Ever since I first watched Buster Keaton, I have been in love with his work (and his face). Sometime in the last year, I was listening to Steam Powered Giraffe and realized their songs would work on so many levels with Buster's filmography and interests. Buster was a totally gear-oriented person. The first thing he did when he saw a film camera was take it apart and put it back together, just so he'd know how it worked. I think he would have a great appreciation for the Steampunk genre.
Looking at a profile of Buster, I quickly drew the above sketch. I felt like I needed to see what he would be like as a steampunk hero. Goggles were an absolute necessity, but I later knew that he couldn't possibly cover both of his eyes all the time. His eyes were the most expressive part of him and covering them would be a crime. I then used Photoshop to attach the hat of Rabbit from Steam Powered Giraffe to Buster's head in place of his usual porkpie hat:
I like that. I like him having a fun hat and optional goggles. But that hat doesn't quite fit him and maybe having a semi-permanent monocle might be interesting. Going back to my initial concept sketch, I wanted to include more gears and technology on his actual person. Buster actually broke his neck while filming Sherlock Jr. but never realized it. He was lucky that it was such a small fracture that he only thought he had an awful headache after slamming the back of his head against a railroad track. It was only years later after getting an x-ray that a doctor asked him when he had broken his neck. He realized it must have been during that shoot. What if the fracture had been more severe? What if he needed medical or mechanical attention? In a steampunk world, I think he'd have some interesting gears, metal braces, and pipes keeping everything put together and connected.
But where does this steampunk Keaton go? And how does he get around?
In his airship The General, of course.
I'm still not 100% sure where Steampunk Keaton is going. The General goes with the wind, but Buster always has his poor heart set on some lovely girl. Typically, he's heartbroken.
"Honeybee" is what plays when he flies off into the sunset, wondering whatever happened to his love.