I really like designing female characters, but I'm starting to think I might not be very good at designing male characters. While I've gotten a lot of compliments for my female character Hilde from the manga I recently drew (and yes, I know I've stopped posting pages, I have decided to scrap them and start over), and even had editors suggest I make her the main character because she was so appealing, nobody ever complimented Kiva. Personally, I really liked his design, but yesterday I took my work to my old school to ask a story professor what he thought, and the first thing he said was "This Kiva character is not marketable. His design is nothing special. The girl on the other hand looks great and you shouldn't change a thing." So now I'm sitting here and reworking Kiva's design, and I'm thinking about giving him some sort of head gear, like goggles (even though he's not a pilot or anything that would require goggles) or a headband or something to replace his dumb hat that is hardly noticeable anyway. I'm also thinking about making his hair spikier and more traditional shounen (like DBZ's Goku or Naruto or that Fairy Tail dude), but I can't help but feel it makes him look old school. I'm really trying to avoid that look because it is SO cliche (as are goggles), but then again, maybe cliche is the only way to go.
My professor gave me some weird advice when I told him what manga I was referencing for styles and such. He said "Don't reference serialized manga. Reference newbie mangaka one-shot stories, because that way you know the absolute recent trends in styles." So I downloaded a bunch of one-shots from Jump's main page, but I didn't see much of a connection in the styles. Some people looked more old school or clearly referencing Naruto or something, some people were really awful, and there were only a couple of artists who I thought really had an interesting style all their own. It's so confusing...
So, I want to know what you guys consider to be your FAVORITE lead male character in a shounen series. What attracted you to this character? Was it his design or his personality? If you have any links, that would be great. I'm going to completely redo my comic after I finish one or two of these backlogged commissions and then try again with editors. My teacher also informed me that I shouldn't listen to advice from anyone but editors at the magazines I am aiming for. So does that mean I ignore his advice? I don't know anymore.
Also, if you want to be brutally honest about my character design for Kiva, you may say what you like and dislike without worry that I will hate you or cry or whatever. You can even call his design "stinky doodoo" and that I'm a "poopy pants artist" and I will be okay with that.
Hey, I think this means I no longer have any confidence in myself. Super!
Reading: Defense Devil vol 6
Playing: Pocket Monsters Black