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[PROCESS] THE VALLARS
VALLARS MONTH: First looks at our first family.
We’re fast approaching the launch of our first ongoing series, THE VALLARS, with art by the fantastic Jason Howard. To celebrate this, all month we’ll be posting behind-the-scene advance looks at the project, starting with this post from Mike Huddleston.
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Before we begin, one more quick update: we’re finalizing details on a new set of events and offerings for C2E2 this week, and hoping to have an update for you by tomorrow. We appreciate your patience, obviously pulling these things together on short notice isn’t easy!
Now, here’s Mike:
Mike Huddleston: One of the main threads running throughout 3W3M is the multigenerational tale of one family, and in this new series we focus on their beginnings. Tajo, the adventurer, father, scientist we meet in Foundations is here only 10 years old and lives with his parents, Aro and Dess Vallar, and his 12 year old sister Ethina.
As usual Mike del Mundo and I split up the design chores and got to work on different members of the family. This was another fun design project with Mike as we were both given the same conceptual target for our designs, but we knew we'd interpret that target in different ways. The hope is that this group of people feel like individuals with their own personalities and histories, but make sense visually as both a family and as a team.
As we talked about the look for this era, we agreed on a more silver age, "space race" era look for the tech and fashions. That look, being vintage in our own world, is a little bit of a cheat here but it goes a long way to help communicate we're in a different era. Plus it's a look and tone I love so it was exciting to try my hand at it. The obvious visual reference points are things like Johnny Quest, Lost in Space, The Jetsons, Buck Rogers, and Star Trek TOS- all my favorite stuff.
"Sue Storm is the obvious comparison point. Has a deeply religious Khor-sect background. A brilliant scientist, and smarter than Arlo about problems within The Institute. Appearance wise, maybe a Jackie O/Audrey Hepburn vibe?"
That description from the design brief was hugely helpful. Starting with a Jackie O type look, I realized pretty quickly that what I wanted was a lady Indiana Jones from Star Trek TOS. The look I wanted was a clean, late 50's/ early 60's look: high waisted, narrow ankled pants, a tucked-in, plain button up shirt with a popped collar etc.
Layer that outfit with space boots (complete with Jetsons' ankle rings), holster, laser pistol and wrist communicator and hopefully she feels like she's ready for anything.
I tried a second look, this time showing her as part of a more organized Institute team. Not a huge change, but the team jacket and turtleneck give her a "science officer" look I thought was appropriate. In the third sketch I'm just exploring looks for more extreme environments. If it's ever needed I'd love to design a full spacesuit and even an armored mech suit with this aesthetic.
"12 years old, and the true genius of the family. Mean older sister type at times, but just for mischief; is fiercely protective of her little brother when it comes to others. A top-level adventurer, too... "
I wanted Ethina to feel very much like her mother's daughter: sharp, intelligent, ready for action. As Dess' look was more early 60's I wanted Ethina to feel later to mid 60's (or at least what I imagine that look to be). Her colors are louder, she wears more patterns, her pants are slightly flared, etc.
I reached out of that era though to give her a more modern tactical vest. As a child adventurer I thought she should have some level of protective clothing and as a noted "genius" I think Ethina gives us an opportunity to break era looks and show her with a piece of tech or clothing that feels futuristically out of place for her surroundings.
Ethina also wears a control/ communicator armband... but we can't reveal what it does just yet.
And there ya go, a quick look at a couple characters you'll be meeting soon. Jason is doing some amazing work on this book so we’re really excited for you all to see it. Let me know below if you have any comments or questions!