The Block Parade was once a militia that marched 100 strong through the streets day after day, beating up punks and keeping the peace. Then the mayor was like “Dudes, you can’t keep obstructing traffic like this,” and the militia head was like “Come on, man, the old mayor was cool with it,” and the mayor was like “No,” and so there was much weeping and hugging and the Block Parade was disbanded. That is, all but three.
Millet Flauer (member #14) was on a school trip at the time and did not get notice of the dissolution. Her absence didn't make it any less official, but she was upset enough upon her return that she was determined to hold on to the Block Parade and restore it to its former glory. It has been 8 years since then, and net growth has been 0%. Good job.
Oh yeah, she also carries a ceremonial sword around with her, given to her under the table by the former head of the Block Parade with his blessings.
Barley Masche (member #2) technically has seniority over Millet, but ceded leadership to her because he would rather follow than lead. The Block Parade is funded by donations, only accepted in pennies. Barley carries these funds in a water jug, to remind himself of the weight of the people's support, and also because he really likes metal money. Back when the militia was at its peak, it was rumored that he slept on a hoard of coinage.
Rye Wisquey (member #95) stuck around because he believed in the Block Parade and what it stood for. But then he got a job and he left. Shortly after, however, his son Malt “the Kid” (member #101) enlisted. Malt is a very quiet boy, always watching and listening, trying to learn what is happening around him. Frankly, he is scared of Millet, but tries not to show it because it would just give her more power over him. Barley’s cool, though. He pays for his drinks.
Postscript: it should be noted that in addition to the mayor, punk citizens also protested the actions of the Block Parade, insisting that it was totally wrong to beat up people in the name of peace because they have spiky hair. The Parade then went through 28 amendments of their mission statement until they settled on beating up hoodlums indiscriminately.
So in this one, I am trying a bolder approach to lines and color: mainly with bold lines and bold colors. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be called, but I will call the thick dark shadows “manga shading.” I’m trying to go for a more visual impact in this and embracing a more exaggerated style. Palette-wise, I tried to use a lot of saturation and yellow/magenta/cyan. All in all, it was refreshing to move away from the duller, darker palettes.
The other sort of new thing I tried in this piece was to start off the sketch with silhouettes instead of skeletons. I think I might try doing it like this from now on, so the character is more defined by their shape than by a generic anatomy with smaller shapes tacked on to them. And then I will try to match it to a proper skeleton afterwards.
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