Computer Virus Character - Koobface
This is of the villainous personification of the Koobface computer virus for a game project I'm a part of. I really enjoyed going crazy with the detailing and trying to make him look as grotty as possible!
An illustration devised literally from a series of random scribbles on a page. I identified a form within the lines and fleshed it out to become this. Loosely based the design and atmosphere on the Thief game series.
I have always been interested in character design, it's an area of illustration I would be very interested in delving into more after this particular project. This character - who I designed to be an 18-year-old "cyber-punk" hacker named April Mitnick - was my first real stab at character design and I was rather pleased with the result. She began as an entry for an OC contest run by an Ace Attorney fansite. Despite being a genius hacker she isn't considered a villain so to speak, just an unscrupulous maverick -- a chaotic neutral. Since Ace Attorney characters usually have a humourous over-the-top appearance to reflect their personality or lifestyle, I've tried to do this with April; combining an anarchistic teenager (spiked punk boots, spiked bracelet and fingerless glove) with an electronic "cyber" look (fluorescent hair highlights, circuit patterns and neon lining on her jacket). She made the finalists but didn't reach the top 3. Ah well, I thought, the character may still come in handy for any other future projects - include her in an original comic page or two, maybe an entire book, who knows? Character & all artworks © Will Cartwright
Spellcaster Character Concept
This is a concept for some sort of villainous high priest/sorcerer character.
Computer Virus Characters
These villainous characters are personifications of various well-known computer viruses. More to come in the unknown-ish future.
ILOVEYOU - Based on the real life virus's behaviour, it has a sweet and innocent appearance at first which intices you to open its "love letter", however this is a decoy for the virus's true malicious form to appear and unleash havoc once the letter is opened. The letter represents the real life email attachment that unleashes the virus once opened.
GameOver - For some reason I'm really into the theme of sinister game shows and anything that involves a game show host as a villain. For GameOver I had in mind a stereotypically cheesy, flashy and superficially happy-go-lucky game show host with a fake plastic exterior, who traps antivirus programs in his sinister game show where they have to win to escape. [Insert your own hammond organ music here.] Since GameOver is made of plastic, this image gave me the chance to practise illustrating that shiny plastic sheen, and I think it worked quite well.
Shankar's Virus (Marker) - This one is of the bizarre Shankar's Virus, which infects Microsoft Word and asks you if you wish Shankar a happy birthday, "punishing" you if you say no. Since there's a theme of birthdays surrounding the virus, I thought to have this "Shankar" be like a lonely discarded ragdoll, constantly celebrating his own birthday when everyone else has forgotten or abandoned him. Think Salad Fingers meets Miss Havisham. Shankar is mute, but he communicates through popup adverts and error messages, as a nod to the virus's behaviour. The popups refer to actual messages created by the virus.
Koobface - This one is the social network hacking worm Koobface (an anagram of Facebook), who I designed with a "haggard hippie-nerd" vibe (I had Chop Top Sawyer in my head for some reason when I came up with him).
MyDoom - Known as one of the deadliest viruses by far. In this case I thought to portray it as a giant demon-shaped mass of corruption and damaged data. The message in the background refers to the one found with the real-life virus.
CryptoLocker - A ransomware trojan that encrypts your files and offers a fee to decrypt them, promising to destroy the private key if the countdown reaches 0. I had the idea of a Victorian jailer or cryptkeeper with a cyber aesthetic, holding a ring of keys which he uses to encrypt the computer’s files until a fee has been paid to decrypt them. His hand is poised above a detonator wired to the files.
Happy99 - The first successfully widespread email worm. Based on its effects, I chose to portray the virus as a rave DJ wearing a smiley mask and a sock puppet. As you can tell, this one a very busy and “full-on” character image, but I think that’s fitting for the character he is!
The Hybrid Slinky
This character was drawn based on a photo of my brother, who was dressed in this way. (Don't ask, it's a very random story.) This outlaw/bandit character was spontaneously named The Hybrid Slinky, after a pack of guitar strings that was lying around at the time of trying to conceive one (just a placeholder name that as of now has stuck). Thought I'd try and draw him as epicly as possible, just as a bit of fun.
Character & artwork © Will Cartwright