I've mentioned "Licorice Merlin" in passing in a few blog posts but never really wrote anything about the story itself - but that's all about to change right... now.

Imagine, if you will, a more Arthurian time, where magic ruled and fantastical creatures of all types lived in harmony and those that failed to harmonize would get straight up murdered by some wayward knight.  Ok, now forget that, and image a bland, poorly lit hallway in a nondescript office building at night.   That my friends, is the epic setting of the tale of Licorice Merlin!

Dance, candy man!  Dance!
Yes, Licorice Merlin is in fact an anthropomorphic red licorice stick and possibly the least creative thing one could draw based on the combination of those two words.   And yes, those two words were happened upon quite by chance through the use of a horse name generator I usurped for a demo web project at work.   And yes, Licorice Merlin is a means for me to experiment with whole scene animation in Maya, but maybe, just maybe the social and moral issues it wrestles with are so much greater?   Not likely.

Essentially the tale is one of an office janitor/night watchman, dubbed "Slick", who happens upon a retro candy machine in an infrequently traveled corridor of the building he maintains.

Licorice Merlin's lair
When he happens to bump the machine it spawns the magical Licorice Merlin! Merlin then discovers the man hates licorice, perhaps even candy as a whole, and the confection mage proceeds to convince Slick how awesome licorice is through three magical acts.

Licorice Merlin has some splainin' to do, but Slick doesn't look like he's buying it...
When the three magical acts fail to convince Slick how delicious licorice really is and he rebuts Licorice Merlin's attempts while possibly decrying his person as a whole - Slick faces the sweet vengeance of the candy man!

Yes, the story is really that shallow and derivative of so many things it may seem criminal, I just don't care.   As far as progress on this work goes the Slick character model is completed and fully rigged and ready for animation.

Slick and his mop looking very somber - hating candy takes loads of concentration?
Merlin is still in his infancy - in fact he is nothing more than an extruded tube, with a twist and a delicious licorice colored shader.

I know you're in there Merlin, just nod if you can hear me!
So there you have it, the apparently less than epic tale of Licorice Merlin and where the project stands to date.   My goal is the get the Merlin model done in a month or so - though with the holidays it may be tough.   Also, Merlin will be a bit different than Slick, who was modeled entirely in Maya, because I intend to use ZBrush for much of the model detail.   This explains the random Dog-man and Cthulhu ZBrush work I've been up to recently... ah hah ;-)

Keep a sharp eye out for Cthulhu updates as that creeping sense of doom you feel likely predicts another upcoming blog post...