Category Archives: The Nutcracker 2087

Uncle Drosselmeyer…

Uncle Drosselmeyer, a character who comes and goes, but leaves a lasting impression. He is a mysterious character that we do not know much about, except that he makes grand entrances’, bears great gifts, and then vanishes into the winter night. When I started working on the uncle, I started with a young version, but quickly realized that he is meant to be an older gentleman. When I realized this, I got the idea to use Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer from 1892 , as a point of reference for Uncle Drosselmeyer. He was an older gentleman, had a full  head of white hair and a full white beard. From here, I knew where I wanted to take this character, even though we are setting our version in the future, I still wanted him to have a prestigious victorian look, but also to look a little threatening, yet forth coming. This has been my favorite character to develop, I see a lot of intrigue and mystery in him, at some point once we finish The Nutcracker, I want to do a complete story solely about Drosselmeyer.

Hero of the Night…

The main character – The Nutcracker – is going through major change. I have been working on him for a while, and he is heavily influenced by American special forces gear. With all the straps and the Kevlar vest with the side arm across the chest, and the desert looking scarf. When researching for references, this really grabbed my attention, and really wanted to incorporate it in the design. I also want to give him a futuristic look with some robot elements. There are a lot of elements to play with when you think about the Nutcracker suite; the soldiers, they fought with swords and cannons, and one shot rifles, how is all that going to look in 2087? Will his sword glow? Will proton cannons come out of his shoulder? But so far this is where my guy is at, the suits are the same, the red one is how he would look with his mask down, sort of like his battle mode. Color is another issue, will his armor change color, will it be some hi-tech Metal Gear Solid type camouflage?

Samurai Robot Rats…

Now these were a lot of fun to do, when I thought about how I would develop the rat army a little further, I went completely in the Samurai way! Having a little more fun with this, eventually I am going to have to really start thinking about how the rest of their body is going to look? But for now, a little more fun!

The Prince’s Army…

The Rat Army is growing strong, but the toy soldier of the future are right there with them. If you have been following up to this point you will see that I have about four designs, and what I’ve been doing is using different parts of each design and combining them and changing them a bit with each new design. You will see that they all have the same vest with the side arm on the chest, the arms and legs are from earlier designs which I’ve used a few times over. The possibilities are endless, and as I continue to make new designs I will bring them to your viewing pleasure. No one of these are “thy” Nutcracker, he seems like a tougher “nut” to “Crack”…(corny I know). But either way, I still need and army of toy soldiers!

New Look…!?!

Two post in one day?!?! WOW!?! Yeah I’m pretty excited about the work I have been doing and the amount I have been doing. So the Nutcracker 2087, haven’t done much work on it for a while, got caught up in some other things. Anyway, I had some time and decided to do a few things I had been meaning to do to the character. I still very much like the “Modern Warfare” look, but I have not been playing for a few months now… 😦 I do miss it, but without it I have been much more productive. Either way, I had been drawing out a few different looks, and trying to blend all the different looks together somehow. This is one of a first few, I plan to do a few more. I will also post the others I have, I don’t want to give you everything right away! 😉

This guy is going to have to go up against and army or rats! I’m not talking about some lab rats, we’re talk about big nasty live in the dark rainy allies under garbage dumps, thrown out of the science lab for being failed subjects, and have big beady red eyes! They have thick coats of fur and a thick layer of tough skin, with the agility of a possum… salivating from the mouth, I’m talking nasty, but then have the attire of and old colonial English army, but it looks beat up and worn in like it’s been living in the sewer. You can see the beginning steps to the Rat Horde in an earlier post. (I realized they all have something covering their mouths?Whoops! Now I have too give some of them teeth.) Since he is going up against a big nasty army of rabid creatures, he will need to be well equipped and ready to fight to the DEATH!

The Rat Horde

The rat army, this is one of the reason I became so interested in actually going through with this pet project, the battle between the rat army and the toy soldiers. Plus of course the main battle between the Nutcracker and the Rat king. Staying with the future theme I wasn’t sure how to go about creating this rat army. So I started with a robot face from an action figure that I have, which kind of resembles a mouse face or a rat face. (In the story they are mice, but when I think of mice I think of pet, or test subjects. Rats are more vicious, meaner looking and they stink) I simply added whiskers, and thought I nailed it, but I was wrong. The German looking helmet, the robot features, too Star Wars. As a friend told me ‘yeah it is a little too Star Wars’ I had to have a little fun with it, and for the heck of it I created Vador Mouse.

These were some of the ones I just had fun with, when some one said Star Wars I tried it out, when some one said German soldier, I though of a Nazi officer (was also thinking about Maus). The one in the middle, I dunno know what I was thinking about, but what these three have in common is they seem to fit a human posture rather than a rats.

After having some fun with various faces, I started to try and really work these robot looking faces to look more like rats of the future. I want them to look like they have been through battles, or a scientist had worked on them – with some brains showing. The one all the way to the left was one of the first ones I started playing with, but the ears look too much like elf ears. The one next to it is more in the right direction with the ears. Taking away the helmet, adding the hair and the ears, but keeping some of the robotic looking parts around the nose and mouth, give it a nice futuristic feel. I haven’t given any of them bodies yet, that is in fact my next step, but I am still having some fun with the faces, and still working on them. More to come soon!

Rat King…

I have been using the same drawing, slightly different techniques each time. This time I just printed out my most recent drawing on regular printing paper and continued to develop The Rat King. Using my favorite drawing tool the brush pen by Faber-Castell – I gave him a crown, what kind of king would he be without his crown. Of course this isn’t the final, but I had to see how he would look, plus he needed some whiskers, and some more jewels around his neck. The reason I want to keep the gun and the pouches across his chest is because he does still fight, so I do want him to look like he can still take it to the Nutcracker and his toy soldiers, but also still have some King qualities. His hands still need to be made longer, long enough so when he grabs a toy soldiers head, the tips of his fingers are on the back of the soldiers head. I am having a lot of fun with the top half of the king, but the bottom half is troubling me, and that is why we have not seen a bottom half yet!?! Development in progress. Hope you are enjoying the development of this and any comments and or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

DesiGn oNE..

So I know it has been a while since I have posted something, and last week I did not get to show anything off because class was unexpectedly canceled. Anyhow, recently I have started working with and advertising company as and intern, well more like and apprentice. Long story short I go in for an interview, sparks fly, a friendship is born, and a dream begins to be fully realized!

So with the new found friendship, I was given studio space to share with a fellow artist, and some brand new material. My favorite of all was transparent vellum paper. Forget your regular tracing paper, if you don’t have transparent vellum… well you’re hurting yourself. You saw my pre-lim drawings for my main character with the blue pencil. I didn’t want to mess the original drawing up, and the tracing paper I had just wasn’t working for me. When I got my hands on the vellum, and felt the weight of the paper I couldn’t wait to work with. Even with the weight of the paper I wasn’t sure I would be able to see the blue drawing, but the translucency was actually much better than that of the lighter weight paper, and it held the ink from the pen and marker much better. This is just one of the drawings, and one of the dozen or so character I will be developing for my version of The NutCracker 2087!!

The New Nutcracker

Here is my first go at developing the New Nutcracker 2087. Different from the poster face but with the same kind of feel. I want to go with the robot aspect, but I do want to keep the human element in the story, so something with humans, robots, and cyborgs. I want the main character to still be human, but with the robot design I came to the conclusion that he had to be a cyborg. Once I wanted to go with the cyborg, I began working on some head shots. This is a tricky part, because I want him to look tough and bad ass, but still be appealing and have a soft look to him, so he could still be adored. I wanted to give him jagged features, with a five o’clock shadow and some cool scares, like an experienced soldier who has seen and lived things most soldiers wouldn’t want. But when thinking about cyborgs, they are usually clean shaven, I guess cause hair carries bacteria? So I went with the soft clean look, but gave him some scars across his face, to make it seem like he has seen his share of war. One part I am still a little unsure about is how much of him is human and what is robotic? Only skin you really see is his face, everything else is covered with his hi-tech armor. A lot of this is still in its early development stages, so there will probably be some changes, but so far for a start, I am very happy where I am at.

A frontal shot of the Nutcracker 2087. Currently I am reading the Ghost in the Shell graphic novel, by Shirow Masamune, which I have looked to for much influence in developing this character and my story.The only thing different about this drawing and the first one is, there is no cord/wire going from his mask to the gas tank on his waste belt. Why the gas tank on his belt? Adding the human, the human needs air, but if he’s a cyborg, then does he need air to live?

The NutCracker – 2087

So lately I have been doing a lot of drawings of soldier, and a lot of things military, mainly because of a heavy influence of video games. Modern Warfare 2, if you haven’t heard about it, you should probably come out from under that rock your living under. Anyway, since I filled an entire sketch book, front to back with all things military, a friend of mine said to me one day, “Why don’t you re-make The Nutcracker?” At first I was completely turned off by the idea, I laughed and said “Naaaa!” I laughed, because when I think of The Nutcracker, I think of the ballet, a children’s story, or those funny looking Russian wooden soldier toy’s, just waiting for you to stuff their face with a walnut to CRacK!

They said not to shut out the idea. They kept saying you don’t have to make it a children’s story, you don’t have to have princes and princess’ in tights jumping around, you don’t have to have funny looking Russian wooden dolls. Keep the main elements, change the face of it completely. Ok, but how do I do that? I was still a little curious about how I would go about doing this, and wasn’t really sure if I wanted to spend this amount of time on the project? But, I then started a projects class at my local community college, and day One we had to pitch an idea for a semester long project. I had no idea what I wanted to do. As I listened, it came to me ‘why not try and do The Nutcracker?’

So now that I decided to tackle this project, where do I begin? I didn’t know where to begin, so I turned to what I enjoy doing right now? I love reading graphic novels and comic books! Some main stream super hero stuff, one or two noir indie comic strips, some classic manga, a variety. What else? Video games (thought they do take up too much time, but we love them!), a big dose of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, Assassins Greed, Resident Evil, God of War. Movies, who doesn’t love movies? Sticking to the theme I have been watching movies with a more military theme to them. Then I started to put some elements together, toy wooden soldier. Ok we have soldier, I have been drawing a lot of that genre, but lets not make it a modern story, with modern looking soldier, lets make it a little more science fiction? ok, I like! Not to much science fiction, I do like the elements of robots, BIG Robots! Robots and soldiers in the future…. ok now we are getting somewhere!

I came up with something pretty quick, something to get me going, to get ideas flowing, something I can build off of. I know that it is an old children’s story with a lot of tradition, but I am throwing most of that out the window and going to bring you into the world of The Nutcracker 2087Where No Rat is Safe