DESIGNING FOR THE GENERATIONS (The Icon Equation Part 3)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you’ve been following THE LEGEND OF WILL POWER™ comic book or have been a participant of the WILL POWER FACEBOOK FAN PAGE, you might have heard me mention this wacky thing I’ve created called THE ICON EQUATION™. This semi-algorithm of comic book building is the sum of my personal observation and conclusions of what makes comics and their characters ICONIC!  And in case you’re wondering why you might like THE LEGEND OF WILL POWER™, well it’s because I’ve built WILL POWER using THE ICON EQUATION™!

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]kay, so let’s get on to PART 3: DESIGNING FOR THE GENERATIONS / How simple is better and packs more punch! I’ve loved comic books WAAAAY before I could ever read one successfully. The truth is, as a child, I suffered from dyslexia pretty severely! So, I was a distance fan or a fan by proxy at best.  All my friends loved comics, my older brother had comics laying around and we even had superheroes on our bed sheets and trashcans at home! So, even though I couldn’t read them well, I could ogle the bright pictures and adventurous scenes. One thing I noticed about my child hood was this: if you were lucky enough to sit behind someone in class, then he or she could block your desk from the view of the teacher. This is where many a comic book doodle took place! Not just by me but by children everywhere. Kids doodle in class. Kids doodle in the lunchroom. Kids doodle at home, on the bus, at the playground, everywhere, all the way to their mid-day-morning-project-meeting at their 9 to 5 office job! HA!

IF A CHILD THINKS HE CAN DRAW YOUR CHARACTER, THEN HE WILL DRAW IT! IF HE THINKS IT’S TOO HARD, HE WON’T!

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or me, this was a major observation. What a child draws becomes embroiled in his brain! The more he or she draws this image, the more it becomes a part of his childhood and therefore, HIS LIFE! Now, let that sit in your brain and simmer… HA, HA… sounds simple enough, huh? You probably know that already, right? Okay, but here’s the HOOK that most of you might have easily overlooked. What a child draws is directly correlated to his or her confidence in their ABILITY to draw it! Let me repeat that in another way, IF A CHILD THINKS HE CAN DRAW YOUR CHARACTER, THEN HE WILL DRAW IT! IF HE THINKS IT’S TOO HARD, HE WON’T!  So what does this mean? Simple: The simpler your character design is, the more likely he or she will inspire you, children, fans, and other creators to draw him!!! The more it is drawn at an earlier age, the more chance your character has to become an ICON! …And in doing so, You might just get tons of fan art featuring your character much like WILL POWER does!

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ell let’s take a look at this concept and see it in action. The ICON value of certain characters seem directly linked to the complexity of their design. One such example is CYCBOR from the teen titans… He’s an AWESOME CHARACTER but according THE ICON EQUATION™ the reason why he doesn’t sore to the levels of ROBIN, RAVEN, AQUA LAD, BEAST BOY, OR SUPER-BOY is he’s simply too complicated to draw.

 

[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou can also see this complexity really stopping some characters right in their tracks. These are some really cool visual characters here in DIVINE RIGHT. But truth be told, no child or willing parent would ever attempt to draw these EVER! They are just too complicated for a five year old. Characters like these are the reason why we have to have CHARACTER GUIDES. Even professional artists can’t remember all the character elements that would make up these heroes!

Sometimes a person is standing all alone in a room not because he’s in the wrong place, at the wrong time, sometimes it’s just because he’s gotten there first. I hope that is the case in my ICON EQUATION. I say this because when I was first developing these theories for THE LEGEND OF WILL POWER™ some scoffed at my simple list of rules that could change how your character is viewed and accepted, not just by hardcore comic readers, but by moms, dads, schools, and the society itself. In other words, their ICONIC-ABILITY!

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]et me continue and give more examples of this belief of complex design hampering otherwise truly, globally, icon potential, characters! Angel or Arch Angel: now he’s an awesome character. He should be around more often but the simple truth is, your grandma will never know his name, and your children will never draw him. In his blue form, he’s an awesome support character, but, unfortunately, he can never be an ICON.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he same is true for Captain Britain. The UNION JACK Flag alone is his biggest detractor. It complicates his otherwise simple costume. It seriously complicates his mask and helm area. It creates havoc on his back as well. For this, He can not even stand beside Captain America and be given the same respect. This is a shame, because this character is deep in legend and lore.

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ow, you’ve heard my take on how simple costumes lend themselves to more ICONIC characters. In fact if you want to know the difference between MARVEL and DC characters, it’s this: MARVEL creates realistic and complex human stories (they are great at that) But DC creates ICONS. They are simply the best at it. It’s the reason why Alex Ross’s work on MARVELS wasn’t as appreciated as it was on KINGDOME COME!

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]LEX had real ICONS to paint in KINGDOM COME. He knew it and the readers knew it, even if it was subconsciously. Now, I love both companies, and really would relish the chance to work with both entities. But if I had to boil it down to FAMOUS characters vs. ICONIC ones, DC wins every time, hands down! Marvel can make some really cool characters and some of those will know FAME! …but DC builds ICONS! They have both FAME and LONGEVITY! They make characters that will be known by Grandmothers, Doctors, School Teachers, Presidents, and Children for generations after generations here in the United States and cross the Globe for decades to come! They just know how to simplify their designs.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you look closely, these same principles are used in WILL POWER’s design. WILL wears a Jersey, Jeans, Sneakers, and Black Sweat Bands. -That’s it! I do believe that it is this minimal design that is partly why his character is so easy on the eye. And is one of the reasons why he sparks volumes of awesomely appreciated art from fans! Thanks guys, that really helps keep me motivated!

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ell, I hope this small insight from my mind helps creative juices resonate in yours, and helps you on your journeys to character creation and comic-dome. If you like these little peaks into THE ICON EQUATION™, post them, comment and let me know, Also be on the lookout for my book that’s soon to come called “THE ICON EQUATION! By Vince White”.  You can also pick up the WILL POWER COMIC BOOK in the web store on the sight linked here: [highlight color=”eg. yellow, black”]THE WILL POWER BOOK STORE[/highlight] Or Just click on the pictures below!

Until next time, -Be POWERFUL!

Yours Truly,

VINCE WHITE!

 

 

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