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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


It's no surprise that I love me some character redesigns...and it just seems that video game characters get redesigned often. (But maybe that's just because that's what interests me.) If I looked for it, how many takes of Wolverine or Batman would I find? More than a few, I'm sure.

So, randomly, I was on this Krang obsession (he's even my desktop pic right now). You know, the-talking-brain-tucked-away-in-an-android's-gut Krang? The guy who was always sassing Shredder. I was finding all these legit imaginings people had come up with, and quite awesomely, I stumbled across and entire macro-blog dedicated to some wicked turtle redesign. The owner/artist of this sweet treasure, Dan, went ahead and took 17 characters from the TMNT mythos, designed them how he saw fit, and basically made me miss my childhood.

Thanks, Dan.

Clearly, Dan went one louder, and--I absolutely love when creators do this--wrote a small paragraph about his take/angle of the character.

Donatello - does machine. My favorite of the turtles. The turtles designs from the cartoon and comic book always seemed a bit too cartoonish to me, and they didn't really look much like turtles. They looked more like green tinted cabbage patch kids with shells. I wanted my designs of the turtles to actually look like turtles, and incorporate the traits of a number of different species of testudines. I also wanted the designs to be more chunky. I don't like some more recent designs where they look really skinny and lithe. I based Donatello on a tortoise. I also wanted his gear to look a bit more modern and technological.

Let's have another one.

Leonardo - leads. I based Leo on a sea turtle. I thought that the sleek shell seemed appropriate, as well as the way that it's shaped like a shield. I wanted his gear to be more traditional looking so based his belt on the way that samurais used to wear their scabbards. I also wanted his swords to look a bit more antique, like Splinter passed them down to him.

See what I mean? And that's just the tip of it all--there's still 15 more character studies this guy has! Unreal in a sassy sort of way.

Now this got me thinking of another artist who had his own take on the original Mortal Kombat characters. I had stumbled across it in '10, and decided to google "Scorpion redesign."

Well, I found this cool bastard, didn't I?

Scorpion as a wraith wearing the yellow blood of the demon that helped him resurrected to exact his revenge against his mortal enemy.

The guy in question is Vincent Proce, who is not only a skilled artist, but loves him some MK (who doesn't though, amiright?). Dude's come up with a (re)design for Kano (below), Raiden, Scorpion (above), Sub-Zero, and Sonya. He wants to fill out the roster with Liu Kang, Shang Tsung, Johnny Cage, and Goro--all the original cast from Mortal Kombat.

And like Dan the Man, Vincent hooks us up with character bios..

Kano, half Japanese half US military bad ass.

I appreciate this type of stuff to no end. This is the very marrow of Nerd Incarnate, and I love every single bit of it. There's so much energy, so much unabashed admiration for these characters... It's one thing to draw a piece and post it, but you're in a whole different class--a different mind frame--when you throw a bit of story up with it.

Let's tie this back to comics: It's one of the absolute best parts of making comics when you hand a character bible to your artist, and after waiting any given time, opening up your inbox and being genuinely surprised when they've come back with something that echoes what you were striving for in words, but could not have be complete or possible without their art.


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