Monday, September 21, 2009

CHARACTER DESIGN 02 _ Kill your Darlings

As a novice comic creator, I'm finding one of the most basic challenges to be maintaining a consistent look for each character and to retain their likeness throughout the strip. Initially sketching up a character turnaround helps to solve the likeness issue but I feel like I broke the rule of style for one of the Cold City characters.

In the Oni Talent Search script, Antony Johnston describes the character of Waddel as such:

Waddel is middle-aged, balding and very overweight.

So, based on the style I established with Lorraine I set forth and drew the version on the left. English, oily, and a man with secrets.

I wasn't satisfied and in my doodling I arrived at the more spontaneous version on the right. To me, he possesses more sinister charm, life in dead fish eyes, and the jowls of a leader.

I fell in love with a drawing (YES!). The problem is, he didn't fit the rest of the style. I may still want to revisit the strip in a more abstract line but he now sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

In writing, Faulkner advised to "kill your darlings." Eliminate any elements, possibly beautiful in their own right, that don't suit the whole. In the short turnaround to complete these pages, I opted to save old fish face and I think the cohesion of the world I created suffers a little for it.

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