Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Here is a piece that I feel gets it. It gets exactly what I wanted now and what I wanted 5 years ago sitting in class. I enjoy public speaking and I took a story telling class in college -- one of the most enjoyable classes I ever took -- but that's not what this is about. What it is about is a doodle I did on the back of my notes for the chapter of Peter Pan that I performed.

But alas, here is where the story turns to ruin and ash -- I have failed you all -- I can not find this doodle. That's inconsequential you may say, it's just a doodle. Maybe it is -- but I know I have it somewhere! I know I've seen it around my room somewhere. I spent an hour looking for it (and finding all sorts of interesting things from my time in school) but could not find the doodle in question.

The reason I wanted so badly to show it to you is that more than anything, this new Billy Goats piece is a fulfillment of that doodle, almost word for word, visually speaking. But alas, I can not.

UPDATE! 10:05 AM

Morning of mornings! I dug through a few folders here at work and I have found it!

The original idea!

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A couple years ago, Justin and I started working up a treatment of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. We did some writing and some character development. It was fun but we didn't do too much with it. I was never happy with my part. The ideas I felt were good but I just didn't have the power to do the ideas right. I'll show you some of them here, for educational purposes with the understanding that they are several years old. Please know that.

Well, that wasn't too painful I hope.

In any case, I always liked the ideas behind these, even if the final products didn't work out.

Another thing I like is imagining about the troll. The troll is ultimately more interesting to me than the goat. Justin had an idea that maybe the troll lost a wager with a king and was cursed to live under the bridge.

I like to draw trolls and monsters. And if you were to ask I'd tell you that I'm pretty traditionally minded in regards to the depiction of trolls, dragons, and monsters. I don't like "fractured" fairy tales or deconstructionist retelling of classic stories. That being said, I can appreciate when a classic story is retold in the interest of looking at the story or characters in a different light -- not when it's done for jokes or poking fun at fairy tale conventions.

An idea I had about the story (and this is something of a digression here) is maybe the troll is the protagonist of the story, not the goats. The troll is reputable, clean, and decent. He owns the bridge, owns the land. He tends for it, cares for it, but these interlopers, these reckless, filthy goats unseat him and squat, ultimately ruining the land and moving on when its worthless. (Admittedly this probably has something to do with my own thoughts on order and decency as opposed to the Marxist notion of the inherent virtue of the under-privileged and the inherent vice of the privileged.)

Ultimately this is not the route I chose to go with for the piece, I went with the traditional. Though in my piece the troll isn't bad, just annoyed.

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The thumbnail.

The rough.

The color comp.

The pencil.

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As always, none of the work I've posted yet is a finished, final piece. These are final drawings and final under-painting but they are all just steps in the process.

I'll be revealing the final work at the show opening.

In production news, I am now in real time with these posts, a head by a little. Last night I completed The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Mark your calendars, April 3rd, 2009. I hope to see you there!

Here is the official show poster with all the important information :

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The Troll
from The Three Billy Goats

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Next post : Daga and the Flying Troll of Sky Mountain, or a beautiful Swedish folk tale I'd never heard of before.

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Anonymous said...

i should like a tattoo of that wise goat.

Cory Godbey said...

It would make my millennium Anonymous.

Kristi said...

At first glance, I thought "the pencil" photo WAS a big ol white bicep with a tattoo of the scene! Awsm.

I am loving this blog...

Anonymous said...

I think it is essential that children look at the story from the troll's perspective. I concur that he must feel miserable, maybe he has a bad headache and he hears this trip, trap, trip trap.

I love your art work. What city was it displayed in?


Unknown said...

This is one of my favorite depictions! This troll is my EGO..and deserves this excellent rendition!

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