These were my first sketches of possible Ninja designs for Randy Cunningham. I always want to go for a little more inhuman on stuff, so Randy as a Ninja in these early designs was a bit more covered up in my favorite sketches, but with the big eyes glowing or showing through so he could still be expressive enough. My favorite is definitely the one with the orange exclamation mark-ish shape on the forehead.
What I was given was a very general description of “Looks like a ninja” so it gave me a chance to do whatever the hell I dreamed up, so the scarf thing was one of the first details that popped into my head. It was one of those things that I can thank video games for as I was picturing the behavior of the scarf being something out of Capcom, a mix of Strider and fighting FX from street fighter. I imagined that rather than always having to make physical contact with his rather small fists and feet, randy would sort of project his energy through the scarf which would flare out and follow the direction of his attacks.
I was also obsessed with that detail on his gloves, the orange armor bit that covers two of his fingers. I just liked how it broke up the black and essentially looked like chopsticks. Somewhere out there someone doesn’t like Japanese food, so that bit didn’t make the final design. The scarf stuck, though, in a less bulky form than how I was using it, however.
It’s an interesting job dreaming up BODIES for characters without knowing the character of the character. if that makes any sense. Most of this stuff I did without knowing too much about what the show was going to be as I was just doing design and wasn’t involved in any of the writing or any such thing. Weirdly enough it was part of why I agreed to it! It was a cool change to focus on the design of an animation project, and I’m glad the Titmouse guys approached me about doing it.
Still, I think I prefer seeing something to completion and if there’s anything that makes me regret not being in charge of the final designs it’s that I can’t kill the person who hates orange chopstick armor!