"You always forget my dentures, Holly!"
In this week's episode of the NoSleep podcast, the protagonist of the titular story Mr. Clacky-Teeth makes reluctant acquaintance with her roommate's stuffed bunny slash ventriloquist dummy.
While she gets an eerie vibe from the toy right away, she ignores it at her own peril until she finds herself forced into finding out about the history of the rabbit's dentures.
Emulate another style? Or do my own thing?
As I have mentioned in the past, I try to not spoil the story's reveal of the creature if they have some kind of monster in them, but in this case, since the rabbit is introduced in the first scene, I thought I could make an exception.
Besides, who could resisting drawing this smile?
The image of the puppet formed in my head pretty quickly; and the final result ended up looking pretty close to my original idea. For the background, however, I had to decide between two very different ideas.
The first idea is the one that made it into the final artwork. Since the girl in the story uses Mr. Clacky-Teeth as a ventriloquist dummy in a standup routine, I sat him on a bar stool onstage in a dimly lit café.
The second idea would have ended up blindingly colorful. The story tells us that Mr. Clacky-Teeth's owner Holly hangs a poster featuring the artwork of Lisa Frank. If you're from outside the US like I am, you might not have heard of her — in that case I strongly recommend clicking that link and looking at her art.
It is — and I can say that without hyperbole — an awesome experience.
Her style is so unique in fact, that I shied away from trying to emulate it. I never worked in her overly cartoony, bright and over-the-top style, and trying to bring myself up to speed to do her justice seemed like a larger task than I could tackle in the time I had at my disposal.
So! Dimly lit stand-up café it is!
An unwitting model
Shortly after the episode was released this Sunday, Lindsay Moore, the story's author contacted me on Twitter.
"It looks uncannily like the inspiration for Mister Clacky-Teeth," she wrote. "How did you know what my childhood bunny looks like?!"
One could argue that toy bunnies look somewhat alike, but I'm still happy that I unwittingly chose a likeliness for her imagined creature that made her think of her childhood toy.
I love my job so much.