Sketch Fridays #74 – Vorpal (reprise)

I have been wanting to make a proper drawing of Vorpal, the titular character from, friend, Jason Tudor’s indie sci-fi comic, for a while. Basically ever since the quick sketch I did years ago for Sketch Fridays.

To be honest, I’ve always known what I would draw, too. However, as I discuss in the process video for this piece, I don’t have the strongest grasp on the visual language of science-fiction. I’m a casual fan––I certainly don’t dislike sci-fi––but the strain of science-fiction I’m personally drawn to is more along the lines of post-apocalyptic fiction (personally, my aesthetic sits somewhere between the found-object fantasy of the Mad Max movies and the more grounded loneliness of The Postman).

I’m more drawn to post-apocalyptic science-fiction, such as the Mad Max series (top) and especially the filmed version of The Postman (bottom). Source: Warner Bros. (both)

But the shiny, sleek, and technology-forward fantasy sci-fi found in Vorpal has always been fun and a challenge. As Jason––and the artist for the third issue, Diego Albuquerque––draws it, the world of Vorpal looks like an smooth mashup of the Moebius-inspired cityscapes of The Fifth Element and the knife-edged architecture of Blade Runner.

I think that, of this technology-forward style of science-fiction, it’s the Mass Effect video game series that I am most endeared toward. I’ve spent a lot of time in those video games (I even really enjoyed the much-shamed fourth game, Mass Effect: Andromeda) and really enjoyed the aesthetic of their technology design and implementation within the fiction.

The sleek design and tech has been a constant throughout Bioware’s Mass Effect video game series. Screenshot by the author, taken from Mass Effect: Andromeda.

With that in mind, drawing this piece was an exercise, and––as the video shows––there was a lot of trial and error before I finally ended up with a composition that not only honored the character and her story, but was sure Jason would also appreciate.