Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Milo

Here's an old character I have been keeping for a certain story I wrote over 20 years ago. I named him Milo, after the main character from my favorite story when I was a kid . . . (Norton Juster's) The Phantom Tollbooth. That story captivated me like no other book, filled with crazy characters, wordplay, and imagination.

Old color comp of my character Milo for a picture book story

My character, Milo, is a smart nerdy little kid with a troublesome baby sister. Their story takes place on a Saturday morning, the time of the week when Mom & Dad sleep late -- appointing Milo the "Saturday Morning Boss of the House."

The first pencil sketch of Milo wearing pajamas
I originally pictured Milo differently with a big blockhead and very angular features. I was never satisfied by his look. Years later, looking at random sketches in a pad, I added big glasses to a doodle of a little boy's face . . . and that created the Milo character I was searching for all this time.

Pencil sketch of Milo readying for a major confrontation in the kitchen
One of the first major changes to the character was his clothing. I originally had drawn him wearing shorts, sneakers and a t-shirt (even a baseball cap in some sketches.) But since this story happens during the early hours of a Saturday morning, Milo should be wearing his pajamas. It made sense, though it never dawned on me until years later. Sometimes figuring out little details takes time . . .