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  • Danny Walker

May updates (feat. Roach character design)

Updated: Jul 26, 2021


Hey everyone!

 

How about this fancy new email template, right? There's a pink bear and everything!


Anyway, Danny here :) I wanted to get in touch because it's been a while since I last updated you on the progress of my graphic novel: Quantum Marmalade.


Unfortunately, I've hit some setbacks and, for one reason or another, I'm actually currently in the process of choosing a new artist. My new goal is to publish the first episode/ chapter around October of this year.


In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to share with you the visual journey of one of the main characters of the novel: Roach.


I don't want to tell you too much about Roach or her backstory at this point -- I'd like you to officially meet her when you read the comic -- but I'll take you through the journey of how I met the character, and started thinking through more of her personality details and visual expression.


I started commissioning concept art for Roach in February of 2020. Here are a few versions of her from the very first round of art:

Cool, right? Lot of distinct and interesting ideas here.


At this point I had written most or all of the Season 1 scenes for the character, but didn't really have a consistent idea of what she might look like. These concepts helped me think more about her personality and history. This led to a second round of concept art in March/ April of 2020:


What? I like pink, okay?


This was a more consistent vision for the character, but as I got to know her better, this pink-haired Caucasian woman was feeling a little generic. Not as much like the powerful, but lovable, but terrible-pun-producing warrior on the page. That's when I got this concept in May 2020:

This blew the lid off my previous ideas about Roach. She was *big,* she was powerful, and she truly felt like she was from a different world. She's basically a sci-fi Viking (sci-Viking?). And I liked how all of this contrasted a bit with the light-hearted Roach I had written; someone who had seen all 86 Rocky movies, including reboots and spin-offs. And it also opened up new avenues for me in thinking about the visual style of the entire comic.


Unfortunately, as talented as this artist is, they were not able to consistently deliver artwork, and we had to part ways in September of last year. This was a tough decision and the first big setback in terms of the art.


So, around October 2020, I started looking for new talent, which lasted all the way to February of 2021. And this led to this amazing discovery:

This was her. I felt like I had finally met Roach for the first time. From these concepts I could feel her history and her personality and her badassery. These versions of Roach told me a story about her that I loved.


But, alas, I received the news in March that this artist could not continue with the project either. Another setback ...


But also an opportunity. As I started to reach out to new artists last month, I now had an entire backstory built for Roach, and a clear idea of how I wanted her represented on the page. This latest round of artwork (still ongoing) has been an excellent experience and I'm getting closer to choosing a new artist to bring Roach, and the entire world(s) of Quantum Marmalade to life.


If you've stuck around this long, thank you! And thank you for being my guinea pigs on this new and strange (and lovely) journey. I have a website now (and a Facebook page, and an Instagram page), so I'm considering doing some more behind-the-scenes-type content as a ramp-up to publishing the first episode. Would you be interested in that sort of thing? Let me know :)


Thanks again, everyone. Your support means a lot! I hope you're all staying healthy and safe.


Yours truly,


. Danny

Sci-Viking historian

Pink bear enthusiast

Gonna go eat a donut right now

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