Creative Processes

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Creative Processes

Postby Megaskunjii on Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:19 pm

This is one of those threads for those curious about the creative process behind Super Temps. I know I always find it interesting where other people's ideas come from... so why not share mine?

This first one is for Skull Girl.

Skull Girl has several sources of inspiration. One of which was one of the characters for the original Super Temps concept, Rachael. Rachael was an alien woman from a planet where all the women were genetically engineered to look like a Rob Liefield character, so they had cybernetically enhanced spines to stand upright (due to the weight from their breasts) She had a really uncomfortable costume that made her really cranky -- so cranky she thought she was evil.

Which is the source for Skull Girl's butt floss. It makes her cranky and keeps her evil. Can you imagine how cheerful she'd be without it?

Skull Girl's design base was taken from Alison, another character I have. Alison's half Japanese (the other half isn't human) but looks Japanese (unlike me; I'm half Japanese and look caucasian). A good fit; Skully's half Japanese too.

Probably the biggest inspiration for her was Tron Bonne from "Megaman Legends". Tron was one of the antagonists; she was a member of the Bonne pirate gang. Despite being a villain, she was incredibly innocent (she was attracted to the protagonist, but didn't understand her feelings) and cute. Very perky character, but she did have a definate mean streak The Bonnes were real show-stealers, and their voice team were top notch!

The idea of a cute, innocent young woman (not as young as Tron, who was only 14 in the game) aspiring to be a villainess but totally failing on the "evil" part amused me. It's fairly common in anime to see a female character do horrible deeds with all the innocence of a child. I didn't want a protagonist as vapid as all that.

Skull Girl isn't stupid, but she is foolish (she has to be for the strip to work) and niave and very innocent. She's also very reactionary -- and that moment where she acts before she thinks is where she gets into trouble.

The key factor with her is that she's really a sweet, good girl trying to be something she's not. She knows right from wrong, so if she doesn't do evil 'right' she feels guilty about it. After all, your duties as a store worker are not the same as a villain. Blowing up people as a villain is good bad, blowing up people as a cashier is bad bad. (and she always pulls her punches so nobody is ever really hurt)

That factor is what makes the comic.
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Postby Megaskunjii on Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:24 pm

What would the strip be like, had I never encountered the Megaman Legends game?

Probably not very different. A lot of the humour comes from the original "Mr. Evil" concept (I'm a bad guy -- therefore, my job is to lose and make the heroes look good).

I already have an experienced, professional villain in Mr. Evil. When I thought about the concept, it was funnier from the villain's perspective than the hero's.

I mean, the idea of High Voltage purposely losing so he can be put in a death trap is funny.

The idea of the villain purposely designing the death trap to not only be easily escaped from, but also to have safety measures just in case the hero is a dolt is even funnier.

Since the reader would be new to the Super Temps world and concept, the villain had to be a rookie, but with aspirations to be as professional as Mr. Evil. And I still wanted that butt floss joke -- so regardless, Skull Girl was nessecary for the strip as the protagonist.


I'd just like to add that THIS is the thread to post in if you have any questions about the creative process for some of the other characters in the strip. Although I will be doing each one as time and mood permit.

-- Scott
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Postby Megaskunjii on Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:37 am

Skiv
===

Some of you might be wondering about Skiv's origins, both within the Super Temps storyline and the creative process that made him.

Skiv was originally a throw-away character I created for a Flash game that I eventually abandoned. In the game, you were a bounty hunter and you were trying to bring down the "Blue Meanie Gang" by any means possible. Skiv was your first opponent. You could kill him one of two ways, or shoot his gun and capture him.

I used my own face as a base for his design, then added blue skin (hence the gang name) and orange hair -- and made his eyes really squinty, only opening when angry or surprised, revealing that they are entirely blood red. He was a throw-away at the time, so I didn't put a lot of thought into him.

Then I decided I liked his character design and spur-of-the-moment, laid-back personality I gave him. So the game was abandoned, but Skiv joined the ranks of "One of my characters". This meant that he was sure to show up in any future projects where he'd be appropriate.

Originally, he was one of the 'bad guys' for the short-lived flash series "Scorpio Mercenary Group". He was a thug for a red-haired, grey skinned, red-eyed demoness with a perchant to go toppless but cover herself with one hand. The demoness was named "Akrin" 'cause I just threw some letters together. Skiv's name was actually inspired by some "Insectors" guy's name... which I now forget.

When I decided I didn't like how SMG was going, Skiv was stuck in limbo with the rest of the cast. (Currently only one of the cast is still in Limbo; the rest have been split between "Alison's Education" and "Super Temps")

"Super Temps" brought Skiv back into action. Skull Girl needed a "Voice of Reality" during her story, and Skiv was the perfect choice. Skiv is basically Fifth Business; he's the essential character who's just "outside the loop" enough that he can move the story along when nobody else can.

The coffee dependency "weakness" was a spur-of-the-moment gag that didn't occur until Super Temps, where I had decided that Skiv should almost always have a cup of coffee in hand. His gun got a lot more powerful too, although nobody's seen him use it yet. Additionally, Skiv regenerates very quickly and can come back from the dead -- an ability inspired by his game origins, since he died many times during testing.

And if anyone is interested -- Akrin was renamed Amavie Krin, and she has already appeared once in the strip... and she will be back...
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