Lords of the Cosmos… ASSEMBLE!!- Four new heroes get their debut into our new universe….Aviteus, Mechaspring, Shar-dor the Ice Assassin and (one as yet to be named, go go writing team!) Watch them swing into action against the evil of Umex and his Disciples!
Aviteus- a roughly humanoid hero with a bird head, arms with extended wings attached and two powerful legs ending in vicious bird claws. Descended from the great man-Rocs of old, Aviteus soars the skies of Aiden searching for the stain of Umex upon the land. Along with Green Man’s animal spies, Aviteus serves as scout and first striker for the Disciples of Umex. His massive talons can tear flesh and rend metal when their diamond tips are exposed, but by Aegeus’s order Aviteus keeps them shod in dragon-hide leathers. Though he respects Aegeus’s ethos and stalwart resolve he longs to feel the flesh of his foes rent asunder under the might of his magnificent talons
Mechaspring: An injured and escaped Slave who fled to the mysterious RUST MOUNTAINS, where he fashioned ancient Tek-Dwarf technology to make himself a new pair of legs and arms. Now he leaps from hiding to free other slaves, making him the bane of the slavers and Umex’s agents in the harsh RUST MOUNTAINS.
Shar-Dor – The Ice Assassin From the Frozen South, where the temperature never climbs above freezing, this jagged prince can form his body into icicles of death. He can melt himself down and reform into whatever shape meets his needs. He rides his great Polar Bear, GRAUL, and swings his ice scimitar.
(Un-Named Character still under construction)
So I did a full character study of my main hero- the nearly invincible Aegeus, and it was a challenge- I learned the pain of drawing a roman helmet, folded arms and did some retro work on his original pinup appearance from a few weeks ago to get his image in line in both works. I placed Aegeus at the bottom of Mount Dragonspine, the location of the Lords of the Cosmos’s base of operations.
Two items of note- my son drew a brown crayon mark over the moon, and I really was happy with his sword belt and scabbard with links to the belt, my drafting tools and some reference really knocked this one detail out of the park. And for a behind the scenes here is my son and I drawing below the artwork right before he got me with that damn crayon!
The Villains of LORDS OF THE COSMOS in their third pinup- the pencils were wrapped on this last night, so it’s exciting to share since Decaptor was discussed with Jason Palmatier and Dennis Fallon in early 2014.
“THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX”
DECAPTOR leads the cold evil of CYBER-CRAB, the dangerous MUTANT FLYER and the feline fury of HEXALOR-7 against the heroes of the planet Aiden!
Decaptor held the whole composition hostage until I could get that head made up- he has Laser, Mutation, Monster and Fire as head units, like light bulbs. I channeled 19982′s THE THING and made a mouth with no eyes- and that set the entire piece to a fruitful ending- one day start to finish. I had scraps on notepads of the MUTANT FLYER from the Umex Pinup with Bonesaw, but Belchor filled that area before I could come up with the flying creature for the bad guys- I just had to use it!
Enjoy these villains before they get you!
So this was a personal milestone- the first time I got paid to do a commission of one of my own characters- one of the villains from LORDS OF THE COSMOS- the living acid tank… Mordantix.
I forgot how complex his design was- so I tried to give it all to my client at the Hershey Comic Con in his sketch book, which was filled with other sketches from amazing artists! Check out your first LORDS OF THE COSMOS Commission- hopefully one of many!
So a broad establishing shot- the Planet Aiden- home of the action for the LORDS OF THE COSMOS and THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX.
Oddly this was harder than it looked to do, and I had to push myself to make a good composition, my original sketches were very narrow and small, just the kind of thing you would scold someone for in a basic composition class. I think the simplicity of planets, orbits and circles tended to just blind me to how hard this was to do. I was inspired by the old Flash Gordon comics from the 1930′s to add the “energy lines” coming in to give the idea that you the viewer are “swooping” into the action.
The moons helped build some much needed depth in conjunction with the “energy lines”
For an intro page, I think I got the point across. Welcome to Planet Aiden!
“Lord Aegeus and Queen Prizm leading the Wasp Soldier Vespulan, Cybernetic Elk Soldier Ant-Lor and their loyal Sargent at Arms the Savage Felinex! as they prepare to fight the evil UMEX and his legions of biologically and mechanically enhanced henchmen on the planet Aiden!”
LORDS OF THE COSMOS… ASSEMBLE!!!
So the flip side of the villains from the first LORDS OF THE COSMOS pinup here now we see the heroes assembling!
It the other side of a coin, reversed direction, but a similar layout/composition to the first pinup of Umex and company. The hero’s logo worked out well and the demeanor and posture of these characters stand in stark contrast to the villains- this was a really fun piece that drew on my love for Greek Mythology- enjoy, I look forward to inking this in the next few days! Thanks to my friends Stormy and Anna for giving me some great reference for Queen Prizm!
Below is my initial thumbnail and a design for Queen Prizm that gave me the initial idea for her pose and costume.
** Edited with new pencils after edits on the cat’s head- really needs some actual cat reference after I made the head for Hexalor 7 so realistic, see that artwork here for what I made after this on the evil cat character that made me go back and change this cat character .. and switched the main helmeted hero’s head to a profile- there were some fundamental errors on getting that helmet done correctly on an angle, and the female being a pure profile threw me off. When I did the pure character study on Aegeus (see above from 11/26/2014) I really had to go back and get this one correct. Since that newer art had his head on a slight angle, I could go and do this as a side profile and not duplicate myself- so below are the final pencils (top) and the one proceeding it below – internal monologue over!**
Pencils before final edits
The Disciples of UMEX in their first completed inked pinup from LORDS OF THE COSMOS . Soak up the 80′s toy inspired crew of killers… UMEX THE LEADER- “Poisoner of Worlds”, an organic lifeform designed to kill merged with a constantly adapting mechanized chassis designed to take over living creatures in close quarters combat….his entire body is in constant conflict while is tentacles infect any he touches with a slow agonizing death from his internal poison reservoirs.. .he oversees his personal cult/army “THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX” with unwavering devotion to the his ultimate goal the destruction of planet AIDEN… MORDANTIX- “The Living Vat of Acid” mostly machine barely human, this infernal machine fuels his internal engines by taking and engulfing his victims inside the large acid filled cistern his twisted cybernetic body is merged to for eternity, he moves along on large mechanical spider legs considered heavy armor support to the Disciples of Umex… MISTRESS ZEMBA “Murderous Seductress” Dominatrix Soldier to the Disciples of Umex, she laughs at the screams of the dying, waiting to skin the survivors alive. Zemba will use her Flesh Whip to flay her victims to death after she seduces them for any and all information to increase her Leader UMEX’s foothold on the power struggle he faces against the LORDS OF THE COSMOS…. SHREDTOOTH Soldier to the Disciples of UMEX Defilier of the oceans of AIDEN Shredtooth is dangerous underwater, or on land. His teeth are razor sharp and equally as dangerous his claws, dont let his odd body put you at ease, he is frightfully fast in close quarters in any environment. His head appendage is a natural light to lure victims in dark places to their ultimate end…. WE ARE THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX
The Villains of LORDS OF THE COSMOS in their first pinup- the pencils were wrapped on this last night, so it’s exciting to share this finally since the layout for this project has been in my head for the last five months or so waiting to get out.
“THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX”
The artwork features the Evil Leader UMEX- part machine and part biological weapon he leads his henchmen to their goal of world wide anarchy and destruction….. The Flesh Eating Acid Vat MORDANTIX, The Pain Worshipping MISTRESS ZEMBA, and the Aquatic Killer SHREDTOOTH are just some of his followers- ready to kill or be killed at his command!
The original idea and composition is in the lower image which is just a basic layout of the overlapping characters moving from side to side. I ended up changing the direction, the middle character went from a henchman to the main villain, and I reversed direction from right to left, to left to right. I had been working on Umex’s complex design so much (see prior post here about his character) that I felt he needed to be the centerpiece of the entire layout. Also the Umex Logo was featured everywhere on the characters, so you can see why I took the time here to get the all seeing eye inside the mechanical hand done before I started any of the pinups. The Umex logo artwork is here in inks, and here in pencils. Now that the relationship between the graphic design element of the insignia is with the actual villains, I am glad I took the time to really get that basic visual touchstone correct.
It was fun to take some of the artistic lessons I’ve learned in the last 10 months and put them to use on my first original characters since I wrapped “The Painted Ladies of San Quentin” around this time last summer. I look forward to working with the rest of the LORDS OF THE COSMOS universe in the coming months! For those of you that have talked with me about this project,I think you can see the vision just starting, and if you have no idea what this is about, talk to me about it sometime…
So Enjoy, and spread the word, and keep an eye out for the inked version of the artwork coming soon!
The original thumbnail composition
Spent some time the last few weeks on this study of UMEX the main villain from “Lords of the Cosmos”. UMEX is Part machine, part biological warfare organism with both parts of his body in constant conflict. I need to keep refining him as a principal image and main character, but I think I’m on the right path, disgusting flesh and angular metal always makes a nice contrast!
The final inks on this logo, the black contrasting back ground to the light rings showcase the sword and planet. The stippling gave a great texture to the planet Aiden, and the sword hilt really popped with those simple shapes.
I also made a few corrections on the ring dimensions as well from the pencil phase.
Now that the UMEX and LOTC logos are done, they really have that opposing visual style that I liked from Command and Conquer’s NOD and GDI insignias. Similar, but diametrically different!
On to some character designs now from the story bible!