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June 18, 2013
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Rock Diver by JohnSu Rock Diver by JohnSu
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
 2) junk.
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 [citation needed]. (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)

</story>


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.

Miscellaneous trivia:
- 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
Add a Comment:
 
:iconasong0116:
asong0116 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Great color palette on this one. Beautiful lighting on the standing figure.
Reply
:iconspiffythecreative:
SpiffytheCreative Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Aya see what you did there with the hooded figure...
Reply
:iconmrfunkytoon:
mrfunkytoon Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
that gave me eyegasm (orgasm in my eyes) that is soooooo AWESOME
Reply
:iconmello-drama-reborn:
Mello-Drama-Reborn Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
You said Yu Yu Hakusho.
I am here.
Also wow I wish I could draw something so epic and awesome and complicated *slaps you out of respect*
Reply
:iconbalgosa:
Balgosa Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist
Think this is one of my favs!
Reply
:iconorbitfreeze:
Orbitfreeze Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013
It took a while but I lost it at moped.

:iconrotflplz:
Reply
:iconekknight:
EKKnight Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Cool.
Reply
:iconraywindz64:
raywindz64 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
"...cavemen erotica... " < Best line
Reply
:iconkingsolaron:
kingsolaron Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Student General Artist
The characters are just so original, it feels like this took a long time.
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, it did!
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:iconsomegamerkid:
SomeGamerKid Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nobody likes you.
Reply
:iconyuu-kawada:
Yuu-Kawada Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Student Artist
Ayah looks like the Bookworm, 'Aya Lepismatidae' from your Hon no Mushi drawing! So either they're the same person, or they're siblings or something. Cuz in this picture, her eyes are brown instead of blue.
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Her eyes are actually reflecting another environment in Hon no Mushi!
Reply
:iconnightpriestess09:
NightPriestess09 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Student General Artist
Your stories will make the most awesome of visual novels.
Reply
:iconthe42ndtengujournal:
The42ndTenguJournal Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Student General Artist
I think that "Ayah" has some similarities to that bookworm who inserts herself into stories from [link]

Is there a connection there? I think there could be. Might be why she's so mysterious, they're all just characters from a book in her library! :iconsupermindblownplz:
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
ding ding ding ding ding!
:trophy:
Reply
:iconscrat-riker:
Scrat-Riker Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Fantastic XD
Reply
:iconnycterisa:
NycterisA Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I now demand that every story game has a mustache-comb artifact to be found somewhere.

Alas, no one ever cares what I demand.

This is brilliant. :)
Reply
:iconcellsai:
Cellsai Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"The box she doesn't call anything, but its name is Tarnzach."
I think that's my favorite part of the description. It's a fantastically simple little extra detail.

Good job on the picture too I suppose :P The harsh lighting on her top is great.
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
It is an important part to highlight.
Reply
:iconmicrogiant:
MicroGiant Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
Wow! So does she comprehend the associated memory when she locates an artifact?
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
she can remember the things the owner is reminded of!
Reply
:iconmicrogiant:
MicroGiant Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
Golly thats cool. You are one imaginative dude
Reply
:iconcellsai:
Cellsai Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Stop.
Seriously. Stop taking all the cool ideas.
Reply
:iconglowworm56:
glowworm56 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
This is strange and fun.
Reply
:iconmaxprodanov:
maxprodanov Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
Your style is undergoing the transition to super saiyan now :)
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
now to break some scouters!
Reply
:iconfateavernicus:
fateavernicus Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
just like that song "my boat and sailor leibe"
Reply
:iconmimidong:
MiMiDong Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's so epic and fantastic and makes me feel so energised! I like this a lot QAQ
Reply
:iconandarelle:
Andarelle Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
Marvellous piece!
Reply
:iconsekitonbo:
Sekitonbo Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
Rather good...particularly for a movie poster.
Reply
:iconpaperhawkeye:
PaperHawkeye Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your typical blend of silliness and sprawling, fantastical narrative always just works so well... Great art + confident storytelling(or inventing, I guess) is a combination that not many artists or works are able to achieve correctly. I think it's because knowing how seriously a thing should take itself is a skill and an art that has to be executed in a very specific way. The difference made between doing it right and wrong is really noticeable.

That wasn't supposed to sound so serious... I just felt inspired to try to figure out what this was teaching me.

I like it! A lot!

ぜったいすてきだよ :iconfinallyplz:
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for giving it so much thought, I appreciate it!
Reply
:iconmiraclefool:
MIRACLEfool Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
I love the subtelty of her name :P
Reply
:iconsomegamerkid:
SomeGamerKid Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wait, her name means something? *sarcasm*
Reply
:iconseekoutguy:
Seekoutguy Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
Persson... I see what you did there.
Reply
:iconseekoutguy:
Seekoutguy Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
Also, the scholar girl looks like one of the characters from Journey, but that one could just be coincidence
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
it's coincidence!

though her resemblance to another character is not.
Reply
:iconcddmanful:
cddmanful Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very, very interesting concept! My favorites of Remi's finds [and research work] are the Sparrow Kid and Hanasaka Ojou in her spaulders~~~

I love how you used both programs to their advantages--and I love your imagination, JohnSu!!!
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconclairvoire:
Clairvoire Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
Johnsu just pulling out all the stops. There are no stops left. Amazing
Reply
:iconrocmegamanx:
RocMegamanX Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You should make this into a game.
Reply
:iconracheltheprawn:
RachelThePrawn Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This is the new best thing
Reply
:iconwhitewings:
WhiteWings Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful style and sense of light!
Reply
:iconjumelini:
Jumelini Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
One of these days, someone with money will be like: I want to make a movie or a comic out of all your great and abstract works!!! I will watch/read them all.
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
me too!
Reply
:iconmikisakiiro:
Mikisakiiro Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If I had the time to I would seriously fanart all of your art. It's already amazing but then you come up with such great stories to go along with them too!! So many of these could be made into actual books or movies or manga you're just so good at writing and drawing and creativing and :iconmingflailplz:
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I can't actually write stories! I can only write setups.
Reply
:iconmikisakiiro:
Mikisakiiro Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, okay. Well they're wonderful setups! :D
Reply
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