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Dragon Goons - Final Frontier's Year of the Dragon Solarpunk Homage

February 9th 2024

What if the world didn't go up in flames; instead, it changed just when things hit rock bottom? That's the premise of our latest dive into original content—a wild ride of rebuilding, hope, and, you guessed it, dragons.

Inspired by the Solarpunk movement, where sci-fi meets sustainability, our story kicks off in a world bouncing back from centuries of chaos that mirrors the struggles of our own 2024 era.

Here, amidst a resurgence of nature's power and the unexpected return of dragons, humanity embraces a new mindset of coexistence. Enter the "Dragon Goons," a badass crew on a mission to find and protect dragon eggs, fueled by a hardcore belief in Dragon's Freedom.

Design by Pedro Franz

But lurking in the shadows is "The Mending Hand," a shady group hell-bent on controlling these mythical beasts for their own evil schemes. Will dragons be weapons of mass destruction or soar free as they're meant to? Only the epic adventures of the Dragon Goons will spill the tea.

At Final Frontier, we're all about smashing cultural barriers and empowering art and design that speak to everyone, no matter where you're from.

So, in the spirit of pushing boundaries, we're taking it to the next level in the Year of the Dragon. Get ready to meet the Dragon Goons in a throwback 80s sticker album style, complete with sick stickers and illustrations that drop you right into the action.

The "Dragon Goons" project is our vibe check—a collab with eight top-notch animation studios and artists from all over the map, from China to Spain, passing by Singapore, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, the United States, France, Peru, Singapore, and beyond. Each one brings their own flavor to the mix, showing off the global talent that makes Final Frontier pop.

Ladies & Gents, we have the pleasure of introducing the "Dragon Goons":

The Faulty Hero

Designed by Nerdo

Daniele from NERDO Studio says about the Faulty Hero:
"I wanted the Hero to be a bit of an outcast, a guy who spent most of his life using his strength to collect gold and power. That is until he meets a charismatic, enlightened person who flips his world. Suddenly, he realizes his power can be used for something nobler, for the greater good."

"His physicality narrates this dark aspect of his past, with scars telling the wounds that marked him. The Hero is a man, deeply connected with nature and wild beasts, giving him a lone-wolf vibe."

The Wise Mentor

Designed by Dirty Work 

Faga and Leal from Dirty Work tell us about The Wise Mentor:
"When we have freedom and fewer constraints, the work becomes more lightweight and enriching. Therefore, in this project, we made a conscious effort to steer away from the classic illustrations found in sticker albums or RPG cards as much as possible. We aimed to create a lighter, captivating, and bold illustration."

"When we think of a mentor, we always picture the elder. Our idea was to slightly remove that stigma. He is more of an eccentric character with a badass side, but at the same time, he has his own unique style. A leader who also carries charisma with him."

The Strong Right Hand

Designed by Le Cube

The Shady Trickster

Designed by Blirp

Blirp, the creator of The Shady Trickster, shared:
"The character's pose and shape play pivotal roles in illustrations, serving as crucial communicators of personality. The process kicks off with experimenting on sketches of shapes, involving a trial-and-error approach."

"In terms of inspiration, Japanese animation, of course, particularly from studios like Trigger, and video game designs are rich sources for getting inspired. We also listen to Synthwave as background music or just a video game streaming."

The Crazy Demolisher

Designed by Le Cube

The Genius Crafter

Designed by Daniel Semanas

Passing the mic to Daniel Semanas, Illustrator of The Genius Crafter:
"Whenever I create an illustration that features a character, I usually think of the story behind him. This character became an experienced crafter who, inspired by her mentor, acquired a vast knowledge of robotics, alchemy, and botany, which allowed her to create powerful cyber-biological weapons and began to take her place as the Crafter of the Dragon Goons."

" For the weapon, I did some tests and came up with the basic shape of a cube wrapped in a ball of light, as if it had just created a new type of technology that combined the manipulation of the elements of nature (represented by the ball of light) and technology (represented by the cube)."

The Machiavellic Overseer

Designed by Appétit Studio

Hugo Mermillod from Appétit Studio tells us about the conception of the Goons' nemesis.About the Machiavellic Overseer: 
"I went for a kind of classy and brilliant character. He is wearing a shirt with eye motifs and a classy bullet vest. It seems like he always knows what's coming next before anyone. He is skinny and quite old, but his strength isn't on a physical level. From his pose, we can see that he is the one in command."

The Warrior General

Designed by Appétit Studio

Adds, "For the Warrior General, I wanted to not only make him scary but to work on his face as if it was pretty badly burnt. It added a lot to the "I never want to fight him in my life" vibe. He fights with his hands covered in sharp and heavy armor gloves. He is strong, seems intelligent, has seen a lot, and will crush you if you're standing in his way."

The Shadow Assassin

Designed by Appétit Studio

Ending with The Shadow Assassin:
"For this character, I searched for a very creepy way to introduce him. It sketched him in a dark place with a light coming from the top, making us try to guess its form and, in the process, discover a dead body. After some consideration, maybe the right way to approach this character was in a big bang. They are scary and mysterious; the fire in the backlight bathing the shadow assassin for an instant will be the last thing you'll see."

The Promising Dragonling

Designed by Jaime Alvarez Sobreviela

Jaime Alvarez Sobreviela commented about The Promising Dragonling:
"I gave her a joyful and innocent attitude while creating a sense of mystery and secrecy. (...) I also love how her mischievous and playful smile contrasts her more introverted side, with a hoodie covering most of her face. It's as if you could feel she's confident yet shy at the same time."

"I'm certain the Promising Dragonling will revolutionize the team and their surroundings. I would expect her instincts to awaken if she has the opportunity to be close to another Dragon. Recognizing herself in this Dragon and being aware of what she is able to do, giving her a sense of belonging to her Dragon descent. She is the connection between both worlds."

Year of the Dragon (Goons!)

At Final Frontier, we see the Dragon Goons saga as a tribute to humanity's grit and our capacity to roll with the punches, embrace change, and come out stronger on the other side.

We hope the Dragon Goons' quest will light a fire in your soul, reminding you of the boundless possibilities that await us all!

Here's to the Year of the Dragon, bringing us together, pushing our limits, and igniting the spark of imagination that drives us forward.

So, kick back, enjoy the album, get to know the crew, and dive headfirst into our Solar Punk Universe!

Story created by Le Cube's Founder & Creative Director, Ralph Karam, and Andre "Sid" Osna, Creative Development at Final Frontier. 

Story by Ralph Karam & André ‘Sid’ Osna
Album design by Pedro Franz

Characters and Cards by Appétit Studio - Blirp - Daniel Semanas - Dirty Work - Jaime Alvarez Sobreviela - Le Cube - Nerdo

Crew: Adolfo Correa, Agustina Krol, Agustina Navarrete, Antonio Savasta Alsina, Bella Jiang, Carola Domenech, Carolina Abba, Catherine Fong, Chris Colman, Claus Cibils, Eric Zheng, Fernanda Soma, Gabriel Karam, Gabriel Murgue, Grace Lin, Guillermina Gómez Arévalo, Gus Karam, Jonathan Tundis, JuanMa Freire, Julia Francucci, Julieta Zajakowski, Liam Lin, Mary Antonieta Lopez, Migue Klurfan, Miranda Tsetskhladze, Natalia Fernandez, Santiago Antin, Santiago Oddis, Santino Sladavic, Simin Gao, Wei Zhou, Yanyie Tran, Yeeman Lin.

© 2024 Final Frontier Animation Company. All rights reserved. Copyright of Illustration, Characters, and Wordstory.