After my work on "The Iron Giant", I was hired to work on a new show at Sony Television, "Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot" (1999). To this day, it remains the most challenging and painstaking production I have worked on.
The show was based on the comic, "Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot" by Geoff Darrow. My job was to design the animated series to directly reflect the look and style of Geoff Darrow's incredible drawings from the comic series. I had been a fan of Darrows for years and was excited at the prospect of bringing this great comic to tv... WITHOUT watering it down!
As you can see from some of my designs, I was also heavily influenced by "Hard Boiled". I used elements of both in the show and lots of 1940s and 50s car parts. Each background designer on the show had to design and rough out his own background. After it was approved by me and the director, the designs were inked! This is a departure from Geoff Darrow's comics which are finished in a very soft pencil. Inking the designs allowed us to maintain a continuity in the overall look.
Sadly, the show was canceled before all 24 episodes were aired due to the extreme violence portrayed. Go figure?