One of my favorite albums of all time is this album that tells a story. It is like a children's album with its story, but I like the characters in it. It is not particularly popular or well-known. I want to make websites and other non-music related communities based on settings from this album. I also want to use a graphical depiction of the main character in this album as my community mascot. Remember, this is all derived from a music album, but not other graphical depictions / there's a tremendous amount of original work here as well.
While there have been animated movies made that make use of the album's songs within them, I would not be using the album's songs for anything and would not be deriving any graphical depictions from that animated film.
Since I might eventually make money off these websites through advertising revenue, I was wondering if it was legal to use derivative works of a music album as long as you're not actually copying its lyrics, singing its songs, or usingthe music directly. But if you're making it a derivative that someone could listen to the album and see the connection, does that violate copyright?
Is the best approach just to not publicize any connection to the album at all, but keep the overall theme so that people suspect it but it isn't in the face and profiting off it in a marketing way?