Concept: Baby Face redux

Of all my concept work the previous design for one of my villains ‘Baby Face’ received some of the harshest criticism, specifically in relation to the clothing. Even I’ve got to admit that in retrospect it was a terrible drawing, both in terms of the idea and its execution. Keeping what worked (the head) I decided to ditch the silly army-meets-Halloween vibe of the previous design and attempt to integrate the noir aesthetic I’ve been exploring more thoroughly, hopefully creating a shared style and set of influences amongst characters.

Generally I was thinking of Orson Welles’ in The Third Man when I was drawing it and how his dark suit in the role of Harry Lime gave the character a sort of ominous presence during daylight, while allowing him to disappear into the shadows during darkness. It perhaps makes the name connection with infamous bank robber ‘Baby Face Nelson’ more apparent too thanks to the fashion resembling that of his era. I’m also particularly pleased with how the old and new sensibilities mesh, the outlandish Cyclops’ eye and blank face lurking beneath the shadow of a trilby, not immediately apparent until you get closer keeping firmly in line with the cyberpunk tradition (yes again) of putting a strange spin on the familiar.

Admittedly having a villain in a dark suit is somewhat clichéd, but this isn’t necessarily for the worse; Baby Face is a henchman, someone doing the nasty work for the one who’s really pulling the strings. Being stereotypically monstrous simply furthers misdirection in the plot and all being well will stop readers guessing the ending and the true villain of the piece so easily.

So please, forget I said anything ;)

2 Responses to Concept: Baby Face redux

  1. demontales says:

    Seems you’re beeing quite productive! I agree that this design seems more fitting to the universe and still you’re trying to establish. I like that he looks very class but with a somewhat “trash” side that comes to the surface

  2. Ozy says:

    Heh, the increased productivity is likely down to my impatience to get going on the actual comic! Some way to go yet mind…

    I’d hoped the design was a better fit for an increasingly noir/detective influenced universe. You’re pretty much on the money about the ‘trash aspiring to class’ thing – I’d always intended him to have a superiority complex underneath the sociopathic behaviour, in that way the suit is quite fitting.

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