I’ve got a few different ideas for the mutant image, most of them following a militaristic theme, where the mutant in question is shown in a war-zone or similar setting; or ideas related to that idea. I’ve laid out below some of the ideas I’ve had.
Based on the ‘Lord Kitchener Wants You!’ poster and other similar images, I’m considering an image where a mutant points out towards the viewer, trying to persuade them to join the ‘Mutant VS Robot War’ or words to that effect. The overall effect should look somewhat cheesy and corny; whoever made the poster is clearly trying too hard, and there’s the possibility of an old-style, more grainy and muted colour poster. Since the image has to take into account the background, and the poster it is based on only used a flat beige background, it may be an idea to have the poster appear on the wall it’s attached to, with paint and other posters visible on it (but not much).
Images from Wikipedia
Looking at the various posters based on the original, especially the ‘Uncle Sam’ one, the important thing to remember when coming up with my own version, is the importance of the face. Aside from the pointing finger, it’s the most important part of the image. Not the most iconic by any means, but it’s what would allow a viewer to know that it’s a mutant and not a human doing the pointing.
A real inspiration is this image of a ‘Mars Needs You!’ poster:
Concept Art thread source.
This follows the basic design I’d like to work into my own image: the worn background, as well as the extra arms to hold a gun, and the big blocky font that this image shares with the original. The main aim of the final image should be something that is immediately recognizable in terms of silhouette design, but which is radically different in terms of what is expected; like how the above image shares the same head exaggeration that is due to the hat in the Uncle Sam image, as well as the same tilt of the shoulder; but is obviously different in that it’s an alien not a human.
In regards to complementing the finished mutant with a background, this particular image may not need one. The simple beige/off-white background used in most of the original posters and their offshoots, works remarkably well, and adding in anything else would detract from the effectiveness of the image.
Another idea is to have an image of a more photographic nature; instead of a poster image, something that takes inspiration from a war photo like those of Eddie Adams, Robert Capa or Joe Rosenthal. These photographers have all taken photos that have become iconic of their respective wars. Capa in the Spanish Civil War, Rosenthal in the 2nd World War, and Adams in the Vietnam War.
What I can tell from these images is that most iconic photos (at least war photos) have a central figure, while ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima’ has more of a group, it does have a central silhouette, that is instantly recognisable.
What’s important is to not simply replicate any of the above images with new, mutated characters in the place of the original figures; but to recognise the elements that make these pictures memorable, and work them into my own image.
In no particular order of importance here are some elements I can think of:
- A recognisable silhouette, that in most cases can tell you the story of the photograph immediately. (See the ‘Falling Soldier’)
- The figure or figures will take up the centre of the frame, grabbing the viewer’s attention and holding it there.
- Most of the military photos are in fact (fairly) peaceful, taken during a lull in the action or at a moment when none of the subjects were fighting. There are exception; Capa’s photos of the D-Day landings or obvious ones, but I think this element is true for the most part
- A used look to the photograph: in the cases of those I’ve shown above, this is mostly because of the black-and-white nature of the photos, giving them a particularly old-time look, that also seems slightly grimy.
There are other, more recent photos that I also consider interesting; the below photo of Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller was taken during the 2nd Battle of Falujah in Iraq.
James Blake Miller
What I’m thinking of in regards to this particular image is the idea of a war journalist in the future taking a photo of a mutant solider resting. The image could be taken from further away than the one of James Blake Miller above, but would be similar in showing the soldier’s face in shock.
‘Two Thousand Yard Stare’
Considering the background, which in this image would be much more prevalent than in the poster image, the above image gives me an idea of what to follow: A ruined landscape, perhaps involving famous Sydney landmarks, with the mutant figure staring out of the image and past the viewer.
The idea of ‘The Thousand Yard Stare’ is probably the main other theme I’d be interested in doing, over that of the ‘I want You!’ poster-image. The choice between the two is partly based on easiness: the poster image would be a matter of making sure the mutant looked realistic, and then depositing it in front of a beige-white background and adding in text. While the Thousand Yard stare idea would require more complex compositing of the figure and the background. The ‘I Want You!’ poster also has the advantage of being more striking, if done in the manner of the original Lord Kitchener one, with only the mutant’s head and arm visible.
This I think, is what I’ll aim to do, it would be possible I think, to add in a ruined war zone as a background, perhaps focused on Sydney landmarks, while making sure that the mutant figure is light enough to see against the background. I think that this (semi) combination of my two main ideas will work well.