developed characters created by DC Comics in the 1940s, in order to compete with Marvel's Captain America.
 
Along those same lines, first we had the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, back in 1984; and after that, the Battletoads [1991], the Biker Mice from Mars [1993] and the Street Sharks [1994], were not far behind.

Honestly, when it comes to copying a successful franchise, it can basically be a hit or a miss; since success is not an automatic thing.


[Shown on the left is the Dark Queen, the sexy thick female villain from the Battletoads video game series. Art by nosmirmcawesome] 

It's a known fact that true fans really respect originality and creativity; and it is rare that a copycat franchise will end up being far more popular than the original. Of course there is the debate between the success of the StarCraft video game series and Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game; since Warhammer and its alien races predate StarCraft, but the latter is more popular.

As for the DSNG Sci Fi Series, I've drawn inspiration from DragonBallZ and Starwars; and this relates to a having a vast sci fi setting with multiple planets and diverse alien races, along with the super soldiers that can fly and project fireballs at will. Of course the DSNG heroes and villains all have diverse personalities along with a plethora of abilities. And since DSNG is presented as a series, the concepts can go on and on, while evolving to fit diverse media channels.

There is nothing wrong with having healthy competition, although plagiarism is the woeful pitfall that all creators have to avoid, when they make their Original Characters and their new franchise ideas.
Yet I will encourage all artists and writers to do this:
Look back for inspiration, but make sure you look forward for the creation of your characters ~ Quote from Mr. DSNG

Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE SLIGHTLY PERVERTED NATURE OF STAR WARS - A MESSAGE TO BOOK WRITERS AND COMIC CREATORS

Relax guys, this post will be brief and entertaining. And despite the heading, I wanted to focus upon the importance of writing and creating fully fleshed out stories, before new ideas are pushed forth into various channels of the media. There are several comic artists / writers and creators that follow this blog. I wanted to encourage you guys and tell you to never give up on your dreams. Additionally, if George Lucas could make it and have a blockbuster franchise, then that is proof that hard work really does pay off.
 
Now onto the main issue at hand; George probably did not focus on his overall series writing / the entire story idea development, when he started filming his original 3-part sci fi saga.
The reason I say this is because there has always been an underlying trail of confusion and bewilderment in the minds of Star Wars fans, when they saw Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back [circa 1980] and right after that, there was Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, presented in 1983.
 
The thing is, in the 1980's movie, Luke and Leia get to make-out / swap spit, kiss etc. And in the very next movie, George Lucas had the balls to let everyone know that Luke and Leia were brother and sister....... WTF??? Well that's the sort of thing that happens when a saga isn't fully written and fleshed out, before the ball gets rolling on a movie.

Hate to make this comparison, but video game fans from the 90s are aware of the blockbuster video game franchise called Street Fighter [Hadoooken!!!]. Yes, that brings back lots of memories from the SNES days. But honestly, all the guys who played that game in the 90s are fully aware that there has NEVER been a good Street Fighter Movie - and one of the reasons for this is that the original SF concept was never fleshed out fully, in order to create a linear story that could be placed in a book, or even in a film. Street Fighter almost falls more into a "Choose Your own Adventure" tale, rather than a "feature film" tale. Hence, the concepts of the Street Fighter characters are cool, but they are just not coherent.

The point is, as a writer / creator, you need to take your time and create strong foundations for your characters. This will ensure that future conversions [from comics to cartoons, or from books to movies, etc] will flow smoothly. And that will make things easier for you and for those that license your ideas. And most importantly, it will keep you from making your "Luke and Leia" to passionately kiss each other :)

Check out classic Star Wars fan art by DSNG ---> HERE

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