Confidence

Well friends, it’s been a while. I got my hopes up when I posted Santa, believing that I could and would get back on top of things, even with a new comic. However, I’ve run into difficulties with OneNote on my iPad and I’m currently learning to adapt my style to Adobe Sketch. We’ll see how that goes.

Utah hasn’t been what I expected… and that’s a good thing! Things have definitely changed. There’s still snow down here, even with track about to start; I have some form of a social life now, even if classes aren’t much easier. That leaves less time to draw, but more time to reflect–especially on what I need and don’t need in my life. Dustlander Productions’ second birthday passed on the 17th, and I did nothing to commemorate it. So you could say I’ve decided I need drawing and comics and shenanigans back in my life again–but I don’t know when I’ll have time for them.

Today’s the two-year anniversary of the second comic “2. Homecoming”–one of my favorites. Guys, here’s the truth. I’m not always confident. If you’re confident 24/7, there’s something wrong with you. But where we lack confidence, we can have faith–hoping for something better and then doing everything in our power to make it happen. I do know that is possible. So don’t look down like Art here–there are better days ahead!

Toa Tahu: Spirit of Fire

I’ll answer your question right from the get-go: yes, I did draw a BIONICLE. As a kid, I practically lived and breathed this series–read the comics, collected the toy sets, watched every movie, etc. I’d like to think that BIONICLE’s soundtrack even influenced my music taste (lots of alternative rock–I’ve got a playlist too!). It practically broke my heart when the story of the Toa and Matoran finally ended in 2010, but I’m glad I was there to witness it. BIONICLE ignited a fascination with storytelling and the visual arts in me that I haven’t outgrown since.

Of course, anyone who’s been to their local LEGO store knows that BIONICLE got a serious reboot in 2015. I’m quite happy with how it turned out–as an attempt to share the classic story with a new generation of kids–and though the reboot was cancelled just recently, I’d hate for that to be the end of the beloved series. So many people (including about half of the DeviantArt community) are still devoted to BIONICLE that I don’t think LEGO should be done with it just yet. But what can be done?

As with a few of my other pieces of fanart I’ve drawn over the past year, this whole spiel ties into one of my side projects. Someday, I hope to reintroduce the BIONICLE story to a third generation with more realistically designed characters (placing greater emphasis on their bio-mechanical composition, as I did above). The whole aesthetic would definitely be “darker and grittier”; a possible title could simply be The BIONICLE. It’s all just conceptual right now, but if you have any thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below!

The Boss of All Bosses

Hey! Tell me what you think about the new “red paint strokes” filter on the right. I think I’ll get more experimental with the “alternate” sketches from now on. (This time around, it was inspired by this failed cutout.)

So far, I haven’t done much to flesh out the antagonists of each of my projects: The ForgingMoon ManThe Steampunks, and Ironwood. Sure, I’ve got rough ideas for each, but this is the first time I’ve really got down to revealing one. Unfortunately for our main character Vincent Cannon, his world of Ironwood is the first to receive a clear enemy.

Introducing Big Boss–a figure surrounded by mystery and intrigue (who I named prior to hearing about the Metal Gear Solid character of the same name). He’s rarely seen by the general public, and even out in the open he makes his presence discreet with a jet-black trench coat and fedora. The sunglasses complete the look; what’s not evident in this picture is that the Boss has engineered a way for the lenses to glow an eerie red (thanks to a set of experimental LEDs).

This character, who’s also mysteriously referred to as the King of New York, has been a lot of fun to design and work with. Probably the most interesting part is how connected he is to Ironwood‘s lore; even before the main story picks up in the summer of 1989, Big Boss’ work behind the scenes has already dictated the allegiances of multiple characters and changed the course of Vincent’s journey (starting with the Night When Everyone Died in 1985–more on that later). Needless to say, the Big Boss doesn’t pull any punches and will be a worthy adversary for the hero Vincent as the events of Ironwood unfold.

Minecraft: The Spawning Years

I’m not the best at drawing realistic figures; I know artists that could certainly exceed my skills in that department. But for this depiction of Minecraft‘s main playable character, Steve, I decided to give it a try. It wasn’t easy, but I did really try to adapt his cubic form to a more natural look (which, I have to say, doesn’t look half bad!). You can even compare it to the lower, more classic version of Steve–one that you might see in the endless YouTube animations out there.

All this probably makes perfect sense, except for the title: “The Spawning Years”? It does sound a little odd, but hear me out. For a while I’ve had the idea to adapt the Minecraft survival storyline into something more, something that people can really enjoy… and no, I’m not referring to the actual Minecraft: Story Mode or even the upcoming movie (which may throw a wrench into my plans). To make a long story short, I’m working on a novel focusing on Steve’s journey through the Minecraft world. Just like the above picture, it’s meant to be hyper-realistic, including every minor detail and featuring an inside look at Steve’s possibly unstable psyche. After all, he’s an amnesiac, who has suddenly “spawned” onto an island where the monsters bear his face and clothes and where he must fight for survival… alone. That makes for an interesting, very personal story.

I’m not even through the first chapter yet, but be sure to look out for more information on The Spawning Years as it comes! I might even set up a separate blog for it. Time will tell.

Character Redesign: Vincent

Hey guys! I’m here to deliver the last redesign of the summer, another quick doodle not unlike the ones for Little Man and Longlegs (Hera’s was the only one that was really finalized). At this point, you’ve probably noticed that the four redesigns feature the protagonist of the main four stories I’m writing: The ForgingMoon ManThe Steampunks, and Ironwood. Vincent’s turn has rolled around, and the changes I’ve made to him are very intentional.

For one thing, Vincent’s facial structure has been altered to make him seem older and more experienced. While the faces of Art and my previous drawing of Vincent were nearly identical, he’s now got a more prominent chin and higher cheekbones than my webcomic counterpart. Meanwhile, he’s gone through a slight change in costume as well; he sports a hat complementing his classic leather jacket (but that’s been swapped out for a different design as well). The one thing that hasn’t changed is Vincent’s grim expression; the city of Ironwood is nothing to smile at, especially when its very survival depends on the course of your actions.

That’s it for now. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been feeling pretty down lately (maybe it’s reflected in my writing?). My emotional state probably won’t change, but yours certainly can if you visit the Dustlander Productions Facebook page! I’m still working on backing up each and every post (just like with DeviantArt), but there’s enough content there to keep anyone entertained. Plus, I’m about to post a ton of Ironwood stuff! Feel free to like the page and share it with friends–I’m trying to get some publicity here!

Just Another Sans Fanart

Oh August, how I’ve missed you. [SARCASM INTENSIFIES]

I think this post should go without saying; that is, a description isn’t necessary. Since Toby Fox dropped Undertale last September, it’s been a worldwide (or at least Internet-wide) phenomenon. I didn’t hop on the bandwagon right away; I didn’t even get interested in the game until this last spring. And despite the fact that I am literally posting Undertale fanart, I’m not really a part of its fanbase. I sort of like the game for what it is: a delicately-crafted spiritual successor to Earthbound that happened to come out just when people were ready for it. I haven’t even played the game all the way through, but then again, I probably will someday. After all, I did just get around to finally seeing Batman V Superman.

Moving on. Sans is quite the character, and he’s one of my favorites in Undertale. There’s just something about his iconic design and his personality, or the fact that he ends up being so dang hard to kill. I don’t quite buy the theory that he is actually Ness from the Mother series, but hey, it’s fun to think about. You might notice that I tweaked Sans’ design slightly for my take on him–most fanart depicts him with an undershirt, and not exposed ribs. Well, let’s just say that I did that intentionally, and that I did so to differentiate him from all the other fanart of him. (Not like it was on accident or anything.)

I’ll be posting again soon! Keep enjoying the summer while you still can–I know I will! I’ll start by listening to “Megalovania” for perhaps the hundredth time.

The Partner-in-Crime

Hi again! I’m writing from the past once more, and I’m scheduling this post for the 25th (at which time I will be about to attend another family reunion–just like last summer!).

This, in and of itself, could be considered a redesign. When I first drew Ironwood‘s Indigo (see here), I definitely got the attitude I was looking for… sassy and confident, and curiously dangerous. But I just couldn’t get her outfit down, hence the need for another quick sketch of her. (Seriously, I finished this in like two days.)

A few of the differences are obvious. Since Vincent left Ironwood, she’s cut her hair, and her sunglasses have become a more prominent part of her look. Her skirt has been replaced with the grunge-y ripped jeans of the ’80s and ’90s, and she’s swapped her Mary Janes for more practical combat/hiking boots. Finally, though it’s been shrunk to a more presentable size, her trademark hat remains… as does her revolver, which is of a luxurious golden color as opposed to Vincent’s sterling silver. The two characters’ weapons of choice being so similar is no accident; far from it. These pistols are, in fact, legendary; however, the characters don’t know the extent of that myth just yet.

Thanks for reading! Take your time enjoying the rest of my posts, for I won’t be back until the first of August. (I’ve updated my DeviantArt a great deal as well!)

Character Redesign: Longlegs

Wow, I’m running out of redesigns! This is the third out of four, and it happens to be my favorite. I did it in AP World History class on the back of a worksheet, but hey, looks good to me.

Yep, it’s Longlegs… and, as I wrote in the caption above, he’s done some growing up since last time. That, and his metal appendages have been altered to look sturdier and simpler. I certainly like the changes, but do they mean anything for his character?

Well, we could go into the backstory of the costume itself. Longlegs didn’t start off his life in the Rift wearing that fanciful brown overcoat; rather, it’s given to him by fellow protagonist Grea. Before he can ask her where she got it, however, she’s already run off to her workshop to build him a new set of his iconic, well, legs. Because Longlegs is her Mandate (which means he is her sole responsibility), Grea takes great pride in designing and constructing the “Longlegs MK II”, “MK III”, and beyond. Each pair of legs has its own function, and some pack a devastating punch.

I don’t want to give too much away, though. I’ve got lots in store for you guys. See you in a few days!

The Fallen Hero: Link as an Old Man

Honestly, summer’s sort of dragging along for me. It’s not nearly as restful or exciting as I’d hoped it would be… but that’s normal, I think.

Enough of that–I’ve got a great sketch for you today! The Internet has been abuzz about the new title in the Legend of Zelda franchise, Breath of the Wild, but I had in fact been working on this sketch for months before that game was even revealed. It’s hard to tell here, but the man above is none other than (arguably) the most important incarnation of Link, the Hero of Time. He’s pushing sixty or seventy, physically–but because he’s done so much time traveling over the years, his mind is well over a hundred years old. And his adventures didn’t stop after Majora’s Mask, either.

Indeed, in my own fanfiction/head canon, no one truly knew where Link went after the events of that game. One might presume he wandered the Lost Woods and fan-named Catacombs for ages, or that he traveled to distant lands and fought evil there. Regardless, the citizens of Hyrule do know one thing: centuries after his first disappearance, he’s back (albeit as an old man) to find the Master Sword and save the land one last time. This would be comparable to Han Solo’s return in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I almost think it would be cool for this story to make it into a game; not just any game, but an N64-style title (graphics and all) that would complete a so-called “Hero of Time Trilogy”. Seems like a good idea to me–what about you?

The Home of the Brave

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I hope you’re having a better time than I am, because I’ve come down with a nasty cold. Seriously, being sick during the summer is the worst.

You’re probably not going to read this directly on the Fourth, however–and that means that all the planning I did to introduce this American-themed character on a national holiday was probably a waste of time. But never mind that; if you’re still reading, you probably want to know about her.

I can’t reveal much, as this character (a vigilante loosely inspired by Captain America and calling herself “Firecracker”) has a secret identity crucial to the plot of Ironwood. Like Vincent, this masked combatant often works against the local law enforcement (which is ridiculously understaffed when compared to the city’s massive criminal network). Unlike our protagonist, however, Firecracker has the purest of intentions and simply wants to create justice and order out of the chaos that is Ironwood. She’s a patriot, too, and vandalizes the worn-down city with paintballs of red, white, and blue to prove her point. If that seems a little illogical… well, that’s because it is. Teenagers are crazy.

Finally, as Vincent’s friend Tommy would say: “Ten bucks says she listens to country music.” I’d take that bet.