References I pulled for the Habba drawing earlier. I was influenced by images of people from Central Asian cultures - places where countless empires made their mark and left behind very interesting-looking people. Some examples: the Ladakhi people of India (Source), Mongolian semi-nomads (Source), the Uyghurs who occupy western China (Source), and the residents of former Soviet states like Kyrgyzstan (Source).
There are actually a couple of comics that take place in Central Asia: there’s Temujin, as well as Kaoru Mori’s absolutely gorgeous A Bride’s Story. But there’s plenty of room to explore these cultures and histories, and there really aren’t a lot of comics heroines who look the way these women do. Time to put another entry on the “comics to make” list.