Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gunslinger magician concepts

A world is slowly taking shape in my head. It began with the Sonagama, and was fleshed out in the Shadow, and has taken further shape in a short story that I'm working on. In this world, magic exists, but unlike so many fantasy and sword-and-sorcery type worlds, it exists as a natural, observable phenomenon, and is the subject of scientific study. Many animals have evolved magical adaptations. I am attaching a "magic world" label to each of my posts that deal with this imagined universe.

Now, to this concept, the first human character that I've drawn for this world. As in our world, Europeans colonized North America, and in doing so nearly wiped out the indigenous cultures. This man is a descendant of one of those cultures, living in the "Old West" period of this world, and has undertaken a one-man campaign of vengeance. He practices an art called Guncraft, which combines firearms with Vocal powers (as magic is typically called in this world), and is feared far and wide for his deadliness. He wears the traditional garb of a warrior/shaman/chieftain, with the skulls and jawbones of his ancestors tied to the thick hair of his headdress. Potent war chants are stitched into his clothing. The skulls of his spirit animals hang from loops, guiding him on his way.

The right sketch is the one I did first, and is very exploratory. Virtually none of the elements of this version of his design will remain unchanged. While drawing him, I got the idea of having one or more cloth ribbons spiraling down his legs. I think it's a cool idea, but it would be tremendously impractical in practice (tripping over danging bits of your costume tends to go against the desired frightening effect). So, I'll keep the ribbon, but have it tied loosely around his waist. It is on this ribbon that his "potent war chants" are stitched.
The left sketch is a refined version, but by no means the final design. I really like the designs of the guns, but their ornamental spiral designs are rather cliched, and I don't know if they are consistent with the rest of his design, which is more Native American in theme. Hanging animal skulls from the barrels of his guns is impractical, so those will have to go somewhere else. I like the square, hanging poncho, but I may reduce it in size.

I will explore this design further in future sketches.

Also, my buddy Metal Snail has just started a blog. Check it out!