Greetings New Visitors! (Also: An Addendum, In Which I Explain How I Unknowingly Plaigarized An Idea)

First of all, hello to any new readers dropping in, and a HUGE thanks to Kevin for plugging my Halo Kitty post on his widely known and beloved blog. As a result of Kevin’s post, my daily visitors jumped up, oh about 1268%. O_O

So, after the surge in page hits, I was looking at my blog’s stats, checking out how people found my blog. Several LiveJournal pages mentioned my Halo Kitty post too (presumably someone on LiveJournal saw Kevin’s blog, and things spread from there), but I also saw several hits referred from a comments thread on a Danish website discussing Halo. I’m always curious what the Danes are saying about me, so I ran some of the comments through a translator. One of the commentors linked my image saying “The rumours say that the sale hasn’t gone in Japan so well, and that MicroSoft therefore works on a new version to the Japanese market.” Very funny, yes? Well, the next person that replied said that Halo Kitty was old news, and gave a link–unfortunately the link was dead.

Well, this got me curious. Earlier in the year when I had drawn this image, I did a google image search for “Halo Kitty”, and came up with a few images of Spartan heads Photoshopped onto cats, and one image of a Halo Kitty head Photoshopped onto Master Chief–I figured my concept was different enough, so I ran with it (well, I ran slowly, since I took several months to get around to coloring it). That was then.

A few minutes ago, I googled “Halo Kitty” and came up with this image, virtually identical in design to my own image, but predating me by three years. THREE YEARS. As it turns out, there are several Halo Kitties that predate mine. The one I just linked (posted November 2004) appears to be the most well-known–two others predate that. One from April 2004 and one from October 2004.

So, I am unoriginal, and a horse’s ass, but unintentionally so. My apologies to the creator(s) of the original image(s). To anyone dropping in for the first time, I hope you’ll stick around–I still have pictures of platypi with three-section staffs (an original idea, as far as I can tell), badger-pits, and of course various obscure nerdy characters from He-Man.

EDIT: There are a million more, CLICK HERE

(This post will be linked in the original Halo Kitty post.)

SLAYER (Also, another rare mention of the day job!)

(Posting early so I can get moving on some other stuff…)

Today’s sketch has been drawn and scanned for several months. I finally slapped some colors in it to commemorate the release of Halo 3 earlier this week:

Halo Kitty’s battlefield pragmatism shows through in her army-green Meowjolnir Mark IV armor, but her favorite color is actually pink–that’s why her weapon of choice is the Needler with its razor-sharp crystalline pink ammunition.

So yeah, I’m far from an expert on Halo, but we play Halo 2 (Slayer or Team Slayer) at the day job sometimes (a lot). This week one of my co-workers brought in Halo 3 which we played a few rounds of. The controls are amazingly smooth, to the point that I felt like my mediocre playing ability was embiggened by the controls. In reference to my in-game squirrely-ness and how difficult it was to kill me, my co-worker said, “you’re like a monkey from hell.” That’s probably just true about me in general.

(EDIT: I am not the originator of the concept for Halo Kitty, please read THIS.)

Speaking of the day job–it somehow slipped by me that Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #13 was unleashed in comic book stores this past Wednesday. It features a seven-page story written by Comedian of Comedy Patton Oswalt, pencilled by yours truly, inked by the steady neuro-surgeon-like hands of Mike Rote, and colored by Hammers. The story is called They Draw and is a parody of the excellent cult classic They Live. Check it out in stores now, and if you’re in the Los Angeles area, there’s going to be a signing for the book on October 13th at Golden Apple:

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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 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!

Some Days I Would Rather…

I was hard up for a post today, so I asked Hammers to suggest a subject for a quick sketch. He came up with “badger,” though I’m pretty sure this is not what he had in mind:

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A few people have requested more pics of my noodly cartoon persona. Since my noodly real-life persona is wildly ego-centric, I’m glad to comply. I actually had the “I would rather jump into a pit full of [BLANK]” idea last week, but I couldn’t think of a fitting animal to plug in. Badgers seemed a good fit. However, dear reader, I don’t want you to think that the sentiment is any less sincere this week rather than last–right now, I would definitely rather jump in a pit full of badgers than deal with… anything.

But I’m all out of badgers.

Quick and Dirty

(Very busy, posted early, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera)

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Supplies used: blue pencil, black Sharpies (fine and extra fine tip), red Magic Marker, two shades of grey Tombo brush pens. Touched up in Photoshop.

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:

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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 fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

That Guy

I was hanging out with my old crony Jacob, and was struck by inspiration. Here’s a sketch of Jacob himself, saying something that he would say:

This is a straight up pen sketch, with verrry little touch-up. Colored in Photoshop, naturally. I’m not much for drawing portraits or caricatures usually, but every now and then I get an uncharacteristic flash of inspiration–those of you who know Jacob in “RL“, will, I hope, find this to be a pretty decent likeness.

Check out Jacob’s Blog, but only if you like awesome art.