Monday, December 22, 2008

Right Field

Hey, sorry I've been so negligent posting blog updates for all my imaginary friends. Nothing like technology to take something as pathetic as talking to yourself and turn it into a full on multimedia production! Yeah!

Actually, apologies to Anson Jew for that last comment, since he is not an imaginary friend but, in fact, a real friend. And he did read the blog (at least once), since he posted a comment. The very first on the ol' blog. So, in honor of that, I've dug up this relic from the past. It's the first page of a graphic novel I worked on for a sequential art class (comics) taught by Barron Storey at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.

Anson, Mike Ebert, and I took the class while we were working at LucasArts in the early '90's. I have no idea how we thought we'd ever finish a full comic book in this class, since we were working fulltime jobs at the time, and skipping out most of a day to go to class down in SF, then having to make up the hours at night. And then supposedly finishing a graphic novel. Yeah, right.

Anyway, it didn't happen, but I didn't feel so bad when it turned out that all the other students who had nothing better to do with their time than drink beer and draw comics didn't seem to get much farther than we did.

So, here's the first page. I'm not sure I even remember the storyline...some weird metaphorical comedy about life as a ballgame and feeling like you're stuck in right field (sheesh). Sorry. It was a long time ago. But, hey, it's in color at least! Should help liven up the page a little.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Colonel Satyr

Last one of these for awhile. I pictured this guy as sort of an old country gentleman demon, in the grand Southern tradition (hence the suspenders and bowtie). I especially like the big cowboy beltbuckle with the subtle inscription "Hell."

Not sure what he's all about yet, but I love the idea of all the crazy gods and spirits of old mythology, especially the minor supporting characters. It's the kind of worldview that has room for colorful folks like Illbus, the god of carsickness, and Magnavorax, the demon of TV watching.

Abe Lincoln's Alien Ancestor

The Great Emancipator may have descended from a super-intelligent, super-tall stove-pipe headed race of aliens. All he needed was the beard to perfect the look.

On a side note, I'd like to see a movie version of The Emancipator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. A little bit of action, a little bit of politics, a little bit of aliens. I think it's the perfect comeback vehicle for his post-Governor phase.

Original artwork, lovingly crafted on whiteboard with markers.

Emaciated Kringle

Hey, another whiteboard sketch. That's 2 posts in one day! I'm going to try and be less "chatty" and more "sketchy" with the next few, so I can get a bit more art up here (actually, I'm often described as "sketchy"). I'll toss up a few more whiteboard scribbles, just to get it out of my system, then switch to some other stuff.

This guy doesn't really have a name, although he looks kinda familiar. I'll call him "Emaciated Kringle." This might be what the big guy looks like on December 26th, after his 24 hr global gift-giving marathon. I'm thinking it probably takes him a good 2-3 months to recover and fatten back up again.

As you can see, he's lovingly chastising one of his toymakers, Mantis Boy. Possibly he has an evil lair full of Dr. Moreau-style mutant toymaking creatures in a laboratory under a volcano at the North Pole? Hmmm...

Or maybe he's always skinny. If you think about the distance he covers, all the chimneys and rooftops he climbs, and the big bag he lugs around, the guy would probably have more of a runner's physique anyway. I'll put a little more thought into this guy.

Oops, getting chatty again! Better go.

Love ya, internet! Stay cool. Fiscal year 2008 rules!

Whiteboard 2: Electric Boogaloo

Okay, here's another random character sketch from my whiteboard. Mantis Boy I think has a future in pictures. Kind of an Edward Scissorhands sort of guy, but less cuddly than Johnny Depp.

Honestly, if Microsoft had put me in charge and started making Mantis Boy games, they'd probably be doing a lot better right now. Think about it. Nintendo has Mario, Sega has Sonic, Sony cute little knitted doll guy from their new Knitting Hero franchise.

Anyway, my point is Mantis Boy could have been Microsoft's mascot. But, instead they had to settle for generic space marine guy. Man, they missed the boat. Of course, I suppose it's not too late to fix that. I mean, Mantis Boy could turn out to be the guy inside the generic space marine suit...

Okay, full disclosure: I haven't played all the Halo games, so I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that it's actually Bill Gates inside the suit, as revealed in Halo 2. And then Jerry Seinfeld after Bill retired and was unavailable for Halo 3 (you can tell the difference between the two Master Chiefs because Jerry's suit has more prominent nipples, and he pals around with Chris O'Donnell).

So, don't you miss the boat like Microsoft did. Get your festive Mantis Boy holiday gifts while they last (...just as soon as I make them)!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Whiteboard Jungle

Okay, here I go! Kinda like that first scratch on a new car, I'm gonna just get this over with so I don't have to worry about it. First blog post. Just rip that band-aid off as fast as you can. No dipping in one toe at a time - just jump straight into the deep end. Mix those metaphors vigorously and move on; I'm sure I can always rewrite it later.

Or is that against the rules in blogging? Are there rules in blogging? From all the examples I've seen, I must have already broken them because I haven't revealed an embarrassing personal story yet. Either way, I'm sure once this blog is full of important and creative work, I'll be required to delete this post. And to more accurately rename the site long

So, once again, don't spend too much time on this first post, because it will be deleted anyway. Kinda like that bad page in your sketchbook that you decide to tear out, only you can't because you've torn out so many pages already that there's only half a book left, so you draw over it really dark in pen to cover the bad drawing but then the pen starts to cut through the paper, so you tape it then paint over the whole thing thinking you've got a clean slate, but then the ink starts to seep through like the blood stains on that basement wall that you just can't seem to get clean. This blog post is like that.

Anyway, here is a crappy photo of a sketch that I did on my whiteboard of a happy punk rock couple. It's from a few years back when I was working at Microsoft and wasn't feeling too creatively stimulated by my real assignment at the time.

It was kind of a hybrid portfolio piece/cry-for-help with magic-markers. I guess I thought that if I did some interesting drawings on the whiteboard, someone might come by and say, "Wacky cartoons?! Shoot, you oughta be making a whole game full o' wacky cartoons!! Or maybe taking over for Bill Gates when he retires."

But, nobody did. So, I quit and made my own wacky cartoon game. That was a blast, although I'm kicking myself now, since they had to pick someone else to replace Bill once I'd left. Enjoy this before I post important and creative work, and am forced to delete it.