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February 9, 2013
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Dead Eyes by Altalamatox Dead Eyes by Altalamatox
Another quickie 'reminder-why-I'm-doing-this' art-for-the-self indulgence. It's Vlad, but you can't tell. Unless the gaping abscesses gave it away. Two hours.

Vlad lives at the far end of my attention span, because he's clever like that, however it means we don't see him much. He's part of the Network storyverse. In terms of sheer magical might he may be the most powerful character in the cast, a masterful warlock with a specialty in what he calls practical necromancy. He's always been very down-to-earth about his work and a pretty chill person, shrugging off whatever idolism or fame people try to load on him. For his research in the magic of life and death he's won some serious prizes and positions that have set him up nicely, though he believes it's crucial to fight the fear around his field with knowledge and treasures his work as a professor.

Treasured, rather. Vlad botched The Number One Rule of Necromancy (Don't End Up Dead Yourself), some months ago, and only continues to exist because he happens to know a little something about reanimation. He finds himself a lich, with his lifeforce bound within his remains, effectively a spirit possessing his own corpse. Which he spends a frustrating amount of time trying to keep from rotting off his bones.

Vlad is in a race against his own stamina to find a way out of his predicament before he's too weak to fight off decomposition and winds up spending a lonely eternity trapped within his own mind. At the same time, death has reminded him of his family for the first time in too long and he desperately wants to repair things with them. (His adopted parents and his brother's family; Vlad's biological parents are jerks.)

Every day he has is precious. If the end is nigh, he wants to pass as many days with his family as possible, but every day with them is one less spent working towards possibly averting the end entirely, and it's kind of a sad situation.
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:icontigzz98:
tigzz98 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
This is flipping perfect! May I use this for something?!
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:iconel-e:
el-e Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
great work^^
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:iconrlfedun:
RLFedun Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Holy crapppppp the details on this!! Beautiful work!
Reply
:iconillusioninme:
Illusioninme Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
O.O this is a quickie?!....words don't describe!
Reply
:iconsusiron:
Susiron Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was a "quickie" piece... oh lawd talentrhetr
I seriously love the bit of text attached to this. I love every one of your characters, and the story behind Vlad is both extremely interesting and sweet
Reply
:iconkrazykavumaster:
krazykavumaster Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
This is fantastic. And I always love your writing that goes with it.
Reply
:iconallana-san:
Allana-san Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
T-two hours?... :clap:
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:iconjane-martin906:
Jane-Martin906 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Oh... Oh my god this is so unbelievably sad. T_T
Reply
:iconnaivax-maundrell:
Naivax-Maundrell Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My thought exactly. Just...so...so ...sad. ;_;
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:iconmssteacup:
mssteacup Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
2 HOURS???
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:iconwings33:
wings33 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
ooh, this is lovely... insofar as one can apply the word "lovely" to a reanimated corpse... but yeah. I think you're getting better at this realistical hoomin faces business : )
Really well done!
Reply
:iconjulibee-darling:
Julibee-Darling Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Holy effin' snickerdoodles. I've been away from DA for so long that your current madartskillz are now on the planes of "HOLY SHIT I'm friends with a rock-star!!!" :D

That and my first reaction to this was "Sooooomebody's been watchin' The Walking Dead!" XD!

Hope things are amazing with you. :)
Reply
:iconangeliquealene:
AngeliqueAlene Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
I think he's kinda beautiful.
Reply
:icontheschiggi:
TheSchiggi Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist
freaking amazing
Reply
:icongallifrey-girl82:
gallifrey-girl82 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Vlllllaaaaaaad!!!!
Reply
:iconagentdax:
AgentDax Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist
oh wow what a lovely character! and that skin texture! ughh so nice <3
Reply
:icontysonlafollette:
TysonLaFollette Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
A spirit possessing his own corpse. What an interesting way to think about it. Not living in his body in the normal sense, more like forced back into it.

Cool!

It's the backstory to every image that brings me back to your art time and again. It's so neat to see stuff that all has meaning. Each character seems like an actual person, with more than just one driving desire of cookie-cutter good or evil.

Me gusta. :)
Reply
:iconbabylonsabby:
BabylonSabby Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student General Artist
His eyes are so hauntingly baleful.
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:iconmoorecreativity:
MooreCreativity Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
ooh creepy...cool though!
Reply
:icondaughter-of-shadow:
Daughter-of-Shadow Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
We don't hear nearly enough about Vlad. I really like him. I also really hope that he can figure out how to save himself.
Reply
:iconnordstjerna:
Nordstjerna Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What a wonderful character and great art! I hope he moves closer to the middle of your attention span soon...
Reply
:iconjohnson3014:
johnson3014 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
WOW!
creepy...
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:iconbjezerey:
bjezerey Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Ghoulish and amazing.
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:iconjuneflower13:
JuneFlower13 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
wowah
Reply
:iconaanza:
Aanza Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. I love how this looks so real.
Excellent work! * O *
Reply
:iconfieldsoffire:
FieldsOfFire Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Every day he has is precious. If the end is nigh, he wants to pass as many days with his family as possible, but every day with them is one less spent working towards possibly averting the end entirely, and it's kind of a sad situation.

You are just so mean to your characters! I don't think I could do it.

Oh, and the drawing's great, BTW.
Reply
:icondisneypsycho:
DisneyPsycho Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. This is absolutely amazing! Your attention to detail and the sheer realism you've captured here... I'm in awe of your talent. :bow:
Reply
:iconlepetiterik:
LePetitErik Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
I really love this. The lighting and the expression are spectacular.
Reply
:iconaudisey:
Audisey Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student General Artist
DSLJKHFDFDGD D'AWWW

I've got something like four emotions going on at once here. Amazement from the realistic detail, curiosity from the ghostly eyes and how it feels to be in his shoes, sympathy from his back story, and love because I wish to hug him and love him and cuddle him- *shot*

Beautiful, Alt! I can't begin to describe how awesome this is. Keep on being awesome!
Reply
:icondadrick:
Dadrick Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, it's great to see Vlad again. He's such an awesome character. =)

I have to wonder, if Vlad has ever entertained the idea of transferring his soul into another vessel all together? Perhaps with his experience and a little technical know-how from someone like Tom a suitable solution could be found? (Have these two even met in canon?)
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:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Good suggestion! Afraid there are complications. Of course. In full, Vlad's problem is that his ghost is imprisoned in a tiny dimension in the lump of crystal imbedded in his sternum. It got so imbedded in the confusing moment he was killed and reanimated. Vlad formerly used it as a reservoir for his energy, paying into and pulling from it when needed. And probably because it was designed to store things, in the awful miscast it more or less vacuumed up Vlad's disembodied being. So that's where Vlad 'is' now, and spends a lot of time pacing around his personal pocket universe being grouchy. On the fortunate side, he can, aha, repossess his corpse because his crystal prison got phased into his body during the accident and the two are one now, in a way. And this is a long way of saying, no, Vlad's primary trouble is being terribly tangled up in that crystal and unable to leave it.

The nearest thing he can do is possess other beings. Hypothetically, if things never do get straightened out and he's left an immobile skeleton, he could escape his prison for a while that way. But possession is kind of rude and awkward and a felony. For the moment, he does sometimes take control of Drossel, his pet fruit bat, though it's only ever so useful.

Haha, blabbing! Sorry, you always ask very thoughtful questions and then I get rolling. XD Tom and Vlad have possibly met, it could well be that Vlad's the one who helped Tom set up, if you recall, the bit of technonecromancy that draws the doctor into ghost form if/when his machinery fails him. Those two are almost exactly the same story told with fantasy and sci-fi twists, which I suspect you've noticed since you bring them up. ;)
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:icondadrick:
Dadrick Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And that's what I love about your writing, how you don't just approach an idea from only one perspective.

Thank you for taking the time to write such detailed responses, it's very kind of you and I certainly appreciate it. =)
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:iconkerpow:
Kerpow Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student General Artist
It's so peculiar, he is in such an awful position in his life.. I mean death... (whatever) and yet he still seems to have a sort of happiness about him. (In this drawing) The colors are gloomy, but there is a sense of hope in his eyes. ...and the amount of detail helps make the image more personal, I feel. It's so nice!
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:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Oh, EXCELLENT! Thank you for mentioning it, I was really trying to get just the barest hint of a smile on his face, very cool to hear that came through!

However I present them, very few of my characters are actually unhappy people. It's not much fun working with a character who's a solid block of misery, you know. Like Vlad, he might be dealing with living death, but in a way he finds it fascinating and it was the kick he needed to realize he's become a stranger to the people he cares about. Ultimately, I hate sad endings so most of my protagonists can sleep soundly. ;)

Thank you!
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:iconkerpow:
Kerpow Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Student General Artist
I have a question for you. I'd say that this is a very specific look that you were going for... do you have a mirror in front of you while drawing or do you use any kind of reference?
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:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
Yes, unusually for me I did have something very specific in mind, this thing by Stefan Sagmeister: [link] But as always I had about ten reference photos open so I don't follow any one thing too closely. What was haunting me about Sagmeister's photo was the closeness of the cropping and that sort of almost maybe smirk and upturned eyes.
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:iconkerpow:
Kerpow Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh yesss I can see that, and yet yours is very different. The world is a mesh of awesome references for us artists. : )
I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. I rarely get on deviantart anymore.
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:iconkerpow:
Kerpow Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Student General Artist
Ah! that is great. It's cool to see that you have such control over your work, and yet it still looks fluid.

Haha I love the amount of depth your characters have. I can totally see how Vlad would be more interested in this than sad.
Reply
:iconskulleton:
Skulleton Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
THIS IS A QUICKIE????? MOTHER OF GOD I THOUGHT IT WAS A PHOTOGRAPH!
Reply
:iconweaver8:
Weaver8 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student Writer
Well, he certainly seems darker than most of your characters. I love the idea you bring up that his body will in fact decay. It's something I don't see enough of in stories with reanimated corpses. I personally hope to see more of him ;)
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:iconaistar:
Aistar Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013   General Artist
What an interesting story :o
Reply
:iconcanadian-rainwater:
Canadian-Rainwater Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Professional Filmographer
OH.

MY GOODNESS.

WOMAN. I AM SO IN AWE OF YOUR SKILLS. Sad story, of course, but I still want to go crawling up to him and just ... feel that face. The textures look so real, so tangible!
Reply
:icondunklayth:
Dunklayth Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow ! Fav+ ~ !
Reply
:iconstitchy-face:
Stitchy-Face Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
I cannot get enough of your art, it's beautiful <3
Reply
:iconblackfiresouls:
BlackfireSouls Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student General Artist
The picture is great. Especially those eyes, and somehow those eyes fit very good to your description which sounds very sad to me...
Reply
:iconsfinga:
Sfinga Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
I'm completely mindblown by both the picture and the story. The amount of details is amazing and the expression just leaves me speechless, something about that and his eyes especially really really fit with the story! It's awesome beyond description
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:iconnuisancebeareull:
NuisanceBearEull Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Holy shit! (Both for art and description ...)
I *love* your level of detail (Both for art and description ...)
I want to say something deep and useful, but we'll leave it at. "I know more about him now. Awesome. And the old standby: HOLY SHIT!"

More like this! The stuff we do for ourselves is always the best.

It's not crack ... but it's close.
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:iconthedivinemissm-94:
TheDivineMissM-94 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I was all like wow that's disgustingly awesome!! Until I read the description :iconsadfaceplz:
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