Tuesday, February 17, 2015

~ 1. Back 2 High School–Towel Style ~

Now this is hilarious. It started out really quite simple: I needed an eyeglass repair kit–but not for eyeglasses. I needed to replace my cell phone’s USB charger port and had all the equipment in one kit, including a useless micro screwdriver. So convinced that I had another one in an eyeglass repair kit, I scoured my room searching. Eventually, I dived into my closet, pulled out a couple of plastic storage crates, and ran across this old comic I drew back in my junior year of high school. It’s where I started to develop and understand this character that’s been in my head all my life. Her name is Towel. (Nicknamed if you will.) She’s young. Highly misunderstood. Stubborn. A romantic. Senseless and often times forgetful. However, most of all, she’s a hero. She’s lived and manifested in many different forms and appearances. Many different races. Many different occupations. Nonetheless, she’s always been influenced by my love of Sailor Moon, Buffy and a variety of other forms and medias that represent women in power.

So it took me a while, but I finally whipped out my scanner, thinking it would be cool to share some of these scans just for the hell of it. It’s rough. It’s hard.  It's random and confusing.  It’s impulsively drawn. But it’s here. So be tickled.  And sorry that some areas are cut off. My scanner isn't that large.

And no. I never found that eyeglass repair kit. Therefore, I was left making a run to the Dollar Store for one.  However, eventually I got my phone repaired.

I’ll release these in a series of 5 per posts...

What other way to introduce Towel other than to make her late for school?  Why was she late?  Because she was busy admiring a dress.  Heavily–and I mean heavily–influenced by Naoko Takeuchi and Miwa Ueda's work, I placed her in a sailor-style uniform just like Japanese students.  Which only exacts her locale.  

While I was rarely late for school/class, I will say that I was not liked by a couple of teachers for other reasons.  Like Towel, I kind of didn't have a filter on my mouth.  I remember one English teacher calling me out because I proclaimed "this sucks" during one dull, boring class period.  It really was boring listening to her read out of some book.  However, school was like that for me; I was always bored.  And though I've always tried, I find it hard to hold back how I feel.  Especially when it comes to the urge to create.

While she may be located in Japan, Towel definitely had my Southern wit.  I also want to mention how, as it regards manga/anime, characters who have blond hair and blue eyes are not necessarily considered white.  In fact, you'll know when a white/foreign character is present in either form, because of the difference in his/her appearance and behavior.  However, the obvious is a silly caricature of say an American or Russian.  

I never really saw Towel as white, mixed maybe.  Eventually she became a black character who dyed her hair blond.  Why blond?  Because Minako/Sailor Venus is yellow-headed of course.  Plus, the color is so light that it's easiest to product and hide mistakes over.

I've always loved these little character introductions in manga.  A quick, running page of information regarding the star and her buddies.  Clip (later changed to Klip) and Cornbread (we'll talk about him later) were always the characters I had in mind as Towel's best friends.  Both have changed tremendously over the years.  Something I'll realize more and more of as I re-read these early introductions.  

Nonetheless, back to Towel.  I wanted Towel to be sporty, unlike myself.  So I made her a basketball player (like my sister at the time) and a gymnasts (so she could do flips like the original Pink Ranger).  She loves to write, which is something that did come from myself.  Ultimately, I shot for well-rounded.

And here enters a character inspired by Naoko Takeuchi's Rei Hino (my second favorite senshi), or other known as Sailor Mars.  She becomes Towel's school rival and later something else entirely.

Perhaps now's the time to ask that you stay tuned for the next half...

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