BEHIND THE SCENES True Crimes From Rhymes Square Pt. 5 - Bringing it all together to make the sampling of final images
The characters have been created, the visual style more or less determined, and the book rough-sketched with a solid path to where we'd like to take it. Now we have to decide for the Collector's Edition and the book pitch to publishers which images to go to final paintings as a sampling of what the final book's artwork could look like.
We selected them based on a the range of best showing the tone, the variety of storytelling and conceptual images, and the steampunk noir look to it. Also, to show some of the big concepts, such as the diversity of characters, the crime scene procedural narrative, and the blend of children's characters in what traditionally are adult genres...giving something for both the child and parent to enjoy when reading together.
We chose the questioning Miss Muffet scene as one of the final visuals. She had a nice blend of familiarity and new to the character...we put her in a Madeline-like Paris school outfit with big, crazy eyes from eating too much sweetened curds and whey, arachnophobia, and stalker fright. Definitely someone who could live in a Gorey/Addams/Dahl world. Sketches below.
The spider, one of the earliest developed characters, went through a bunch of iterations in the sketching phase and then realized in glorious color as the creeper who hangs around dark corners pestering unfortunates like Muffet. Definitely a stalker, but we softened him up a bit. Spiders are inherently not liked by lots of people and we had the underlying rule that even the bad guys had to have something visually interesting about them so that you can't help but stare at them. So put on a lounge jacket and fez on him and his creep is at least stylish (but still awful).
The concept always was to have him off camera for this shot, so he had to be distinctively menacing as a shadow or presence looming near the hysteric Muffet. We went with the "Film Noir Poster" image because of it's immediacy (I mean those posters mastered menace so why not pull from that well-established and already codified visual style). I have included an alternative sketch, which has more of a direct storytelling angle. The Noir Poster shot was unanimously loved by Andy Heidel (writer/producer), Elizabeth Daggar (project Designer), Stephanie Cox-Williams (Project Manager), and I.
We loved it so much so that we made it a poster as part of the Kickstarter incentives...."The Spider Beside Her".
Thus concludes my behind the scenes narratives for this campaign. Up next in a few days... Andy will share his experiences creating this story.