Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Tourist...

So, I was just screwing around at the 'ol coffee shop. I should have been observing life but I started just playing with some shapes and this little guy magically appeared.

He started as a study for one of the quiet, yet intimidating gentlemen who run the children's chainsaw fighting league. Look for him to make an appearance in the main project. He won't be doing that much speaking but as we all know even supporting characters have a greater presence when they have a rich, full, overcomplicated back story. So, here goes.

He's this little German guy and he goes around the world in the guise of a common tourist; quiet, polite and gentlemanly. The kind of guy you'd like to have show up and gawk at your culture or patronize you. Little do folks know he is a world class safe-cracker. I dunno, what's better: international, all-star jewel thief or international, all-star art thief? Either way, he consistently gets his disguises wrong: a poncho in South Korea, kimonos in Australia...y'know...comedy gold?!

The audience loves a slow thinker and someone who is clearly out of their element yet seems really confident and pleased with himself.

Also, it seems like he is haunted by a gentleman in a top hat who doesn't approve of his mischief.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

At first his reaction was absolute horror...but then he began to wonder if the legend could be true...


Or just get less lazy about using the scanner.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What the...?!

Rough, quick sketch trying to figure out a hairstyle for our little protagonist. I like the hair but I'm kinda scared at what else I decided to do. Actually, I'm diggin' that little button nose as well. The slight quirkiness is a good compliment to Henri's big ol' honkin' schnoz. So yeah, get used to the hair maybe, but definately get used to the nose.

Look how happy she is!!! She loves her starter chain saw.

Hmmm....are braces endearing or just a pain to draw 40 or 50 times a day? We shall see.

Oh yeah! What about mom? She's not really a central character so I want something simple but with solid enough proportions we can get some great reaction shots out of her. Man, I feel bad marginalizing moms.

This here is a little closer to drab when what I think I'm really looking for is the heavier, Hairspray-esque mom who just looks like she's built to freak out over every little thing.

Wait?! Is it funnier if nothing effects her after the first two or three terrible shocks to the system? Maybe she turns to alcohol or pills to deal with her clearly disturbed husband and child! Hmm...for a cartoony short the most you can show is a swig of whiskey now and then. Remember booze = funny...pills = not funny. Plus, it's easier to make someone taking a swig out of a bottle read as opposed to popping pills. No insert shots listing Valium or the like.

And finally, to finish off this post: my homeslice Bobby Pontillas has done a really great write up on the incredible drawings Nico Marlet did for Kung-Fu Panda. Check it out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

So what kind of little girl is naturally gifted at fighting with chainsaws...

Having been hand picked by destiny to tell the story of little Margaret (champion chainsaw fighter) I'm at the roughest stage for me in the development process: character design.

This one really won't do at all. The dress is too old fashioned and the hair won't work for important parts of the story but a few things are starting to take shape. Like all cool girls I've ever known, she'll be rockin' a pair of Chucks. I also like the idea of her having an Evil Dead lunch box. Hmm...possibly Dino Riders. Gotta play that one by ear.

I really do hope I capture this level of excitement and wildness in the final design though. I've already cast Henri as the father so making the designs match up is gonna be bit of wackiness too but also a lot of fun.

I'll go into the story later. It's actually a really sweet father and daughter story. Kind of like Father and Daughter....but with chainsaws, nonsensical humor and less brilliant. No, all kidding aside there is a good amount of heart and heartwarminess to this tale. Actually, for the first time in a long time I'm more excited about the interaction of the characters than the overall gag. In fact, if this whole chainsaw thing starts feeling too violent I've got a backup plan in place. Can you say Big Wheels!!! We'll see how it feels in a few days.

But yeah, the characters and who they are is what's really driving me to put the hours in on this thing. Being able to make people connect with characters and feel life's experiences through them is what makes a story worth telling. It's how you create something that actually sticks with people; something folks will remember for more than 20 minutes after seeing it. If you're not interested in that I hear they have some openings over at Family Guy.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I think I just had the best idea ever!!!

Now I just gotta remember what a chainsaw really looks like and we can get this short on the road...after I figure that one out I'm pretty sure this is gonna be the single greatest accomplishment of my life.

Quick Sketch - Professor Awful...

He's just awful.