Thursday, April 9, 2009

Character 3

"Bomber" Blakey

"...Ace Racer, mastered horsepower, and survival. This veteran of street racing was recognized as the arena's best racer 1920-1928 before retiring atop the racing world.

In retirement, Blakey opened his own shop customizing engines, again earning distinction as the arena's best technician as his engines continued to win matches for younger racers.

1932, Blakey mentors Rodd, and Susie (Rodd's fiance) into a powerful racing team. Teaching Susie how to build a powerful car, and teaching Rodd how to handle the aggressive maneuvers demanded in the horsepower.

1939 a destructive gambling habit forces Blakey to turn to Sidd Vicious, and his Yakuza gangsters that run racing for assistance. Sidd offers Blakey a clean debt if he returns from retirement for one more match of exhibition in the arena of street racing.

Blakey did not survive the exhibition as his car exploded in a terrific ball of fire as he neared closer to his final victory. It is rumored that Sidd made a substantial sum on Blakey's death."

Blakey is sort of the backbone of the story. He's referred to alot but we rarely see him. He died a couple years before our story begins. But Blakey is my favorite character in the story. He represents my mentors, alive, and dead that have influenced me. In the story he has a presence that is almost like a ghost, or a guardian angel.

When times are tough professionally, or privately, I often think back to my favorite artists, mentors, friends, or family and try to imagine how they might approach a challenge, or solve a problem. Sometimes it's easier to get thru the tough times when I feel I'm not alone in this I wanted a character in the book that also communicates that in me.

Blakey represents myself the most, as the artist, teacher that I hope to live up to. In my life, my most rewarding moments have occurred while teaching illustration to talented students. So, Blakey has been the easiest character in the book to identify with.

Blakey is named after my favorite musician Art Blakey of the "Jazz Messengers".


Diantres said...

Great man!
your drawing and Art Blakey's music.

Saigonradio said...

Damn Toby, This drawing is stunning!

Greg said...

Awesome! Man, I can't wait for this book!

Cool nod to Art too. His album with Sonny Stitt seems to always find its way onto my turntable.

Anonymous said...

It was an enjoyable and inspiring experience being taught by an artist of your caliber. I'll continue to seek out and learn from your work.I'm sure many of my class mates feel the same!

looka said...

Oh man - this is getting sweeter by the Character!

I can't contain myself!

Genève said...

Just stumbled by your blog today, and I must say, thank you. You're stuff is jaw-droppingingly gorgeous and a huge inspiration! Keep it up man

Ricardo Venâncio said...

Hey, Toby, sorry for the question, I don't know if you talked about it yet, but is there a date for the Racer book?

The previews are damn sweet, specially the process stuff!

Skylark- said...

Great character shot...

Senti said...

I can't wait until this book is done. i want it in my grubby hands,quick.

Anonymous said...


Linton Joseph said...

Just so sick loving the designs and panels, stay fresh!!!