ADG Perspective

July-August 2021

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L O K I | P E R S P E C T I V E 2 9 Loki, the god of mischief, is the black sheep of his family, his home realm, and routinely of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). His behavior has, at times, demonstrated the darkest impulses within the MCU, and at other times he's surprised fans by allowing tremors of humanity to guide his choices. He is a bucking bronco hell-bent on making his own way and not conforming. It was this maverick energy that the design of Loki was determined to subvert. In the face of his spirit, an unyielding mountain of bureaucracy had to be conjured that would roundly crush his individualism into submission and conformity. The series begins with the Time Variance Authority's (TVA) bureaucratic stormtroopers ripping Loki out of his reality and literally deleting it. Everything he knew or had planned was unceremoniously binned and now he begins his imposed journey of self-discovery. The opportunity was clear with this black sheep character at the center of the story, we had the chance to make a visual black sheep within the MCU. Something that looked and felt distinct from all that had come before it. The synopses I read in advance of my pitch meeting described the style of the TVA as Blade Runner meets Mad Men. As for Blade Runner, I don't think they let you into the ADG unless you can draw a spinner from memory; and growing up in Southern California, I had spent a lot of time in precisely the type of clean, economical, but whimsical mid-century modern municipal architecture that blossomed in the United States in the post-war era. From my K-12 public schooling, to the local post office, to the DMV where I got my driver's license, all were built in the mid-century modern style. This was the starting point in my mind of the institutional bones for the TVA. From our initial meeting, it became clear that director Kate Herron and I were in total sync on the visual terrain that would serve the story best. Without having seen her pitch deck, my own deck included a spectrum of research from the world of Terry Gilliam, the stoicism of English brutalism, the whimsical warmth of American mid-century modernism, and the strange and severe shapes A. MISS MINUTES QUEUE. SET PHOTO. B. MISS MINUTES QUEUE. POSTER. GRAPHIC DESIGN BY JASON SWEERS. B

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