Saturday, 1 August 2015

Cuphead in "Don't Deal With The Devil"

Since the end of June I've been helping out the team at Studio MDHR with the wonderful traditionally animated cartoon videogame Cuphead! A videogame with a 1930's cartoon aesthetic AND animated in 1930's style: drawn and inked traditionally on paper! Even the lettering and UI!

I've been looking forward to this game since it's first trailer and having the opportunity to have a hand in helping with its production is a pretty rad experience. It's also been really cool to be able to work on it right after it generated a ton of buzz this past E3. The team is spread across in different locations but I've been working directly under the art director Chad Moldenhauer, one of the brothers responsible for coming up with the idea. I've mostly been doing inking/clean up, colouring, some additional animation, as well as printing, scanning and filing the mounds of drawings they have and a bit more stuff. 

If you haven't seen this visually stunning game here's the trailer! Available when it's ready™ 2016 on Xbox One and PC:

Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game heavily focused on boss battles. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930's, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional cel animation (hand drawn & inked!), watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings. Play as Cuphead or Mugman (in single player or co-op) as you traverse strange worlds, acquire new weapons, learn powerful super moves, and discover hidden secrets. Cuphead is all action, all the time. Do you have what it takes? "

Cuphead website:

Studio MDHR links:


Above is a drawing I made of Cuphead and myself as a Cuphead character! MugMarco? Mugco? I drew, inked and coloured it the same way they do with the rest of the game.

An inked MugMarco! I made sure he was much of a caricature of myself as possible with a square head, glasses, a square handle to represent my earring and a rounded triangle for a nose. I also made it so his cup head is a pencil holder because I like drawing and I keep my art utensils in a similar fashion on my desk.

Coloured and looking jolly!

Different coloured variations with a bonus black and white version that I still like. In the end I just stuck with making it look like Cuphead in terms of a colour scheme.

I drew this Cuphead in the same pose as the typical Mickey Mouse pose you see on every shirt he's on. This was actually just a test to try out the style as well as the inking (I didn't have a 0.5 marker so I had to use my 0.3 to thicken the lines to achieve a similar look) before drawing the one I made of myself. 

Coloured with an opened eyes version, he was originally casually shooting a projectile.

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