Creating a Minimate Comic Part 3

I was going to post about our new inkjet sticker paper this week, but a board member at MMV pointed me towards a different kind of inkjet sticker paper that worked well for him on Minimate customs. I am going to hold off on that post until I am able to test this other paper, and then I can give the breakdown on both papers together.

So instead, I am posting the third part of our Creating a Minimate Comic series! This part will focus on bringing the characters to life through their facial expressions and movements.

Making a comic book using mostly photos of Minimates makes it difficult to have the characters express themselves as well as a hand drawn comic. One way in which I tried to jump this particular hurdle was to create many different facial expressions for each character. This also meant creating many different physical heads for each character. If you look in my ProtoPlanet case where I keep all of my figures, the heads outnumber the other pieces 10 to 1!

The character with the widest range of expressions is Anuel. You will see even more sides of her character in ProtoPlanet #2, and I needed a wide range of emotions for her in different scenes. Here are a handful of the expressions I made for her:

Also certain panels required that I tweak the character’s face in Photoshop later, such as moving their pupils to focus in the right direction.

And of course, these facial expressions need to work in tandem with the character’s body movements. It takes a lot of careful posing (and a lot of display putty) to capture emotion through a pose on a 2″ figure. I tended to overexaggerate if anything, probably from reading How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way too many times as a kid. 🙂

Here is one frame from the first comic as an example:

Not only is Anuel yelling and pointing, but her legs are in a wide stance, her hips are slightly turned out, and the position of the non-pointing hand makes the pointing hand even more dramatic. Plus the camera angle is set higher than eye level to match Anuel’s focus.

All of these facial and body changes are a lot of work, but I think it really helps the comic to be more fully developed.

I hope you have enjoyed another look into the development of ProtoPlanet #2, which is about 90% finished right now, and will be released before Christmas!