Further Thoughts on The Dollmaker

Dear Insane Children, 

As many of you are aware we’re trying to define the look and function of Bumby’s character in Asylum. This is a tricky task because many of us are uneasy with the idea of interacting with the Ultimate Bad Guy from AMR. 

The basic idea we’re working with is that there’s a Doll Shop where Alice goes to have her weapons (and dresses?) upgraded. It might be where she spends all those Chaos Coins she’s constantly collecting. And I had the idea that if it’s a doll shop then it makes sense it would be run by a doll maker. And what “better” doll maker than The Doll Maker. So here we are… 

But it feels like we’re still running into problems with the general concept. To show Bumby or not to show Bumby? Is he a man? A spider? A hybrid – Spider-Pig? 

So Omri tried a Proper Spider interpretation – which you can see as the main image above. And he also tried what that might look like with Spider Bumby hiding in his spider lair…

And then he said… 

 i honestly don’t like the spider legs, i find it a bit too much/on the nose 

To which I replied… 

Yeah, I understand… doesn’t work 100%

Here’s the thing… making them insect-like isn’t the right direction. Let’s start over like this… 

He’s a doll maker first and foremost. So his shop and his “waldos” (that’s what you call remotely controlled arms) should be more similar to what we eventually see in AMR. Controlled like a puppet on the end of string. 

So imagine that the shop is the first place where he’s trying this idea… there are hands and arms on rails from the ceiling… on strings. 

He uses those to get things from the shelves and to work on things in his work-space. 

But he tells Alice – because she’s curious and she asks, “Why can’t I see your face? Why do you hide in the dark?” – he tells her, “I cannot stand the light.” So his body, his head, his face… remain hidden throughout Asylum. Makes sense.

You could make the area where his face is hidden look like a spider’s lair…

That gives it the feeling of a place where, if you enter, you will be trapped and eaten. 

So… imagine a shop more like something out of Harry Potter. Magical, warm, strange, and with a dark edge to it… The place gives us the creeps but why don’t know why. 

The shopkeeper never shows his face. He has mechanical arms to take care of all his work. 

I think we’re getting there. He’s a tough character to define because he elicits such a strong reaction from us all. 

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

PS: It’s Golden Week in China. The entire country is taking ~10 days off to celebrate the event… I think it’s the 2nd biggest National Holiday in China. Something like 800,000,000 million trips are taken inside of China during this period. Yikes. Anyway, we’re not going anywhere. And I am using the relative calm to catch up on emails and Patreon updates. 

From Shanghai in Another Typhoon, 


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