Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Sting Chronicles: Superhero of Arizona

This summer is going to be full of new projects, some old ones, and is going to be wonderfully productive. I'm pleased to announce one of the new projects I'm going to be a part of. In collaboration with my cousin Alexis Johnson (Reel Reflections), actor, film critic Radcliff Misseri (actor of Sundown, mentioned in my post here), a group we are assembling together, and I will be creating a Youtube webseries called The Sting Chronicles. It is a satirical, coming-of-age story of a young man who thinks he has superhero powers and records his adventures via video records. It seems as if webseries are going to launch creativity in media into a whole new sphere, Youtube full of webseries cropping up to popularity, and I'm happy to be a part of this new media outlet. One of the main inspirations for this webseries is the new, highly innovative adaption of Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It records the story of Lizzie Bennet, a college student studying Mass Communications, as she recalls to her audience the antics and drama of her life with her family and friends. It is a very clever, heartwarming, and downright hilarious retelling of Pride and Prejudice, there is nothing like its kind out there. Using the internet as a mode for storytelling, but have the story be told as if it is actually a real-life scenario is ingenious and we hope we can capture that same spirit and connection with the audience that the creators of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries have achieved with their webseries.

So, I begin with my work that I've done so far on this project, and it starts with The Sting logo. As I said, this young man feels he has gained super powers, and in this case the story is set in Mesa, Arizona, and he happens to get stung by a scorpion, thus The Sting is born. The Scorpion logo design concept is a collaboration with Alexis Johnson, as she wanted something that would look menacing, but unique. With my own love for Art Nouveau, studying many pictures of scorpions, and with a touch of Celtic knot influence, we both came up with this idea:

We purposefully chose the yellow and black, because we are going for this aspect of "Danger". With reptiles and insects, there are the colors red, black, and yellow to warn other creatures that they are dangerous and poisonous, and so in this way the main character, Ethan Harper, is using this idea as a way to show he is a threat to all crime; a blaring "Danger Ahead" symbol fighting for justice! Of course, as a final touch, and as is my usual staple, adding texture adds that rustic edginess, which fits to the "wild west" atmosphere of Arizona.

Continuing with these themes, I then came up with a concept piece of the character himself, also in collaboration with Alexis Johnson. She is the writer of this series, and so much of the ideas and concepts are her own, and so she and I both agreed that this character's superhero costume would have the feel and look of Indiana Jones crossed with The Punisher. There were other influences as well, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog being one of them, but Indiana and Frank Castle were what I drew from the most while creating my piece.

We have the roguish, rustic adventurer mixed with the edgy, city superhero, and the results:

One of the key aspects of our Arizonian superhero is his bullwhip, which is how we draw the idea of the "scorpion" into his superhero persona. The stinging whip is how he battles against the forces of darkness and keeps criminals at bay! The rest came easily enough, and with high contrast, lots of texture, and simplistic design, we have our superhero ladies and gentlemen.

It is certainly going to be an adventure in bringing this story to life. As my viewers, you can have a chance to be a part of bringing this project to fruition. We are currently doing two fundraisers to raise money for the project, and it starts at a $1 minimum pledge. Alexis Johnson and Radcliff Misseri have put together a video where you can learn more information on this project as well as get to know our vision and sense of humor. Click Here. You can find out more information as well as keep up with the project on our Facebook page. 

I'll keep you up-to-date on any new artwork on do on this project, but I do hope you'll join us in bringing Ethan Harper, our desert crime fighter, to life. 

He makes everything beautiful in its time . . . Ecclesiastes 3:11