Friday, January 20, 2012

"What the Hell is Updown Town?"

You know, I've been developing this whole Updown Town business for nearly eight whole years now, and though I've certainly shown a lot, I haven't actually told much. A few of my friends have been very interested in knowing what this little universe of mine is all about, and I figured I'd try to oblige them with a few blog posts.

Let me try to start out as generally as I can: Updown Town is a comedic action series starring a group of anthropomorphic animal heroes who keep the titular city safe from a cast of eccentric villains. I've taken a lot of bits and pieces from superhero media I've digested over the years, and I'm sure those nuggets of inspiration are visible enough if you look for them! I intend to turn it into an animated series, feature, or short one day, but we'll all have to wait and see how that turns out.

Updown Town itself is a fairly large, bustling city; think of it as a mix of San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles, all with a bit of futuristic tech thrown in for good measure. There aren't any humans in the UT universe, but I don't have a convoluted reason for them not being present other than some kind of alternate universe nonsense.

The heroes of Updown Town are the color-coded agents of the Updown Town Patrol (usually shortened to Updown Patrol or UP). Being a publicly funded agency, the UP deals with threats to the city that are deemed too dangerous for Average Joe police officers to handle. Usually, this means having to confront an assortment of odd villains ranging from a de-scented mad scientist skunk to a lover-boy marten who dabbles in corporate warfare for kicks.

Let's meet some of the characters, shall we?

Heroes:


Frankie Ancelotti [Agent Red] is the generally affable, anxiety-addled one-man bomb squad of the Updown Patrol and is Updown Town's main protagonist. He's always worrying about something or another and has developed some nervous tics as a result of his work with explosives. Though demolition and things that go boom are his forte, he tends to favor taking on more general field agent duties. He's also typically the first to report to the Head Agent when things go sour during mission-times.

Likes: A good cup of coffee
Dislikes: Loud noises


Rinaldi Vitello [Agent Purple] is second-in-command at the Updown Patrol and is Frankie's older half-brother. The no-nonsense, sourpuss attitude of his can be off-putting to some, though he manages to maintain a fairly healthy friendship with his teammates and an even stronger one with his younger sibling. His expertise in stealth comes from his days as a burglar for one of Updown Town's most powerful gangs; it's a past he's come to terms with but would rather not discuss.

Likes: Cool jazz
Dislikes: Obnoxious jerks


Suko Kiyama [Agent Yellow] is the team's resident tech guru and inventor. His happy-go-lucky demeanor and eagerness acts as a direct contrast to the short temper he has toward technology that doesn't function the way he expects it to. As much as he loves tinkering with existing tech and developing new gadgets, his love of sweets has outshone this passion on more than one occasion.

Likes: The latest model
Dislikes: Black licorice


Villains:


Victor Stunkov [Dr. Stunkov] is a villainous scientist with a penchant for dodgy English and maniacal cackling. Having lacked a scent gland since birth, he's always been an easy target for ridicule in the skunk community. Rather than dealing with his status as an outcast in a more level-headed way, he instead intends to prove his superiority by attempting to take over Updown Town with the aid of an acid-spraying gun and lots of shouting.

Likes: '80s New Wave
Dislikes: Most things


Spencer Finneau is the heir to one of Updown Town's most lucrative security companies and a smooth-talking Casanova-type. Being the business-savvy marten that he is, Spencer's worked out that it's much easier to make oodles of cash through causing chaos than it is through playing nicely. He splits his money evenly among the girls he fawns over and the most out-there weaponry money can buy, the latter of which he and uses to crush and/or extort the hell out of rival companies.*

Likes: Pretty ladies
Dislikes: People who mock his accent


Other:


Kiyone Ono isn't exactly a villain, but she sure does want to be one. Though she aspires to reach the same level of villainy that the likes of Stunkov and Spencer have achieved, she lacks the capacity to do anything that could be considered evil. As a result, her “crimes” consist of innocuous stuff like jaywalking, littering, and loitering where prohibited. Her cheery attitude and position as “Top Frogurt Seller” at her day job don't do much to help her achieve her goal.*

Likes: Strawberries
Dislikes: Being ignored

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There are several other secondary characters and a major villain I've yet to formally introduce, but you can look forward to information on those later. What, you thought I was going to give you everything in one go? You are a crazy person!

Check back soon for more on Updown Town; it'll be worth the wait!

*Kiyone and Spencer haven't received redesigns like the others have yet, but they may or may not get that treatment depending on what I feel like doing.

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