[turtle pun goes here]

Something of a belated follow up to an older post, it’s Raphael:

Am I the only one who prefers cuttingly sarcastic, smart-ass Raphael over brooding, angry, thug-Raphael? The optimal characterization probably falls somewhere between the two, but he’s consistently been portrayed as pissed-off and thuggish in recent years. Just a thought.

Flashback Friday Returns… Yay?

I posted a picture of a lumberjack some time ago, which was originally commisioned by my friend James, as part of an animation pitch. Here’s a forest ranger from the same pitch:

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I’m still pretty happy with this piece, I think it holds up alright–but let’s be honest folks, my blog posts this year (so far) have been all over the place…. tons of last minute posts and Flashback Fridays. I’ll endeavor to (metaphorically) provide fresher produce in the future.

MMO Tuesdays (Part 4 of 4)

Sorry for the interruption in the series. From City of Heroes, here’s the Statesman‘s archenemy, Lord Recluse (named for the venomous brown recluse spider):

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I took a few liberties with the costume design on this one, but I think it worked out. Recluse’s logo is normally only seen on his forehead, while a generic spider emblem is emblazoned on his breastplate. I think Recluse actually has a pretty cool looking logo, so I put that on his breastplate instead, and left his forehead blank.

C’mon, Recluse! Take a hint from Cobra Commander–if you’ve got a good logo, flaunt it!

"MMO Tuesdays" will resume next week!

My apologies for the interruption of my “MMO Tuesdays” series of sketches–

friends in town + Long Beach Comic-Con + crushing sinus pain + me being a big baby = me not having the time or energy to color.

However, the Con was great (I definitely recommend that everyone check it out next year). I got to meet a lot of cool people, and it’s always a good time hanging out with the usual suspects (Josh, Dustin, Derek, Marcus, Peter, Tu, etc).

The aforementioned guys all had tables in artist’s alley, and while they were trying to do business, I was hanging around bothering them all, and sketching stuff like this (which I inked after the con):

Another shark coming up on Friday, and the conclusion of the MMO series next Tuesday. Stay tuned!

Meow and Later

What has four legs, spits up hairballs, and causes me to put up last minute blog posts?

Sketched with various markers, generously touched up in Photoshop.

MMO Tuesdays (Part 3 of 4)

As promised, here’s an MMO villain–Doctor Destroyer from Champions Online:

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I have no idea why the good Doctor’s character design so closely resembles that of Doctor Fate. You’ll have to take that up with the creators of Champions. I also have no idea why my drawing turned out so meh and stiff. That is strictly my fault. I think the colors turned out decently though. Gold is shiny.

._.

OH HEY–don’t forget to go to your local comic book store tomorrow and pick up the new JLA 80-page giant, which includes stories written by my pals Josh and Derek! Click on the pic below for details… DO EET!

Sketchy Looking Individual

Here’s a self portrait, in which I look agitated and pale (as I often do):

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Sketched in ballpoint pen and colored in Photoshop.

For those keeping track at home, I do have a sleeveless black hoodie in RL, but I do not have a t-shirt featuring my favorite saying (unfortunately). My apologies for this interjection by my raging ego. Regular sketch-blog service will resume next time.

Cosmic Bookworm

Today’s post is for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here, my post is here. The voting thread is here–I placed second. The subject is Scrollos, an obscure character from the UK Masters of the Universe comics:

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The reference pictures of Scrollos all had slightly different color schemes, but almost all of them included some element of blue/cyan or purple/magenta. However, the picture that struck me the most had an all-green color scheme. At first I tried to combine the various color schemes, but that was too complex a task for my humble coloring skills. I settled on the green scheme, which I’m content with.

On the whole, everything in the picture is supposed to give a sense of a character who is powerful, but aloof and preoccupied with knowledge and information. The floating scrolls and holographic displays are there to emphasize the contrast between science fiction and fantasy that makes me so fond of the He-Man Universe. Inserting some of my previous art into the holographic displays took me a surprisingly long time. Hopefully the details are visible enough to warrant the time spent.

What? Seriously?

To The Powers That Be,

To the best of my ability, I have determined that Disney’s Purchase of Marvel Comics is neither a hoax, nor a fever dream, but indeed a reality, true believer. To that end, I demand that you produce the Disney/Invaders ongoing series that fans have been clamoring for since the 40′s. Also, I demand that you negotiate with Warner Brothers/DC Comics, so that we may also see the long awaited Disney/Invaders versus Looney Tunes/All-Star Squadron crossover.

I would be happy to write and draw these books for a nominal fee. Enclosed is a piece of sample art, proving my nerdish devotion to pointless, but awesome, crossovers.

Regards,

J.Ho

The pose is loosely based the standard Mickey Mouse images turned up by my internet research. This whole thing took me about three hours, which is fast for me. Yes, I’m painfully slooow.

What a strange world we live in.

Anyone remember these guys?

Here’s one for Southern California locals…

Back when I was a kid (we’re talking the eighties here, bear with an old-timer), there used to be a chain of hardware stores called National Lumber. Contrary to their name, I believe they were in fact, not national, but a local phenomenon. They were most recognizable for their two cartoon mascots, Shorty (a man in overalls and a painter’s cap) and Cheap Chicken (obligatory wise-ass animal sidekick). National Lumber’s catalogs and mailers were peppered with comic strips and gags featuring Shorty and Cheap. It wasn’t amazing material, corny with crudely executed art–but it was pretty funny stuff for hardware flyers! And as a kid with a modest allowance, who had to scrape together 75 cents to buy a “real” comic book, those catalogs were a good diversion while I was trying to gradually accumulate three quarters. National Lumber even had a series of commercials, featuring Shorty and Cheap in animation, and their catchy jingle:

It’s the good stuff, at the right price,
Na-tio-nal Lum-ber!

Whenever my parents needed something from the hardware store, I would ask them if they were going to National Lumber. The answer invariably was no, due to their prices and/or geographical distance. Well sadly, National Lumber went out of business, sometime in the mid-to-late eighties. I probably hadn’t thought of Shorty and Cheap Chicken in over a decade, but someone at work brought them up, and we looked up the commercials on YouTube.

After being reminded of these obscure characters, I naturally felt the need to draw my take on them:

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This was a lot of fun, and actually quite a challenge. In situations like this, I typically don’t like to do draw the characters in their native style, because if you want to see that, you can go right to the source. But at the same time, you don’t want them to be unrecognizable. Hopefully this piece walks the line. I’m pretty happy with how the wood grain turned out, but I’m not so sure about the background color.

That jingle is gonna be in my head all day!

For more on National Lumber

  • See some photos on Flickr, here.
  • And watch some commercials on YouTube:

  • Plenty more commercials here.

Requiescat In Pace

Today’s piece is for Matthew Schultz AKA “skeletoncrew,” one of the founding members of COTU, a group that specializes in customized He-Man figures. I didn’t find out until a few weeks ago, but he passed away in June.

Matthew was one of the most creative and prolific customizers on the He-Man.org forums. I can’t claim to have been very close to him, but I always had a great time comparing notes with him, and talking to him about how he approached his take on the Masters of the Universe mythos. More importantly, he was always gracious, generous, and encouraging of everyone’s creative endeavors–a true gentleman and artist. His presence will truly be missed.

Today’s piece is a tribute to him, featuring one of the many characters that he created. Matthew’s close friend and partner-in-crime at COTU, “galaxy warrior,” helped me pick out the character:

Make sure you visit the COTU blog, to see some of the custom figures that Matthew helped create. And do something creative today!

(also posted here at the He-Ma.org forums)