Hello, all! Heather here. First of all I want to apologise for not having this month’s comic completed on time. Rest assured I am working hard on it, and I’m so excited to share it with you soon; it’s a good one! Eric did such a great job on the script!
We didn’t want to leave you with nothing for today, so we thought we’d share a few things with you: Character designs, the Spitz ‘n Ass Tavern sign sketches, and plans for the Tarkindale Crest.
1) Adapting the cast into comic characters
When Eric first approached me with the idea of doing a comic (a year ago, now! How time flies!), I was faced with the problem of turning five amazingly talented people into comic-style characters. It was a challenge, but a fun one!
a. Barbara Beall/Ingrid the Halfling Weaponsmaster
Barbara had a fantastic character in Ingrid– my job was to make the comic character as awesome and ferocious as Barbara’s portrayal! Eric told me that she wears scale mail armour, which informed her scale mail tunic. The rest was just me trying hard to fit in all her various weapons and accessories– her backback, her bolas, her fox-skin, her swords– and make her look effortless and cool at the same time.
Her character also faces a problem because of her size. Halflings are often only half the size of regular humans, which made fitting so many details onto such a small character so difficult. I did my best!
b. Ian Boothby/Benoit the Anointed the Half-Elf Cleric
Ian plays such a fantastically cynical and sarcastic Benoit, the real trick with him was getting his posture and expressions right. His costume came rather easily; Ian sometimes wears hoodies in the show, so I adapted a regular old brown hoodie into a monk’s robe to match Benoit’s clerical profession. His sparkle mace I adapted pretty much verbatim. In reality it’s a dollar store microphone bedazzled with a madman’s amount of glitter. How could I top that?
c. Joanna Gaskell/Freya the Elven Warlock
Joanna’s character Freya was probably the easiest to adapt. Joanna puts so much work into her costumes, which makes my job super easy! I love that cloak, too– people become about 200% more badass every time they wear a cloak.
d. Allen Morrison/Spitz Lube’n the Human Wizard
Spitz Lube’n is lecherous, selfish, and completely devoid of any meaningful character development, and Allen plays this owner of the Spitz ‘n Ass Tavern with an ease that is almost worrying. Spitz was so much fun to draw. Allen wore a purple v-neck t-shirt to one of the shows and I simply lengthened it into a wizard’s robe. He wears his iconic Dollar Sign Talisman and carries his Kodiak staff; which in reality is a broken hockey stick. Shh– don’t tell anyone I said so!
e. Shaun Stewart/Brask Hellbeard the Dwarf Bard
Shaun’s character Brask was a little tricky to get right, outfit-wise. Pretty much the only things that remain constant in Shaun’s portrayal are his hammer, his ukulele, and his toque. In trying to come up with a costume for Brask I thought about typical medieval adventurer depictions and decided to go for a more traditional, Robin Hood-style outfit of tunic, hose, and calf-length boots.
f. One more for good luck…
It’s a shame we don’t see more of this guy in the comic… who knows, maybe in the future? 😉
[Many thanks to Nathan Evans Photography for the fantastic photos!]
2) The Spitz ‘n Ass Tavern Sign
The show was four years old and the Spitz ‘n Ass had never had a proper tavern sign. It was time for that to change. I’m not the best at logo design, but I thought I’d attempt something anyway!
This is what I started out with! A little on the nose ass-wise. Showed it to Eric, he suggested turning the ass into an ass, and I came up with this instead:
Ah, yes, much better! Then came inks:
And finally, colour:
You’ll see this sign start to show up in the comic in backgrounds and such, but we also have other plans for it! It’s currently become a button design, which will be on sale for $1 each at future Critical Hit Shows at the Rio Theatre, and we also have plans for it to become– dare I say it?– a t-shirt! Some day!
Here’s how it looks as a button (they seriously look SO GOOD):
3) The Tarkindale Crest
It was a while back when Eric approached me with the idea of adapting his Tarkindale Crest ideas into a nicer, finished design. The crest is a combination of real-world and fantasy-world ideas to emphasize the dual-nature of the setting. Here were some of Eric’s sketches to give me an idea of what he was looking for:
The crest features four segments containing: a d20 (to represent tabletop roleplaying), a spiral (Tarkindale is built on a spiral), a dungeon map (adventure!), and a dragon (hey, dragons are cool!)
Armed with that, I sat down and did some of my own sketching:
The above isn’t finished– I have some things I need to do with it before I can call it done– but it gives you a good idea of what we’re going for! I’m looking forward to having it finished soon.
Aaaaand that’s it for now! I hope you’ve enjoyed some of this filler… in the meantime, I’m still working hard on the comic, and I’ll definitely let you all know when it’s ready to go. Thank you so much for reading and supporting us! You’re the best!