Freelance illustrator and Jackson, Miss. native Kyle Hilton loves TV. So much so that, back in January when he needed a break from a comic book project he was working on, he started sketching an action figure of Tobias Fünke from "Arrested Development." While it was just an offhanded doodle at the time, the resulting image -- which Hilton eventually decided made more sense as a paper doll -- ended up sparking a whole new project for the artist.
Six months later, Kyle has made meticulous paper doll collections for the characters from four different shows (most of them comedies) and has three more on the way. Attention on sites like Tumblr and reddit have already made his previous dolls viral hits.
The appeal reaches beyond the awesome illustrations, though. There's something fun about the little accessories Hilton chooses for each character. Identifying and remembering when in the series that prop came into play is like playing Where's Waldo with trivia from your favorite shows -- like DJ Roomba as an accessory to Tom from "Parks and Rec", or the Motherboy magazine that accompanies Lucille from "Arrested Development."
While the silly dolls are the most fun for us here at Comedy, Hilton said his favorite doll to do so far has been Walter White from AMC's "Breaking Bad." Why? "I think something about the intensity of a show like that and the concept of a paper doll kind of made it a little more interesting," he said.
And the Internet isn't the only place where Hilton's work is a hit. Someone at AMC took notice of the "Breaking Bad" dolls and reached out to Hilton. "I ended up [drawing dolls for] the rest of the cast for a wrap party they were having this summer," Hilton said. "That was such a fun opportunity."
While Hilton is flattered by all the viral enthusiasm, he credits much of the dolls' success to the shows that inspired him. "The attention has been pretty surreal. It's incredibly encouraging to see people really enjoy the illustrations, and I've had a lot of generous compliments about the artwork. But the attention is really just a testament to the shows and how hard all the people involved work to make stories that so many people connect with."
Humbleness aside, we think Hilton's work is straight-up awesome, and we can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
We've included a few of our faves below. Feel free to print them out and dress them how you please. Or pop over to his site to check out dolls from "Tim and Eric" and "Arrested Development."