Friday, 14 June 2013

Development of The Adventurers Comic Characters. Part 3: Booster

Rounding out the trio of The Adventurers team is Booster.  Originally he started as a robot version of the dragon side-kick. He was further developed when I decided to use all three characters. Let's be honest, who doesn't like robots? The influences on Booster's design can largely be attributed to 80's Japanese anime sources. He is influenced by Astro Boy in the sense he is a robot who is human at heart. There are also influences from Robotech in his design. He also has a hint of the aerodynamic, retro styling of the Rocketeer since he is a flying robot created by a mad scientist (a very 1940's concept).

Many features are there already, but lots of tweaking to do.

Boosters main design features emerged early. Fins and vents. I'm not entirely sure where the large overhanging eyebrows came from. However, I did experiment with various ways of trying to give Booster a mouth. No designs were satisfactory. Once again, as with the other Adventurers, it was almost like the character had a say in what they were meant to look like and their look needed to reflect their personality and abilities. Since he had no mouth could he even talk at all? Early on I imagined he would beep and chirp like R2D2 but I now feel  he is a stronger character as a complete mute. The eyebrows are now essential along with his swivelling fins,which act like ears because they are used to depict Booster's emotions.

So close to the final design.
The (almost) final design of Booster. I did not keep the arm vents, as his design was already quite complex and I felt this made his look a little too "over crowded".  You may also notice that his eyes do not have pupils at this stage and are more like lenses. The panels on his arms originally were going to be compartments for a variety of devices. I eventually realised this was a little too "Inspector Gadget" and too much of a cheat writing wise. Also I didn't want Booster to be more powerful than the other Adventurers. I wanted him on more or less the same footing as the others. The panels do a serve a purpose but you'll have to read issue 3 to find out what!

Boosters first solo adventure. What's wrong with this picture?

Above is a worksheet that was made for one of my prac teaching classes. It is interesting to note that Booster has speech bubbles in this comic. The fact the character couldn't talk was ignored in order to give the students more possible dialogue to write. It was really nice one morning to overhear one of the students role playing as Booster.

Next: The Adventurers!