A small group of original characters because why not.
Seriously though, much like when I posted the teaser poster for Magical a couple months ago, I had an idea that was distracting me and I just needed to draw it out (oh god, has it really only been a two months?). I do this, so I have some content to refer to later should I decide to go back to it, while simultaneously getting it out of my head. This new idea came at a bad time, on the grounds that I am kinda trying to finish a book as is. I lost three days getting backstory and designs down (but that's actually good; I lost weeks with Magical.
That said, it's been worth it. I'm loving this little group. And if I do say so myself, I'm extremely pleased with the art here. It's much more mature-looking (which is what I was going for), and it's a much darker story than the kind of things you're used to seeing from me (that said, the darker stuff is much more up my alley, storytelling-wise).
I don't have a name for the story itself yet, but the characters, from left to right are:
Lane, Alexis, Garry
And the story concept is as follows:
The three people were taken from their homes at a very young age and held in a facility trying to raise young boys as child soldiers. These three managed to escape one night thanks to a security failure from an unexpected blackout (although there were two more in their group that did not make it out with them).
Unfortunately, all they really knew in life was taught by the facility... and most of that, very illegal. They knew little of social custom, and had never encountered women and girls in their lives until being outside. It was strange and scary for them. The three managed to survive only with each other's help over the years (and mostly sustaining by stealing food and clothing from homes, orphanages, and churches).
Garry (right), the oldest of the group, named himself the ring leader. He's surprisingly well adjusted, considering all the years he'd spent in that facility. It's left him rather cold and uncompassionate (and can be hard to get along with as a result), but he makes up for it with a strong survival instinct. He is wise in devising plans and strategies for overcoming and/or getting out of situations. He's also the strongest. The other two don't particularly like his attitude, but he's kept them alive this long, so they just do what he says most of the time.
Alexis (middle) never quite recovered from the night when they escaped, nor the years leading up to it. Following that night, the child rarely spoke; and even then does it in mostly noises and one-word sentences. That aside, Alexis goes through a life changing epiphany upon escape that brings a small amount of joy into the child's life. It occurs when Alexis finally sees society and, moreover, sees females for the first time ever. After the group steals new clothes from an orphanage one day, the child approaches the other two wearing a dress and for the first time, insists her name is Alexis (which wasn't her birth name).
Lane (left) grows up haunted by that night. Though not as scarred as Alexis as to develop selective mutism, he does suffer nightmares, and constantly blames himself for the ones left behind, believing he could have - and should have - been able to do something. He constantly thinks of going back one day to save the other boys left behind, but he knows he'd never get Garry's approval, and he doubts he could do it without his help. In fact, Lane continues to face a great deal of inner turmoil with the concepts of right and wrong. He knows he has to steal to live, but he longs for a day when he can live his life without having to utilize the skills taught to him in that facility.
Years pass like this.
The three children have developed into young adults with a steady - if less than optimal - life utilizing their talents for mercenary work to bring in money (all the while learning to adjust to societal structure and coming to terms with the horrors of their past). The story begins here.
Like I said, it's very dark. Much darker than Rain or Magical or most of the rest of what you actually know me for. But I'm digging it. Admittedly, especially because of Alexis; I seem to be enjoying trying to find new perspectives for trans characters lately. One that spent her whole life not knowing there IS another gender and still feeling off about it, will be a neat concept to explore.
But rather than pat myself on the back, I want to hear what you guys think. In the meantime, I REALLY have to get back to drawing the story I'm SUPPOSED to be working on.
All characters and other aspects of the story are copyright material belonging to me.
(Oh, and one year on hormones today!) ^_^
Congrats on your one year mark! Also I have to say Im going to be a little hesitant about this new story not because of the concept. Ive read really dark and psychological stories ( usually I really like them) however Im use to your lighter hearted plot/characters. But I think its interesting I love your work and honestly I'll read it. Its hard finding likable transgender main characters who aren't portrayed as a medical fascination or a push line to cruel humor. Im in!
Thank you very much on all accounts. ^_^
I guess it is probably pretty weird for me introduce a concept like this after being known so long for Rain. The funny thing though, is Rain is actually the one that's out of my element. It's the lighthearted exception among many much darker concepts. But no one's ever seen those, so I really shouldn't be surprised when no one expects something like this. XD
And I agree! It is hard to find good trans characters. I was just telling someone else on DeviantArt, that I remember when Rain was still really new, and I read a comment somewhere (I honestly can't remember where or why or who even said it; just that it was said). They said something to the tune of, "I don't think you really see trans characters in a lot of media because the idea is always the same with only minor variation. There's not much room to build on it."
I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Not every story I've written or come up with contains a trans character, but since reading that comment, it's been kind of a mission of mine to write one into every new idea I have (and of course, make it feel natural and not forced). And moreover, to distinguish each one as a wholly unique character portrayed differently than the last. Rain and Alexis are both trans women (and close in age), but they're nothing alike. The same goes for the whole cast of Magical which also presents a narrative I haven't personally seen before. I believe there's a lot of room to build on this, and as a trans person, I want to see it built upon. I want a revolution of well-written, unique transgender characters. I think it's become my goal in life to start that revolution. XD
I want to read this story so bad, but the actual story doesn't exist yet DX Aw, wsell. I'm still satisfied with Rain XD
Sorry about that. I'm really enjoying this one myself, so I think it shows a lot promise as a future project. It also helps that I know other people are interested too, so thank you for sharing. ^_^
In the meantime, I'm glad you're still satisfied with Rain. :D
I like the way you painted Alexis's nails. Meaningful and pretty.
Thank you! I've been wanting to do my own nails like that for a while, but I've been struggling to find adequate colors. XD
It really does sound like it'd go places, I wonder what the central antagonist or what the end-game scenario of such a story would be.
It's quite the little core cast you got there. And, I say this with no offense meant whatsoever, it'd be nice to see more trans characters who's not just starting out and coming to terms with who they are and has more interests and contributions to the story besides being trans.
I love dark stories like this! I think it'd be very interesting to read if you decide to write this story one day! It seems like you have a lot of interesting story ideas and I'm up for reading anything you write, to be honest. XD
I do absolutely LOVE Rain, though~! XD
This does sound really interesting :)
Mikasa from Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin. Which is a good thing.
That's not intentional but might have happened unconsciously. I think I was watching Attack on Titan for the first time when I drew this (and I really like Mikasa), so it's very possible I took some inspiration without realizing.
For instance, when I first designed the Rain characters ages ago, I had just watched the original Fullmetal Alchemist for the first time. Rain got an Ed Elric braid as a result, and Gavin's hair is inspired by Jean Havoc's.
Inspiration can go a long way with character designs. XD
0_0 thats a LOOOOOOOONG author comment