WB Animation Character Design, GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS, "Mogo Doesn't Socialize," Bolphunga The Unrelenting. Pencil, Digital Color.

I call these "C" Sheets, or "Character" Sheets, as I try to cram as much of the design art as I can onto one digital page. There is more art that cannot be included, but it is my hope that the art and description posted will be of some informative value. Here, I've selected two full-body turns of Bolphunga (with Shield-Emitter Gauntlet, and without), and several facial expressions in rough form.

Okay... This was done for the animated adaptation of a whimsical comic book short story called, "Mogo Doesn't Socialize," by Alan Moore, and Dave Gibbons (Alan Moore is not credited in the animated adaptation.). Although the story itself remained relatively intact, the intent was to take a different stylistic approach to the character design (Sorry, Dave!). Executive Producer Bruce Timm wanted to push things as far as alien design, getting away from anything that was too humanoid in its simplicity (I've posted an earlier concept of Bolphunga in my Scrapbook here: [link] ). Imagining if EMERALD KNIGHTS were a live-action film, he didn't want the aliens in any of the segments to be easily played by guys in monster suits (like those in STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION). And so, the Design team tinkered with outlandish shapes and proportion, and we incorporated various animal and insectile structure, much like the figures found in Greek mythology. It was Director Jay Oliva's idea to make Bolphunga also appear amphibious. The colors presented here are what I came up with long after the fact, so they do not match those in the screen version. I think it may be safe to say that this design, along with the others I did for GLEK, presents a near-impossible challenge for those into CosPlay. Heheh!

In considering the story, and the outrageous nature of Bolphunga's character, I suggested that this outer space bully bear the scars and signs of his numerous battles (following the logic used by Peter Jackson in his remake of KING KONG). So, I made him look "much the worse for wear," with a facial scar and missing teeth which he refuses to fix because he's proud of them. Taking a page out of MOBY DICK, I gave him a clunky prosthetic lower leg, one so improvised and rickety that he has taken to leaning to one side, and walking with a pronounced limp. This, however, along with many other fussy details may have been omitted in the final, streamlined animation process. But I've always been of the mind that it's better to provide them with too many ideas than too few. And in winking at Captain Ahab, it also draws the parallel with Bolphunga's similarly obsessive character. Is Mogo the white whale that spells his undoing? Hmm...

Bolphunga's outfit was also a key element in the storytelling. As this swaggering warmonger blazes his bloody trail through the galaxy, I suggested that he might be collecting trophies along the way, from all his conquests. Maybe he captured his spaceship from a vanquished foe. And his outfit itself is cobbled together from bits and pieces he has taken from others in one-on-one conflict. Most noteworthy are the helmet (which is partially shredded because it doesn't fit properly), the jawbone being used as a ghastly pauldron, and the Shield-Emitter Gauntlet (which Bolphunga doesn't know how to maintain or operate).

In line with the joke of the story, I figured each of Bolphunga's opponents would steadily be of increasing size, comparatively, and the unrelenting Bolphunga is scaling a ladder higher and higher. This is why I wanted Kloba Vud, the last challenger before Mogo, to be enormous next to Bolphunga. He should have been HUGE! [link] But I was told that this would be too difficult for the storyboard artists when composing and framing shots of the two characters together. Oh, well... I still think it would have provided a more convincing character arc for Bolphunga, thinking himself so invincible after defeating a much more monstrous enemy. And in setting up Mogo, the punchline may have been-- uhh-- punchier. Hahaha! But what do I know, right? I just draw stuff. That's how the process works, folks. Not everything get's approved. But save your best ideas for the next time. Who knows?

- I know they got Roddy Piper to provide Bolphunga's voice. He did a superb job. But in my head, I imagined a bass voice, like that of actor Kevin Grevioux (UNDERWORLD), for Kloba Vud. And I think Sam Elliott, or Nick Nolte would have been a hilarious choice for Bolphunga.

I hope this information is helpful to any up-and-coming character designers. For the rest, I hope it was entertaining. Thanks for reading, and viewing!


*Green Lantern and all other related characters are the property of DC Comics, and Warner Bros.
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