All artwork and text is copyrighted by James McDermott, unless otherwise attributed to the respective copyright owner, it is illegal to publish or print any such artwork or text without written permission by the artist or copyright owners.
This episode took some planning in figuring out the confusion of what world belonged to whom, and what character designed the following universe based on their good or bad design aesthetics. The first sketch was my first take on Zeeps world that his character created for Kyle's people to produce Zeeps power. Justin wanted his world to reflect that of Frank Lloyd Wright, real pristine clean design where every detail works in harmony with the other. The next sketch is of Zeep and some of his expressions based on the storyboards, if you look at some of the Cromulon head rejects from my previous post you'll see where Zeep began. Everyone was super excited to have Stephen Colbert on board to do a voice. The last set of characters were all rejects for the primitive tree people that Morty gets mixed up with in Kyles Teenyverse. It helped to have the characters figured out ahead of time in order to figure out what their worlds consisted of, but believe it or not Kyle was the simplest design that took the longest to land on.
Time to get Schwifty in here! The first piece is a concept sketch of a flashy solar system set up as a Japanese game show with a disco ball sun and comets spotlighting recently removed planets as contestants with the intention of a giant plasma ray committing animated genocide on a cosmic scale if they don't perform a hit song stat. The next page is a variety of Cromulon head roughs, I started out with more of a deity take similar to the Rapa Nui heads but Justin wanted them to look bored in search of that sweet melody. Next is Birdworlds establishing exterior, I wanted to form the structures around the idea of swallows nests made of mud mixed with adobe style homes, and give off the sense of birdpeople being hunter gatherers. For the interiors I loved the idea of having the inside/outside feel of building his home around the trunk of a tree with bohemian/native american details, but my favorite detail is the scattered newspapers underneath his bed nest of twigs, even Tammy can't change old bird habits.
Total Rickall had a crazy amount of new one off characters and once again the board artists had a real challenge having to stage and track so many characters on screen together. For the true die hards, if you noticed the green rocks from episode 2 that Rick puts in the trunk of his ship you might have seen a couple pink eggs attached to the rocks, the same rocks Rick throws in the trash at the top of this episode. The first parasite, post transformation, is the only one with larvae growing off its back suggesting that others had been laid in the house. From the beginning Justin pictured these parasites with a beef jerky body and after much research of microscopic bacteria/parasites (which is absolutely terrifying by the way) I started some roughs. During that process I thought it needed a dramatic death mechanism by having its neck foreskin fold over its face ending with tendrils shooting out its mouth gasping its final breath to contrast the colorful over the top nature of the parasites pre-transformation. The first page above exhibits my initial roughs and the more refined color versions I tried, but the transformations proved to be a real challenge for animation so the color team had to really simplify the color which worked better in the long run. Next are some early sketches for Tinkles and friends, which were a lot of fun to be able to introduce another style to the show, the far right one is the final color version credit to the color team. Lastly Hamurai, I started with more of a cartoony take on him but Dan wanted to go with a more realistic look to him.
Here's some early concept sketches I did for the latest episode, first being Ricks subterranean layer where he chained up Blim Blam the Korblok. There were many iterations of Blim Blam before landing on the right hand side one and the color team took it further for the final broadcast version. Originally the six blue blob patterns I designed as six beak mouths above his red mandibles only to be used when he screamed but it got lost in translation so it remained a pattern instead. The following pieces conveyed the architecture of the planet I wanted to use, gave it more of what I imagined as a futuristic scientology style campus canvased with cultish looking church glass. The BG team ran with it and turned it into a unique metropolis and the painters simplified the glass color in a way that made this one of the prettiest RAM episodes despite its bleak ending.
This episode was so jam packed with really fun designs. The first two pieces are rough concept drawings I did of a shady space garage that Rick sells his anti-matter gun to Krombopulous Micheal. I wanted to give it a wet and steamy mood to it, and for the final version the color team took it another 10 steps and really made it look amazing. I did quite a few rounds on everyone's favorite assassin, K Micheal, who "just loves killin" played by Andy Daly. These were my favorite 5 out of like 40 before his color was finalized. The next two are roughs of a character that got scrapped from the episode, Krootch, an alien pimp that tries to trick out Jerry as he's walking around Asteroid City lost and confused trying to find his way back home. It was a funny bit but Harmon felt like the stakes needed to be higher and make the environment scarier and unpredictable to terrify Jerry more. Next, are some sketches for the Garble alien who was a throw away character I did as a redline from season one that Justin and I always loved and wanted to find a way to get him into the show for season two. I didn't realize how much it would get used this season, but it was awesome to see it make an appearance in our Simpsons couch gag and a version of them as handmade puppets for a live action promotional ad for the show. Next, is my second pass on the Jermaine Clements character, Fart of course. Loved the way it seeped in and out of tight spaces....brrrrrraap! Lastly, my first rough of Gear City focuses on Gearheads garage. Justin wanted to have a mix of bright plastics with greasy gears and I tried to give it many chasms below the surface level so there were a lot of options for the ship chase sequence to dip and weave in and out of levels of gears and piping.