What do you get when you cross a pirate with a ninja?

You get a "Paninja" At least that's what Shelby says and she should know because she created it. Here's the backstory to that.

Shelby is the middle daughter of my friends Tom and Anne-Marie. Shelby went to summer camp last year. At summer camp there were two bunkhouses. Each with a theme/mascot. One was the Pirates and the other was the Ninjas. The problem was that Shelby had friends in both bunkhouses and came up with a name for herself that would reflect that. Thus was born The Paninja! Friend to both Pirate and Ninja alike. Soon a secret alliance was created of other like-minded campers. The ranks of this secret society grew but the core numbered three.

Shelby shared this story with her parents, and Tom wanted to make the idea into a real image. But completely in secret. Shelby would have no idea. He enlisted my help to develop the image. We bounced ideas back and forth until the final idea was formed.

Above is the final pencils for the piece. And below, the final inks.

And below is the final image. The color, background and skull, hook, and crossbones were done digitally. I altered this image a bit to fit nicely on a 18" x 24" poster that Tom had printed. He surprised Shelby with the glossy poster yesterday and the image was a hit. Next up are some t-shirts and hoodies. 

Paninja © 2011 Shelby Fleming / Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

Thanks Tom for bringing me in on this. And thanks Shelby for not allowing bunkhouse names to decide who your friends are. A lesson we all would do well to live by.

This is Post #1248