In 2014, I came up with a parody of a superhero, named "Man-Atee." I'm not really a superhero fan, but I am a fan of sea life. I thought of a villain for him take on, originally named "Rachael Devil-Ray." This character quickly became his sidekick, Woman-Taray.
The Man-Atee character is a mechanic, living at the beach, longing to be a superhero. The premise of the comic is that he has to invent a need for a superhero at the beach. So he creates dangerous machinery to threaten everyone. Essentially, he is unintentionally a super villain.
Originally, the idea was that these characters were taking Cosplay to an extreme, and crazies in a normal world.
However, this idea quickly changed. The reality part wasn't fun. So everyone in the world is in on the fun, too.
Man-Atee's look was inspired by a mix of "Steampunk Mechanic" and "Football Player" meets a manatee. The goggles are meant to represent a manatee's nostrils.
Woman-Taray is eccentric and imaginative. Her costume is kite-like, and she has the ability to fly.
Woman-Taray is very much into theatrical posing and movement. And crafting.
Over time, I was sharing this project with Friends on Facebook.
The original idea for Man-Atee was that he was a former New York mechanic. However, my artist friend, Reed Randolph, had mentioned that he heard the voice of John C. Reilly when he read Man-Atee. I love that!
Now I hear John C. Reilly as Man-Atee!
Of course, I had to include a parody of Furries.
The Catfisherman character stemmed from my frustration with social media interactions.
The Catfisherman design inspired me to make a whole world of aquatic creature-inspired humans.
Yes, I have actually met at least one person in Florida who looks like a walrus.
This is my favorite Man-Atee and Woman-Taray comic panel I've done.
Another character I am proud of is the Trojan Seahorseman.
The Trojan Seahorseman is a super hero and an involved father who brings his kids on his crime fighter missions.
A very big inspiration for Man-Atee and Woman-Taray comes from the IFC series Portlandia. I was introduced to Portlandia by friends who spent a year living in Seattle. We became hooked on the quirky show and its world of wacky characters.
I imagine Lil' Urchin speaking with a British accent.
Man-Atee's imagination is limitless, and he enjoys building robots---like Demoli-Shark.
Hammer Edd was originally conceived as a villain, but he became a friendly citizen when I thought he would be funnier and more appropriate as a construction worker.
Growing up visiting the beach in Florida, we heard a lot about something scary called Red Tide. Red Tide is a harmful algal bloom that is deadly to marine life.
Scarlett Redtide became a "Poison Ivy" type character threatening Man-Atee.
Man-Atee needed a "Damsel-in-distress" character, and he got one in Miss Sireena.
Miss Sireena is based on a mermaid ("Sirena" is "mermaid" in Spanish).
Of course, the mermaid myths stem from sailors mistaking manatees for women with fish tails. Somehow.
Miss Sireena doesn't appreciate Man-Atee's help.
As noted, I'm not a big superhero fan.
A lot of inspiration for Man-Atee and Woman-Taray comes from Disney's Darkwing Duck.
This is pretty blatant with Simon Sandflea.
I was channeling Stephen King with Simon's Sandcastle.
Man-Atee has a crazy imagination.
I had never heard of Lampreys until Saturday Night Live did a skit about them years ago (Google it).
Man-Atee's mechanical creatures were fun to dream up.
Also fun: naming them.
The machines Man-Atee creates are sometimes downright diabolical.
Robo-Moby Whalebot is destruction with flair.
Electrical Storm Eel is also pretty dangerous.
This was originally called the Main Street Electrical Eel.
Woman-Taray is down for helping Man-Atee come up with more mechanical creatures.
Nuclear Tuna Meltdown could cause a panic.
What do Man-Atee and Woman-Taray look like without their costumes?
The look like characters from Grease, of course!
Man-Atee has a cool motorcycle, too.
The Crustacean Chopper Cycle even works on sand dunes.
Man-Atee built an assistant to help him fabricate all of his creations. That helper is the hyper-active Dolph-Intelligence.
Man-Atee likes to put on a show.
Thriller Killer Whalebot puts on a pyrotechnic spectacle.
Man-Atee builds all sorts of dangerous creatures.
Don't let the cute appearance of Otter-Matic Weapon fool you.
Both adorable and deplorable, this robotic otter is unpredictable.
Gradually, Man-Atee started getting an entire world of characters. Including this gang of hooligans.
Even the background characters were getting the sea life treatment. Seabird and turtle inspired humans were fun to make.
Here are sea bass, dolphin, and moray eel inspired people.
You can't have a sea life superhero without a shark character.
Power Sharkskinsuit and Koi Goldcoin and high roller power players.
As I created more characters, I kept getting distracted from Man-Atee and Woman-Taray.
Octavius Ink has the ability to create tattoos that come to life. How can he do this?
Octavius Ink uses Bermuda Triangle Squid ink to create his Tattoos.
Slugdog Millionaire is the best friend of Octavius Ink.
Yes, that is my skin!
Two living Tattoos that Octavius created are Venom the Sea Serpent and the Fisherman.
At the center of conflict in the world of Octavius Ink is a destroyed romance between the Fisherman Tattoo and a Mermaid Tattoo.
Man-Atee and Woman-Taray love Wrestlers, too.
Two of their favorite Wrestlers are All-Mighty Sanddollar Bill and Caped Coralreef Leif. I am proud of creating a coral reef-based character.
One of the biggest threats to Man-Atee is Cyborg Strangler. This Angler fish-inspired character also creates mechanical monsters. His robotic weapons look like nightmarish, deep-sea creatures.
In a Star Wars style twist, we learn that Cyborg Strangler is actually----Man-Atee's father!
What happens when the villain is the ocean itself?
Wave Crash Aquarius is the essence of the ocean. And the ocean can be brutal.
Man-Atee and Woman-Taray have now surfaced.
Man-Atee's High Flying Fish Machine takes the heroes to adventure (and trouble).
Let the crime wave begin!