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.

Ape in a Cape

Drawn for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The subject is Gygor, a never-made concept for a He-Man toy, as described by a former Mattel employee. Read up on Gygor, and check out the other entries in the challenge’s thread. My post can be seen here. First round polls are here and here. Final poll is here.

click above for larger view

It was tough making the colors from Gygor’s description work. Maybe they don’t work? On the other hand, the description of Gygor’s colors very much paralleled the garish colors of Battle Cat, so maybe if the colors don’t work that means they are working? Anyways, I designed Gygor’s helmet to mirror Battle Cat’s as well. The guns are all modelled on Stridor‘s armaments. The chair mounted on Gygor’s backpack should give you a sense of his scale.

A garishly colored giant gorilla decked out in a cape and high-tech energy weapons… hmmm… something’s missing. Oh, I know–how about some supplemental nerdy background info, written by yours truly? Here you go:

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PROFILE: Standing at well over 13 feet tall, the ancient being known as GYGOR is one of the most powerful entities on Eternia. His physical strength surpasses that of He-Man, his wisdom rivals that of the Sorceress, and his knowledge encompasses aeons of Eternia’s rich history. His helm is made from the hide of a powerful prehistoric Eternian beast, and he is outfitted with a battle harness powered by an enchanted gem. The harness is armed with two heavy shoulder blasters, two hip mounted stun rays, and rotating light rapid fire blasters mounted on the back turret. Gygor rarely needs to rely on more than his brute strength and great wisdom, but he has also demonstrated powerful spellcasting abilities from time to time.

HISTORY: Gygor was already ancient in the days of King Grayskull, and in fact, records indicate that Gygor was a staunch ally and advisor to the legendary king. Allegedly, in modern day Eternia, Gygor has been sighted travelling towards Castle Grayskull. Has Gygor returned to aid the heroes of the land in the dark times that have descended upon Eternia? Only time will tell…

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Number Sixteen

Abraham Lincoln‘s birthday was yesterday, and Monday we observe President’s Day here in the States, so:

The blog has been a little lethargic recently, due to my preoccupation with plagues and unusually large apples inhabited by millions of people… I’ll be back next week with something elaborate and nerdy, more befitting what you have grown to expect of me.

Semi-Related Topics: Johnny Monster and the New York Comic Con

At the peak of my vile plague I was barely blogging and missed out on telling you all that Johnny Monster #2 was solicited. And now Johnny Monster #3 is available for order in the current issue of Previews.

Johnny Monster #3 (of 3)
Story by Joshua Williamson
Art and Cover by J.C. Grande
32 pages FC $3.50 April 15

The peaceful habitat Johnny Monster created for the monsters has been invaded by violent mercenaries causing utter chaos! As a result, the largest monster the world has ever seen has been unleashed on New York City on a quest for revenge! Only Johnny can stop him… but does he want to? Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to this monster-ous mini-series!

Check out the covers to both #2 and #3, drawn by the talented J.C. Grande and colored by yours truly:

click above for larger view

Be sure to ask your local comic shop to order Johnny Monster #3! It’s on page 170 of February’s Previews catalog, and the Diamond order number is FEB09 2437.

Annnnnd, if you happen to be attending the New York Comic Con, be sure to drop by and visit Josh Williamson (writer of Johnny Monster, Dear Dracula, and Necessary Evil) and Vinny Navarrete (Dear Dracula penciller, Necessary Evil inker, and Johnny Monster logo designer). Those young ruffians wil be sitting with Shadowline at the Image Comics booth.

Post Script: Make sure you check out the Shadowline website, which has a cool Johnny Monster animation at the top of the page.

Flashback Tuesday!? Booooooo!

Drawing myself in a bacta tank must have helped, because I’m feeling much better. But I’m terribly short on time this week. Here’s a sketch from quite a few years ago, inspired somewhat by a slick-looking billboard that I saw on Olympic Blvd every time I drove home from ye olde daye jobbe. That billboard was up for so long it eventually faded to the point of being nearly unrecognizable.

This was completely done in Photoshop. I really should probably post more pieces like these–not super old stuff from the archives, but spontaneous sketches that aren’t so planned out. Thinking aloud stops here.