Gem #52: VANILLA

Palle here, with a little look behind the curtain on the visual side of creating Thomas Alsop. Hidden in all 8 issues are gems you probably missed. Here’s one of those gems.

In issue #4 Thomas’ old flame Emma Caldwell shows up. We find out through a series of flashbacks how she, Thomas and Martin Delgado met at CBGB’s in 1992. For the visuals I needed to show that era and the first thing I did was Google Nirvana’s Nevermind to find out when the album was released. Just as there is a clear before and after 9/11, that album changed the entire music industry almost over night – not to mention fashion. Nevermind came out in 1991, so the plaid workman’s shirt I had planned for Emma seemed to be on the safe side.
I had a problem with the scripted scene in Lucy’s Bar, where Emma clocked a guy in the face with a bottle over a slight disagreement. I suggested changing it to a punch, which Chris was OK with.
As I was sketching the scene, I changed my mind. One reason was thinking about Emma’s personality: She’s not necessarily a good person in her core. Smashing a bottle in some guy’s face seemed fitting for her.
The other reason was the model I used for her opponent. I wanted the guy to look like someone we would all want to punch in the face and I started thinking about 90’s icons. And I found this guy:
Putting him in two-colored 90’s fashion was a way to show the contrast between the two groups of music in that era. Grunge vs. the likes of Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer and Aqua (which at least in Denmark was playing non-stop). Hopefully the clothing styles of the characters in this scene subconsciously pits the two groups against each other. And I finally got to see Vanilla take a punch.
The second trade paperback of Thomas Alsop is out October 25th. Pre-order from Amazon or directly from BOOM! Studios.
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