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   I'd better get the series of infodumps done while I can still identify the ideas behind my notes well enough to actually decipher my own handwriting.  I wrote so much on cheap notebooks at work that I have trouble distilling the ideas to the really relevant stuff.  As you can see with the first post, I don't tend to be very successful when I try.  But I guess some rambling helps bring out some of the flavor.  And when I look back at the rambles when actually writing the real story, remembering the flavor is good.

  By which I mean I guess I'm also kind of hungry.

The story of the Zandalen Empire, below the cut.Collapse )

tl;dr The Celestial Republic screwed up bad.

   So, I Suppose It's a New Decade

   Man!  I keep forgetting I even have an LJ.  And that's terrible.  But what's worse, I only have a handful of pictures over the course of nearly half a year, and I still suffer from issues regarding "sameface."  Not only am I a hack, I'm a lazy hack!   That said, I think I ought to post something.  I mean, why not?  However, I don't think I'm going to post the one picture I mentioned at the end of last post.  And nothing of value was lost.

   This time, I'm going to go ahead and post what I'd written for the Crimson Emperor in all of his known incarnations, along with a bit of revised setting history to create a consistent character throughout the Emperor's various rebirths and lives.  Hopefully the changes help keep everything logical, and I'm pretty sure this one's a lot less complicated than past versions.  I think.  It seems to change every time a take a pen to it.  That's not good.  I'd better try to keep this short.  Operative word being "try."

Though inevitably everything gets lumped into the cut anyway.Collapse )

   That's the first two of six (plus one, sort of) bits on the Crimson Emperor.  If you're wondering why I'm using the "C.E./B.C.E." notation, it's because if I were to date the Crimson Emperors according to Anno Domini, the real timeline becomes a lot more silly.  Calling it the "Current Era" comes with the benefit of relativity--what's current to us might not be current to them, after all.  Safe to say, renumbering the years according to the AD calendar would be something of a mild spoiler.

    And other things.  Did you know how hard it is to figure out kanji and hanzi when you've got absolutely no clue what it is you're writing?  Well now I know and I wish I didn't.

    It's been two months that haven't been as productive as they should've been.  Again.  Ah, well.  I've got a handful of sketches, including the remainder of the Twelve Wizards that I mentioned... (looks back) over a year ago.  I'm not terribly worried, though I think I have enough money I can actually buy Photoshop and a goodly-sized tablet to actually seriously try those ImagineFX tutorials and workshops I keep reading and sighing over.  And anyway, in the grand scope of things, a lack of professional tools is the least of my concerns.

    Also, I went back and compressed a lot of what I liked most about those shotgun-approach ideas I wrote for character profiles back in the series of Unluckies posts and I made one definitive, easier-to-manage stable of characters that I might be able to work with.  Though all the ideas I didn't scoop up and compile I'll always at least have for use later.  All but two of these characters I've written about elsewhere on the LJ (which I must constantly tell myself is no substitute for an actual blog or website!  But alas, laziness)  in some form or another, even in the form of minor footnotes or namechecks.   And those two are relatives of Silva Mage Association characters so, well, they're not terribly new in effect either!

    I've done a bit of trimming down on older, somewhat more melodramatic ideas I thought up a while back.  For some reason, it seems like restraint helps keep my head grounded.  It also puts the even subtler weird moments in pretty stark relief.

    (On the topic of drawing landscapes and the like, I've come to terms with the fact that I will never outgrow my reliance on photoreference.  And, nowadays, Google Maps.  No, seriously.  You can zoom in and see street-level views of cities and not only is it fascinating it also makes for a cheap and dirty substitute for actually getting real photos of these places I intend to draw!  Like London.  No seriously, try it out sometime. This is helpful because traffic in the Greater Seattle Metropolitan area makes me all kinds of frustrated.)

    Anyway, I'll put all the pictures down below the LJ-cut.  Before I get to the ensemble (or part one of it), I'll also get some words in on those members of Jupiter's Twelve Consuls that had been waiting for basic designs since, well, I forget since when.  They were around longer and therefore kind of deserve top billing here.  Though I didn't give it to them because they're high-level villains and not exactly something you toss some starting-level characters at.

This part's got the remaining Twelve Consuls...Collapse )

And this is the new ensemble, the Ten Young Sages of the West.Collapse )

    Now that I've gotten that out of the way and finally updated my LJ after a summer of disuse, I should also draw a picture of the Ladies of the Ten Young Sages of the West to complement the Gentlemen.  But I get the feeling I'd have to constantly fight the instinctual urge to make it a very naughty picture, and that's hardly a productive thing to do.

    Then again, I'm not a terribly productive fellow.

    Not that anyone cares to differentiate, 'specially not in Baymoon.  Took a while but I finally got around to finishing Penny.  Took even longer to remember to actually post it.  This is probably because The Last Remnant is a better game than I'd expected (at least on PC anyway), and for that I've indulged myself again.

    Reposting everything along with the new pages.  Watch out for the last joke, it's horrible.

Penny Cover
Penny 2-3
Penny 4-5
Penny 6-7
Penny 8-9
Penny 10-11
Penny 12-13
Penny 14-15
Penny 16-17
Penny 18-19
Penny 20-21
Penny 22-23
Penny 24-25  *New*
Penny 26-27  *New*
Penny 28   *END*

    I like how my art goes from amazingly lazy and terrible to only somewhat lazy and terrible.  But always, always lazy.  The ending isn't that much of a surprise if you remember that miss Lucrezia Rhodes is Höðr incarnate.

    Also, I spent some time fiddling with designs but for some reason am averse to practical character design sheets.  (I'll have to get over that one of these days.)  Swapped Runa and Cordelia's general looks.  For some reason drew Cordy in Belnesarian uniform and gave her a headband.

And it's fairly large so it's behind the cut.Collapse )

    Now I should probably attempt to do something productive again.  Hmm.

    Well a flying pig.

    Since I've managed to pull myself away from TF2, Empire: Total War, Demigod, and my replays of FFXII and God Hand, I've actually gotten more pencil-paper synergistic activities fit into my Extremely Lazy Schedule.  

    Previous Penny pages archived here for someone's convenience.  I'm fairly certain that nobody actually reads this, but it helps if I know where I put things.  (Heh.)

Pages 22-23

    The joke's almost here.  It's gonna be one heck of a letdown, I tells ya.

    Also, I had the urge to revisit the old "Farwatch helmets" thumbnail page I did so very long ago and drew what I figured would suit the current Grand Celestial Republic's typical trooper (read: Mook).  And while I was there I also drew a mockup of a Dominion shock trooper--one that basically wound up looking like I stuck a Helghast helmet on top of a plain old coat.  Which works for me.

It's a fairly sizable picture for most typical resolutions.Collapse )

(I've also referenced both Halo and Killzone in the same post without disparaging either.  I wonder if I've broken some sort of console war unspoken code of conduct.)

    Before I go off and drag myself to finish Penny, I might as well yammer on a bit more about the Dominion.  Or the Federated Dominions of Greater Jupiter as they like to call themselves.  Also interchangeable with "Federation" since that's what they call themselves.  Originally the Dominion and the Titan Federation were separate powers, but I figured I might as well put both of them together in one big Outer Planets superstate.  They're ruled by the Twelve Consuls, previously the backers of the Crimson Emperor's sixth awakening and subsequent attempt to overthrow the corrupt Celestial Republic and presumably still serving the Emperor to this day.  Since orchestrating the overthrow of the previous ruler of the Dominion, the goddess Creation Gate Prometheus (mythology works a bit differently here, mind), and annexing various smaller powers in the outer chunk of the solar system, they've grown powerful enough to seriously challenge the Celestials' hegemony over human civilization.
    Did I ever name them?  If I haven't, I'll do so now.  If I did, then I'll do it again.  Some refer to each other by code names, others by their real names.  In descending order of Power Level, from highest to lowest.

    The First Consul, Rigbaledos Aldathain.  Presumed killed in 2023 CE by a slightly miffed chthonic elder god.  Last seen in a bookstore in 2024 CE searching for copies of The Wonderful Chronicles Detailing The Rise And Fall of The Mighty Celestial Empire And Its First And Last Emperor: Omnibus Edition by Amelie Espere Vespardien.  May be older than civilization itself.  Constantly carded at liquor stores.
    The Second Consul, Enmarith Alzent.  Fabulous is as fabulous does.  And honey?  He's fabulous.  Also possibly older than human civilization as we know it.  And his fashion's totally, like, last century.  (Or two.)
    The Third Consul, Lawrence Godhigh.  A knowledgable and ambitious man.  Owns the Solaris Financial Group.  Doesn't care who knows it.  (Many Celestial Nobles are perfectly willing to secretly do business with him despite knowing he's out to conquer their country.)
    The Fourth Consul,  "Horus."  He could kick Ra's ass.  (Sorry, Haeyong.) 
    The Fifth Consul,  "Amaterasu."  Would you believe she owns a summer home in Colorado?
    The Sixth Consul, "Lü Bu."  Do not engage him.
    The Seventh Consul, Dr. Seria Raulwen.  Has bunny ears.
    The Eighth Consul, "Old King."  Is apparently a robotic suit of armor.  Slightly gothic in design, or so I'm told.
    The Ninth Consul, "Zhang Sanfeng."  He will never reveal the Wu-Tang* secret.
    The Tenth Consul, "The Black Prince."  I'd quote Warren Ellis' "Crecy," but dirty words are frowned upon in these parts.
    The Eleventh Consul, Anri Semmerling.  Formerly the team loli of the Twelve Wizards.  Now that she's all grown up, has to settle for being the most normal of the group.  Has an artificial Godhead called "Big Babel."
    The Twelfth Consul, "Paracelsus."  Is kind of a blowhard.  Weaker than the former team loli.

*Ought to be transliterated as Wudang, but you tell that to The RZA.

    I never did finish drawing them, either.  Oh, well.

I mean, might as well, right?  I didn't bother cleaning it or anything.  Figured I'd better draw something and put it up.

The pic's a bit big, again.Collapse )
I'm also considering subscribing to ImagineFX.  I pick up an issue every month at the Barnes and Noble, so I might as well save some money while I'm at it.  I buy it just to gawk at other peoples' work and read about how they did the stuff they did, hopefully picking up a cue or two in the process.

Maybe I ought to practice a colored pic again.  Those usually get me fired up.


Sabras Savrhein Sketch

Posted on 2009.05.16 at 03:54
    Since it bugged me that I didn't fit in a Dragoon in there, I went and whipped one up.  Repurposed an old Fetterlock armor design and gave it to a (reasonably) nice fellow I hadn't drawn in a while.

    This is Sabras Savrhein, one of the Nine Banner Captains and a veteran of the Imperial Civil War--"Crimwar 6" to the cheeky.  I'd never actually defined which Banner Sabras led.  Or if I did I lost my notes.  All I remember is that Aumetz was Captain of the First Banner whilst Dante was Captain of the last.  Maybe Sabras was the 4th Captain.  Anywho, his Dragoon officer uniform, while a bit sparse on the decorations, was inspired by the sort of uniform worn by light cavalry.

    Or would it be better to call them Knights Banneret?  Perhaps that term is more appropriate to their adjutants or the company-level officers ranking below them.  And I don't think the Banners are Knightly Orders, secular or otherwise.  However, they did have to be a considerably well-trained and professional fighting force in order to stand up to the Imperial Protectorate Faction.  They were backed by the Grand Celestial Republic and most of their personnel were drawn Belnesarian Imperial Army; few would confuse them for simple rebels or a mere citizen militia.

    (Waitaminute.  Imperial names are family name first, then given name.  Should that be Savrhein Sabras, then?  No, that doesn't have the right ring to it.  Maybe he's an ex-pat from, I dunno, the Southern Alliance.)


The Empire Strikes Back!

Posted on 2009.05.12 at 20:42
  Still sketching doodles for my own amusement, but I might as well post something I liked out of the bunch.

  No, there's nothing perverted here, honest.  Unless you happen to count "mix-and-matching Napoleonic, Regency Britain, Gothic Armor, and post Revolutionary War US fashions willy-nilly" as a perversion, which would mean I've been very naughty.

Very.Collapse )

   So.  The idea that the army of an Empire whose troops look like they're about to get their asses handed to them (and their women seduced) by Sean Bean could potentially conquer the whole Earth (or the next best thing, the BW), amuses me greatly.  But that's not likely to happen, because reading back on older posts on this LJ, apparently they're the good guys!

    Now the Federation, those guys are bastards.  Even more than the Republic, which isn't exactly a very benign power, either.

EDIT:  Though it's hard to take an Empire seriously as a threat when they're an Expy of the
French Empire.


'Ere We Go!

Posted on 2009.05.05 at 15:55
Very little update, just to remind meself that the LJ exists.  One paper of little thumbnails sketched out on a whim, and not particularly well.  (It's very difficult to do thumbnail sketches poorly, by their very nature the bar is set pretty low.)

It's a Tank.Collapse )


I Am Being Stealthy!

Posted on 2009.04.30 at 23:05
Hence, I'll update this while no one's looking.  There's no random around-the-page comments in the new page because I honestly couldn't think of anything to say.  Or, rather, I didn't need to say anything at all.  Because it's been so long since I returned to this belated gag comic, I'll repost everything.

Penny Cover
Penny 2-3
Penny 4-5
Penny 6-7
Penny 8-9
Penny 10-11
Penny 12-13
Penny 14-15
Penny 16-17
Penny 18-19
Penny 20-21

And only one eon in the making. 

Pages 22-23 incoming.  ETA:  When pigs fly.

I'm getting ever so close to the terribly unfunny punchline.  Be forewarned.

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