Character Design Contest 78: Random Word II

The very first character design contest was based on a random word I generated online, "Capstan". Imp won the affair, and thus was born a long, highly entertaining series of creative endeavors.

Today we're returning to that concept.

I've used the Random Word Generator to come up with an adjective that will guide your imagination this week. That word is:

Your challenge is to create a character that embodies the concept of "lissom". You don't have to name your character that, but he/she/it should exemplify the properties of suppleness, agility, nimbleness, of being lithe of body. Published characters I would think of as "lissom" would be Mr. Fantastic; Elektra; Spider-Man; Kitty Pryde; and Uma Thurman in the "Kill Bill" series.

Characters like The Thing, The Hulk, and Blok would be the opposite of what we're talking about here. I'm looking for illustrations that ooze grace, that spill forth an agile ability beyond the normal ken, that speak to lean, lithe power.

The rules are the same as usual:

  • All entries must be in JPG or PNG form (BMPs are too big), posted to a publicly accessible website (like ImageShack, PhotoBucket, the UGO Forums, whatever);
  • Entries must be made as a comment or comments to this post, containing a link directly to the image and the character name;
  • The image cannot have been used in any previous HeroMachine character design contest;
  • Please name your files as [your name]-[character name].[file extension]. So DiCicatriz, for instance, would save his "Bayou Belle" character image as DiCicatriz-BayouBelle.png.
  • Please make the link go directly to the image (like this) and not to a hosting jump page (like this). If you see "preview" or "rotate" somewhere in the link you're probably doing it wrong.
  • All entries must be in by next Monday, when I'll choose a winner.

The person with the winning entry as selected by our expert panel (i.e. me) will win their choice of a) a portrait to go in HeroMachine 3, b) an item to go in HeroMachine 3, or c) a custom black and white "Sketch of the Day" style drawing (also by me).

Good luck, everyone -- now go forth and create!

130 Responses to Character Design Contest 78: Random Word II

  1. Trekkie says:

    Any limit on entries this week?

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    Dang, I left all that out, didn’t I? No, no limits this week.

  3. dblade says:

    Wow. Starting out strong this week. “Roof Top Kill” and “Sunny” are both very nice. And very lissom.

    Now I really have to think about this one.

  4. Jeff Hebert says:

    I felt a little weird after posting it, because someone like Iago Valentine ALWAYS has lissom lasses in his images, which I guess could be unfair … But you all rock it every week, so I got over it.

  5. Ha! PapaKrok did not use proper file naming! Disqualification! DQ! DQ!

    @PapaKrok: You know I’m kidding. That is freaking amazing! You do photography? Your perspective pieces have that lens angle to them.

    Bonne chance, tout le monde!

  6. PapaKrok says:

    Wally Couchlump, not so lissom…but that freaking braindroid behind him…suuuuuuuuuuuuuckkkkkkkkkkkkk, slurp. Uberlissom.

  7. PapaKrok says:

    7 Atomic Punk! Totally…couldn’t get the hanja to save in photobucket for some reason πŸ™‚ Nah, I don’t take pictures much…thanks for the early cudos Master Punk! Of course, as history bears out,early PK entries usually up the ante and cause my to be smitten about the face and neck with HM Master awesomeness…

  8. PapaKrok says:

    Dblade…I know you wanna…bring it on home brother!

  9. Syntax says:

    Whoo! Second contest, here’s hoping I don’t fail this too hard!
    Entry: Hellequin. I was going to make him blue, green, and yellow, but i went on Wikipedia and it said that Harlequins (and Hellequins by extension) are black and red.

  10. Gero says:

    Since I’m terrible at creating poses, this is a contest I’m not touching with a 20 foot pole. Good luck to everyone who enters, can’t wait to see the results!

  11. Joel says:

    Entry # 1

    It’s time for another installment of “The Adventures of Lissom and his Fairy Sidekick”

  12. TOOL says:

    Well I feel sheepish, thanks for setting the bar right up there so quick guys, love you work…( mummers under breath ) πŸ˜€

  13. Tarah says:

    Troloolol, My first contest creation^-^ i hope its Okay ._. I kinda messed up and her hair is sora out of the shot..Oh well X)

  14. Worf says:

    @PapaKrok: I think you’re going to discourage a lot of people to participate with that rooftop kill. Way to raise the bar up high.

  15. The Imp says:

    PapaK (8): What the heck, dude! Get the camera outta my apartment…

  16. TOOL says:

    #?*! How come my pic is so small, I finally get a good background to go with a character and it saves super small, and me being a $#!% for some reason deleted the text so for me to fix it I would have to start all over and resave in a larger format. KRAZNOTS!

  17. gendonesia says:

    @maniacmic: lol! that must be avoiding bullets pose! great idea man!

    oh no.. PapaKrok start it with HQ things…..

  18. gendonesia says:

    TOOL: that always happened to me too.. and yes, feels like I want to kick my PC (off course I didn’t do it, how will I submit my entry if I kick my PC away :p)

  19. ams says:

    Here is my entry. I give you the “lissom”, glowing ninja…..KNIGHT LIGHT!


  20. Tarkabarka says:

    I made this picture so long, but i think she is so Lissom (i see in translator, what means this world in hungarian)

    She is Gerodiel the angel of Water. (Her body so Lissom :D)

  21. Watson Bradshaw says:

    Entry 1
    the Loon

    a parkour expert who had enough of the system not working for the common man, he arms himself with a paint sprayer and a agenda to shed light on what is wrong with the world with a wink and a smile.

  22. Kytana says:

    Here my first entry( i am normal not so fast but i have time). A Woman in the future in a Body Scanner.

  23. Phatchick says:

    When I think of lissom, I usually think of fairies. A particularly pretty one with her friend.

  24. Syntax says:

    Hmm, Imgur doesn’t seem to be working at the moment. I’ll probably post tomorrow if it keeps giving me problems. Oh well; I’m seeing some pretty good entries though!

  25. Keith_Kanin says:

    Lissom Lisa the Human Pretzel

  26. Syntax says:

    Waitβ€”it’s working! Alright, second entry: Harlequin. I decided to make a Harlequin to go with my Hellequin since both are supposed to be acrobats as well as fools.

    Wikipedia is your friend.

    On a completely unrealted note, jesters of any sort are fun to make.

  27. Syntax says:

    Keith_Kanin, I understand what you were trying to do and I admire you for that, but it looks like Lisa’s legs are broken.

  28. maniacmick says:

    @Keith Kanin I wanted to make a character like that but couldn’t figure out the anatomy

  29. Keith_Kanin says:

    Yeah, i know the legs are a little off. i tried several things to get it to look right, but that was the best i could do with that pose. by that time, i just wanted to get the idea out there. maybe someone with more talent and patients can take what i started to the next level.

  30. Syntax says:

    Perhaps you could change the angle of the shins. You know, lower them, make the angle less steep, I would actually try reversing the angle on the shins. In stead of up, go down.

    With the angle that her shins are at, one would have to reverse the thighs so that the indented part is facing the back and the curved part is facing us.

    May I suggest also putting the shins and feet in front of Lisa’s shoulders? It would give more depth to the movement and show just how far back that she is bending her legs.

  31. Phatchick says:

    @Keith_Kanin (#12)
    OK, I’m impressed.

  32. dblade says:

    @Phatchick (28): Dang it! I was going to do a fairy with flowery background too. Sigh. I still might go for it.

    In any case, nicely done…(grumble, grumble)

  33. Syntax says:

    Sorry, if I wasn’t clear, I meant that one would have to reverse the thighs if and only if the shins were the same angle they were in the picture you posted. It didn’t sound all that clear when I re-read it just now.

  34. TOOL says:

    @gendonesia, thanks, nice to know im not the only one LOL

  35. FRM says:

    Check out my Lissom assassin, Lamia.

  36. FRM says:

    knight light is pretty darn cool, ams!

  37. Phatchick says:

    Why thank you, kind sir!

  38. Phatchick says:

    Anybody else remember a series of books called ‘Wildcards’? They were some of my favs in the late 80s and my favorite character was a joker named Chrysalis ( ). When I saw what they did to her in the graphic novel I was appalled, she was supposed to completely transparent; skin, muscles and bones. IMHO, this is how she should’ve looked-

  39. FRM says:

    Behold: The Lissom assassin, LAMIA!

  40. FRM says:

    Forget that other web page. checkou LAMIA at

  41. Syntax says:

    NO. EFFING. WAY. Watson, I was going to make a theif like that! Now I can’t!

    All as well though, I was going to use a different pose and perspective, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it not look like crap.

  42. alvacascus says:

    Here is my entry, with a little opening conversation..
    Elisa: Brother.. can we stay alive forever?
    Soma: What did you say?? Of course we can! We are perfect twin, with your flexibilty and my agility no one can beat us! Because we are…..
    Elissa and Soma: DUALISSOM…!!! πŸ˜€

  43. Syntax says:

    Third and final entry to finish up the Harlequin theme, Harleqinade!

  44. TJ says:

    ok after seeing #49 alvacascus i think i may have to surrender!

  45. alvacascus says:

    @TJ : Oh man, I’m still newbie at HM.. just max out your imagination.. πŸ™‚

    P.S.: Finally I started to learn gradation effect!

  46. gendonesia says:

    @TJ yeah, me too T.T

  47. Johnny Gear says:

    You know I was looking over the other entries and this one doesn’t stand a chance, but I just had so much fun making it, I’m going to submit it anyway.

  48. Worf says:

    @alvacascus(53): WOW! You’ve just surpassed PapaKrok as my new favorite illustration for this contest. And i gotta tell you, beating PK is no easy feat.

  49. Nick Hentschel says:

    I thought up this idea for a graceful, flying girl a long time ago, based on a name that I stole from TV. While I imagined her as a very casually dresses woman with loose-fitting cloths and logn hair whipping in the wind, in putting her into practice, I seem to have given her a bit of a Cirque du Soleil quality. (Brooke McEldowney’s “Pibgorn” may have had some influence, too.) My biggest problem was making sure that there was enough contrast in the colors; it was originally all greys and blues.
    So, without further ado, I give you….. SkyDancer!!!

  50. Rapthama says:

    Don’t really remember when I entered, but now I have a serious urge to enter with this nice one!
    Maybe this aint the best example for lissom… But what the heck!

    I present to you the magnificent Medium of Wonders, Aurax (different version)

  51. Watson Bradshaw says:

    Syntax (51) I say go ahead and do your version, god knows mine isn’t the first cat themed jewel thief in existence. As for the pose I put the figure together right way up then selected the all items function and turned it around 180 degrees. Hope that helps.

  52. FRM says:

    Watson, i love Tomcat. most male versions of catwoman are bad, but Tomcat is boss!

  53. FRM says:

    Skybandito– i like the gold eagle-bra

  54. Syntax says:

    That’s actually how I did the Harlequinade picture. I actually converted that picture from a theif about to steal to a theif getting away. I was doing the picture at an admittedly difficult angle (theif facing forward with back and legs hanging slightly below head)and I couldn’t figure out how to connect the back to the shoulders, the shoulders to the improvised butt, and the legs to that without making it look off model and stupid.

  55. FRM says:

    syntax– i like the harlequin idea

  56. FUZZTONE says:

    Here’s my entry. Lissom, meaning suppleness, agility, nimbleness, being lithe of body. Lovely word. Well, try doing this if you’re not…

  57. Syntax says:

    FRM: Thank you!

  58. alvacascus says:

    @worf (61): thanks worf, but I’m still too far from master PapaKrok..
    @fuzztone (69): nice pose! But I feel something weird, maybe you can add more shadow effect or line on her armpit..

  59. Kwnnos says:


  60. Phatchick says:

    @FUZZTONE (#69)
    Completely awesome, you absolutely nailed that pose.

  61. TOOL says:

    Ok, it has taken some time but I recreated my Vet character and made it bigger this time so people can see it better. I made her the same but did tweak a few things. Lets try this again.

  62. dblade says:

    @Vet (76): Yes. Yes I would. I am a puppy lover.

  63. StarMan2000 says:

    Here’s my take on the theme, and my first entry since the animal one a few weeks back. πŸ™‚

    There we are and enjoy!

  64. TOOL says:

    @dblade, LOL thanks

  65. Syntax says:

    Do we have protocal for puppies?

  66. Joel says:

    entry #2

    Karas: the character I am playing in an Exalted RP, also he’s a trolling demon ninja. Seeing as I maxed out his dex, stealth and dodge, I’d say he’s quite lissom indeed.

  67. dblade says:

    The lissom and lovely Faerie Queen.

    Faerie Queen:

  68. FRM says:

    check out my second entry, a Kung Fu master being one with nature.

  69. skybandito says:

    Thanx, FRM. I did that a long time ago, and never found the proper character to put it on…until now.

    Here’s Limbo Skater versus Ballet Ninja!

  70. Tarkabarka says:

    I can’t make pictures, because my back have a serious problem. Now i took a lot of lydocain injection in my back and i don’t feel pain when i sit. So i made this for the lissom contest. I know not so hard and complex picture, but i really happy to make anything.

    So this is Dance in the sunset.

  71. FRM says:

    skybandito– i’ve never heard of a limbo skater or a ballet ninja. those might have worked for the one contest with, like a combination of 2 types of people (or something like that?). not to say they’re bad, because they’re really good.

  72. gendonesia says:

    @tarkabarka: hope u get well soon dude

    oh, here is my entry

    if u curious ’bout the kanji I wrote, try ask google (:p)

  73. FRM says:

    Tarkabarka–i like dance in the sunset. i think u should use that same dude for, like, a beast type superhero (or villain) on a future heromachine.

    in case you couldnt find it, here’s my website:

  74. FRM says:

    Please comment on Lissom assassin, Lamia, and the Lissom Kung Fu master.

  75. dblade says:

    This contest is going to be a real nice showcase of alternate poses for HM3. I tend to stick to the default pose but I really appreciate the folk who push the boundaries and do it with style. Great job!

  76. Syntax says:

    Dblade, I can honestly say that I hold more respect towards you than most people to to their deities, but…Your Fairy Queen honestly hurts my eyes. Beautiful is not a word I would use to describe her. Wonderful, yes, amazingly well put together, of course, but the MAGENTAβ€”it’s too much for me.

  77. Tarkabarka says:

    Thanks FRM, I like the pose so attractive, but i think you need to use the direct links for the picture

  78. Nick Hentschel says:

    Syntax (93): Faeries were never known for understated good taste. πŸ˜‰

  79. E.C. says:

    My entries:

    I figure you have to pretty lissom to be able to swim quickly underwater.

    Created this guy a while ago. He doesn’t have a name.

  80. Keith_Kanin says:

    My first attempt at a mech. May I present

    Aeon Rush

    I had a hard time naming this one. I ended up going to the random name generator that we used for the randompalooza II contest we had recently. That was the most fitting one out of those offered.

  81. FRM says:

    Tarkabarka– i cant figure out the direct picture link thing. how’s it done?

  82. Syntax says:

    E.C., Those are some pretty huge moobs man.

  83. Gaff says:

    Here is my first contribution to one of these contests.

    Thanks go out to all the participants for the inspiration hey have given me in characters I’ve made thus far. here is my offer: SlithyToad

    The lithe, slimy anti-hero of the wild swamp, compatriot of the fearsome Jabberwock and the mimsy borogouhs.

  84. Gaff says:

    Sorry, wrong filename format i had to put “Gaff-” In front of it

  85. dblade says:

    @Syntax(93): Assault with a deadly color? πŸ™‚

  86. dblade says:

    For those of you who want a little less magenta in their queen…

    Faerie Queen 2:

    I’m still partial to my magenta lady though…

  87. The Wyrm: Renaissance Hero

    Truthfully, I am having a real hard time with this CC. Too many distractions. December is already super busy. Plus, Cox Communications dumping Personal WebSpace has me in a tizzy. Shopping for a new ISP because I’m sick of having to open a new account for job searches, one-time purchases, and now hosting personal webpages.

  88. Jeff Hebert says:

    Atomic Punk: I use DreamHost and love ’em. Not free, but dirt cheap, and good.

  89. Nick Hentschel says:

    Syntax (102): They both look fine, with a particular richness of detail that I like. The 1st is more original, but the 2nd is what people *expect* a fairy queen to look like. Take your pick.

    Atomic Punk (103): Flickr’s worked fine for me…….

  90. Syntax says:

    It’s not so much which is more original, I actually thought the second was going to ba a shade of blue, it’s more along the lines of “which is less likely to make one’s eyes bleed.”

    Still an amazing design though.

  91. Nick Hentschel says:

    Syntax (106): I screwed up – that was supposed to be addressed to dblade. Sorry to both of you.

  92. dblade says:

    @Syntax(106): My theory is that you were hassled by magenta-hued bullies. πŸ™‚

    I’m not sure how to take “eye’s bleeding” as anything less than an outright challenge to my Machinehood though. Everyone has a right to their opinion though.

  93. Syntax says:

    Machinehood sounds a bit dirty. Was that the intent?

  94. Nick Hentschel says:

    “Machine Hood” sounds more like a hip-hop, sci-fi movie!

  95. skybandito says:

    Meet Spaghettiman.

    You can’t be anything but lithesome when you have no bones!

    Or is that loathsome?

  96. Nick Hentschel says:

    Skybandito (111): He must have a saucy personality!

  97. Joel says:

    Indeed,and whenever he defeats a foe he says, “Pasta lavista baby!”

  98. skybandito says:

    He is a Pastafarian, you know.

  99. Nick Hentschel says:

    Yes, you can see ALL of His Noodly Appendages!!!!

  100. Syntax says:

    But he isn’t a midget! Nor a pirate!

  101. Nick Hentschel says:

    Syntax (116): Bonus points for “nor”! (I *love* proper English.) But remember to pair it with “Neither,” next time. πŸ˜‰

  102. Myro says:

    Finally got something done. I was updating my character VII from ancient Rome to a Sci-Fi future. I present Seven of the League of Scorpio.

  103. Cliff says:

    Contest 75 – Random Work II
    (lis- some)
    1. lithesome or lithe, especially of body; supple, flexible
    2. agile, nimble or active

    Entry #1 (and only)

    I think I have introduced my pixy before in the Nature contest or some other one.
    He started out as a Palladium character named Thorn Rosewood, but soon got the nicknames amoung the group, Bug, Pest, Prixie, Prickster and Prickmeister. Prixie was the one that really stuck since he was a pixie by birth and something of a practical joker pr!ck by nature. The weird thing was, when I was going through a tough time when some friends and then my Mom died, he was in my dreams literally fireballing my nightmares away. So he became something of a protector for me, I know it sounds nuts. Then my wife and I would be seeing a little light zip around occasionally out of the corner of our eyes. I would look everywhere for the scource, passing cars refecting sunlight etc, nothing would explain it, so we just chalked it up to I had put enough energy into him I had created a fetch without realizing it. So Prixy became a fact of our life. If we would love something, we would ask “the fairies” to bring it back, usually the next day it would be back and in a place we had looked a dozen times.
    There would be times we wouldn’t even think much about Prixy and not see anything. Then there would be a rash of sightings, or feelings. Recently during Magick Classes he has been popping up to other people we havent even told during candle meditations, when we show them pics of Prixie, they agree that was who they saw, so I wanted to do Prixy for Yule and this seemed the perfect contest for the occasion. I know it all sounds positively mental but I present to you: Prixie!

  104. headlessgeneral says:

    I wish I had time to create new images for this contest. But I didn’t. So, here are three from my archives that I think(hope) are Lissom enough.

    Entry #1


    Entry #2


    Entry #3


  105. Kytana says:

    My second and last entry:
    Eva and the Snake, in classic grey colour.

  106. Nick Hentschel says:

    Cliff (121): Image didn’t come through. Please try again? (Sorry.)

  107. Jeff Hebert says:

    OK folks, starting to download these now. Thanks for entering, results coming in a couple of hours or however long it takes me to go through them!

  108. Brons says:

    Once more work and having a bit of a life kept me from completing in time. I still haven’t got the hand around the ankle right, but with a nod towards “better later than never”, Here’s “Lissom Lass” of the Legion: