P:R Redesign: Toks Solarin’s Etrigan The Demon!

Note: Toks Solarin returns to Project: Rooftop this week with an inspired and off-beat take on DC’s Etrigan the Demon and alter-ego Jason Blood. Originally designed by Jack Kirby after being inspired by a character from Prince Valiant, this Etrigan hails from a different mythos but with the same monstrosity. – Chris A.

Here’s what Solarin had to say about his take:

Etrigan and Jason Blood are really cool characters …they just don’t look very good. On paper you have an immortal knight trying to redeem himself bound to the demon half brother of Merlin, pretty cool right, whats not to like? Well once you put a power house like Etrigan in a unitard, tights and little booties you can’t really take him seriously. This is of course ignoring those horrible bat like ears! So I decided to have a go at a redesign and this is what I came up with.

Jason Blood: What does a guy wear whose been around for hundreds of years, does he stick to his traditional garb, does he pick a decade he likes and stick to that or does he wear the latest fashions in order to blend in? The short answer is I have no idea, who could know that!? In the end i decided to have him dress in smart/formal type clothes as that is what a knight would wear in king Arthur’s court and he would just follow that pattern through out the centuries. The Tattoos are what binds Etrigan to Blood and over the years Jason has added some protective enchantments and sigils to his body as well. He would be one of the most powerful sorcerers in the DCU because of his bond with Etrigan and him having centuries to study and he’s a knight so he knows his way around a battle field.

Etrigan: I made him bigger than he appears in the comic as well as a Hell Knight. I thought having him wear armor would connect him to Blood in a more significant way.He also has hair in my version, white hair which in a very small way reenforces his link to Blood (I did try a red stripe so his hair was the reverse of Blood’s but it looked stupid). I also gave him two big iron swords on his back, with iron being the bane to all things supernatural I thought they would come in handy when ever he needs to get up close and personal.

29 comments on “P:R Redesign: Toks Solarin’s Etrigan The Demon!
  1. It takes a bold fellah to talk smack about a Jack Kirby design. I think that everything Solarin has to SAY is wrong, but I think everything he’s DRAWN is right.

  2. Sweet. I’ve always loved me some Etrigan. And I liked his old look, but one has to admit it hasn’t necessarily aged well, especially as it passed through later hands (or in some cases, apparently, bowels). Don’t knock the ears, though. The ears were always one of his best features.

    I like the concept here, love it actually — Etrigan as a Hell Knight is maybe something of a character reinvention, but a great one — and from what I can see it’s looking great, excepting that Etrigan’s head looks way too small for his body. The armor design looks functional and austere, which I like… and Blood is looking natty as, ummm, hell. It would be great to be able to see a larger version of the picture.

    I don’t understand this, though:

    “I also gave him two big iron swords on his back, with iron being the bane to all things supernatural I thought they would come in handy when ever he needs to get up close and personal.”

    Uhhhh… isn’t a demon pretty supernatural? Wouldn’t this be like Superman carrying around a Kryptonite mace in case he runs into General Zod? Surely the armor and weapons should be made of something that isn’t a bane to their wearer / wielder?

  3. This is fantastic, when you see it enlarged. Go to the Deviant Art Page to really see how cool this redesign is.
    While I am usually opposed to whole cloth re-imaginings, I think it’s important to make the outdated and unlikely work, I really like this new Etrigan and would buy his comic based on such a fresh take.

  4. The bigger version is way awesome, I missed clicking the link initially. I still don’t understand why Etrigan’s head is that small, but the details are all fantastic.

  5. Thanks for all the comments everyone!

    just to answer a few questions:

    I didn’t see him as having an asian vibe when i was drawing Etrigan, but it’s been brought to my attention a couple of times so I guess there must be something there. The beauty of being a demon from hell is no one has been there and no one can know what a demon would look like leaving it open to interpretation.

    As far as the ears go I might not like them but they are very much a part of Etrigan so he still has them in my design…they’re just under his hair.

    The iron swords are not as harmful to Etrigan as he keeps them in scarabs emblazoned with protective runes , only the blades are iron so he never actually touches the iron itself and
    his sadomasochistic nature allows him to enjoy pain as if it were pleasure. he kind of likes having them.

    thanks

    Toks

    p.s .Kirby is King no doubt, but i don’t have to love everything he did right? Etrigan is a great character even with the little booties.

  6. I think his thoughts on Jason Blood are 100% right. It always drives me nuts when immortal characters are walking around in the same kit they wore 500 years ago.

  7. “It takes a bold fellah to talk smack about a Jack Kirby design. I think that everything Solarin has to SAY is wrong, but I think everything he’s DRAWN is right.”
    Cosign.

    And I’m starting to have the same reaction to artists who draw every character as skinny hipsters that I used to have against artists who copied Jim Lee 15 years ago.

  8. BobDobolina: my wife agrees with you and had been bugging me about the size of his head.
    My answer to her was his head isn’t small his body is big and when you add armour to the mix it makes his head even smaller. I know some people will see a little beetle juice head on him but there’s not much I can do about that. It wasn’t an accident that’s the way I designed him.
    May be demons have small heads in my version of hell!

  9. If you compare Etrigan’s head to Blood’s, it’s actually kind of big, and its size in relation to his body reminds me of the Hulk, so in a way it evokes power. I like the white hair a lot too. Not only does it tie him to Blood visually, as Toks said, but it also gives him a bit of a Merlin-y look too. Jack Kirby is great, and his design was wonderful in his time, but I don’t think it has stood the test of time in comparison to most of his other work. As for Toks’ version, I’m really liking the belt and the little emblem on his chest. In a way, the latter sort of gives him a symbol to be recognized by. I have to admit, I got the same Asian vibe others did, but I think it’s the combination of separate sections of his armor appearing similar to a samurai because of their shape or color. Once you break it down though, it doesn’t seem nearly as “bad”. The iron swords are awesome too, and your reason was great. It would be nice to see Blood with his shirt removed to get a better look at those tats–er, that last sentence reads a little weird, but you get what I mean.

    Overall, I love this one, and I have to say Toks’ Etrigan would clean the floor with Kirby’s.

  10. I see the asian influence too, don’t see the need for an immortal Demon to be all armored up. I redid him recently, too just tweaking the Kirby design gave him new life in my eyes.
    [url]http://tbolt66.deviantart.com/#/d3kzm5w[/url]

  11. I really like jason blood,he’s really cool in this drawing but i have to say Etrigan is too much unrecognizable
    P.R. rules say: ” 7. If you have to put the character’s name in the image, you haven’t done your job. So don’t even bother with that.”

    well,sorry to say but i think you haven’t done your job,the character is totally unrecognizable,i agree with you when you say he needs a revamp of his costume,but you drew just a common oni,nothig more nothing less and especially nothing new.
    As Last Equinox sayd it’s too much asian for an european demon and he havent nothing of recognizable of Etrigan.

  12. My version is different to the original I agree, the reason for this is Etrigan is thousands if not millions of years old and I think his face would change with time, ours changes a lot in a mere 80 years. So with that in mind I added a couple of extra horns and some hair.
    As far as him just being a common oni and nothing new. Up until two days ago when someone on DA said the same thing I had no idea what an oni was, after a google search I have to say I disagree. He looks nothing like an oni ,but may be you know of versions that google doesn’t so please send me some links, i’d be interested to see some. My version of Etrigan being a ‘common oni,nothig more nothing less and especially nothing new’ would imply that there are many,many images out there of oni that my version of Etrigan looks just like, so you should have no problems with finding a handful of links right? As far as the asian thing goes it’s not what I had in mind when drawing him, if that’s what you see then thats cool with me. So lets go with that idea, I think that an all powerful demon and an immortal knight looking for redemption would travel the world and encounter supernatural beings from different cultures and those cultures might influence them. What if Etrigan’s appearance is dependant or may be influenced by what Blood’s vision of a demon is? Also Etrigan has extremely powerful magics at his command he can do anything he imagines, if he decided to show up in rollerblades, a tu tu and an sombrero or as a demonic duck or something new and cool we don’t even know about, he would still be Etrigan .To limit Etrigan seems a bit silly to me.

  13. tbolt said, “I see the asian influence too, don’t see the need for an immortal Demon to be all armored up.”

    To me, that’s like saying “I don’t see the need for a wizard to have a staff when he can just shoot magic out of his hands.” You’re right that there’s no need, but the character can still benefit from it design-wise.

  14. Well Toks i have to disagree with you again,it’s ok to reimagine a character,but not to rewrite his history,they original concept was they are from the age of Camelot,expecially Etrigan that comes on earth only when summoned.So i think a good redesign should take in consideration the identity of the character,to keep a character’s identity and background is one of the most important goals when a drawer makes a redesign i think,or there is a risk it could be confused with the infinity of no name and minor characters that crowd comics today.It’s like to draw Batman with nothing of bat in his costume,some parts of costume or appareance must be always keeped to let the character recognizable to readers.
    Changes are welcome but non a total revolution,as i sayd there is nothing of recognizable in your etrigan,no yellow skin,no bat ears,no cape.to let him wear an armor is very cool but i think it should be a medieval\fantasy armor to keep him in contanct with his background.
    To me it looks like an oni because demons with horns and white long hairs are really common in oni iconography,let me show you

    http://www.nohmask21.com/oni/oni2003/005ooeoni.jpg

    http://leganerd.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Rashomon-no-oni-ogre-of-Rashomon-gate-1972.jpg

    http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/059/4/5/oni_mask_by_tat2istcecil.jpg

    i think this last two are really expiplicative

    http://static1.spreadia.com/images/5efe92/obj_6fe51dec5843fda5c0f84ffa94a11001a1946d16.jpg

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/161/heonifc5.jpg/

  15. I was in the middle of a long reply in which I disagree with you again and point out that whilst they both have white hair and horns that is the only similarity between my version of Etrigan and an oni… Then I thought to myself what’s the point! you see some thing different to me and that’s cool, we will never agree on this point. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment and discuss your views with me.

  16. and i thank you for your explanation,and let me make compliments to you,i could’nt like the way u did etrigan but i absolutely like your drawing style,i have expressed my perplexity about the character,not about the drawing :)

  17. Bobby2889:
    I have no idea why “it’s ok to reimagine a character,but not to rewrite his history”! He can do whatever the heck he wants lol its not like its a contest submission its merely a look at an interesting visual interpretation of Blood and Etrigan. You can’t prescribe inspiration to someone

  18. Bobby i think if i draw a redesign of a character i must respect his background and history,i cant draw,for example,a smiling tiny pink alien and say he is GALACTUS,for me if i need to rewrite the history of a character im creating a NEW character and not redesigning an old one,there can be some exceptions like for example to transport modern heroes in another age,like medieval justice league and victorian avengers i saw here but they are not supposed to be a redesign but just a game,a divertissement of the drawer,a “what if”.

  19. While I think it’s a super cool drawing, I also think it’s less interesting than the original. And to me it looks more like a completely different character than a “redesign”, because there’s really nothing that connects it to Etrigan. This is more of a really good WoW character design than an Etrigan. It looks awesome though.

  20. I wanted to say that I only recently discovered PR and I think that if you were doing this comic you’d really appeal to a lot of new reader.
    The new launch of the dc did a lot of things that old heads didn’t like but overall its a success. . . People at my FLGS have been calling it “Ultimate DC”
    That being said you have yourself an “Ulitmate Etrigan” or New DC Etrigan and I totally <3 it.
    Bravo.

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