Thrashing, mad, metal: the art of Double Fine's Brütal Legend

Though it's nearly impossible to find a tidy way to sum the work of LucasArts adventure vet and Double Fine head Tim Schafer -- with a catalog that ranges from de los Muertos noir to deep-psyche introspec-/explora-tion and now to a heavy metal heaven/hell (depending on your attitudes toward the genre's aesthetic) -- one undeniable trait rings consistently true through all. Schafer and his stellar team of artists and writers know character, and put character above all, a philosophy that lets players navigate some of gaming's most preposterous landscapes and peculiar conceits always feeling entirely grounded by the essential humanity around them. Nowhere is that more evident than in the ancient Rock realm to which you travel in Brütal Legend: an epically monumental world inspired by the stormily apocalyptic vistas of classic metal album covers, now fully explorable and brought fantastically to life by the Bay Area studio. And so, following the short trailer below that gives you a taste of how Legends's world would eventually form: a look at the original conceptual design behind those vistas, and especially the characters that inhabit them -- every bit as instantly recognizable (in their leather and spikes, worn-through denim and low-top All Stars) as they are awesomely ridiculous -- from Double Fine artists Scott C, Peter Chan, Nathan Stapley, Levi Ryken, Razmig Mavlian, and Mark Hamer.
The characters:
01_Baron.jpg 02_BattleNun.jpg 03_FireBaron.jpg 04_Runaway.jpg 04_Bouncer.jpg 05_Crowley.jpg 07_Headbanger.jpg 08_LitaPose.jpg 09_Ophelia.jpg 10_StackMarshals.jpg 11_treeback.jpg
The vehicles:
00_ElectricChairHotRod.jpg 01_OrganHotRod.jpg 02_ScreamWagon.jpg 03_TourBus.jpg
The environments:
00_TitanMonument.jpg 01_Lounge.jpg 03_NightmareTree.jpg 03_Bridge.jpg 04_TireRoad.jpg 05_Vista5.jpg 06_Cathedral.jpg 07_Mountains.jpg 08_IronHead Village Equipment.jpg
And finally, how it all comes together:
09_Beast01.jpg 10_Beast02.jpg