The Transformation of Jack the Ripper Inside Look – Part 2Friday, October 26, 2012
If you missed the first part check it out here: [Part 1]
For the Jack the Ripper project I wanted to create a trifecta delivery; figural art in the form of a Premium Format figure, a painted piece, and further story development with a graphic account. Both would portray the idea of his transformation, symbolizing the Madness of Undeath pushing its way out from within.
Some details were decided right away. I wanted the face to open up into a vulgar mouth — an exaggeration that would play to the atrocity Jack the Ripper represents. His midsection would open up into a cavity of Cthulhu-esque tentacles, portraying a twisted physical manifestation of the madness.
Conceptualizing moved quickly into the process of 3-D development as I sought the input of expert sculptor, Martin Canale. Martin and I have a real connection when it comes to creature concepts and areas of original exploration, and took the direction at full speed out the gate.
The posture took shape as a dapper Victorian gentleman with an egocentric manner, suggesting a clear admiration for what Jack saw himself becoming. Drawing inspiration from Jack’s metamorphosis into a sexual demon, Martin implemented a classic incubus motif on Jack’s cane and on the handle of his knife, as well as around the waistband of the base. The original portrait featured a Predator-like mandible and stacks of ominous teeth, as can be seen in this early Production Peek:
At this point though I was frustrated with my original concept for the Ripper’s head; it just wasn’t there yet. As an attempt to break through my creative barrier, I consulted with another sculptor, Paul Komoda. He suggested a reworking of the mouth into a sort of vulgar, tentacular tongue. Martin redeveloped The Ripper’s head to include Paul’s concept, and the resulting features perfectly complemented the unholy tentacles reaching out from The Ripper’s body.
In regards to the paint scheme, Anthony and I wanted to capture an otherworldly feel. We chose an ashen palette for the portrait to suggest a ‘burning’ away of the identity, and punctuate the severity of the transformation. We also aimed to avoid establishing physical traits or a historical human identity for The Ripper, as the unsolved mystery is one of the most appealing aspects to me in this case study. The rest was pure tentacle gross out fun!
Greg and Tim brought the costume together with immaculate tailoring, to reinforce the traditional view that The Ripper was a gentleman of some sort. But additionally, we wanted the clothing to have an almost ‘peeling open’ layered effect to support the transformation.
And with that, the Jack The Ripper Premium Format Figure was fully realized. One final task remained, which was to work with our 2d artists to develop complementary artwork…
- Tom Gilliland
Continue to [Part 3]
Keep checking back during Spooktacular for the next installments of this four part Inside Look!