Happy New Year, all! I hope that your holidays were well spent with friends and family and that you're gearing up for a very productive (hopefully) year in 2017! I'm eagerly setting out on the next stage of A Land Remembered: The Graphic Novel with something I'm sure you'll find interesting...character designs.
In total there are roughly eleven major characters in the book, but as these are the first four major characters in the first few chapters, I thought I'd share them first. I paid close attention to the way Patrick Smith described the characters, catching not only their likeness, but the personality that they represent.
With Tobias, it's the struggle he has, not only with protecting and supporting his family, but the struggle he has internally, in making sure that dragging his family out into the wilds of Florida was the right thing. For that, I've made him youthful and heroic, but also gaunt, hungry and slightly worried.
Zech, captivates the sense of awe and wonder of the MacIvey family, as most children do. For Zech, everything is an adventure and even in the toughest of times he puts on a good face and maintains a happy spirit.
Emma is patience and wisdom. Her demeanor throughout the book is calm, cool and collected, but who also worries for the happiness of those around her. She's willing to sacrifice her own happiness and contentment if it means that Tobias and Zech thrive. I wanted her to be beautiful, but in an earthy and disheveled way.
Skillit is of course the spirit of hope in the story. At the beginning of the book, Skillit is skittish, wary and bashful. As an ex-slave, he doesn't consider himself deserving of anything, so he's genuinely shocked and awed by the good fortune he's had in meeting the MacIvey Family. By the end of the story (without giving too much away), Skillit comes full circle and becomes the epitome of the American Success story, in many ways, even more so than Tobias, Zech or Sol.
Keith Tiger, the Seminole friend to the MacIvey Clan, is a precursor of the terrible things to come. Keith Tiger's people are on the verge of annihilation, as they are pushed further south with no land to call their own, forced to watch white men tear a path to the bottom of the Florida coast. Yet, despite all the loss and all the sorrow he's suffered, he remains a resounding figure of friendship and good nature, no matter how strong a face he puts on. He remains a steadfast observer of a land he once remembered.
As we go forward, I'll introduce you to the rest of the cast (including Frog, Bongo, Glenda and Twanda). Something I'm finding most interesting about this process is that unlike my previous works, where the characters remain the same age throughout, these characters grow and evolve across a hundred years, so we'll be seeing Tobias go from a young father to an aged grandfather, his face showing the wear. We'll see as Zech goes from an adolescent full of hope, to a man who has seen great loss and fought a personal war.
It's exciting times ahead for this year! So stick with me as I reveal much more! Happy New Year!