Sometimes we see character designs that just, ahem, leap off the page, begging to become stars in a larger story. That’s how we feel about Conor Nolan’s “Lilypad 7,” an amphibious crew who come from an alternate version of feudal Japan.

We asked Nolan where these designs came from, and he responded over email:

It’s difficult to know where some ideas come from but if I had to guess for the seven it would be both my fondness of Studio Ghibli/ Hayao Miyazaki, and the movie ‘Seven Samurai’ by Akira Kurosawa. I also just really like frogs and thought putting them into armor, robes, and acorn hats would be a fun thing to draw.

He also says that while he originally started drawing these characters as an exercise, they’ve taken on a larger life. He’s been writing on a Lilypad 7 comic series, which he’s planning to pitch around soon. We can’t wait to see it!

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You can purchase prints of the Lilypad 7 from Black Dragon Press and see more of his work on his site and his Tumblr.