Star Wars Lite (1 of 6): That little droid and I have been through a lot together

Plug first, sketch second–you all know my crony/chum Hammers, right? He’s better known to the world as Nathan Hamill, and he’s been interviewed on regarding his participation in the most recent series of Star Wars Galaxies trading cards. Click HERE to read it.

Notably, the article mentions a non-Star Wars item–Nathan’s upcoming foray into designer toys, with a bad-ass vinyl racoon. You read correctly, a bad-ass vinyl racoon.

And as an unintentional coincidence, I’ve prepared a series of Star Wars sketches for the next few weeks. Here’s R2-D2:

You can imagine what might be coming up in the ensuing weeks. And if Star Wars isn’t your cup of tea, you philistine, stay tuned for more Street Fighter and He-Man after I wrap these up.

Number Sixteen

Abraham Lincoln‘s birthday was yesterday, and Monday we observe President’s Day here in the States, so:

The blog has been a little lethargic recently, due to my preoccupation with plagues and unusually large apples inhabited by millions of people… I’ll be back next week with something elaborate and nerdy, more befitting what you have grown to expect of me.


As in, Comic-Con! But also as in, Khan Noonien Singh!


By the powers of black magic and unholy witchcraft (AKA the miracles of modern technology), this entry in my blog is being auto-posted while I am away. As you read this, I am at Comic-Con, wasting my money on action figures of obscure nerdy characters, wasting my time at super-nerdy panels, and most importantly wasting my dignity ogling super-hott booth babes. I will be back next week, and I’m sure I will have a thing or two to say about Comic-Con.

If you are at or heading to Comic-Con, please check out my previous post to see some shameless plugs of my friends and cronies peddling their wares at Comic-Con.

  • Fun Fact: The original title for this post was “From Hell’s heart, I blog at thee!”

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To…

(Posting early, just because.)

I caught the second half of the new Knight Rider last night. It was aight, but it’s just not the same without the Cylon-esque HWOOO-HWOOO sound effect and the personality and dry wit of William Daniels as Kitt.

In keeping with the fact that I am an ancient relic, incapable of accepting progress or change, here’s a picture of KITT from the original Knighter Rider TV series:

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That’s why the lady is a vamp…

I am notable in that I am one of the few people in all of geekdom who has not seen Ed Wood but has seen Plan 9 From Outer Space. Someone lent it to me recently, so I was inspired to draw Vampira:

This was sketched in pen (no preliminary pencils of any kind) on a piece of scratch paper, and touched up a bit in Photoshop. If you look carefully, you can see some text gibberish in her hair–I could have cleaned it up, but decided that it gave the piece an interesting quality. In retrospect, the text is so tiny, I don’t think it makes a difference one way or another. When I drew this I wasn’t looking at any reference, and with that in mind I think its a halfway decent likeness. I don’t know what made me color the picture monochrome, but I think it worked out alright.

And now, a five second review!

* * *

Plan 9 From Outer Space (Available on DVD)

For those who have not seen Plan 9 From Outer Space, I just want to say that it is far from being one of the worst films of all time. It is filled with flaws, riddled with continuity errors, and is unintentionally laughable. In spite of all that, or because of all that, it’s still, like, totally watchable. In fact the pacing in Plan 9 has better pacing than most of the movies I’ve seen in the past two and a half years. No joke!

Verdict: Awesome. Vampira! Tor Johnson! The best narrator ever! Bela Lugosi! Sort Of!

For More B-Movie Awesomeness: An Italian movie from 1963, Atom Age Vampire is a work of genius!

Unrelated Topics: Comic-Con and comic Conan

As promised, here is a post rife with complete sentences, as well as a Comic-Con wrap-up. First up, the last illustration from the commisioned project where I was asked to depict a few distinct TV characters–my favorite talk show host, Conan O’Brien:

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Same technique on this one as the previous few–inked with Tombo brush pen and Sakura microns, followed by obsessive Photoshop touch-up and coloring. The colors on this piece don’t quite gel. They get the idea across well enough, but there’s something subtley lacking. In that respect this piece shows its age–I think I’d do a better job on the colors today. Incidentally, this and the Mr. T sketch from tuesday, were both drawn years before Mr. T became a semi-regular on Conan. MY DRAWRINS’ PREDICTED THE FUTURE!

So, Comic-Con. It was a decent show–crowded, but manageable (unlike last year). For me, Comic-Con is always a very surreal event–every fifteen minutes I’m running into someone I know, very often someone who I haven’t seen for years. For example, literally, within five minutes of stepping into the convention hall to pick up my badge, I ended up talking to someone who I haven’t seen since college (closing in on 8-9 years). It’s nice running in to some familiar faces, and its always cool to meet new creative people too, and get excited about drawing and writing. However, talking too much and being in a dry air-conditioned environment for four and a half days straight left my throat pretty messed up. Enough about my ridiculously frail constitution! The highlights:

  • Vinny drew me an awesome sketch of Skeletor–I will post it in the near future.
  • The Tired Girl Collective was joined by the very lovely Anna Woltz. Anna had a button that read “Frodo” but looked like the Ford logo, so naturally, I bought one.
  • “Hand-wrestling” featuring super-posable cardboard robot action figure thingees. It basically amounted to videos of a person’s hands making two cardboard robots “wrestle.” It’s ridiculous, I don’t understand the point of it, but the robots are awesome. Check out Kami-Robo.
  • Samurai cats in the style of traditional Japanese ukiyo-e prints. Verbal description doesn’t do it justice–good sense requires you to visit the website of Moira Hahn.
  • Martin Hsu‘s art really caught my eye, as did Seth Reek‘s. Let your eyes soak in their talent.
  • I bought the volume of Dungeon that I was missing, King City (review on its way), and an advance copy of Comic Foundry.
  • Jacob, who is both a Prince, and a Scholar, picked up this Transformers exclusive for me, so I didn’t even have to wait in line!

Phew. Enough of that! Comic-Con 2008 will be upon us before we know it. Onward, to the future, dear reader!

(Next Post: Harry Potter!)

I Pity The Fool (obvious post title #115643)

Back from Comic-Con. Sick. So sick I haven’t finished reading Deathly Hallows yet. Tonsils looked like pastrami yesterday. Somewhat better now. Post-convention round-up on Friday. For now, another commisioned TV character:

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Same technique as previous two. Complete sentences next time, promise.

Quick Post, and a Plug

(Posted early, as has become my habit…)

From a commisioned project where I was asked to illustrate a few distinct TV characters. First up, Eddie Munster:

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Drawn in pencil and inked with a Tombo brush pen and Sakura microns, meticulously touched up in Photoshop to make it look like I know what I’m doing, and then colored (in Photoshop). This piece is actually a bit older, but I think it holds up decently.

But enough about me–remember this post? Well Charles has completed the mystical fish’s extensive background story, entitled “The Children of Gods,” complete with an appendix explaining some of his references and influences.

It’s really an excellent piece of writing, so go read it! Go!

Now For Something Completely Different…

It’s far from my standard uber-nerdy fare, but every now and then I get inspired to do something out of the ordinary. This one is for Jacob, who one day linked me to a German Hip Hop video on YouTube by a group named Deichkind. The video featured a female MC called Nina (sometimes referred to as Nina MC). Here is my interpretation of the very striking Nina MC:

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And here is the aforementioned video by Deichkind, entitled Bon Voyage (No, I’m not confused–yes, it is a German track with a French title):

My sketch is a somewhat loose take–it’s more caricature than portrait, and not much of a caricature at that. But I think it captures some of her spirit. Keen-eyed observers will note that while Nina sported a pull-over hoodie in the video, I drew her with a zip-up hoodie. My personal bias for zip-up hoodies aside, I was also looking for an excuse to draw an exaggerated, over-sized zipper.

My pencils and inks were a little bit cleaner this time around, but i was looking to do a little something different with the colors, so I took the suggestion of my friend Charles, and loosened up some. I still used Photoshop, but instead of making my usual super-careful lasso selections, I just colored the whole thing with the paintbrush tool. I chose the brush that mimics a marker tip, and brought the opacity down (30%-60%). I’m pretty happy with the results.

Don’t get me wrong, Nina is Jacob’s gal–as far as raven-haired Euro-hotties go, Nigella Lawson is more my speed (call me, Nigella!). Now, the lovely Nina aside, let’s talk about Deichkind–these dudes are freakin dope! I have no clue what their lyrics are about, but they got “mad flow” as the kids say.

Actually, now that I stop and think about it, there are only two people that I know who understand any German at all, and one of them is my Dad. Dad, if you are reading this, I apologize in advance if you heard any explicit German lyrics, and I implore you to NOT tell me what those lyrics say, because the last thing I need to hear is German obsenities translated into English by my father. Thank you.

Here for your enjoyment, is another Deichkind video, sadly sans Nina, but awesome nonetheless:

For more on Nina MC: