The chief reason for all my comic book research is because I'm creating a graphic novel for an assignment. More on that later. My research also came in handy when a friend asked me to sketch a superhero character for a pitch!
This is Ryder. Bad-ass. A relatively quick sketch done in pencils and heavily modified in Photoshop. In retrospect, I think I should have used less grainy paper. It's a little too rough. However, I like the general design, and especially the mask! He was inspired by a collection of superheroes - The Black Panther, Gambit (X-Men), Batman, Neo (The Matrix) and Nite Owl (Watchmen).
Now onto my comic book (which does not yet have a name). My idea somewhat inspired by 'Inception' and 'The Sandman'. I've come up with a rather complicated plot about 'Dreamweavers' who are servants of the great Dream Lord Morpheus (nothing to do with 'The Sandman' however). Dreamweavers are responsible for creating the dreams of humans, and each Dreamweaver specialises in different kinds of dreams.
This is 'The Evolo'. She is the creator of escapist dreams. The idea is that these dreamweavers are made of 'dreamstuff' and only exist in dreams - thus why her legs are part of her skirt which is actually the ground. They weave the material around them to create landscapes for dreams. I wanted lots of billowing fabrics for my Dreamweavers. Like the Sandman, their clothes are constantly changing in size and shape because the material is transitory and always shifting - such are dreams. This design was inspired by Storm (X-Men), Emma Frost (X-Men) and Dream (The Sandman). I like the background of this illustration. It has a nice flow.
This is the juxtaposition of The Evolo. This is The Marre. He is the creator of the inescapable nightmare. The darkest and cruellest illusions that you cannot wake up from - those are the work of this dreamweaver. Although he is a juxtaposition of The Evolo, I wanted his clothes and his face to somewhat have a resemblence to The Evolo, to suggest that they two are infact not so different. He too has the billowing fabrics which he weaves nightmares out of. I originaly planned for him to be a very beautiful character, as his personality is going to be charming, witty and sweeping. By accident, I made him too manly. Now he appears as a fierce brute, though that wasn't my intention. Inspirations were Dream (The Sandman), Sephiroth (Final Fantasy) and Quinlan Vos (Star Wars). And yes, he has some weird-looking abs.
These are the faces of The Evolo and The Marre. As superhero characters, I wanted them to have masks of some kind, but I disliked the idea of hiding too much of their faces, so I went with tattoos instead. The Evolo's tattoos are largely Art Nouveau inspired, whereas The Marre's has sharper-edges.