New Character Design Reveal (Updated by Brian Joseph Johns on February 8, 2024 at 4:30 AM)

Protecting Brand Identity And The Threat Of Bigger Fish

I also tend to stay away from the bigger fish (Marvel, DC, Disney, Sony for instance). One thing I've noticed as an independent publisher and creator is that its easy to become devoured by the bigger fish, and have your content and message diluted into theirs and in such a case, you lose the distinction of your brand and your work disappears in theirs and often without any acknowledgement.

Not because they are looking to eat you, but because in some cases, they have ravenously cannibalistic  fans who believe they're helping those bigger fish by devouring the smaller ones and digesting them for the bigger fish, so as to dilute the message of smaller fish into the brand of the bigger fish. A lot of creators end up disappearing or dying off by this very phenomenon and those artists and thespians who are part of that bigger fish don't always know or realize this is happening. Kind of a case of not being able to see the rest of the forest through the trees. 

But alas, there is hope, because many of the founders of those bigger fish, who started off when they were at threat of being devoured by other bigger fish, often left hints to other smaller fish explaining that very phenomenon, and how to navigate it to save your own message, content and brand. 

These are the help that is hidden in the stories and words of the very people who originated those bigger fish. In other words, those whose ideas started it all. They often shared their experiences as their creation grew to become like the bigger fish they had to avoid in order not to become eaten and simply disappear.

That threat is a sort of collective one, and finding the balance between maintaining a healthy identity and brand, a healthy social integration while maintaining an arm's length distance of safety is a very difficult lesson to learn, but its essential, and its a message that's hidden in the content of every single creator who's ideas culminated into the bigger fish you'll have to watch out for today.

Maybe someday, Shhhh! Digital Media might become the bigger fish that ravenously cannibalistic fans might think they're helping by devouring the other smaller fish, but nothing could be further from the truth. Bigger fish don't need to kill or devour independent creators to survive. They just have to protect and nurture independent talent, while continuing to develop their own and maintaining their compass as the times change. 

The monsters aren't the content creators, big fish or small fish. The monsters are the ravenously cannibalistic people in between them all. To the monsters, we're all little fish. 

Big fish and little fish can only survive by learning from one another, while nurturing creativity and content and avoiding eating each other.


As I update the preview composite character sheets, I'll add them to this post, updating the date so that the latest artwork is at the top of the post list, though keep in mind that this artwork isn't final. This is however the closest to my signing off on each of the designs as they all follow the initial designs I'd planned from the very beginning, more than twelve years ago.

I apologize if you don't see your favourite character(s) yet, but I'll be getting to each of them as I go and that includes characters which have never had a visual representation in any publication here on Shhhh! Digital Media (2017 - Present), Poetry And Fiction (from May 2012 - 2017), Tales Of The Sanctum (from 2013 - 2017) and Butterfly Dragon (standalone site from 2014 - 2017).

We'll definitely be seeing a modicum of balance where it concerns Ai Yuanlin Ying's martial arts mentors. That is, Hanshi Morgan Hind, Hoon "Tiger" Kwang and Sifu Jinn Hua. Their upcoming artwork will include visuals of them in action, using actual techniques, Waza and Kata from Goju-Ryu (and Goju-Jujitsu-Ryu), Taekwondo, and finally Wing Chung/Gong Fu/Wushu, all of which make up the mixed martial arts curriculum of Heylyn Yates, one of three known Butterfly Dragons. The other two being Aikiko Tanaka (Dragon Butterfly) and Warai Jeong-Min Tokama (who is in training alongside Braden).

The order of images is the most recent at the top.

Without further ado, here are the most recently updated characters from Shhhh! Digital Media:

The Butterfly Dragon: Women Professionals

These two women are pivotal characters in the episodic storylines that have stemmed from The Butterfly Dragon. 

Ebtissam Rashida is originally from the United Arab Emirates, though she studied Fashion And Merchandising in Paris, France. Upon graduation, she returned to her home in the United Arab Emirates after sending out a flurry of resumes to a variety of global fashion conglomerates. Six months after her return to UAE, she received a response via email from Heylyn Yates, who arranged for a teleconference with Ebtissam about a position she had at her own company, West Meet East International.

Ebtissam aced the interview, and two days later she was contacted by Heylyn and offered the position. She accepted, celebrated with her family and then left for Toronto, Ontario, Canada to become the Head Seamstress of West Meet East International. She's been a key player on their team ever since. You can find her in just about every episode of The Two Butterflies and we'll be seeing a lot more of her in the near future.

Dina Shalhevet is a dedicated career woman who first pursued an interest in music at the Lin And Ted Arison Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv during the early nineteen nineties. However, being an adventurous and fairly active woman, she found a renewed passion for life when she arrived for her service in the Israeli Defense Force. Like Ebtissam had with her own studies, Dina aced her basic training and found that she had a high aptitude for specialized operations, requiring both physical and mental discipline. 

Dina was quickly snatched up by her commanding officers who recommended her for a training program not available to many. When she finished her service for the IDF, she was hired into the intelligence community, working closely with Palestinian Israeli citizens to build a strong rapport of support and cooperation between Israel and Palestine as part of the Oslo Accords and the Generational Peace program. She participated in an extensive intelligence operation to avert terror that threatened to undermine the success of the Oslo Accords. Over the years as the nature of the situation in the region changed, so has her role. A story that will be visited in an upcoming We Who Stand On Guard episode. 
She first appears in We Who Stand On Guard in Episode 7

Like our own world, both of these women are key players in the overall unfolding of events. Perhaps by recognizing this there's hope for a lasting peace and future in our world.

The Butterfly Dragon: Male Mentors

Take your pick of these two images. They both work, but for very different reasons...

Sifu Jinn Hua will join them visually very soon.

Hanshi Morgan Hind and Sebomnim Hoon "Tiger" Kwang are the first two instructors young Ai Yuanlin Ying encounters on her path to becoming The Butterfly Dragon. Hanshi is a Black Belt in Goju-Ryu (Goju-Jujitsu-Ryu), 9th Dan. He initially trained in Okinawa, Japan under Meitoku Yagi, living in residence in Okinawa until 1990. He left Okinawa and established his own Goju-Ryu Dojo in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, maintaining his ties to Okinawa and their destiny as teachers of the centuries old Butterfly Dragon philosophy and forms. A tradition that had been secretly embedded in many different martial arts of many different cultures.

He was contacted by Jinn Hua, Sifu of the Butterfly Dragons and the guardian of their tradition. Jinn Hua at that time convinced Morgan Hind to train young Ai Yuanlin Ying, who had been directly chosen by one of the Two Dragons of Beyond Eternity. Training that could not be held in public classes, as it required the sharing of knowledge, principles and specialized exercises. From the moment they met, they gained a deep respect for each other, and Hanshi is considered one of Jinn Hua's allies known as the Two Hands. Sebomnim Hoon "Tiger" Kwang being the other of the two.

Hanshi Morgan Hind is first introduced in The Butterfly Dragon I: Heroes Of Our Own.

Sebomnim Hoon "Tiger" Kwang is a Master of Taekwondo hailing from his own family home in Seoul, South Korea. He trained in the family Dojang alongside his sister and brother, who eventually graduated and were hired by the city while Hoon continued his Taekwondo studies under his parent's tutelage. His sister eventually found herself in a position as a human resources and budget manager for Seoul's Police Service. She contracted their family Dojang, and the Dojangs of three other prominent traditional Korean Martial Arts Schools to supply Police trainees with professional Taekwondo training. 

Hoon Kwang by that point was a respected Sebomnim, and trained many Police Officers at their family Dojang. However, Hoon Kwang's father left the Dojang to his brother upon his death, shocking Hoon Kwang and putting him at odds with his own father. His mother eventually found him, and gave Hoon the letter that his father had hand penned for him. In the letter, his father explained that the reason he didn't leave the Dojang to him was because he wanted him to spread his knowledge throughout the world. Had his father given him the family Dojang, he explained that it would have been like giving an adventurous soul an anchor, which would have prevented his family destiny of sharing their martial arts tradition. Instead, his father insisted that he speak with a woman named Jinn Hua.

Hoon Kwang left Korea in 1994, and ventured to GuangZhou, China where he met Jinn Hua, and discovered the Temple Of The Butterfly Dragon. Upon learning of the knowledge, principles and exercises, he became Jinn Hua's second hand, meaning that he would be the second instructor for students learning the path of the Butterfly Dragon. 

Being very sensible and apt with money management, Hoon Kwang left GuangZhou to continue on his father's advice. He opened his first Dojang in Seattle, United States Of America. Within six years of its opening and mostly thanks to his keen skills with money, he had amassed a small fortune and set his heart towards expanding his growing martial arts empire. 

In a dream, he was contacted by one of the Dragons of Beyond Eternity, who implored him to venture to Toronto in Ontario, Canada. After some searching, he found an old warehouse in a strip mall, and converted it to a Dojang and his new martial arts brand: "Tiger" Hoon Kwang's Taekwondo, around the corner from Hanshi Morgan Hind's Goju-Ryu Dojo. Jinn Hua introduced the two, and directed a Butterfly Dragon student by the name of Myung Chung-Ae to train with Hoon Kwang. Myung was Hoon Kwang's first Butterfly Dragon student and the two became good friends. When he'd earned Jinn Hua's approval, Hanshi directed Ai Yuanlin Ying to "Tiger" Hoon Kwang for the Taekwondo training that is part of the Butterfly Dragon tradition.

The rest as they say is history.

Sebomnim Tiger Hoon Kwang is first introduced in The Butterfly Dragon I: Heroes Of Our Own.

The Butterfly Dragon Early Roster

Once again, we're back at Butterfly Dragon with an updated roster of characters, both new and old.

Bottom row, right to left: Linda Delmore, Myung Chung-Ae, Inspector Tricia Camden, Inspector William Halmand, Bryce Maxwell, Zheng Ni Wong, Stephen Briggs.

Top row, right to left: Heylyn Yates aka Ai Yuanlin Ying aka Butterfly Dragon, (Sifu) Jinn Hua, Alicia Westin aka Night Style, Monique Defleur aka Eclipse, Aikiko Tanaka as herself,  Aikiko Tanaka as Dragon Butterfly, Valerie Aspen, Kori Jonglyu, Warai Jeong-Min Tokama.

Linda Delmore is the territory sales rep for an American company that deals in office supplies and more recently, office technology. She works mostly on the road, traveling throughout her territory which when we first meet her in the book The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See - Vietnam Special Addition (spelling pun intended), is South and Southeast Asia. More rencently, Linda's sales territory becomes Eastern Canada, where she visits her old friends at West Meet East International. As it turns out, Linda is a bit more adventurous than she first appears as we find out later when she returns in The Two Butterflies and most recently in We Who Stand On Guard.

Myung Chung-Ae is one of the early Butterfly Dragons who never completed her training due to life circumstances intervening. She first meets young Ai Yuanlin Ying in the first book The Butterfly Dragon I: Heroes Of Our Own while the two attend Taekwondo training at "Tiger" Hoon Kwang's Taekwondo. She befriends the young Ai Yuanlin Ying, but eventually they lose contact with one another over time. As Myung gets older, she follows an educational path which leads to her becoming a professional Courtroom Stenographer who works at the Judicial Courts of College Park. She returns in The Two Butterflies - Episode 02, where she reunites with Ai Yuanlin Ying (Heylyn Yates) to assist the Butterfly Dragon as she investigates the mystery of Mentis.

Inspector Tricia Camden is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and among the first investigators selected to uncover the nature of a dangerous social phenomenon that often culminates in violence. She first appears in The Butterfly Dragon III: The Two Dragons - Act I, where she is one of the first investigators on the scene of a bank robbery connected to her case. She teams up with fellow Inspector William Halmand (a field specialist in technology), and veteran Toronto Police Detective Ed Farnham to uncover the nature of this mysterious threat to society.

Professor Bryce Maxwell is a charismatic and legendary Quantum Physicist and accomplished Pianist, whose other claim to fame is that he used to jam with fellow Quantum Physicist Richard Feynman (who was an avid bongo player). Bryce was amongst the Alumni of the University Of Waterloo's Physics program, eventually earning his Professorate during his years working with renowned Physicists Sylvia Upadhaya and Murray Gell-Mann, filling his remaining time with piano and big band gigs.

Thanks to his notoriety, he is hired as a touring lecturer in a variety of Universities, landing a recurring lecture series at University of Windsor during Alicia's student curriculum. She attends his lecture and instantly becomes her favourite Professor. His influence upon her life and education leads her to become one of his greatest fans and proteges.

During the events of the short story A Piano, A Full Glass, And The Disappearance Of Time, when Alicia starts dating business mogul Walton Norler, he arranges for her to meet him when he finds out he's playing a piano gig at The Looking Glass, a notable Toronto Jazz venue. She arrives and discovers a table full of her alumni peers, including mathematician and computational biologist Zheng Ni Wong, Doctors Katya and Victor Piotr and Sociologist specializing in Eastern Studies, Doctor Stephen Briggs. Bryce who is performing that night, eventually joins them between sets for a physics and philosophy discussion unlike any other. Alicia discovers a few coincidental connections between the two of them and this leads to a lasting friendship between Alicia and Bryce that eventually brings them all into contact with Heylyn Yates, The Butterfly Dragon, leading to the events of The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See.

Jinn Hua, Aikiko Tanaka, Kori Jonglyu and Warai Jeong-Min Tokama will get their own background paragraphs in an upcoming artwork update post.

Tales Of The Sanctum: A Lady's Prerogative

From right to left: Nelony Ardbloem (and a bird friend), Shaela Sheowellyn, Mila Ren Dubel, Barris Windsor, Mishima Sato, Yirfir Lacharme, Jasmer McCavanaugh.

The story of this group of friends began in the first book A Lady's Prerogative I: The Yearning And The Learning

Mila Ren Dubel is a young artist who produces a painting that draws the attention of a wealthy investor, who just happens to own an art gallery. Mila ends up selling her painting for an exorbitant sum of money (in the multi-millions) and is invited as a guest of honour to the art show presenting her first work. Her parents, excited about her sudden success agree to fly out to meet her at the art show to celebrate, however they never arrive.

Years later, Mila holds a special dinner, and each of her mysterious guests, Nelony Ardbloem, Shaela  Sheowellyn and Yirfir Lacharme arrive on the wings of magic. The dinner as it turns out, is actually a graduation party for their success as students of Wytchcraft, under the guidance of their teacher and mentor, Yirfir Lacharme.

Their mentor however is kidnapped right from their midst, and they must work together to rescue her from the clutches of the nemesis Lorr. On their travels following the trail of their mentor's kidnapping, Mila rekindles her friendship with an old Japanese friend, Mishima Sato in Sheppterton off the Thames in London England. There, she meets Barris Windsor a humorous  man by whom she is immediately enthralled. With their new friends and acquaintances in distant places throughout the world, they continue their search for Yirfir, but ultimately their adventure finds its way home, where it will change Mila's and Barris' future forever.

Heylyn Yates aka Ai Yuanlin Ying aka Butterfly Dragon and 

Monique Defleur aka Eclipse

Heylyn Yates (aka Ai Yuanlin Ying) is the daughter of a family that emigrated from GuangZhou, China to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when her father, a prominent Architect and Civil Engineer was offered a position as Chief Architect in a series of multi-national projects. Heylyn's mother became a professional Real Estate Agent and license holder, the two raising their daughter at home. 

Heylyn began having dreams of a mystical field, where she discovers a cocoon after a series of adventures. The cocoon hatches and she comes to know its offspring, who introduces her to her destiny as the Butterfly Dragon. 

After years of training in both martial arts and school, she befriends a young Alicia Westin. With graduation around the corner, and Heylyn's marks in Math and Science very lacking, she makes a deal with her friend Alicia to tutor her in Math and Science. In return, Heylyn who is hoping to become a Fashion Designer, designs and creates a graduation dress for Alicia, who is very self conscious about her appearance and weight. 

Alicia tutors Heylyn, who passes the mandatory subjects to graduate and is accepted into a prominent Fashion Arts program. Alicia attends the graduation dance in the dress Heylyn designed for her, and discovers a sense of renewed self confidence, which leads to her pursuit of her own career at the University Of Windsor. Alicia eventually loses contact with Heylyn over the course of her University years, while Heylyn Yates eventually becomes a successful Fashion Designer, creating her own company: West Meet East International.

Their newfound lives are interrupted when Alicia arrives nearly a decade later, as part of Heylyn's destiny to become the Butterfly Dragon. Together, with two more of their friends, they become heroes of their own.

Monique Defleur is a former waitress who upon losing her residence during a difficult breakup, is discovered by Fashion Designer Heylyn Yates. Heylyn takes Monique under her wing and hires Monique as a fashion model for one of her shows. From that point in time, Monique takes the initiative and opportunity afforded by Heylyn, and builds her life into a solid foundation, saving up net worth and accruing financial stability in her life, all while working on her career. 

With Heylyn's help, she eventually buys her own condo unit as well, and her life stabilizes with the opportunity. That is until Heylyn's old friend Alicia Westin shows up in their lives, introducing the both of them to the SY-349 formula and changing their lives forever. Heylyn re-discovers her destiny as the mystical martial arts superhero: The Butterfly Dragon, and Monique finds purpose and meaning in her life as the superhero: Eclipse. Together, the three women along with their new friend and ally Valerie Aspen, take on a criminal mastermind and industrialist who secretly rules the world.

Alicia Westin aka Night Style

Alicia Westin received her Doctorate in the field of Quantum Biology at the University Of Windsor, Ontario Canada. She is one of the first in the field of her vocation working for biomedical investment firm Tynan And Associates, and the inventor of the SY-349 formula. The SY-349 formula is the formula that gave her superpowers. She used her abilities to take on the growing threat posed by local criminal mastermind Grier Torman. Alicia was the first of the ladies of the book The Butterfly Dragon I: Heroes Of Our Own to become a superhero. 


That's the artwork thus far. Anything updated in this generation of character design will be appended to this post in the form of a simple character sheet with portraits much the same as these posts.

There are many more finished characters to be added, but each of these posts takes considerable time. 

There are also still many characters left to create (many of whom never received a design in the first place). They're coming soon, but I have many other things to do (like writing the current episodes and working on projects related to administration and production). All of these other things have to keep going, while the artwork is brought up to the next level and as preparations are made for what's to come.

Thank you to my (non-abusive and non-harassing) readers. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you except by creating more content. 

If the inspirations in my life have been the wind in my sails, then you're the current of the water that keeps that boat going when the winds become quiet.

Credits and attribution:

Artwork: Amy WongWendy PuseyGhastlyBirdman, Brian Joseph Johns, Daz3DUnreal Engine...

Tools: Daz3DCorel PainterAdobe PhotoshopLightwave 3DBlender, Stable Diffusion (Easy Diffusion distribution), InstantIDGoogle ColaboratoryMicrosoft Copilot (Windows 11), Hitfilm, Borderline Obsession...

InstantID by: Wang, Qixun and Bai, Xu and Wang, Haofan and Qin, Zekui and Chen, Anthony. Research Paper Title: InstantID - Zero-shot Identity-Preserving Generation in Seconds.

Gratitude: Our Mentors, Senseis, Sifus, Sebomnims, lifetime inspirations, family, friends, the Nomads (ask Stanton about that one), the Music, the Movies, the Theatre, the Arts, ASMR (both YouTube and Bilibili), the Gaming and Software Developer communities and of course, the audience.

Martial Arts links to come...