ink on skin

So I thought the Star Trek tattoo from a few months ago was the first time my art had been turned into a tattoo, but I forgot that a few years ago Kara, commissioned a Deadpool from me for her husband Jake, and he liked it so much he had it inked:


So that’s two tattoos from my art so far, but the next one is definitely the first time I was commissioned specifically to design a tattoo! My good friend Scott wanted to pay tribute to his own personal Battle Cat, the late great Apollo, and I was more than happy to help…


It’s humbling to see folks want to put my doodles into permanent display on their bodies, and amazing to see how the tattoo artists translate my work! I’m talking to a few more friends about this kinda stuff, so who knows, maybe this will become a regular thing for me?

Help The Cheerleader Commissions, Round 15!

Here’s the fifteenth round of commissions that I’ve finished for Help the Cheerleader. To read more about my involvement with this fundraiser, please CLICK HERE.

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From left to right:

UPDATE: Commissions are still closed for now, and the donations on the Help the Cheerleader page are on hold–the Cheerleader won one of her appeals, so the courts are recalculating her fees. As soon as we know what’s going on, you’ll see an update here as well as on the Help the Cheerleader page. But I’m still at work on the commission requests, and I’ll continue posting–stay tuned!

Parlor Tricks

Hey kids, look! A super simple drawing (which I had lying around) dressed up to appear to be a real blog post! But at least it’s super late as well!

I want you to know that I’m giving myself a judgemental look:


The Big O (neither the giant robot anime, nor the tire store, nor the other thing)… Also: Tron, and Happy New Year!

First off–if you’re here because of my Tron Calamari post from two weeks ago, welcome! I got a few re-tweets regarding that post, not the least of which were from renowned Twitter maven Bonnie Burton, and the official Star Wars Twitter account! So a big thanks to Bonnie, the folks at @StarWars, everyone else who re-tweeted me, and everyone who dropped in to look at my blog (both new and long-time readers). And of course, another big thanks to my crony Dave, who came up with the title Tron Calamari.

Secondly–I was in a bit of a rush last week, so I didn’t get a chance to mention what I thought about Tron: Legacy–so how about a five second review?

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Tron: Legacy (In theaters in 3D and IMAX 3D)

The dialogue was mostly very standard for a special effects blockbuster, with occasional moments of brilliance (often via Jeff Bridges’ unexpected moments of channeling the Dude/himself). The 3D was uneven and generally not a big deal–though I’ve heard a lot of people say otherwise–your mileage may vary, as projectionists at individual theaters may not have their gear properly calibrated. The pacing and performances were strong, and the special effects and art direction were pitch perfect. But most importantly, this movie knows what it is, where it came from, and isn’t ashamed of it.

Verdict: Awesome. I had fairly high expectations, and was pleasantly surprised to have those expectations satisfied. A big bucket of black glass, neon piping, and FUN!

For More Computer World Adventure: Track down the original Tron, or watch some Reboot (coming to DVD soon, by the way!).

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And now back to our abnormally scheduled nerdiness:

So, the tradition around here is that I draw up a Skeletor or He-Man (or some version thereof), and post it to commemorate the New Year. Well, I wasn’t sure which version to go with, and as I sat here looking at the menagerie of action figures on my desk, it occurred to me that the Masters of the Universe Classics version of Orko (character info/figure) would probably be the only figure I would keep if I had to sell off my He-Man collection. This in turn made me realize that Orko is one of my two favorite He-Man characters (the other being the Sorceress). True, Orko was most often relegated to the role of goofy sidekick, but I always thought he looked cool, had a cool species backstory (he’s a member of the inherently magical Trollan race from another dimension), and as a character, he always had the potential for more. Anywaysss… here he is:

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I threw in some costume elements from the 200x version of Orko, but mostly kept his classic proportions. The big “O” on his chest, while iconic, was always a bit too goofy for me–so I styled it as a circular magical ward. Yes, I know, I’m splitting very nerdy hairs in regards to what’s goofy and what isn’t. Perhaps most significantly, I changed up his eyes, to give him more of an otherworldly quality. I don’t think Orko should ever be played as “dark” or creepy, but giving a character an alien look can add a little edge to him, without changing his personality.

I think this is a huge improvement over my earlier depiction of Orko’s lady friend, Dree Elle.

Happy Nerd Year, everyone! (Note: that was intentional, not a typo. You nerds.)

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

Them’s Lasers, Kids!

Today I’ve got another He-Man variant, re-imagined. This one is based on a prototype for Laser Power He-Man. The prototype had a costume that was significantly different from the production version, so I thought it was worthy of yet another new character. Her name is based on the Spanish version of Laser Power He-Man, and I envision her as the cousin of Lazeros, the variant I drew based on the standard version of Laser Power He-Man. Here’s Luminosa:

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Her sidekick, X-1060, is named after the product code for Laser Power He-Man, and his form is based loosely on the backpack of one of the prototype versions of that same figure. To answer your question–yes, it did just get nerdier in here.

And it’s about to get even nerdier… BACKGROUND INFO!!!

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PROFILE: While a bit naieve and idealistic, and slightly reckless at times, LADY LUMINOSA is nevertheless a bright and determined young woman, with a keen sense of justice. She is somewhat sheltered and knows it–which makes her eager to seek out the world. Luminosa is close to her cousin, Prince Lazeros, who is both big-brother-figure and mentor to her. She has adventured in Etheria a few times, befriending young freedom fighters like Sorciela and Korujito, and finding strong female role-models in the older generation of freedom fighters.

In battle, Luminosa is armed with equipment similar to Lazeros–a synthetic Korodite-powered battle harness, and an energy sword. Her energy sword is actually a conduit that channels her innate powers into a blade of energy far more powerful than Lazeros’s. Between this device, and her incredible fencing abilities, Luminosa is very dangerous in melee combat. Though Lazeros is still her fencing instructor, he believes her swordfighting skills alone will one day overshadow his own, and once she learns to channel the full potential of her energy powers, she will be a truly unstoppable force. Luminosa’s battle harness is much more compact than Lazeros’s, but as a result does not provide as much enhanced strength, and provides no field of protection. This lack is compensated by X-1060, a lab droid modified by Lazeros to generate a portable forcefield and act as a protector for Luminosa. X-1060 is intellectual and fretful, constantly lamenting Luminosa’s willful nature and thrill-seeking.

HISTORY: Lady Luminosa was born to a noblewoman, and a low-born, but reknowned wizard. Around her thirteenth year, she began exhibiting the ability to manipulate light energy. Four years later, her ability was growing exponentially more powerful, but she could not control it. Her father failed to treat the problem with magic, and so they turned to science, and to Luminosa’s older cousin, Prince Lazeros. Lazeros became Luminosa’s temporary guardian, and began overseeing her education while studying her abilities. Using a modified version of his own battle harness, Luminosa’s powers have been contained so that she can gradually learn how to control them. However, when it became apparent that Luminosa also had an innate knack for science, Lazeros gladly recruited her as his research assistant. To Lazeros’s chagrin, Luminosa (athletic and adventurous, much like her cousin), was more interested in gallantry than science, and stowed away on several of his adventures. After Luminosa had proved herself useful on more than one occasion, Lazeros reluctantly decided that his strong-willed young cousin was enough of an adult to accompany him on his many quests.

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Also posted on the fan-art forums in my variants thread. The thread is here and my post is here.

Three Years and Counting…

I apologize because I’m about to become to become a person who quotes his own twitter, but as I “tweeted” a few days ago:

I’ve had enough out of you 2009. When is your smarter, taller, better looking sibling 2010 getting here?

Well the new year is here at last. This had better be good! By the way, yes, I’m now “tweeting” semi-regularly. Super inane updates can be found at @jasonhohoho.

As has become a tradition around here, I celebrate the New Year and my Bloggiversary (in this case, my third Bloggiversary) by posting a sketch of Skeletor, He-Man, or some variation thereof. Here’s Laser Power He-Man, re-imagined as a new character:

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His name is pronounced like Lazarus, but with an “-os” instead of an “-us.” What’s that, you’re dying for some super-nerdy background info on this character? HERE YOU GO:

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PROFILE: An adventurer, inventor, and aristocrat, PRINCE LAZEROS is something of a hybrid between a Renaissance man and swashbuckler. He puts forth a devil-may-care attitude, though in reality he is a deeply motivated individual. Using his family fortune, Lazeros has developed an array of high-tech weaponry and armor. His battle harness (powered by synthetic green Korodite) mimics the principles of He-Man’s own battle harness, providing a personal protection field, and enhanced physical strength; his bionic arm-brace allows him full use of his crippled arm; and his energy sword is a formidable weapon, capable of cutting through metal and stone. In He-Man’s absence, Lazeros has become a friend and colleague to Man-At-Arms (the two have a friendly rivalry with respect to inventing), and a trusted ally of Team Grayskull. Lazeros has become somewhat smitten with Teela–this has brought him into occasional conflict with Savage (Team Grayskull’s other frequent ally) who is already his polar opposite in so many ways.

HISTORY: Once nothing more than a frivolous young aristocrat, Prince Lazeros’s life changed when he was caught in a terrorist attack while visiting the Eternian capital. The attack was perpetrated by none other than Skeletor and his henchmen. Inhaling a dangerous dose of nerve gas, Lazeros was lucky to escape with his life, though his right arm was left forever crippled. Had it not been for the intervention of He-Man, Lazeros and many others would have died. Inspired by He-Man’s heroism, Lazeros dedicated himself to bettering the world, and was able to use his financial resources to become an inventor and adventurer. In the years following He-Man’s disappearance, Lazeros is one of several young heroes who has stepped forward to fill the void. Dubbed the “Prince of Power” by the Eternian media, his exploits have won him much favor with the public.

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Also posted on the fan-art forums in my variants thread. The thread is here and my post is here.

Cosmic Bookworm

Today’s post is for a re-design challenge at the 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.

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 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 forums)

The Most Dangerous Game

The most recent re-design challenge at the fan-art forums featured Huntara, a fan-favorite one-shot character from She-Ra (based on Grace Jones, incidentally). My take on Huntara was pretty direct (hardly qualifying as a re-design, in my mind), and I was short on time anyways, so I skipped the contest. You should, however, check out the entries here, and the voting threads, here, here, and here.

Here’s my non-entry, (also posted here):

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The overall result is somewhat Warcrafty and Night Elf-ish, but I don’t mind. I think it’s in large part because I added pointy ears to her, and made her armor look a bit more baroque (and therefore Warcraft-esque).

What’s a Skull Man?

Back in the 80’s, the action figure aisles were ruled by four archetypes–robots, commandoes, ninjas, and barbarians. Of the barbarians, Masters of the Universe was the most prominent line. A few other action figure brands wisely chose to mimic the proportions of Masters of the Universe figures, and marketed their lesser known figures as being compatible with all popular 5.5″ figure lines. Perhaps the best known manufacturer of such figures was Remco–they produced figures based on DC Comics’ Warlord, and the companion line to Warlord was The Warrior Beasts–which brings me to today’s post.

The Warrior Beasts consisted of a group of beastly humanoids and a few monstrous mounts who could all act as antagonists for your Warlord figures (or other 5.5″ action figures). But strangely, in the midst of this group of beasts and beast-headed humanoids, there was a skull-headed Skeletor-esque figure appropriately named Skull Man (not to be confused with a hero of the same name). Here’s my interpretation of the character, drawn to fit in with my various Masters of the Universe drawings:

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But how would he fit into the world of Masters of the Universe, you ask? Well, here’s some nerdy background info I concocted for Skull Man:

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PROFILE: Cold and efficient, SKULL MAN is not only a mercenary, but an expert tracker and sleuth, armed with a cunning intellect. His hand-to-hand combat abilities hint at extensive training in martial arts from across the galaxy–this expertise allows his him to match up against opponents who would otherwise outmatch him in brute strength. Skull Man’s favored weapons are the bow and dagger.

HISTORY: The enigmatic mercenary SKULL MAN operates under his own rules, sometimes working for the forces of good, and sometimes working for the forces of evil. He has his own motivations, but those motivations are as unknown as his true identity. He has been known to operate in Skartaris, but most recently has been sighted on Eternia, allied with the Raqquill Rqazz’s personal army, the Warrior Beasts of Berserker Island.

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Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here and my post is here.

Ape in a Cape

Drawn for a re-design challenge at the 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.

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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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The Big Oh-Two

(Posted early for the New Year)

So, I’ve now been at it on this sketchblog for two full years! Please, hold your applause until the end of the post. I just want to take a second to thank anyone and everyone who’s dropped by to take a look or leave a comment. I hope you all stay tuned, I’ve got plenty of nerdy sketches left in me yet.

And on that note–I started this blog with an illustration of Skeletor, so here for my second bloggiversary, at last, is Skeletor’s mortal enemy, the hero of Eternia, He-Man:

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My take on He-Man is primarily drawn from the cartoon version, but with a few minor creative liberties. I rendered the red elements on He-Man’s baldric as Korodite crystals, and made the straps on the baldric a darker color. I gave him slightly longer, more unruly hair (with sideburns), instead of his original, inexplicable, pageboy hair cut. I wish I hadn’t drawn the legs so hyper-elongated. But I am happy with how the colors came together.

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

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.

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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.

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Kowl is also posted on the 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

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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

Well Loo-Kee Here…

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 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.

The subject is Loo-Kee:

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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 feathered mullet 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.

A Prickly Disposition

(Posting early, and you can’t stop me!)

The subject today is Kactura, a Masters of the Universe fan character created by my pal Super-Munkyboy:

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A cactus woman with built in spikey tonfa, thigh-high platform boots, and an an elegantly crisp color scheme? I was instantly won over the first time I saw this character. Read about Kactura here, and then do yourself a favor and check out Super-MunkyBoy’s art for yourself–right here.

Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here and my post is here.

What’s a Spector?

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 Spector, and it ought to be painfully obvious that he was to be built primarily from Skeletor’s parts. My drawing is pretty accurate to those details. I deviated a little, attempting to mimic the style of the Fuerza-T card art. Much like my illustration of Goldar, 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 Spector (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.

Sweet Adeline…

(Posting early… )

With this post, I’m wrapping up my first batch of Masters of the Universe variants re-cast as new characters. There are still a lot of variants to tackle (and I will!), but for now I’ve covered the main classic variants. Allow me to present a lady codenamed Flying Fist, with accesories and armor courtesy of Flying Fists He-Man.

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The original Flying Fists He-Man figure was not particularly feminine, but once I re-cast Terror Claws as a female, it made sense to give Team Grayskull another woman warrior as well. As far as the costume itself, I combined the redundant double-belt of the action figure into an armored girdle. The perspective on the shield is messed up, but I can live with it. Color-wise, I initially had some difficulty making things mesh, but once I decided to make her furry barbarian short-pants black (instead of brown), the rest of the colors really clicked into place. The end result is pretty faithful to the original color scheme (with the exception of the aforementioned furry barbarian short pants). Now how about a bio for this little lady?

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PROFILE: Peace-loving and kind, ADELINE, known on the battlefield as FLYING FIST is essentially a gentle but fair soul who has taken on the role of protector. She is strongwilled, but when faced with failure she has a tendency to blame herself.

Adeline’s mechanized triple flail can pulverize granite and break solid plate armor, while her rotating shield is capable of generating a defensive barrier of wind, or firing an offensive whirlwind blast. When held aloft, she can utilize it as a limited one-person helicopter, and in the past she has also used the shield as an improvised boat propeller. The flail and shield are both semi-magical items, requiring the input of the user’s chi for proper use.

Adeline wears an armored girdle that grants her the strength of a storm giant, and an enchanted breastplate that conforms to the shape of its wearer, allows for a full range of movement, and provides magically enhanced stamina. However, even without her girdle, she has an abnormal level of strength. The cause of this is unknown.

HISTORY: Adeline hails from a serene and remote village in the foothills. Her mother Adele was famed amongst the locals for using her tremendous strength as the village’s protector, earning her the nickname “Flying Fist.” For the most part, the village was peaceful, and Adele used her strength for mundane tasks such as helping with construction and demolitions and clearing fallen trees. Occasionally some small-time bandits would show up, or a bear would wander too close to town, but all in all it was a peaceful existence. Adeline knew that her mother’s strength came from the magic girdle, though her mother never explained where the girdle came from. And when Adele passed away, some five years ago, Adeline inherited the girdle and the role of village protector. It wasn’t long before Adeline inherited the nickname “Flying Fist” as well.

Following another dream-vision, Teela visited Adeline’s village with Team Grayskull in tow. Adeline had long been in possession of a magically locked chest belonging to her mother, and with the help of Teela’s magical powers, she was finally able to open it. The chest contained a breastplate marked with an ancient heraldic symbol of Grayskull’s line. After this, it quickly came to light that Thunder Punch was in fact Adeline’s father, and like Thunder Punch, Adeline’s mother Adele had once been a champion of Castle Grayskull. Initially, Thunder Punch was vehemently opposed to involving his daughter in the struggle between the protectors of Castle Grayskull and its would-be conquerors. However, the Sorceress convinced him that while it was not Adeline’s inevitable destiny, it was the legacy of both her parents, and she had a right to choose for herself.

Adeline had planned to reject the invitation to join Teela’s group, but after witnessing a battle between Team Grayskull and some Horde Troopers, she understood the bigger picture–in order to protect her village, there was a bigger world outside of it that needed protecting as well. With a tearful goodbye, Adeline bid farewell to her village.

Shortly after arriving at Castle Grayskull, Adeline came across a room with two broken and discarded mechanical devices. In her village, Adeline’s strength made her ideal for carrying out repairs on large structures like windmills and water wheels, so she had developed something of a sense for mechanics–she tinkered with the devices a little, and was able to restore them to perfect working order, and even improved them with some minor modifications. Thus, the mechanized triple-flail and rotating shield became Adeline’s primary tools in combat. When Team Grayskull isn’t searching for He-Man or battling the forces of evil, Adeline often spends her hours trying to repair the ancient technologies contained in Castle Grayskull, with the “assistance” of Orko..

All things considered, Adeline has adapted to life with Team Grayskull rather smoothly. At times, her relationship with her father is strained, but overall, Adeline and Thunder Punch are both doing well in mending their estranged relationship. Teela has become a surrogate big sister to her, and Orko and Cringer are both very fond of her. There’s something of a brewing romance between Adeline and Battle-Scar, at least when Battle-Scar isn’t attempting to rile her up by calling her “She-Man.” Such behavior generally earns Battle-Scar a punch in the nose.

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I didn’t like Flying Fist much as a name, but at the same time I didn’t want to drop it completely. I finally decided on giving the character a ‘real’ name (Adeline) and using Flying Fist as a nickname, kind of like Duncan/Man-At-Arms. Adeline and Adele are both variations of a German name, meaning “noble,” and chosen to be evockative of the ad sound in Adam and Adora (the real identities of He-Man and She-Ra respectively). The relationship between Adeline and Battle-Scar is somewhat meant to mimic that of Akane and Ranma from Ranma 1/2. Man, these character bios keep getting longer and longer. :P

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:

Feeling a Little Punchy

(Posting a smidge early)

Getting back to my self imposed task of changing He-Man and Skeletor variations into new characters, today I bring you Thunder Punch He-Man, now simply (you guessed it), Thunder Punch:

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Thunder Punch is supposed to be an older, grizzled veteran of the battlefield, so hopefully that comes through in my drawing. There’s a little bit of action in this one, a bit of a change from my usual static ways. The right leg and foot are awkward, but luckily I had to place some type in there anyways, so I covered that up a little. The colors aren’t anything special, and in hindsight, I really meant to make the skin much more tan in contrast to the fair hair. The perspective on the shield is pretty wonky. Overall, this is a piece that I was excited about when it first started coming together, but I’m somewhat disappointed with it as I pick it apart. Oh well… I’m still pretty happy with it as far as the concept goes. Read on!

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PROFILE: Cynical and world weary, THUNDER PUNCH nonetheless possesses a heart of gold, awakened by the moral purity of his new-found allies. His many years of experience have made him hard edged yet pragmatic. He is a natural leader, though a reluctant one–shortly after Flying Fist joined “Team Grayskull,” Teela was forced to leave the group, and she named Thunder Punch the leader, much to his chagrin.

His battle harness enhances his strength, speed, and rudimentary psychic abilities. The enhancement allows him to perform maneuvers such as his trademark “Thunder Punch,” a devastating attack, enhanced by a burst of chi. His shield further amplifies and refines his psychic power, and recently Thunder Punch has developed a new technique where by concentrating his battle aura upon his shield, he can manifest a psychic power sword.

It is clear that Thunder Punch knew the Sorceress at some point in the past, though the specifics of this have yet to come to light. It has also been hinted at that he was accquainted with Man-At-Arms and King Randor.

HISTORY: With a heavy heart, King Randor was forced to indefinitely suspend the kingdom’s search for the missing He-Man. With the Horde threat becoming increasingly aggressive, Randor simply could not spare any resources towards what seemed to be a hopeless effort. Refusing to relent, Teela resigned her position as Captain of the Royal Guard and exiled herself from Eternos, vowing that she would not return unless she had He-Man with her. Cringer, Orko, and Battle-Scar accompanied her as well. With a heavy heart, Man-At-Arms told his daughter Teela that the kingdom would need him in the war against the Horde and he could not accompany her on her quest. However, he urged Teela seek refuge with the Sorceress, and complete her training in the magical arts. As Man-At-Arms watched his daughter and his closest friends ride away, he said to himself, “If anyone can find He-Man, they can.”

Teela and her fellowship did take refuge with the Sorceress at Castle Grayskull, and investigated every possible lead over the following months. They found many clues and possibilities, but nothing concrete. In the meantime, the Sorceress continued to guide Teela’s education in magic, and Teela’s sensitivity to the supernatural developed quickly. A breakthrough came to Teela in the form of a dream-vision, telling her to seek out a warrior; a lost descendant of the legendary King Grayskull, who would aid her in her quest. Teela, Cringer, and Battle-Scar set out to find this lost scion of Grayskull.

What they found however, was a grizzled and bitter man living in isolation in the wilderness, a once idealistic knight errant, turned hardened soldier of fortune, who had ultimately decided to reject the world and its corruption in favor of life as a hermit. He knew he was a descendent of Grayskull–he simply did not care. Unable to break through his jaded shell, Teela’s group left the hermit in the wilderness. At the edge of the wilderness, they were ambushed by Force Commander Scorpia, Modulok, and a contingent of Modulok’s test-tube engineered warriors and monstrosities. Incapacitated by Scorpia’s poisonous stinger, Teela was unconscious and capture was imminent. The hermit, who had shadowed Teela’s group to ensure that they left his sanctuary, had a split second to make a decision. Before he realized what he was doing, his legs were carrying him into the fray, and with nothing more than a wooden cudgel, he was able to beat back Modulok’s creations long enough for Cringer to carry Teela to safety, and for Battle-Scar to regroup with the hermit. The ensuing battle was brutal, but the hermit and Battle-Scar were able to fight off the Horde attackers. Scorpia’s poison, however, was spreading fast through Teela’s blood. The hermit squeezed his eyes shut, concentrating upon the astral plane, searching for a response… with a flash of light, Battle-Scar, Teela, Cringer, and their new accquaintance found themselves on the Jaw Bridge of Castle Grayskull–Orko flew to them with haste, and treated Teela with a magical antidote. Standing at the gates was the Sorceress herself, holding a red and silver battle harness, and a matching shield.

The hermit’s expression was impassive, though his eyes betrayed mixed emotions, “It’s good to see you, Sorceress.”

The Sorceress smiled in her usual mysterious manner, holding up the rough implements of war in her elegant hands. “I kept these for you.”

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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: