Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sketchbook Scraps Too: Electric Boogaloo

So yeah, it's April Fool's Day today, and not much is going on with me at the moment, so I figure I could use this time to upload some more stuff from my sketchbooks.

This is a very rough sketch for a blog post that I plan to do in the future, relating to my opinions about the newspaper comics, be they good (Calvin & Hobbes, Pearls Before Swine), bad (The Lockhorns, Blondie), or meh (The Family Circus, Hi & Lois).

Yep, two more sketches involving one of my manga-based concepts, Mikako. The top one involves Mikako running with a look of either determination or anger on her face. (I need to work on manga character side-views of the face.) The bottom involves some basic concepts, like a standing pose, another view of the flower on her head, a concept for the crystal amulet that motivates her on her journey, a back view of the head, and Mikako as a baby. If those of you lacking in artistic knowledge are wondering about those lines above and below her eyes, they're guide lines. Manga artists use them for constructing those distinct eyes and other facial features, but they're also used by other professional artists, like Disney character designers and realism artists. Considering the artistic training I took before college, both on-school and off-school, tidbits of construction info like that can serve beneficial in the long run.

Considering the bad rep clowns tend to get, what with the scaring of children and the depictions in schlocky horror flicks, I came up with a story concept to mock that, combining comedy, drama, and action, and this is a possible character design. It depicts a world where the performance of clowning in circuses and rodeos have been banned due to the frightened children and the negative depictions in media. One former clown, however, cynical over all this, doesn't want to give up the act just yet and wants to use his tricks to benefit society somehow. Through a series of events, he eventually becomes a bounty hunter/secret agent/spy/detective, using modified versions of his old clown toys to combat crime. And yes, he insists on wearing the clown make-up on the job.

This actually spawned from an idea that my friend Jess (a.k.a. Puppyluver) once came up with, that's a play on "flipping the bird", by having a bird show up where the middle finger should be. I decided to add to that idea, by coming up with an incredibly goofy-looking bird that would cover the offending digit so that it would be impossible not to laugh at it, no matter if it's the wordplay or the actual image of the guy flipping somebody off only for this outlandish looking character to suddenly show up.

I don't know who exactly served as the influence of this character's design. Bob Clampett? John Kricfalusi? Ralph Bakshi? (I haven't seen much of Bakshi's work, aside from still shots and the music video for The Rolling Stones' "Harlem Shuffle," which John Kricfalusi worked on.) Ah well, it has a nice retro air to it, I think.

Just a lil' girl standing around, looking precious.

...And here's my deranged rendition of the mythological Japanese monster known as the kappa. Yeah, looks like something that came from the cartoony side of Doug TenNapel's brain, doesn't it? Heck, I'm sure that's who I was thinking off when I drew this.

Speaking of Doug TenNapel, here's Klaymen from The Neverhood game he created. I'm looking forward to Terry Scott Taylor's new "Return To The Neverhood" collaboration he did with Doug TenNapel. Considering that I've been a fan of the guy ever since I heard the enjoyably quriky music for the games by The Neverhood company and got the "Imaginarium" album, I sure hope it'll live up to my expectations and the expectations of fellow fans.

And here's more experimental insanity:

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