Topa Inca Picture

This may be one of my favorite illustrations so far - of course, there are things to change here and there, but I liked the overall result and style.
This is Topa Inca (named after the 15th Century Inca ruler), antagonist of the GUATE series of comic book stories I used to write & draw 11 years ago (I was 11 years old), and behind his throne, the Moche Spirit (named after the eponymous culture/civilization, that flourished in the northern coast of nowadays Peru between 100-700 years of the common era).

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In the GUATE story, Topa, the self-proclaimed INCA (child of the Sun) was a violent, ruthless dictator in the nation of Mochicopia (as the name implies, inspired on the pre-Inca Moche culture. Not only visually or thematically, but also on the military organization, the bloody decapitation rituals and all that violent stuff which some documentaries like to show us, of course based on existing mural paintings & ceramics) who has an increasing influence on global matters. He spends a lot of time within the dark halls of his residence, the fortified Moche Ziggurat (inspired on a Huaca, a kind of adobe brick pyramidal structure built by the Moche), a secret Pyramid in the jungles of Antisuyu (named after a region of the Tahuantinsuyu, a.k.a Inca Empire, it comprehends the region of the Andes, Northern Bolivia and a small portion of Acre, a State in nowadays northwestern Brazil), from where he inspires fear and respect from all his followers. He also personifies the M'etal, a code of ruthless laws set by the State of Mochicopia (I'm not getting into details here, but to get a glimpse, the first law, Destroya, means to destroy your enemies. There's also laws inciting bloodshed, prejudice, appropriation, slavery, corruption and so on). Topa counts with a vast and obedient army, as well a group of elite cyborgs spread through the world, following his code and doing his bidding. One of such cyborgs is Mallku (from the aymara "Condor"), who came to be a fierce rival of the story's protagonist, Guatemozin.

The son of Ai Apaec (named after a Moche deity, or likely a generic name for "deity" or "god" in the extinct Moche/Chimú language), Topa is the current incarnation of the spirit of darkness, and in the story was often seen talking to himself, or his own shadow, that is seen here, identified as "The Moche Spirit", behind his throne. The book which he has in hands is the Vellag Vuh (Vuh from the K'iché Mayan language "book"), an artifact from Vellag, the grandfather of Guatemozin, the story's protagonist, who was cursed by Topa to become one of his minions, alongside the rest of his family - including Guatemozin's father, Ocelotl (from the nahuatl "Jaguar"), and Guatemozin himself. Guatemozin, however, broke free of the curse and took over his Xibalban self (Xibalba, from the K'iché Mayan "place of fear", refers to the underworld. Like the Hero Twins Hunahpu & Xbalanque of the K'iché mythology, Guatemozin partially descended from people of the underworld). He wasn't, however, the only figure in the story negatively affected by Topa. His best friend, Aplo Aquanautilus, a.k.a as the vigilante Fruitbat, is a descendant of Topa, as is their fellow archaeologist and Guatemozin's long time love interest Nina.

I gave some attention to the composition of Topa's throne, inspiring some of its details on existing Moche works of artisanship, especially on the crafting of their golden masks, featuring creatures such as the Condor. Another interesting fact - by the time I created this character, I didn't mind the fact he's a white and blond haired, despite he's named after a 15th Century Pre-Columbian Inca/quechua ruler, and rules over a modern nation inspired on a pre-Inca civilization. I don't remind all the process behind his development, but I guess his characteristic as a ruthless dictator used to stewardships outmatched any need for historical authenticity. That, added to the fact that the Inca also had within their belief system the defense of royal castes and social privileges, has contributed to make this white "child of the Sun" the way he is. And yet about the illustration, I especially liked the light and smoke effects - kinda remind me of Supreme Leader Snoke, from The Force Awakens.

This character is the main inspiration for Tupaq, the God of Darkness and Primordial Dragon, a major antagonist in my current project, the IN LAK'ECH Mythos
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