EISEGESIS: The Evolution of Sam and Travis
Samantha and Travis Wu were first introduced in Chinatown (2012), the debut graphic novel from Sun Bros Studios. Set in a mysterious, close-knit immigrant community, this project required the Sun Bros to design an entire cast of characters to populate this dark, forgotten town.
And while fans and backers have often asked when they’ll get a chance to return to the lonely streets of Chinatown, the Sun Bros have always resisted … until now.
Samantha and Travis Wu, Chinatown artwork by Brad Sun (2012)
Eisegesis: Kings + Queens is the perfect time to return to return to Chinatown! Each of the three stories in Eisegesis has its own unique aesthetic, style, and color palette. And following the rough, sketchy style of its predecessor, the Sun Bros asked artist Ali Cantarella to build on her signature ballpoint pen artwork and portraits to develop a distinctive artistic style.
Concept art for Eisegesis began last year, and Ali went to work re-imagining and redesigning Samantha and Travis for their new comic!
Samantha and Travis Wu, concept art by Ali Cantarella (2016)
Nice work, Ali! Early versions Sam and Travis looked great … but maybe a little too great for the gritty streets of Chinatown. Ali’s first designs for the Wu kids imagined them as healthy, fit teenagers – with Samantha a little slimmer and Travis a little more athletic than previously envisioned.
To better fit the themes and overtones of Chinatown, and to better inhabit a town falling apart on its last legs, these characters needed a little less polish …
Samantha and Travis, concepts and thumbnails by Ali Cantarella (2016)
Round two! Ali’s second set of concepts perfectly captured the feel, anatomy, and attitude of our characters. She also began experimenting with clothing styles and began working on thumbnails for the Sun Bros script, exploring how Sam and Travis would move, interact, and respond to the world around them.
Progress from this point involved sending art notes and fine-tuning small details – like the fact that Travis always wears the same clothes he wears for work in his father’s restaurant. The final step in this evolution is to move forward with final artwork!
Samantha and the Lucky Cat, Eisegesis artwork by Ali Cantarella (2017)
With final artwork completed, the only thing left to do was share these amazing pages with the world! The Eisegesis: Kings + Queens Kickstarter campaign went live at the start of February, and runs until 12pm noon (CST) on March 1st.
This means we’re in the final days of our Kickstarter campaign! We’ve already surpassed our funding goal and are closing in on our fantastic new Stretch Goal – UV Spot Finish for the cover! This will add a special sheen to our lettering, making the artwork really pop – and this stretch goal will enhance every reward tier! We’ve got less than a week to go … and we can do it!!!