Meet the Cast of ‘My Dead Bunny’ (part 1)

My new book is about a zombie rabbit. It’s written by Sigi Cohen and it’s called My Dead Bunny.

This week and next, I’m writing three posts to introduce you to the cast of the book.

I’ll also show my character reference sketches; they’re drawings of the characters that I do just before starting on final artwork. They help me get used to drawing the characters, and also give me something to refer to when trying to keep my final drawings consistent.

As you can see from the drawing above, the cast includes (from left to right): 1 x rabbit called Bradley, shown alive on the left and in his zombified state on the right; 1 x unnamed narrator (a boy I call Sigi, named after the author); 2 x friends (Stan= the shorter one, Billy= the taller one); 1 x unnamed sister; 1 x mum and 1 x dad.

This week I’m focusing on the secondary characters: mum, dad and the sister.

Mum and Dad

Mum and Dad started off pretty generic:

20140409-Mum-and-Dad

The dads in my books always always always end up looking like me. I don’t even mean to make it happen. The weird thing is, these dad characters are losing their hair at the same rate that I’m losing mine.

After a bit more thought, mum and dad ended up looking like this; still boring, but they don’t have to be super exciting as they’re not main characters:

20140501-Dad 20140501-Mum

The line next to them indicates how tall they are in proportion to their head; it’s a trick animators use. In the cast sheet at the top of the post, Mum and Dad are both 4.5 heads high – but as Dad’s head is a little longer than Mum’s, he ends up being taller.

The Sister

The sister isn’t described in the text; she is only mentioned when she is terrified to the point of madness by Bunny Brad. Rather than such a tragic fate befalling a likeable character, I chose to make the sister more antagonistic towards her younger brother and less sympathetic of his grief when his pet rabbit passes. She became the stereotypical moody, self-centered teenager.

Here she is standing next to her brother. I rejected her costume design; I was going for Goth but it turned out a bit raunchy. 20140409-sister-2And here she is again, pretty much as she appears in the book.

20140409-sister-3

The sister is only 4 heads high while her parents are 4.5 heads high, as she’s younger.

In the previous sketch, Billy is just under 3 heads high which makes him look younger still.

Later this week I’ll talk about the three boys: Sigi, Stan and Billy. Then next week I’ll show some sketches of Bunny Brad.

My Dead Bunny will be set upon the world on October 1st.

Author: James Foley

James makes books for courageous kids. His books include 'The Amity Kids Adventures', 'In The Lion', 'The Last Viking'. A couple of these books have won awards. People have also bought copies, and for that he is grateful. His new book 'The Last Viking Returns' is out now. Follow James at www.facebook.com/jamesfoleyillustrations , @James_R_Foley on twitter and instagram or at www.jamesfoley.com.au

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