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.

What’s a Spector?

I know I’ve mentioned COTU and talked about Fuerza-T in the past. Here’s an illustration of a little known Fuerza-T prototype that I did for an upcoming COTU project:

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The figure was to be named Spector, and it ought to be painfully obvious that he was to be built primarily from Skeletor’s parts. My drawing is pretty accurate to those details. I deviated a little, attempting to mimic the style of the Fuerza-T card art. Much like my illustration of Goldar, this piece is not part of my “regular” series of Masters of the Universe drawings, as it deviates from my usual modus operandi, and was done for a specific purpose that COTU has in mind. The coloring, for example, is a blended style, as opposed to my usual cel-shading. A more J.Ho-ized version of Spector (and the rest of the Fuerza-T cast) will come in the future.

Check out COTU World blog for some photos of their excellent He-Man customs (on the links list on the sidebar… or if you can’t be bothered, click HERE).

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.

Sweet Adeline…

(Posting early… )

With this post, I’m wrapping up my first batch of Masters of the Universe variants re-cast as new characters. There are still a lot of variants to tackle (and I will!), but for now I’ve covered the main classic variants. Allow me to present a lady codenamed Flying Fist, with accesories and armor courtesy of Flying Fists He-Man.

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The original Flying Fists He-Man figure was not particularly feminine, but once I re-cast Terror Claws as a female, it made sense to give Team Grayskull another woman warrior as well. As far as the costume itself, I combined the redundant double-belt of the action figure into an armored girdle. The perspective on the shield is messed up, but I can live with it. Color-wise, I initially had some difficulty making things mesh, but once I decided to make her furry barbarian short-pants black (instead of brown), the rest of the colors really clicked into place. The end result is pretty faithful to the original color scheme (with the exception of the aforementioned furry barbarian short pants). Now how about a bio for this little lady?

* * *

PROFILE: Peace-loving and kind, ADELINE, known on the battlefield as FLYING FIST is essentially a gentle but fair soul who has taken on the role of protector. She is strongwilled, but when faced with failure she has a tendency to blame herself.

Adeline’s mechanized triple flail can pulverize granite and break solid plate armor, while her rotating shield is capable of generating a defensive barrier of wind, or firing an offensive whirlwind blast. When held aloft, she can utilize it as a limited one-person helicopter, and in the past she has also used the shield as an improvised boat propeller. The flail and shield are both semi-magical items, requiring the input of the user’s chi for proper use.

Adeline wears an armored girdle that grants her the strength of a storm giant, and an enchanted breastplate that conforms to the shape of its wearer, allows for a full range of movement, and provides magically enhanced stamina. However, even without her girdle, she has an abnormal level of strength. The cause of this is unknown.

HISTORY: Adeline hails from a serene and remote village in the foothills. Her mother Adele was famed amongst the locals for using her tremendous strength as the village’s protector, earning her the nickname “Flying Fist.” For the most part, the village was peaceful, and Adele used her strength for mundane tasks such as helping with construction and demolitions and clearing fallen trees. Occasionally some small-time bandits would show up, or a bear would wander too close to town, but all in all it was a peaceful existence. Adeline knew that her mother’s strength came from the magic girdle, though her mother never explained where the girdle came from. And when Adele passed away, some five years ago, Adeline inherited the girdle and the role of village protector. It wasn’t long before Adeline inherited the nickname “Flying Fist” as well.

Following another dream-vision, Teela visited Adeline’s village with Team Grayskull in tow. Adeline had long been in possession of a magically locked chest belonging to her mother, and with the help of Teela’s magical powers, she was finally able to open it. The chest contained a breastplate marked with an ancient heraldic symbol of Grayskull’s line. After this, it quickly came to light that Thunder Punch was in fact Adeline’s father, and like Thunder Punch, Adeline’s mother Adele had once been a champion of Castle Grayskull. Initially, Thunder Punch was vehemently opposed to involving his daughter in the struggle between the protectors of Castle Grayskull and its would-be conquerors. However, the Sorceress convinced him that while it was not Adeline’s inevitable destiny, it was the legacy of both her parents, and she had a right to choose for herself.

Adeline had planned to reject the invitation to join Teela’s group, but after witnessing a battle between Team Grayskull and some Horde Troopers, she understood the bigger picture–in order to protect her village, there was a bigger world outside of it that needed protecting as well. With a tearful goodbye, Adeline bid farewell to her village.

Shortly after arriving at Castle Grayskull, Adeline came across a room with two broken and discarded mechanical devices. In her village, Adeline’s strength made her ideal for carrying out repairs on large structures like windmills and water wheels, so she had developed something of a sense for mechanics–she tinkered with the devices a little, and was able to restore them to perfect working order, and even improved them with some minor modifications. Thus, the mechanized triple-flail and rotating shield became Adeline’s primary tools in combat. When Team Grayskull isn’t searching for He-Man or battling the forces of evil, Adeline often spends her hours trying to repair the ancient technologies contained in Castle Grayskull, with the “assistance” of Orko..

All things considered, Adeline has adapted to life with Team Grayskull rather smoothly. At times, her relationship with her father is strained, but overall, Adeline and Thunder Punch are both doing well in mending their estranged relationship. Teela has become a surrogate big sister to her, and Orko and Cringer are both very fond of her. There’s something of a brewing romance between Adeline and Battle-Scar, at least when Battle-Scar isn’t attempting to rile her up by calling her “She-Man.” Such behavior generally earns Battle-Scar a punch in the nose.

* * *

I didn’t like Flying Fist much as a name, but at the same time I didn’t want to drop it completely. I finally decided on giving the character a ‘real’ name (Adeline) and using Flying Fist as a nickname, kind of like Duncan/Man-At-Arms. Adeline and Adele are both variations of a German name, meaning “noble,” and chosen to be evockative of the ad sound in Adam and Adora (the real identities of He-Man and She-Ra respectively). The relationship between Adeline and Battle-Scar is somewhat meant to mimic that of Akane and Ranma from Ranma 1/2. Man, these character bios keep getting longer and longer. :P

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:

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:

* * *

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?”

* * *

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:

Feeling a Little Punchy

(Posting a smidge early)

Getting back to my self imposed task of changing He-Man and Skeletor variations into new characters, today I bring you Thunder Punch He-Man, now simply (you guessed it), Thunder Punch:

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Thunder Punch is supposed to be an older, grizzled veteran of the battlefield, so hopefully that comes through in my drawing. There’s a little bit of action in this one, a bit of a change from my usual static ways. The right leg and foot are awkward, but luckily I had to place some type in there anyways, so I covered that up a little. The colors aren’t anything special, and in hindsight, I really meant to make the skin much more tan in contrast to the fair hair. The perspective on the shield is pretty wonky. Overall, this is a piece that I was excited about when it first started coming together, but I’m somewhat disappointed with it as I pick it apart. Oh well… I’m still pretty happy with it as far as the concept goes. Read on!

* * *

PROFILE: Cynical and world weary, THUNDER PUNCH nonetheless possesses a heart of gold, awakened by the moral purity of his new-found allies. His many years of experience have made him hard edged yet pragmatic. He is a natural leader, though a reluctant one–shortly after Flying Fist joined “Team Grayskull,” Teela was forced to leave the group, and she named Thunder Punch the leader, much to his chagrin.

His battle harness enhances his strength, speed, and rudimentary psychic abilities. The enhancement allows him to perform maneuvers such as his trademark “Thunder Punch,” a devastating attack, enhanced by a burst of chi. His shield further amplifies and refines his psychic power, and recently Thunder Punch has developed a new technique where by concentrating his battle aura upon his shield, he can manifest a psychic power sword.

It is clear that Thunder Punch knew the Sorceress at some point in the past, though the specifics of this have yet to come to light. It has also been hinted at that he was accquainted with Man-At-Arms and King Randor.

HISTORY: With a heavy heart, King Randor was forced to indefinitely suspend the kingdom’s search for the missing He-Man. With the Horde threat becoming increasingly aggressive, Randor simply could not spare any resources towards what seemed to be a hopeless effort. Refusing to relent, Teela resigned her position as Captain of the Royal Guard and exiled herself from Eternos, vowing that she would not return unless she had He-Man with her. Cringer, Orko, and Battle-Scar accompanied her as well. With a heavy heart, Man-At-Arms told his daughter Teela that the kingdom would need him in the war against the Horde and he could not accompany her on her quest. However, he urged Teela seek refuge with the Sorceress, and complete her training in the magical arts. As Man-At-Arms watched his daughter and his closest friends ride away, he said to himself, “If anyone can find He-Man, they can.”

Teela and her fellowship did take refuge with the Sorceress at Castle Grayskull, and investigated every possible lead over the following months. They found many clues and possibilities, but nothing concrete. In the meantime, the Sorceress continued to guide Teela’s education in magic, and Teela’s sensitivity to the supernatural developed quickly. A breakthrough came to Teela in the form of a dream-vision, telling her to seek out a warrior; a lost descendant of the legendary King Grayskull, who would aid her in her quest. Teela, Cringer, and Battle-Scar set out to find this lost scion of Grayskull.

What they found however, was a grizzled and bitter man living in isolation in the wilderness, a once idealistic knight errant, turned hardened soldier of fortune, who had ultimately decided to reject the world and its corruption in favor of life as a hermit. He knew he was a descendent of Grayskull–he simply did not care. Unable to break through his jaded shell, Teela’s group left the hermit in the wilderness. At the edge of the wilderness, they were ambushed by Force Commander Scorpia, Modulok, and a contingent of Modulok’s test-tube engineered warriors and monstrosities. Incapacitated by Scorpia’s poisonous stinger, Teela was unconscious and capture was imminent. The hermit, who had shadowed Teela’s group to ensure that they left his sanctuary, had a split second to make a decision. Before he realized what he was doing, his legs were carrying him into the fray, and with nothing more than a wooden cudgel, he was able to beat back Modulok’s creations long enough for Cringer to carry Teela to safety, and for Battle-Scar to regroup with the hermit. The ensuing battle was brutal, but the hermit and Battle-Scar were able to fight off the Horde attackers. Scorpia’s poison, however, was spreading fast through Teela’s blood. The hermit squeezed his eyes shut, concentrating upon the astral plane, searching for a response… with a flash of light, Battle-Scar, Teela, Cringer, and their new accquaintance found themselves on the Jaw Bridge of Castle Grayskull–Orko flew to them with haste, and treated Teela with a magical antidote. Standing at the gates was the Sorceress herself, holding a red and silver battle harness, and a matching shield.

The hermit’s expression was impassive, though his eyes betrayed mixed emotions, “It’s good to see you, Sorceress.”

The Sorceress smiled in her usual mysterious manner, holding up the rough implements of war in her elegant hands. “I kept these for you.”

* * *

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.

Another Enchanting Young Lady (follow up to Tuesday’s post)

(These days, who’s got time to wait for a midnight post, huh? Posting early, as I am wont to do.)

As promised, here is a picture based on the toy version of Castaspella. Also posted here on my variants thread on the He-Man.org fan-art forum.


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First off, you will notice that I have changed her into another character. While the toy’s packaging depicts Castaspella very much like her cartoon appearance, (bouffant intact), the toy itself simply had the hair tied in a ponytail. Because of the significantly different hairstyle, coupled with the toy’s differing color scheme, I decided to make her into a new character. The name Sorciela is taken from an image I found online of international packaging for Castaspella–unless I’m mistaken, Sorciela is her French name.

I made a few minor tweaks to her costume, but for the most part, this is a pretty straight interpretation of the toy. I turned her spinning disk accessory into a magical ward–the symbols on it are nothing more than the symbols of the western zodiac. I rarely use a dark background color, but here it was necessary to accentuate the glowing magical energies. And the finishing touch; a super-nerdy bio…

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PROFILE: An extraordinarily capable magic-user, SORCIELA far exceeds the limits of most of her peers, but still requires focus and experience as a result of her youth. She specializes in hypnotism, but excels in this particular area to the detriment of her other magical capabilities. Sorciela can be impatient and frivolous, but her sense of compassion and fairness is true.

HISTORY: Sorciela is the younger sister of Castaspella, Mage-Queen of Mystacor. When Castaspella ascended to the throne, Sorciela was sent away to a hidden location. There were two motives behind this–first, so that Sorciela could continue her education in the use of magic, and second, so that the next in line for the throne would be protected in case any harm should ever fall upon Castaspella. With the Horde’s presence growing ever more oppressive and She-Ra’s departure to Eternia, Castaspella has summoned her sister back to Mystacor to aid in the defense of the country, and the planet.

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A Shocking Event: I have drawn a character from an 80′s cartoon.

(Well, I’m running off of no sleep, so I’m posting early rather than risking a loss of consciousness and a late post. Enjoy.)

An entry for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forum. The subject is Castaspella, ruler of the magical land of Mystacor and an ally of She-Ra. I didn’t have much to express about Castaspella (in terms of a real re-design) but I did want to draw her, so I posted my drawing but abstained from entering the contest. My version is really a minor tweak rather than a true re-design. The thread is here, my post is here. Check out the other entries in the voting threads here and here. The final voting thread is here.

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This picture is based on Castaspella’s cartoon incarnation, as opposed to her toy incarnation (a pic based on the toy version is in the works). The toy was billed as an “Enchantress who Hypnotizes”; I have instead billed her as “Heroic Mage-Queen of Mystacor” because A) she never hypnotized anyone in the cartoon, and B) she was the heroic mage-queen of the country Mystacor.

The main tweak in my take is that I merged her top and skirt into a dress (and juggled some colors around accordingly), in an attempt to accentuate the ‘go go girl’ look that Castaspella sported in the cartoon. Her posture is meant to have a bit of a haughty aristocratic feel. If I could change one thing, I would make her hair more curly.

A Magical Sprite and a Thanksgiving Flashback

(Posting early for Thanksgiving…)

This sprite is Orko, who is not actually a “Sprite” at all, but a Trollan:

I started this a while back when I was trying to get into RPG Maker. The general proportions of the head (particularly the spacing of the eyes) mimic those of RPG Maker’s character sprites, but this was rendered from scratch. I did try animating this at one point, but it was choppy at best. However, this is definitely something I’ll try more of in the future.

And as a bonus treat for anyone who likes He-Man, She-Ra, or awesome Thanksgiving parades:

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:

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

Clever Titles Are Overrated

After a brief hiatus, the re-design challenges at the He-Man.org fan-art forums have returned! The thread is here, my post is here.

(Voting thread is here and I placed 2nd–the winning design was an awesome piece by my pal Jazyl.)

First up is Light Hope, a mystical column of light who is guardian of She-Ra’s headquarters (the Crystal Castle) and acts as her advisor. My version depicts a human avatar of Light Hope:


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The design of his helmet is based on the toy version of the Crystal Castle, while his staff is a depiction of the cartoon version. The double crests on his robe are loosely patterned off of the upper windows of the Crystal Castle toy, and the colors of the robe are based on the toy’s flag. His breastplate, belt, and boots are based on the Bow action figure–not because he has any connection with Bow directly, but because if there had been a Light Hope action figure, it’s likely that Bow’s token male sculpt would have been harvested for parts. The symbol on his chest is the same sun-symbol motif found on She-Ra’s, and his wings of light echo the double wings of the cartoon version of the Crystal Castle. His sword of light is based on a She-Ra role play set which differs from other depictions of She-Ra’s sword.

* * *

PROFILE: LIGHT HOPE is a master sorcerer and expert warrior. He wields a sword of light and the staff of the Crystal Castle. His wings of light provide him with flight as well as a defensive barrier. Light Hope’s even-handed wisdom is reknowned throughout the cosmos.

HISTORY: The power embodied by the Crystal Castle of Etheria is ancient, and, like Castle Grayskull on Eternia, predates recorded history. Light Hope–a powerful warrior-mage rumored to be allies with He-Ro the Wizard and King Grayskull–sacrificed his mortal body to become the caretaker of the mysteries of the Crystal Castle. It is foretold that Light Hope will take on his human form once more in Etheria’s greatest hour of need.

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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!

No Time For Post Titles

I know I’ve mentioned COTU and talked about Fuerza-T in the past. Here’s an illustration of a little known Fuerza-T prototype that I did for an upcoming COTU project:

click above for larger view

The figure was to be named Goldar, and was built from He-Man’s head, torso, and legs, Jitsu’s arms, and Fisto’s armor. My drawing is pretty accurate to those details. I deviated a little, attempting to mimic the style of the Fuerza-T card art. This piece is not part of my “regular” series of Masters of the Universe drawings, as it deviates from my usual modus operandi, and was done for a specific purpose that COTU has in mind. The coloring, for example, is a blended style, as opposed to my usual cel-shading. A more J.Ho-ized version of Goldar (and the rest of the Fuerza-T cast) will come in the future.

Check out COTU World blog for some photos of their excellent He-Man customs (on the links list on the sidebar… or if you can’t be bothered, click HERE).

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.

Another Dude With An Axe!

(Posted early cuz i feel like it, sucka!)

Another Masters of the Universe action figure variant re-purposed (by me) into a new character. It’s the opposite number to last week’s Battle Armor Skeletor re-vamp, Battle Armor He-Man, reborn as “Battle-Scar,” for obvious reasons:

click above for larger view

On the one hand, I think I more or less got across what I was trying to with this piece. On the other hand, I think it greatly suffers because I have not yet posted an illustration of He-Man proper, for comparison. I need to remedy that soon. In the meantime, I’ll just have to point out the differences that would be apparent if I’d had the foresight to finish a pic of He-Man first. Lame!

Anyways, where He-Man has blonde hair and orange (copper?) bracers & belt, Battle-Scar is strawberry blonde, and has gold bracers & belt. I’ve given Battle-Scar pale skin and blue eyes, in contrast to the cartoon version of He-Man, who had dark eyes, and deeply tanned skin. The idea was to give Battle-Scar more of a Celtic or Nordic look (which is where his title of Berserker comes in as well). In terms of facial features, the cartoon depicted He-Man with more or less classic good looks–in comparative nerd terms this means that if you ignore his coloration and haircut, he pretty much looks just like Superman. I gave Battle-Scar a face that was a little closer to the rough-hewn looks of the toy. His armor is slashed and dented, to represent the battle-damage gimmick of the toy, and the scars on his body were added to continue the theme and give a visual cue as to his ability to take punishment (more in the profile below). On its own, I think this character re-mix comes off as just a version of He-Man, but once I post my take on He-Man, hopefully the differences will be more apparent.

My drawing is a little static, but hopefully it gets across the idea of raw power that I was going for. No characters with axes next week–I promise!

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PROFILE: Young, loyal to a fault, and still somewhat naive, BATTLE-SCAR is nevertheless a veteran of the battlefield. Even before he obtained his magical breastplate, Battle-Scar was well known for taking heaps of punishment on the battlefield. His immense stamina and resistance to pain are magnified to demi-god levels by the breastplate.

Ostensibly, Battle-Scar was the first member of the entity that would become affectionately known to the populace of Eternia as TEAM GRAYSKULL, named so by Orko, much to the chagrin of their reluctant field commander THUNDER PUNCH. It is notable that Battle-Scar is the only member of the core team who is not a blood descendant of King Grayskull.

HISTORY: Years ago in the northern lands, the boy who would become known as Battle-Scar watched as He-Man saved his village from a brutal attack by Skeletor’s forces. This left an indelible mark on the youth, and he strove to live up to He-Man’s example of bravery and honor. Thus when word of He-Man’s disappearance spread, Battle-Scar (now a young yet experienced warrior) wasted no time, travelling to Eternos immediately to pay his respects to his missing (and possibly fallen) hero and offer his axe in service to Eternos and Castle Grayskull.

Initially He-Man’s allies were unsure of what to do with the young scarred warrior who stood before them. Teela decided to consult the Sorceress, and was bringing Battle-Scar to Castle Grayskull, when they were attacked by a platoon of evil Horde robots. Teela and Battle-Scar managed to fight them off long enough to retreat into the safety of Castle Grayskull’s dark halls. However, more Horde Robots were on the way, Teela had been gravely injured during the battle, and Battle-Scar’s axe was shattered, and his armor was blasted to pieces. The Sorceress saw to Teela’s wounds and lead Battle-Scar into a room pulsing with magical energies–the armory of King Grayskull himself!

“According to prophecy, only the just and even-handed–those worthy of King Grayskull–may wield these implements of war,” the Sorceress told him, “choose wisely, young warrior!” Battle-Scar was humbled beyond words–he could not bring himself to even touch the magnificent arms and armor before him. Everything was elaborately crafted and intricately inlaid with precious metals and gems. He spotted a dusty breastplate and axe in the corner; unlike the other items, these were plain and ungilded. The axe was rough and worn from use, the breastplate marred by slashes and dents, and marked with an ancient heraldic symbol of Grayskull’s line. In spite of their obvious wear, both were sturdy, and well-crafted–they would serve his purpose. Battle-Scar hastily equipped the breastplate and axe, promising the Sorceress that he would return them as soon as the battle was over. As Battle-Scar ran to the Jaw-Bridge, the richly crafted weapons shimmered and faded–in their place was a collection of humbler, and yet more powerful implements–like the axe and breastplate that Battle-Scar had chosen, these were the true weapons of Grayskull’s armory. Sorceress smiled to herself, “Well done, young warrior.”

Now armed and clad like a god of war, Battle-Scar dispatched the Horde robots easily. After the battle, Battle-Scar attempted to return his newfound weapons. The Sorceress explained to him that he truely was one of Grayskull’s chosen defenders, and Battle-Scar pledged himself to defend Castle Grayskull until He-Man returned.

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In case anyone didn’t pick up on it, the whole “choose wisely” bit is totally lifted from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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:

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.’

click above for larger view

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:

The Savage Sword of… ?

After many weeks devoid of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, I present to you a drawing of the rare and mysterious action figure known colloquially among fans as “Savage He-Man.” The figure is also known by the far less glamorous moniker, “Wonder Bread He-Man” by virtue of having been a mail-in offer from the eponymous, um… bread. The fact that this figure was available through an offer from Wonder Bread is about all people can agree on. The concrete details of how, when, or why, are apparently forever lost to the forgotten mists of the early 80′s.

My version of “Savage He-Man” has been re-purposed into a new character, just as I did with Starburst She-Ra several months ago.

click above for larger view

The visual details of Savage are largely the same. The contrast between the color of his hair and the color of his furry underpants is greater than in the toy, but I think it helps break up the monotony. I chose to interpret the toy’s ruddy brown weapons as blood-stained tools of destruction. The blood stains were accomplished by choosing a “spatter” shaped brush in Photoshop and messing around with the shape dynamics and scatter settings. It doesn’t completely blend with my style of rendering, but I’m happy with how it turned out because I basically accomplished what I was trying to do. Actually, I had a few options on how to render the weapons, and it was friend Annie (who was hanging out whilst I was coloring this) who challenged me to do it this way. If not for her I would have tried to take the easy way out. She also suggested that his eyes be hazel, and they are.

I have alternating feelings of lukewarmth and satisfaction towards the drawing itself. As far as proportions, the arms are far more ape-like than I intended. The right arm in particular is terribly awkward, even beyond the usual level of awkwardness resulting from my loosey-goosey depiction of anatomy. On the other hand, the intensity of his expression is about what I was aiming for.

Oh, by the way, the title of this post, and Savage’s “Heroic Barbarian” tag, are both references to Conan the Barbarian–according to rumor, Masters of the Universe was originally intended to be a Conan toyline, but was repurposed into an “original” franchise, for whatever reason. Fans speculate that the “Savage He-Man” toys may have been discarded “Conan” figures that were produced before Conan “became” He-Man.

But, what’s this you say, dear reader? It has been far too long since I posted a painstakingly written bio of a fan character? Read on!

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PROFILE: SAVAGE is a ruthless and experienced warrior who has little use for words. He fights with whatever tools he has at hand, or his bare fists if need be, and is a master of improvisation and opportunism. Savage is a capable tracker, and is well versed in jungle survival techniques. Superficially, his cultural differences alienate him from some of his allies, but his sincere sense of honor and valor are deeply respected by all.

HISTORY: The disappearance of He-Man and the Horde invasion of Eternia have left the planet in dire need of heroes. Teela, now developing her latent spellcasting abilities under the tutelage of the Sorceress, found herself isolated and outnumbered by Horde troops. In desperation, and lacking control over her newly emerging abilities, she attempted to summon He-Man by magical means. A mis-wording of her incantation resulted in summoning not He-Man himself, but one ‘as good as’ or ‘as noble as’ He-Man. Thus emerged the hulking barbarian Savage–with his sheer power to compliment Teela’s skill, the Horde Troops were easily dispatched. Though Savage was displeased at being summoned without any choice in the matter, he was taken by Teela’s beauty and fought alongside the forces of Eternos (the Eternian capital) for a time. Coming to terms with the fact that Teela was still infatuated with this so-called He-Man whom he had never met, Savage travelled back to his distant jungle home. Savage remains an ally of Eternos, and is leading his people in fortifying their territories against the inevitable spread of the Horde army.

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

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:

click above for larger view

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:
click above for larger view

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!