Crew of the Merry-Go-Round

(l-r Nicky Roblin, Nemmy, Lu Fei, Chop-chop, Zolo, Frankie, Yuso, Sanji)

IN THE ‘VERSE

When young Lu Fei met the Crew of the Serenity for the first time, he was starstruck and resolved to become a space pirate – the greatest of all space pirates! With little but his martial arts skill, indefatigable determination, and the strength of his dream, he’s managed to attract quite a crew. Nemmy’s the navigator and pilot, when she’s not on the look out for coin, while the bodybuilder Frankie and sweet-hearted sniper Yuso handle the mechanical side of things. If you get into trouble, first mate and knife-master Zolo will likely get you out of it, but the ship’s chef Sanji’s kung fu isn’t far behind – and that’s if you don’t want to face Lu Fei’s mastery of wushu’s long-fist style. One of their shuttles is rented out to Nicky Roblin, an archaeologist of some renown and a mysterious past. And don’t count out their little mutt, Chop-Chop, who probably resents being dressed up like all dogs.

It’s a funny crew and they have a lot of fun. But when things get deadly serious, there’s no one in the ‘Verse who can stop them.

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I’ve been working on and off on this latest addition to the Motley Crew series for ages. I like One Piece, but I’m no mega fan and I’ve only really consumed a few episodes of the anime and a few storylines in the manga. But what an art style! What a sense of humour! What character designs! It’s all very inspiring. Not much more I need to say about the world’ most popular anime.

The Motley Crew series started out with my desire to draw Elgyn’s mercenaries from the far underrated Alien: Resurrection. It progressed to drawing other Whedon-related science fiction characters in a style that lets them fit into the ‘Verse as established in Firefly/Serenity and has since expanded to any motley science fiction crew. My only remaining rule: the original property should not be ‘uniformed.’ (That makes them less than motley)

 

 

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Evil Crew of the Black Pearl

(l-r Pinto, Uragi, Captain Ponderosa, Monkey Jack, Tia Dalma, Shanasa)

IN THE ‘VERSE

Years ago, the charismatic and ruthless Ponderosa mutinied and took the Black Pearl, one of the swiftest ships in the ‘verse, from its Captain! Like his loyal monkey, Jack, Ponderosa’s dimwitted gunners Pinto and Uragi backed him up. Shortly thereafter the crew became the subject of augmentation experiments by Blue Sun that left them stronger and more resilient than other desperadoes – but the side effects were more than any man could bear for long. This served as catalyst that brought them into conflict with those against whom they had sinned. Defeated by Captain Jack Maque and his new crew, Ponderosa himself was brought back from the brink of death only by the efforts of his fortune-tellers and spiritualists, Tia Dalma and Shanasa. Now free of the augmentation, the evil crew of the Black Pearl follows the brilliant Ponderosa as he builds his criminal empire in the outer rim!

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The second part of my ‘versified Pirates of the Caribbean  characters. I broke my rule of only drawing characters who’d been in four movies or more because Shansa’s character design was so great, and Pirates is severely lacking in interesting women characters, as well as characters of colour. Unfortunately there are still very few stills or costume details for her online, so the hoodie does more than just ‘update’ her wardrobe. Tia Dalma (Calypso) required almost no updates, while Pintel, Ragetti, and Barbarossa required slight modernizations. I fretted over Barbossa’s hat for a bit, and tried him with a slouch hat as well, but I did like how the tophat brought out his subtle dandyism.

The Motley Crew series started out with my desire to draw Elgyn’s mercenaries from the far underrated Alien: Resurrection. It progressed to drawing other Whedon-related science fiction characters in a style that lets them fit into the ‘Verse as established in Firefly/Serenity and has since expanded to any motley science fiction crew. My only remaining rule: the original property should not be ‘uniformed.’ (That makes them less than motley)

 

Crew of the Black Pearl

(l-r Gibbs Shian Shen, Billy Turner, Jack Maque, Elizabeth Suan, and Marty)

IN THE ‘VERSE

Luckily forestalling an unwanted wedding, Elizabeth Suan was kidnapped by desperadoes! Lovesick gunsmith Billy Turner was forced to recruit the worst space pirate he’d ever heard of, Jack Maque to help rescue her from his former crew. On the chaotic moon of Wugui, they rounded up Jack’s old comrades Gibbs Shian Shen and Marty before setting out into the black. After a harrowing adventure, the crew recovered Elizabeth and the speedy Black Pearl. Now Elizabeth has a few new goals: marry Billy; put up with Jack; and become the new Pirate Queen of the Outer Rim!

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Pirates of the Caribbean lost its way, but the first film (and even the first three films) are extremely fun. Turning pirates into space cowboys took a little bit of work. One of the most fun was turning Marty’s necklace of keys into key-cards. Marty might raise some eyebrows, but he has been in four of the five Pirates movies – something few others can claim.

Look forward to the soon to come villainous crew of the Black Pearl, featuring ‘versified versions of Barbossa, Ragetti, and Pintel!

 

The Motley Crew series started out with my desire to draw Elgyn’s mercenaries from the far underrated Alien: Resurrection. It progressed to drawing other Whedon-related science fiction characters in a style that lets them fit into the ‘Verse as established in Firefly/Serenity and has since expanded to any motley science fiction crew. My only remaining rule: the original property should not be ‘uniformed.’ (That makes them less than motley)

Crew of the Grand Tour

16-crew-of-the-grand-tour-background

L-R (San Pan, Torankusu, Sun Wukong)

IN THE ‘VERSE

When some invaluable gold orbs were stolen from the moon of Zeta by the terrorist Red Ribbon Army, Zeta’s powerful Capsule Corporation decided to send a retrieval party out on its newest ship, The Grand Tour. The party was meant to include the teenaged heirs Torankusu and Goten, but the impulsiveness of delinquent daughter San Pan meant that the ship left without any of the adults, and instead of Goten included the young martial arts wunderkind Sun Wukong. Rather than return, the three youths decide to take the quest on themselves, flying out to the Border Moons and making their way with martial arts and moxy.

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Not everyone’s a fan of Dragonball GT (Grand Tour, natch), but you can’t beat Akira Toriyama’s character designs. I changed very little in terms of clothes and colour schemes.

The Motley Crew series started out with my desire to draw Elgyn’s mercenaries from the far underrated Alien: Resurrection. It progressed to drawing other Whedon-related science fiction characters in a style that lets them fit into the ‘Verse as established in Firefly/Serenity and has since expanded to any motley science fiction crew. My only remaining rule: the original property should not be ‘uniformed.’ (That makes them less than motley)

16-crew-of-the-grand-tour

Crew of the Pachyderm

15. Crew of the Pachyderm - background

IN THE ‘VERSE

Cargo shipping out in the black presents it’s own troubles, and few know that better than the grizzled old independent freighter Conn Jiangyin and his rig, the Pachyderm. An illegal load of lovebots and a few misunderstandings brought Weyland-Yutani* apprentice trucker Mig Pucci and the object of both their affection, Sindabelle on board. Now the three of them truck the spaceways together, scraping enough credits together to keep the old boat out of hock.

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Did you ever see the 1996 film Space Truckers? Don’t. It’s awful. Seriously awful. Dennis Hopper, Stephen Dorff, and Debi Mazar star in a really terrible film about well…space truckers. But it’s sort of so awful you can’t look away! And you feel compelled to draw them as Firefly/Verse characters. I’m not sure why.

*Weyland-Yutani, they of the Alien franchise, canonically exists in the ‘Verse. Trust me!

The Motley Crew series started out with my desire to draw Elgyn’s mercenaries from the far underrated Alien: Resurrection. It progressed to drawing other Whedon-related science fiction characters in a style that lets them fit into the ‘Verse as established in Firefly/Serenity and has since expanded to any motley science fiction crew. My only remaining rule: the original property should not be ‘uniformed.’ (That makes them less than motley)

15. Crew of the Pachyderm

 

Crew of the Starchaser

14. Crew of the Starchaser - Background

(L-R, O’Rin, Silica, Vienne, Dag DeBrimy)

IN THE ‘VERSE

When enslaved miner Rin finds an old duelling sword, an old man inducts him into the secret order of the Ka-Khan and dubs him ‘O-Rin.’ But when O-Rin attempts to escape the mines with his girlfriend, she is killed by the moon’s slavemaster Tse Gon. The young hero does, however, encounter cigar-chomping smuggler Dag DeBrimy and escape into the black on his ship, Starchaser. Drawing to them a lovebot, Silica, who is more useful than she appears, and the local Governor’s daughter, Vienne, the crew of the Starchaser aim to overthrow Tse Gon and free the mine slaves – or die trying!

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Even 80s nostalgia can’t make Starchaser: The Legend of Orin particularly good – though the animation is impressive. It’s Star Wars influences often veer from homage to outright theft (watch the Nostalgia Critic’s review for an entertaining summary). Nonetheless, even bad movies can’t dampen my enthusiasm for the Motley Crew series!

The Motley Crew series started out with my desire to draw Elgyn’s mercenaries from the far underrated Alien: Resurrection. It progressed to drawing other Whedon-related science fiction characters in a style that lets them fit into the ‘Verse as established in Firefly/Serenity and has since expanded to any motley science fiction crew. My only remaining rule: the original property should not be ‘uniformed.’ (That makes them less than motley)

14. Crew of the Starchaser

 

Crew of the Duck

13. Crew of the Duck - background

(L-R: Rebekah Cohen, Kit, Molly, Wildcat Jenkins, Cap’n Bhalu)

Spin it. Let’s begin it. Awww, yeah!

IN THE ‘VERSE

Cap’n Bhalu wasn’t too happy when a woman bought his failing shipping company, but he couldn’t deny that flying the Duck under his own yoke wasn’t getting him too many jobs, nor could his ward, Kit, bring in money with his aerial acrobatic show. Rebekah Cohen put the Duck back into the Black, paid ‘Wildcat’ Jenkins to keep her running, and brought in the clients. All that business sense and the time to devote to her daughter, Molly, too. His Yá Hǎi Yā might just have needed a feminine touch after all.

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This is the second of my Disney adaptations. I have to admit, I’m getting a little light on traditional motley science fiction crews, but this isn’t that much of a stretch and adapting aliens or anthropomorphic animals is always a pleasure.

The Motley Crew series started out with my desire to draw Elgyn’s mercenaries from the far underrated Alien: Resurrection. It progressed to drawing other Whedon-related science fiction characters in a style that lets them fit into the ‘Verse as established in Firefly/Serenity and has since expanded to any motley science fiction crew. My only remaining rule: the original property should not be ‘uniformed.’ (That makes them less than motley)

13. Crew of the Duck