Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ancient Art 'n' Facts

Many moons ago, I was helping out a guy who owned a print shop. He decided he wanted to publish comic books and I helped him actually get one out before he got distracted by another project idea. I helped him out in many of these projects, mostly with some design work, for which he printed my own projects for free. For a while he was poised to be one of the first to enter the PC computer game field. I not only designed many of the characters for the various games he wanted to do, but he let me start to develop my own idea, Koyote in the Land of the Dancing Cactus.

Above is a scene from that project, which never did get completed. But I do remember playing around with the saguaro cactus form to try and make distinctive characters. It was to be a simple quest kind of thing, with the cactus scene being the ultimate goal.

One of the characters I was asked to design was Dr. Attitoad. I have no recollection as to what he was about. I do remember going to the library to see how Beatrix Potter's Mr. Toad was constructed and sketching various possible body basics until I got one I was happy with. My sketch book also shows some sketches of real toads, mostly their heads and eyes.
After I got the body down, I played with costumes. Maybe he was supposed to be Sherlockian as that seems to be the type of clothing I was trying out on him. Below left is the final version.

On the right is my Hanged Frog tarot card. Back when I was doing KARDZ, the Funny Animal Tarot, I got involved with a number of tarot groups, which lead to a number of tarot people seeing some of my work. Cynthia Giles, who had written The Tarot: History, Mystery, and Lore (a highly recommended book) asked permission to put this image in her new book, The Tarot: Methods, Mastery, and More. I suspect that I drew the card because I didn't want to waste the earlier design, but changed it to a frog to avoid any conflict.

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