The Man In the Hoodie
By chris on June 20, 2009 21:41
Continued on from It Begins... Fast forward about 6 months. I’m sitting at my work desk at lunch time. I didn’t really want to go play my usual game of Halo 3 today, and couldn’t really be stuffed watching day time TV – or – episodes of Family Guy. My desk is basically covered from edge to edge with action figures and models of anything from comic book heroes to movie characters and cult classic figurines. Imagine what you see in the special features of a Pixar movie, when they show you around the animator’s desks, that might give you an good idea. I remember looking at all these different action figures in front of me. There was Marv from Sin City pointing his gun at me like he always does. Wolverine, The Crow, Spiderman, The Hulk, multiple Batman’s and The Punisher. Here I was, sitting back, scanning my desk of all these action heroes, each with their own stories and origins. I think it was here where I realized just how tired I was of looking at all these characters someone else had created.
I recalled an image in my head of a man in a hooded sweatshirt, dust mask and safety glasses, wielding two nail guns standing in the middle of the street, defending a neighborhood against the aggressions of teenage gangs. It was still a rough idea, but it was an idea none the less. My friends and I always tossed up the idea of doing a comic book someday. It seemed like everyone had a concept for a comic book story somewhere, scrawled away in some old notebook with tones of chicken scratched notes and sketches. I fired up Adobe Illustrator, one of the tools at my disposal here at work, and began sketching out a rough illustration of what I saw in my head that night. That man holding two nail guns, in a dark gray hooded sweatshirt with the safety glasses and a dust mask. I began to add items to his costume, such as O2 tanks and a backpack harness, as I'd initially forgot that in order to operate these nail guns, he was going to need some heavy duty air pressure. As you can see, in my first version of the Landscaper, he didn't have the nail clip cuffs, and the symbol on his hoodie is slightly modified. A few of these final items were added while I was storyboarding for issue 1. I also didn't have the original logo symbol with me, as it was still buried in the Back burner folder somewhere on my home computer collecting cyber dust. Although looking at the first image now as I write this post, I can say wasn't too far off from the final symbol. Soon, on the screen in front of me was this rough illustration of this character - The Landscaper. Ok! Great! Now we have our comic book hero, well sort of. Only problem now is ...we don't have a story.