I’ll answer your question right from the get-go: yes, I did draw a BIONICLE. As a kid, I practically lived and breathed this series–read the comics, collected the toy sets, watched every movie, etc. I’d like to think that BIONICLE’s soundtrack even influenced my music taste (lots of alternative rock–I’ve got a playlist too!). It practically broke my heart when the story of the Toa and Matoran finally ended in 2010, but I’m glad I was there to witness it. BIONICLE ignited a fascination with storytelling and the visual arts in me that I haven’t outgrown since.
Of course, anyone who’s been to their local LEGO store knows that BIONICLE got a serious reboot in 2015. I’m quite happy with how it turned out–as an attempt to share the classic story with a new generation of kids–and though the reboot was cancelled just recently, I’d hate for that to be the end of the beloved series. So many people (including about half of the DeviantArt community) are still devoted to BIONICLE that I don’t think LEGO should be done with it just yet. But what can be done?
As with a few of my other pieces of fanart I’ve drawn over the past year, this whole spiel ties into one of my side projects. Someday, I hope to reintroduce the BIONICLE story to a third generation with more realistically designed characters (placing greater emphasis on their bio-mechanical composition, as I did above). The whole aesthetic would definitely be “darker and grittier”; a possible title could simply be The BIONICLE. It’s all just conceptual right now, but if you have any thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below!
So far, I haven’t done much to flesh out the antagonists of each of my projects: The Forging, Moon Man, The Steampunks, and Ironwood. Sure, I’ve got rough ideas for each, but this is the first time I’ve really got down to revealing one. Unfortunately for our main character Vincent Cannon, his world of Ironwood is the first to receive a clear enemy.
Introducing Big Boss–a figure surrounded by mystery and intrigue (who I named prior to hearing about the Metal Gear Solid character of the same name). He’s rarely seen by the general public, and even out in the open he makes his presence discreet with a jet-black trench coat and fedora. The sunglasses complete the look; what’s not evident in this picture is that the Boss has engineered a way for the lenses to glow an eerie red (thanks to a set of experimental LEDs).
This character, who’s also mysteriously referred to as the King of New York, has been a lot of fun to design and work with. Probably the most interesting part is how connected he is to Ironwood‘s lore; even before the main story picks up in the summer of 1989, Big Boss’ work behind the scenes has already dictated the allegiances of multiple characters and changed the course of Vincent’s journey (starting with the Night When Everyone Died in 1985–more on that later). Needless to say, the Big Boss doesn’t pull any punches and will be a worthy adversary for the hero Vincent as the events of Ironwood unfold.
I’m not the best at drawing realistic figures; I know artists that could certainly exceed my skills in that department. But for this depiction of Minecraft‘s main playable character, Steve, I decided to give it a try. It wasn’t easy, but I did really try to adapt his cubic form to a more natural look (which, I have to say, doesn’t look half bad!). You can even compare it to the lower, more classic version of Steve–one that you might see in the endless YouTube animations out there.
All this probably makes perfect sense, except for the title: “The Spawning Years”? It does sound a little odd, but hear me out. For a while I’ve had the idea to adapt the Minecraft survival storyline into something more, something that people can really enjoy… and no, I’m not referring to the actual Minecraft: Story Mode or even the upcoming movie (which may throw a wrench into my plans). To make a long story short, I’m working on a novel focusing on Steve’s journey through the Minecraft world. Just like the above picture, it’s meant to be hyper-realistic, including every minor detail and featuring an inside look at Steve’s possibly unstable psyche. After all, he’s an amnesiac, who has suddenly “spawned” onto an island where the monsters bear his face and clothes and where he must fight for survival… alone. That makes for an interesting, very personal story.
Hey guys! I’m here to deliver the last redesign of the summer, another quick doodle not unlike the ones for Little Man and Longlegs (Hera’s was the only one that was really finalized). At this point, you’ve probably noticed that the four redesigns feature the protagonist of the main four stories I’m writing: The Forging, Moon Man, The Steampunks, and Ironwood. Vincent’s turn has rolled around, and the changes I’ve made to him are very intentional.
For one thing, Vincent’s facial structure has been altered to make him seem older and more experienced. While the faces of Art and my previous drawing of Vincent were nearly identical, he’s now got a more prominent chin and higher cheekbones than my webcomic counterpart. Meanwhile, he’s gone through a slight change in costume as well; he sports a hat complementing his classic leather jacket (but that’s been swapped out for a different design as well). The one thing that hasn’t changed is Vincent’s grim expression; the city of Ironwood is nothing to smile at, especially when its very survival depends on the course of your actions.
That’s it for now. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been feeling pretty down lately (maybe it’s reflected in my writing?). My emotional state probably won’t change, but yours certainly can if you visit the Dustlander Productions Facebook page! I’m still working on backing up each and every post (just like with DeviantArt), but there’s enough content there to keep anyone entertained. Plus, I’m about to post a ton of Ironwood stuff! Feel free to like the page and share it with friends–I’m trying to get some publicity here!
After many months of waiting, y'all over here will be getting the artwork normally posted on my blog, dustlander.com! Since it's mainly to get widespread attention, I probably won't be interacting much with the rest of the DeviantArt community, but PM or email me at email@example.com if you have questions or suggestions!
Check out my webcomic "Shenanigans: A Life" on Tapastic as well!