Star Wars Paper Dolls: Leia Organa

leia_01_color_thumbA long time ago in a galaxy very, very near…before George Lucas ever sold Lucasfilm, LTD for four billion dollars to make it “official”, Leia Organa was my Disney princess. I was never a girly-girl and though I enjoyed fairy tales, Princess Leia was far more interesting than those gown-wearing, hair flaunting blondes. She was whip-smart, sharp-tongued, and could handle stormtroopers herself. She was also an important leader in the Resistance. Take that, Sleeping Beauty.

In an era of not too many great female role models, Carrie Fisher gave girls a character to really admire. Of course she was beautiful too, but beauty was the least of her impressive qualities (even if the boys couldn’t see that sometimes). And I love that Carrie Fisher still doesn’t take any guff from anybody (if you’ve seen her Twitter @carrieffisher, you know what I mean).

leia_01_bw_thumbThis is the first of 6 plates I have for Leia (she’s got quite a few costumes, like Luke). I was never a big fan of her original “bun” hair style (had trouble drawing it too), but it is her iconic first-appearance look, so I had to include it, of course. Because Leia has a lot of different hairstyles throughout the Original Trilogy, she has lots of swappable heads. Like Han, she doesn’t have many accessories, though, so I gave her some weapons (which is she does use in the series).

Not much difference between the colored plate and the black & white plate on this one (even moreso on the next one). Leia does wear a lot of white!

Just as with Luke and Han, I will likely update Leia for The Force Awakens, so there may be an additional plate eventually. I was honestly surprised and delighted to see her in the new movie (I had no idea), though I think she’s gone from the strongest woman in the galaxy to the most tragic. She’s still strong, though. And I fully expect that strength to carry her through this Sequel Trilogy. And I have my fingers crossed that she ultimately has something like a happy ending. She deserves it.

[Click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or the category at right. Click the Leia Organa tag to see all of Leia’s plates (this is the first).



Star Wars Paper Dolls: Han Solo

Star Wars Paper Dolls Han SoloI originally planned to post Han late in the run because I couldn’t imagine writing anything about him without referencing his fate in The Force Awakens, but now I’m glad I can speak freely without worry about spoilers for Julie (ha!).

So yeah, Han Solo: Rogue. Smuggler. Rebel General. Scruffy-looking Nerf-herder. National Treasure. Harrison Ford created something wonderful in Han Solo and it’s only unfortunate that he was hell-bent on killing him ever since–especially after it could be argued that the role made his career (and he never got entirely typecast by it).  So even though I went into The Force Awakens almost 100% spoiler-free, I knew his time was up. There was no way Harrison Ford would have come back to the role unless they promised him he could die.

And what a death: like pure Greek tragedy. I’m going to miss Han Solo, but I do take comfort in the fact that he’ll never really die so long as there’s video recordings. I just hope they can salvage his legacy by doing something to save his train wreck of a son. For his sake, for Leia’s sake, for all their sakes.

Star Wars Paper Dolls Han SoloAbout the paper doll: Han has the fewest number of outfits of the three leads in the Original Trilogy. Part of the reason is that he spends a portion of the movies frozen in carbonite, but also his original look is so iconic there was never much need to embellish it. Even more than 30 years later, he’s still wearing the same belt and holster in The Force Awakens, and his costume is strikingly similar in style. So he’s got a mere three plates worth of options form the Original Trilogy and a few weapons for accessories, including the infamous blaster with which he shot Greedo first.

And in case you’re wondering, I do intend to draw Chewbacca, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, so it will likely be a while before you see Han’s loyal sidekick here.

Like Luke, I have not yet updated Han for The Force Awakens, so there may be an additional plate eventually.

[Click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or the category at right. Click the Han Solo tag to see all of Han’s plates (this is the first).


Star Wars Paper Dolls: Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker Star Wars paper dollWelcome to Force February! All throughout the month I’ll be posting paper dolls and costumes inspired the Original Star Wars Trilogy (and eventually from the first sequel trilogy film, The Force Awakens.

I tend to think about Star Wars as an ensemble saga, but at the heart of it will always be Luke Skywalker whose journey from Tatooine farmboy to Jedi Knight enthralled my generation starting with A New Hope in 1977. So we’ll kick off Force February with Luke in his iconic Tatooine desert costume. I included his long rifle (though I think it’s a bit short). The design in the background is the symbol of the Rebel Alliance.

In the war of “who’s your favorite character in Star Wars?” Luke never won a battle in my book, but not because he isn’t amazing. I just always had a terrible crush on his father ~ ha! I can certainly say I appreciate Luke more now than I ever did when I was a kid because I can see all the things I learned from him throughout the Original Trilogy. And I recognize more than ever that even as a kid I always wanted to strongly identify with his empathy and unswervable moral goodness. Perhaps the fact that I loved his father is a strong indication that I actually identified more with Luke, subconsciously.

Luke Skywalker Star Wars paper dollAnd Mark Hamill is just an awesome guy (check out his Twitter @HamillHimself). He embraces the fandom with humor, humility, and generosity. What’s not to love?  It’s so nice to see him return to this iconic role after spending the last twenty some-odd years voicing the Joker for WB/DC cartoons and the Arkham video games.  That makes him a favorite character for me in multiple genres!

I drew Luke first when I began this series and I’m surprised at how many costume changes he ended up with (way more than I expected). I skipped the redundancy of his padded Hoth flight suit since it was so similar to his regular X-Wing costume, but I covered all the other pieces. He has six plates in all and comes with a variety of headgear and weapons.

I have not yet updated him for The Force Awakens, so there may be an additional plate eventually when I figure out what to do with the other half of that plate.

[Click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or the category at right. Click the Luke Skywalker tag to see all of Luke’s plates (this is the first).

Some general notes about this whole series:

  1.  The Heads: all of the characters’ heads are separated from their bodies so that they can be switched out. Ideally you want to place a paper backing on them so that they can be slipped on over the doll. It’s important that the costumes can be slipped under the chin as many of them have high necklines.
  2. The Process: I really wanted to try different things with this series. I wasn’t nearly as experimental as I hoped, but I did push myself a little to include more accessories than I normally produce for paper dolls.
  3. The Colored Plates: this is my first time producing both black & white and color variants. For coloring I opted to go digital because once I’d completed the linework, shading, and scanning I thought digital color would be quick and easy. Not only was I wrong, but I’m not sure I like how it came out. I wanted to try something new, though, so there you have it. I may yet go back and hand-color the original art.
  4. The Accuracy: I was generally pretty good about looking up references (of which there are plenty), but I still ended up fudging a bit. If you’re so super-geeky to recognize my flubs, you get major points ~ ha!

Force February: the Star Wars Paper Dolls You’re Looking For

StarWarsNerd_thumb While trying to figure out what to do with my scrapped Star Wars parody paper doll, I wandered about the web and discovered that there really aren’t that many Star Wars paper dolls out there (this surprised me!). Found a few Leias, a few Lukes, an Amidala, a silly Darth Vader, and one very shiny new Rey. But overall it seems like maybe we do need something in this realm.

I told myself I could only make Star Wars paper dolls if 1.) I didn’t take them seriously, 2.) if making them was something I could do quickly and have fun with, and 3.) if I used the project to learn something new or experiment with simplifying/stylizing my paper doll template/models.

I didn’t want to worry about character likenesses or niggling over authenticity. The point was to make silly dolls so that eventually I could do absurd things like “The Skywalker Family Picnic” in which everyone is wearing beach clothes and eating hot dogs and Vader’s got a grilling apron that says “Sith Happens” or some other absurdity.

So I sat down to plan things out and maybe quickly draft some ideas and I confirmed three really sorta no-brainer things about process:

  1. Your style is just your style. I really wanted to make some very simple body models and cartoony heads, but everything I drew looks pretty much like all the other dolls I draw. I need to quit fighting that.
  2. Smoke ’em if you got ’em. We associate certain actors with these roles whether we want to or not. I lucked out attempting to draw Luke’s face, and then Han, Darth Vader, Leia and even Rey. I was on a roll! Made very few corrections, which is pretty miraculous. Then I tried to draw Kylo Ren and it was evident that my luck had run out, but more on that later. Point is, if you can pull something off, might as well go for it!
  3. Making art, by nature, is fun. Sometimes the most important part of “simplifying” the process is to stop thinking about it and just do it.

As it turns out, these dolls won’t be any different from ones I’ve posted so far (they scale exactly, in fact), and they will generally look like their movie counterparts (Kylo Ren notwithstanding). Big fail on my original goals, but that’s okay because I got the “fun” part right, and that’s what’s important.

The plan:

W-F: I’m going to post Star Wars plates throughout February on Wednesdays-Fridays. So for the month of February you’ll get a new paper doll plate every day of the week (weekends off–maybe).

Content: The majority of these paper dolls will be rendered from the original Star Wars trilogy and they will be straight-up adapted from the film costumes (for now). I’ve only drafted two characters from The Force Awakens (one of whom still doesn’t have a head). I might do more. We’ll see.

Format: full color, with “color your own” versions as well. Darth Vader and Kylo Ren (and Luke, for that matter) wear all-black and black is barf to print. The shaded line art will give you the option to print and fill in the black by other means (or color them day-glow psychedelic if it pleases you ~ hey, knock yourselves out).

I’ll post process pics on Twitter @BootsNBats leading up to the launch if you want a sneak preview.  In case it needs saying: in February there will probably be SPOILERS on this blog. I’ll leave the Force Awakens stuff for the end of the month, just as an added buffer.


Star Wars Parody Paper Doll Indefinitely Suspended

star_wars_posterI don’t dig deep online and in social media because the internet fosters a culture of cruelty that I can’t stomach.

So yeah, I meant to post something about Star Wars last Wednesday and a paper doll on Sunday, but in my research around the web while drawing (and redrawing), I got disgusted. Then I wrote a long rant, which turned into a weird apologetic, and I had to ask myself why I was not only feeling so defensive, but contributing to a negative dialogue unworthy of actual consideration.

Paper dolls aren’t complicated. And I can take a joke (some of what’s going around is funny), but in the end I’d rather just make art and leave off the commentary (whether in my writing or by the nature of my drawing). If I poke fun of something or treat it lightly, I do so out of love. There’s a lot of love for this franchise, but also a lot of haters. I won’t fuel the worst of that with mean characterizations, even innocently intended.

Like my last post about Star Wars, this title is a lie. I’ll recycle what I drew and re-approach this with a gentler perspective. I want to do something related to Star Wars and now have a better idea what that could be.

emoji_winkStay tuned.

Star Wars Paper Dolls (and Why I’m Not Making Any)

Two important things about this post: first, the title is a lie because I am making at least one, but not in the way you might think. Secondly, I am a huge Star Wars geek who has been hibernating for years since the dark time of the hideous “prequels” (which I generally pretend never happened).

But we have a new Star Wars movie with the release of The Force Awakens, and I declare it not only good, but more than a worthy successor to the original trilogy. I haven’t hazarded to write a review because I feel like there’s almost too much to say and the internet is just flooded with commentary about it. Suffice it to say that I am on board 100% with this new direction and I feel like I can finally hold my head up again.

star_wars_paperdolls_2star_wars_paperdolls_1Even so, I’m not making paper dolls for Star Wars. It’s a big universe and there aren’t a lot of costume changes if you think about it (except in the prequels that never happened). Doesn’t mean the costumes aren’t awesome, but we have lots of resources already on the subject, and two paper doll sets were made for Queen Amidala (from those prequels that never happened).

I was six years old when I saw Star Wars: A New Hope in the theater and I still have vivid recollections of not so much the experience of sitting in the theater, but of the profound effect it had on me and my brothers afterwards.

We had a long hall in the house and when we came home, we immediately began to play trash compactor escape in that hallway. When we weren’t play-acting the movie, we drew pictures: vast canvases of TIE-fighter and X-wing dogfights, stormtrooper battles and sandmen (we really loved Tusken Raiders). And yes, we also made paper dolls. Before we could get our hands on the action figures, we drew dozens of cut-outs (all badly rendered since this was long before internet and we only had minimal references to work from). Our stormtrooper helmets looked like skulls, Darth Vader looked like a red-eyed bug, and R2-D2 looked more like a trashcan than ever.

star_wars_costumes_2star_wars_costumes_1Sadly none of these darlings survived our childhood (though for all I know, my mother squirreled them away somewhere and they may yet surface one day). Nevertheless, I sort of feel like it would be trodding old ground with nothing particularly new to offer and limited possibilities. Much as I love these characters, let’s face it: in the new film, Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) is awesome, but she changes her clothes once. Sure, she’s got a handful of interesting accessories, but it’s a lot of work to make a doll this limited. Maybe when the trilogy is done, she’ll have enough of a wardrobe to justify it.

The same can be said for the rest of the cast (and more so!), which is why I’m taking a pass on it.

However, I am making one parody doll.

While on vacation, I was working on Judy, away from all my other projects. After completing a volume, I had extra time, so I started drawing something new. Since Star Wars dominated Christmas this year, I drew a black & white paper doll of a Star Wars character. If you pay attention to social media “news”, you probably can guess who it is.

Wednesday I’ll post an introduction.