Forgotten Projects Friday: PROFESSOR PORTMANTEAU

Professor P Cover Mockup 01 Dr. P Test 03 (detail)

Sometimes I’ll put a lot of work into something that, for one reason or another, I don’t end up finishing. I wish my work-to-completion ratio was better, but most of the time the work is instructive in some way.

PROFESSOR PORTMANTEAU was to be a sci-fi novella illustrated with sculptural illustration, kind of like a stop-motion animated feature without the animation. For various reasons, I decided not to finish this book, but wrote the story and created the main cast, which can be seen in black and white here (the final book was to be in full color). I sculpted a removable “hero” head for each character, cast it, and would make alterations to each cast piece to reflect their expression in each scene. I’d make alterations to their bodies and sculpt new pieces for each shot as needed.

Characters here include Professor Portmanteau, the current incarnation of the smartest person in the universe, her monkey assistant (who acted as her living backup memory, but could never remember his own name), the nerdy Dr. Guero, snippy Dr. Stadtic (who wore van de Graaff generator hairsticks), the grumpy Dr. Tyke, kindly old Dr. Silverspout, the Celebrity (an elongated, alien Tom Jones type), and Professor Hermetic, a previous incarnation of the professor (who’s designed to look like a Jack Kirby/Go Nagai mashup). At the end you’ll see a mockup of what the pages might have looked like and some sample text.

While I’m a little sad I put the brakes on this one, I’m pleased with the work I did and learned a lot from it.

Monkey revised Dr._Portmanteau_sketch_01 IMG_0901 Stadtic WIP07 Stadtic WIP10 Stadtic WIP12 Tyke 01 Tyke CU IMG_0933 SilverspoutWIP01 Celeb03 Dr. Hermetic color test Portmanteau Page Mockup 01 & 02 (low)

 

CHICKEN FOR DINNER (Cowboys and Dinosaurs)

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In the Old West, two desperadoes took refuge in a hidden California valley. One shot a “funny-lookin’ chicken” and roasted it for their dinner.

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His compatriot was sick with a bad cold and had no appetite for the weird meat.

Little did the bad men know some very hungry chickens were already hunting them…

 

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Inspired by Ray Harryhausen’s VALLEY OF THE GWANGI (which I’ve still never seen all the way through), my own take on two great icons of the American West, Cowboys and Dinosaurs.

This diorama is 2 1/2′ X 2 1/2′ across. The cowboys, dog, horses and dinosaurs were all made from Super Sculpey over an aluminum armatures. Lots of research went into cowboy gear, animal anatomy, paleontology (particularly the work of Gregory S. Paul), and the Navajo blanket worn by the sick cowboy, only to ignore all of it where it’d make for better drama.

This is an older piece I never photographed before. It was built to be viewed in person, in the dark, and I hope it translates into photos. Thanks to Sean Downey for his assistance in preparing this piece to shoot.