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Yaoi Art: Guys In Their Underwear! (“Artifice” Character Designs)

June 01, 2007 | | Comments 4 |

Jeff, an inconvenient orphan...

Jeff, an inconvenient orphan...

UPDATE: The pencils for this comic can now be see at Yaoi Art: “Artifice Pencils” and there the underwear comes off!

Hey, everyone! :-) The first book of the Yaoi 911™ action-yaoi series (which I’m pretty sure I’m going to call “Firsts”) is well under way. And the first story in the book — “A Shot in the Dark,” which you’ve been watching us create on this blog — is finally completely colored and lettered and you can now download the entire comic for free. But there are, of course, more stories in this graphic novel and I’d like to begin previewing them here as well, starting with “Artifice,” a comic with art created from start to finish by “A Shot in the Dark” inker and colorist Winona Nelson.

“Artifice” is a scif-fi story featuring an android assassin, Deacon, who fails to eliminate his target, a 19-year-old human refugee named Jeff, on a routine search-and-kill mission. Robopsychologist Clarice Maven is brought in by the Corporation that owns Deacon to determine why. This being a yaoi story, I’m pretty sure you can guess at least one potential reason he let the boy live ;-) , but there is much more than meets the eye in this corporate-ruled dystopian future where everyone has dark secrets and their own agenda. And the brilliant and formidable Dr. Maven will not rest until she has all the answers — and has made sure that Deacon will never fail the Corporation ever again!

But onto the making of this comic! I haven’t discussed this yet, but the very first stage of creating the art for a comic, before even the thumbnail pages, are the character designs. I’ll talk briefly about that process and then show you what the heroes of our story look like, both with and without their pants. ;-)

The Ultimate Casting Couch

When working with an artist on a new story, I’ll send her the script and a short document of Character Descriptions which contains notes about the characters as well as a number of supplementary pictures I hope will inspire her to create the look that’s needed. (For example, for Cornelius, the old mage in “A Shot in the Dark,” I wanted a cross between Gandalf and Dumbledore and included representative pictures of both characters from various movies in my Notes.)

While finding the right images is a lot of work (it’s not unusual for me to search through three or four thousand, yes thousand, pictures online before I find the 2 or 3 that really work), it’s also a lot of fun. It’s my chance to “cast” anyone I’d like in the roles of my characters, from famous actors from the past to random people from the street. The goal isn’t, of course, to recreate an exact likeness of any one person — they should all be new characters with their own look, both for artistic and legal reasons — but the ability to capture the essence of a certain character by finding the right pics is very exciting. It’s like having an unlimited casting budget coupled with a time machine at my ready disposal.

Now, I hope you’ll forgive me for being a little coy about which examples I chose for specific characters in “Artifice” — as I’ve said, I want you to think of them as new characters in their own right — but suffice it to say that Winona captured exactly what I was looking for.

So, without further ado, here are the main characters of “Artifice”!

DEACON

Our protagonist, a resourceful and sensitive android soldier, living in a world that views him as nothing more than a tool. Formerly a contented member of a Corporation Kill Team, he failed to complete his last mission and even attacked the Corporate Officers sent to retrieve him.

Why did he bite the hand that created him and what is to be done with a killer robot that won’t follow orders?

Deacon In His Jumpsuit Deacon In His Underwear

Clicking on a thumbnail page will activate our cool Javascript-based Lightbox viewer. Once you have activated the Lightbox, click on the right side of the page for the next page, the left side for the previous page, and the “X” at the bottom-right of the script page to return to this site. (You can also use the keys “N”, “P” and “X” to navigate.)

JEFF

Jeff is the only surviving member of a group of scientific colonists who were killed for knowing too much. Ironic and bitter, having endured numerous hardships throughout his short life, he faced certain death at the hands of a relentless killing machine. Yet Deacon spared his life — why?

Jeff In His Coat Jeff In A Shirt Jeff In His Underwear

DR. MAVEN

Brilliant, insightful and very skilled at what she does, she now faces her biggest challenge — an android with the strategic intelligence of a hundred military commanders who wants to keep the truth about what happened on Da Vinci Four from her at all costs.

Will she outsmart this synthetic killer and learn why things went so wrong on that barren world or has she finally met her match?

Dr. Clarice Maven

SECURITY

Deacon has the strength of ten men and someone has to get him under control if he chooses not to toe the Corporate line. Here are a few members of the Corporate Security Forces who will try to do just that:

Winston Roy Bob

But Is It Yaoi?

As you can see, the art style we chose for this comic is more realistic European-style than anything else, but it definitely fits the tone and style of the piece. And as I’ve said all along, my goal is to create stories that will appeal to those who love yaoi for the same reasons I do, not to slavishly follow any particular artistic or thematic convention.

Will there be folks who will cry “It’s not yaoi!”? Maybe. But perhaps there will be others who will be open to shaking up their assumptions a little bit. In these yaoi stories, I’m promising cute guys kissing (and more… ;-) ) in character-based romances that’ll be a lot of fun for both women and men. And hopefully, there are at least a few of you out there wouldn’t mind seeing characters looking like Deacon and Jeff getting naked for your reading pleasure.

Let me know what you think!

I hope that you enjoyed this small sample of the art from the second comic in our book. If you do like what you see or find the story content intriguing, please let me know in the comments!



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Filed Under: "Artifice"ArtFeaturedYaoi 911

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About the Author: Filmmaker by day, yaoi creator by night, Alex has dedicated himself to helping cute guys fight evil and find love.

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  1. ButterflyFomori says:

    Gah! WOW-o-WOW.

    I am definitely looking forward to this installment of you and your team's fabulous hard work.

    Plot: I'm captivated. I WANT to know why Deacon didn't eliminate Jeff. Why is Jeff different? And more about this world and society – looks intriguing. I totally did a strangled sort of squeal at the scene where Deacon is blasting through building and bodies whilst dragging Jeff along by holding his hand. (Such a demented romantic, ain't I?)

    Yaoi Content: *DIES* I was so upset when I clicked onto page 26 from page 25 on the sample download. SUCH a c–k tease. If you were beside me, I'd smack you in the way that a loving friend does just before they choke hold said friend. . . I'm curious as to the emotional level of this Deacon android/A.I.

    And is this a SWITCH? Awesome. . .I think I saw Jeff pushing Deacon down on page 29!!! (But hard to tell with no words yet.)

    Art: I love the expression on Jeff's face on page 19!

    Winona Nelson's art and your story = crack. I'm addicted.

  2. @ButterflyFomori

    I have to say I was absolutely delighted to read your comment this morning. It put a huge smile on my face that just won't quit. I'm so pleased to hear you liked what you saw (and I'll definitely pass on your props to Winona!) :-D

    (Oh, and if you're a reader wondering about the "pages" and the "download" ButterflyFomori is referring to, we put up some of the pencils for this comic in another post and are also sending out some special, too-sexy-for-this-public-blog art for those who sign up for our Free Comic.)

    Plot: I’m captivated. I WANT to know why Deacon didn’t eliminate Jeff. Why is Jeff different? And more about this world and society – looks intriguing. I totally did a strangled sort of squeal at the scene where Deacon is blasting through building and bodies whilst dragging Jeff along by holding his hand. (Such a demented romantic, ain’t I?)

    It's great to read you find those questions intriguing. The story of what makes Jeff different and why that would matter to Deacon was one of the more fun things for me to write. I'm glad to hear it might turn other folks on as well.

    And I think I'm the same kind of romantic you are — Winona totally nailed that page. When I saw it the first time I did a little squee myself! ::blush::

    (Honestly, this is one of the special pleasures of being a yaoi writer publishing his own stories — especially working with someone as amazing as Winona. It's like being able to think up what would be the hottest, coolest yaoi you'd love to see and then — poof! — having it appear before your eyes. Winona totally gets what needs to happen in every panel for it to work — when she sends me the art to review, there are, in truth, many, many squees…)

    Yaoi Content: *DIES* I was so upset when I clicked onto page 26 from page 25 on the sample download. SUCH a c–k tease. If you were beside me, I’d smack you in the way that a loving friend does just before they choke hold said friend. . .

    Mwa ha ha…

    I’m curious as to the emotional level of this Deacon android/A.I.

    As are all the other characters in this story… including Jeff. ;-)

    And is this a SWITCH? Awesome. . .I think I saw Jeff pushing Deacon down on page 29!!! (But hard to tell with no words yet.)

    Maybe yes, maybe no. :-D God, I do wish I could include the words — I had a lot of fun with their dialogue — but then if I did that, I wouldn't be able to show you these pages. Too many spoilers — and I hate spoilers..

    Art: I love the expression on Jeff’s face on page 19!

    Me, too. One friend referred to it as the "Shaggy" expression (from Scooby Doo, of course. Zoinks!) It's a fun page and if we get around to making posters of some of the art, this one will be first in line…

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. Honestly, it's comments like these that really put the wind in our sails. I honestly can't wait to show you the finished comic! :-D

  3. DiseasedFace says:

    Do i see possible love interest….without…CLOTHES? OH my! and I’m glad to see the guards aren’t exactly in their underwear. then again. that would be interesting as well. hmmm. I also enjoy the fuzz growing on Jeff’s chest. It must be enjoyed! FUZZ!

    I love the introduction of new and mysterious characters! And i look forward to discovering exactly how Jeff enters the story!

    And what ho? More characters will be introduce! I’m dying of this wonderful amount of plot, excitement, sex and situations from all of the comments on this site. Gahhh! So much to look forward too and i must continue to thank you for it!

    ~A.S

  4. inbananajones says:

    You nailed the expressions for both boys right on. It caught the mood and set the tone. So cute to see new found love in their smiles and faces.

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