A couple weeks ago Chris Houghton asked me if I'd be interested in doing a pin-up for his soon to be released comic named "Reed Gunther and the Steak Snacking Snake!" He recently posted some layouts on his blog. Simply put, its a story about a bear-riding cowboy named Reed Gunther. Chris sent me a bunch of amazing samples to work from, including these handy character sheets:
The task was to figure out how to put my own personal spin on the characters. I really like Chris's designs, so at first I didn't know how far I should go, or how much to deconstruct them. I figured I should start by making them a hair more cartoony, only slightly changing the proportions.
Then I really toyed with the proportions. Their heads got considerably bigger, and there are hints of the ole noodle arms sneaking into Reed's design.
So, I emailed these pencils to Chris, and while he liked them a lot, he pointed out that they weren't really in my "trademark" style (if there is such a thing). Especially the first one. So, he encouraged me to have even more fun with them—giving me the license to make them as cartoony as I wanted.
Moving forward, I took the latest round and punched up the cartoony factor even more, channeling the old-fashioned 20s and 30s cartoons I hold dear. Starla was the trickier one to work out. I landed on a bow-legged solution for her legs that makes for a fun pose—though admittedly less feminine—with a splash of Olive Oyl.
I decided to ink in Flash so I could make changes and tweak as needed.
It was amusing trying to translate a set of characters into my style. And an interesting process. From here I'll be adding a simple desert background and some typography for the finishing touches. Be sure to look for "Reed Gunther" come May!
5 hours ago