Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Sting and The Raven

My final blog post for the month and I wanted to talk some more about the Youtube web series I am a part of, The Sting Chronicles. We finished our first season over the summer, and shall begin airing the second season here in a couple of weeks. The first season our hero, Ethan Harper, met with unexpected challenges of being given "great responsibility," but this second season might prove to be an even greater challenge for The Sting. Introducing, The Raven:

Some of our inspiration came from
Vicious, the villain of the anime
series, Cowboy Bebop and
Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes.

This mysterious nemesis has made an unexpected appearance into Ethan's life and Season 2:1 shall give us more insight on this Poe-inian villain, so I won't give too much away. However, with our nemesis having taken on the name from one of Edger Allen Poe's most famous poems, we really wanted to convey the atmosphere of those Gothic poems by making our villain out-of-world steam punk, with heavy trench coat, pocket watch, and old-styled glasses. The dark, Victorian-esque assamble of our villain creates a nice contrast with our hero's contemporary, swashbuckling look. The heavy blues and grays next to the bright yellow really conveys the comic book antagonism between these two characters, of good vs evil:

I've really enjoyed doing the concept art for this web series, but I've also been able to work on the posters, which has been awesome. I love creating movie posters. It is always a challenge to make a convincing, original composite while conveying the concepts and themes of a movie, or in this case, a series. The poster concepts for The Sting Chronicles season 1 and season 2 weren't entirely mine, though, but my partners' in crime as well. I thought I would explain a little the concepts behind each of the posters:

In Season 1 we are introduced to the somewhat self-centered and naive Ethan Harper, who tells us that he undoubtedly has super powers after being stung by a scorpion on a school field trip. Clothed with these new powers, he takes it upon himself to follow his "superhero brethren" and document his fight against crime for future generations. He is cocky, but earnest, yet is mostly oblivious to much that is around him, and so we see Ethan go from "zero to hero," hero to zero, and back around again. The first poster reflects the beginning of Ethan's journey. He is boldly clothed in his costume talking to the camera and his backpack is full of his superhero paraphernalia. The color scheme is a bright, gregarious yellow, much like the colors of comic books, over-confident and optimistic. I also made the poster look like an old comic book, with texture, issue number and price, and even a bold headline of "This mish just got real!". It expresses everything about Ethan's journey into comic book-dom.

In Season 2, things are taking a much darker, more sinister turn. Ethan's life has suddenly become like something out of The Dark Knight, as he is faced with his very own nemesis, The Raven. The poster reflects this new transition of events, with Ethan walking in a deserted and lonely landscape (of the Phoenix Valley, of course) and an "ominous bird of yore" looming in the sky behind him. It is a flock of ravens that make up this ominous symbol. I chose to hand draw the ravens as a way to incorporate a grittier, comic book feel to the piece. I didn't think making this into a comic book issue, like I did for the first one, would work for the overall composition, so instead I brought the atmosphere of comic book by the hand drawn ravens, which works quite well. Also, in this photo, Ethan is much more wary, wearing his shirt underneath his clothing, another nice contrast to the bold statement of the first poster, and the overall color scheme of the shades of blue are subdued and isolating, emphasizing Ethan's trial with his enemy, which, as the tag line insinuates, (a line from Poe's The Raven) may cost Ethan much.

So, it is going to be quite an interesting season! I hope that this post has intrigued you into either watching our show or get you excited for Season 2, not to mention build anticipation for The Sting Chronicles at the comicon! On the right side of my blog here, is the link to our Youtube channnel, please check it out, subscribe, and favorite! Thanks so much!

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

All material in this post is Copyrighted by Danielle Pajak Illustrations 2013.