There’s a shark in the park, but that’s no a problem when it’s a Pajama Shark. My first thought on seeing these two little drawings of Thresher was that he had sort of a Goofus and Gallant thing going on: I seem to remember that standing up on a swing, while tons of fun, was against the grownup’s rules, while there was nothing wrong with sitting on a bench reading your library book in the sunshine and fresh air.
But nowadays, with all the pressure to be active on the playground, Reading Peacefully! Thresher is probably a bit of a Goofus too. Sharks resist social pressure either way.
On the character design development front, these are important drawings because they are the first images of Thresher looking straight out at the audience that I am entirely happy with. (Drawing sharks head on is hard!) I will admit I had a bit of help here. I recently brought a product from China* that came packed on a cardboard backer printed with a shark design that included these little guys.
The Enigmatic Chinese Packaging Shark was quite an inspiration. Working with the idea of widespread, dotlike eyes and a straight line for the mouth, combined with Thresher’s friendly expression and shading, is definitely proving to be a step in the right direction. I think his eyes need to be rounder and the length of the mouth line needs to be tweaked to balance friendliness and sharkishness. Which is of course the central dialectic of designing a Friendly Shark.
*More on this interesting product coming soon.