Friday, November 5, 2010

My life as a crappy artist - Grox' Lar Demon

You of course remember the Grox' Lar Demon from episode 2, Just Rewards, from season 5 of Angel, right? Any good Angel fan would, right? I barely recall this demon and I designed it. So that everyone is on the same page, this is the Grox' Lar Demon...

RAWR! I'm the Grox' Lar Demon! I imagine this is the photo that would show up on the nightly news as the Grox' Lar's last know photo as search teams fan out looking for him after he suddenly vanished (from the memories of viewers). Nice burlap jacket though... very stylish!

I was able to find some time to take a fresh pass at another of the the demons that I designed while working on the Joss Whedon opuses. This time around the Grox' Lar was up for the challenge. It had so much potential, so many possibilities, so many chances to get it right... and I some how missed every one of them. Time to get the hard part out of the way... here is my original design for the Grox' Lar Demon from 2003...

He is a new Batman villain, Boomerang Beast... he pulls the boomerangs out of his head and throws them at Batman. For the record I still kind of like this guy. It is not perfect by a long shot but there is something about him I liked. Too bad everyone, and I mean EVERYONE else associated with the project hated it.
© 2003 Almost Human

The idea behind this demon was it comes crashing out of an elevator and attacks Angel or the other way around and there is a big fight and in the end it turns out it was all a misunderstanding and the Demon was a client. Of course by this time the demon is dead. The Grox' Lar has no lines, needs not to emote and is simply a huge fighting juggernaut. This allowed us to go in the direction of a big mask that disrupts the regular arrangement of the human head. I came up with the idea that the stunt guy could see through the nose and mouth and allowed for a big hulking form. Did I mention we had something like a day to make this? I had also wanted to paint the final mask but it ended up getting finished late at night before getting delivered to set. One of my biggest concerns with the final is that to me it looked soft and not very imposing. The brown paint job simply added to yet more poop monster jokes made at my expense. SO with all this in mind I moved forward on a reworking of the design and came up with something... newer...

Taking the Grox' Lar Demon back!
© 2010 Christopher Burdett

Overall I tried to make it appear scalier with a lot more spikes and sharp bits. Making it a little more imposing in the process... maybe. Hopefully the overall shape of the head reads better this time as well. In the original version the sculptor had a great deal of trouble translating the drawing to clay. I had to do some additional sketches showing the profile with a human head inside to better understand how it all worked.

In the end not sure if it is a better design, but I am much happier with the drawing. Another fun exercise to be sure. With my track record on Buffy and Angel, I am glad to know I still have more were this one came from.

That is all for another week. I will be spending the weekend getting the last of my ducks in a row for Illuxcon... which is NEXT WEEK! I will be doing full coverage again from Altoona on everything I see and do while taking in the sights and sounds of Illuxcon! Until then...

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