Longtime lovers of OWARI (all 5 of you) might recall this entry, wherein I explained how a piece of gift art our pal Kabuki Katze drew of Shelly Ericson shaped the direction of the character. This is all true. However, I have uncovered a forgotten chapter in the evolution of my favorite female protagonist. It sheds some light on how she took on the form we know today.
I made mention in the earlier entry of being massively influenced by Naomi Morinaga's portrayal of "Annie" in UCHU KEIJI SHAIDER in terms of Shelly's look and capabilities. What I did not adequately remember was that this concept went back as far as 2001. That's because the evidence was filed away on a CD-R that was put away and later assumed lost. In my recent effort to reclaim old files and maybe put them to good use, I discovered a folder that I had not thought about since my brief flirtation with a certain online bit of fun.
I'm talking about Hero Machine. I downloaded what they now call the "classic" version of it back in 2001. I played with it for awhile and then apparently lost interest in it. However, I never deleted it, and good thing, too. Otherwise, we would be denied seeing early prototypes of Shelly Ericson.
Nestled in my Hero Machine folder was a sub-folder named "Characters." Most of these appear to be created by my sister Amy or our friend Tara. There are three, though, that are undeniably mine. All of them are attempts to visualize Shelly. None quite capture the mix of beauty and toughness that Kabu achieved which has defined the image of Shelly forever after. Still, you can see I had the mix of elements floating around in my head. It took someone else to pull it all together.
(I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Sara also played a role here by introducing Shelly's trademark headband, one of the strongest visual cues of her look.)
So, tonight I am going to share with you cropped screencaps (all you can do in this version of Hero Machine!) of my three Shelly Ericson experiments from August 28-29, 2001. You may say, "Chris, I see no difference between 1 and 3." Well, I actually don't either (other than cropping variations on the caps). They are separate text files, but I can't pick out any variation between them. Maybe one of you sharp-eyed readers can spot why 2001 me differentiated them?
2 months ago