Way Past Random

While I was sketching over the weekend, I had the Sonic Underground DVDs playing in he background (yes, my life is ridiculous). An episode came up with a cool-looking robotic hair-dresser named Do-Bot, so I decided to make a quick sketch of her. The sketch turned out okay, so I quickly colored her with some color pencils. And here she is:

I adjusted the scan so that the colors match the physical piece and added type–other than those small changes, I’m giving this one to you warts and all. Typically I’m overly-focused on over-producing slick artwork, but every now and then I get some artsy notion that it’s cool and “raw” to show off the gritty details of reality, like the gibberish on the scratch paper that I drew on.

Lately I’ve been feeling the need for a more tactile sensation while producing my sketches, so maybe we’ll see some more quick and dirty traditional media in the near future? There’s no way to know for sure… I’m a wild card these days.

Not So Secret

He’s the least secret of all secret characters, but he’s still bad-ass. From the Street Fighter franchise, Akuma!

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Akuma’s greying temples are seen in some of the offical art from Street Fighter III, but generally are not standard. I decided to include them, because I like the idea of this being the most ‘current’ version of Akuma, relative to his imaginary age. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore. Bedtime!

Brought to you by the letter Q…

My love of obscure characters is no secret. In fact, I hardly ever shut up about it. From Street Fighter III, here’s the mysterious Q:

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Q doesn’t exactly fit in with the assorted commandoes, kickboxers, and karatekas of the Street Fighter universe. Judging by his name and face mask, he appears to be based on Shotaro Ishinomori‘s character Robot Detective K. However, he also bears a strong resemblence to Mitsuteru Yokoyama‘s character Iron Mask (from Babel II), and Osamu Tezuka‘s character Pero (from Astroboy and Metropolis).

Incidentally, all three of the mangaka that I just mentioned were contemporaries. Ishinomori was Tezuka’s assistant at one point (this is well documented), and I’ve read the same thing about Yokoyama (but I couldn’t find a reliable source on that). If you’re a fan of manga, anime, tokusatsu, or even Japanese-made video games, I highly recommend that you check out the works (and derivations there of) of Tezuka, Ishinomori, and Yokoyama. Their influence on is tremendous, and continues to this day.

Think of him as "Malibu Ryu"

The Street Fighter fan art deluge continues–in sharp contrast to the subdued Ryu, here’s Ken:

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This turned out better than Ryu did, but the forced perspective was still unconsciously blunted by my inner desire for boredom.

Red Hot

If my sketch of Ryu represents the Street Fighter franchise in general, today’s sketch represents the most recent installment. Fresh from her debut in Street Fighter IV, here’s Crimson Viper:

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When I first saw the screenshots of this character, I wasn’t that impressed. Her braid seemed a bit too reminiscent of Cammy, while her outfit seemed more appropriate to Street Fighter’s rivals over at the King of Fighters series (not that I have anything against King of Fighters, it just felt like an odd fit). Well, a few rounds of unleahing her bad-ass flaming split-kick (quarter circle back + kick, executable in mid-air) changed all that. Now I’m totally won over by her extravagant pompadour, her Morpheus-esque nose-pinching sunglasses, and yes, her tremendous knockers.

You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance

A few weekends ago, I had a chance to play Street Fighter IV at a friend’s house. Had I been wearing socks while playing, those socks would in fact have been knocked off.

I’m a big fan of Capcom in general, and of their fighting games specifically–however, playing Street Fighter IV really pushed those characters and that franchise to the forefront of my thoughts. I find myself humming the music constantly. My mind has been desperately trying to create scenarios where I can justify buying the game itself, a console, a new television, and two tournament quality arcade sticks. Of course this is all going on while I draw fan art until the sun rises. Here’s Ryu, perhaps the single best-known of the Street Fighter cast:

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I’m going to be honest with you… this one didn’t turn out terribly well. The perspective was supposed to be much more forced and dramatic, but I have this problem where apparently my brain strives desperately for mediocrity, and while drawing, I unconsciously make things moderate and boring instead of extreme and dynamic. Regardless, it’s nice to draw a character like Ryu every now and then–he’s very recognizable in spite of being so visually plain. Those factors make me feel comfortable drawing him from a rare rear view, because I don’t feel like we’re missing any interesting costume details from this angle, and I’m also confident that he’ll still be indentifiable. I thought that showing Ryu’s back turned helped emphasize his aloof demeanor. Likewise, I tried creating poses-reflecting-disposition in the other Street Fighter pieces I drew… which will be flooding this blog shortly. Stay tuned!

Super-Obscure (Part 2 of 2)

In the late 80′s, Taito produced a Superman arcade game. Last Friday’s post depicted a female character who appeared in some unused sprites from said game–people speculate that she was intended to be a Player 2 sprite. The actual Player 2 sprite in the game was a red and grey palette swap of Superman.

Check out the original sprites in question here, and below is my own interpretation of Player 2:

This piece and the previous one were both drawn rather small, probably because they were done somewhat spontaneously. I interpreted the Player 2 Superman’s grey and yellow colors as silver and gold–in my opinion this clashed a little less. I was somewhat at a loss when it came to rendering the hairstyle of the unused Wonder Woman-esque character, but I finally settled on a somewhat anachronistic feathered Farrah Fawcett-esque style.

Who are these characters? Do they hail from an alternate reality known as Earth-Taito? Or perhaps they’re modified clones created from the DNA of Superman and Wonder Woman? Maybe they’re descendents of the heroes we know so well?

I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, but it bears repeating–I really love obscure characters. Obscure + mysterious is a bonus. I also have a fascination for bootleg toys (hence the blog URL), and these two characters have such a charming bootleggy/knock-offish quality about them, I can just imagine discovering cheap action figures of them in Chinatown.

Conjoined Blog Post

I asked Jacob (color/lighting guru, and longtime crony) for some critique on one of my pieces, and he obliged, with a quick Photoshop overlay:

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My original is on the left–and you can see how flat it looks in comparison to Jacob’s fix on the right. He didn’t make any huge changes, but the results are pretty dramatic.

Anyways, Jacob and I got to talking, and we decided that we’d both try our hand at coloring the same piece of art (line art provided by me), for a little joint blog action. The subject is Bowser:

My version; click above for larger view

Jacob’s version; click above to see the full-size version on his blog

I think both versions turned out well, but something about Jacob’s colors really make my line art sing. Check out Jacob’s blog to see more of his excellent art… DO EET!

The (Kart) Princess Diaries (Part 3 of 3)

To wrap up this brief series, here’s Rosalina, the most recent of the Princesses from the Mario-verse. The little floaty star-dude is her pal Luma.

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I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know anything about Rosalina, other than what I got from skimming her wiki. I haven’t actually played Super Mario Galaxy, but Rosalina is one of my drivers of choice for Mario Kart.

I don’t have anything planned for the immediate future, but I think you can expect to see more Nintendo characters from me. There’s a simple yet iconic quality to Nintendo’s pantheon that makes them a lot of fun to draw.

The (Kart) Princess Diaries (Part 1 of 3)

I was playing Mario Kart with Coheteboy the other day, and I did not do well. Shameful, really.

But at least it provides me a convenient segue into my next couple of posts–in the latest incarnation of Mario Kart, the Princess characters sport sleek-looking jumpsuits when they ride motorcycles. I thought the jumpsuits were really sharp, so I decided to draw the foxxy blue bloods of the Mario-verse. First up, naturally, is Peach:

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If I actually owned the game, or had some decent reference, I might have drawn her (or the other Princesses) on one of the cooler looking motorcycles. OH WELL!

Hard Looks

Who’s that Pokemon???

It’s Metapod!

I drew this ages ago (five years ago, in fact) for two kids at Comic-Con who were taking a sketchbook around and having artists draw random Pokemon. They sent me a scan of it, and here I am, a jillion years later, finally doing something with it.

A few years later I saw those kids again, but they weren’t kids–they were young men, in college, and they were in a band. I’m old!

The end.

Pretty Fly For A Shy Guy

Today I’ve got a Shy Guy for you, from the world of Super Mario Brothers. I’ve taken a few liberties, but overall this is a pretty straight-up interpretation.

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love the mythology of video games, in spite of my ineptitude at actually playing video games. I’ve been playing a little Smash Brothers and Mario Kart at Hammers‘s apartment recently, so the larger Mario-verse has been on my mind. Luckily, a site like Super Mario Wiki exists, so that I may satisfy my deep craving for obscure trivia about the Mario-verse.

The L-word stands for…

Luigi! What were you expecting?

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Drawing this one was really simple, and I had a lot of fun coloring it up. With the aid of Jacob‘s sage color advice, I’m trying some new things.

Thought this would be a good one to post, in light of the recent release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. And if you’re keeping track at home, Hammers and I were playing a match that went to sudden death, and I beat him with a headbutt from Luigi. BOO-YEAH!

Battle Toad Tuesdays! (Part 3 of 3)

Concluding this particular series, here is Rash, the fun-loving wisecracker of the Battletoads:

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I tried to make my version of the ‘Toads a bit more “realistically” toad-like as far as their faces went, but I kept their bodies tall and lanky to retain the feel of the original designs. Color-wise, I stuck pretty close to the source material. Now how about some wallpapers? (The background elements in the wallpapers were snagged from some screenshots I found online)

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Battle Toad Tuesdays! (Part 2 of 3)

So, Battletoads. The cartoons and video games of the 90′s were rife with anthropomorphic action heroes with a fondness for surfer slang. These characters arose in an attempt to cash in on the Ninja Turtles of course, and of the various Ninja Turtle imitators, the Battletoads are possibly the only ones worth mentioning.

The Battletoads were the stars of a video game, which even today is notorious for its difficulty. And here’s the funny thing about me and video games: I am terrible at them. I like playing video games, and I love the mythology of video games, but I don’t have much time for them, and generally, I’m terrible at them. I’ve passed/fully unlocked maybe 5 video games in my life. So it goes without saying that I never even came close to beating Battletoads. And yet I just said it. Hunh.

Anyways, here’s Pimple, the Battletoads’ resident tank:

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Charles actually suggested that I draw the Battletoads over a year ago. I followed that suggestion immediately… but didn’t ink and color these guys until two weeks ago. Yay for procrastination?

Tune in next week for the third of the Battletoad trio!