Click here to read his full bio on our mainsite.


President Gamba. The leader of the Iron Nation, their emblem is the elephant. Some people call him The Iron Elephant in accordance as he has positioned himself at the pinnacle of their society.

There are a few things going on here with Gamba’s design. He wears an agbada, full formal wear, indicative of his status as a ruler. He also carries a staff with a gem embedded in it. We imagined these staffs as being symbols of status in the world of Spider, Zahara carries one too albeit the style is completely different.

On top of his clothes is a plated elephant like armor which compliments his most distinguishing feature, the elephant mask he carries on his shoulder.

elephant referenceIt commanded a great presence in the exhibit that was perfect for the imposing character Gamba is.

For reference we used an actual mask that we encountered when visiting museums and doing some research for Spider last year. It is worn by high priests during special rituals. Doing some further research, elephant masks, though they don’t look like this one, are used by certain tribes of Cameroon as status symbols of the powerful and wealthy.

Spider is based mostly off of Nigeria and the Yoruba as that is what we are most familiar with but we put in a little bit of pan African flavor where appropriate. We’re trying to make sure it all meshes well with our design and nothing seems too forced or out of place. Since we’re working in fantasy, not historical fiction, we can take some stylistic liberties so it stays cohesive.

If you don’t know where it comes from, its fine just to say it looks and sounds cool. If you recognize our references, well that’s just icing on the cake.

photo 4photo 3

His original design (left) and the more streamlined one (right) that we decided to go with in the end.

Elephants also have something of a rivalry with Lions as far as who is the greatest of the wild animals. Elephants command sheer size and power, while there’s just something majestic about the Lion and its great mane. Coincidentally we had the two houses as rivals even before we learned this, but when we found out it was a recurring trope in fiction and folklore we just had to play it up.

After the invaders destroy the house of Lions, Gamba, head of the house of Elephants, steps up to take command. What kind of rule will this ambitious man create in Zahara’s absence?

Stay tuned.



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