Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cartoon Pilot in Progress: Koth of the Conans (pt.1)

     In the works for a while now is one of my most ambitious projects ever.  It's a cartoon called "Koth of the Conans", an idea created by me and my friend Demetrius back in 2009.  It all started with a joke about someone mistakingly referring to King of the Hill by its acronym, and from there it just blossomed into an insane concept that drew inspiration from classic Hanna-Barbera shorts like The Herculoids, with our own brand of bizarre surreal humor and incredible action!  No-holds-barred craziness in a land of perpetual carnage, that's the world of Koth!

     The show takes place hundreds of years ago on a planet of constant war called Gearth.  Man warring with man and beast and man-beast alike.  It's a blood starved world tearing itself apart, and among the fray stands one fearsome warrior with no equal in power and savagery.  That man is Koth!

     I designed Koth to looked buff and strong, but still portly in a way.  Not really sure how they got abs back in ancient times without Bowflex, but I think he looks fine with the gut 'n all.  Conan the Barbarian lies!  Koth himself is a man with an iron clad sense of justice and deals it without mercy wherever he finds evil.  Because of his reputation, he's always fighting against foolish challengers that try to outdo his strength.  He's so use to fighting, he doesn't even have to try when overkilling his opponents.

     As far as his powers go,  he's got super strength, able to make cunning tactical perception really quick in the heat of battle, is highly resilient to pain and can walk barefoot on most surfaces.  Most of 'em.  Originally his loincloth was a dinosaur's head he rammed his legs through.  He didn't even kill it before wearing it.  The eyes and still bleeding snout would've been on the front, but i decided to simplify it to make animating it less of a pain.  Koth knows not his age, only that he was born 30 years ago.

     Koth is kind of a solitary character, preferring to keep to himself and fighting alone since he's so use to carnage.  His only constant companion is his surrogate son of sorts, Hank.

    Hank is Koth's trusted sidekick and a shapeshifter, able to morph and distort himself into any shape and form he wants.  From giant revolvers to pelicans, Hank can assume any shape that'll help with any fight or situation.  I originally designed Hank to be a sort of midget, and since he's influenced by Gloop and Gleep from The Herculoids, he also originally talked only through grunts and such.  I decided to just make him the silent type, since there's so much more emotion and strength in a character's body language and expressions than there is in simple spoken dialogue (as I've stated before).  And his name is also a reference to King of the Hill.

     Here's a few other bgs, illustrating the landscape of Gearth, colored by Demetrius:

     That bonfire in the first on is full of warriors not worthy of joining Koth on a quest.  The second bg is called "The Oasis".  I guess it doesn't make sense that it's intact since they split up. :)

     With all the backgrounds, I wanted to instill a constant feeling of dread and danger.  Vast bgs with lots of depth and detail always adds so much atmosphere to a cartoon and makes it easier to get lost in that cartoon's world.

     Back in college, I did a promo type vid for Koth of the Conans as part of a class with my pals (credited in the end).  Animation duties were split between all of us.

     We didn't have time to complete that 10 minute story so we shortened it to this promo type vid and I set about animating the actual intro.  Here's the progress, and here's a bit more of the one punchy section.  I'm aiming at a minute and a half in length to this intro showcasing a quick display of Koth's power, and introducing his allies and enemies.  It's modeled after a speedy thrash metal song: fast, angry, insane, and leaving you beaten, bruised and on the floor for more!  

     In the next update I'll go more in depth with the details in the intro, more characters, and some stories.

   More to come...

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