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In future Japan, a salvage hunter and his robot sidekick are hunted by insane android killers in a race to cure a deadly nano-plague.
In future Japan, a salvage hunter and his robot sidekick are hunted by insane android killers in a race to cure a deadly nano-plague.
869 backers pledged £16,261 to help bring this project to life.

Killtopia Concept Art Special!

Posted by Dave Cook (Creator)

Hey guys, Craig here. I thought I might share with you some of my sketches and concept art being the character design of our main characters in Killtopia. 

I take the view that character design is almost like a form of story telling, where a single image of a character tells the viewer a bit about this characters life, history and personality. 

So I often try to use clothing, expression, pose and adornments as little visual shortcuts that hopefully give you little more info about who these characters are and the goals they have. 


These are some of my earliest sketches of Shinji, Stiletto and Crash. 

At this point I'm just doodling down every mental image I have of the characters, and every idea that comes to mind. I doodle a lot, so there are quite a lot of these. I fill page after page of weird doodles like these everyday.


 I just keep going with the sketching and doodling until I have a good clear idea I can run with and develop into something more. 


More sketching as Shinji starts to take shape.

As I'm sketching I consider Shinji's story and personality, I try to find ways to show his key characteristics. He's a obsessive tech wizard, he's dirt poor, he's a gamer, he likes baseball and he lives in a nightmarish dystopian future. 

Sometimes I'll create a wee mood board, just to remind myself of the general feeling of this character. So this was my mood board to remind me of how to think of Shinji. 

 Once I've got a good idea of how I want him to look I'll do a final character turnaround for him. Paying close attention to the script at this point to make sure I don't miss any details or accidentally create some kind of plot hole. 


A similar process for Stiletto here. Finalizing sketches, another mood board and then getting down the details. 


You can see from the mood board some of the thoughts and influences I had for Stiletto. I wanted to reflect that she was successful, rich, a violent experienced combatant and a famous celebrity. 

So I'm thinking somewhere in the venn diagram of future solider/ professional wrester/ reality TV show celebrity.  


Some of the sketching and detailing for Crash, our sentient machine pal.

Important thing I was going for here was expression. Crash needed to be able to express himself and show that he had some life and personality. 

Like all the best TV/Movie robots, he needs to have some kind of means of expression and personality in order to be able to tell his story.   


 Crash takes a big of influence from the sentient robots we all know from film and TV, like Wall-E, Johnny-5, Chappie, Robocop, Mr. Data and a thousand anime mechs. Colour Some colour passes and experiments, making sure that I get these right and set the corrent tone for both the character and their story.   

With all the reference and info down, I then went on to make the first character promo images that you'll have seen on the Facebook and campaign page.   

If there's interest I could do a folow up post on the steps take to draw and create the promo art, or perhaps I could even do a step-by-step on how I make a Killtopia page.  

Thanks for reading guys, hope this was interesting. Can't wait until you get to see the final book. Give me a shout if you've got any questions on my process or on art stuff in general.  

Cheers, Craig

Amber Loranger, Elixir Comics, and 21 more people like this update.


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    1. Hurley

      Very interesting, yes to whole page creation, and also for script development please!

    2. Helen

      Really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    3. Jan-Henrik Wilhelm

      Totally agree with the others, I love seeing how everything comes together and where it startend so yea, I would love to see something from the script development :)
      Thats one of the cool things about Kickstarter I think that you get more and see more than just a comic in your mail or a customer number and the money on the bank

    4. Craig Paton Collaborator on

      Thanks, guys. Glad you enjoyed this update. Hope to bring you another, similar one soon. :)

    5. Dave Cook 7-time creator on

      Thanks for all your feedback guys :D Would it be worthwhile or interesting to do a similar behind the scenes on my script and how it grew?

    6. David Arkapaw

      Agreed, best update ive seen in a long time

    7. Missing avatar

      Steven Reid

      Best update of this (and maybe any other) campaign. Seeing the concept art and how everything is brought together throws a completely different light on things and I'd love to see more.


    8. Amber Loranger on

      So stoked on this, can't wait till the book is ready. Your art is so good!