Night Vale is really good for practicing character design, right? (I only wish I were better at it!) Like so many other fans, my own mental image of the characters is pretty constantly in flux. This is the Carlos I drew tonight, but tomorrow night, I’m certain he’ll look different. =)
I’ve been re-listening to the entire series, which has made me like Carlos a lot more as a character, rather than just as… a plot device? (Which was my initial impression until One Year Later.) He totally starts out like a reluctant action hero, ready to save the town and “figure out just what is going on around here.” But that pretty quickly fades away into general confusion and bad haircuts. And then, well, it’s no surprise that almost dying shifts his perspective on things. And now he’s so well-adjusted to life in Night Vale and he signs text messages with x’s and o’s and he uses gravity going out as a chance to clean the gutters and he thinks a dog is part of what makes a home and just! Man, no wonder Cecil fell in love instantly. Good call on that one, right?
But anyway, he’s also totally like 10, 15 years away from becoming Doc Brown at this point, right? Like, straight up mad scientist. After all, he’s a scientist who studies science. His hair is already graying. He thinks Erlenmeyer flasks represent perfection. He has a dangermeter. That measures in fatality units. His perfect hair has to be a little bit more… science-y at this point, right?
But the fact appears to be that prototyping the Kernelsprite before making your getaway may offer the only oppurtunity to exercise control over your new environment, a place known as the Medium. Also, it prototyped with one (or two) sufficiently – albeit loosely – humanoid and/or sentient element/s (living or otherwise), it offers the chance to have all this explained to you by an apparitional guide through whatever sort of cryptic, sketchy, doublespeak your choice of prototyping element/s engender/s.
1. I think everyone’s understanding of Carlos as a character changed dramatically following the casting of Dylan. (Including, Fink and Cranor’s as well, if you ask me.) I know I missed that initial passion where everyone started drawing Carlos with Dylan’s amazing hairstyle, but I still wanted in on the fun.
2. Last summer, when I first started listening to Night Vale, I was always drawing Carlos with a ponytail. Those drawings are ugly and embarrassing to look at now, but sometimes I still miss that hair!
3. Speaking of, what if “perfect hair” referred to facial hair, too, eh? I see a lot of young Carloses, which is totally cool! But we know he has to have enough credentials and experience to lead an entire research team out in the field, so maybe Carlos is that enthusiastic, middle-aged prof that all the students can’t help but have a ridiculous crush on. (C'mon. You know the one I mean.) But he never even notices, of course. He’s too much of a Proper Scientist for those kind of shenanigans anyway.
4. Ok, this one is actually “my” Carlos, but with the Science!Hair cranked to 11. (And the handsome turned up to like, at least 9.) I just wanted to see how BIG I could floof up his hair before it became too absurd.
There are a few constants that I always find in my Carloses, though.
His hair has to be perfect… which means (to me!) that you just want to run your hands through it and pet it and ruffle it up and finger-comb it and it’s just a drawing why are you so frustrated that you can’t touc-AHEM. Well. He needs to have good hair.
He wears a lot of silly science t-shirts from WearScience and ThinkGeek (Also, If you know of any shop that sells a GREAT SCOTT! shirt, then tell me because I want one!)
He has a little furrow between his eyebrows, born of years of study and sciencing. (Cecil particularly loves this little line. Not only does it make Carlos look distinguished, but one of his Boyfriend Duties is to soothe and kiss it away if it ever gets too deep.)
And, most importantly, he ought to look like the sort of person you really could fall in love with instantly. ♥