In the great old mediæval fairytale, Jack & the Beanstalk, Jack steals a golden harp from the giant’s castle. Eric Kimmel‘s update, Jack and the Giant Barbecue, sets the action in west Texas and replaces the harp with a jukebox.
I have to admit she’s my favorite character in the story. This poor, neglected jukebox doesn’t have a name but Eric wrote some winning country western honky-tonk dialogue for her. She bravely offers to help Jack get his daddy’s recipe book back from the giant who cast her aside. It’s hard not to fall in love with her.
I had to design a character who would live up to all that. She had to be a Wurlitzer jukebox—colored lights and tubes to let her shine in the murk of the giant’s barbecue shack. What about eyes, mouth? At first I put 2 eyes on top of the jukebox but no good—it would be hard to make them expressive. One photo I found has a 45 rpm vinyl record centered in the arch of the incandescent tubes. I thought, maybe she could have one big eye? Her mouth would be the coin slot.