In Ruins

Echoes from the Drift

Did you like “In Ruins”? Want to know what happens next? Then find out in the first issue of my new comic book series, “Echoes from the Drift”!

In “Echoes from the Drift”, the story centres on the exploration of parallel worlds and introduces two new characters – Jenni and Zayf. But, don’t worry, along with the new faces, there will be plenty of familiar ones for “In Ruins” fans.

“Echoes” is a story I’ve been wanting to tell for a long time. I’m including a lot of influences from my favourite shows from the late ’70s and ’80s, including “Mad Mad”, “Fist of the North Star”, “Star Wars”, “Battlestar Galactica”, “Mazinger Z”, “UFO Robo Grendizer”, so-called “Spaghetti Westerns”, “Blade Runner” and “The Fifth Element”. Like I did with “In Ruins”, I’ll be putting my own twist on these shows to make the story fun, dramatic and personal.

Finding a publisher can be a complex process these days. There’s a lot of really good artists out there. The waiting times can be long until you hear back from publishers (from a few weeks to a few months). Also, it seems to be preferable if you’ve been published before and have an existing fanbase to get their attention.

So, I’m planning to crowdfund “Echoes from the Drift”. This way I can tell the story in the way that I’d like to and get support from people who like the idea and can help turn this dream into a reality. Using crowdfunding means that fans and supporters can have sneak peeks of the art while the comic is being created. Supporters of “Echoes” will also have the opportunity to obtain exclusive extras, such as original artwork, which can be difficult to obtain unless you go to a lot of international conventions. This way, everything is in one place.

I’ll be writing, pencilling, inking and colouring the new series, as I did with “In Ruins”. It’s a lot of work, but I think the result will be worth it. I’m planning an initial 5 issue story arc. The overall plot is done and a lot of groundwork has been completed for the first issue already, so I’m putting the finishing touches on my crowdfunding campaign and will let you know when it’s ready to go!

For those of you who don’t know much about crowdfunding, I’ll be creating a post that goes over the basics.

To give you a little taste of “Echoes from the Drift”, here’s one of the first pieces of art I created for the series.

Echoes from the Drift - promo poster

Echoes from the Drift – promo poster

In Ruins – Behind the Scenes 5

My awesome Dad went through my gaming boxes in NZ and managed to track down the version of Isaac I made for the Deadlands RPG. Merci beaucoup, Papa! 😀

Deadlands - Isaac

Deadlands – Isaac

This pic would have been made somewhere in the late ’90s or early 2000s. I was trying to mimic the colouring technique that Tetsuya Nomura used for the character designs in the “Final Fantasy VII” video game.

This version of Isaac is pretty close to the “In Ruins” version of Downtown. I’m glad I stuck with the Wild West theme. I think it suits his character.

In Ruins – Behind the Scenes 4

Isaac “Downtown” Brown

Originally known as Isaac, he was a character designed for the Weird West RPG “Deadlands”. However, I only played that game once and he never got the chance to actually get used. I always liked his design though, so when I was thinking about including him in one of my series, I came up with his surname and his urban nickname.

Downtown’s looks were based on a combination of a couple of guys – Gary Dourdan’s character Christie from “Alien Resurrection” and Lajon Witherspoon from the band Sevendust. He’s also a bit of a mix of some of my friends, so I knew that Downtown would be great to include as Jake’s amigo.

Downtown’s clothes have remained in a Western-style for “In Ruins”. I thought it’d be interesting if he took the clothes from a predominantly White hero culture (at least in a Hollywood movie sense, in reality there were actually quite a lot of Black cowboys) and made them his own. Downtown is the owner of the Pontiac he and Jake travel in (it’s his version of Silver, the Lone Ranger’s horse).

I thought that instead of a lone survivor trudging across the wasteland, it would be cool to make the “In Ruins” comic more like a buddy film. It allows the guys room to express thoughts and argue, but when the chips are down, they pull together. I think it’s worked out well in the comic and creates something different from the “Mad Max” films it’s obviously based on.

Unfortunately, I don’t have Isaac’s original character sheet with me in Europe (it’s somewhere in my gaming stuff in New Zealand). But, I do have another pic of Downtown from 2003 (Jake was still known as Mike in those days).

In Ruins - Downtown

In Ruins – Downtown

There you go! A little backstory on the design of Downtown.

In Ruins – Behind the Scenes 3

Here’s the original Aftermath RPG character sheet of Mike Sterling (now known as Jake McKenzie from “In Ruins”). The top and bottom right drawings would have been done sometime around 1986 (when I was a young teenager).

Aftermath - Jake McKenzie 2

Aftermath – Jake McKenzie 2

Back then, I gave Mike the backstory that he had looted a museum, which was why he ended up with such an eclectic collection of weapons. I mean, look at him, nunchaku, a crossbow and bolts, WWII Colt.45 (it says so on the holster!), boot knife and a Sten gun. Topped off with a suit of chainmail under all those clothes, a G.I. Joe American Army helmet and a hockey mask to try to minimise the amount of damage he could take in that brutal RPG.

The hockey mask is a nod towards Casey Jones from the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comics and Jason Voorhees from the “Friday the 13th” films.

Mike ended up with a robotic arm in-game and I modelled it on Hamerstein’s arm from “Ro-Busters” and “ABC Warriors”, which appeared in the Starlord and 2000 AD comics.

In the bottom left of the page, Simon Bisley’s work on the “ABC Warriors” in 1987 was obviously an influence on my art. I added yet another weapon to Mike’s arsenal which is his now signature chainsaw.

So, there you have it. Jake’s mechanical arm for “In Ruins” had been planned for a loooonnng time. 😉

In Ruins – Page 10

Here it is! The conclusion to “In Ruins”! Thanks to everyone who has been reading and commenting. Stay tuned for more news on where the story goes from here! Now, go and have fun reading Page 10!

Suggested for Mature Readers.

In Ruins - Page 10

In Ruins – Page 10

In Ruins – Page 9

It’s “In Ruins” Friday! Just one more week until the prequel concludes! What are you waiting for? Read Page 9!

In Ruins - Page 9

In Ruins – Page 9

In Ruins – Page 8

It’s “In Ruins” Friday! The end of the prequel is near. Time for Page 8!

In Ruins - Page 8

In Ruins – Page 8

In Ruins – Page 7

New Years Day is “In Ruins” as well! 😀 Let’s kick off the New Year with Page 7! Have a fantastic 2016 everyone!

Suggested for Mature Readers.

In Ruins - Page 7

In Ruins – Page 7

In Ruins – Page 6

It seems that Christmas is “In Ruins” this year! 😉 Enjoy Page 6 and have a great holiday!

Check back next Friday for more “In Ruins”!

Suggested for Mature Readers.

In Ruins - Page 6

In Ruins – Page 6

In Ruins – Page 5 – Behind the Scenes 2

It’s “In Ruins” Friday! We’re halfway! It seems Jake isn’t alone in the wasteland… Check out Page 5 now!

In Ruins - Page 5

In Ruins – Page 5

In Ruins – Behind the Scenes
Downtown’s white ’69 GTO Pontiac is based on the car my cousin Yens’ had back in the ’80s. Such an awesome machine! I even designed a Devil Girl that Yens painted on the boot of the car. I always wanted to include this car in a comic, so here it finally is! Despite it’s worse-for-wear condition, this is the car that will get you through the apocalypse! (I really should get sponsored by Pontiac for saying stuff like this. 😉 )

Check back next Friday for more “In Ruins”!