First off this is nothing to do with the Capcom character!
The Morrigan is ‘The Phantom Queen’ of Irish Celtic legend. Associated with death, prophecy, sovereignty she would appear to heroes when their life was in mortal danger. She appeared to Cú Chulainn ( from last week’s CHOW ) as an apparition of three crones, and her symbol, a black crow or raven appeared at his death. But she is more commonly seen as a beautiful and terrible woman with long wild hair. As a shape shifter she could also take on other animal forms. In mythology she is often seen as what is known as a ‘triple goddess’, incorporating ‘the crone, the mother and the maiden’, common across many cultures.
The Morrigan was once mistaken to be a banshee, the female spirit of ill omen and death, but she is more complicated than that. She is not a spirit but a goddess. Your task is to provide your personal interpretation of The Morrigan. Keep her in the mythical past, so no updating, but feel free to portray her as either terrible goddess, crone, mother or maiden. However, because of her associations with ‘battle and death’, you might do well to keep these aspects in mind when designing her.
This week's brief is a little more vague. The idea is to design a character for a young adult novel, a girl (between the ages of 12 and 16, your choice) who has found a dragon's egg. She will appear on the cover of the novel.
This is the whole brief!
Some things you will want to keep in mind:
- Include the egg please!
- Though the genre is young adult, we haven't outlined anything else : fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, magical contemporary, it's up to you
- Remember this is *not* an adult book, so keep that in mind when designing clothing and when using colour!
- Come up with a story for the novel yourself to help your design progress. Is the egg a curse, or a blessing? Is it a burden, or a treasure? Is it something given to the royal heirs, or a special mistake found by a poor vagabond? These are up to you! We hope to be able to read something about your story from your design.
-Remember this is a character design contest, not a cover design contest. You are welcome and encouraged to do it as a book cover, but please keep in mind that all chow rules still apply - including the 3/4ths rule.
Please don't actually write out the story! At least not until after the poll is completed! Let people guess through your work - this way you'll be able to tell if the things you are trying to get across are actually making it!
The Surveyor is a being of unknown origin an age. It appears, at least here on this planet, to resemble a woman of around 30, though eyewitness accounts vary.
The first account of her is marked as her appearance in times square, but theories abound that she actually started her survey well before this, simply in a less-obtrusive manner.
Different populations have regarded her from everything as an alien to an angel. The reality seems to be more complex. She seems to be a representative of a multi-dimensional population. She appears at random all over the planet, and speaks to representatives of the human population about everything from the mundane ("What kind of spices do you put in your soup?") to the highly theoretical.
At first it was assumed that there were thousands of surveyors, since near-simultanous conversations were reported all across the globe, but once a compiled list of known conversations had been made, it was apparent that two never occured at the same time - there was always a .0005 second delay between one sighting and the next.
Conventional weapons were found useless on the surveyor and once the reigning govermental bodies declared her to be benign, she was granted almost complete access to any knowledge on Earth. She could, after all, appear anywhere at any time - including in the middle of a hidden nuclear facility. Withholding information was deemed useless.
No one knows why she is here. When asked, she simply says 'for the survey', hence the formal title that has been given her.
They expect her to interview every living being on the planet capable of speech before she disappears.
So far 14.7 million interviews have been reported.
The year, had the human terrestrial calendar still exsisted, would have been just shy of 5200 AD. The fact is though, that human kind has been wiped out for nearly three thousand years. All that remains of this curious population is a wealth of relics. Huge dump sites hold billions of objects, many surviving for thousands of years, especially anything created in a substance known as 'plastic'.
Teroth is an archeologist. It (Teroth's people don't use gender pronouns) has come to 'Earth' on the second major expedition in order to uncover the history of this lost alien race. The planet was discovered about a century ago (by earth time), and the first expedition was an overwhelming success, though a bitter sweet one. They had hoped to find a civilization matching their own - proof of another intelligent race in the universe - only to come a few thousand years too late.
Teroth hopes, like many of it's kind, that maybe learning about the Human Race will help them to learn more about themselves, and perhaps lead them to other intelligent beings in this universe...
The Celt remembers very little of his homeland any more. Though he was fifteen when he was captured and sold into slavery, his memories of his time before Rome are so few and so fleeting that he wonders sometimes if he merely dreamed them.
His home, for the last ten years, has been the largest ludi - or gladiator school - in all of rome. And he, their prize pupil.
Though maybe once he railed upon his captors, it has been a long time since he has thought of any other way of life than the sword, the bow, and the chariot.
For the last three years, he has been an Essedari - a war chariot fighter. His chariot is his prize possession - even if technically he doesn't own it. He has spilt so much blood onto it that it is closer relation to him than any living person on the entire planet, and he loves it enough to prove it.
Though he often fights on foot, especially for the one-on-one battles, he and his chariot are now so famous that Rome would be devastated if he did not at least use it as a backdrop for every battle.
Today, outfitted in all the splendor his keeper could manage, he fights for the emperor himself.
London, England 1907. Cyril Grey is the leader of the ‘Order of Shining Starres’, an occult organisation that aims to become the most dominant in Britain. Grey has access to some of the darkest forces of the astral realm, and demands complete devotion from his acolytes. He is a man obsessed and committed to the promulgation of his black bible, the Book of Regulation, or Liber Ordinatio said to have been dictated to him by a messenger from the gods that provided to him his magical motto, Sit Vis Vobiscum. He has inherited wealth, independence, and apparent youth; appearing little over 35. But there is talk that he is older and uses a ‘glamour’ to fool his followers. There is also talk of the wealth running out, and debts beginning to mount up; of pretenders to his position, and of... murder. Dark murder, as prominent figures in the occult underworld start to... go missing...
Design Grey in his ceremonial robes of office. Consider the historical period (Edwardian) and setting. Also consider his apparent age and powerful persona, and try to present that in your design.
More than any other 15 year old he knows, Zach hates his parents. Okay, he doesn't hate them, but he sure in hell doesn't understand them, or like them.
Picture perfect mom is the famous superhero 'Starlight Fantastic', though when she was younger she was known as 'Star Girl'. Zach thinks both names are totally ludicrous, considering that his mom can issue hyper-charged beams of light from her chest. He's never heard of anything more ridiculous, but for some reason the stupidity of the general populous loves her.
The only thing worse, is his Dad. Captain Awesome. His name just sounds like he's a bratty, elitist surfer kid. Who's father flies around in spandex and says things like "Not to fear, Captain Awesome is here!" ??
Zach has had just about enough of the embarrassment. Sure, maybe no one knows that he's their son, but he sure knows, and he almost dies every time someone talks about them at school. The last straw was when his best friend drew a pin-up of his mom! Gross!
He's got to put an end to it, and fast. Unfortunately (luckily?), he inherited none of his parent's powers. Instead he has to find another way to deal with them...
Robotics Club wasn't for nothing. With an army of Doombots at his command, his parents will never be able to embarrass him again!
"Appearance: That of a superb vixen with a bushy tail ... Or that of a young woman who is so alluring that none can resist her. ... When the Kitsune turns herself into a vixen, she retains something of her womanly appearance, and when she is a woman, the vixen that quivers beneath the surface cannot be forgotten."
From : "the Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins and Other Little Creatures" by Pierre Dubois
Portray a Kitsune! Depending on the story they can be tricksy devils or loving wife (though usually with a tragic ending!). They are always beautiful and always slightly dangerous! Think up a story for yourself where a kitsune might appear, and design her accordingly!
With no knowledge of who created him or why he's been put on this world, this golem has been wandering around in the junkyard it woke up in about 35 years ago. With a body built out of the junk it lives in, it feels right at home in the abanndoned landfill and has never seen reason to leave.
With only his dog for a companion, it has elected itself as guardian of the junkyard until its master finally shows up to tell it its reason for existence.
When the night is quiet, and any passing human-beings long gone and fast asleep, the golem spends its time sorting debris, smashing the occassional car to a neat square block or finding bits it can add to its own body.
Link for inspiration ::
Io9.com: Nothing is ever junk when it can be reembodied
Man or woman, Shila'h is a feared anarchist, rioter, agitator, and insurrectionist, causing unrest and violence in the once utopian city of Atlantis. At the head of a dissident faction called "The coral reef", s/he is an obscure figure, renowned for being an excellent orator and a crowd manipulator. Without going into a Manichean description, s/he is neither nice nor bad, just an idealist living in an environment of idealists, from whom s/he doesn't share the same conception of "perfection".
Special Thanks to Afekay, Winner of round 190, and Guest Host this Week!
Extra Note from Afekay!
"The purpose of the topic is to focus on the psychology of a character. Shila'h is living in "perfect city", but not the way s/he wants. We all have a different conception of an ideal, there is no good/bad things about this. S/He's a leader, but you may know only very few things about her/him and her/his life, that's what I called an "obscure figure". You can portray her/him alone, or arguing with her/his troops, or taking part of a fight, etc. Is s/he a noble? A folk? Part of the politics? Atlantis is legendary city, you can imagine it the way you want: ancient, contemporary, futuristic, it's up to you.
I voluntarily choosed to let some parts of the subject open, I judged that it was yet enough restrictive."
"Design a character that is at least 25% covered in tattoos. There are lots of types of tattoos, from tramp stamps, to yakuza body suits, to super mario bros half-sleeves, to MS13 face pieces. The style is up to you, but your character should feel invested in their tattoos. Let your creativity flow through the canvas of your character's skin. Have fun with it."
As most of you will probably be well aware who Robin Hood is, I won’t give a long description of him. There are a few important aspects of him that will need to be included in your entries though: he’s an outlaw living in the woods, he’s an excellent marksman with the bow and a great swordsman, he steals from the rich to give to the poor and he is assisted by a group of people known as the ‘merry men’ (however, drawing them or any of the other characters that are not Robin Hood is optional!).
For a little more information you can always look up the numerous books, movies and ballads that have been devoted to this fictional/historical character, or you can of course revert to y’olde wikipedia:
Robin Hood – Wikipedia
Note that the character of Robin Hood -as well as the characters surrounding him- have changed many times throughout history (even as far back as the 14th and 15th century there are controversies). It’s up to you what version you’re running with for your entry this round.
This wild west character, not satisfied with the power of their 6-shooter, has combined the use of pistols with magic. It’s up to you how the combination works and what effect it has.
While the character can be from any time period, the pistol(s) and costume must reflect the wild west theme. He or she can be wielding laser pistols or steam punk compressed gas handguns, so long as we can look at them and see that they really have a thing for the old cowboy tales.
Thanks to Jason Rainville for the topic this week!
ChoW#196: "The Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum, 1900
Dorothy is a girl who lives in a farmhouse in Kansas with her Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, and little dog Toto. One day the farmhouse, with Dorothy inside, is caught up in a cyclone and deposited in a field in the Land of the Munchkins in the Land of Oz. The falling house kills the ruler of the Munchkins, the Wicked Witch of the East and Dorothy sets off on an epic journey along the yellow brick road to find the Great Wizard Oz who can send her back home. Along the way, she meets a Cowardly Lion, a Tin Woodsman, and a Scarecrow who become her traveling companions.
Pick any one, two, three or all four of the main characters - Dorothy, the Tin Woodsman, the Scarecrow or the Cowardly Lion - to (re)design. Give it your own spin if you want - you can set it in the 1930s midwest like the movie, the original Victorian context in which it was written, or any other time or genre, just make sure the essence of the characters and the story is still captured in your design.
WWII. Can you transfer yourself into those times and feel the atmosphere of war? Not just anybody could become a member of secret Nazi police. Intelligence, shrewdness, determination, ruthlessness are some of features that he must have had. Who could doom people to death and stifle their own conscience?
Close your eyes, take a deep breath to concentrate your mind. Your task is to reinterpret the theme while keeping the atmosphere and function of gestapo. I do not limit anyone to realistic WWII times. Post-apocalyptic, steampunk and others are allowed. Choose any stylization you prefer the most, but preserve the mood.
Situation. To make things difficult, imagine what animal would most fit his character (again, not necessarily real) and include it in design as his assistance. Personally I would prefer not in-action shots as it is too obvious. Try to show emotions and suspense.
ChoW#198: Sergeant Dan Pulp Covers - Two Week Chow
1950s/60s Pulp Novel Cover (actual cover layout optional) - Sargent Dan is the hero, and as in every episode of his epic story, campy battle action ensues. Pick one of the titles below. Time frame and genre are up to you - it can be a noir murder mystery, a spacey science fiction thriller, an occult detective story, etc. etc. Just make sure you reference the campy nature/storytelling of the 1950s/60s pulp novel covers.
"Sergeant Dan and The Terrible Twins of Torture"
"Sergeant Dan and The Crypt-City of the Deathless One"
Every Queen has her court, and every court has it's courtiers - men and women of the upper class who make up the Queen's close social circle - and also harbour some of her worst enemies.
This week's round is very straight forward - design a courtier character. But let's think out of the box! Next week will be the new mascot round, and this courtier will be the herald to the mascot, so to speak.
Don't be afraid to push boundaries on this one. Maybe it is the court to the queen of the gods? The soldier/guard bee of the beehive? A band's screaming groupie? A medieval lady in waiting? A hyper-future galactic warrior queen's right-hand man? Think about the kind of queen you are designing the courtier for, and have fun!
The queen is dead. Long live the... queen? 200 ChOWS, or rather 199 and it’s time for a new mascot, and this time it doesn’t HAVE to be a Queen. We want a monarch, so it could easily be a king instead.
The flag bearers have raised their poles. The courtiers are quivering in antici.... pation. The herald has blown his trumpet dry and the ministers are stroking their long... beards! The stage is set for a monarch’s grand arrival so let’s see that royal entrance! Design and create the King or Queen of MUSIC. What kind of music? Well, that’s up to you. Put your take on it. Metal, punk, classical, country, industrial, rockabilly, dance, goth, EMO, AOR, hard house, rap... the list goes on! Or somehow incorporate all those genres into one, if you’re plain bonkers enough.
Remember, the monarch is to be the mascot of the next 100 ChOWS! The reigning sovereign, so regal quality is pretty essential to the character; otherwise it’s a fairly free brief. Make sure your chosen music is reflected in the character and costume and we want only one character design, male, female or any points in-between. As for whether human or not, human please as this is based on human experience. But variations thereof: ie: angel, vampire, mermaid etc. are OK as they feature in a lot of musical symbolism. More than one entry is permitted.
To kick off a fresh new reign of ChoW we dive into greek mythology and this week's topic is: Andromeda, the chained princess.
Andromeda was the princess of the kingdom of Ethiopia and daughter of Cassiope and Cepheus. One day, Cassiope bragged that she was prettier than the daughters of the seagod Nereus. The Greek Gods did not appreciate this and sent a seamonster to punish the queen for her arrogance. The only way to stop the monster from destroying the kingdom, was to sacrifice beautiful Andromeda. She was chained to a rock in the sea to be devoured by the sea monster...
Since you have some more time for this ChoW, you will have to include the seamonster in some way. Feel free to experiment with Andromeda's outfit, style and time period, but keep to the story and include the sea monster.
This week, you will design a character for a fighting game:
The world’s toughest fighters from all ages and all over the world are
gathered to challenge each other in the Ultimate World Tournament! Who
will come out on top?
Design a fighter based on a culture or country. He/she can be from any
period in time.
-This is a videogame character so feel free to exaggerate: think of a good
silhouette! Make your fighter stand out and recognizable!
-Design a good weapon/fighting style. Again, it can be inspired by all ages.
-Give your character a fitting name!
Who will win this ultimate challenge? Will it be Jimmy James, the American
Cowboy hero? Or Yuki, the Harajuku ninja? Maybe Sir Roy, Knight of
England? It’s up to you to design the best fighter!
Rosie von Kreuzberg is top student in Necromancy at the University of Dark Arts. This school has been around for hundreds of years and only the most talented students are accepted! With her talents and skills, Rosie could easily become the most powerful Necromancer in history...
Design Rosie in her student outfit!
- Setting can be anything; from modern age to high-fantasy worlds.
- Maybe she’s arrogant because of her powers, maybe she is very shy and modest, it’s up to you to give Rosie a fitting personality. Show this in your design!
- Age should be fitting for a university student, around her twenties.
As a respected member of the Sky Pirates for more than ten years, it was obvious that after the previous captain suffered an “unfortunate accident” in battle, (s)he would take up the leadership of the pirate crew. Behold the new Captain of the Sky Pirates: feared by his/her opponents, admired by his/her crew!
Design the Captain of the Sky Pirates!
- Setting can be anything; steampunk, fantasy, sci-fi etc. as long as the “sky” part is evident !
- This is a Captain, so show his/her authority in your design.
- Extra points for design of the Sky Pirate ship!
Gaia is the Mother of Nature and the personification of Earth. She appeared from Chaos and is the bringer of all life.
- Setting can be anything! You don't have to stick with the Greek myth.
- Go wild in your design: Gaia is the mother of all life so her appearance should show her grandness.
- It might be interesting to think of the human influences on nature and how this would reflect on Gaia's appearance.
Last week was Mother Nature’s turn, this week we are going to visualize a more abstract concept: Father Time!
Father Time is the personification of time and death and he is often depicted as an old man with a scythe and an hourglass. He announces the passing of time and the coming of Death. When you see Father Time, you know you’re time is up…
Design Father Time!
• Setting can be anything
• Include references to time and death (not necessarily the scythe and hourglass) and both have to show in your design
• Father Time is not the same as the Grim Reaper, as he also symbolizes the passing of time!
• Remember that Father Time is an old man, not a young stud
It’s the year 2090, a few years after World War III... Officially, the war is over; but in the borderlands of the three remaining superpowers there is still conflict. War has changed however, as electro-magnetic fields have blocked out all wireless communication on the planet. This caused a new Spec Ops unit to arise; the Hacker. Not only does he have to infiltrate military bases in order to hack into the mainframe and mechanical units, he also has to be able to defend himself when discovered!
Design the military unit: The Hacker!
- Setting is futuristic, though no wireless devices!
- Hacker can ofcourse be male or female
- The Hacker is a solitary unit, so he has to be able to defend himself
- Basically the Hacker is intelligent and stealthy, but also has a tough side.
Marie Antoinette was the famous and extravagant French queen, almost a fashion icon in her own time. She lived a life of extreme wealth outside of Paris in Versailles, which was like a golden cage to her. During her reign the people of France were suffering, she met her sad fate at the guillotine during the French revolution.
Design Marie Antoinette!
- Marie Antoinette was very fashionable, and wore many beautiful dresses. Go wild in your design!
- Stick to the historical setting.
- In her life she has seen both extreme wealth as imprisonment and execution. It is up to you how you want to portray her.
There are many interpretations of the character Samael, being an angel of both good and evil. Most stories portray his evil side though: the accuser, seducer and destroyer and the fallen angel... Some even compare him to Satan. This week you are to design Samael as a fallen angel, an angel gone very, very bad..
Design fallen archangel Samael!
- Think of a grim atmosphere, this is an angel with a dark side
- Setting can be anything!