Now that we’ve selected an artist (in this case, Jeong Mo Yang), we start the collaborative process.

The first step Jeong and I took were in character designs. I had my list of characters and the setting, so based on that I reached out for some quick character concept artwork to see what his thoughts were on the visual look-and-feel of the characters.

The first design he sent was based on my description of the robot character (originally called JON-E V, a combination of my love of the movies Short Circuit and Wall-E).

Below I’ve included my original description of the characters (from earlier steps, while putting together my own internal documents), followed by Jeong’s designs for them. As a testament to his creative genius, the guy even included a textured background resembling crumpled paper (alright, it was crumpled paper – but it was still a great touch and one we both agreed should be included throughout). Seriously, I love collaborating with awesome creators!

JON-E: A security robot for the junkyard, JON-E is an older model and has been fixed several times by spare parts found around the junkyard. There may be some wear and rust around the joints – he’s not this year’s model, after all. He’s a very pleasant machine, and enjoys working the beat. Because he’s a blue-collar worker, he probably has a set of overalls or a hat – something like a junkyard worker would wear. I see him as having legs, so he can easily get around the piles of junk. He tries to keep everyone and everything out of the junkyard for their own safety.

The Robot

The Dog: A year old Golden Retriever, this dog is full grown but has the energy of a puppy. He enjoys playing, and thinks that playing in the junkyard is a fun game. Always with his tongue sticking out, tail wagging high in the air, and a smile on his puppy face.

The Dog

So now we have our characters, it’s time to move onto the meat of the story…starting with the layouts!