I did a short character challenge over the last month on my art facebook page (Sanzaki Kojika), and while I don’t intend to share the whole thing here, I wanted to share part of it, since it featured two major characters in the Archive of Sinners series. Ken and Vere both appeared back-to-back for opposite ends of the challenge. Ken appeared first, but I’m sharing Vere first since he is the main character.
Vere was day 9 of the challenge. “Is there a character that embodies your bad traits?”
Vere was chosen for this day based on several different reasons. I’m including some of the original posting below, but adapting it a bit to make more sense. I see Vere in short as a grumpy, anti-social psychic still trying to figure the world out (and his own powers). Or at least, that’s how he started out.
The character challenge specifically focused on how characters and you personally interacted or saw them as. I used to be a lot like Vere when I was younger, especially in late middle school and early high school. Specifically, Vere is a character who has plenty of flaws and has been struggling to overcome them throughout the series. His father’s murder as a child, then losing his mother led to his extremely antisocial tendencies. Meeting Thomas helped break him out of his shell a bit, the first adult in a long time he was able to trust. He has serious trust issues though, and is extremely uptight when it comes to his emotions. He usually is frowning, though he has been getting better at smiling (especially with his best friend being an extremely eccentric succubus). He tends to hide within himself and try to carry all of his burdens on his own, but after the events in book 4 “Wrath,” especially, he has been better on relying on his comrades. He second guesses himself a lot and doesn’t have much self confidence, especially when it comes to his own abilities, namely the investigating and psychic ones.
A major traumatic event at the end of book 3, “Gluttony,” (you who read it know exactly what I’m talking about) really sends him for a spin and his bad traits actually fester a bit more during the first half of book 4 ‘Wrath.” Since he doesn’t want to feel pain, he takes his ire and anguish out on those around him. He was fortunate enough that they didn’t pull away, but that’s exactly what he needed.
He is still coming to terms with his emotions and having some level of confidence in himself. He was an extremely complex character for me to write since I saw a lot of myself in him initially, even without trying. I was never as extreme as him, but those emotions hit straight home alot. Of course, I am not a psychic or have I been picked up by a strange man and become a detective, but…well, we all have our personal demons. Some of them physical, just like Vere’s.
Ken was chosen for day 8, the day before Vere, based on the fact that I had already decided to choose Vere for day 9. His theme was: “Is there a character that embodies your good traits, or traits you wish you had?”
As aforementioned, his reasoning for being chosen isn’t that he’s necessarily exactly who I want to be, but rather, he is a stark opposite to Vere in many ways. Simply put, Ken from my Archive of Sinners series is…seriously good natured. He might be a werewolf, but he doesn’t act it in the slightest, at least not until he has to fight to protect his friends. A Japanese American, college student studying physical therapy. A bit of a clean freak, likes to cook, gets scared easily, and a bit superstitious. He’s caring and a bit doting, especially on Vere. If you read the latest book Sloth, the reason why is much more obvious. He had a girlfriend in the past, but he is bisexual and doesn’t judge himself or others for their choice in sexuality. He can be a bit whiny and clingy at times, but he is actually strong and his protective instincts overwrite his fear.
He’s…much nicer than I am, and perhaps I care about people as much inwardly, but I don’t have an easy time showing it. Easier now than it was even a few years ago, but still. His ability to be so honest emotionally is something I envy.
Don’t think I really wanna be a werewolf though.
So, do the characters look like you think they would? Ken actually has a face model I like to reference, but Vere does not. Ken’s model is the Japanese singer Matsushita Yuuya, especially when he was younger. I also adore the singer anyways, but when I was listening to a radio on random shuffle and a song of his came up with a picture, it struck me that he was exactly how I imagined Ken physically. I imagine Ken would sing okay, but not the level of “pop status” like his face model. His body may be a bit broader though, especially after becoming a werewolf, but I’ve never seen him as an extremely thick muscle type. His muscular structure is more lean. Ken is very stylish in his fashion.
Vere I referenced a lot of random people through google images, but not quite sure of the names of any of the ones I used. My imagery of him is basically he has a rounder face, and a more childish appearance. He looks like a grumpy teenager most of the time. As time progresses, he is a bit more adult-looking like, but definitely that type that looks like he’s way younger than he is indefinitely (my older sister is an example of this, she still can easily pass as a high schooler even though she’s in her 30s). The blonde hair framing his face helps hide some of his roundness, but also makes him look a bit more innocent. He constantly wears hoodies unless it’s hot out. I imagine when he gets super embarrassed or upset, he’d actually try to hide in the hood.
I’ve done a lot of other doodles of the Archive of Sinners series as part of an Inktober challenge years ago. You can see all of it in the Archive of Sinners artbook I have available for sale~ Priti is one of my favorite characters to draw, but Ken is my actual favorite character.