Shapechanger, an Origin Story

In 2012, I started a two-semester course on making comics and graphic novels at Camosun College. The first day we were asked to draw an avatar for ourselves, with the superpower we would most like to have. We had five minutes, so not much time to think! I’ve always thought it would be cool to be able to change into different animals, so I made mine a shape-changer.

But that was not the end of it – our first comic assignment was to do a one-page comic about the classic “what I did on my summer vacation” theme — but using our avatar as ourselves. Well, my summer vacation had involved a double knee operation and most of the summer was taken up with recovery — so I turned it into an origin story for my shape-changer avatar.

Shapechanger — ink, watercolour, and a wee bit of photoshop.

Shapechanger — ink, watercolour, and a wee bit of photoshop.

Oddly, my original sketch was a kind of cat-creature, but the unicorn seemed to fit better into this story as more of a fantasy creature that would be generated by that strange purple gas (I’m sure it’s not really purple, but strange things go through your head when you’re waking up from that stuff!).

There is a sequel — which will give me something to post tomorrow (I’m working hard in the Salt Mines of Art, as my husband calls it, but it’s all too rough to show yet)!

8 responses to “Shapechanger, an Origin Story

  1. Beautiful story and beautiful illustrations! Maybe – if you find some time away from your Salt Mines of Art – you could write something about your work process? And I suppose you used watercolour? What about markers – do you use them? Please excuse my throwing all those questions at you, but I am so curious…


    • Hi Ulla, I could do that as a Technique-of-the-Week post — I’m always looking for ideas for that! Do you mean the whole story-telling process, or just the art materials part?

      This one is just Pigma Micron pens for the inking and watercolour. I draw it in pencil first but that gets erased after I ink it. I cleaned up the borders in Photoshop and made the doctor in the last panel a bit darker because my teacher said he needed to be more shadowed (in fact he probably did that part because I think that was before we got to the photoshop unit!).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Vlatka, thank you! My “famous” (haha) quote on that is “Seriousness is the enemy of creativity”!

      I’ve been selling my comics just directly so far, but am hoping soon to have a system in place for people being able to order them. I could pack one up and mail to you, but I don’t know what the mailing costs would be like — send me a message via my “drop me a line” form (on the menu at the top of this page) and we’ll talk!


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