Martian Manhunter Dark Secret Finally Exposed?
Still reeling from last week’s Captain America and Hydra conspiracy, the Internet can’t catch a break! Even as I just explained the truth behind Captain America’s revelation, we find ourselves smacked in the face with a conspiracy so deep, I was only able to uncover it late last night at great personal risk. Be warned, the following image is not for the feint of heart…
As you can see, we’ve all been fooled! Martian Manhunter, or J’onn J’onnz as he is sometimes known, has only been feigning love for Oreos all these years. Secretly, he has been a double-agent in support of the insidiously delicious Hydrox corporation! Can you believe it? Oh, the Martianity! Did he even think of the children?
How much more can comics readers take of their favorite characters dirty secrets coming to light? How much more can my blog followers take of my strange and often horrible sense of humor? Only time will tell…
Don’t forget to let me know what you think of this and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Captain America Hydra Conspiracy Explained!
So… I wanted to let this simmer for a bit, so as not to spoil things for anyone but if you have been living under a rock since before last Wednesday, I can no longer help you out!
Last week Marvel Comics released a new title, Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, and there was a huge reveal in it… There is a panel where Captain America utters words you never thought you would hear him say, “Hail Hydra!” and the Internet exploded. The most patriotic superhero ever created, revealed to retroactively always have been a deep cover Hydra agent? Say it ain’t so!
I’ll leave it to you to actually read the comic and follow the series to see what happens… but I’m going to blow the lid off the conspiracy right now with the secret that was right under comic readers’ very noses the whole time! You see, all you had to do was blow up that panel a bit and zoom in on what Captain America is really saying to see the true story.
So, there you have it… Captain America hasn’t gone rogue after all… he’s just a bit parched and extremely pro hydration! Please tell all your friends so that they can sleep better tonight… and, remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Sometimes You Need A Break from ‘Sects…
Eagle-eyed observers, folks who aren’t easily fooled, and basically anyone who pays attention will note that there was no new ‘Sects episode this Sunday. Chalk it up to a need to catch up on some sleep and a decision to not force-feed creativity just to make Sunday happen. But, because of that… I’ll give you a sneak peak at a little bit of process stuff to semi-make-up for that.
Early on, I knew I was going to be re-using stuff in my digital Web comic. That’s part of the beauty of it… draw some good backgrounds and stuff once and you get to re-use them. It also allowed me to start with sparse backgrounds in the beginning only to build brick walls and other things over time into the backgrounds and have a bit more complexity while not driving myself nuts in the early days!
What I wasn’t smart about, however, was making things easy to access. I have to go back through the archives and find backgrounds and objects that I want to re-use, and that can be tedious. Recently I’ve started gathering up some of the things into source files so that I can more easily locate stuff I want to re-use. Now that I have that, even though I haven’t rounded up all my old stuff, I at least create new stuff in the new space so I’m not perpetuating the process. Here’s a sneak-peak at what one such file looks like…
If you look closely, there’s a couple of things that haven’t yet been used… Spoilers! Eventually I hope to go back and scavenge all my objects and all of my different backgrounds as well. My characters are mostly all together, but some of Buzz‘s special costumes/disguises are all over the place right now and I need to organize all of those as well. Anyway, just a peak into the madness of my mind to make up for the lack of ‘Sects this weekend.
Post #700 and the New Theme!
So, I knew this was coming a week or two ago when I started paying attention to my hit counter… and I also noticed I was coming close to my 700th post on the blog. It just kind of worked out that my actual 700th post on the blog is this one, in which I’m talking about making my 700th post. I am the hand that draws itself! (Dropping mad MC Escher references, yo!)
On an unrelated note, I’m having intermittent problems with WordPress not properly pushing my blog posts to my Facebook page. It happened back in February for a day or so and magically self-corrected. Now, as was the case then, I had to manually share some posts to get them there, but most irritating are the already pushed posts that just spontaneously disappear and reappear. I hope they sort this out once and for all!
Meanwhile, all that glitchy fun prompted me to look at my site design. I decided the Twenty-Twelve theme was getting a little stale so I wanted a change. I spent some time the other night browsing, and liked the look of this Retro-Fitted theme. What I didn’t realize was that it was going to trash all of my previously submitted headers… but that’s okay because I needed some new ones anyway and the old ones wouldn’t have scaled properly to this new theme. Look for more random headers to show up (wait for it) randomly as I create them. For now, I hope you’ll enjoy the new ‘Sects oriented one that features virtually every major character that has appeared in that comic strip so far!
The next major milestone will be when I hit two years of blogging at the end of this July. Sometime before that I’ll blow past 800 total posts and should pass 500 ‘Sects episodes. I need to pay attention to that ‘Sects milestone and see if I can’t come up with something special for that one at least.
As always, thank you to all my fans and followers for jumping aboard and hanging on! Thank you also to the new friends I’ve made as well. I hope to keep growing and expanding, and perhaps even diversifying a bit more in the months to come as I stretch into new areas and try new styles.
Oasis Title Design Work in Progress
A long time ago I wrote something I called an experiment in prosetry… It was poetry masquerading as prose, or so I liked to tell myself. I didn’t really do anything with it, but I revisit it from time to time. Recently, mainly since starting my blog, I started thinking about how I might be able to tweak the story a bit and perhaps make a short illustrated story out of it.
I have some visuals in mind for parts of the story, and other parts are less refined. I never seem to have the time to really work on it or sketch anything out like I’d want… but I finally sat down the other day and worked up this one thing.
The idea here is that on the opening splash page, the title of the story would appear as part of the art. It’s a thing you see a lot in comic storytelling, where names or titles are worked into an opening or closing panel of a story. I basically wanted to just see if the idea in my head would work as well on the page. So, I created this mainly as a proof of concept and hopefully to serve as a reminder that I really need to work on the actual story sometime! The design itself might have to be reworked to match the rest of the story art, depending on the style I end up using for that, but I think it mostly works in the way I wanted it to work.
Let me know what you think, and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Where the BLEEP are the Cartoons?
Regular followers of my blog have been getting a lot less ‘Sects lately than they have become accustomed to receiving. So… yeah, about that….
Were there technical issues? Yes, some.
Are you burnt out? No, lots of ideas yet to explore!
Did you decide to take a break? Maybe…
Are you just lazy and trying to cover that up? Probably…
Did you try and get cute and incorporate something that wasn’t part of the story only to realize that it screwed up the flow of what was coming next and you didn’t know how to untangle that? I plead the fifth!
Bottom line… there is no one answer for why I’ve had to skip a few days over the last couple of weeks. But sometimes things happen, and I think the smarter play has been to not force anything that wasn’t funny or part of the bigger plan just to say I haven’t missed a day. Everybody takes a day off now and than, and honestly… that has not been in my makeup.
Sure, when I’m unemployed it seems like every day is a day off… except for the stress and worry.. but when I’m working, I rarely take days off. I traditionally worked through holidays too as long as I was paid. I’m just not a time-off vacation person. But, creatively, you do need a break. Just like I need to get up and walk around and get some water during a day of drawing… sometimes I need to take a day or five off from forcing my brain to do particular things.
All that said… Sunday (tomorrow) is either going to be really funny or irritating or (if I do it right) hopefully both! 🙂 And then I can get back to the regular schedule of intended nonsense to end February as originally planned and to move into the March fun as well. It is a little ironic, though, that on the shortest month of the year I posted proportionally less than usual. I mean, there would be less posts in a short month, obviously, but this month is way shorter than usual.
Anyway… hopefully back to your regularly scheduled nonsense… and random things… going forward… unless I see something shiny and get distracted again! 🙂
Vampirella is Coming to Get You!
More fun with simple animation… this time with my recent Vampirella illustration.
It’s admittedly a little clumsy in places, but I was trying to get the most bang for buck out of just 10 frames. Shrinking the image made it almost a worthless endeavor, and keeping the image larger meant exponentially larger final size with each added frame. So I tried to maneuver some of the individual bats around a bit in the background so they were doing more than just growing in size.
Also, it’s a nice happy accident that Vampirella walking is an illusion created solely by mirroring her image left-to-right in each successive frame. Amazing how just that, makes the hips sway and the feet appear to be moving alternately in front of each other.
This is just one fun example of something you can do to re-purpose a clean vector illustration once you have one. A lot easier to manipulate and maintain high-quality images in each frame when working this way than when working with a bitmap source image. Please, as always, let me know what you think!
It’s Too Raven
Some of you might remember that last year I began a series of empty-costume bust illustrations. First I drew the TV-show inspired Reverse Flash, and then I drew a Yvonne Craig-based Batgirl. Up next was meant to be the Raven, from the classic DC Comics New Titans series, but that’s where I hit a snag.
For illustrations like this, I use photo reference to get details and decide where to put shadows and such… but I couldn’t find a good likeness of a real-life Raven costume. So, I used an illustration as reference for my empty-costume drawing. Unfortunately, I actually did too good of a job of mimicking the original George Perez drawing. So much so that even adding the “after George Perez” still left me feeling a little dirty.
I didn’t want anyone to think I was just hacking and tracing a George Perez drawing and trying to pass it off on my own… even though it actually was my own drawing, just a really good aping of Mr Perez. So, I shelved the drawing for a time, but it also put me off the continuation of that empty-costume series.
I’m doing some housecleaning of my artwork from last year, things that didn’t get posted for one reason or another… and I finally decided to just post it with all of the above caveats and let it go. I think I did a good job, just perhaps too good of a job, but I don’t want to hold myself back from doing anything similar in the future. So, without further adieu… likely the last in my empty-costume bust series… Raven:
Please let me know what you think, and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Tardis Appearing Act…
So… I was proud of my Doctor Who inspired Tardis drawings from a couple of weeks back, and decided I had a good candidate to once again dip my toes into simple animation. Behold the mysteriously appearing Tardis, which then disappears again just as mysteriously, over and over again…
If I had this to do all over, I would do two simple things differently. One is that I would make the light on top blink a bit slower. I think it blinks a bit fast and it’s easy not to notice it blinking at all. The other thing I would change is to actually put something behind the Tardis so that the materialization and dematerialization obscures and then reveals something in the background.
Felt like I ought to get this posted before the end of the current series (only a couple more new episodes to go after tonight) so people could see it while in the right mood. Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Rick and Morty… It’s a Trap!
So, this is actually from back in August and I’ve just been really lax about getting it posted. Some of you might remember a previous Rick and Morty drawing of mine. I am a huge fan of the series on Adult Swim! Some of you following me on Facebook might also remember me posting an oddly random drawing of an empty kitchen too, along with a promise to explain later. Well, it’s now later! 🙂
There was a contest that I entered, did not win or place or anything, back in August… and I had the idea to draw Rick and Morty as if they had become trapped in a two-dimensional kid’s drawing on the family fridge. So, first I drew the digital kitchen that I posted on Facebook a while back. Then I used pencil, marker, and colored pencils to hand-draw the Rick and Morty piece. Both original individual illustrations are shown below:
I then combined everything into one digital image, with the small version on the fridge and the zoom/blowout to be sure people could see what was going on… Lastly, I added the dimensional portal gun to the kitchen counter. A little bit of additional contrast to the digital vs hand-drawn composition was the fact that the digital world was rendered as a three-dimensional one, while the hand-drawing was depicted as flat.
I thought this turned out pretty well, and is actually one of my favorite things from this year. Please let me know what you think. Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.