I was so excited about many of these villain characters and was personally rooting for a couple of them to to be chosen when the time came to cast votes for the antagonist that would appear in the story. Alas, my favorites did not come out on top, but at least I got to draw them. (And regardless of whether they "won" or not, their creators should be proud to have brought them to life.)
Aciere Steele comes from a world with a magic vs. technology theme. I really wanted to draw Aciere Steele! I drew a bunch of heads, but I felt compelled to move onto a detailed drawing, because she's essentially a steampunk cyborg and how could I not draw a steampunk cyborg? I so badly wanted to make sure I finished the drawing that I took it with me on vacation and worked on it late at night in our hotel. A good friend we were visiting whom I hadn't seen in years even came with us while I took a terrible scan of the drawing at FedEx/Kinko's! Luckily, I was able to scan it again when I got home, and the high-res version made it into the magazine. Whew!
|The aforementioned heads, including various hairstyle and lab coat ideas.|
Even though I love sci-fi stuff, I don't draw it often, so I was a bit nervous about my ability to design some cool robotic parts that didn't look like "traditional" Victorian Era style steampunk. I was aiming for a more broadly defined fantasy version of steampunk that also wasn't too high-tech. I hope I succeeded.
|The finished drawing of Aciere.|
Margaret O'Shanahan, the defiant pirate with an enchanted ship that can soar through the sky, took second place in the villains poll.
|Yet more portrait sketches, with what I considered to be the final designs at the bottom.|
There were quite a few animal characters submitted in all categories. There were several I liked and I wanted to make sure I drew at least one of them.
|The final villains page as it appeared in Cricket Magazine. Click to enlarge and read more about each character.|
Stay tuned for the sidekicks!