Monday, December 10, 2012

Character Development Special: Slope and Mrs. Bailiwick-Stout

Time for another Character Development Special! This is Slope, the Royal Publicity Manager, and Mrs. Cornelia Bailiwick-Stout, head of the QPC (Queen Preservation Committee.) Both of them made their first official appearance on page ten of The Wayward Queen. The QPC is ostensibly dedicated to preserving the Queen’s safety, but their real agenda is to prevent the Queen from wandering, concerned that she endangers herself and the stability of the realm by continually straying from the palace. Their efforts have so far had no effect whatever. Slope is in agreement with the Queen that government ought to be entertaining. Between them they probably present a considerable hazard to the good management of the realm.
Slope goes back pretty far, to the very first story featuring the Queen... The first two doodles are from waaaay back (the mini color cut-out Slope was part of a set I made to track the cast of the old story.) The weird hat and rotund figure made an appearance early on. The other doodles were ideas I was knocking around while developing the plot for The Wayward Queen. In the end, Slope ended up being based pretty heavily on a guy who used to run a local business in my 'hood - the dude had a way of looking totally mellow and unfazed no matter what chaos was going on round him. I thought that was perfect for Slope. The last sketch in this bunch was the first official version of Slope, which I used when I started drawing the comic. I've changed his outfit since then, but for Chapter One he's wearing the old outfit, obviously. (I don't think he'll have an opportunity to change before Chapter Two.)
Mrs. Cornelia Bailiwick-Stout was one of those rare cases where I pretty much drew one doodle and said "yeah, that's it." (Granted, this was back in 2006 when I had a more slap-happy approach to development - nowadays I would probably do a few more doodles just to be sure.) So here's doodle #1 and the first official version based on that. She hasn't changed much.

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