Asking for Trouble (part 3)

Before I get to the conclusion of my three-part look into the character creation process behind the development of The Crimebusters co-lead Trixie Trouble, just another quick progress update. I’ve had some health issues that have slowed me down some, but I am plugging away nonetheless, and am currently working on page 24. My best guess is that the linework will be completed the last week in February. My hope at this point is to also get all the first draft dialogue and word balloons in place before March 1st. Fingers crossed!

Okay, so in the previous installments of Asking for Trouble, I covered the process of designing the character from the ground up in terms of personality and history. That leaves the most basic thing, though: what she actually looks like.

In a visual medium like comics, coming up with the right visual design is key. With that in mind, I again looked at what I already had, which is the visual design from Crimebuster.

What I wanted to do was come up with a visual look for Trixie that worked on its own, but also which complemented and contrasted with Chuck’s design. And what immediately jumped out to me was less color and more light and dark.

Though Chuck’s colors are all bright, they are also all on the darker side: deep red, deep blue, navy pants, black hair, etc. That immediately suggested to me that Trixie should be on the light side.

The first thing I settled on was that Trixie would be blonde with blue eyes. Then I took a look at the color scheme for her clothes. I wanted to use classic, simple colors that could have been in use during the Golden Age of comics – primary colors mostly. The four color printing process wasn’t really great at doing things like coral or magenta or teal – it’s for blue, yellow, red.

I eventually came to the conclusion that I wanted Trixie to have the same colors in her costume as Crimebuster, just with different emphasis. At first, I considered giving her a blue top, but as Trixie is also a bit of a tomboy, I planned to dress her in jeans. Since I didn’t really want to do blue on blue, I finally hit on the idea of a white top, with blue and red accents, as opposed to Crmiebuster’s red top with blue and white accents. Giving them the same color scheme would help them visually fit together as a team (on the covers, that is, since the interior is going to be black and white), but having white be Trixie’s primary color would further the visual contrast in terms of light and dark shades.

There was still the issue of what she as actually going to wear, though. I wanted something graphically simple and bold. Again, I derived my main inspiration from Chuck’s costume. Originally the C on his chest was supposed to stand for Culver, the military academy he was attending in his first appearance. Later, it supposedly stood for Curtiss Tech, the college he is current attending. But in both cases, of course, it really stands for Crmiebuster.

I realized I could use this same conceit to give Trixie her own letter T – for the Tech in Curtiss Tech. As it happens, monogrammed letters, and letterman sweaters, were a big fashion trend in the mid 1950’s, when The Crimebusters takes place, so giving her a letterman sweater with the Tech T on the breast was thematically perfect.

I finished the design with a pop of color via the red shirt underneath, and some hints of her rebel nature with the offset rolled of pant legs and the saddle shoes.

And that’s it! No doubt going forward, design tweaks may present themselves as the characters and situations evolve — these outfits are fine for the fall of 1956, but n a couple issues, winter will be approaching and something warmer might be needed. For now ,tough, I’m pretty happy with how Trixie’s design turned out!

Thanks for reading, and check back next week for another update!

Chuck Chandler and Trixie Trouble are… The Crimebusters!