So I'm still working on the character concepts with Stumbles. He's Rickety's right hand man, tall and lanky with a heart of gold. Originally he was based on Goofy, and he was just going to be a dumb lovable dog character as you can see in his previous group shot, and from sketches here:
But I didn't like the idea of him simply being a Goofy clone, I thought I could do better than that. So I pulled from many tall lanky and stupid sidekicks. Bullwinkle, and the WB vulture come to mind. At first I thought I might make him some exotic bird or turtle, setting him apart from the rest. Maybe a flamingo? But I couldn't get over the idea of him with feathers and a beak, and he'd have a surname of "The Bird" or whatnot.
I wanted to take advantage of the fact that he's one of the few characters who doesn't have a surname like Rickety Rat or Dolly Duck. He's just Stumbles. Is he such an outcast even his own kind don't want him? The how could he be so lovable? The I played with the idea that he may not be an animal at all, but some sort of amorphous creature. I came up with this design that he was literally so dumb he had a foot for a head.
But I'm not in love with the design and I don't see that being acceptable in this universe. Then I had the idea of him being an amalgamation of different animals. Maybe part moose, part dog, part fox, part bird, part pig, etc. I really like this solution because it explains why he's so dumb (he's the result of species outbreeding), why he's an outcast(very similar to the children of mixed parents in the 20's through 60's), and why he's so loving and care free(I'd assume two people from two entirely different species that loved each other enough to get married and have a child together would be very loving and accepting to their child). Here are some concepts:
I'm still playing with different species. I thought it might be cool if instead of antlers he had hands on the side of his head, which would be very emotive and funny at times, but it might be too strange for this specific universe. I also like the idea of the square nose and glasses, as if saying he's a straight arrow AND he's square.
But I have to make it apparent enough that he's multiple species without putting any one emphasis on particular species. Which is hard cause antlers + long nose = moose but atlers +long nose + dog ears still looks too moosy. And also I have to make hm ugly enough to be interesting and a social outcast, but still lovable enough to want to be seen as a performer. Ugh. Beautifully designed ugliness. The curse of being a conformist artist.
Any thoughts on designs or particular animal species?