Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More Before I Was A Cartoonist stuff

Aurora-style Bigfoot model kit sketch
   Once again I dig into the piles of old sketches and doodles to see what I was up to around the time of high school, well before I became a professional cartoonist. I was self-taught, drew what interested me, and hadn't yet learned how to draw girls.

   One area that intrigued me was the plastic model kit, in particular figure kits like those produced by Aurora back in the 60's. I tried my hand at designing a few, like the Bigfoot sketch above. The one I was proudest of was my concept for a kit based on Davy Crockett. The pose is based on the final scene of the Fess Parker classic...

Aurora-style model kit box art sketch

And a sketch of the kit itself

   I also tried my hand at designing toys. 

   Below are some small drawings for a series of Marx-like standing figures (early in my life I became fascinated by the Marx figures when Pop bought a re-pop of the Creature From The Black Lagoon). The main set I concocted that seemed very Marx-like was the True Heroes series. It was composed of a Navy Frogman, a Smoke Jumper, a Soldier, a Marine, a Cowboy, a Fireman, an Astronaut, a Policeman, and a USAF Fighter Pilot. These drawings are crude, but you get the idea....

   Then there were the schemes to make tie-ins for other properties I wanted to develop at some point in the future. "Lance Thunder, Test Pilot" was an idea I had for a black and white teleseries set around 1960, which would detail the adventures of the titular test pilot and his group of friends at a remote airstrip in the American desert. This tiny sketch outlined a potential action figure of the character....

Small sketch for a 12 inch action figure

   The really ambitious item, however, was the Classic Terror Collection. The idea here was to make a series of 12 inch action figures akin to the old Monster-Scenes Aurora kits from the 70's. Basically, it was a series of generic, 60's styled figures of a science fiction bent. I envisioned an insane amount of accessories (right down to a scaled pack of cigarettes to be slipped into the Hero's shirt pocket!) as well as some basic playsets like the Mad Scientist's Laboratory. I can't be sure of all the characters I wanted to include, but I know the line consisted of the following: The Hero, The Girl, The Mad Scientist (sculpted to look like John Carradine, no less), The Mad Scientist's Assistant, The Mad Scientist's Lovely Assistant, The Monster (a generic Frankenstein creature, with lab table!), The Vampire (with coffin), The Vampire's Daughter (also with a coffin), The Werewolf (with cage and shackle), The Mummy (with sarcophagus), The Sea Monster, The Martian, The Robot (with exchangeable hands), The Gorilla (with chains, and an optional space helmet!), The Jungle Girl, and who knows what else! Below are a couple of sketches of the toys I pictured....

Classic Terror Collection robot figure sketch

Side view head sketch of same

Classic Terror Collection figure sketch

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