Friday, May 20, 2011

Concept 1: The Adventures of Pike Armstrong (The general idea)

As mentioned briefly in a previous blog, Pike started out as the sidekick of another character. For some reason, he became elevated to star status in my mind; I guess the visual design potential was too interesting to ignore. I've tinkered with his look over the years, and still find myself tweaking his super suit. In the beginning, I considered a fish swimming within the armour; over time, I settled on an electric eel, and have currently decided on a leatherback turtle!

As you can see, I've redesigned Pike quite a bit, and have even considered different drawing styles that would best represent him. Trying to find the right look was a definite challenge, since I wanted Pike to look heroic, and yet different from typical super-heroes.

The overall concept is this: a child is sent back in time from an ecologically doomed future to save the planet. With the companionship of a computer sidekick, Pike grows up to become a super-hero protecting his world from a variety of outrageous menaces. Here's a teaser video I produced a few years back (for an independent contest called Small Press Idol) that sums up the idea (please click on the link to view).

Pike is basically my love-letter to the super-hero comics I enjoyed as a youngster. I wanted a clearly heroic character battling creative villains, with energy and fun exploding from the pages. I think the concept as is can appeal to younger readers. With a different perspective, it can appeal to older readers as well.

For example, I've considered Pike returning to civilization after being missing for many years; his outdated, black and white views of justice and morality would contrast with a hip, jaded world that considers him square and old-fashioned. The simple, good vs evil tales (originally directed at younger readers) would then become his 'history', an homage to the Golden and Silver Ages of comics books. I would still veer far away from the gritty and 'realistic' approach prevellant in today's mainstream comics; I think comic books should provide light escapism, providing exciting entertainment with appealling characters.

That's Pike in a nutshell (or space-suit, so to speak). In future blogs, I'll present some pencilled pages that show the concept in development, as well as finished material that will eventually be printed.

1 comment:

  1. There's a goof in the teaser video link: this one should work