The story comes in two parts. The first part is very slice of life and romance driven. The second part morphs into a si-fi adventure. This version of Cae is based purely on the first half of the story.
The story opens to Cae on her 4th birthday. At four years old Caes species is developed enough to receive the watch that is able to “tell your time”. Her family is devastated to find Cae is going to die early. After this event the story builds on Cae’s family and minor childhood events that shape Cae’s personality. She is given a choice if she wants to go to school or not and she decides to go. This is where she meets Melody.
This first meeting is important because it basically shows the other students attitudes towards their situations. It also begins to hint on the racism in their society. Young children are taught that there is no reason to befriend the children that die early. Children who die early usually don’t gain true friends, and are exploited for the perk tickets they receive later in life. The other children tend to drift away from the two. Leaving them no choice but to befriend each other.
The comic then transitions from child through teenage years showing major events and points in their lives. They cover topics such as personal problems, trauma, fear, love, showing weakness, homophobia, and bulling. Even though there is a struggle to solve or deal with these issues, both of the characters find a settlement on each topic together.
Then we reach the end of the first part. The day the two are to die is upon them. They end up committing suicide together as they had earlier planned. They climb to the top of the grand oak tree that they grew up with, and jump together head first.
The ending should be here. I honestly wish I had planned it to end this way because the more I drew them the more attached I got to the two. But Melody was absolutely everything to Cae. If we didn’t loose her Cae would still have someone to be by her side to help her. She wouldn’t care about how unfair the world is and how strange it is that the awoken society knew for sure when they would die. How unfair knowing they would die early was, they weren’t even given a chance to live right. If melody was still alive Cae would be fine with anything that was thrown at her, because everything she built her life around was still there. I also really wanted to create a space adventure and the only way to fully explain the mysterious awoken society is to have the main character brought into it.
The very last panels depict a foggy grey leech snaking towards Cae it bites down on the back of her neck and her eye opens slowly. She sees her watch, it’s glowing red and beeping. The word Awoken was written with glowing red letters on the watch. A red symbol representing the society was also on the watch. Her eye trails upward and lands on a dead, awkwardly crumpled Melody. The last panel is Cae, curled in pain on the ground, screaming for help.
All of these pieces are developed around my original character, Cae. I wanted them to be drawn in a cartoon style. To emphasize this I made use of line to outline and define features of my character. I also used texture and value to create the feeling that Cae’s skin is rough. I made the grey have several intensity changes to create a patchy, dry feeling.
Within these pieces I have grown a greater appreciation and understanding of character design and development. Creating a model of the character is a frustrating process, and having a set of guidelines to draw the character to is not something I usually commit to. I now know the ability to understand your character in this way is essential. It creates a base set of rules to draw your character to when you need it. This is helpful especially when your character is translated into a comic style. Having several different viewpoints and distances from the character on one page can get confusing, and the character sheet becomes incredibly useful. This project taught me the challenge and importance of creating a model of your characters proportions and looks.