Costuming can bring a character design to new heights. You always have to wonder what type of person has time to assemble a leopard-spotted pink mohawk or would think to pair a double-breasted jacket and cowgirl boots with skeleton makeup. Annie Wu pays special attention to fashion and grooming in her original and fanart illustrations, creating characters whose lives–and tastes–seem to exist beyond the page.
In addition to various comics projects, Wu is doing color work on the upcoming season of The Venture Bros., which would explain why Hank and Dean tend to pop up quite a bit in her fanart. Wu received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she created her fashion-forward, western-themed thesis project. Taking elements from pulps, exploitation films (as filtered through Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez), Kevin Dart’s Yuki 7 and, yes, The Venture Bros., Wu created a series of film posters for non-existent westerns, exploring archetypes like the buddy comedy, the Native American princess, the outlaws and the villainous conman. At the same time, each character is carefully costumed.
She’s also been honing her character design skills with Project: Rooftop
and Warren Ellis
‘ redesign challenges. Her flair for fashion has led to some inspired reinterpretations, including the mythological hero Theseus as a matador, a futuristic Joan of Arc, an imagined Thirteenth Doctor atop his TARDIS and, of course, that punk rock Justice League.
You can see more of Wu’s designs on her website.