Monday, December 31, 2012


 I had the privilege of working on ParaNorman
with all the amazing and talented people at Laika!
I was the character designer for the film and I also did 
conceptual design as well.   In 2013 I won an Annie award for my
ParaNorman character designs.

Here is some of the work I did.

Norman Babcock

This is one of the first sketches I did
for Norman's character.  His
design was inspired by my former CalArts
instructor Norman Klein.

Norman in the woods.
(I did this one for fun.)
I did this drawing with charcoal and pastel.
It's supposed to be a generic zombie
with a generic Norman.  
It was used for one of the posters in
The Art and Making of ParaNorman.

Christmas morning,
a young Norman
with his zombie toy.

Costume designer Deborah Cook
let me draw the conceptual sketches
for the costumes.
Norman's sweater

Some sketches for Norman's backpack

Norman's jeans

Norman's shirt
Sketches for Norman's shoes.
Barf boy shoe
The shoe we ended up going with...
NOOOO!!  Shoe.
Norman's zombie slipper

Mr. Prenderghast

My inspiration for Mr. Prenderghast's
character was Tevye from the film
Fiddler on the Roof.
Here is my initial sketch for him.
Here is a finished drawing I made for
Mr. Prenderghast.  The medium I used was
charcoal and pastel.  When I was drawing this
I imagined him at night, standing in the dark,
only the cigar illuminating his face, I wanted
him to have a ghostly essence.

This was basically the final look for Mr. Prenderghast.
The directors wanted him to look like a hobo!
Mr. Prenderghast's costume

This beaver was used as the logo for Mr. Prenderghast's hat.

Concept sketches for Mr. Prenderghast's house

Aggie Prenderghast

Here are the concept sketches I made for Aggie's 
angry spirit.  The first sketch is basically 
what the directors ended up going with. 

I thought it would be interesting if Aggie's hair could be
a weapon, the hair becomes like zombie hands coming
from the grave.

Aggie Prenderghast's tree

This is an idea I had for Aggie's tree.  I wanted
the bark to resemble zombie hands.

Aggie Prenderghast's angry storm cloud

Here are the sketches I did for the witch's curse in the sky.

ParaNorman ghosts

Here are the sketches I made for the ghosts.

The Civil War soldier

The James Dean and Humphrey Bogart inspired ghost

The Hippie

Amelia Earhart

Cement shoes

Victorian lady

The Sea Captain

Smoking ghost
I thought it would have been interesting if one of the ghosts
could have been made up entirely of smoke from a pipe.
Ghost heads in the graveyard
Scared ghosts


Here are the sketches I made for Neil's 
ghost dog Bub.

More ideas for Bub, and for dogs in the town.

The evolution of the ParaNorman Puritan Zombies

Here are some of the early concept sketches
for the look of the puritans and the zombies.

Here are the sketches that were used for the more final
look of the puritans and zombies.
Judge Hopkins

Sketch of living Judge Hopkins in a cloak.

Judge Hopkins with cloak open

Judge Hopkins head sketch

costume sketches for Judge Hopkins

Judge Hopkins vest
Cloak from the back

Judge Hopkins Zombie

sketch for the townhall

Judge Hopkins Zombie coat

Judge Hopkins Zombie shirt
Judge Hopkins Zombie pants
Judge Hopkins Zombie stockings and shoes

From Puritans to Zombie Puritans