Thursday, December 3, 2009

Toby the Werewolf

Here is one of my early cartoon ideas that I developed in my highschool years. I was listening to David Lindley's - Werewolves in London while riding in the car one day and the idea of making a kid friendly tale of silly and cooky werewolves came to mind. I had already created a very dark and vulgar concept called Demion the Anti-Christ, so I wanted to do something that would be more kid oriented. The song it's self is very happy and chipper, but it talks about mutilation and greasy hair. This juxtaposition sums up Toby's whole developmental story. While my whole intention for Toby the Werewolf was to be a kids show, but it was always haunted with a darker undertone.

I was influenced by many different elements when creating Toby. Invader Zim still being the main focus of my highschool life, I wanting to make another character like Dib. Someone who was smarter then the rest of the school and wasn't able to get people to understand how he is the sole protector of their lives. Toby's personality has morphed away from Dib now, he's more based off people I remember from Highschool.

Spider-man had just come out that year so I named Toby after Toby Maguire. A more underlined theme of Spider-Man is the ability to control your hormonal changes and manage the things life throws at you without going crazy I was interested by how Peter Parker got super buff after being bitten and how he was still considered a geek after that. As the story of Peter Parker goes on you see how much he has to struggle keeping his cool and by the time Venom comes around, he's loses his grip on reality.

Toby has an evil power in him and if he doesn't keep it in check he'll loose control. The more I learned about werewolves the more I saw that I couldn't keep Toby as a kid's show. There is a deep fallowing of werewolves that says that they should be very dark and evil being. The act of transforming into an animal is not a pleasing or happy experience. Then things like the Underworld and Twilight universe throw a monkey wrench in the mix. Regardless of all that this is how Toby's universe works:

Werewolves can change with any moonlight but less so with less moonlight. So full moons they have to change, new moons they can't. Werewolves are damned when they taste human blood. As long as they don't bite humans, their souls are saved. Werewolves can be killed by silver, but not in human form. In human form the develop rashes and burns after touching silver. The attitude of someone's werewolf form depends on the type of person they are in real life. If they are a calm and normal person, then as a wolf they are wild and crazy. If they are a terrible and vicious human, they have more control over their wolf form. This however doesn't mean they are good wolves, but it means they have more conscious thought as wolves and some have human speak.

Toby is the right level of crazy human with good morals, that allows him to be able to control his wolf form and not hurt other people. As a kid he's pretty self centered and considered the smart boy that dumb jocks can ask him to do their homework and stuff. He's only got a few friends but he has little respect for them. He's a constant run-away, thinking that his life is much more worse then it really is.

One night, while attempting to run away from home he sees a dog stalking him. Soon that dog is chasing him down the street and attacking him. Not long after that he's transforming into a dog and running down the streets digging through garbage and chasing cats. A larger dog comes to him and informs him to meet him again on the next full moon. Toby passes out in a trash tank and sleeps until morning.

Toby wakes up to a large rattle and shake as the trash tank gets lifted up and tossed into a garbage truck pen. He yells and screams for help, out of fear of getting compacted into a cube. The garbage people take him to the police, where they immediately assume that he's on some sort of drug. He explains to the police and his mother what happened to him the night before but they can't make anything of it and let him go home.

Every month after that night Toby is forced to change on every full moon. He is greeted by a leader of the local pack, a every elegant wolf who wants to turn more people of the town into wolves but both Toby and Akila (the wolf that bit Toby) are too wild to be told what to do, and so the nights are usually waisted. Toby's human form becomes filled with bizarre supernatural events that are asking him for his help as a werewolf. He is stalked by a werewolf hunter, who send silver gifts his way. His body starts to change, giving him abnormal strength as a human and he soon becomes more popular.

His Jr. High crush begins to notice that he is getting buffer and asks him to date her one night...unfortunately the date is on a full moon. While for most of the night it stays overcast he is saved, but the moment the moon shows up he freaks out and runs off. She chaises after him but he kidnaps her and takes her to a junk yard to confess his problem. She thinks it's a joke but they are soon attacked by a crazy man. He shoots the girl and runs off. Conflicted, Toby spits on her wounds hoping that it'll trigger a transformation to save her life. While the girl is saved, she is forever cursed, just like he is. The next morning she breaks up with him, telling him that he is a terrible person. A few months down the road, she says that she needs his help to manage the problem, and they get back together again.

Toby's future involves a lot of darker stories and details. One big thing about this show is that his parents are devoiced. He has a half sister who gets killed during a turf war between wolf clans. As he learns that he can transform at any phase of the moon, he gets mixed up with a witch who taunts and tortures him to get him to submit to her wilms. She sets a spell for his parents to fall in love with each other again but they don't see Toby as their son.

Toby's story would go as far as into his highschool years. At that point he's confessed to his mother about his werewolfism and about the death of his sister. Because of the witch his Jr. High crush has either gone missing, dead, or they're no longer dating, so he finds interest in a vampire girl. The vampire hunter has become a friend, as he believes that Toby has become a better human being because of his werewolfism.

While Toby the Werewolf started out as a kid friendly show, The Little Werewolf, I soon see how much passion I have to go into the more psychological struggle of being a werewolf and teen-aged issues. There are so many shows that talk about kids who change into super heroes, but they're all directed for kids, and talk about stupid teen-aged issues like being grounded. Toby's lifestyle isn't about saving the world or making it to school on time. It's about managing your stress and your inner demons to keep your self from hurting the ones you love. Allow your feelings to be free and don't hide secrets.

Most of the drawings in this post are quite old. My lack of development of this character has all been mental and the complexity of his character makes me feel that I probably couldn't get this pitched as a TV show in America. I could get it in Japan or Canada as their standards are more flexable, but I feel in the end of the day Toby's story reads better as a book or a comic. My newest drawings at the top show a more updated look of him, but I really want to give the character a HUGE REDESIGNING in style. Either way this is a character I want to do more with and I love making adjustments to his story. If you have more questions please ask (tried to make this as short as I could XD).

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shadowcat016 said...
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