Concept sketches for the Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors cast

by Daniel Pomlett on 14.01.19 in Uncategorised

Concept sketches for the Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors cast

by Daniel Pomlett on 14.01.19 in Uncategorised

Here you can see many of the original concept sketches for the Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors cast.

Originally, we had a list of various type of B movie villains and went with that. The student had even more generic names at the time. In the Gladstone’s Universe students often have nicknames and then after they graduate they are knighted with their ‘nom de plume’ or official supervillain names.

Kid Nefarious of course was the legacy villain. His name will also change after he graduates from Gladstone’s and is knighted with him official name. Here you can see the original concept for Kid Nefarious which wasn’t quite doing it for us.  In this concept stage he had shadow powers which eventually became his dark matter energy that he has now. I think the idea of the scarf came from Doctor Who. We’ve since changed his uniform in book 3 when he goes off onto the cosmic quest and he will probably have a few different uniforms after book 3. Also added was his suit which can change and his Armory of Darkness where he can hold weapons and pull them from his arsenal as he needs them.

On the next page you can see the original concept sketch for Ashu Gladstone, the character who the school is named after. His look changed a little bit in the comics.

Ironsides who is the current Gladstone’s headmaster pretty much stayed the same.

On this page you can also see the ‘rock kid’ and ‘plant girl’. The rock kid was one of the drawings that didn’t make the cut for the main cast. The plant girl became ‘Greensleeves’ who is the school’s gardener in book 1.

Finally in the last photo you can see the current cast of Kid Nefarious, Martian Jones, Mummy Girl, the Skull Brothers, and the Speed Specter (Who was then just named ‘fast kid’ or something like that), and Ghost Girl.

The Speed Specter appeared on the cover of Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors Book 1, but didn’t really appear in the cast right away until book 2 and he joined the team officially in book 3. The idea for him was that he was a speedster villain, but also that ‘how cool would it be if a speedster used Katana Swords, or better yet, plasma swords?’  Part of his story that isn’t in the book yet is that he’s Filipino but I think that part of him will come into play later when he gets his own one shot. Armand Villavert comes from the Philippines and it would be cool to team him up with a Filipino writer to make the Speed Specter’s story as authentic as possible.

The Skull Brothers were based on demons from Asian Mythology like Raksha, Oni, or Yak from Thai Mythology. They’re the problem children of the group, but they become scarier and more disturbing when they take off their masks. In this way Kid Nefarious has a very healthy family life and upbringing, the Skull Brothers grew up with their father dead. Their mother is locked away in a supermax prison for hardliner villains. There is a theme of nature versus nurture here and having their roles in life planned out in advance with expectations about who they are expected to be in the future. They could follow the path set out for them or take their own. One path leads to certain doom in a way and the other is a lonelier road that leads to freedom for the Skulls.

The last character in the group is Ghost Girl. I had lived in South Korea for four years as an English Language teacher living in Seoul and Busan (You can spot a lot of love for Korea throughout my work). I loved reading about Korean mythology and folklore, and Korea shared a lot of their mythology and tales with Japan. Students in my classes would often tell me about creatures from Korean mythology and I would ask a lot of questions and learn more. Dokkebi were among my favorites, Ice Maidens, Tigers, Jeoseung Saja, Haetae, 9 Tail foxes, and more. Because Japan shared a lot of these stories with Korea, I decided to make Ghost Girl have a mix parents from South Korea and Japan. This is a little controversial given the terrible things that the Japanese did in South Korea throughout history, but her parents relationship does not stem from those times and circumstances, and their relationship is a loving one.

The last addition to the cast who was not an original character in any of these sketches is Man o’ War was someone that Armand drew during the recess double splash page. He is the alien like character who rides around on a giant Jellyfish steed. I tried to pick up as many of the characters as possible from the background and bring them into the forefront of the story to make Gladstone’s a much richer universe. We teamed him up with the Speed Specter and they are best friends. We’ll probably try to do a Speed Specter and Man o’ War one shot in the future that tells the tale of Man o’ War’s world and about the Speed Specter’s origins and how they first came to team up and become friends.

-Headmaster Smith

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