Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy is always one of the top results when googling for vintage sci-fi posters. The design of this poster fit exactly what I needed for my second poster in a series of three illustrating the etymology of science fiction (view webcomic). The featured female character would become Akora the fennec fox, on her right is Etym the Mole standing at attention. On her left is the Worm without a name holding a ray gun.
This was a fun poster to sketch out as all three characters mimic the action on the original poster.
Akora strikes a pose on the rocks. Although the fox’s legs aren’t as long Jane Fonda’s, Akora works that blaster very well.
Whenever I change the pose of Etym Mole, I tend to just reshape him in Illustrator using the pencil tool. But for this poster, we needed a whole new posture for Etym with him standing up straight looking into the sky. Etym is such a big round character, I wasn’t sure how adaptable he would be. But I was pleasantly surprised how well he turned out. I should pencil sketch Etym more frequently.
Since the character on Jane Fonda’s left is pretty much nude, tall and thin, the Worm seemed like a good substitute. The Worm really never needs to be sketched, because he’s simple line. The look on the guy’s face is really kinda crazy–so serious! Yet he casually holds onto a ray gun–a pretty rad ray gun at that. Making the Worm hold onto a ray gun was fun. Who knows how that ray gun is being held by a worm with no hands? Maybe he has some sort of otherworldly mind control levitating power. Worm power!
As with the first poster, the color palette in the original poster were shifted from warm hues to cooler blues and greens. The giant moon in the background gives a great layout device to highlight the main character.
I can’t quite identify the font used on the original Barbarella poster from 1968. Nor did I really want to identify the font. Frankly, it’s rather ugly clunky font with the bottom parts being really thick. The basket in the A’s are way too small. Yet, I still needed a condensed face to fit the text into the space.
Federation Classic is a funky sci-fi font with a very heavy condensed weight. The angles on the Es and Fs are a bit weird when the font gets angled, but it has a sci-fi feel to it, so I went with it. Besides, when angling the font in that perspective style, the extra angles on the fonts help to slightly break up the strong perspective effect.