October 14, 2009

The Superficial Friends: Talkbacker Designs

When 2A! was working on The Superficial Friends series for Heavy.com, we had lots of opportunities to design fun secondary characters and villains. One of my favorite episodes to work on was the one featuring Harry Knowles, an avid movie reviewer on the internet. We needed designs for Harry Knowles' "talkbackers" (otherwise known as his fans and avid commenters on his website) who would fight the Superficial Friends.

I thought it'd be funny to play on the idea that the talkbackers are a bunch of movie nerds that would come out in costume to fight. I began researching “cosplay” to find the most hilarious types of costumes at conventions. We finally decided on costumes of Lion-O from The Thundercats, Darth Vader and Boba Fett from Star Wars, and Spock from Star Trek.

In the sketches above, I tried to play up the ridiculousness of the costumes and lack of authenticity. For example Darth Vader's cape is a trash bag, Boba Fett is wearing cargo shorts and Lion-O is far too skinny to properly fill out his shirt. The sketches look incomplete since I was going to make Flash puppets from them, so it was unnecessary to draw some of the hands and feet since we had a library of assets to pull from.

Above are the final puppets created in Flash. True to the style of the show, we kept colors and line-work simple, which I think adds to the awkwardness of the characters.

So who'll win? The Superficial Friends or the devoted minions of Harry Knowles…? Watch the episode HERE to find out!

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