Upon creating the CHARLATAN BALL antagonist, I didn't have to reach much further than the baddie to end all baddies: Jack Kirby's DARKSEID. He's the quintessential villain. His Design is rough, stoic, immovable and unapproachable.
That being said, I had an idea of the tone Joe likes to write in, and someone too threatening might not be able to sell the comedic beats I need him to hit. Then I remembered this DARIUS DRUMM character from Kirby's SILVER STAR. Sure, he was terrifying, but I always found his absurd and sort of funny. I mean, just look at the way he came into this world:
This was Jack's early design...eerily similar to Darkseid.
And now slightly more "cartoony"...
I read a review somewhere that spotted this little homage to the RED GHOST. They were correct.
And while I'm laying out all my cards on the table, I have to say one of the biggest inspiration for my Demon Empty design would be 70's singer-songwriter, variety show mainstay, Mr. PAUL WILLIAMS. I'll also admit he used to scare the hell out of me!
So I began...and at first needed to confirm I DIDN'T want a big, scary monster:
Once I got that out of the way, explored my initial instinct of making The Realm's most powerful Chaos Magic Mage and grand schemer be a literal, walking juxtaposition. I love drawing 'little people'!
There. I finally hit something I liked: a Darkseid/Darius Drumm/Red Ghost/Paul Williams hybrid I could get behind--and more importantly, have a ball drawing.
And there you have it. Now, I know there are other inspirations I left out, I can think of a few of MR.MIRACLE'S antagonists off the top of my head, but this was more or less the road to and through my creative process. Hope you've enjoyed. Go buy Charlatan Ball. And a sketchbook. And a teeshirt.