I actually vividly remember drawings this at the beginning of my senior year in high school. Mechanical pencil on dot-matrix computer paper. I more or less started it in first hour, worked on it all throughout the school day, and finished that evening at home. I also remember being pretty proud of it the next day, and for the next few years. *sigh* to be young and naive.

Notice how quasi-stylistic it looks—kinda anime-ish, but not really. An elongated narrow nose, mismatched eyes, tiny mouth. Check out how his facial features seem pasted on like a Mr. Potatohead, and how the folds in the fabric look superimposed on his sleeve! Then there’s the asymmetrical jaw line on an already misshapen head with hair rendered as though I had no clue how to draw it. And, or course, misproportioned hands -- about two sizes too small.

Although, the most glaring fault (in my eyes at least) lay in the shading. Yes, that boring paint-by-the-numbers flat texture-less shading. Back when I separated the different elements by shading each with its own value, where human flesh was almost always near-white, clothing was always the same shade of gray, and I still can’t say what the hell I was thinking trying to draw his hair. In truth, there should be lots of value-overlap with the interplay of shadows to create a more visually interesting drawing.

It’s clear the key influence on this drawing is the artwork of CastleVania: Symphony of the Night by my favorite character designer/illustrator Ayame Kojima. I highly recommend looking her up sometime (try the CastleVania Dungeon, Symphony of the Night or Lament of Innocence.)

Anyway, back to my crummy drawing—the picture is titled Chivalry because I’d gotten into RPGs at the time—I’d just played Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI & VII—and I wanted to write my own game. The idea was titled Chivalry and this is one of the character renders (it’s also one of the only character renders.) Anyway, my idea for the game was to have two-playable characters from the start and each character had their own different storyline. Furthermore, it would have true branching storylines (none of this “multiple routes through the same damn thing” crap—I wanted to make it so you could play through twice and play two completely different games ... needless to say, that idea never went very far. As a writer, I think I prefer good ‘ol fashion linear narrative—the novel.

By sheer coincidence, I would later write a story titled Treachery, but the two had no connection what-so-ever (although I don’t doubt that my subconscious was playing a cruel trick on me.)

Fourteen Years Later: Chivalry, Take Two