Julia Clark

Kept You Waiting, Huh?

Before we get to it, this post is gonna be NSFW cause of drawings of naked people so if you're okay with that keep on goin'. I'm going to talk about five of the cast from Dead and their designs since that's been most of what I've been thinking about lately.

 

First up is Julia Clarke, my fuzzy baby. Hunter for the Exterminators, she usually likes to get in close since a lot of the things they're supposed to be killing have to be stabbed or cut apart just right with a specific implement. This leads to some extra danger since most of the things they're killing are also natural predators for humans.

I wanted to keep close to her previous design but also show off the fact that she's a lot more beat up from work than I had been. Remove a nipple here, an arm there, add some scars...everywhere. I've already talked about this before with her and Victoria, but I really wanted to convey that more in her 'finalized' design. (I really hope I'm done making changes...)

I also wanted to incorporate circles into her design and add a touch of colour for her. She's a bit soft and round and thought that'd fit her. I wanted to keep her a bit stronger looking but chubby, she doesn't spend a lot of time working on core strength, more relying on her arms and legs to put force behind swings and blows.

She lost her arm to a werewolf and though it was cut off before the infection could spread she still gained some features. Mainly her canines getting a bit bigger and her hair sticking out on the sides a little bit like ears. The body hair was already there beforehand.

I can't let go of the hair colour, honestly. Though the length will definitely be changed due to some events later on. Long hair doesn't make sense for someone who has to get right up close to people.

If you want to watch me draw her it's right here.

 

Victoria Sinclaire. She's changed quite a lot, even since the last time I showed her off. 

I kinda wanted her hair to look a bit more unkempt, a little like a wet dog. She has a septum piercing, pierced nipples and ear cuffs. Her clothes are nearly the same except for a slight change in colour. The biggest changes are her tattoos, which have some symbolism to her and the story but that'll be gone to in the story itself.

I wanted more than just battle stars on her, the one down her chest being from a surgery when she was younger instead. I wanted her body shape to convey that she takes things a liiiittle more seriously than Julia, but still is kinda lax with things, hence the slight belly. Since guns are her thing she wouldn't be getting nearly as close as her fiance, so she'd be a little less scarred up, but still it's not as if everything has claws. Sometimes they spit acid, or sometimes it's just a dick with a gun.

I wanted to incorporate triangles into her design but couldn't find a way that would seem natural or fitting like with Julia, though the hair and her general body shape are good enough for that.

There's a video of me drawing her here.

 

Up next is Clementine Fisher. I think she's gone through some of the most drastic changes so far between hair, body type, gender and everything else.

Back when I started working on Dead I hadn't come out yet, hell I was still kinda in denial. I hadn't considered representation or the things I wanted out of my own story. Now that I have I realized that I want trans characters and Clem was the first candidate on the list.

I definitely wanted her to be softer and rounder, partially because that's what HRT does to you, but also because she's not an incredibly active person. She hangs out behind the bar and talks to people and gets them drinks. She's not bussing tables or waiting, she's not out fighting monsters, she's hanging out and showing some cleavage in the hopes of some better tips (and to laugh at all the straight guys ogling her without knowing).

She'll have her fair share of scars but I wanted the new designs to be of their first moments in the story, not their final. Things will change over time but this is how she is when it all begins; a tired trans girl who just wants to make enough money to live. 

If you want to watch me draw her you can right here.

 

With Kleine I wanted to do a lot different. They'd always been a hodgepodge of parts but that didn't quite come through before so now it's slightly different sizes and lengths with extra bits thrown in. Mismatched toes (they have to large toes on their right foot) and different length and weight arms, their right hand has 6 fingers, one of them obviously different than the rest. The scars are more in line with an autopsy, along with the different skin tones of each part that's connected.

They wear baggy clothes and just a regular mask now (finally got those last Psycho Mantis bits out of me). The baggie clothes are more for their comfort than anything, sensory issues and all, the mask is so that no one they might have known before dying, being chopped up, and then stuck back together might recognize them; not that they go outside all that often anyway.

If you want to watch me draw them here you go.

 

Finally, for this set anyway, we have Jack Fisher. Clementine's father and owner of The Haunt, the bar they both work at. Jack is an ex mob enforcer who was allowed to retire after his wife was killed in a car accident when Clementine was five. He still keeps in contact with the family and passes information along to them from time to time, but otherwise he's a perfectly legitimate and clean businessman.

He's got a few scars from his previous profession, mostly knife wounds on his hands and forearms with a nice scar in his shoulder to remind him that not everyone carries a shotgun.

He spends most of his time worrying about Clem and trying to make sure The Haunt doesn't go under. It usually stays in the black (thanks to Clem) but doesn't doesn't mean things are always going super well.

He tries to stay 'hip' but fails most of the time, spending a lot of time looking like a 50's greaser instead of anyone remotely from current culture. Even still, he's more than willing to listen to anyone's problems and give them a drink to help comfort them, or to forget.

If you want to watch me draw him there's a video here.

For the hell of it, here's all their heights compared to each other.

The Evolution

So, the above image is what I want to talk about. Not about improvements in art cause yeah, that's definitely a thing; no, instead I wanted to talk about the evolution of character design and what four years and do.

In 2011, when I had started doing the actual design work on eeeearly Dead stuff (I think the original picture of Jack is from 2010 even) I had no idea what I was doing. Not just because of lack of experience or talent, but also because I didn't know these characters. I didn't know who they were or what they were like. I knew nothing more than a basic design I'd slapped a name on with no personality or substance.

At the time of their original designs Victoria and Julia were basic things. They had names, associated colors and clothing and the faintest hints at their language and movement, of their reasons for being who they are.

The origins of them are so far removed from who they are now they may as well be different characters entirely. Victoria was originally shy, clumsy and somewhat inept. She was Jack's assistant in the bar and rarely spoke and was, reluctantly, pulled into monster hunting. When she did, she stuttered and stammered and blushed.

Things about her have stayed the same, she still has a hard time speaking, still doesn't do well with people, but her core has changed. She's an accomplished Exterminator, a skilled fighter and confident in herself. Her stutter doesn't come from fear but simply a speech impediment. Her anxiety is mostly due to mild paranoia and PTSD from the horrors she's had to deal with in her lifetime. 

At least she looks somewhat human nowadays.

Her physical design has changed to reflect her personality (as well as my own personal taste). Not really shown in the newest version but her clothes are pretty much the same as the 2013 design. Her original clothes were more for appeal than anything, with nothing about them really particularly useful in combat. She's scarred now, cares less for her personal appearance or for conventional beauty standards and more for keeping herself patched up and ready to hunt.

 
I lost the psd to this years ago. Thankfully.

I lost the psd to this years ago. Thankfully.

Julia, I think, has gone through some of the most drastic changes (other than Clem) compared to anyone else in the group in both personality and appearance. She was, originally, going to be a rival for Victoria, even somewhat an antagonist. She was even planned to be part of the main Big Bad in the story, even going so far as to be the reason that Victoria lost her eye and some other kinda important things happen that I'm going to still use but in another way so I'm not going to spoil them here.

Instead she slowly changed from that into someone who's a bit headstrong but ultimately caring a good-hearted. She became She's incredibly protective of Victoria and people in general, going a bit too far in her attempts to defend them, hence the abundance of scars. She does still have a bit of a complex and deep seated hatred of undead, but it doesn't lead to her doing overly irrational or rash things when faced with them. Anger is still an issue for her as well, but not nearly in such a violent way as it was originally. She would, before, fly off at the smallest thing, usually destroying some property in the vicinity. Now, she typically stores up any frustration or anger she has and lets it out during a fight, or sex (which is all well and good by Victoria's standards).

She took pride in being a large, furry, dog-woman even before the werewolf tearing her arm off. Her body and appearance changed as my tastes and outlook did as well; going from a typical comicbook female form (skinny, tall, white) to being far more realistic as someone who doesn't do much more than swing a sword and punch things with her prosthetic arm. Her clothes became more practical over time (the 2013/2014 clothing choices still stand) and her scars and body hair piled up over time. As a close range fighter she doesn't need or want a short skirt and tanktop, something covering but still flexible enough is more suitable. (Don't worry that hair has a reason for being there as well) Her body shape is, well, more reminiscent of mine than anything, honestly, just a bit exaggerated; muscular arm, shoulder and legs but not so much in core strength. She slouches more, her posture is more relaxed than it was and overall she gives off more of a tired vibe than anything else.

 

This entire thing started just from me looking at old art and seeing the changes all of the characters had gone through. I realized that even with all the time constraints, lack of personal ability and everything else that've gotten in the way of working on Dead properly, the thing that has been the biggest issue is that I didn't spend enough time developing them beforehand. I tried to throw some loose ideas onto a page and thought it was good enough, but it's really not. Everything falls apart after a short time unless you build it up right, so I guess that's what these last couple years have been, rebuilding it in a way that'll stay together this time.

Max coming on and helping me with it really helped solidify some of the characteristics for Julia and Victoria quite a lot, both in terms of their designs and personalities. Without them I would definitely still be stuck in that 2013 mindset and still unwilling to really experiment with either of them, or the rest of the cast.

Dead is going to go through a few more changes before I'm done. I'm not solid on some things, others need retooled, but it'll happen; maybe not even in its current format, but it will.

Pixels

So after seeing Bana's new comic project I decided to try my hand in pixel art. I kinda like it. Still have to work on more than one pose and backgrounds and stuff, but I think Jules and Victoria look good like that. Hmmm.

Julia Clark

Julia.png

Julia Clark is outspoken, confident and hotheaded. She has an extreme hatred for anything undead, her father having been killed in the outbreak of '87. She was raised by her mother and a revolving door of "dads" she dated. After turning 18 she moved from Boston to New Jersey and took a low level job as an Exterminator where she met and eventually stared a relationship with Victoria Sinclaire.

She has anger management issues and tends to jump into a fight at any chance. Her arm was lost during her initiation into the Exterminators, which she decided that she would fight and kill a captured werewolf. She prefers close combat, carrying a broadsword and an assortment of knives, though will use firearms if the situation requires it.

And just like Victoria, here's some pictures of Julia over the time of her development.

Julia.gif