twins lions

That’s Taiwo on the left and Kehinde crouching on the right.

Nigeria has one of the highest twinning rates in the world. As such, there are certain customs and traditions in how they are viewed culturally.

Taiwo is a name traditionally given to the first twin to be born, while Kehinde is the second. However we always have to be mindful of seniority. Taiwo is the first to be born, but is considered the younger twin who was sent by Kehinde to see what the world is like. Once Taiwo checks it out and sees everything is okay, Kehinde is finally born.

As such in Spider Stories, Tai is the more physical and outgoing twin, and you can see he has a slightly larger build and more charismatic facial expression. Ken is the older more calculating and smarter twin. Together they get into all kinds of harebrained schemes between Ken’s wit, and Tai’s strength.

photo 2

These two fill the niche of the high fantasy knights. It was tempting to give them riding armor and other traditional fantasy trappings of knight hood. However taking into account the climate and heat, wearing heavy layers while doing a lot of physical activity isn’t for the best, so we took references from existing African warrior clothes.

twinsThe hair probably took us the longest to decide on. They were initially sketched out as being bald, but we already have one bald guy on the team. First rule of strong character design is building distinct silhouettes so audiences knows at a glance who each character is. That’s why a lot of the most iconic animated characters have headgear or wild hair. Or are Pokemon…

whos that

The whole point is that it’s easy – a hard ‘Who’s That?’ segment is poor design.

We debated several hair styles until settling on cornrows and short braids. It’s tied up so it doesn’t get in the way of their fighting, but otherwise gives their heads some personality.

taiwo turnaround

When characters come in pairs you really have two options color wise. Either they’re exactly the same, or they’re near opposites.

They were initially  wearing Red and Green. But we already have a red ranger in this series, so we took a third option and changed Taiwo’s primary color to be more yellow so he would stay distinct from Z. Together with the Drummer these four take on the primary colors!

Part soldier, part handyman. These characters straddle the line between core team members and comic relief. As brothers they play off of each other so naturally. Their journey with Zahara will force them to grow stronger, braver, and smarter.


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