Tuesday, 11 January 2011

You Can't Take The Sky From Me

In an attempt to avoid my weekly blog updates becoming mechanical and perfunctory I've decided to do a midweek post- you know; mix things up a little bit.

This is made all the more exciting because, as I write this my lovely Mac keeps repeatedly warning me that my Bluetooth keyboard batteries are spluttering their last dying breaths and could conk out at any moment, in fact because I type eyes- down I could at anytime look up and find an entire passage missing and my screen covered in a big pretty "HA! I TOLD YOU SO, MOTHERFUCKER!" sign. Fun, no?

For some time I've been working on some Firefly fanart (not that kind you dirty, dirty bastards) and thought I'd share it with you lot. If you don't know what Firefly or it's big screen incarnation, Serenity are I kindly suggest you stop wasting you time here and go and watch it now. Now NOW NOW.

Ok, back now? Lets continue.
The intent is to produce a nice big group shot of the whole Serenity crew in cartoony caricature style. I figured the best way to manage this would be to produce each character separately and then combine them in Photoshop later, this allowed me to fully realise each design without elements being concealed by obstructive foreground characters. Doing this also allows me to post a separate pic for each character and add some brief notes about each one, which can be found below.


Mal was a difficult prospect; a character who is at once totally devoted to his crew and yet at the same time often stands apart from them. For obvious reasons I planned to place Mal at the center of the composition and paired him with Inara but to highlight the unrequited affection between the pair I placed them back- to- back, with both of them sneaking over the shoulder looks at each other.


Inara's pose is set to mirror Mal's but be simultaneously alluring and closed- her foot is raised denoting an intention to turn to face him but at the same time her arms are folded forming a classic barrier to his advances.


I designed Jayne to look BIG. Although in reality Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion are of similar height Jayne was always framed to look as big and mean as possible, helped by Adam Baldwin's superbly brutish performance he was always larger than life on screen and I wanted to bring this to his character when I drew him. Although you can't tell from this image because of blogspot's irritating habit of arbitrarily resizing images, the Jayne character is drawn to be at least a foot taller than any of the others. I rendered him in a plain t-shirt which I later added the Blue Sun logo to, and his simply awesome orange woolly hat (which he received in 'The Message' from his loving mum) which has become somewhat iconic for the character amongst fans. He also sports a grenade. Grenades are useful in many situations, and Jayne doesn't like leaving home without them.

Zoe & Wash

This was one of the easiest comps to come up with. Zoe & Wash are so obviously in love it went without saying that they should be drawn in an embrace. I wanted to put something in that would show Wash's playful almost childlike exuberance and tie in his position as pilot so harking back to his introductory scene in the pilot episode where he is seen playing with toy dinosaurs I placed a toy Serenity in his hand- this also allowed me to place the ship in the character line-up, honoring it's position as the show's "10th character". Zoe looks on, a tolerant smile on her face.

River Tam

River is meant to be significantly younger than any of the other crew. A child prodigy, she is rescued by Simon in the pilot episode (the actual events of the rescue are shown in flashback in the movie). In order to accentuate her vulnerability I drew her a couple of years younger than actress Summer Glau actually was when Firefly was shot, not being restricted by the abilities of a younger actress to convey the nuance of the characters condition. I drew River in 'wander mode' a condition that can be observed numerous times throughout the series when she is introduced to a new environment- this is in contrast to 'manic mode' and 'homicidal death orgy' mode.

Simon & Kaylee

Aw now come on- who wasn't pulling for these two during the original run of the show? Although Joss Whedon saw fit to bless the faithful fans with a bit of closure for these characters in the final scenes of Serenity I have chosen to draw them at an earlier stage of their relationship (similarly Shepherd Book's lack of bullet holes and Wash's missing impalement spike). Kaylee is playing her typically forward sexuality against Simon's clumsy inexperience. Looks like he's made the right move with those strawberries though.

Shepherd Book

Book was even harder than Mal to pose. Given that we learned so little about the character during the show's short run and his relegation to a supporting role in Serenity I went for a pose that reflected his position amongst the ensemble as the crew's upstanding moral compass. He holds his Bible before him, symbolic of his faith but also that perhaps he hides most of what he is behind it. People see the book, and not Book the man.

That's all for now- this post has unexpectedly turned into a monster and I really should be going to bed. Tune in for Saturday's update to see what happened when I coloured all these guys.

1 comment:

Den Patrick said...

I can't help but be reminded of another good-looking spaceship crew... hmmm.