Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Villain's Journey

Rounding off this series of Torsobear posts, here's an overview of the evolutionary process Peter Mason took our protagonist through as we kicked ideas back and forth between us.

Pete's initial take on Snaplok was pretty cutesy, but you can already see most of the character's key points in place. His horizontally hinged mouth, robotic appendages and peg leg are all there. However, I felt pretty strongly that he needed to have more weight and danger to him, as befits an 80s action figure.

With the main shape of Snaplok nailed down, Pete and I talked over some costume options. As Snaplok had traded in his old villain persona for the life of a private investigator, Pete was experimenting with a crumpled suit. It looked cool, but with only eight pages we needed to get as much information about the type of character he was across visually. Something wasn't quite "there" yet.

We shaved Snaplok's head to give him more of an aggressive look. Pete continued to experiment with the mechanism of his jaws, and we talked over some ideas about what we would see when he opened him. I wanted it to be visually interesting, but not too horrific to be believable as a toy. From this stage on, I was confident we had a legitimate badass on our hands.

At this point, we dropped the suit entirely in favour of more dynamic attire that emphasised Snaplok's tech-villain origins and brutish posture. At the same time, Pete tightened up the details of Snaplok's detachable limbs and gave him a heavier boot on his right foot.  We showed the concept to Torsobear editor Brett Uren for approval, and at his suggestion Pete reworked Snaplok's joints to make sure the toy as a whole looked solid and functional.

With the details all in place, Pete selected a suitably bold colour scheme and the job was essentially done! Brett has already floated the idea of more Torsobear comics featuring characters from the first volume, so watch this space for possible news about the further adventures of Toyburg's resident trapper and snapper...

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