Lately, a lot I've been thinking about an old idea of mine. It's actually partially made, under an alt, even using a pseudonym I find clever. I even established an artistic signature for this identity, LONG before I even developed RmII as my own artistic signature. (In fact, it was me thinking of how I had an artistic signature under my pseudonym but not real name that helped inspire me to make an artistic signature in the first place.)
So, I was doing more to establish my identity as an artist under that name than I did for Ranger, at the time. Given this level of history...I'd actually like to keep some of the ideas secret, even from this blog. As much as I love integrating my identities, this is an obscure, vague secret of mine I'd like to be kept a surprise, with people unable to tell it's me. (Though it might be a moot point, since my art now looks a lot like that style, even though at the time, that style was unusual for me compared to the norm.)
In case I actually make the idea, I don't want to reveal too many details about it here. But basically...I ended up not making it for three main reasons.
1: I didn't think myself artistically good enough at the time. While my art under that name was better than any of my art at the time--it's not QUITE up to my current skills, but it's close, in spite of being YEARS OLDER THAN MY CURRENT STUFF (in other words, my pseudonym was leaps and bounds better than me until just recently). I wanted it at a more professional level, so I decided to put it on hold until I was taught more.
...Yes. Taught more. Not self-taught more. Taught more. I was still in art school at the time. Yes, this idea is that old. As in, I was able to make art almost up to par with Red Hood Rider, back in March of 2011. (Post-writing note: that means, five years ago, I was able to make art which is basically on the level of my current art, under the pseudonym. Does that mean I haven't improved in five years? Heck no! It means, under the pseudonym, I was leagues ahead of myself under my normal talent. I quite literally was like a different person, who I've just recently essentially merged with.) I still thought I was going to become a professional artist at the time, so I thought I was going to get better and better with the right classes.
The reason I needed this? A problem I struggle with even to this day: I needed a Cast Of Snowflakes. (I've done some successful work, with it beginning to happen in The Descended, my previous comic, but I never was able to fully flesh it out and never able to fully keep consistent with these models. For Red Hood Rider, I think I can get some done, but not much. I've planned it, but never actually made it, especially since it's a lot of extra work I'd rather not do. I'm mostly planning on trying a "keep it looking on-model for them, and have it be them via body language and unique looks", so we'll see how that works out.)
And when I say I needed it, I mean I NEEDED it. It wasn't just an aesthetic preference: at multiple stages in the plot, it's a plot point, where a minor Red Shirt--yes, red shirt--on the protagonist's side, cannonfodder, a literally-no-development character, is seen as a mook in the enemy's ranks...having previously disappeared from the heroes' ranks, because he was ordered to infiltrate them for one specific upcoming moment.
And I need to be able to artistically portray that! A complete red shirt, that is distinctive enough to still be recognized, allowing for attentive viewers to pick up on the plan and not make it seem like it comes out of nowhere, to help make them go, "...Why didn't I see that before?" or "I KNEW it!" That is how good my art needs to be to tell this story. And I'm not there yet.
2: I have something like 35-40 or so characters on the heroes' side. I lacked the skill to flesh them all out at the time. Still not quite sure I could do it. Personalities, backstories, looks, skills, I wouldn't need all 40 or so in extensive detail (there are red shirts!), but many of the cast, even minor members, get some amount of screen time (so, mauve shirts), which needs to be covered, and even though there's plenty of red shirts, there's still about 20 or so characters important enough to need EXTENSIVE detail, maybe more especially on a more general level.
3: The final problem is...the story involves lots and lots and LOTS of genius-level thinking: masterminds manipulating chess pieces on a grand scale, kind of thing. You know, the sort of Death Note mind match, except much grander, on a scale akin to Code Geass in how much trickery is involved. This is the largest hurdle; I'm writing these super-smart characters, yet...they can only be as smart as I am, which limits my writing skills. That...I'm not sure I can fix.
But I like the idea all the same and would love to make it.
The protagonist is a mysterious leader, sometimes saying he's fully human, sometimes insisting he is not, the master plotter and featured character which everything revolves around.
A secondary protagonist is an audience surrogate, showing up in the first true plot arc at the end, joining as basically just a red shirt that allows for exposition because he's the new guy and yet can easily bond to others.
Another protagonist is a vampire. Vampirism in this setting is much more brutal; it's absolutely kill-or-convert, with all substitutes eventually failing. This is why their company (which the protagonist is the leader of) mainly hunts vampires, but does not hunt them exclusively.
There's two mercenary groups hired by the protagonist. One is an expy of the Wild Geese in looks, but not personalities, with them being more villainous and amoral. The other is an expy in attitude (still being pragmatic mercenaries, blunt, to the point, but also having kind, human sides to them), but not in looks.
Another major protagonist is an ill child.
There's also other characters, some fighting for fun, a few because they're blackmailed, including a character arguably worse than most of the villains but who is so skilled, he's able to help hunt villains effectively.
And many, many more.
If this sparks your interest, then you've only scratched the surface of why I love the idea so much.