Remi Niscence is a digging spirit that spends most of her time exploring the crust of the earth, excavating historical relics and crude caveman erotica. Equipped with pick and shovel, she tears through rock at such a rate as to earn her the nickname “Rock Diver.” Her pick is named Persson, and her shovel is named Spinks. The box she doesn't call anything, but its name is Tarnzach.
Remi mainly looks for two things as she goes through the earth:
1) spelunkers to rescue/flirt with, and
More specifically, “junk” of sentimental value, which she hoards in the box on her back. She loves this stuff and will go out of her way to collect buttons and broken glasses and anything else that might have been associated with some sort of precious memory. On the other hand, she couldn’t care less for naturally occurring ores and gemstones.
Anyhow, Remi is able to kind of "Sherlock Holmes
" a history out of the artifacts she collects, and maybe even converse with the ghosts of the past if she can figure out enough of the back story. Here are a couple of her favorite figures from her collection (starting from the closest to Remi in the picture and then moving up and out):
The Tin Knight - an automaton from the Tin Age. He has hearing loss in his right ear, and is bothered by a constant ringing. His model was discontinued in favor of mecha musume. (artifact: tiny fork)
Sylphie - an avant garde seamstress. She invented the Surprise Dress. The surprise is that it bursts into flames when exposed to sunlight. (artifact: chicken cage)
Ayah (sp?) - not really sure what the deal is with this one; maybe a scholar or something? Remi is unable to pinpoint which time period and country she's from. (artifact: bookmark)
Mendelgrove - a gardening spirit who used to tend to a hundred trees, right up until it was taken over by a hundred bees. He was like “**** it,” and left. (artifact: ribbon)
Dom Dominic - a dragon! Also an agricultural professor and a trader. He likes young ladies and smoking meats & cheeses in his pipe. (artifact: mesquite smoking pipe)
Saburo - a once noble and chivalrous warrior. He got lost underground while chasing a gopher. He never did get to eat it in the end. (artifact: the handle to his blade)
Sparrow Kid - emissary from the Heliotropics. Was really excited to visit the country, up until he learned about the indigenous giant land spider. (artifact: tear stained sky boat ticket stub)
Hanasaka Ojou - Princess of flower girls. Wears spaulders to protect her from beggars and arrows. Cannot sell flowers to save her life. Might be how she died 
. (artifact: tin beetle)
Lion Herschel - the blind king of the Underground, which apparently was a kingdom that nobody knew about. There were dwarves, and he ate them. (artifact: mustache comb)
Somnia - how the goddess of sleep ended up losing anything down so deep in the earth is a mystery. So is the item she lost. (artifact: moped)
Whew! That took a while. I spent almost an entire evening just trying to come up with these characters. I started sketching this thing at the start of the month, and now we’re already more than 2 weeks in! I will hopefully have this as a print at AX (did I mention that, by the way? I’m going to table at AX again this year!). I ended up switching back and forth between Manga Studio and Flash several times to get this done:
1) sketch in Flash
2) paint background in Manga Studio
3) try to paint characters in Manga Studio, then give up
4) go back to Flash, drawing the characters there
5) export the character colors and lighting as separate layers
6 ) import them into Manga Studio and do some touch-up work to make it look a little less “vectory”
It was a long process, but I think it was worth it and I am pleased with how it turned out.
- Remi was originally sketched as a boy. Then I was like “I want to cast light on breasts,” and so now she is a chick. - Drawing is FUN!
- I had just finished watching YuYu Hakusho when I started this. Her baggy shirt and high-waist pants are a tribute to the fashion of the early 90’s.
- Saburo’s original name was “Bonin’ Ronin,” but I decided to keep that to myself. Until now! Now you know my secret!
- Sylphie and the Tin Knight were originally sketched to be Remi’s parents. Maybe it would have been cooler if all these people had some sort of personal ties to her? Too late for second thoughts now, though - I need to upload this thing!
- sketch and unpainted characters can be seen on tumblr here
Made in Flash & Manga Studio 5