Let there be more lines for the pinups of the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary of Leigh Brackett’s characters we did for the volumes published by Cirsova Publishing.
Here are Varra’s lines! The heroine of the second volume and her silver curls.
Okiku or “Banchou Sarayashiki” (The Dish Mansion at Banchou) is one of the most popular ghost stories in Japan and as expected, has several versions. Within all of them we settled for its folk version.
The story tells us of a beautiful girl serving a samurai called Aoyama Tessan, who constantly made advances towards her and every time was met with refusal.
Tired of her resistance, he plotted to make her accept him through a cruel plan where he accused her of losing one of the family treasures, a Delftware plate from a set of ten.
Haunted by the terrifying fate of such an offence -none other than death itself- Okiku desperately counted the plates time after time but to no avail as there was no tenth plate, no matter how many times she recounted them.
Under the guilt she confessed to Aoyama, in tears, and was received with an offer of him disregarding her wrongdoing if she gave in and became his lover. Okiku once again refused him, and this infuriated him to the point of throwing her down a well as punishment and killed her.
The story says that due to that unfair death, Okiku turned into a ghost who haunted her murderer. Counting up to nine, then shrieking loudly, agonizing, unable to find the missing plate.
It is told that her haunting was broken by an exorcist who shouted “ten”, just before her shriek after her usual count. Finally finishing the set and releasing her from the fixation on the missing plate.
Other versions involve the anger of a jealous wife, another one where she finds out a plot from her master against his lord and contributing to dismantling it, unfortunately all the versions have her die and return as a ghost.
The most romantic version is where Okiku is actually guilty of breaking the plate, hoping that her lover proves his devotion for her, but instead she is killed when confessing that it was intentional. When appearing as a ghost, the beauty and calm displayed on her face instead of ugly and vengeful feelings reaches out and touches his heart, leading him to commit suicide (seppuku) to join her in death.
Right-minded?… Well, Love and Passion are complicated matters. We’ll just leave it at that.
The lines of the striking beauty from the hot desert land of Mars.
Let’s keep up with the Illustrated Stark, 70th Anniversary tribute to Leigh Brackett’s characters we created for the volumes published by Cirsova Publishing.
This time is Berild’s lines! The heroine of the first volume with locks for days.
Great power in a petite format. The wicked silver fairy of Venus.
Just like in the post dedicated to Berild, this time we bring you Varra, heroine of second volume of the Illustrated Stark: Enchantress of Venus by Leigh Brackett. Just like the first and the third book, illustrations and cover art are by us, StarTwo, and it’s published by the sci fi fan favourite, Cirsova Publishing.
Varra definitely struck an impression with the duality of elfish beauty corrupted by an inner evil that can crush you if you stand in her way -unless you’re Stark, of course. And yet, honest in her daring boldness and ambition.
As for all other characters, we received a description of Varra, who is a Lhari, and we added to her personality aided by reading from the volume as well.
This is from the wonderful information from the pre-production document we got from Cirsova:
The Lhari are described as having “alabaster skin, …eyes that were all colors and none, like the dawn sky, …hair that was pure warm silver”
Very much like an evil elf princess. She’s described as wearing a short red tunic and a leather falconry glove on her left hand (and a falcon to go with it). (…) Stark at one point calls her “witch with the silver curls”, (…) “lovely, like the red fruit of the swamp tree that bears death in its pungent sweetness”.
Her irresistible wickedness is like a red beacon warning you of danger, and yet, there you are, walking right towards it. Lured by the charming hazard dressed in red.
We’re revisiting the Maiden’s Pearls illustration, this time with a detail of the lines of its cascade of waves, quite fun when it came to inking how the curls turn and curve, each with it’s own twist. Also works as therapy to calm the brain!
Keeping up with sharing the inking of what lies behind the illustrations, we bring you a detail of the edited outlines for “Teaming with Beasts”.
This one didn’t have the usual inking stage since the pencil and ink lines sort of merged together in one. The pencil stage was cleaned up after the sketch, to work already as inking, resulting in rougher but also looser lines.