Graffiti Wars

logo graffiti wars

Many of my lines analyze the various influences of Star Wars (World Wars, Samurai Wars, Serial Wars, & West Wars) while others are just fun experiments and serve as testaments to it’s timeless archetypes into various eras (Steam Wars, Pirate Wars, Noir Wars, & Cyber Wars)   This line is somewhere in between the two approaches.   While it is definitely is a creative exploration of a fun idea it does look somewhat at the influences of Star Wars.  I was struck by all of the similarities between Star Wars and American Graffiti, George Lucas’ earlier film. An average kid who wants to leave home, the cool loner with the fast car, even the final drag race seemed strangely reminiscent of the trench run.  The line is meant to be a kind of combination of films in or about the youth culture of the late 50’s and early 60’s  Most notably American Graffiti with some elements of Rebel without a cause, the Wild One, and the biker exploitation films that attempted to scare the youth away from motorcycle gangs.

The line is set in 1962 in the dry, desert town to Tucson (two suns…get it?) For the town’s teenage residents it is like most other middle sized towns of the era, somewhat boring with not much do except cruise around hoping for something to break the doldrums.


The leader of the biker gang know as Hell’s Empire which rides all over the southwest wreaking havoc and raising hell.



Is the all American girl. Daughter of a prominent family, good student, cheerleader, and every boy in down has a crush on her. When Vladimir’s gang stops at a local drive-in she catches his eye. He and his gang begin to harass her and make advances.



Lucas is your average American teen. He longs to leave this boring town where nothing ever happens. He enjoys drag racing and spends all of his spare money and time working on his car.


Chip & his ride

Chip has been Lucas’ friend since grade school. Even though the 2 had grown up into very different types of people they still remained friends. Chip can’t afford is car so he is constantly seen putting around Tucson on is little Vespa. Lucas is sometimes annoyed by Chip’s nerdy persona and ride but Chip’s loyalty to him over the years has made their friendship stand the test of time.



Old Burt Kenbury

Burt is the town mechanic and WWI vet that helps Lucas get his ride fixed up and keeps it running.  He entertains the boy with stories of his racing past and passes on some of the racing skills.


Originally I was going to go for a Wolfman Jack influence but thought the mechanic made more narrative sense.


Hal is the towns resident tough guy greaser. His car is the fastest thing on 4 wheels, It may not look like much but she has it where it counts, under the hood. When he is not cruising or drag racing he is avoiding the cops. Rumors have abounded for years that Hal is into some less the legal activities but no one has ever caught him.



Chuck is Hal’s best friend and mechanic. He runs the gas station and garage out on route 9. He is a huge towering man. Chuck is the strong but silent type, choosing rather to let his mechanical skills do the talking for him. He is always with Hal in the evenings, he is fiercely loyal to him, many stories exist as to why he is that loyal but no one knows for sure.


Biker Thug

The enforcers of Hells Empire are it’s masked multitude of minions that ride around and terrorize the small towns in smaller bands of bikers.



The right hand of Hells Empire, a man of mystery, and not to be taken lightly. He is a wanted man in 4 states but the cops have to catch the Empire, get through the gang and beat him to bring him in, that has not happened. He does not say much and never takes his helmet off. Some say is it so he is ready for action, others so that no one can ID him in a line up, and some say he was hideously disfigured in an accident, but no one knows for sure.

Full face helmets were not common in that era but I did find a photo of a stunt helmet and based this design off of it.