Despite what I mentioned in my previous post regarding what I was going to do for my self-promotion project, I recently changed my mind, and was able to find inspiration amidst the coronavirus/Covid-19 crisis, combining it with the superhero genre (a nod to my Senior Thesis project).
Above, I’ve attached numerous sketches for a pixelated animation I am currently working on involving a fight between the superheroes Sir Galen (Galen was a famous physician and doctor in the Roman Empire) or the Cure-All Crusader/Sir Inge (a pun on “syringe”, haven’t quite decided on the name yet) and Quaranteen, and their archenemies, Mandemic (Man + Pandemic) and Milady Malady (or just Miss Malady/ Lady Malady– another pun), a bioterrorist villain duo. Each character has several different versions of their designs/appearances/costumes, one of which I’ll eventually choose for the final animations.
Sir Galen is based loosely off of the concept a medieval Italian knight combined with the quasi-religious dress of a pope or appearance of an angel and various medical symbols, including the Caduceus of Hermes, and a sword doubling as a vaccine syringe (I initially wanted to base him off of a plague doctor, but I thought that was unoriginal or too cliche, so I challenged myself to be more creative). Sir Galen’s real name is Lazaretto “Lazarus” Medici. He symbolizes all the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals trying their hardest to help the infected and terminally ill because of the coronavirus, and the scientists working on a cure to end the pandemic once and for all. Accordingly, Sir Galen is not only extremely good at fighting, but he also has a genius-level intelligence, particularly in the fields of biology, virology, pharmacology, anatomy, etc, and possesses a robust immune system that is immune to essentially any toxin or illness, as well as super speed in terms of flight. In my animation, he finds himself flying over St. Peter’s Basilica at the heart of Vatican City in a tense confrontation with Mandemic and Lady Malady. In real life, as many of us are no doubt aware, Italy is currently the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, and will likely remain the epicenter for quite some time.
Quaranteen (Quarantine + teenager) is Sir Galen’s younger sidekick– a shy, introverted, and reclusive young woman afflicted with a bad case of nosophobia/germaphobia, as well as agoraphobia. Obsessed with cleanliness and keeping herself healthy, she became Quaranteen after being discovered by Sir Galen as a rogue super on the streets. A lifetime victim of bullying and abuse/neglect by her peers and family for her odd, eccentric mannerisms, and her propensity towards isolationism, her powers (creating nigh-impenetrable bubble shields or vacuum spaces around her body capable of deflecting almost any material or forcing structures apart) began to manifest when she began withdrawing deep into herself, and lost the ability to trust in people. Her abilities further evolved and, eventually, flourished, when she developed the desire to distance herself from others, to create a little bubble for herself where no one could bother or harm her ever again. Although she is content with acting as support to Sir Galen during fights with villains, she has, on many occasions, saved Galen from certain death, and been the deciding factor in his victories against his foes. Prior to discovering Quaranteen, Sir Galen had trouble going toe to toe with Mandemic and Lady Malady, as both of them proved too powerful for him, at times. However, as soon as she joined by his side, the tables turned, and every time the four supers meet up nowadays, they are roughly evenly matched.
Mandemic and Lady Malady, in contrast to Sir Galen and Quaranteen, are a notorious bioterrorist duo universally hated by almost everyone, even other supervillains (but no one person hates them more than Quaranteen). Skirting the line between genocidal, psychopathic monsters and well-intentioned antiheroes, Mandemic and Malady are directly or indirectly responsible for either starting some of the worst epidemics and pandemics of the past few decades, or merely taking advantage of the societal chaos during existing pandemics they aren’t responsible for in order to hoard wealth and resources, or pursue their disgusting agendas.
Both Mandemic and Lady Malady have a deep disdain for/revulsion towards humanity, ironically viewing most people as parasites that must be removed for the sake of the environment and for the sake of the welfare of human civilization, and seeing themselves as “the cure”. A duo of hateful misanthropes, Mandemic and Lady Malady actively seek to reduce Earth’s population in a way that does not harm the Earth’s natural ecosystem, because they understand all too well that humanity in its current course (both in my superhero universe, and in real life) is headed down a dark path that will end with their own self-annihilation via climate change and possible wars over scarce resources.
Mandemic and Lady Malady had the potential to be heroes, once, capable of creating diseases on the fly, making infinite copies of themselves, creating life forms from inorganic material, and controlling people as hosts. However, as both Sir Galen and Quaranteen know all too well, the nefarious couple turned to villainy when they decided their horrendous crimes and actions were justified by their deeply misguided ideals. Because of them, environmentalists have a bad reputation in-universe, as do people who rail against optimism and lean towards pessimistic ideas, even though the vast majority of them criticize and universally revile the two villains.
Design-wise, Mandemic’s color scheme uses the colors safety orange and safety yellow (used often in color coding for biohazardous substance or materials in labs or medical facilities such as hospitals). Lady Malady’s overall concept (and name) is loosely based off of the enchantress Morgan Le Fay from Arthurian legends (I don’t know why, but when I was drawing her, I had Le Fay in mind).
Through the above sketches and my project overall, I’m planning on having this fun project of mine double as a way to promote myself and as a way to comment on the coronavirus crisis (as well as the fact that, I kid you not, there are actual white supremacists/bioterrorists and asshole individuals who have gone on the news recently for planning to weaponize Covid-19, or have been caught intentionally coughing on food and people in supermarkets in order to infect other people. Yes– psychotic people like this exist, almost wholly within the US).
Stay tuned for my 12th post, which will contain my animations!