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Clever Katherine!

Katherine is a hard-luck case. Arora and Ellie found her living on the streets as best she could and coaxed her into attending high school with them. Although Gina made the experience unpleasant at times, she managed to graduate with the other two and along the way, enjoy Shin’s admiration.

katherine

When Shin learned her secret by accident, he made it perfectly clear he didn’t care. His affection is for her personality, not her appearance. This attitude shocked her, since she’d always been mistreated because of her true appearance.

With Arora and Ellie’s help, she was able to design pants to hide her tail, convince teachers that the hat was due to a rare contagious allergy, and find false teeth and contact lenses. In her eyes, being proud of who you are is one thing, getting mistreated for your appearance is an entirely different matter.

Since she wanted to attend high school without incident, she decided it was best to hide her ears, tail, teeth and true eyes. Only Gina caused trouble, accidentally knocking off Katherine’s hat and revealing her ears and then continually trying to remove it to prove what she claimed to have seen.

In spite of Gina’s constant bullying, Katherine managed to do well in school with Arora, Ellie, Shin and Hanaji’s help. Katherine never knew, but several of her teachers knew her secret and would help cover it up at times.

Upon learning Arora’s secret, she formally adopted the name Katherine and made Katrilina her “hero” name so she could help Arora in battle. She decided she wanted to somehow return the favor of being helped through school and even given a place to live with Ellie.

Although Arora and Ellie have no idea how, they hope to someday help Katherine achieve her dream of being normal – meaning, Katherine wants to be rid of her feline features and look more human so she won’t be mistreated.

What do you think? Is she an interesting character? Katherine makes her comic book debut in Dream Angel #1 as Katrilina, which can be found in the shop. Also found in the shop is her plush action figure.

Dangerous beauty: Anaplkete

Anaplkete is the fastest of the Keres sisters. Although she lacks super speed, she makes up with it using her weapons and their lightning speed.

Anaplkete

A skilled double-wielder of twin short glaives, she’s often found battling with Red Nite Soldier, who also double wields skillfully. Of the two, she’s considerably more experienced, which puts him at a disadvantage. Being fast on top of that makes the fight quite difficult for him. If he’s lucky enough to disarm her, she’ll certainly run the other way. The difficulty is disarming her.

Although she doesn’t flaunt her beauty, she does use it to her advantage at times. This tends to leave a trail of broken hearts and sometimes bodies in the wake of achieving her goals.

All four of the Keres sisters have varying levels of vanity with Ker being the most vain of all and the most dangerous as a result. Anaplkete qualifies as least vain, but that doesn’t mean she’ll get her hands dirty unless it’s absolutely necessary. Like her sisters, she’d rather let the reprobates do the dirty work.

Often accompanied by a large number of reprobates, she’s a strong opponent for our heroes. Like her sisters, even a cracked nail can lead to very, very dangerous levels of anger. Luckily, her speed is much like a cheetah. Fast for a time, but short-lived. It’s during that burst of speed that the fight for survival is most difficult, however.

Beautiful, fast and deadly. The best description around for Anaplkete. Her debut appearance in comic books is Dream Angel #1, found in the shop. Also in the shop is her charmingly adorable plush action figure who simply wants a hug. Will you give her a hug?

Creative Katrilina

Katrilina has a secret and interesting history. Her first design was a Barbie (no copyright infringment etc intended) in costume that won first place at the county fair. It was a simple leopard skin outfit – fake fur, of course – but it was well made. Tragically, the doll was stolen while still at the fair, so all that remains of her is the video taken at the event.

Where did the inspiration for her come from? That’s easy: the She-Ra: Princess of Power villain known as Katra. Compare the two names: Katrilina and Katra. Similar spelling. Not exactly similar design, but she does have Katra’s long black hair and ability to become a cat. Katra could only do a panther, though. Katrilina can do all 38 feline species. Useful in battle, to say the least.

All right, I’m really betraying no secrets about her here, am I? Here’s one you haven’t heard: she was originally a villain much like Dragonball Z‘s Vegeta. She was originally written to transition into a hero, pretty much the way Vegeta did. Maybe not quite as violently and certainly not as dragged out, but she would transition from villain to hero over time.

In the earliest stories, she was pretty quick about the transition from villain to hero. One or two battles and she’d turn. Why would she turn? She thought Dream Angel could help her be free of her feline appearance. All along she was merely the victim of extreme prejudice venting her frustration on anyone that dared look her way in a way she didn’t like.

When she met Dream Angel, she saw pity and warmth in the girl’s eyes even while they were fighting. Although she didn’t care much for the pity, the warmth got her attention. She’d never encountered the emotion and when she learned of Teikou no Senshi’s healing powers, her hope of being free of her feline appearance began to rise.

Although Teikou no Senshi couldn’t free her of her feline appearance, the attempt at helping the two girls made showed Katrilina that not everyone was prejudice. When the pair coaxed her into attending school and Arora shared her secret with her, Katrilina found trust as well. When she “met” Ellie, another bond of trust was formed when Ellie offered to let her live with her as Katherine.

What do you think? Is Katrilina an interesting character? She made her debut comic book appearance in Dream Angel #1, which can be found in the shop. Also found in the shop is her plush action figure outfit for Katherine.

Deadly legend: Nyxus’s wyvern form

nyxus wyvernThere is a great deal that is unknown about Nyxus’s wyvern form and Nyxus herself isn’t likely to tell. Some say it happens every 100 years, some say every 5 years. There is even a heated debate about if she’s a true wyvern in this form or not.

Some legends tell that this transformation is a once every 100 years type that only lasts 24 hours. It happens just after a full solar eclipse and for the following 24 hours, she’s large enough to cause a great deal of damage.

There are some key differences between a dragon and a wyvern, as Ryu would point out. A wyvern only has two legs, is usually darker and much uglier in color compared to a dragon, who is brighter colored. The most important difference Ryu would point out though, is that a wyvern can’t breathe fire. That alone is a plus in favor of the heroes since they have a bad encounter with Nyxus after she takes this form.

With all the legends and controversy surrounding this form, debates often get heated. Even the Keres won’t divulge the facts about it as it’s a key advantage to keeping the people under control. The legends all say death surrounds this black creature and that angering it is a sure way to die.

The one redeeming factor is that once the 24 hours have passed, Nyxus is in a weakened state. This is a little-known fact, though as she uses fear to keep people from attacking her while she’s weak. This is one time she puts the whole castle on ultra-high alert and assures nobody will come anywhere near while she recovers.
In spite of the fact that Ryu can defeat her in this form, he still needs Dream Angel’s help. Dream Angel, in turn, needs a boost in power to achieve the strength needed to help defeat her. The problem with that is the new power is difficult to control and leaves her exhausted.

What do you think? Is she an interesting character? She makes her comic book debut in Dream Angel #10, which is available in the shop. It’s a good idea to consider getting the books that came before it and there’s collection books to help with this. Also in the shop is her plush action figure.

Using 3D to make comic books part 2

Using 3D to make comic books, for a beginner, DAZ Studio is a good one. It’s free, it’s not too difficult to handle until you start getting into the more advanced features, but for setting up and lighting a scene, it’s excellent for learning. Personally, I dove in with Poser 7.

Poser’s good, but I found myself often having trouble using it despite having a book to guide me. Other programs offer more heavy-duty features for making props, clothing, hair and other things, but as they get fancier, they get more expensive.

A leading complaint against using 3D I’ve often mentioned is that 3D figures and clothes look stiff and lifeless. You’ll be confronted by this, so be ready for it. I’ve begun to counteract it by making things more dynamic. Dynamic meaning realistic simulation of cloth in particular.

The other half of that complaint likely has to do with the lighting of the actor and its textures. That would mean it’s wise to pay close attention to the lighting of the scene when you do renders.

Just like pencil and paper, you need to pay close attention to even the smallest details in your renders as these are actually more noticeable in 3D unless you use depth of field to blur out the boo-boos in the background. What about the boo-boos of the character?

Some don’t like to be posed certain ways and can even poke through their clothes despite fixes. Well, post work is useful if you just can’t get the 3D to behave the way you want it to. The GIMP is an excellent freebie image editor that’s lightweight and easy on the computer.

One thing that’s been extremely handy for me is the ability to render scenes even on my little 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablet. Taking my library on the go and setting up characters, or even scenes has been a heavy-duty time saver, but it just doesn’t have the power of the computer.

That means I need programs that aren’t resource intense. DAZ and GIMP are a spectacular combination for this. Unless I setup a heavily complicated scene, my little tablet can render it. If I do setup a heavily complicated scene, I can save it to render on the computer.

 

 

High-flying Harpies

Harpies are nasty creatures especially in mythology. The mythological name translates to “that which snatches” and it holds true for these Harpies. Yet another type of nasty creature from Tartarus mythologically, the Dream Angel Harpies make excellent warriors for Nyxus.

harpie

Luckily for Dream Angel, the Harpies don’t often show up to cause trouble. More often, they’re away doing some other task for their wicked mistress simply because they won’t attack Dream Angel or any of the female heroes. Much like their mythical counterparts, they prefer men. Of course, that depends on the legends you find on them. In some versions, they torture victims they snatch on the way to Tartarus, in other versions, they snatch men to mate with then kill them.

The Harpies Dream Angel has to deal with still snatch men, but instead of big, broad wings, they’re much more streamlined in flight. This makes them fast, dangerous and difficult to follow. Even Akasha with her very fast flight speed can only keep up a short time unless she follows from a full dive from several thousand feet up. Dream Angel has good flight speed, but she can’t keep up at all.

These Harpies were inspired by the ones from the She-Ra movie, The Secret of the Sword. Near the end of the movie, He-Man and She-Ra encounter Hunga, the leader of the Harpies, who’s captured Queen Angella. The idea intrigued me, so I started researching the mythology and found several different designs based on the mythology.

One of note is from the Disney movie Fantasia during the Night on Bald Mountain sequence near the end. Another is from the Xena: Warrior Princess series. Although I didn’t really mix up the designs from these too much – I really stuck closer to the Disney design – I did mix up elements of mythology and even at times, personality when there was one to take note of.

Eventually, I settled on the dark violet coloration and thought they’d be opponents most effective at night when they’re especially difficult to see. On top of that, like a cat, they can see in the dark, but they cannot talk.

What do you think? Are Harpies interesting characters? These creatures make their comic book debut in Dream Angel #22. It’s highly recommended you get the books that came before so the story makes sense! You’ll find collection books available in the shop so it’s easy to catch up fast! Also available in the shop is the Harpie plush action figure.

Fascinating Foxy!

Foxy is unique. Japanese mythology tells us that the Kitsune (pronounced “kit” as in sewing kit, “su” as in suit and “ne” as in negative) is a mythological fox demon that would entrap a warrior’s mind and then kill him. The more tails the demon had, the more powerful it was, with 9 tails being the maximum.

foxy

Foxy isn’t too different from her mythical counterparts, but she has her share of twists. For one thing, she’s bio-mechanical. She chose the mechanics to enhance her power, plus she got tired of trying to find clothes that fit over 9 bushy fox tails. Mechanical parts solved the problem for her.

She’s certainly nobody’s fool and hates being tricked. She’ll fight for a good cause and frequently wins the fight. She’s also one of the very few that can go toe-to-toe with Hellbot and possibly defeat him. Clever and sometimes unpredictable, she’d rather not fight at all.

Since she is a Kitsune, her powers include mental manipulation, but the catch is her power only works on the male mind. Also similar to her mythical counterparts, she possesses the ability to shape shift, but can only hold a different form for a short time in spite of her increased power from being bio-mechanical.

Of the two classifications of Kitsune, she might seem to be right in the middle. Neither benevolent nor malicious in the end. She might pull a prank on someone one moment and help them the next with a problem. It’s not really in her nature to want to cause harm, though she sometimes does.

If she finds out she’s been tricked into doing something she’ll do what she can to undo the trick and maybe even utilize some tricks of her own to settle the score.
What do you think? Is she an interesting character?

Foxy’s comic book debut is Dream Angel #3, which is available in the shop. It’s recommended you get the books that came before it so the story makes sense! Also available in the shop is her plush action figure, who loves being hugged.

Discredited elite: Xalibe WildClaw

xalibeXalibe WildClaw is almost as nasty as his mistress. He’s a Reprobate Elite and a ruthless opponent. He’s the first Elite Dream Angel and her friends go up against. He’s also the one that comes close to killing Dream Angel in one of their early battles.

Had her mother not intervened with fellow officers and started shooting at him, he would have succeeded. He would have seen to it her death was swift, just like all previous rebel leaders he’d defeated.

In Dream Angel’s first three years of fighting, his fall from grace led to harsher and harsher punishment. Until he was finally demoted to dungeon guard duty. His final fight as leader of the Elite, is his comic book debut in Dream Angel #1.
As a final indignity, he loses the fight to Dream Angel’s retired wrestling legend father, Jake Arum. The heroes escape with Jake and Xalibe has to face the punishment which is his demotion.

Upon his demotion, he vows to himself to destroy Dream Angel and her friends, no matter what it takes. This begins causing friction between him and his former second, Daragon.

Daragon IronWeasel is given Xalibe’s duty of destroying the upstart rebel band. This doesn’t sit well with Xalibe, so he starts interfering with Daragon’s plans in an effort to get back in Nyxus’s good graces.

He secretly helps the heroes out of a few tight spots, but along the way learns more about them. This leads him to wonder if he’s even doing the right thing. He sets that aside and focuses on his goal, though.

Since he’s the only Elite on dungeon guard duty. He always returns before Daragon, Daragon can’t prove anything against Xalibe.

What do you think? Is Xalibe an interesting character? He makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #1, which is available in the shop. Also available in the shop is his plush action figure.

Dumb but dangerous: Reprobates

reprobateReprobates are nightmarish creatures, but also quite stupid. In large groups, with an elite to direct them, they’re a lot like bulls: they’ll destroy anything in their path. Often, without regard to ally or enemy. Once they start destroying or even killing, the blood lust lasts a long time and is difficult to stop.

On an individual basis, they’re almost child-like for intelligence. Easy to distract and trick, easy to defeat. The trouble is they aren’t often found alone. More often than not, they’re in groups. They love the advantage of larger numbers.

Safety in numbers might sound like the theory these creatures operate under. What it is is that they’re social creatures. They hate being alone, so they always travel in groups. It’s an instinct, nothing more.

They aren’t smart, that’s certain, but they’re powerful swordsmen. They’re also incredible in flight. Fast, deadly and tough.

Some of these creatures have the ability of mimicry. It’s not a complete copy of what they’re mimicking, but still an effective gift for the few who have it. It’s rare that an elite has this gift, though legends tell of elites that have had it and used it with deadly efficiency.

daragon ironweaselAs individual personalities, a piece of paper has more depth, unless the Reprobate is an elite such as Daragon IronWeasel or Xalibe WildClaw. These creatures rely on instinct and group mindset for direction. Once set in a direction, they’re much like a wrecking ball. Nothing slows them down until they’re completely exhausted.

To our heroes, on an individual basis, they’re dumber than the dumbest dumb blondes. They often tell jokes to the effect, annoying the elites that might be in the area.

What do you think? Would you want to fight a Reprobate? Are Reprobates interesting characters?They make their comic book debut in Dream Angel #1, which can be found in the shop. Also found in the shop are their plush action figures.

Dangerous bounty hunter robot Hellbot

“Does Hellbot sometimes make you feel stupid?” Dream Angel’s heard this question a few times. Usually after a very narrow escape.

hellbot

Hellbot is a bounty hunting robot that anticipates 99 out of 100 strategies. Naturally, he’d make her feel stupid at times. Unfortunately, he’s always been able to anticipate her strategies and promptly thwarts them.

He’s got a history of his own outside the Dream Angel universe, too. Some time ago, I started a fan fiction comic. Mostly for fun, eventually for practice. It was a Sailor Moon fan fiction I called “Sailor Moon Super StarS.” To explain Hellbot’s presence and how he could defeat the Sailor girls so easily, I fixed it so the Sailor Starlights had encountered him previously.

Initially, his arms ended in double barrel weapons that could shoot out a number of things designed to capture his bounty. He doesn’t kill, but he can seriously wound. His initial appearance in the fan fiction was a splashy one, since he shot down Sailor Uranus and gave her a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder in the fall. That particular fan fiction has become a means for developing ideas and characters, which helped shape Hellbot’s personality by letting him play off personalities I know well.

Considering he’s an intergalactic bounty hunting robot, why does he have wings? Well, they’re mostly for show, about like Batman’s cape. They’re to strike fear into his victim. Generally, he retracts them into his body when he’s not working.

What do you think? Is he an interesting bounty hunter? He makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #13which can be found in the shop. It’s recommended you get the books that came before it so the story makes sense! Also available in the shop is his plush action figure.