Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Monster Mash

Hi All.

Had my first assessment on Monday afternoon (for the Masters) and I have to say it went really well. I was expecting bad news as it's felt like I've not been firing on all engines as yet, but head lecturer Steve had lots of good things to say about my work (and my ability). The only thing that let my grading down was the fact that I've been playing it safe with my artwork and "playing to type". Steve mentioned an interesting point regarding my developing Monster Band comic, the characters seem to be far too cute looking and friendly for the age range I'm aiming for (Early Teen). If I'd have been producing the artwork for my original intended market (6-10) it would have been perfect.

Steve suggested that I either have these really cute characters doing disgusting, monsterous things (a-la Ren & Stimpy) or I make them more monsterous in their appearance. I forgot to tell Steve that originally the characters were 'second division' monsters, less famous (and therefore less effective) than their well known counterparts, and I could use the fact that they are clearly not monsterous looking to my advantage, hence why they start a band (to become more famous).

I'm left with a little dilemma regarding this now (as to what direction I follow visually). I've been working on some variations for the characters and I've attached the working drawing of my favoured variants here. The other important factor I have to consider is a strong and definate storyline... and that is proving more difficult than anything (because I'm not a natural writer)..

Ultimately though, it's all good, and if this was too easy it wouldn't be worth doing.

What does everyone else think about the characters? Original or alternative?

I'd appreciate your thoughts.


The Creative Twin said...

Wow you got so much useful critique at the assessment - no wonder you came out feeling positive. They hardly looked at my drawings, all they talked about was my research and how much I was fulfilling the criteria.

If I'm honest my personal preference is the alternative sketches not coloured (with the purple background). They have a kind of manic energy like Quentin Blake. Although the coloured original designs would work better as card cut-outs, character designs or models, the scribbly drawings would work better in a book, cartoon strips or short narratives.

Another favourite is the 'drummer wanted' sketch which I don't think needs to be coloured to have an impact. You could put that in a book as it is.

Seems a bit far-fetched but you could always use both styles. You know like bands sometimes have cartoon versions of themselves on all the marketing material... well perhaps the original drawings could be what they really look like and the alternative drawings could be how they present on posters........? If that makes sense.

Also do you really need a story or would just a collection of cartoons and character shots suffice - a bit like a tour diary or scrapbook??

Hope that's useful...


Anonymous said...

Hi Shane.
This is tricky. I'm very much liking the first set of characters you did , but getting to the sharp pointy sticks of decisioness stage I'd go for the vampire from the second lot , wolfie from the first lot (I like the werewolf in b/w better than in colour in the second lot but I still think the wolfman from set 1 is my favourite) and also Maxwell from the first lot, but I like the second creatures eyes, arrghh. . As for Sox I really can't make my mind up which version I prefer.
Hope this helps

rogue evolent said...

I like the shared "template" design. I also think that the "edgy, push-the-envelope" thing (i.e. Ren and Stimpy or any Seth McFarland show) has already been done to death. I'd say keep em fresh, fun, and more innocent. fwiw