I have some new character art and designs to share with you! If you follow the blog, you may remember a series of animations I posted about a year ago from a project we developed at FableVision for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science called "Top 10 Traumas on the Trail." If not --> here's a refresher (with plenty of animation to watch). You can currently see that project in a fantastic exhibit at the museum called Expedition Health.
Well, the awesome crew from the museum came back to us with a request for a sequel! (I was of course, ecstatic!... There are few things I love more than combining animation and science). This new series of shorts features the same hiker with a new friend—and this time they're learning about how the makeup of our DNA alters how we perceive various sensations.
I started by revisiting earlier designs of the hiker character, and coming up with a few more. The original, who we call Spikey, is in pink.
We ended up going with (B), but realized we'd need to add ears so they'd be able to, well...hear.
Next, I designed some environments. Below are stills from a few of the opening segments. We start outside at stops along the trail, and then enter into the body to explain the scientific process. These are all painted in ArtRage, which is an app I still highly recommend.
And then it was on to the senses characters. We needed all 5 of them (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing). I thought it would be most fun to have the characters become the body part that perceives the sense. Here's an early composite sketch.
There's also a bright little character named Poly (short for polymerase, which is an enzyme that reacts with DNA). We think of her as the engineer responsible for reading the blueprint of your genes. Some early sketches of her, below (we went with C):
And last but not least, the Brain.
(like I really needed to design another brain character...YES!) He's the guy all the senses report to.
*Update: FableVision animator, Hannah O'Neal, asked me to dig up the alternates for the Brain. She inspired version (D) with a doodle she passed over to me. So many brains, so little time.
And here they all are in the final character lineup.
One more image to toss at you: a test that I did to make sure they worked on the background concept (devised to be a cool little factory & command center inside the body).
That's all for now! I like to think of these little sense guys as cute cousins to my weirdo brain character. I'll share a few of the final animations in the near future.
A bit of fun news to report: My bud David DeGrand and I are co-curating a comics and cartooning art show for the Canteen Gallery in Ottawa. This is the same gallery that featured my Caucus Race illustration in a group show back in March. I'll post more information as the show nears, but as you can see we have a pretty amazing lineup of cartoonists, including the crew from Heeby Jeeby!
David gets full credit for the show poster and the name, "Seduction of the Idiots" (meant to be a play on the infamous book, Seduction of the Innocent).
For now, pencil in the opening date, August 27th—especially if you'll be in and around Ottawa. It'll run until September 12th.
The brain is on the loose over here at Drip! I'm not sure how, but he got into the banner. Which is alright, I guess. If you missed him on Heeby Jeeby, here's his debut comic:
...which has now been dubbed "Brain Freeze." I kind of like "Cubed", too. Especially because I built this comic from a 4x6 square grid (if that sort of thing interests you).
I definitely plan on doing more comics with him, so be on the lookout.
And as a brain BONUS, this fellow just arrived in my inbox.
...who was delivered and drawn by the one and only Trevor Van Meter! WOW! That's one damn fine root beer float. I'm certainly not going to discourage pin-ups and "brain art" like this. The invitation is open!
Trevor has a leg up on me because he actually gives his characters awesome names. You may have heard of his creation, "Crappy Cat."
Hop over to this website to check him out—and PLAY THE GAME (which is hilarious and insanely well-crafted). I mean it. Play it. You can even download a FREE iPhone app featuring Crappy Cat comics. Comics on a phone, you ask? YES.
"Bob Flynn and Dan Moynihan, both formerly of Nickelodeon Magazine, and now of Fablevision, have teamed up to form the wacky, kid-friendly 'Heeby Jeeby Comix.' Heeby Jeeby was a big, sell-out hit at the Maine Comic Arts Festival this year, and is a lot of fun for all ages."