If you think Megan Hutchison’s rock-meets-occult comic Rockstars rocks hard, wait until you see her draw Dani Dangerous.
Metal maven Dani, the emerging antihero for the second arc of Rockstars, could be Siouxsie Sioux’s two-dimensional reflection with the badass factor cranked up a few decibels. Hutchinson based the character on actress Priyanka Chopra—if you cut Priyanka Chopra’s hair like a retro ‘80s rocker and gave her a hard-edged look full of leather and spikes. The hair, which is as wild as the enormous spike studs on Dani’s jacket, is Hutchison’s favorite thing to draw.
"That was my note to Joe -- every week … I need to draw bigger hair,” she tells SYFY WIRE in our Watch Artists Sketch video below, referring to her co-creator, Joe Harris (Snowfall, The X-Files).
For all you hardcore ‘80s metal fans out there, Hutchison gets much of her visual reference from the headbanging hair, Mad Max spikes, studs, rivets, huge cross earrings, and gratuitous black leather rocked by bands like Slayer and Manowar. She tries to keep from going into too much detail in pencil (which can be difficult sometimes, considering how much jewelry these guys wore) because she really gets down and dirty with that while inking. Her lack of eraser use is nothing short of amazing.
Hutchison always prefers to start with the face, and Dani’s is an intense one to flesh out. Think pouty lips, heavy liquid liner, and a gaze searing enough to make guitars go up in sparks.
“Expression is really important to me; I really want to nail down the expression before I fill in the rest of it,” says Hutchinson as she adds bolder strokes to the brow and lashline. She layers and blurs for the appearance of texture and motion, making Dani’s bangs appear as if they've just fallen into her face while gleaming under blazing stage lights.
Understandably, Dani has been one of the most outrageously fun characters Hutchison has drawn for the series so far, as she admits while finishing off that don’t-mess-with-me jacket: “There’s nothing more metal than giant spikes.”