BONUS POST: Johnny Monster Cometh!!!

Well, what have we here… the current issue of Previews… under Image Comics and Shadowline

Johnny Monster #1 (of 3)
Story by Joshua Williamson
Art and Cover by J.C. Grande
32 pages FC $3.50 February 18

Johnny Monster is the world’s foremost super-star monster hunter, but what the world doesn’t know is that he was raised by the same monsters he’s “hunting”! Now, in order to save his adoptive family…he must fight them! Johnny Monster mixes Tom Strong with Godzilla movies by way of Tarzan and the Phantom to create a compelling and different monster mash! From the acclaimed writer of Dear Dracula and Necessary Evil!

Another offering from my crony Josh, with art by a new collaborator, the talented J.C. Grande! Johnny Monster promises to be a really fun comic, but let’s face, what I’m interested in is ME ME ME. Josh asked me to color the covers for Johnny Monster, and it was really the first time I colored someone else’s art. It was an interesting experience, and I’m pretty happy with the results. Here are J.C.’s bare inks, alongside the finished cover, with my colors, and a very slick logo by Vinny:

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Be sure to ask your local comic shop to order Johnny Monster #1! It’s on page 168 of December’s Previews catalog, and the Diamond order number is DEC08 2275.

Happy Holidays, I’m a Forgetful Moron!

It occurs to me that I promised a bonus post today. And have not delivered. Well, it won’t be up by the end of Friday (which is in a scant few minutes), but it will be up before you wake up for Saturday morning cartoons. Tune back in in a few!

Kage Kuringoru Densetsu

(Posting early for the holidays, tune in on Friday for a bonus post… )

Josh says this in IM:

[23:25] JOSH: next time you guys do a sketch off
[23:25] JOSH: i’d like to see ninja santas

So you get this:

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KAGE KRINGLE, the Shinobi Santa, gives razor-sharp kunai to all the good little ninjas at winter time. He also gives razor-sharp kunai to naughty ninjas… kunai which are delivered to their hearts. So be good, for goodness sake.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, BLOG READERS!

Horrible Post Title #063885: Owl or Nothing

A quick note about the posting schedule for the rest of the year… the second sketch for this week (normally scheduled for Friday) will go up on Wednesday December 24th. Friday, instead, will see a bonus post featuring something that’s a tiny bit different from my usual fare.

Next week, however the second sketch will go up a day early, in the wee hours of New Year’s Day (Thursday), as has become a tradition here.

I’m sure you’re all terribly enthralled by the ins and outs of my post scheduling. Here’s today’s subject, She-Ra’s ally Kowl, in both cartoon and toy forms:

As is my custom, I repurposed the significantly differently-colored toy version into a new character. Corujito, as best as I can figure, means “little owl” in Portuguese, which is how one of the international releases of Kowl was named (using my Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction, I’m going to guess it was the Portuguese and/or Brazilian version). I decided to spell it Korujito, just to give the name a bit more of a connection with Kowl. Korujito’s gem and title derive from the play feature of the toy, which I guess was some kind of color-changing gem that ‘answered your questions’ with different colors–I suspect it was a mood ring-like decal, like the old faction sigils on Transformers. But I digress.

* * *

PROFILE: Kowl’s young nephew, KORUJITO, is a “chosen one” of their people. He was born with the ability to divine possible futures through the Oracular Gem, an artifact used by seers and oracles throughout the history of Etheria. Korujito is but a child, however he is wise and serene beyond his years.

HISTORY: Korujito is part of an emerging group of young heroes who have become protectors of Etheria while She-Ra is posted in Eternia. The rulers united under the Rebellion consult Korujito’s clairvoyant powers when they are faced with grave decisions, and his serene counsel has been invaluable to the stoic and conflicted protector of Etheria, Starburst. Korujito is a frequent companion of the impulsive Princess Sorciela, and Kowl seems to spend an inordinate amount of time keeping the two of them out of trouble.

* * *

Kowl is 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.

And Korujito is also posted here on my variants thread

Mutant Zoo! Gorilla + Octopus!

For the Mutant Zoo jam, held by Dreamwolf and Super-Munkyboy at Deviantart–here’s a hybrid between a Gorilla and an Octopus:

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… despite their fearsome appearance and deafening displays, the Octorilla is a serene, family-oriented creature, inquisitive and gregarious…

This was the combination that originally attracted me to the Mutant Zoo jam, from a few weeks back. I wasn’t in time for the original deadline, but I actually designed this hybrid before I started on the Bat + Deer combination. I finally got a chance to color it up, so here it is.

Be sure to check out Dreamwolf’s Deviantart page for links to other participants!

Mutant Zoo! Lemur + Tarantula!

For this week’s Mutant Zoo jam, held by Dreamwolf and Super-Munkyboy at Deviantart–here’s a hybrid between a Lemur and a Tarantula:


… the tip of the Taramur’s nimble tail actually houses the creature’s spinnerets, allowing it to spin webs in almost any direction. The glowing eyes in the Taramur’s abdomen have excellent vision, and are capable of firing intense psionic blasts…

Be sure to check out Dreamwolf’s Deviantart page for links to other participants!

Mutant Zoo! Ladybug + Rhino!

For this week’s Mutant Zoo jam, held by Dreamwolf and Super-Munkyboy at Deviantart–here’s a hybrid between a Ladybug and a Rhino:


… despite their diminuitive size (roughly 2 inches long, tail not included), these normally docile creatures can pack quite a punch if disturbed while grazing upon spectral aphids, their food of choice…

Get ready for a Mutant Zoo blitz–there were two choices for this week’s jam, plus I drew up one of the older combinations as well, all to be served up momentarily. Stay tuned!

Be sure to check out Dreamwolf’s Deviantart page for links to other participants!

Pretty (Dangerous) in Pink

Hang on–here comes another convoluted nerdy ramble from yours truly. I like to make things complicated, don’t I?

There’s another re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The subject this time is Teela, as she appeared in The New Adventures of He-Man. This version of Teela had almost no resemblance to previous versions–however, I liked the character design so much that I decided to just draw a straight-up interpretation rather than a re-design. Because I didn’t change the design aside from a few details, I didn’t enter her in the challenge, but I did give her a new name and persona, and post her in my variants thread instead. The post is here. And while I didn’t enter the re-design challenge, there are some awesome entries, which you should definitely check out.

Less talking, more super-hott space-amazon with sword:

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I’m happy with how this one came out, especially her somewhat relaxed-yet-ready-to-kick-ass pose. The colors (which are loyal to the source material) are somewhat cliche in their “girliness,” but ultimately I think it’s a good color scheme. I can take no credit for the great details of the costume–the slick-looking sword, the arrowheaded scabbard, the multi-pronged helm–everything was present in the original design.

The new moniker, Leeta is an anagram of Teela. I do have a bit of a backstory thought up for her, but it requires me to reveal some other plot points of my own concoction, so presented below is a bare bones version of her bio. And just in case anyone is keeping score at home, in my interpretation of The New Adventures of He-Man, Primus is merely a distant planet, not a future locale requiring time travel.

* * *

PROFILE: An invaluable member of the Galactic Guardians of Primus, LEETA is a Paladin belonging to the order of an ancient warrior goddess. Having shed the headstrong recklessness of her youth, Leeta is a disciplined master warrior, with amazing sword skills, and strong leadership abilities. Her strength and speed appear to be significantly beyond ‘normal’ levels. Leeta is a friend and frequent sparring partner to Mara.

HISTORY: Not long after Leeta first joined the Galactic Guardians, He-Man and Master Sebrian were able to negotiate peace between Primus and Denebria. With true stability established, He-Man was finally able to begin his long journey back to Eternia. Years later, the people of Primus discovered that He-Man never made it back to his home. Indebted to the Eternian hero for bringing peace to their solar system, the leaders of Primus and Denebria assembled a joint task force to find the whereabouts of He-Man. Leeta was one of the first to volunteer, and acts as one of the top lieutenants, under the task force commander.

* * *

Mutant Zoo! Bat + Deer!

Dreamwolf and Super-Munkyboy are holding a jam over at Deviantart called Mutant Zoo. The basic idea is to draw a hybrid of two animals–this week’s challenge was Deer + Bat:

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… the Ba’eer is known to commonly appear shortly before the birth or after the death of a great hero or hunter. A Ba’eer with a flame above its antlers is carrying the soul of a fallen hero or hunter to the afterworld; an unadorned Ba’eer heralds the birth of such a hunter or hero…

The horns and face markings are based loosely on the muntjac, and the tusks are based on the muntjac, as well as the more exaggerated tusks of a water deer or musk deer. The ears and nose are loosely based on a leaf-nosed bat. I wanted to try a drawing with super-thin lines (pass), and had a certain look in mind for the colors, but it really didn’t quite work out (fail).

Be sure to check out Dreamwolf’s Deviantart page for links to other participants!

Don’t Be Such A Crab (part 2 of 2)

As promised in my last post, here’s the toy version of Clawful, probably considered to be the standard version by most:
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It always struck me as odd that the Clawful action figure looked like a tan guy in a crab costume, so I colored Clawful’s flesh like crab meat. Corny, yes, but I think it works. His bewitched, flaming green mace is a nod to the action figure’s neon green weapon. The drawing itself is nothing to write home about… on the other hand, I’m very satisfied with how the colors came out.

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.

Don’t Be Such A Crab (part 1 of 2)

Okay, this is a little confusing–Skeletor had a henchman named Clawful, who was a crab-like humanoid in toy form, but was depicted as a sea serpent-like humanoid with crab claws in the cartoon. Naturally, I decided both versions could co-exist, and renamed the cartoon version after a crab-themed Transformers character. Huh? Oh well, here he is, cartoon-Clawful, rechristened Squeezeplay:

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This one has its awkward points… the right leg is stupidly wrong, and the claws are pretty clunky looking. But I like how the gem and the gold armor turned out. Tune in next time for the other Clawful.

Also posted here on my variants thread on the He-Man.org fan-art forum.

Ultra Mega Super Post (CAUTION: contains He-Man related content)

Very quickly, for those of you who can’t get enough of me: Karen was kind enough to ask me eleven questions, and post my answers on the Paper Lotus Blog. I hesitate to call it an interview, because that would imply that people have any idea who I am or have any interest in what I have to say, but nevertheless you can read the post HERE.

Make sure you check out the rest of the Paper Lotus blog and Karen‘s own blog too! And in case you want to know what kind of a person Karen is, she gave me some cheeseless (vegan, I think?) macaroni and cheese today, and it was delicious.

Today’s post is another He-Man piece. Actually, it’s multiple He-Man related pieces combined into one giant montage for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The subject is the Talon Fighter and Point Dread. The thread is here, my post is here. The voting thread is here–my entry landed first place!

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Woof, there’s a lot to cover here, so I’m going bullet-point:

  • The Talon Fighter is very close to the design of the original toy, but I gave it room for four (the toy seated two, but I seem to recall that it could carry more passengers in the classic cartoon–I may be wrong).
  • General notes on all Talon Fighters shown–the original toy had a handle, like a gun, so that kids could hold the Talon Fighter… um… like a gun, I guess. I replaced this “handle” with a tail section to make the fighter even more bird-like. I gave the legs, feet, and claws a more mechanized design, as I imagined them being used in combat, almost like a real bird of prey, thus making the name Talon Fighter even more appropriate. The clawed limbs can also be used to let the vehicles walk or climb. And I added racing stripes, which I feel are pretty sharp.
  • The Point Dread playset was a single tower, and source material from the era indicated that it was located on an island. I decided to portray Point dread as an entire outpost, used as a base of operations for the Talon Fighter (more on that below, in my in-fiction background material).
  • The Prototype XTF-1′s are based on the Monogram model kit version of the Talon Fighter. The box depicted the Talon Fighter in yellow and scarlet, but photos I’ve seen of the model itself have the colors reversed, hence the two versions shown. As far as changes, I added visible engine units, with air intakes, and gave the cockpit a two-seat configuration like something you might see in a military helicopter.
  • The TF-2 variations are all pretty self-explanatory. The standard version of the TF-2 has a small radar dish, not so different from the original Talon Fighter, while the Long Range Scout (TF-2LR) has a large dish, inspired by real life AWAC systems. Extrapolating from the colors of Man-At-Arms‘s uniform and the Wind Raider, I deducted that green/yellow/orange must be Eternian military colors–thus the coloring of the basic TF-2 model depicts “standard issue” coloration. The other TF-2 variations are depicted in colors from specific squadrons. Of particular note–the XTF-2E is colored to resemble either Zoar or the Sorceress.

Now, how about some in-depth, in-fiction info?

* * *

Point Dread: In the distant days of King Grayskull, the children of Zoar the falcon god flew freely in the sky. These giant birds of prey were friends to good, and enemies of evil. Point Dread, was originally a meeting place for the children of Zoar and their humanoid allies, an outpost against the forces of evil. Today, Point Dread has been reclaimed by a small force commanded by Man-At-Arms, once again establishing an outpost against the many dangers that threaten Eternia. The giant perches where Zoar’s brood once roosted are now occupied by squadrons of Talon Fighters.

Talon Fighter: Talon, Zoar’s youngest child, was an ally and close friend of King Grayskull. He was widely known for his bravery, but also for his stubborn recklessness. Disobeying his father’s warnings of caution, Talon fell in battle, mortally wounded. Zoar would not heal his foolhardy and arrogant son, so King Grayskull ordered his followers to rebuild Talon’s body from sacred metal that had fallen from the skies. Even in his new form as the Talon Fighter, the son of Zoar was willful and reckless–only his good friend King Grayskull could calm him and fly him into battle. In the modern age, only He-Man can pilot the Talon Fighter, due to his genetic lineage to King Grayskull.

Talon, the Son of Zoar Reborn: With He-Man missing, and Eternia in dire need of heroes, Zoar has decided to give his brash son another chance to prove himself. Talon’s consciousness has been fully restored, and he can shapeshift freely between the the shape of the Talon Fighter and his new humanoid form.

Prototype XTF-1 (Experimental Twin-Seat Fighter): Charged with fortifying Eternian defenses in the face of invasion, Man-At-Arms has been researching new technologies from Point Dread. Seeking to duplicate the awesome power of the Talon Fighter in a more controllable form, Man-At-Arms and his team of scientists and engineers created the XTF-1. Mass-production of the XTF-1 was scrapped, but its creation did eventually lead to the development of the TF-2 series. Only two XTF-1′s are in existence, and are still used on a limited basis. The XTF-1 has speed and firepower comparable to the original Talon Fighter, but has slightly weaker armor, reduced maneuverability, and poor fuel efficiency.

TF-2 Series (Mass Production Single-Seat Fighters): With the help of newly discovered partial blueprints from the original Talon Fighter, and the Sorceress’s arcane knowledge, Man-At-Arms has successfully perfected a Talon Fighter design suitable for mass production. Faster, and drastically smaller, the TF-2 series are invaluable in the aerial defense of Eternia against the forces of evil. Several variations have arisen for specific uses, including the TF-2LR (Long Range Scout Fighter), and the TF-2H (Heavy Assault Fighter).

XTF-2E (Elite Space Fighter): Still considered to be somewhat experimental, though already approved for field use and eventual mass-production, the XTF-2E is the crowning achievement of Man-At-Arms’s Talon Fighter program. Capable of space flight, and equipped with the latest in hi-tech armaments, only 15 XTF-2E’s are in existence. Talon Fighter pilots are already regarded as elite amongst the Eternian military, and the pilots of the XTF-2E are regarded as the elite among the elite. Historians may also note that while Man-At-Arms and the Sorceress had begun to slowly rebuild their personal relationship during the development of the TF-2, it was during the development of the Elite Space Fighter that the two finally rekindled their long dormant romance.

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If you picked up the Simpsons reference in here, you get a gold star. Two gold stars if you know which episode it’s from.

Monsters of Breakfast (5 of 5): The Bite Stuff… PLUS WALLPAPER!

The Subject: General Mills cereal monsters.

The Twist: Drawing them in the style of Capcom‘s fighting game franchise, Darkstalkers.

It’s Halloween, and here’s the dude everyone has been waiting for–Count Chocula! Okay, maybe not everyone has been waiting for him, but the handful of people interested in this series of sketches have been waiting. Probably.

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Naturally, my interpretation of Count Chocula is based on his vampiric Darkstalkers counterpart, Demitri. This one was a lot of fun for me. I couldn’t tell you why exactly… it’s possible that I just enjoyed it more because it came together pretty easily. In particular, I’m happy with how the purply-brown color scheme and billowing cape turned out.

The pieces in this series were designed with a group composition in mind, so I’ve whipped up some wallpapers. For your convienience, both fullscreen and widescreen versions are available below. Happy Halloween!

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Monsters of Breakfast (4 of 5): Keep ‘Em In Stitches

The Subject: General Mills cereal monsters.

The Twist: Drawing them in the style of Capcom‘s fighting game franchise, Darkstalkers.

Now we’re finally getting to the heavy hitters–I present to you, Franken Berry! He’s alive… HE’S ALIVE!

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Rather than ramble on about whatever, I’ll let you all go about your business–you probably need to finish the last minute touches on your Halloween costumes. I’m dressing as a weirdo cartoonist who barricades himself in his apartment drawing obscure nerdy characters while watching cartoons and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. I guess it’s not so much a costume as much as on-going performance art. On-going for the past 31 years.