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Feb 9, 2018

Analysis: Creating Your Main Characters


A review of the main characters from the original manga, My Fair Ladies.

Keeping with this week’s theme of creating the major characters in your comic, I’m going to review an original manga, My Fair Ladies, by Spirit Warriors illustrator Alan Toh. Alan created, wrote, and illustrated My Fair Ladies single-handed, and did a fantastic job with his two main characters, Claire and Seraphina.  From just a first glance, you’ll be able to tell which character is the protagonist and which is the antagonist. In addition, notice how they balance out each other in terms of costume design and personality.

Let’s review Claire first:

As you can tell from this page very early in the comic, Claire is going to be the heroic protagonist. Claire’s costume design was really well done; it showcases her personality and character to the viewer. She’s physically beautiful, but wears a simple and conservative dress, a good reflection of her personality. In addition, the cross design on her chest helps further signify her purity and loving nature.

In this picture Claire is showing her full power to the reader for the first time, by heroically saving some falling villagers. She appears in this scene very much as a guardian angel, flying over the innocent villagers and saving them with a light colored power. This one page is a great way to introduce her character in the series.

Now let’s look at Seraphina.

Here’s Seraphina appearing before Claire for the first time. This is one of the best pictures in the manga, and like the earlier picture of Claire, this shot tells a lot about Seraphina.

Her appearance and pose is very innocent and graceful, sort of like the angelic pose Claire was in earlier. However, you can see the darkness of her power all around her. It’s a great way to show her powers in relation to Claire’s, and the viewer can immediately tell there’s going to be conflict between them.

Here’s another example during their first confrontation.   

This picture illustrates (no pun intended) the differences between Claire and Seraphina. With just one look, the reader will be able to understand a lot about their personalities.

Claire looks very reluctant to fight, but not from a lack of power. Her facial expression is showcasing that she doesn’t want to hurt someone else, she doesn’t even want to look at her opponent.

Seraphina on the other hand is reveling in the experience, as depicted by the sinister grin on her face.

The poses of their bodies further illustrates their feelings, Claire is touching the cross on her chest, and her right hand looks like she’s literally holding her power back in reluctance.

Again, Seraphina is the exact opposite, her arms are wide-open, not holding back at all as she unleashes her dark power. Pictures like this really help a comic or manga define their characters (both major and minor) to the reader.  

If you’re interested in finding out what happens between Claire and Seraphina, you can read My Fair Ladies here:

https://moemichan.deviantart.com/gallery/?catpath=/

It’s definitely worth a read, the artwork is amazing and the characters are very nicely designed. 

Next blog I’ll discuss how I created the minor characters for Spirit Warriors (Musa, Headmaster Ozana, Ms. Hancock, and Rondo). I’ll also give tips on creating your own minor characters.

Best Wishes,

Jeff