Derivative. Yes, yer darn right Superficial is derivative. It’s the culmination of all my favorite cartoons, comics and various other artistic influences. Yet, the personalities are based on friends and family , so that gives the comic some twinge of originality in the most important aspect of any narrative work: The Story.
Most people name recent pop-culture references as major influences for my comic. Close, but no cigar. Superficial was created in the 80’s when I was a high school student of 13 and I still the drawings to prove it.
The series developed over time and did indeed take some design ideas from Ranma 1/2, Cowboy Bebop, Fruits Basket, and any other space anime that comes around. You can’t help but absorb works you admire. Nothing is completely original. Then again, some times as an artist one gets the impression that the all great minds think alike adage has a neuro spy satellite. There are some eerie coincidences with the Pirates the Caribbean series. I swear someone got into my head with Tia before I finally introduced the Orisha in the latest issue of In Between Days. Then again you can be happy that other people think like you and be thankful that they broke the ice with a mass audience before you presented your collective crazy idea into the world!
TO CLARIFY SPECUALTION. Superficial’s media influence base is Chuck Jones cartoons, Elf Quest, 80’s X-Men, Excalibur Patrick Nagel, Bionic Six , Robotech, Jem, Gi Joe and most of all: The Transformers!
The Superficial Character Matrix is modeled after the Transformers. I was told later on one of my character design classes that this studying TV shows you like is a very good way to learn how to organize characters and timing of introducing then if you have a large cast.
Oh, the boyfriend characters like Giermo do not have media influences in terms of how they are organized in the story. I have enough boyfriend and guy friend characters and stories from life experience to last 10 lifetimes. I think every girl does.
The Jasians and the Eastern Pantheons were modeled after Decepticons.
Most of the Celtic Norse and mortals are the Autobots.
The Jasians-Main Decepticons
Mikka: the Jasian matron
Multi-talented Charismatic, persuasive wiccan who the gods feel is too powerful to remain mortal.
Sakura: Shinto Goddess of Spring and of the hunt and agriculture
Heiress apparent to the Jasian family and military leader of the Kotekitai, Jasian Genetic’s air strike division. Loves her mother , but does not like her. The free spirited Sakura, would rather be rid of of her familial responsibilities and blames her mother for building the legacy that keeps her in a cage to begin with. Sakura added insolence is also in contempt to her mother’s mortal status.
Nami: Shinto goddess of Winter and Water
Miss congeniality middle, with the complex that the world seems to revolve around—with the exception of her elder “smaller” Sakura who is quick to put Nami in her place. Nami wants Sakura’s place as heir apparent but has not convinced her mother that she capable. Nami wild campaigns in managing the impossible to prove herself to her mother.
Maloni: Hindu. Goddess of the Cosmos. The Devi
Ethereal, time warping teleporting enigma of the Jasian family. She appears aloof but , is really just a but spacey. You would be too if you were the order if the cosmos and creator of worlds. Maloni’s hobby is visual art. Surprise, surprise!
Indira: Kali the goddess of time
Aloof, sage from the paternal side of the family. Paramour of Mikka and ruthless hand of reason on occasion.
Maja: Mortal. Japanese ruler of antiquity.
Jasian paternal grandfather who inadvertently turned himself into deer. He wanders Asian as a great stag and is a sign of good luck.
Jerginder: Parvati, Hindu Goddess of Love
Persued Maja as a husband and had two children with him. Kaisei and Kali. She turned herself into a sandalwood tree after Maja became a stag. The scent of her aromatic bark lures Maja to her in India from Maja’s forest home in Hokkaido. After the visit, she hangs a fresh wreath of beautiful scented seeds around his neck when he leaves and as a reminder to return. Sakura visits her from time to time when she needs advice and visual insights into the family.
Pirsia: Arabian Nights, Koranic Marid
Bossy nearly omnipotent demi-god who the servant of Kali, Goddess of Time. Pirsia manifests as a Capricorn in still water and is often the unwanted guest in the Jasian home. She heralds all time space continuum adventures. She often apparatus in Mikka’s bubble baths.
The Kotekitai- Deceptijets
Miho: Kaze goddess of the wind
Daredevil test pilot of Jasian Genetic. Sakura’s hunting partner and close friend.
Rel: Pele Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes
Hot-tempered acrobatic pilot. One of the few goddesses who mentstrates. Volcanoes are the result of them.
Elka: Aja, Yoruban goddess of the hunt and herbology
Methodical gunner pilot. Her deep soothing voice and potent projectile potages, quell Sakura’s anger and split second deadly actions when needed.
Liltih: Assyirian goddess of darkness and Adam’s first wife
Bi-ploar interstellar pilot. Slinky sexual aunt of Sakura on the maternal side and lover of the priestess, Eve. Prima Ballerina at the Kirov when off duty from Jasian Genetic.
Eve: Assyrian oracle of wisdom and life
Tolerant trans-dimensional portal___. Stoic demeanor usually gives way to a broader ulterior motive for the greater good. Although the benefits are usually uneven. Prima Ballerina at the Royal Ballet of Paris when off duty from Jasian Genetic
The Physicians: The Constucticons
Astarte: Assyrian godess of the heavens
Discerning head surgeon: Always let’s Sakura suffer the pains of her wounds a bit longer to force rethinking of foolish actions.
Norio: Benten, hinto goddess of beauty and manners
Hyper-critical reconstructive surgeon. She’s able to put Sakura back together again, no matter how many pieces gets herself rended into on her daily duties as a hunter goddess.
Noboi: Kwan Yin Chinese mother goddess
Kindly physical therapist. Midwifed Sakura and Nami. Gives good advice and candy and she coaxes her patients to mobility.
Elka: Aja, Yoruba goddess of the hunt and herbology
Elka is a pharmacist in this second role. She’s makes her patients take their medicine. Even if she has to them down and dart ‘em and shove it down their throats!
Kaisei: Hiruko, God of the morning sun. Guards the health of little children.
Patient and whimsical psycho-therapist and industrial designer. The Jasian’s jovial father who is just wonderful to have around. Kaisei is the very talented manger of the all these megalomaniacal women of Jasian Gentic Enterprises. He’s the rock—who floats happily in the sky…
A bitch who’s been humbled with the labors of the hauler as decreed as punishment by Freya and Odin. Frenemy of Nami, Klashka is only hanging around because she wants annoy Nami with her hold over Giermo and to fortify her dominance in the love triangle. However, she has difficulty squelching her own fiery desires for Nami, who insists on staying out of her bed.
The rock band, Klashkatse- The Stunticons
Tse: Mortal. Shamaness ( Korean)
Stoic dual voiced chanteuse of the band, syntesizer musician and DJ. Klashka is the self-declared leader, but Tse is the main draw.
In this second role she is a shameless self promoter and percussionist. Obsessed with fame and a bit of a sexual predator. Klashka is liked—but not well liked!
Jen: Mortal and celebrity
Cool it-girl base player. Jen is in the band as a outlet from her day job as a B film actress.
Tabitha Soleil: Mortal, High School student
Art chick rhythm guitarist. Tabby just loves play practical jokes on fiendish foes—especially on Klashka.
Sigrid: Battle Fairy
Clairvoyant incredibly talented without trying auxillary instrumentalist and Tabby’s best friend. Flakey, never shows up for practice and makes stage appearances when she feels it’s time—for she has her own sense of time. She’s the musical calvary that’s comes in when the crowd gets restless. Although, these situations wouldn’t happen of she were more diligent–and ON TIME. “What me hurry?”
The Shibuya-kei band, Jelly Guru-The Insecticons
Kirei: Kishijoten. Goddess of luck and beauty, she is the patron of song and dance and protector of the Geishas.
Nosey beauty of a chanteuse. Kirei can’t stand to see anyone out of a relationship. So much so, that she will the right person for anyone for any situation. Kirei is such a talented match-maker, that she found a chaste Blue Dieu eunuch for the asexual Sakura.
Arashi: Kaminari, goddess of thunder, known as the Thunder Queen and the Heavenly Noise.
Steadfast , amorous electric guitarist: Arashi is good a quelling arguments. People for miles around tremble when she puts her foot down.
Midori: Uzume, Shinto goddess of joy and happiness.
Gossipy little flashdancer and co-singer of Jellyguru. She just loves scandal. Especially when they are about herself!
Triumverite ( inspired by Robotech)
Girl Trio from Neptune who sing as one
The Orisha- The Combaticons
Yemaya: Goddess of the sea.
Leader of the female Orisha. Loves presents.
Nana: Yoruban goddess of the sky and stars.
Level headed seer of all things. From her position n the sky as the Moon , Nana watches over the lives of everyone. Don’t lie to her. She knows what you did last summer.
Oya: Yoruban Goddess of the wind and gateway to the underworld.
Hot tempered warrior goddess who rules on a slant and will tell an offender to go in a snap. Be careful what you say to her She just might send you there! Despite her malicious front, Oya has compassionate nature towards those who are approaching death and she is the first entity one sees when the begin their life. She’s so dazzling, no wonder no one can remember their birth!
Oshun: Yoruban goddess of love, beauty and creativity.
The creative Oshun sees beauty everywhere—even in the cruelest person and the most horrible situation. She’ the light at the end of the tunnel and the creativity and beauty the emerges when war is settled and new synthesis in beauty emerges.
Xiomara: The Santeria goddess-saint of love, beauty and creativity.
The carefree, boy-crazy New World counterpart of Oshun. Xiomara’s multi-ethinc genetic makeup eptiomizes Oshun’s persona.
Elka: Aja the Ashanti goddess of the hunt and herbology
Technically not an Orisha, Elka is the many flora and fauna you would see on a hike through Sahel. Be she a useful herb to cure ills or a majestic elephant defending her forest!
The Greek Pantheon Mythic Monsters -Predacons and Terricons (Incomplete)
Aphrodite: Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty
Dark haired goddess of love and beauty who looks not-surprising like Sophia Loren.
Artemis: Greek. Goddess of the Hunt and Moon.
Hates voyeurs. No peeking or you’ll regret it! She gets along real well with Sakura when it comes to man-bashing.
Athena: Greek. Goddess of Wisdom
Gets crushes on mortal heroes and helps them along on quests. Giermo and Tahzay are good follow ups to Perseus.
Hera: Queen of the Olympian Pantheon
Bitch Queen who disdains the Jasian family’s mixed mortal heritage.
Echidna: Greek Mother of all Monsters
Tentacle headed serpent bodied nymph is perfectly sweet when she’s not horny or pregnant.
Sphinx: Greek Boston Strangler
She does crosswords with a pen while lying in wait for tourists o quiz.
Chimera: Mesopotamian Goddess of the Seasons.
Three head amalgamation of the Serpent of Winter, Lion of Spring and Goat of Summer. Just be sure to know which head to talk to avoid insulting this deity and ending up as a snack in her cast-iron stomach.
Hecate: Greek Goddess of the underworld gate
This snake haired witchy-woman and Oya divi up the proceeds of any fatal happening.
Gaijin and Celtic Norse Pantheon- The Autobots
This list is incoplete because most these characters do not make appearances until the second saga of the comic: Momgod and the Berkeley Clique
Rio: Mortal, Semi-Retired Celebrity
Charming congenial Brazilian Jazz Chantuese from the 60’s. Mikka’s friend from her years as an opera singer. Giermo’s mother, who unwittingly looms her famous shadow over her son’s accomplishments.
Eoyster: Norse goddess of Spring
Frank, down home cowgirl, large animal-veterinarian and friend of Rio. She loathes Mikka for the witch’s careless exploits and often takes verbal jabs at her with the most subtle Oklahoma drawl. Thank ya’ kindly.
Freya: wife of Odin
Wants Mikka to rule with her as a goddess, but Mikka refuses to forgo her mortality due to the loneliness and mortification she will experience from the future loss of her mortal friends and the repercussions of causes in her past that will climax in the distant future.
SPOILER: At the end of the series, Freya resurrects Mikka as a unicorn so she can no longer cause trouble yet still watch over her children and visit her departed friends.
Frigg: Norse. goddess of love and beauty.
Catty goddess who played the ultimate joke on the sexual selection psyche of humanity. She appeared in the dark-haired Aphrodite’s place in a vision sent to Greece’s Hesiod. She justifies her prank by stating that she acted on behalf of the literary civilization’s of the fertile crescent’s oppression of her people’s oral history. What this short sighted proverbial “dumb blonde” hadn’t realized is that people all over the world including dark people who share the Norse oral tradition would suffer greatly from the ripple affect of her sea born ruse.
Frigg repents by giving Nami comfort from Giermo’s blonde fetish.
Goddess of the Norse Underworld. You’ll answer to her if you’ve haven’t been good, for goodness sake!
Gigi: Mortal. Nurse
Matronly nurse practitoneer who fixes Sakura’s injuries when she’s performs as a ballerina in the states. Sakura likes Gigi, because she uses anesthetic unlike Astarte and Norio.
Soleil Smile: Mortal, High School Student
Diligent, tinkering over achiever whose sole obsession is to get into U.C. Berkeley. However, she has no idea what to do with her life and talents beyond college. Luckily she has the peculiar knack for attracting mentors—like Mikka Vakova Jasai and the whole world of Jasian Genetic!
Rumble and Frenzy when paired with cousin Tabitha Soleil.