Saturday, February 2, 2013

Character Development Special: Saralactra

Behold the Dastardly Saralactra! The scheming mastermind behind all the chaos in the next hundred pages of The Wayward Queen! Occult Engineer Extraordinaire and unscrupulous meddler in Things Unknown! Her ambition knows no bounds, nor does her bossiness. She takes herself far too seriously, and aims to make everyone else do so as well. (The dress is her own design, to be worn when scheming and bossing.)

Saralactra technically goes way waaay waaaaaay back. I think her first iteration was when I was ten or eleven years old, and she acted as mega-villain in some half-baked story I was writing (the only thing I remember about it was that it was pretty much a rip-off of Lord of the Rings, but with a female cast. Yeah, don't ask.) Unfortunately I don't think I ever drew her back then.

Anyway, Saralactra lurked in the back of my mind for years until I started knocking around another story in College, the one which eventually led to the Wayward Queen. At this point Sara resurfaced as a villain once more. This time she was considerably less mega, being technically a student witch in the Abracadabra University of Magic, with a secret hobby of Taking Over the World. Eventually she gathered a bunch of ragtag troops in the chaotic land of Oblivion and invaded the realm of Queen Gwenevere. (I do not recall how she got the troops or the money to pay them.) (Yes, that story had a few plot holes...)

Here's a few remnants from that phase of Saralactra's existence... The dramatic pose is Sara as she sees herself; in actuality, she looked more like the picture seen here on her student ID tag. The two comic pages were from a brief attempt to turn that story into a comic... BONUS: these pages feature a really early Erroneous! (And some bizarre horses... Or mutant horse-camel things. Or something. OOOOH man, horse anatomy, I HAD NO CLUE.)
Later still, when I started planning the Wayward Queen, Saralactra resurfaced yet again to harass the rest of the cast. She is no longer a student (the Abracadabra U. angle was ditched after Harry Potter came along to dominate the whole magical school premise.) She IS still pursuing her secret plans on the side of whatever she's supposed to be doing. (At one point she was going to be someone's maid, but that didn't stick.) Rather than being a witch, she is now an occult engineer, and good at it; and, while not nearly as powerful or important as she'd like to be, is currently in a position to command a certain amount of funding for her plans (how she gets the funds is another whole story...) Is she a villain? Or just an over-ambitious meddling nuisance? You make the call!

Here's some of the doodles and sketches that came about during the development of Saralactra Phase Three, all done around 2005 - 2006:

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