Mona Lisa Overdrive Characters

Hey guys!

Currently reading through Mona Lisa Overdrive (I started it a while back, neglected it, so I'm back at it from scratch) , and wanted to ask a couple of questions to those that have read it before (the more, the better)

I've done illustrated lineups of the characters from Neuromancer and the main characters from Count Zero, and I'd love to do the same for MLO. Gibson's character descriptions are great, but I'm having a little trouble finding some info about a few characters:

Slick Henry: Does Gibson ever mention his ethnicity? I'm leaning toward thinking that he's black, but it hasn't described him much yet (and I'm more than halfway through the novel).

Mona: Does Gibson mention hair color or anything specific about her appearance? I know she looks like Angie Mitchell, but is younger and is described to have freckles.

Kumiko: More just wondering what her age is. I'm under the impression that she's between the ages of 12 and 15 or something like that.

Also, If you guys could think of a good list of which characters I should illustrated from each of the four intertwining arcs, that'd be great. I can't do pieces for every minor character, but I do want to represent the most important supporting characters alongside the main roles. 

Thanks in advance!

Original Post

I like your idea a lot - but when you say "illustrated lineups of the characters" I'm not sure how much illustration of each character you mean. Maybe could you post here some examples, if these are illustrations or images? But I don't really think there's any extracting positive or concrete clues to illustrate Slick Henry, Mona or Kumiko (correct me if I'm wrong). How did you get what you got from Count Zero if not from your imagination?



Moreso just character concept pieces. All the Neuromancer stuff I've done is at this link:

While they are out of my imagination, I've gotten to most of these designs just by adapting how Gibson describes them on the page. They'll have my own flair and embellishments of course, but Gibson does put a lot of detail into the visual side of his characters, which is one of the reasons I like reading his stuff so much. 

Some characters are more vague, like the ones in MLO, I'm just curious if there were any small details that I may have missed, because accuracy to the source material is something I really like to keep intact for projects like these. 

While they are out of my creative ability, I've gotten to the greater part of these plans just by adjusting how Gibson portrays them on the page. They'll have my own particular pizazz and embellishments obviously, yet Gibson puts a great deal of detail into the visual side of his characters, which is one reason I like perusing his stuff to such an extent. Dissertation

Nice to hear that I'm not the only one reading MLO this summer! I love the trilogy and re-read it every five years or so.

Kid Africa refers to Slick Henry as "white boy", so definitely not black.

I'd say blond for Mona and 13-14 for Kumiko, but that's just my feeling. I don't think it's defined in the book.


Yeah, it's a great one!

Gotcha, I would've noted that down if I saw it, but either it slipped my mind, or I haven't run across that passage yet, but that's super helpful. 

II asked someone else and they said that Angie was Brown-haired in Count Zero, so if Mona looks like her, maybe she would too? Though, It could be dyed of course. 

Thanks for the input!

if I remember correct kumiko was Eurasian but had sugary to look more Japanese. im sure angie said her mom left for a Japanese business man wonder if they were half sisters. turner would be an interesting person to draw as he was reconstructed after a bomb attack and in that future having someone with lateen & ginger hear and different colured hands & eyes wouldn't be so strange. pleas don't take offence but I dont think your caricatures look sinister enough they mostly look California suburban         


Everyone has their own visions of how the characters look, so no offense taken. I tried to modernize them a bit while hopefully still retaining a bit of that clunky, analog, retro-feel.

I did show them to Gibson via twitter, and though he admitted that he rarely likes how people interpret his characters, he said he really enjoyed mine. 

I'll let everyone know when the MLO characters come to fruition!

I'm re-reading "Mona Lisa Overdrive" now. Kid Afrika calls Slick a "white boy," so I would say Slick is either Caucasian, or mixed race and part Caucasian (making "white boy" more of a jab than a literal description). And Slick is tall and muscular. That's the only description I've gotten of him so far. 

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