Drawing for Myself – Clawful

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Managed to sneak an hour this weekend to work on another character re-imagining as if I were rebooting the Masters of the Universe line and aiming it once again at kids!

CLAWFUL Pencil, brush pen, and Photoshop on 5.5×8.25″ bristol.

While I did like how the 2002 He-Man cartoon dealt with Clawful (they essentially made him a big lumbering Rain Man type of character), I’m simultaneously trying to find new approaches to some of Skeletor’s thugs. I’m looking for unexpected twists to give the characters a little more presence and life beyond the “big dumb thug with a slight twist” that the bad guys often fell victim to. If you look at the 80s G.I. Joe series, Cobra’s upper echelon was composed of a bunch of guys with their own interests and backgrounds, and this led to some interesting conflicts amongst the bad guys in the series. So I think I’m borrowing from that idea a bit as I re-imagine these characters. I wanted Clawful to be more than a crab-like thug. I thought it’d be neat for him to be a representative of the past wars with the Elders of Eternia, as well as a representative of his own people.

So starting from scratch, I looked at the design of the toy. I adore the head design for all it’s silliness. Why would a crab creature have bushy eyebrows? Why does he have a dragon-like face? I looked at the toy for a little while and asked myself what kind of personality I would guess based on that alone. And I began to think of an old career military man. The kind who hates the Reds with all his heart, who despises physical weakness, yet has an unyielding loyalty to his troops. He always, always shouts. So he’d sort of be Skeletor’s drill instructor.

I was also partly inspired by the name Clawful itself. “Lawful” is embedded in the name. So why not make him the kind of guy who’s a stickler for rules? We often think of bad guys as chaotic sort of characters, so I thought it’d be fun to play him as a guy who is inflexible about systems and rules. No imagination or critical thought. Things are the way they are, and don’t you dare question that. A recipe for evil thinking if I ever heard one.

Sure, a military crab man might be “bending the rules” of a fantasy/sci-fi adventure like MotU, but isn’t that the value of such a world? Anything can happen? Hey, at least it’s not Crackers the Clown, right?

Past re-imaginings:


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