Ye Olde Toy Shoppe

Dear Insane Children, 

I forgot to post THE LINK to last week’s Twitch Livestream (which is recorded and uploaded to YouTube)… so, if you missed the Halloween Special (and me dressed as Joe Exotic), hit that link and go enjoy the madness. 

Pro Tip: Dressing as Joe Exotic improves Madness Returns play skills by 93%. 

As we hit mid-week here in Shanghai, there’s tons going on… 

Joey sent in the updated/final version of the nightmare scene where Young Alice finds her family sitting around the dinner table while the house burns down around them. “It’s You Fault” by Bon Fire Jovi will be playing loudly in the background. 

Jen is working with Yan on a relaunch of the Original Distressed White Rabbit. And Jen sent over the Shoppe Logo (main image, above) for a fictitious toy shop called called “The Gryphon and The Jabberwock Toy Shoppe.” This is meant to be the Ye Olde place where Alice’s parents would have originally purchased her White Rabbit Plush Toy in or around 1852~53 (near Alice’s birth or first birthday). This image will be used on a newly designed Tote Bag – as we’ll be retiring the Rutledge Asylum bag that shipped with the first batch of these rabbits. 

Crowd Design Questions: What do you think of this logo design? And should it be “Jabberwocky” or “Jabberwock” in reference to the slithy creature from the book?

My thought is to have this logo on both sides of the new tote bag… keep it clean and simple. As it would have been if this were the tote bag from that shop. What do you think? 

Speaking of Rabbits, Yan is working on a Hoodie inspired by the Rabbit Plushes… 

If you’re interested in participating in the Crowd Design on this, check out the post over on my Instagram or the Mysterious Facebook Page. Yan is collecting info on color, size, materials, and other elements of design so she can make informed decisions about how to best launch this product. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated! 

This seems like a perfect bit of clothing for Insane Children. Perhaps we should offer a Discount Code for Patrons? Is that something our Insane Children would be interested in?

Back in Wonderland

We now have SEVEN artists working on Alice: Asylum… Joey, Jen, Alex, Omri, Norm, Dario, and we’ve just added Adam. You would have seen Adam’s work in the materials we produced for Oz: Adventures. Expect to see great things from him as we continue to build content for the Alice: Asylum design bible. 

Dario and Omri are currently working to nail down the look and feel of the Circus Realm. Not quite there yet. 

Of these attempts I wrote: 

Yeah, what @Alex Crowley said about “Just my opinion, but I think adding some more rickety, uneven wooden, platforms, planks and trapeze sections would enhance this.” is correct. I did not imagine that we’d be running around IN the clouds. 

There needs to be a clear and obvious series of “roads” connecting everything together … wooden paths and bridges and stuff. Larger “ground” areas in some places would be OK too.

But the vision is getting closer to the goal. 

Another image we struggled with a bit last week came from Omri… 

There was a lot of back-and-forth on Monday with regards to this image… with the content/goal of the image being pulled in several different directions. Of the last Work In Progress image Omri sent in I said, 

The skull thing simply does not work. It violates the rule of “Don’t Show The Monster” – showing the monster in clear detail within the first moments of the story. We cannot do that. The Terror, the thing stalking Alice, the monster… it must remain faceless, formless, and presented in a way such that the viewers mind fills in the blanks with horror and dread. Slapping a Skull on it… breaks that. 

Let’s not get bogged down on this. WIP is great. Sharing and involving our audience is good. Crowd Design is good. You’re doing great. Let just move on to the next thing on the list. Thanks! 

It’s tough when you have to “kill your darlings” (An excellent quote from Steven King: “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.“), but that is what had to be done here.  

But fret not… there are SO MANY amazing images scheduled for creation based on the Asylum story outline that I am currently working on. Alex has produced several PAGES of direction notes for the team. That means there will be plenty more Darlings in our future.

And that reminds me to say THANK YOU, everyone. Our Insane Children make possible the existence of this team of 7 artists. Without your support, this effort would be impossible. It’s a wonderful thing that we’re able to create art, story, and design that we love without the sorts of limitations and pressures that would come from traditional finance and publishing sources. 

OH, and speaking of traditional finance and publishing… our presentation to [REDACTED] has gone out. And they have seen it and given a quick reply along the line of “Thanks for putting this together. Looks like a lot of hard work went into this. Give us some time to review as there’s a lot to consume here. And we’ll get back to you ASAP.” So that’s great! 

Everyone cross your fingers and toes! 

That’s it for this morning. I’m looking forward to your feedback in the comments below.

From Shanghai with Darlings,


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