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What is Image Arcane and the RAU Gallery?

Image Arcane and the RAU are a series of comics I wrote in the 80's and early 90's. It was heavily inspired by many of the cartoons and movies I used to watch back then. Probably the three biggest influences were The Muppet Show, The Real Ghostbusters, and Star Wars. (Later, sketch shows like Saturday Night Live would influence the RAU.) The RAU actually started out as a series of unrelated comics that I wrote and eventually put together in one collection. Early versions of these comics didn't really have a distinct cast of characters, but after I started writing Image Arcane, I began borrowing characters from that series to use as cast members. The RAU also had a lot of animal-like characters that never appeared in Image Arcane. RAU, which stands for "Random and Unrelated", was a sketch comedy in which characters were self-aware of being in a comic. It's "TV studio" setting, sketch comedy format, and animal characters were all inspired by The Muppet Show. ("RAU" was also meant to stand for "Rare and Uncensored", although that was a misnomer since I often had to censor the series to avoid problems with prudish parenting.)

Image Arcane was meant to be more series than the RAU and follow an actual storyline. I began by writing a bunch of "preliminary" episodes that were untitled and didn't have as many cast members. About halfway through writing it, I decided that the plots for this series and the direction it was going kind of stunk, so I retconned them and began all over again. This new series would become "Image Arcane". (This page explains all the differences between the preliminaries and the canon series.)

Around 1995 when I first got on the internet, I also lent some of my characters to a website called "The Minerva Project". The designs and backstories for these characters were often changed far beyond what they originally were, both to fit in with TMP storylines and guidelines, but also because I was sort of second-guessing myself. I realized later that the stuff I did for TMP wasn't really as good as my older work, so I retconned it all and went back to using the original representations of the characters.

Unfortunately, I no longer have any complete comics to post and I probably wouldn't post them now even if I did because too much has changed and my writing and artwork was too immature in the early days. In many cases, I didn't preserve things too well and I purposefully got rid of some stuff because it was too poorly-written and/or drawn. Some stuff just seems to have gotten lost with the winds of time (I appear to be missing an entire box of archives, which I think had all of my Zumo, Ogrin Dovekie, and Song Savis pictures, along with some other stuff I clearly remember drawing but couldn't find anywhere).

Color Key:

  • White - These are characters that existed in my old Image Arcane and RAU comic series and are still considered "canon". Even though I may never be able to find time to rewrite the entire series, they would still be part of the storyline if I ever did.

  • Cyan - These characters are canon Image Arcane/RAU characters that are featured in The RAU Gallery sketch comedy series on this site. Most of them were the major characters of the old series and will have the longest descriptions.

  • Red - Character with no current role. Not really considered "canon" anymore. A lot of these are RAU and Minerva Project characters, some are dropped Image Arcane characters, and others are unused concepts. Do not expect to see these characters turn up in the RAU Gallery or anywhere else.
  • AiraAira - The Elemental Lord of the Air and Sky. Aira appears in the form of a huge, golden bird-like dragon with four eyes. He rules the Tower of the Sky. His direct servant is Thunora. Aira may be one of the least "evil" of the Great Spirits, but he simply will not relinquish his control over the Sky Tower because he knows that another Elemental Lord will just overtake it if he does. Like most Great Spirits, he has specially evolved some humans into an altogether new species, the Avians. Crow, Shadow, and Ogrin Dovekie are some examples of Avians. This is why many Avians are born with wind magic.

    AnhingaAnhinga - A type of bird called an "Anhinga", and is also known as the "Snakebird". Anhinga was possibly a minion of the Elemental Lord of Water, Swan in the preliminary episodes, but she was never used in the main series.

    Aurora Taglisa

    Aurora Taglisa - Aurora is one of the headmasters of the Mage University of Grimmora, along with Crow. She has dedicated her life to civilizing the chaotic monsters and demon-like races of Phainein, and teaching them to use their powers wisely. A fire mage of incredible power, she is a caring, strong woman, but a bit scatterbrained. She often doesn't pay enough attention to things or doesn't notice them. Aurora sometimes hides her form behind her dark mage cloak because she is rather strange-looking. For years she believed she was part demon-elf, and part something else or a mutant form due to her abnormally long horns and fangs. It was later revealed that Aurora had been taken to the fire god, Karma to be transformed through a ritual into Sol, a demon-dragon capable of mass-destruction. The light goddess, Leohtiss, recognized the danger in allowing Karma to create Sol, so she interrupted the ceremony. The process left Aurora half-mutated and without any memory of what happened. (She even has a pair of vestigial wings on her back, which are usually hidden by her Grimmoran robes.)

    Aurora had taken in Nucleo when he was very young and raised him as her own son. She is a wonderful and well-respected teacher, beloved by most of her students, although she can be VERY strict about certain things. She's sometimes a little too overbearing with her love for her close associates, as Preston Abirok (the school psychiatrist) and Nucleo could tell you from the number of times they've been on the receiving end of her monstrous hugs. Preston actually has a very deep crush on her, but due to her absentminded nature, she doesn't notice it at all. Aurora speaks in a dialect like that of a highlander.

    Aurora mostly uses magic to fight, although she can also use a bo staff. She is about 72 years old.

    Aurora's RAU Scrapbook

    BanditBandit - Bandit is my pet rat from many years ago! His character only appeared in The Rare and Uncensored spin-off sketch comedy series. Bandit was one of those types of characters that, no matter what happens or who he's dealing with, he's always the same mellow, sarcastic, kind of guy. Also, if Bandit says he can get something done, he'll disappear for awhile, and no matter how long it takes, eventually it WILL get done. Bandit liked to sleep a lot, too, and he was constantly sneezing. (Those attributes were taken from the real-life rat.)

    BansheeBanshee - A direct servant of the Dark Spirit, Darkona. Its deafening screams can paralyze those who hear them.

    BartholomewBartholomew - King of the Kobolds (dog-like goblins). Bartholomew had a few scenes in the RAU. He is one of my oldest character designs that I used to draw quite often throughout elementary and high school. I'm not sure at what point I first heard about "kobolds" or where, but Bartholomew and Crelo Kobold are what I imagined they'd look like.

    Bazil Kyradius

    Bazil Kyradius - A rogue Nispatian mountain devil who is determined to overthrow humans as rulers of the world, as well as any other species that gets in his way. Bazil believes the rest of his kind will come out of hiding and follow him if he can prove to them that he's capable of winning. He has made Nucleo his unwilling rival, and although he respects Nucleo's powers, he detests his association with humans and other races. He wants 'Cleo to join his cause, but vows to kill him if he won't. Bazil will work with others only when it's to his advantage. He sees no reason for those with power to not use it to dominate those who don't. Chance believes that Bazil might be the one who killed his father, Hirochi. Bazil had an earlier altercation with Hirochi over their rights to be in the Dark Forest. It is believed that the outcome of that argument is what caused Bazil to lead an attack on Chance's hometown. Bazil also has a son named Talon, whom he often neglects because Talon is weak and can't use magic due to an illness. Since Talon is weak, he cannot help with his father's crusades, and thus Bazil sees him as useless. It would also seem that Bazil doesn't really believe his child has an illness and thinks he just fakes it to get out of doing work. But Talon is about as honest and innocent as one can be, though Bazil interprets it as "wussiness".

    Bazil has possession of the Heart of Skiva that allows him to gain control over anyone who is stained with blood from it. He once got control of Chance, which led to an interesting fight scene where his friends had to take him down without hurting him. Bazil's methods are ruthless and sadistic. However, he has a major weakness: he cannot use magic if he can't move his hands in the certain motions. Jack Sheen once took advantage of this fact and got him stuck in a toy finger trap.

    Bazil's weapon is a long, metal bo-staff. He uses this because he is too short to fight effectively with a sword. His magic is also so powerful that it's rarely necessary for him to use anything else. He is about 36 years old.

    BeortheBeorthe - Pronounced "BAY-erth", he is the Elemental Lord of the earth and stone. Beorthe looks like a giant rock golem with one eye, huge fists, and a bunch of crystal shards sticking out of the back of him. He is responsible for creating the earth demons (aka "true" demons), such as Stefan Ferguson, Daris Wolf, and Serpentina. He currently has control over the Spochellan Tower. He allows the people of the Spochellan continent to use energy from the tower in exchange for occasional sacrifices.

    BinoBino - Bino is a fuzzy little puffball monster who is normally harmless, but can be dangerous if provoked. I created this creature without really knowing what I wanted to use him for.

    BlooperBlooper - Long story here. My mother had a pet pigeon named "Christopher", which is what spawned the idea for this character. When it came time to introduce the character in an Image Arcane story, I came to my senses and realized this design was far too silly for the scripted role. I began thinking I needed a more "humanoid" character and the feathers around the real pigeon's legs reminded me of those baggy pants that characters in "Arabian Nights"-themed cartoons wear. Since I had nothing hardcopy to look at, I pulled what those costume designs looked like from memory and ended up with Christopher Paladin (above). (The real pigeon is blue, which accounts for his blue color scheme and the blue feathers he wears.) Christopher Pigeon, who later became known as "Blooper" was scrapped and thus a potential disaster was avoided, but I did put him in the RAU Gallery, although the role that was intended for him there went to Deuce and Tomi. *sigh*


    Bluejay - I'm not sure why this first character is in an RAU Gallery box. I do not recall any bluejays in that series' cast. It should be noted that the "Bluejay" was the name of Chance's airship in the old version of Image Arcane. (I originally said it was Lizaki's airship here, but that is incorrect. Lizaki's was the Waverider.) This little bird was probably just a logo design for Chance's ship. The second design is the logo that actually was on the side of the ship.

    The Bluejay itself, which I do not have a picture of, is a massive aircraft that had been left over from the technology of the old world. It had been lying crashed in the area behind Chance's palace for many years. He has used what knowledge he's gained from the books in the palace's library to try to repair it. It isn't until Deuce and Tomi, who find the ship's technology to be oddly familiar, come along and help finish the repairs that the Bluejay gets flying again.

    GO TO PART 2




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