Five years on WordPress. Wow. Maybe one day I’ll do something with my life.
Anyway, at time of writing I don’t have any concept art for Paxton and I don’t know if I will by the time I post. I’ve been dealing with a stomach bug for several days and it’s kind of been making creative endeavors difficult. That being said, I will do my best to draw something by the time this post goes up or shortly after.
Paxton is the other protagonist for this book – meaning the narrative follows him when it isn’t following Joss – and he is human. Here is what I wrote for his entry in the character bible document:
Name: Paxton (Fun fact: I named him this because “Pax” means peace and he is not peaceful! Irony!)
Age in Earth Years: 18
Paxton lives in one of the old prisoner sectors with his mother. His father mysteriously skipped off work one night when Paxton was six or seven. The Enforcers later found him and killed him with no explanation, but Paxton continued to believe that his father didn’t just try to run and abandon the family. He is right. Paxton’s father discovered the truth – that the communications system on the planet works just fine. The Overseer purposefully keeps it jammed in order to maintain control.
When Paxton comes of age, he knows he will be assigned a job like his mother. Instead he decides to go over to the enemy’s side, becoming an Enforcer so he and his mother can have a better life. A part of him also hopes he will learn more about his father’s arrest and death. He eventually does learn this, right before joining the rebellion and sharing what he knows.
[This section omitted to prevent major spoilers. I want to keep something a mystery.]
Black hair, olive skin, green eyes. Tall and muscular. Clean shaven. Hard lines in his face. Serious like Kocoum.
Kocoum is that one dude from Disney’s Pocahontas? Yeah? He’s too serious? Alright moving on.
When I initially created Paxton, I didn’t want him to be the typical YA male hero. Yes, he is full of angst, but I feel I did go in some interesting directions with him. I made him ruthless and determined, so he ends up killing a woman on his first day as an Enforcer and then imprisoning one of his old neighbors. I also made him bury all of his emotional problems somewhere deep inside of him, so he often finds an outlet in meaningless sex with his female coworkers. I say “meaningless” for lack of a better word. Basically he isn’t looking for a relationship with them. He is having sex for sex’s sake. Nothing wrong with that except when you’re using the sex as an outlet for your repressed emotions maybe.
Moving forward with the story, I’d like to keep this trend going. I want to push him even more, have Paxton join the Enforcers because a part of him accepts that he wants power and security, and they are the ones who have it. Yes they took his father, but they also don’t have to sleep with one eye open (usually), and they live in nice flats, and they get to eat food whenever they want. So he believes the good outweighs the bad and throws himself into the work. Until he gets in too deep. And, of course, learning the truth about his father is kind of that breaking point that snaps him out of it.
My goal for him is to make him exist in a gray area for a while. He’s not going to be an undoubtedly Good character, and he will have to redeem himself for a lot of misdeeds. Paxton is a character who feels that the world is on his shoulders and he lives very much for himself because he thinks it’s the safest way to be. Meeting the rebel group and Joss might change that for him, give him a different cause to fight for and a reason to redeem himself.
Oh, and since his dad is already dead, I am determined not to kill his mom (spoiler alert?). I realize why heroes lose their parents so often now that I’m plotting out this story, because it would honestly be so much easier for Paxton to run away and join the rebellion if he didn’t have familial connections to worry about. But I think I’ve come up with another way to make it work that doesn’t involve killing his mom. Yay.
Okay so I sorta did some concept art, which you will see below. It’s not as detailed as Joss’ for several reasons.
- I am better at drawing female figures than male.
- Along those lines, I couldn’t find a male reference that I liked to base my drawing off of, so I had to go from scratch despite not having any formal art training, which you will soon see. Feel free to scoff at my inability to make proportions work. I scoff at myself all the time. Chances are I’m doing it right now.
- Humans are boring. You know what they look like.
So I just kinda decided to sketch out some of the armor ideas I had?
He looks straight out of Starship Troopers, huh? I knew I’d gotten inspiration somewhere.
So those prongs on his arm come out of the standard-issue gauntlets. They’re electrified when active, but they fold back into the gauntlet when not in use. At the risk of drawing a face, I decided to give him a helmet with a visor. Clever me. And of course he’s got big, clompy space boots. Gotta have the big, clompy space boots. They have secret compartments and stuff. He also has a standard-issue MWt-500 laser gun holstered at his hip.
And this is what he would look like if he were a butterfly with a suggestively open shirt!
That’s all I’ve got! Tune in next time for an actual alien!