Comic 436 - Dress Up Blues

19th May 2015, 11:00 PM in True Blue Filler
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Dress Up Blues
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Author Notes:

Martin F. 19th May 2015, 10:06 PM edit delete
Martin F.
Know how for awhile now we've talked about how eventually the Blues kids need more professional costumes like Starchild, Sareena, and Misty've recently gotten?

Yeah, that's still not likely to actually happen any time soon, buuuut that doesn't mean we can't go ahead and try and get some ideas on them. We really don't have much specific in mind though and thus have been doing a lot of idle doodling, and we thought we'd run some of the results we've gotten and see what works and what doesn't for people.

I designed most of these - all but the third row specifically. We'd both talked about playing around with it, but one night, I just kind of specifically felt in the mood to fiddle around with it and I asked Adam to draw up some models to use as a base to just get some ideas out there, most of which was kind of come up with freeform. Notably the main reason certain things like Val's mask and Grant's cape are missing on certain ones of them is because... Hey, this was only for practice and drawing those doesn't come naturally to me. Not so much on Jenny's helmet - that's pretty much going to wind up cut sooner rather than later since Adam doesn't like how she can't emote well with it.

God, this is going to take forever to go through thoughts on every one of these but lemme try and gist things a bit. Hm...

Okay, one thing across most of Lore's was trying to play up a sort of combination leader look and cute little girl one, thus why you have a move away from emphasizing black to focusing on blue and why most of those have pink in them. Her second one was kind of a shift away from that general philosophy to go for more of a sort of mini-commander look but it came out more like she's ready to go into school with Lori for a day or something. Not sure which outfit I like most on Lore, most of them seem to have the right idea but are all missing something. Think the answer lies somewhere between the one in the fourth row and the standalone magiciany one. Though I'd want to jazz up the cloak thing.

Nicky, very clear what the idea was there - switch to stretchy clothes and a more proper outfit but still very much make him look like a sidekick. Honestly probably should've tried at least one or two sets of him with short or no sleeves and shorts like his current costume has since surely that has more room to be done with it, but never came up. Think my favorite of those ones is Adam's take on it. Also it bares mentioning the first one of his is supposed to be somewhat similar to the corresponding Valerie one, which I'll get to later.

The big thing with Andy in general was, "Play up the ninja!" thing. I think Adam initially only picked it being slightly tweaked, but then on that first change I went all out overhauling it and it wound up influencing the rest. That first one is for the most part my favorite there, but I think I'd implement the scarf and extra padding from Adam's take on a similar concept. The big struggle with that costume though - the blue isn't working for it. I want to do the thing of all the costumes having blue in them but there, it's been very hard to add in any detail that's actually visible with it present that doesn't just distract from the costume as a whole. So think the proper thing there lies somewhere in between the first, third, and fourth ones but I'm not sure what exactly to do. Maybe should look into adding some gold like his original concept art had, I dunno.

The big thing with Jenny is that conceptually her costume is a little bit of a mess anyway, it just happens to work in the way it is and even that we struggled with for a long while - the earliest designs for Quickzip were the most radically different of the bunch. I've tried to keep something similar to that while making it a little more elaborate and showy. The second one as well as Adam's attempt were trying to work her magical girl fandom into it, try and add some more personality and flair to things - I think the second one pretty much wound up the way to go there, though there is still something missing from it I think to really tie it together and make it look more superheroish.

The idea on Grant is sound - more professional superhero look to him, really play up the tradition and make him Superman-ish while also making the bird motif more prominent. One thing definitely happening is the feathered cape thing, that's from day one been a design for him to eventually switch to using. Beyond that, I'm not sure - all of these again just seem to be missing a little something I think. I think the somewhat Starchild-based one Adam did might be the best way to go with it, but I do think there's some room for refinements there. Maybe make the chest emblem bigger so as to add more focus to it and more color to the costume as a whole and remove the kneepads since they kind of break up the symmetry of it, I dunno.

Valerie's kind of the Roman Reigns of the group in that she has to look really, really strong. Make her look strong, that was the concept going into her design, and also much like her initial costume my initial effort and Adam's were attempting to invoke Star Trek and in particular Worf. There was some consideration given by Adam to putting in a sash to go with that, but I've never really been fond of that idea, mostly because it seems like it'd be really awkward and impractical in a fight. Maybe something sort of like one of those ammunition chain things, like maybe carrying various substances she can let out to absorb then shoot out? I dunno, it's a thought. Anyway, with her I think the best bet would be to combine the first one I did and the one of Adam's - I like the longer top and more prominent and design-heavy shoulder-dressing to it and the more detailed boots, but I think having a chest insignia rather than or in addition to a separation line helps to tie the look other a bit. But I don't know for sure about the elbow pad and gauntlet, they kind of distract from it a bit and throw off the nice symmetry of the look. Also maybe would cut out the trim around the bottom since it does look a little overly busy. If it doesn't show that chest emblem in the first and fourth attempts is supposed to be a C stylized into looking like a cannon about to fire.

And, as mentioned before, her first and Nicky's first are supposed to resemble each other, like how he has that line separating the halves of the costume in the same place where her top ends and the seam spikes up in a similar way to that line.

It bares mentioning the fourth set had the guiding idea of trying to give them a sort of uniform look - each costume's similar compositionally with designs around the neck, shoulders, and knees, each has either boots or a design somewhat looking like them, they have similar styles of masks, and each has a circular chest emblem. Not sure how well that worked out, and I just did that set right before posting, but it's an idea.

And then there's that set of them wearing each other's costumes that was just done for fun. Main thoughts there were I didn't want any two people just switching and wanted to genuinely shuffle them around.

So, yeah, hope you enjoyed reading that book.
Adam C. 19th May 2015, 11:16 PM edit delete
Adam C.
Yeah, like Martin said, just trying out some stuff. We really, really wanna hear your input on this and your thoughts on which costumes/elements work and don't work. Hell, if you guys want I can export the cat-suit templates we used for these things and let you try your hand. I'm really eager for feedback on the sets.

The single best "Set" for me is probably the fourth set, since they all have a unified look but are still very unique. That can be hard to balance out in a superhero team (Offhand, if you wanna see a book that fails in it, check out the New 52 Justice League). Me and Martin largely have the same thoughts but ideas moving toward a final motif....

General: Probably try to incorporate elements of the matching versions to make sure they all stay sort of similar and you can tell they're on the same team.

Lore: All her costumes are very strong, so think they could all work. My favorite's probably number four, but might keep in some other elements, like the bigger bow, or possibly the puffier skirt. That cloak is definitely staying in to be thrown off dramatically before a fight.

Nicky: Number three is easily my favorite, maybe play around with that and number 4.

Andy: Number 1 easily blew me away. When Martin sent that my main thought was "Why even draw more for Andy? That's a deadlock." It's still easily the best, just maybe take a few elements from the others and stapel them on, in particular the padding on the arms and legs from number three and possible the scarf and headband.

Jenny: Yeah, all of her designs seem just a bit understated, though two and three are my favorites. Probably find some way to staple them together, see if that helps. Really want input here.

Grant: Easily number three, which had the idea of taking his normal costume and importing Superman and Starchild elements. Lose the black parts for white and the kneepads, but other than that should be okay. I do like the stylized, musical "SB" on the first costume and wanna keep it in but think that'd be hard. As Martin said, feathered cape was the biggest idea.

Val: Like Martin said I wanted Worf's sash-thing on her but it didn't work out. Her third, which is heavily based off Klingon armor, is my main choice, maybe with elements of 1.

Yeah, all I got. Really, really hope you guys like at least some of these, please tell us which are best, worst, ect. ^^

Comments:

Wolfintina 19th May 2015, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
These all look really weird to me, the costumes are even more jarring then their redesigns, my thoughts are that none of these costumes will work as they are now.
Adam C. 20th May 2015, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
Adam C.
Heh... Appreciate the honesty, though hope either a revised version or two will have a different impact or the ones here will grow on ya.
karmachameleon 22nd May 2015, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
The first thing needed for effective redesigns are masks, since they are vigilantes who also are underage.
Adam C. 22nd May 2015, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Adam C.
Heh... Yeah, true, though given their powers are a matter of record I dunno how well they can hide their identities anyway. ^^