Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Independents- character design part 2

Meet Archibald Forrester aka Archimago. He's a heavy-metal obsessed sorcerer who doesn't really fit in anywhere but with The Independents. He loves any- and everything to do with metal, from Black Sabbath to airbrush painted vans to flame-detailed clothing.

These are the rough sketches I like to put together when designing characters. Usually I start with a "junk page" where I scribble gestures and shapes until I find something that works. Once I've got a pose that speaks to the character, I tighten it up on a larger sheet and fill the rest of the page with drawings of faces, expressions, action shots, etc.

The characters in The Independents all have personalities that leap off of the written page, so creating their looks has felt pretty organic. Like I'm just adding definition to what's already there. There have been some minor road bumps, though, and here's one of them:

My first try on Archie ended up looking too "bad-ass". Writer Ben Christian thought he should look a bit nerdier, and after hearing his vision for Archie I agreed. This story takes place in a very real-world setting. So I got rid of the giant Gwar-like shoulderpads and I changed his hair to something that looked more like, um, hair. I was going for a Scott Weiland look, but it ultimately failed. Hard.
In the final version, I added glasses and changed his posture to slump a bit more. I kept the Kiss boots because they're gonna be fun to draw. Ben pointed out that this was not a confident guy who knew his place, but he still has fun being a hero, so I tried to reflect that.


  1. Dude, these character designs are bloody fantastic.

    I know something about preparing a pitch to a publisher now myself, as me and my colleagues are literally jus about to do it. Nerve-wracking!

    But you can really feel the strength of the idea from these designs alone, very good indeed. I'm sure you'll breeze through the pitch process lol.

    And if you're ever looking for new collaborators, me and my other writing colleagues would jump at the chance to work with ya dude!

  2. Thanks a lot, Joe! Good luck with your pitch!