Nerdy Anticipation

Perhaps you will recall that I am a huge Transformers fan? And perhaps you will recall that I enjoyed Michael Bay’s first outing in the world of Transformers? And perhaps you will understand that I am bitterly jealous that the sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, premiered two weeks ago in Japan, and was released last week in the United Kingdom, while Canadians living in America (like myself) are forced to wait until this week?

And perhaps you will not be surprised that 24 hours from the posting of this blog, I will be sitting in an IMAX theater watching said movie, at long last?

For the haters, let’s get some things straight here… I’m not expecting Citizen Kane. I’m not expecting Shakespeare. I’m not even expecting Shakespeare in Love. I am expecting pretty much the best special effects around, lots of robots getting blowed up good, and Megan Fox looking Megan Foxxy.

The surge of nerdy anticipation within me is overwhelming, threating to manifest itself as a wave of destructive energy that will burn the surface of the planet to a crisp whilst arguing whether or not the new Revenge of the Fallen Human Alliance toyline portrays human characters in proper scale to their Autobot counterparts. Also, I drew this:

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What started out as kind of a quick sketch to commemorate the release of Revenge of the Fallen actually became a decent exercise in color and lighting, I think.


No Apologies


I claim to be such a huge Transformers nerd, and yet I don’t believe I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy Transformers Animated–I’m caught up on season three, which has been amazing. Both the series and the toyline are easily amongst the best incarnations of the franchise since Generation One (for anybody keeping score, I do enjoy the two most controversial incarnations of the series–Beast Wars and the live action movie). Transformers Animated has introduced a fresh asthetic, invigorating a franchise that was in danger of stagnating. The new, cartoony look is largely the doing of Derrick Wyatt, who’s quickly becoming one of my favorite character designers. The asthetic has been translated into the toy line masterfully by the team at Hasbro, and provides a great visual counterpoint to the gritty realistic look of the Transformers live action movie(s). It is a good time to be a Transformers geek.

Today’s post features the Autobots’ half human, half-Cybertronian sidekick, Sari Sumdac:

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I elected to draw Sari in my own style, because I think it would be foolish to try and out-Wyatt Derrick Wyatt. Sari is depicted in her powered-up teenage form from season three, though I did take some minor liberties with her costume. I tried to make this one a bit more dynamic, since I know static-ness is an on-going poblem with my art. Sari’s costume makes her look like a RAcaseal from Phantasy Star Online, which is definitely a good thing.

  • Please check out the fantastic blog of Derrick Wyatt, bad-ass character designer, and genuine Transformers fan: A Delightful Tedium

Bonus Post: Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals for awesome commercials…

After seeing a few cool CGI commercials and drawing some mascots, basically I immediately forgot all about the Olympics. But before it officially ends, here’s one more Olympic commercial from Stadium Astro (a Malaysian sports channel, I think?), featuring robots… transforming ones!

Of course watching one video on Youtube, always leads to another… here’s a soccer-themed transformer ad from Stadium Astro, promoting the Euro 2008 tournament:

And another transformer ad from Stadium Astro (apparently someone working there likes Transformers as much as I do?):

In summary, sports would actually be cool if there were more (or any) transforming robots involved.

Post Script: Decepticons as tweenage girls? Oh Japan, you so crazy (and that’s why I love ya… from

Post Post Script: I actually found so many Transformer-related videos that I had to cut half of them out of this post. Expect another video post soon!

A Post-Comic-Con ‘Con

Comic-Con was insane, as usual. The drive from Los Angeles to San Diego took almost 7 hours (yes, seven) instead of 3, and as a result, at one point, I whizzed in a bottle (yes, a bottle). For the record, it was an empty Vitamin Water lemonade bottle, which was nice because it gave me, you know, a sense of symmetry. The rest of the convention proceeded with no unorthodox waste removal procedures. I’m catatonic right now, so you’ll have to wait until my next post for non-whizz-related highlights from the convention.

For now, to commemorate the recently ended Comic-Con, a ‘Con:

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This is Shockwave, drawn with a modified transformation that I came up with. The original toy had a gun barrel which was essential for the gun mode, but served no purpose and had no venue of storage in robot mode–my revised transformation imagines that the gun barrel could split apart and slide back on Shockwave’s arms. That’s all. Sleepy-time now.

Flashback Friday, Again?!? WTF?!?

Let’s face it. Lately, I have been S.T. Rugglin. Which means that once again, you get something that i drew and colored years ago, instead of a fresh selection from my drawing board today. I’m going to work hard this weekend to get ahead on my blog posts, because I know the 5.7 people who read this blog rely on me for 19 seconds of diversion, twice a week. I promise there’ll be all new stuff next week.

Until then, here’s a robot that needs no introduction, but gets one anyways–Optimus Prime, heroic leader of the Autobots:

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Current Mood: Gettin’ there
Listening To: The Long Black Veil
Reading: Just finished Kiki Strike Inside The Shadow City (which was awesome)
Watching: She-Ra season one
Playing: Possum
Eating: Nothing, I’m starved right now!
Drinking: Vitamin Water

Horrible Post Title #085367: Fangs For The Memories

You’re reading this impossibly dorky blog, and asking yourself, what kind of a person is this enigmatic J.Ho? Well let me tell you something–the other day my boss gave me a Transformers pencil (because it’s well known throughout the office that I am a zealot for Transformers), and the first thing I did with that pencil… was sketch a Transformer. I did it, as if compelled by some greater force; as if inaugurating that Transformers pencil appropriately with a drawing of a Transformer was ensuring that all was right throughout the universe–nay, the multiverse. That is the kind of person that I am.

Here’s Grotusque, one of the Monsterbots:

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Though I never owned the Grotusque toy, I always thought the character looked cool: (sabre-toothed tiger) + (dragon) = WINNER, as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately, because I don’t own the toy, I have no idea what color it really is–in various photos I found online, the main torso appeared anywhere in the range of magenta, maroon, or burgundy. In the end, I think my colors skewed too close to the magenta end of the spectrum. Oh yeah, there’s also no rhyme or reason to the light sources in this pic.

Close-up photos revealed that Grotusque’s face was molded with a slight texture–in my mind, this implied fur, so I decided to give my interpretation an organic face.

The wing is cut off because that’s where the paper stopped. And on that awkward note, I will end this post.


Put on your game face…

Transformers came out on DVD this week, and I’m glad to say that after repeat viewings I feel the same about it as when it first came out. I got an itch to draw the movie version of Bumblebee, which you can compare to my depiction of the cartoon version from a few months ago.

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Trying something new here… sort of. Combining two of my regular techniques, this one is 100% Photoshop, sketched in pixelly fashion with the pencil tool but colored in the semi-painterly fashion that I use every now and then. It’s pretty fast and dirty, all kinds of B.S. imaginary light-sources going on here. Still, I’m fairly happy with it. Bumblebee is drawn, by the way, with his battle mode face-plate (which I think is much cooler than his weird gas tank mouth). I believe it was Vinny who called it Bumblebee’s “game face.”


5-SECOND REVIEW: I Saw Transformers O_O

Transformers (In theaters now!)

I’m cramming for Comic-Con, plus it’s already late, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time reviewing Transformers here. Basically, it’s a fun film that is sometimes silly, with good special effects and action, and a some decent one-liners and nods to the franchise’s history. Some of the attempted humor is clunky, and a lot of the fight scenes are blurry and chaotic, but the character designs, which were controversial among many fans, work excellently in the context of the film, and we are left wide open for a sequel.

Verdict: Awesome. Well worth full ticket prices to see robots gettin’ blowed up good. You will leave the theater feeling like someone grabbed you and shook you by the shoulders for two-plus hours… in a good way!

For More Giant Robots Getting Blowed Up Good: My other favorite giant robot franchises include, Giant Robo, Escaflowne, The Big O, and Robotech.

* * *

NOW, as a bonus, here’s a little e-mail that I wrote up and sent out to a few friends and co-workers. Hammers said it was blogworthy, and by god, when he says something is blogworthy, I BLOG! You will note, that as I have enjoyed the movie at this point, I must eat my words in regards to the filmmaking skills of one Michael Bay. My apologies to Mister Bay and the enormous pile of money that he sleeps on. At any rate, please enjoy:

As you all may or may not know, the live action Transformers movie is debuting on the fourth of July, 7-4-7, as the posters say. Only it isn’t, because they moved it up a day, so 7-3-7, as the new posters say. But then they decided to move it up another day with advance screenings starting at 8:00pm, so now it’s premiering on 7-2-7, which is not on any poster that I have seen. Basically, Transformers will be opening on a Monday, giving it a SEVEN day Fourth of July ‘weekend’ opening. You are asking yourself a question right now, and the answer is, “yes, Hollywood is ridiculous.”

Oh, and by the way, there was already a screening at the L.A. Film Festival, the world premier in Italy, and another advance screening set for this weekend at the annual Transformers convention taking place in scenic Rhode Island. So, even watching it on the first day of the SEVEN day opening, I will already basically be the last person in the world watching it.

Which brings me to the point of this mass mailing. for those of you who had the stamina to stick with me, I applaud you. Again, I digress. presently, the point of this message:

This Monday July 2nd, 8:00 PM

(Author’s Note: location excluded, as this invite has now expired)

I have my ticket, and I will be there, rain or shine, alone if need be–as track four of the soundtrack to the original Transformers movie says, NOTHING’S GONNA STAND IN MY WAY. I will not be buying tickets or saving seats for anyone, but I would be delighted if you would meet me there. If you decide to come, I highly recommend buying tickets online. And since I’m not doing anything other than writing this email, feel free to bring as many people as you like.

I need not remind you that this is a movie based on a popular toy franchise, being released on a major holiday ‘weekend’ in hopes of attracting the lowest common denominator, and is directed by Michael Bay (a director who is, in case you haven’t noticed, not necessarily good). In short, this movie has three strikes against it–and we are walking into a dangerous situation at best (Let us not forget Pearl Harbor… the movie, not the historical tragedy. Though we should also remember the historical tragedy, for reasons that I shouldn’t have to explain to you here**). Ahem. As I was saying–

Like Optimus Prime recruiting soldiers for the Ark’s fateful journey to planet Earth, I will only be taking volunteers for this mission. Let no one feel obligated to fight for the freedom of all sentient beings. But with any luck, we might see some cool special effects and watch some robots get blowed up good.

So–if you decide to attend, just meet me inside. You will know me by the geeky child-like grin on my face.


** Actually, I’m being a jerk about Pearl Harbor (the movie), I haven’t seen it, though I understand that it is terrible.

Real Life IM Transcript, Fake IM names… Subject: Transformers and Pokemon

It started out innocently enough…

[00:32] AUTOBOT-Elric: butthead
[00:32] AUTOBOT-Elric: ya there?
[00:33] green lantern wannabe: yeah i am
[00:33] AUTOBOT-Elric: i just saw a clip of transformers on david letterman
[00:34] green lantern wannabe: ok so how was the Tf clip?
[00:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: that **** was rad
[00:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: they’re giving away too much, which is a bad sign
[00:34] green lantern wannabe: hahahah sure i hear it looks good
[00:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: but
[00:34] green lantern wannabe: hahahah mayybbeee
[00:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: the clip is radddd
[00:34] green lantern wannabe: haha
[00:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: its megatrron cornering spike on a rooftop
[00:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: dude
[00:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: it looked great
[00:35] AUTOBOT-Elric: and its the first i’ve heard megs talk
[00:35] AUTOBOT-Elric: hugo weaving sounds nothing like himself
[00:35] AUTOBOT-Elric: i can not wait for this ****!
[00:36] AUTOBOT-Elric: seriously dude, this **** is no fair
[00:37] AUTOBOT-Elric: everyone has seen the movie but me
[00:37] AUTOBOT-Elric: ???
[00:37] green lantern wannabe: hahahahah
[00:37] green lantern wannabe: its cool man
[00:37] green lantern wannabe: no worries
[00:37] green lantern wannabe: you’ll get your turn
[00:38] AUTOBOT-Elric: little quote from the og TF soundtrack there, niatch

Then some talk about my tragic dating life lead to…

[01:03] AUTOBOT-Elric: i think instead of dating i’m just gonna buy a DS and become a pokemon trainer
[01:03] AUTOBOT-Elric: sound good?
[01:03] AUTOBOT-Elric: quit everything else
[01:06] green lantern wannabe: dude
[01:06] green lantern wannabe: go to bed
[01:06] green lantern wannabe: haha
[01:07] AUTOBOT-Elric: you know what u need to do
[01:08] AUTOBOT-Elric: make a name for yourself
[01:08] green lantern wannabe: umm surreeee
[01:08] green lantern wannabe: ok
[01:08] AUTOBOT-Elric: and then go thru my favorites on DA
[01:08] AUTOBOT-Elric: and just pick people to hire
[01:08] AUTOBOT-Elric: and then tell me all about it
[01:08] AUTOBOT-Elric: you’ll have to txt me
[01:08] AUTOBOT-Elric: cuz i’ll be travelling the world, becoming the world’s greatest pokemon trainer
[01:09] AUTOBOT-Elric: POKEMON!
[01:09] AUTOBOT-Elric: IT’S YOU AND ME
[01:10] green lantern wannabe: okkkk
[01:10] green lantern wannabe: sure you do that
[01:10] green lantern wannabe: yeahhhh
[01:10] AUTOBOT-Elric: dude
[01:10] AUTOBOT-Elric: *packs duffle bag and pokeballs*
[01:11] green lantern wannabe: dude.. you are making me tired
[01:12] AUTOBOT-Elric: dude
[01:12] AUTOBOT-Elric: you have to have stamina
[01:12] AUTOBOT-Elric: if you want to be the world’s best pokemon trainer
[01:12] AUTOBOT-Elric:
[01:12] AUTOBOT-Elric: e_e
[01:14] AUTOBOT-Elric: eh comrade???
[01:14] AUTOBOT-Elric: eh?
[01:14] AUTOBOT-Elric: ;)
[01:15] green lantern wannabe: eh?

Later, I continue to be hilarious…

[01:29] AUTOBOT-Elric: ok cool, sounds like a plan
[01:29] AUTOBOT-Elric: i’m gonna get together some supplies and pick out a few pokeballs
[01:29] AUTOBOT-Elric: then i need to email professor oak
[01:29] AUTOBOT-Elric: then its off to bed
[01:29] AUTOBOT-Elric: and i start my journey as a pokemon trainer tommorrow!
[01:30] AUTOBOT-Elric: who should i pick first?
[01:30] AUTOBOT-Elric: i’m thinking bulbasaur
[01:30] AUTOBOT-Elric: dude… ?
[01:30] AUTOBOT-Elric: what do you think?
[01:30] AUTOBOT-Elric: you seem like a squirtle man yourself
[01:31] green lantern wannabe: hahaha
[01:31] green lantern wannabe: umm i dont know’
[01:31] green lantern wannabe: its been awhile since i played
[01:32] AUTOBOT-Elric: lol… i forgot, you actually are really good at it
[01:32] AUTOBOT-Elric: damn dude
[01:32] AUTOBOT-Elric: you and i need to both get DS’s
[01:32] AUTOBOT-Elric: and each get a diff version of the game
[01:32] AUTOBOT-Elric: we’ll be rivals!
[01:32] AUTOBOT-Elric: this is gonna be rad.
[01:33] green lantern wannabe: im retired
[01:33] AUTOBOT-Elric: dude
[01:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: i can see the heart of a pokemon trainer burning deep in you
[01:34] AUTOBOT-Elric: it never dies man
[01:34] green lantern wannabe: i hung it up for a bigger and more dangerous hunt
[01:36] AUTOBOT-Elric: digimon
[01:36] AUTOBOT-Elric: yeah i heard that brutha
[01:36] AUTOBOT-Elric: high five!
[01:40] green lantern wannabe: ummmm ok
[01:40] green lantern wannabe: have fun with that


[02:04] green lantern wannabe: ok, im going to bed, so i can get up bright and early and get to work on the rest of the stuff i need to do
[02:04] green lantern wannabe: oh and
[02:05] green lantern wannabe: pika pika pika
[02:05] AUTOBOT-Elric: LOL
[02:05] green lantern wannabe: pikachuuuuuuuu
[02:05] green lantern wannabe: hahah yeah yeah pika yeah
[02:05] green lantern wannabe: good pika.. imean night

The End!

Author’s Note: Yes, I am aware that naming Bulbasaur and Squirtle as starting Pokemon shows what an old man I am. That’s why I really do need to buy a DS and start training an Infernape or something. Just sayin.

Flight of the…

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Those who know me have probably been baffled and confused that my blog has been so primarily focused on the world of He-Man. Indeed, even I am shocked that it has taken almost three full months for an illustration of a full-fledged Transformer to show up here (sorry Battle Beasts, being a part of the Transformers universe isn’t the same as being a Transformer).

Bumblebee was the fresh-faced rookie of the original Transformers cartoon–he transformed from a Volkswagen Beetle into a robot. Since then, there have been, like, a million iterations of him in the toyline, but I won’t get into that. A new version of the character is also going to be one of the main characters in the upcoming Transformers live-action movie.

My sketch is a pretty faithful rendition of the original cartoon version, and I was able to complete most of the drawing without needing to look at reference. Whether that’s sad or awesome, I leave to you, dear reader. My pencil drawing was a little tighter, and therefore the inks were as well. The coloring on this one was fast and simple (but maybe a little bit plain and flat)–you’ll note that I have left the black lines intact for the most part. The type treatment just sort of came to life on its own after the drawing was done. All in all, this was smooth-going, and I wish all my pieces came together this easily!