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.
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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.”
(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.
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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.
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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!