(Above) Character sketches of Joe in various iterations. Joe began as a kids/all ages type story and gradually morphed into something a bit older, his look changed with that as well. I was also testing out rendering methods as you can see. I went from the cleanest line I could make to the scratchiest, falling somewhere in the middle for the final style.
Final character designs for Joe the hero, his friend Blue and Scarry Harry the villain. Still thinking this would most likely be a black and white comic at this point. I feel like Harry is the most unique and clever design I've come up with to date. He's all legs, arms, teeth and nose and feels very much like a spider, possibly inspired from by the Fievel Goes West spider character.
I think a simple story should always include a range of interesting and fun characters. Here's some more bad guys from Harry's bunch.
This first issue of Joe Death will be pretty light on the action, it sets up the story arch and lays some ground work down. But of course there will be lots of action to come so I wanted to pose and play around with Joe in motion. I'm really excited about the "ghost" effect of his shots being fired indicating motion in a single panel. I'm not a huge fan of speed lines and manga-esque rendering though it's probably the most effective style for movement.
This Joe was definitely on the more ambiguous side of the law, is he "good" or "bad"? His eyes here aren't helping out in the least and he seemed lifeless, which I guess is a little harsh considering his state of decomposition. I do like this costume though, it was a lot more on the Spanish side than I was originally intending.
This was getting very close to the final version but something was off for me. I asked a friend and he said "very steampunk". I knew I had erred.
A design for some baddies. My favorite part is their pucker eyes.
This is an extreme cartooning of horses, but I needed to push it far in that direction to figure out some things about drawing them for this project. I doubt they'll ever get this stylized in the actual comic, but I do like their overall feeling of character.