Pole-Land.com 20th anniversary – Part 3

Continuing our 20th anniversary retrospective with the star of the current (long-running) chapter, and the robot guy who tends to lurk in the background, Dan and Beta!

Dan Ruggrich was another friend's OC and one of the characters that didn't really evolve that much in design, since there's not really a whole lot you can do to iterate on a small, ambulatory lint ball. Instead, most of the design iterations ended up going into creating the mechanical harnesses he uses, starting from the 2014 version where it's more of a backpack situation, and the modern day LEGO-crafted combat armature. A Distant Sky is, incidentally, not the first time I've used LEGO as the basis for mechanical design in a comic; I also did so for the 2019 OCT Ring of Power run by Abbadon of Kill Six Billion Demons fame, as well as all the way back during my 2008 attempt at a webcomic, Somewhere in Nevada. Also, his name used to be an anagram of said friend's real name, which is one of the reasons I ended up modifying it into Daniil Radovich.

Bob/Beta was another friend OC, and as you no doubt have already surmised from his 2004 design, was a sprite recolor of Zero from MegaMan X; 2004 was, for those who didn't get to experience the early wild west of webcomics, the era of sprite comics like Bob and George and 8-Bit Theater. I was very quick to start working on an alternative design for him because of this, and settled on giving him force field abilities rather than the lightsaber his sprite's counterpart had. You'll also notice that all the modern designs have consciously shifted away from including any blue in them, which is a deliberate aesthetic choice due to my modern color workflow and my deliberately associating that color with the Legion specifically.

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