Big Brother Is Watching (Triple Post!)

(Posting early… )

For a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here, my post is here. The first round voting polls are here and here, and the final vote can be found here–I placed 4th out of the finalists.

The subject this time around is Horde Prime, Hordak‘s brother and leader.

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The scene in the center is a revision of my previous drawing of Horde Prime–in fact, the secondary head and the silhouette of Hordak on the platform were both directly lifted from the original piece. The figures on the left and right, however, are all new. The entire basis for my interpretation of Horde Prime is the theory that Horde Prime himself was the basis for the symbol of the Horde. The little guy on the left is based on an accessory that came with the original Hordak action figure. The throne room in the center piece is based on scenes from the cartoon. Finally, the Horde Prime on the right combines elements of Hordak’s costume (cartoon version) and the UK comic book version. In-fiction descriptions follow…

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Horde Prime’s Throne Room (center): Centuries before the Horde invasion of Etheria, Horde Prime engaged the heroic champion Light Hope in a battle of apocalyptic proportions. The battle ended in a stalemate, both combatants having received near-fatal wounds. Light Hope sacrificed his wounded physical form to become caretaker of the Crystal Castle and protector of Etheria. His power was greatly increased but his new discorporate form was bound to the castle itself.

Meanwhile, suffering under the effects of Light Hope’s powerful magic attacks, Horde Prime found himself crippled and trapped in his giant form, unable to shapeshift back. He retreated to his flagship, the Velvet Glove, and there, with a combination of advanced Horde science and pirated Infinitan magic, his servants built a sarcophagus-like regeneration chamber. The chamber, combined with Horde Prime’s shapeshifting abilities, allowed him to slowly form a new body, gestating within the colossal rotting husk of his old form. This embryonic body often manifested itself as a secondary head, sprouting from the eye socket of Horde Prime.

Horde Prime’s twisted body renewed itself in a twisted mockery of life and birth over the course of centuries, and in the meantime he plotted revenge against Light Hope and Etheria (it was during this time that Horde Prime’s younger brother and trusted disciple Hordak became the de facto leader of the Horde).

Horde Familiar (left): Through the use of his shapeshifting and magical abilities, Horde Prime can focus his life force to temporarily create a small demonic familiar to act as a spy or messenger. Horde Prime can see through the eyes of these creatures, and act through them. These extensions of Horde Prime were generally reserved for the gravest situations, such as delivering critical information to Hordak without risk of interception. Many rebels have made the fatal mistake of judging Horde Familiars by their relatively small size, failing to realize that a creature with even just a fraction of Horde Prime’s cosmic power is still a formidable foe.

Horde Prime Reborn (right): With the revelation that the two most powerful beings on Eternia (He-Man and Skeletor) had disappeared from the planet, Horde Prime realized that it was the time to strike. Forcing an acceleration of his regeneration, through arcane lore and untested science, Horde Prime is reborn! The cruel leader of the Horde is still regaining his god-like levels of power, but even still he is perhaps the most feared being in the universe. While Hordak holds the Etherian front, Horde Prime leads the invasion of Eternia. Horde Prime seeks nothing less than the utter subjugation of He-Man’s homeworld, after which he will return to Etheria to crush his old enemy Light Hope.

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If this were a toy, I would see Horde Prime’s throne room as a playset, with his giant form being molded into the facade of the regeneration chamber, and his giant arm being a spring-loaded capture claw. Of course, the highly sought-after Horde Prime Reborn action figure would be packed in exclusively with the playset.

Don’t Look A (Humanoid Robotic) Gift Horse In The Mouth

Today’s post is a long-delayed follow-up to my take on Stridor. It’s Night Stalker, now outfitted with the same humanoid transformation that I gave to Stridor. I drew Night Stalker with a slightly heavier build than Stridor, and some different details. He is armed with Asian weaponry as a nod to the fact that he was typically portrayed as the steed of Jitsu, Skeletor’s token Asian henchman. The pole-arm is a Pudao also know as a horse-cutter, and the swords are a set of Daisho. And I slapped a bat-cape on him because I have a tough time not giving cool villains bat-capes.
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His title of “Evil Armored Dragoon” owes to the fact that I found a definition that described a Dragoon as “a soldier trained to fight on foot but who transports himself on horseback.” This seemed like the perfect description for a transforming horse warrior. Elsewhere, I found that Dragoon or Dragoon Guard referred to heavy cavalry, which was appropriate to the bulkier look that I gave night Stalker.

Last but not least, the nerdy, in-depth bio:

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PROFILE: A brilliant strategic mind and a brutally effective warrior, NIGHT STALKER is every bit the match for his brother Stridor. But where Stridor is gentle and merciful, Night Stalker is brooding and unforgiving. He adheres to a strict code of honor, but nonetheless believes might makes right. This harsh sense of honor has earned him the friendship and trust of the similarly dispositioned Jitsu.

Night Stalker is outfitted with standard Stridor-type weaponry (dual heavy laser cannons, and a rapid-fire hip blaster)–however, he prefers to engage in melee combat with his custom-made horse-cutter or Daisho swords. He commands a regiment of Equestris mercenaries with a few other renegade Stridor units mixed in.

HISTORY: Night Stalker was the first of the mass-produced Stridor units, and was groomed to be the original Stridor’s second-in-command. Although their personalities were like night and day, the two considered each other brothers and were a formidable team on the battlefield. In time, Night Stalker was promoted, and became commander of his own unit.

During a heat wave, Night Stalker and his troops were sent to perform crowd control in a town where drought and food shortage were causing riots and looting. They had been dispatched with the idea that their imposing stature would be enough to intimidate the angry mobs into submission–on the contrary, because of their greatly superior size and strength, the troops couldn’t act against the relatively weak humans for fear of harming them. Night Stalker had no choice but to withdraw his troops. However, the rioters had become increasingly aggravated, and Night Stalker and his troops found their backs against the city walls. A make-shift bomb was thrown, a nearby wagon transporting fuel was ignited, and the ensuing explosion brought the city walls down on top of the Stridors. All the troops under Night Stalker’s command were destroyed, and he himself was damaged almost beyond repair–there were no human casualties.

The incident changed Night Stalker forever. He blamed himself, feeling that had he used force to decisively end the conflict, his troops would still be alive. Why, he asked himself, should the strong suffer at the hands of the weak? Night Stalker became increasingly insubordinate, and finally deserted his post. Stridor tracked Night Stalker down and attempted to talk to his brother. Their conversation became heated, and Night Stalker lashed out; an intense duel ensued, and Night Stalker got the best of Stridor. He restrained himself from making the killing blow, and disappeared into the wildnerness.

Night Stalker became a mercenary, and occasionally a bandit. He eventually crossed paths with Jitsu–though the two were initially contentious, Jitsu saw that they shared a common worldview, and he recruited Night Stalker to Skeletor’s cause. Since then, Night Stalker has swayed a few other disillusioned Stridor units to join his forces.

Stridor remains determined to bring his brother back to the fold.

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Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here.

Don’t Tread On Me…

I’ve been awake for about 33 hours straight, worked an 11 hour day, and topped it off by playing Guitar Hero for 3 hours (yes, i have succumbed at last). Basically that means I’m going to pass out. Before I do… here’s King Hiss, leader of the Snake Men, rival to Skeletor and Hordak, enemy of He-Man:

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Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Lady in Blue

(Posting early… )

A few weeks ago, I drew this for a He-Man.org re-design challenge. Here today, is a standard version of Shokoti:

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Pose is a bit awkward on this one, and something about the colors doesn’t quite mesh. Hmm.

Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Lady in Red

(Posting early…)

When I was working on my illustration of Light Spinner, I decided to draw up her eventual alter ego as well. I finally got around to coloring it, so here’s Shadow Weaver:

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I’m happy with the pose on this one, except for the obscured Horde logo on her belt. I had a bit of difficulty coloring it–for some reason monochromatic red color schemes are something I have difficulty with, and I ended up making a lot of adjustments. The minor changes I made to her costume draw influence from Maleficent and Morticia Addams.

Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

One Year Later!

Well, here we are–the one year bloggiversary of Oh Snap! The Friggin Amazing J.Ho Sketchblog. You see, bloggiversary is a super clever portmanteau of the word “blog” and the word “anniversary.” Have I ever mentioned that I hate the word “portmanteau?” What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, so, I’ve managed to stick it out for a year so far, without missing a single post, and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. If you had any idea how lazy/unmotivated/lethargic/quitty I am in RL, you’d be impressed. But whether or not you’re impressed, I thank you, Dear Reader for tuning in. Whether you’re a crony who’s known me since I was in grade school, or someone who randomly stumbled upon this blog, or anyone in between, I appreciate your patronage, and wish you a safe and happy New Year.

The inaugural sketch that I posted on this blog was Skeletor, and for today’s post, I’m continuing my series of He-Man/Skeletor variants turned into a new characters. Did you ever look at Terror Claws Skeletor and wonder, “Skeletor, why the hell are you wearing a metallic purple sports bra?” I don’t have a good answer for that question myself, but here’s a new character named Terror Claws, for whom a metallic purple sports bra seems more appropriate:

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The rough sketch for this one has been sitting around here foreverrr, so I’m glad I was able to finally use my holiday time off from ye olde day job to finish this (as well as a few other drawings, to be presented in the following weeks). Her face paint is definitely influenced by the Superman villainess Silver Banshee, but I think the face underneath as well her body type, both take after Trish Stratus (this was not intentional, just an observation I made after the fact). As usual, I tweaked with the colors of the original toy, adding some and switching some, hopefully creating a vibrant and visually pleasing recipe in the process. Oh, and as a bonus, I even drew her with the original toy’s alternate weapon:

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And the final touch–a painstakingly written bio, nerdily composed by yours truly:

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PROFILE: Named after the sacred Infinitan artifact weapons which she wields in combat, TERROR CLAWS is the fearsome leader of Skeletor’s Elite–a group of powerful warrior-mages handpicked and trained by the Lord of Destruction himself. In hand-to-hand combat, her namesake claws can effortlessly rend through the toughest armored units of the Eternian military, and enhance her strength to a level possibly rivalling He-Man’s. In ranged combat, she wields a dragon-skull arm cannon, created by Dragon Blaster. Terror Claws is a seasoned magic-user as well, specializing in scrying, enchantments, and counterspells.

Terror Claws’ true power, however, is her ability to lead. Cool, collected, and meticulous, in Skeletor’s absence, she has been able to wrangle and lead Skeletor’s Elite, as well as his other forces. Even the mutinous Evil-Lyn cannot deny Terror Claws’ efficiency as a leader.

Unlike her fellow Elite, Terror Claws possesses a sense of honor that extends beyond her fealty to Skeletor. This “defect” did not escape Skeletor’s attention–on the contrary, he felt it would be a weakness that he could exploit to insure her continuing loyalty. Terror Claws has no obvious weaknesses, but it seems inevitable that she will be drawn into a confrontation with Evil-Lyn.

HISTORY: An orphaned Infinitan girl with no memory of her past, was brought to Skeletor’s attention because of her unusually advanced magic capabilities. Inexplicably drawn to her, Skeletor inducted the orphan girl into the Elite training program. In spite of being one of the later recruits, and one of the youngest, she rapidly rose through the ranks. Is her loyalty to Skeletor a true testament to the power of the Elite re-education system… or does Terror Claws have an as yet unrevealed motive?”

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Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here and the post is here.

For my other “new characters from old variants” posts:

A Witch in Sheep’s Clothing

An entry for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forum. The subject is Light Spinner, Shadow Weaver‘s identity before she betrayed the Rebellion and became the Horde‘s head magic-user. The thread is here, my post is here. The voting threads are here and here. The final run off vote is here–I ranked third.

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I wasn’t too drastic with my design–I basically just combined her cartoon and comic appearances, and tried coloring her so that she wouldn’t come out looking completely like Dree Elle.

HUBBA HUBBA!

(Super tired = Super early post… enjoy!)

An entry for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forum. The thread is here, my post is here. Voting was split up into two threads, here and here, and a final poll between the finalists was conducted here. Err… basically I came no where close to even making the first cut, but I encourage everyone to check out the other entries–there’s some great stuff there!

The subject of the redesign is Shokoti, an obscure but somewhat popular villainess who appeared only once in the cartoon. This time around, there were a lot of entries, and I had a hard time figuring out how to redesign the character while trying not to make changes for change’s sake. All in all, I thought a different approach might be necessary:

I changed her name to “Shokutie” for two reasons, 1) to play up the cartoony aspect of this drawing and 2) because I cannot resist a terrible pun. Sorry. I settled on “Wicked Mistress of Hubba Hubba” as her title after rejecting “Villainous Mistress of Va Va Voom” and “Evil Mistress of Honk Honk Awooga.”

I’m basically satisfied with the drawing and color choices on this one (i punched up all her colors so they were more saturated and vibrant than the original). The actual rendering however is pretty “meh” (don’t even bother trying to identify consistent light sources!) and I wish I had pushed the hair color more towards black rather than blue.

This sketch, obviously, does not fall in my normal series of Masters of the Universe drawings. Although, because of the modified name, I guess she could conceivably be some kind of a slightly super deformed avatar that manifested sentience and became an independent entity, similar but not exactly like the background I came up with for Horduck. Wow, that was a nerdy sentence. Aww, what the heck, here’s a profile for the little hottie:

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PROFILE: SHOKUTIE (so named by Orko) has the basic abilities and personality of Shokoti, however her power levels are diminished, and her demeanor has an added impish aspect to it. She’s still something of a bully, but it appears that Shokutie may be a more innocent version of Shokoti, as she lacks some of the original’s more cruel tendencies.

HISTORY: After her defeat at the hands of He-Man, Shokoti attempted to rematerialize herself on the material plane by creating an avatar that contained a fraction of her power. The avatar was able to bring about Shokoti’s return, but in the process, apparently became autonomous. When Shokoti tried reabsorbing Shokutie against her will, Orko (who had somewhat befriended her), casted a mirror spell, attempting to deflect Shokoti’s magic. As could be expected, Orko botched the spell, but it had an unexpected affect–Shokoti was able to reabsorb an equivalent amount of magic so that her soul and magic ability were rendered whole once more, and yet Shokutie was able to continue existing, free from the power of her originator. Still somewhat weakened, Shokoti retreated, vowing vengeance on He-Man and his allies, as well as her diminuitive doppleganger. Orko attempted to convince Shokutie to join the side of good, but she was still struggling with her newfound freedom and possibly evil nature. She was allowed to go free, and was last seen on Etheria, playing pranks on Horduck.

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So, I guess that means that this is part of my regular series of He-Man pics. I also have a “standard” version Shokoti that I drew up (that one sticks pretty close to the original costume), and will be posting sometime in the future.

Crouching Villain, Hidden Dragon… (Plus a BONUS Dragon-Related Review!)

Resuming my series of Masters of the Universe action figure variants re-purposed into new characters–today, I bring you Dragon Blaster Skeletor, now recreated as simply Dragon Blaster, another member of Skeletor’s Elite. I’ve dubbed his previously unnamed pet dragon Paralyzor, a name which comes from one of the international versions of the figure, known as “Skeletor Paralyzor.”

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To be perfectly honest, I’m really not crazy about how this one turned out. The drawing feels lethargic to me, and the skull-motif face paint just didn’t turn out the way I envisioned it. On the plus side, although I found it a struggle to get the colors to mesh, I think that part (at the very least) turned out reasonably well. This is one that I’ll need to revisit someday, but for now I’m just going to move forward. Super-nerdy character profile follows–but stay tuned (or skip ahead) for a bonus review!

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PROFILE: From a perilous cliffside, about a day’s ride from Snake Mountain, the air is sundered by fearsome draconic cries. The cliffside, riddled with a network of caverns, serves as a roost for Skeletor’s fleet of dragons. The evil warrior DRAGON BLASTER walks silently and authoritatively amongst the trained saurian killers, charged with their care and training. His training techniques are cruel and harsh, revolving around the gradual break down of each dragon’s will, accomplished partially through psychic conditioning. Dragon Blaster is a capable warrior in his own right, but prefers to let his ‘pets’ do the fighting. His favorite is a particularly vicious dragon named PARALYZOR, whom Dragon Blaster can only rein in with the aid of a bewitched collar and psionic chains. Paralyzor is named for his paralysis-inducing venom. In spite of his relatively diminuitive size, he is particularly pugnacious, and has frequently taken down fearsome beasts several times his size.

HISTORY: Dragon Blaster is, in his own twisted way, an idealist. Hailing from a long lineage of Infinitan dragon tamers, Dragon Blaster was raised on tales of Infinitan domination over man and beast alike. To him, the subjugation of dragons (who are perhaps the most powerful of all living things) is the ultimate symbol of Infinitan power. Skeletor, seeking to fortify his aerial cavalry, has taken advantage of Dragon Blaster’s idealism by painting a vision of utter Infinitan supremacy brought about by a fleet of dragons with numbers so great as to blot out the sun itself. Thus, in order to ressurrect his ideal of Infinita, Dragon Blaster has joined the ranks of Skeletor’s Elite. He cares little for the petty power struggles between ARMORAX and TERROR CLAW, nor is he interested in the machinations of Evil-Lyn or any of Skeletor’s other lieutenants–very simply, anyone who stands in the way of the Infinitan cause will suffer his wrath. However, in truth, Skeletor only feigns devotion to Infinitan ideals to secure the power of Dragon Blaster’s reptilian fleet. What will happen when Dragon Blaster discovers Skeletor’s true nature?

It is worth noting, that in his struggles against the forces of good on Eternia, Dragon Blaster’s vile enslavement of dragonkind has earned him the lifelong enmity of Granamyr.

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Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here and the post is here.

For my other “new characters from old variants” posts:

Oh yeah, speaking of dragons, I somehow tricked Jacob and Carrie into going to watch a certain dragon-y movie with me:

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Dragon Wars AKA D-War (In theaters now!)

Ok first up, I have to say, what’s up with the title? This was originally a Korean movie titled D-War, and according to Wikipedia (questionable, I know) the title in the North American release is D-War: Dragon Wars. Buuut… everything I’ve seen for the movie calls it Dragon Wars with D-War as a subtitle. And regardless of that little confusion, how is it that Dragon Wars (PLURAL) becomes D-War (SINGULAR) when abbreviated? Nonsensical.

Well, the movie makes just about as much sense as that crazy little rant I just had. Peppered with large doses of corny dialogue and bizarre leaps in logic, Dragon War must be seen to be believed. However, on the plus side, unlike the little rant I just had, Dragon Wars is filled with dragons! And wars! And dragon wars! Basically, you have to think of Dragon Wars as a Godzilla movie (which it essentially is).

Verdict: Awesome. There are bad movies (which are just no fun), and there are B-movies (which are both bad AND fun). This here, is a bona fide B-movie. Thankfully, the rest of the audience (all seven of them) found this as openly laughable as I did. It was a good time, I didn’t regret spending the money, and I got to see good special effects in the form of bad-ass dragon-y monsters destroying cities and fighting each other.

For More Giant Monster Goodness With A Mysteriously Plural “Wars” In The Title: You must watch Godzilla: Final Wars. Featuring modern versions of almost all of Toho‘s major monsters, Final Wars is mindless monster mayhem at its best. There’s even a battle between the true Godzilla and his ersatz american counterpart (from the lame Matthew Broderick version). For reals!

This Is Not A Good Title.

One of the websites that I would have normally used (to link useful reference pictures of action figures and so forth) was unavailable at the time of this post. I will update later when the site has returned. UPDATE: links to Battle Armor Skeletor and Accessory Pack added.

Another Masters of the Universe action figure variant re-purposed (by me) into a new character, this time it’s Battle Armor Skeletor, now known as “Armorax.” The name Armorax was just a last minute portmanteau of the words ‘armor’ and ‘axe.’

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The first thing that strikes me is the alarming similarity between the pose on this one and last Tuesday’s post. O_O This was totally unintentional and all I can say in my defense is that the two pieces were not drawn consecutively, and both were inked and scanned months and months ago. The posting of the two pieces in such close proximity is an oversight on my part–I have to admit, over the past several months I’ve been drawing dozens and dozens of gestures for He-Man characters (many of which have not been completed/posted yet) and it’s getting hard to come up with original poses. I can at least promise you that the next few He-Man illustrations will have varying poses.

Back to Armorax–the weapon he’s holding is somewhat based on an axe that Skeletor used in the pilot episode of the series, “The Diamond Ray of Disappearace.” I also had in mind the blue axe from the Accessory Pack. He has a bonus bat-cape to match my illustration of Skeletor, though Armorax’s cape is shorter because Skeletor outranks him (more on that in the bio below). Armorax has a “normal face” but wears a skull mask to show his allegiance to Skeletor (more on that in the bio as well). The idea is that he is from the same race as Skeletor, but lacks the mutation/deformity that Skeletor is cursed with. I also wanted to show some battle damage as a nod to the original action figure (whose chest armor would show gashes upon impact) but at the same time, I didn’t want to obscure the cool bat symbol too much. As a compromise, I gave him a nasty gash in his skull mask.

As for colors, the only noteworthy deviation from the original is the mask itself. I gave Armorax a mask of bleached bone to distinguish him from Skeletor’s yellowed skull.

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PROFILE: Brash, cruel, and arrogant, ARMORAX is the perfect champion for Skeletor’s Elite. He is a virtually unparalleled melee fighter and combat spellcaster, and an excellent field tactician, though slightly lacking in experience. His chestplate, enchanted with his own dark magicks, provides him almost unlimited protection from physical attacks. His axe, imbued with sorcerous power by the evil powers of Infinita itself, is an artifact that was awarded to him by Skeletor himself. According to various rumors, his skull mask hides a horribly scarred face, or grants him the fighting spirit of a demon, or both. Neither of these rumors are true–in fact, he wears the mask as a sincere tribute to his master and mentor Skeletor, and his combat abilities are born of training and intuition. The scar on the mask comes from a particularly intense sparring session with Skeletor himself, and Armorax brandishes it proudly.

HISTORY: Skeletor’s Elite are a group of cabalistic disciples, trained by Skeletor himself. Perpetually distrustful of his lieutenants (and with good cause), Skeletor formed this loyal, tight-knit inner circle to seize the reins of power in the event of his extended absense. With the disappearance of He-Man and Skeletor, the Elite have revealed themselves, much to the dismay of Skeletor’s highest ranking evil warriors, Evil-Lyn in particular. Armorax was one of the first recruits, and of the first wave, the only to survive the fatal rigours of Skeletor’s training regimen. His loyalty to Skeletor is absolute, however he was dismayed to learn that being Skeletor’s named champion did not also grant him a position as leader of the Elite. TERROR CLAW received that honor, and Armorax is constantly smouldering with fury over this appointment. Armorax’s resentment of Terror Claw is a fracture in the Elite that Evil-Lyn has picked up on, and intends to exploit.

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Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here and the post is here.

For my other “new characters from old variants” posts:

Legal (Pad) Hi-Jinx

This is the doomsday scenario, people. I have been dealing with twelve-plus hour workdays, backed-up kitchen sinks, an apartment that now smells like garbage, and the usual BS. And yet, so unswerving is my fanatical devotion to the way of the blog, that here I am posting a dorky sketch of an 80′s cartoon character. It ain’t pretty, but it’s new, it’s in color (technically), and it’s here:

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Doodled this on an actual legal pad quite some time ago, scanned it in, added the shadow, type, and red eyes in Photoshop, and stored it away for a rainy day. Little did I know that the “rain” would be filthy, disgusting water, being regurgitated by my kitchen sink’s drain like vomit. Good times.

Gray skies are gonna clear up
Put on a happy face
Wipe off the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face

OH HEY, I ALMOST FORGOT…
Remember this post? Well thankfully, Charles got his computer in order, and he posted the mystical fish’s extensive background story, entitled “The Children of the Gods”!

Go read it! Go!

What is thy bidding, my master?

The title of today’s post is a quote from Star Wars (Empire Strikes Back, actually), though I’m just using it here because it seemed appropriate for the body language of today’s sketch:
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Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

This is Scare Glow, another of Skeletor’s thugs, who was introduced towards the end of the toyline, arguably after the franchise had “jumped the shark.” He was originally billed as the “Evil Ghost of Skeletor,” though this was never further clarified or confirmed in any official manner. It seems like fans generally agree that he is probably not Skeletor’s ghost, and that works fine for me. As a result, I have changed his title to “Evil Ghost Warrior.”

The drawing itself is actually several months old–after I completed Skeletor, I had a couple of failed attempts at Scare Glow that got as far as inks, but didn’t quite sit right with me… actually, those first few attempts just plain sucked. What you’re looking at is my third attempt, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The pose is meant to convey Scare Glow’s standing as I see it–one of the deadliest and most trusted of Skeletor’s minions. Anyways, this pic had been sitting in my hard-drive half-colored for months, and now here it is.

Before I sign off for the day, an anal retentive point that I want to address–Scare Glow’s weapon is frequently referred to as a scythe, and I’m sorry but that is hands-down, one-hundred percent wrong. A weapon does not automatically become scythe just because it’s wielded by a grim reaper-like character! I should however, clarify that I’m talking about the classic Scare Glow–the Scare Glow for the 200x revamp, actually did carry a scythe. But back to the classic version–I’ve also seen it referred to as a halberd, which is much closer, but still not quite right, because Scare Glow’s weapon lacks a spike at the head and a hook or thorn on the backside of the blade. I thought that it was a glaive, but this too was a mistake, as closer inspection revealed that a glaive’s blade is mounted on the end of the pole, not the side. Further investigation lead me to the lochaber axe, which is pretty close–but again, Scare Glow’s weapon lacked a vital component–a hook at the head of the pole. Finally, my research turned up the bardiche and the voulge–both seem like they could work, but I’m guessing voulge is the way to go.

Do we have any medieval weapons experts who can give us a verdict? Or maybe just a really well versed fantasy RPG fan?

Post Script: Sorry Buffy-fans, THIS isn’t a scythe either–alliteration does not make a scythe a scythe!

DUCK WEEK PART 2: Horduck!

Typical tired Thursday night = early post:

I was watching my She-Ra DVDs, when something about the villain Hordak caught my eye–what’s up with his crazy duck feet? Check out this post on Busta Toon’s blog to see what I’m talking about. Anyways, a hilarious image popped in my head and I came up with this:

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I actually drew this several months ago, just after Christmas, I believe, and had left the colors in mid-progress. But when Super-Munkyboy started an art jam challenging entrants to turn a superhero or villain into animal, vegetable, or mineral, I thought this would be appropriate. I will update with a link when Super-Munkyboy posts the other entries.

The colors on this sucker follow Hordak’s animation model pretty closely. Same with the costume details, with the exception of the obvious, you know… duckification. I’m happy with how the smoke turned out–I’ve been playing around a little with incorporating gradients recently, rather than sticking strictly to two-tone cell-shading.

So originally this was intended to just be an anthropomorphic version of Hordak, but then I got to thinking–given the level of silliness in the old He-Man and She-Ra cartoons, Horduck could easily be incorporated into that universe! And so:

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PROFILE: As a result of his technological and magical enhancements, HORDUCK is capable of shapeshifting in the same manner as Hordak, though his range is more limited. He has enhanced strength and stamina, and possesses thermal vision. Horduck is a classic bully with a Napoleon complex. He sincerely idolizes Hordak, and Hordak, as a result of a huge ego, humors this behavior. However, Horduck and Imp loathe eachother, as Imp percieves (correctly) that Horduck seeks to usurp his position as Hordack’s trusted messenger and protege.

HISTORY: A sickly slave from Hordak’s homeworld, the tiny despot who would become known as Horduck was the subject of experimentation by Modulok. Emerging from the experiments with enhanced powers and strength, he was raised by Shadow Weaver and Hordak, and indoctrinated in the ways of the Horde. Although he constantly claims to be a “Ducktator” of the outer territories of Etheria, in reality he’s merely the officer in command of a small Horde expeditionary force. Currently, he and his squadron are terrorizing a colony of Sagarian Trobbits. The Trobbits however, have allied themselves with the local Twigget population, and a group of Eternian Widgets who’ve found themselves stranded on Etheria.

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Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here.

And so, DUCK WEEK(TM) draws to an epic conclusion! In case you missed it, I did post a Duck-related review on Wednesday–scroll down to check it out. Stay tuned for more Bootleg Sketch Mega-Events(TM) in the near future!

Face it jackpot, you just hit the tiger!

Tired. Posting Early. Please Enjoy:

My previous fan characters, Trakka, Rayn-Ja, Mekorset, and Starburst were all created for re-design challenges. My version of Stridor, could certainly be considered a fan character, but he too was created for a re-design challenge. Malbino was a fully formed character in my head, but the motivation to actually complete his illustration was for the sake of yet another challenge. However, my offering today is particularly nerdy, because it is a fan character, created by me, without any outside prompting whatsoever:

click above for larger view

Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here.

War-Tiger is, of course, just a re-color and slight tweaking of He-Man’s fearless friend, Battle Cat. After I decided to give Faker a similar pet, natural colors seemed like a fitting contrast to Battle Cat’s outlandish pelt. I’m satisfied with the overall results of this illustration–particularly with the way War-Tiger’s color scheme matches Faker (see my version here, if you missed it). Sometime after I came up with this idea, I came across a picture of a bootleg (heh) He-Man toy that came with a yellow tiger Battle Cat in Red Armor–a picture of the item in question is linked in this post. Eventually I’m going to have to come up with a name and backstory for that version too!

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PROFILE: WAR-TIGER is a terran tiger of unusual size, power, and intelligence, as a result of specially prepared treatments administered to him by Skeletor himself. He and Faker apparently share a limited psychic bond, which Skeletor and Evil-Lyn can find no explanation for. Unlike Battle Cat, War-Tiger cannot speak, though it is clear that he can understand Faker’s commands.

HISTORY: When Skeletor’s inner circle travelled to Earth in an attempted negotiation with Carnivor’s Aracnos forces, Faker was separated from his party, and stumbled across an orphaned tiger cub. Faker found his way back to his allies, but the negotiations went poorly, and all-out hostilities were narrowly averted. However, Faker’s skill in combat and empathy for his newfound pet earned the deep respect of Felinor, General of the Aracnos Earth division. Since being brought to Eternia, War-Tiger has been raised to adulthood by Faker, and the pair has clashed several times with Battle Cat and He-Man.

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Stalk Like An Egyptian

Today’s post is a Masters of the Universe fan character created by He-Man.org forum member Patreek. You can read all about Wraptor here (initial creation), here (development and design), and here (posting of final pictures). Four artists were asked to draw up the “final” illustrations of Wraptor, (click on their names to see their versions): Bearshow, Buffalo Bill Man, Super-Munkyboy, and me.

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My version of Wraptor is definitely meant to be in the style of the classic cartoon, while the others are done in the style of the 2002 revamp. I had seen Bearshow’s design already, and Patreek had given me a sneak peek of Buffalo Bill Man’s work-in-progress for reference. Their designs and final renderings were fantastic and done firmly in the style of the recent version of He-Man. Putting Wraptor into “classic” mode really just meant simplifying some costume elements and leaving out the skeletal snake appendages. The colors are heavily influenced by Bearshow’s version, though I simplified and brightened the colors somewhat, to give Wraptor the cartoony feel of the old series. I added the horny ridges on his brow just because I thought it made him look more dinosaur-y, and simplified the whip so that it wouldn’t distract from the snake-bandage-tendril-thingees. The snake-bandages, by the way, are something taken directly from Patreek’s earliest version of the character, and are my favorite thing about the character, along with his perfectly punny name.

Please check out the awesome renditions of Wraptor by the other artists, and definitely read Wraptor’s bio! And thanks to Patreek for inviting me to join in on this!

Fun Fact: Wraptor’s blade is a khopesh!

Accept No Substitutes? ALSO: BONUS WALLPAPER!!!

The subject of today’s mega-nerdy post is Faker.

Faker’s original title was “Evil Robotic He-Man Imposter,” but in Faker’s single appearance in the classic He-Man cartoon, he was identical to He-Man and conjured by Skeletor with magic. Combining the technological and magical origins of Faker, and envisioning my take on the character as something of a cross between a zombie and a Terminator, I gave him the title “Evil Relentless Doppelganger.” Relentless is, of course, a nod to how Terminators are frequently described, and doppelgangers are creatures from folklore and, um, Dungeons and Dragons.

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This one is a little unusual for a few reasons–for one, I don’t usually render shadow with line art, and as you can see, one side of his face is pretty heavily hatched. Also, the way I drew and colored the highlights in his hair is different from the more simplistic way that I usually depict hair. I think it worked out alright.

Some notes on the colors themselves–the power sword is supposed to be a mystical construct, generated by Faker’s battle aura. This was an idea I came up with to explain why Faker’s sword would be bright orange. Faker’s green gem and green eyes are supposed to be a callback to my take on Skeletor–if you refer back, you can see that I colored Skeletor’s gem green as well. The idea is that the gem is not merely for show, and serves some kind of mystical function. Since Faker was always something of a cross between He-Man and Skeletor, perhaps it is through the twin gems that Skeletor imbued part of his essence into Faker. If you look to this week’s earlier post, you can see that I gave Evil-Lyn a green gem and green eyes as well–the idea is that she’s drawing on a similar source of power as Skeletor.

Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

I spelled “doppelganger” wrong in the picture. I’m too lazy to change it. I am a bad person.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL

With today’s post I’ve completed color sketches of Skeletor’s primary cronies, which is something of a mini-landmark achievement for me. I had always intended to try and make a wallpaper out of them, so here it is, dear reader:

click above for 1280 x 1024 (Fullscreen)

click above for 1920 x 1200 (Widescreen)

As my sketches accumulate, you can expect more themed wallpapers in the future. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums in this thread.

Post Script: In case you missed it, I posted a DVD review on Wednesday. Check it out!

Evil, I’ve come to tell you that she’s evil, most definitely…

It’s Evil-Lyn, Skeletor’s most competent lieutenant. And the only skirt who lives in Snake Mountain. Jury’s out on whether or not she and Skeletor have a thang going on.

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I confess, I am not crazy about how this one turned out. The colors are alright, but the pose is awfully awkward. I actually did a lot of futzing with this in Photoshop, adjusting the position of her arms and literally rearranging her face. The result is better than what I started with, but nothing to write home about. In the plus column, I do think I did a decent job of giving her distinct facial features while keeping her attractive, yet evil-looking.

This was also posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Pencil-Ninja happened to be having an 80′s cartoon Art Jam over at Deviant Art so I submitted this to him as well. Check out the other entries here.

Fun Fact: Evil-Lyn has white hair–this was first revealed in the episode “Witch and the Warrior.”

Here Comes A New Challenger!!!

A different kind of contest this time around, at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The challenge this time was to create an original “evil warrior.” This challenge was put out by the awesome action figure customizing group COTU (Customs of the Universe), and they’re actually offering some prizes. Contest thread is here, and my post is here. Semi-final voting thread is here. I didn’t win, but I was one of the runners-up, and COTU generously offered up prize packages of custom Masters of the Universe accessories! Photos to come in a future post.

And, my creation:

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Malbino is constructed from the following parts:

  • Beastman head
  • Skeletor torso and arms
  • Tri-Klops armor
  • Man-E-Faces pelvis
  • Sy-Klone legs
  • Weapons Pack Power Sword

I already had this character pretty fleshed out in my head before I heard about the contest. The original motivation behind creating Malbino is that I wanted to create characters to wield the various accessories from the classic weapons pack. I hadn’t planned on getting around to this sketch for a while, but COTU’s contest seemed like a perfect place to present Malbino. The pose and concept are very similar to my version of Felinor, due to the fact that the existence of each character revolves around a duplicate Power Sword. And the name is, of course, a terrible pun in the great tradition of Masters of the Universe. Whaddaya know, I just happen to have a complete background written up for him:

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PROFILE: MALBINO is a virtually unrivaled master of stealth and the sword. His sole concern in life is furthering his mastery of the blade by annihilating any and all who would be his rivals. As a result, he is unapologetically belligerent, even towards his so-called allies. He is armed with a replica of He-Man’s power sword, forged by the same master sword-maker who created Felinor’s counterfeit blade. It is unknown exactly how many of these forgeries exist. Intense light has been known to blind Malbino temporarily, but due to the fact that he is an expert blind-fighter as well, this knowledge is of little use.

HISTORY: Originally hailing from one of the most remote corners of Eternia, Malbino studied swordplay under the same teacher as his bitter rival, Tri-Klops. He has travelled the world, seeking out and ruthlessly slaying anyone whom he considers a master of the blade. In spite of having carved a bloody path of destruction through the martial world of Eternia, Malbino is little known, largely due to the fact that he has no interest in public glory and rarely leaves witnesses. Having heard that his old rival is engaged in on-going conflict with He-Man, owner of one of the true power swords, Malbino travelled to Snake Mountain to offer his services to Skeletor, determined to kill the opponent that Tri-Klops has failed to defeat. Malbino’s violent and efficient methods earned Skeletor’s respect, and in spite of Tri-Klop’s warnings, Skeletor has made Malbino one of his lieutenants. However, the wandering swordmaster has no real interest in Skeletor’s conflicts, he is merely interested in finding more masters of swordsmanship to vanquish. In addition to He-Man, Malbino has set his sights on She-Ra, and a skirmish with the Aracnos forces introduced him to Felinor, whom he took great interest in, for obvious reasons. Even amongst Skeletor’s other lieutenants, Malbino has made few allies–he has nearly come to blows with Ninjor and Blade on numerous occasions. However, he has also told Tri-Klops this: “Out of respect for our Master, I will kill you last. For now, we are allies.”

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Don’t Go In There–It’s A Trap (Jaw)!

The subject of today’s mega-nerdy post is Trap Jaw, another henchman of Skeletor, described on as “Evil and Armed For Combat.” (Unfortunately, Wikipedia lives up to its reputation for inaccuracy in this instance–”Trap Jaw” is not hyphenated. Shameful.)

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“Evil and armed for combat” is all good and fine, but as you can see, I changed Trap Jaw’s blurb to “Evil Master of Arms.” I prefer it because it’s a title rather than a description, plus it has a pun in there, which is always good for a He-Man character (Trap Jaw has a prosthetic arm with interchangable attachments, for those of you who don’t know).

The pose gave me quite a bit of trouble this time around… this is actually my third go at Trap Jaw. I got as far as starting inks on the two previous attempts, but they were really very awkward. I ended up with a pretty static pose (a trap that I fall into frequently), but since the goal of this sketch blog is completion, speed, and productivity rather than perfection, I was willing to make the sacrifice. Better to finish it off and move on to the next one!

The details of the drawing are pretty faithful to the toy. In fact–not being an owner of the original Trap Jaw action figure, I never realized that his left arm is almost completely armored. However, my obsessive internet search for reference rectified this oversight. I’m pretty surprised that I have not previously come across any Trap Jaw art depicting him with an armored arm. The tubes and wires coming from the blaster on his prosthetic arm were completely fabricated by me.

I took more creative liberty with the colors than I usually do–burgundy has more of a presence in his color scheme as a nod to the cartoon, but I scaled it back just a little bit, so that there wouldn’t be large masses of one uninterrupted color.

This was posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

"Uno Gato Muy Peligroso" o "Uno Blog Post Muy Nerdoso"

Yet another re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums–my post is here and the original thread is here. The voting thread is here–I placed second.

The subject this time around is part of a line of Argentinian toys called Fuerza-T. These action figures used old He-Man molds (licensed by Mattel, as far as I know), with mixed and matched body parts and accessories, and new color schemes to make each figure appear unique. While they are not officially He-Man toys, Fuerza-T action figures are still of interest to enlightened He-Man enthusiasts. I am one of those enthusiasts.

Felinor is a member of the evil Aracnos faction. His hobbies include drinking the blood of his enemies. His dislikes include the rival villain group Escorpius, and the heroes known collectively as Fuerza-T. The toy version of Felinor is constructed from Mer-Man’s head, Beast Man’s body, Skeletor’s armor, and He-Man’s power sword. My version diverges from this a little, for the sake of making Felinor appear a little more unique:

click above for larger view

This one came together pretty quickly–for whatever reason, I was able to quickly pick colors that I was satisfied with, which I usually find difficult and time-consuming. The key for me was adding more cold colors to accompany the white face and turquoise brow of the original color scheme. His chest and shoulder armor were modified to resemble the Aracnos symbol, and the studded arm bracers are taken from the official illustration of Felinor. I added the nose, the tail, the scaley feet and hands, and the cat’s eye motif (A lot of the other fan-interpretations of Felinor include a cat’s eye motif as well). The cape is my addition too–inspired by the hood-like collar in the original illustration. Despite the wisdom of the Incredibles, I just think everyone is cooler with a cape. And as a nod to Felinor’s allegiance to the Aracnos, his cape has eight points, just as a spider has eight legs.

Man… posting a drawing of an obscure Argentinian action figure with a metafictional lineage that connects back to three of He-Man’s greatest foes just doesn’t seem geeky enough. What could I do to really geek this up? I KNOW. Since very little is known about him, I could write a little background material for this crazy cat (get it? cause he’s a cat)…

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FELINOR is fiercely loyal to Carnivor, ruthless leader of the Aracnos faction. His golden sword was created by a master sword-maker, in a mortal attempt to mimic the divinely forged perfection of He-Man’s power sword. The sword-maker’s intentions were not sinister, but Felinor cast a spell to corrupt the blade, and the cursed sword now shares Felinor’s hunger for blood. To further bolster his strength, Felinor encrusted his power sword’s hilt with an enchanted gem. This gem is another counterfeit–copied from an artifact from the nearby planet Thundera (the gem on his breastplate is simply decorative). In spite of all this, Felinor’s power sword still does not match that of He-Man or She-Ra’s true power swords. It is rumored that the mysterious sword-maker escaped and disappeared, and was even able to forge more power-sword imitations. the existence of these swords has not been confirmed.

Most recently, Carnivor has discovered the existence of planet Earth, and has sent Felinor and a subterranean attack force to perform reconnaissance and prepare the planet for invasion.

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I coined Felinor’s title of “Evil Nocturnal Champion” myself, but in light of the profile I just whipped up, I wonder if “Evil Copy Cat” would have been more appropriate?