CAUTION: The following post is uncharacteristically robust with content.
You might recall that last year I became obsessed with the Fuwa, official mascots of the 2008 Olympics. I had a few laughs about it, and Mark Hale had a few more. In spite of my trademark disdain for sports/exercise, I watched a little bit of the Olympics over the weekend, and I was disappointed to find that the Fuwa have been conspicuously absent. So, I sat down and busted out a drawing:
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If you’re just here for discussion of awesome mascots, skip down a bit. The next paragraph is gonna be me yammering on about my process.
Several of my cronies have been requesting that I draw more involved pieces, with multiple characters, backgrounds, and, I dunno, cohesive lighting or something. The simplicity of the Fuwa made them ideal for a more complex piece–I got to concentrate on composition and color, rather than obsess over costume details. The composition here is the right idea, but the execution is lacking. All in all, I can live with it, because the entire production of this piece was spontaneous, and for me, pretty fast–the whole thing took me about five and a half hours.
As if it wasn’t enough that the Fuwa are the best official Olympic mascots of all time (you can see their competition here), Ren alerted me to the fact that BBC’s Olympic coverage had a mascot of their own–none other than Monkey:
Monkey, AKA Sun Wukong the Monkey King, is easily my favorite literary character of all time (sorry Batman and Naruto, it was a close race!), so you can imagine that I’d be pretty stoked. But on top of that, who do you suppose provided the art and sound for BBC’s incarnation of Monkey? None other than Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn, best know for collaborating on Gorillaz.
Check out the main page with an amazing animated trailer here, featuring Monkey and his pals using Olympic skillz to vanquish demons.
And download masks of Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy here!
A quick non-mascot sidebar–Monkey’s appearance as a BBC Olympic mascot is related to a theatrical production that Hewlett and Albarn collaborated on, featuring the same subject matter, and titled Monkey: Journey To The West. So far it’s only had two brief engagements in London, both of which I contemplated attending, until I realized that I am, if we’re being kind here, not exactly sitting on a mountain of unused cash. Hopefully they’ll take that show on the road! If they brought it to, say, New York, I think I could manage it. But you don’t care about my theoretical travel plans–back to mascots (yes, there’s more)…
ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE, I have also stumbled upon the disarmingly charming mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver–Quatchi (a sasquatch), Miga (AN ORCA/BEAR HYBRID!!!), and Sumi (a magical animal spirit somewhat resembling an anthropomorphized totem pole).
Check out the main page for the 2010 Winter Game mascots here.
Be sure to watch their slick animated video intro here.
Lastly, two bonus mascot-ish commercials from the folks at Coca Cola (you probably have seen these, if you’ve watched 5 minutes of the Olympic broadcast, but I like to be thorough). Funny CGI birds do Olympic stuff…
… and LeBron and Yao compare notes on their respective cultures, also in CGI (keep your eye out for the Monkey King!):
I now realize that I learn a lot more working on these quick little cartoony pieces than on more complex pieces. The stripped down style really lets me concentrate on form, motion, composition, and color, instead of sweating the details. I think the result tends to be a more cohesive illustration.
Its been a while since I had a chance to nerd out He-Man style, so here’s an entry for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here, my post is here. The first round voting polls are here and here. And the final poll is here. I placed 7th out of the 8 finalists.
My re-design of Loo-Kee isn’t terribly drastic–I made his rainbow-colored 80′s leg warmers and wristbands into armored braces made of gold and engraved precious stones, and tied his featheredmullet back into a pony tail. I made his overall details a bit more feral and bestial, and armed him with two daggers–I figure Loo-Kee is probably able to handle himself in a fight if he’s a rebel spy in a war against the Horde.
Some highlights and lowlights from Comic-Con (you decide which are which):
I saw Stan Lee almost die on an escalator–some guy got his messenger bag tangled up in the railing and almost took out everyone behind him, with Stan being the first in line. After the crowd helped Stan clear the obstacle and get to his feet, he blurted, “What was that?!” in his Stan Lee voice. Surreal.
I saw Riker and La Forge walking the convention floor, without security and unharassed by the nerdy masses. What has transpired in the world of geekdom that these demigods can traverse freely? Should not these heroes be lavished with geeky worship? Hast thou forgotten Gargoyles? Reading Rainbow? To say nothing of ST:TNG?!? For shame, ye ungrateful dorks. Thou hast forsaken thou nerdy roots! Repent! Repent, lest repeats of classic sci-fi shows be replaced by blighted, hateful sports highlights! REPENT!
Whilst working the booth for the day job, a kid ran up, saw the comics and exclaimed, “grab everything in sight!” Thankfully, his mother was accquainted with the modern system of exchanging goods for money, and restrained him immediately.
Lastly, I discovered that nerdy Asian guys with mohawks are a dime a dozen at Comic-Con. In aisles crowded with cosplayers, action figure collectors, fanfic writers, and miscellaneous dweebs, I would encounter my dopplegangers… each time we would lock gazes, and time seemed to stand still. Sizing up each other’s mohawks, a hypothetical battle would be waged in the deadly electric path betwixt our steely eyes. In another time and place, under different circumstances we might have been friends, but here and now, we were fated to be enemies. There would be no conflict yet–the pact of the immortal mohawk forbade endangering the lives of mortal nerds. But soon… soon, our destinies would be fulfilled, for there can be only one.
Sorry, sometimes I lose my damn mind. Comic-Con will do that to you.
Comic-Con was insane, as usual. The drive from Los Angeles to San Diego took almost 7 hours (yes, seven) instead of 3, and as a result, at one point, I whizzed in a bottle (yes, a bottle). For the record, it was an empty Vitamin Water lemonade bottle, which was nice because it gave me, you know, a sense of symmetry. The rest of the convention proceeded with no unorthodox waste removal procedures. I’m catatonic right now, so you’ll have to wait until my next post for non-whizz-related highlights from the convention.
For now, to commemorate the recently ended Comic-Con, a ‘Con:
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This is Shockwave, drawn with a modified transformation that I came up with. The original toy had a gun barrel which was essential for the gun mode, but served no purpose and had no venue of storage in robot mode–my revised transformation imagines that the gun barrel could split apart and slide back on Shockwave’s arms. That’s all. Sleepy-time now.
By the powers of black magic and unholy witchcraft (AKA the miracles of modern technology), this entry in my blog is being auto-posted while I am away. As you read this, I am at Comic-Con, wasting my money on action figures of obscure nerdy characters, wasting my time at super-nerdy panels, and most importantly wasting my dignity ogling super-hott booth babes. I will be back next week, and I’m sure I will have a thing or two to say about Comic-Con.
If you are at or heading to Comic-Con, please check out my previous post to see some shameless plugs of my friends and cronies peddling their wares at Comic-Con.
Fun Fact: The original title for this post was “From Hell’s heart, I blog at thee!”
This is a little last minute, but for those of you who are heading to Comic-Con, please allow me to suggest the following points of interest:
Josh and Vinny will be at the Big Boss table in the small press area, promoting their upcoming hardcover, Dear Dracula, as well as Necessary Evil and its recently released trade paperback. Table N9
The ever-crafty Karen, Jodi, and Sherri will be at the Tired Girl Collective table in small press, selling pins, pendants, prints, poetry, and probably more. Go here for hamster, pony, cupcake, or bird related paraphenelia. Table L5
Last, but not least, rockstar, and artist of Detective Comics, Dustin Nguyen, will be rockin a table in Artist’s Alley. He’s got sketchbooks, some amazing (and super-reasonably priced) prints, and if you’re lucky you might be able to buy a sketch! Table EE-13
To wrap up this brief series, here’s Rosalina, the most recent of the Princesses from the Mario-verse. The little floaty star-dude is her pal Luma.
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I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know anything about Rosalina, other than what I got from skimming her wiki. I haven’t actually played Super Mario Galaxy, but Rosalina is one of my drivers of choice for Mario Kart.
I don’t have anything planned for the immediate future, but I think you can expect to see more Nintendo characters from me. There’s a simple yet iconic quality to Nintendo’s pantheon that makes them a lot of fun to draw.
Josh is at it again–this time it’s the Necessary Evil trade paperback, collecting the first five issues, and clocking in at 128 pages. Written by Josh, with art by Marcus L. Harris, Vinny Navarrete, and J.C. Grande. And it also happens to have a three pager that I might have mentioned before. Here’s a look at the cover, by Marcus and Vinny:
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It’s out today (Wednesday, July 9), so go support your local comic book store and buy a copy! Right now! Or order it online! Right now!
I was playing Mario Kart with Coheteboy the other day, and I did not do well. Shameful, really.
But at least it provides me a convenient segue into my next couple of posts–in the latest incarnation of Mario Kart, the Princess characters sport sleek-looking jumpsuits when they ride motorcycles. I thought the jumpsuits were really sharp, so I decided to draw the foxxy blue bloods of the Mario-verse. First up, naturally, is Peach:
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If I actually owned the game, or had some decent reference, I might have drawn her (or the other Princesses) on one of the cooler looking motorcycles. OH WELL!
Today is Independence Day in the States (the holiday, not the thing with the aliens). What better way to celebrate than with my favorite Jonny Quest character, Race Bannon, all-American secret agent and tough guy (not to mention bodguard and tutor to Jonny and Hadji):
I whipped up some wallpapers collecting the Quest cast–the backdrop was taken from a public domain photo, and is meant to evoke the Florida Keys, base of operations for the extended Quest family. For your convienience, both fullscreen and widescreen versions are available below–please enjoy:
Josh and Vinny have got an all-ages book coming out from Shadowline and Image Comics later this year, and there’s an interview about it at Newsarama, along with some great preview art. The book is titled Dear Dracula, and tells the story of a weird kid who decides to write a letter to Dracula instead of Santa Claus. I had the opportunity to read Dear Dracula in advance of its release, and now I’m really looking forward to seeing it in stores. But, in the words of Levar Burton, don’t take my word for it–check out the interview and the preview art!
Dear Dracula is available in the July edition of Previews catalog from Diamond Comics (you can find it on page 160 of Previews and the order code is jul08 2222). It’ll hit stores in September, just in time for the Halloween season–ask your local comic book store to order it. And after you do that, be sure to check out Dear Dracula on Myspace!