Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fighter 8

This is a post about a project that never came to be. It's called:

Last year, after doing a freelance job for a small division of a pretty well-known animation company, I was invited to pitch a short animated web series to them. It was a fun, sort of open ended project. Ultimately, though, what I came up with didn't quite fit with the house style and the other things they were producing, and so we parted ways. And that was fine. Not every story, or project comes to full fruition. Life would be too crazy if that happened.

Still, the pitch has been sitting on my hard drive collecting dust ever since. I'm happy with a lot of the art, and the character designs in particular, so I thought, here on the first day of autumn, I would share them in one big post.

Briefly, Fighter 8 is an arena fighting story about a group of middle schoolers with weird super powers. Sort of Pokemon meets kid X-men. The story follows Douglas the Multiple boy as he helps his best friend Jason (the Spin Doctor) form a Battle Stars league for their school. Of course, in so doing they begin to uncover an unsettling mystery surrounding the school's principal.

There's a lot more to it of course, including a ten-episode story arc, but because I want the art to sort of take center stage in this post, I'm not going to include the full synopsis or character bios or anything -though I may paste some of those things into the comments for anyone interested.

And so, without further preamble, here's the art from Fighter 8:

Main cast:

Douglas the Multiple Boy

Jason the Spin Doctor, and the Elephantom

Tracker and Dino-Tail

Big cat and the Rainbowler

(you can click the one above for a larger version)

Some additional characters from opposing teams:

And here's a short comic:

And there you have it. It feels good to finally share some of this with the world. Thanks for reading!


Annie Tohill said...

I love the art from this. Who knows? Maybe the ultimate form (sorry for the Pokemon reference) will see the light of day eventually. I know I'd watch this show if it got made.

Ben Hatke said...

Thanks Annie. And I dunno. With all the exciting things currently keeping me busy I feel like this one will always remain a might-have-been.

Santiago said...

It sounds like a lot of fun! (and that small comic is hilarious).

But, even though it's a shame this project didn't come into fruition, I can't wait to see your next project.

Christina Hicks said...


Ben Hatke said...

Yeah, the Elephantom never forgets.

Tony said...

Seriously, I hope you do something with this sooner or later. Even if it was done as a graphic novel instead of a cartoon, it looks like it would be really awesome!

Duane Arnold said...

You should release an art book! :)

Unknown said...

Image will print it - they'll print anything :)

Anonymous said...

please make this a book or a series on youtube.

Kathy said...

Great art Ben! I really like the idea. I agree with Tony saying this would be good a cartoon/graphic novel, but you are a busy person so yeah. Would it be okay if I practiced drawing those characters and did some fan art? Maybe write a short comic or two to help me practice with drawing? All copyright goes to you. I just want to make sure your okay with it. Keep up the good work.

Matthew Bowman said...

Looks interesting. Not sold, but if it were a manuscript proposal I'd say "Okay, let me see what you can crank out."

Ben Hatke said...

Thanks everyone! Kathy, it's totally okay for you to mess around with these characters or make fan art!

Mr. Bowman, keep in mind that this is just the art stripped out of a longer pitch...

Tony, let's see what happens. Maybe someday! Right now my "official" projects are going to keep me hopping for at least the next two years.

Christina said...

I want to know what's going on with the principal! Neat, neat, neat.

Skye said...

Loved seeing this, thanks for sharing it with us!

Regina Doman said...

A small part of my soul will be in mourning until this project sees the light of day.

Horatio Von Becker said...

Yeah, I really want to see this.

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