So I've told you all about how I started dreaming of these characters back in 1995. But did I ever tell you that I actually shared three of the characters with you long before I even mentioned Ki-Chan?
So a couple of years ago, I opened up a CafePress store for my artwork. At the time, I was really just drawing professional wrestlers with a little pop culture on the side. Just experimenting. Since CafePress is a store, I decided to make up my own wrestlers, instead of borrowing from real life ones for a change.

Since I was testing the waters, I decided to let two members of Ki-Chan's group masquerade as a tag team, just to see if people would like how they were drawn. Can you guess who?
TADA!! I chose Lily and Kameko!!

At the time that I drew this, I was on Twitter, reading so many barbaric comments from men, wanting to kill or rape (or both) certain "Divas" on certain, weekly, televised programs. The comments were misogynistic, threatening, disgusting (that's NOT where you stick a PS4 controller!!) and really highlighted the grim state of women's wrestling. Back then, women were paraded on television as these rude, thoughtless, stupid and untalented bimbos, caked in makeup who didn't really wrestle at all. They just botched a few moves, pulled hair and screamed like a porn star.

This was NOT my women's wrestling. So I intended to do something about it.

Remembering real wrestlers like Luna Vachon, Jacqueline and Sherri Martel, I drew Lily and Kameko as a tag team and slapped them onto t-shirts. I wanted to draw two women who could be pretty yet powerful, who would point out the better side of women's wrestling.

As it turns out, the girls were a hit. They were the second design on my page anybody ordered products of, and I got plenty of praise for the positive cartoon.

Since then, TV women's wrestling has done a complete 180, as the older, talentless bimbos are starting to leave television, in favor of actual women's wrestlers. The savage trolls on Twitter are now cheering the current women's division, and all seems right with the world.

..... But.. I have to confess.... Lily and Kameko weren't the only Ki-Chan characters I added.

Not long after finding some success with Lily and Kameko, I discovered a group on Facebook for men and women who watch wrestling ... um... well... for the same reasons a tween girl watches her favorite boy band. So after seeing a few inappropriate comments and steamy wrestling fanfics, I decided to draw something for the boys.

Three of the wrestlers are generic mash-ups of young guys I've seen at select Indy shows. But one of them? You seriously won't believe who I drew. He doesn't even look the same.
Middle-Left, there's Marlowe. 
He hardly looks like himself, right?

Well at the time, I was experimenting with drawing more realistic noses, and Marlowe was my guinea pig. Looking back at it now, I kind of feel like I tried too hard with the nose. I feel more comfortable drawing his nose a little more simplistically. What do you think? 

A little tidbit. Marlowe gels his hair to stand up, but it usually ends up leaning to one side after it dries. If he leaves it alone, it's pretty silky, like baby hair.

Another note. That's NOT hair dye. His hair is naturally purple. How? Why? Well we won't go into it for the first book, but I will address that in a future book.

Marlowe is a cocky asshole, but there's several secrets about him yet to be revealed. He is NOT what he seems, but only Ruey, his little half-brother knows the truth he's hiding from everyone.

So far, people really liked seeing Marlowe with his hair down, as I was told he was the most interesting of the four un-named wrestlers above. What do you think? Was this a sneaky way to test the waters?
 


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