Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Creative Session Preview (Mr. Mustard)


As always, the day prior to the Rockstar Creative Session is a Tuesday, so I post what I'm working on for that session. In this case, it is a series of concepts sketches of a character called "Mr. Mustard." He is involved in the inciting incident for a novel I'm writing called "The Transdimensioners." Here is the paragraph I have (so far) that first describes Mr. Mustard:

"Ever the word meister, Hank believes calling Mr. Mustard’s face long is a disservice to the word long. Stretched out, lean, augmented, elongated, extended don’t really do it, either. He feels that the adjective hasn’t been invented that accurately describes the length of his mug. If the length of an ordinary person’s face was an hour, Mr. Mustards would be a full work day, work through lunch, plus overtime. Hank’s friend Jeremy maintains that Mr. Mustard’s face and hands have a leathery quality as though they had been bronzed by heat of hundreds of tropical suns, but just like Hank, Jeremy is prone to exaggeration. All in all, Mr. Mustard’s darkened skin blends nicely with the golden tone of his suit and hat, and even his shoes. Everything about Mr. Mustard is gold or yellow.

"And that’s why Hank and Jeremy started calling him Mr. Mustard."

There will be three more unique sketches by tomorrow and perhaps one that I've dressed up a bit in Photoshop. More postings after the session!

11 comments:

Tom Moon said...

Hot Dog Tom! I really relish your drawing of Mr. Mustard. To be frank, I never sausage a drawing in my life; a real weiner in my book. What a pickle that puts me in. I'm going to have to work hard to ketchup with you.

But seriously, beautifully delicate line work. The portrait is full of character.

Davis Chino said...

I like the drawing. But where is Polythene Pam?

I appreciate the humor of your paragraph, but I wonder if Elmore Leonard would approve? I was just reading an appreciation of his writing approach, which owes everything to a set of rules he wrote out for himself. I think Ellis shared some with me. They're wonderful. Ask Ellis about it. He is an expert on Leonard.

And Mustard.

Mr Goodson said...

I have read all of Elmore Leonard. Including all the westerns. And some of thsoe were hard to get. I have a signed copy of Mr Paradise (met him at the Mystery Writers Bookstore) Here are those 10 rules...
http://www.elmoreleonard.com/index.php?/weblog/more/elmore_leonards_ten_rules_of_writing/
Sometime read the Big Bounce and marvel at two of the worst movies ever being made from that source material.

Mr Goodson said...

Tom, also. Excellent drawing. I'm really drawn in by the shape of the head and eyes. Good character.

Skribbl said...

Cool drawing Tom. Maybe you should go with the Spanish name for mustard: Mostaza. Whenever I hear Mustard as a proper name I think of the game "Clue."

Tom Moon said...

Thanks Ellis, those are excellent rules, very insightful.

I think I know what Marty is trying to say, and I had a similar reaction. The drawing is so deft and strong in communicating character visually that it upstages, and makes redundant, the writing. Having shown Mustard's face, it's probably better to leave it to the reader to invent his own metaphors about his appearance. Perhaps the writing should focus on all the non-visual aspects of Mustard's character?

And I also shared Skribbl's reaction to the name "Mustard".

TopCat said...

I love those 10 rules (and hadn't run across them, so THANKS!! -- oops, I used exclamation points!! -- aah ... I did it again.).

I'll rework that section in the final draft and will check what I've already drafted against the "rules" ... though I already know I don't open with weather.

And thanks for the kind words on the drawing ... I recently watched Bob Kato's Gnomon DVD on the subject and he had some very insightful remarks about what to do and what not to do. I highly recommend it.

Mr Goodson said...

Tom, I didn't read the Mr Mustard description before I read comments. So what I reacted to was Marty saying I should share Elmore Leonard. And you can tell by my enthusiasm for the guy that I was all over that idea. And now I understand the guidance was to watch the "hooptedoodle'" Or whatever that Steinbeck term was. Good advice when you edit for publication but you probably ought to have as many notes as you can churn out on the guy until he's real to you. I better get ready for work. I'll post a late sketch sometime today.

Dok said...

Loverly drawing Tom! Nice emphasis on the eyes.

I'm also a big fan of Elmore Leonard and totally jealous of Ellis' signed copy. The thing I like most about this writer is his masterful command of dialogue. SO MUCH gets revealed in what his characters say and how they say it. Hollywood sure agrees as witnessed by all the films made of his work.

I think that he and William Goldman have been described as the only two writers to go to Hollywood and come out alive.

Which one's your favorite novel Ellis? And do you also like Carl Hiasson? More ludicrous and not quite as talented in my subjective view, but still a lot of fun to read.

Mr Goodson said...

Dok, Tough one. Hombre, Pagan Babies, Mr Majestic, Stick. But I guess at the top would be Cuba Libre. I hope they make a movie of that and get a great cast. I haven't read Hiasson. I'll have to check it out. The guy that recently surprised me was the Kenzie / Gennaro detective stuff of Dennis LeHane. They've cursed that by Ben Affleck being the lead.

TopCat said...

Now I must go to the trusty library and procure m'self some E.L. ... That'll make good reading while I'm on my way to Scotland .... boo hoo hoo ... have fun at Comic Con!!!! Waaaaaugh!! (hey, that's what Howard The Duck used to say all the time -- apologies to Steve Gerber ...