Wednesday, December 21, 2011

T-shirts!

I've opened up a shop over on Redbubble where I've posted a few T-shirt designs. One of the the Frankensteins as 30s cartoons, A Mushnik's Skid Row Florists, the Walking Dead Little Golden Book cover I recently linked to, and this Paradise Island Roller Derby team shirt:



Go check them out! More to come.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Cookies 2011

It's time for this year's batch of Christmas cookies. You can't eat them, but you can at least look at them:

Muppet cookies: Kermit and Fozzie:




Cookie Cookie Monster (with cookie):




The delicious duo, Batman and Robin:




Marvel tummy team-up, black suit Spider-Man and The Thing:




The "Little" Mermaid, Ariel:




Mr. T expresses pity for those foolish enough not to enjoy him with milk:




Captain America:




Zombie cookie eats YOU:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

COVERED: The Flash vs. Zombies

First of all, let me tell you about the awesome blog Covered in which various artist produce reinterpretations of various comic book covers. It's great.

AND I was featured on it earlier this week! Click here for the side-by-side comparison of my version of Flash #175 with the original.

Here's my version, just by itself:



Boy, that Superman. Apparently super-sensetivity is not among his many powers.

This was my second submission to Covered. While my first didn't make it, it was recently run on the blog Rejected by Covered, which features various covers that were... well, you get the idea. Click here for the side-by-side comparison of my version of Vault of Horror #19 with the original.

Here's my version, just by itself:



There you have it, the Flash and Zombies, aka the most lop-sided race of all time.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fantastic Four Corners: DOOM!

All last week, I was featured over on Cornered with a series of Fantastic Four pieces. Here's the last one, Doctor Doom:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fantastic Four corners week: The Human Torch

All this week, I'm featured over on Cornered with a series of Fantastic Four pieces. Here's the fourth, the Human Torch:



For more fun with The Human Torch, please see Catch Phrases the Human Torch Toyed with Before Settling for "Flame On!".

That's four, but there's one to go... who could it be?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fantastic Four Corners Week: The Thing

All this week, I'm featured over on Cornered with a series of Fantastic Four pieces. Here's the third , the ever-lovin' Blue-eyed Thing!



If The Thing were a shoemaker, his catch-phrase would be, "It's cobblin' time!"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fantastic Four corners week: Mr. Fantastic

All this week, I'm featured over on Cornered with a series of Fantastic Four pieces. Here's the second one, the elastic, bombastic, scholastic, Mr. Fantastic!



You know what The Thing should say every time Reed proposes one of his outlandish scientific theories? He should say, "Boy, that's a real stretch." Every time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fantastic Four Corners week: Invisible Girl

All this week, I'm featured over on Cornered with a series of Fantastic Four pieces. First up, Susan Storm - The Invisible Girl!



Now you see her... now you don't!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flight of the Conchords redux: Bowies

Following up on, my previous Flight of the Conchords piece, here are Bret and Jemaine again, this time both dressed as David Bowie:



Referencing this scene and this video from the Flight of the Conchords TV show.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flight of the Conchords

I miss The Flight of the Conchords, both the TV show and the band. They were great.

Here they are now:



If you're unfamiliar with these gentlemen, here they are singing about some serious issues:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

They say the meek shall inherit...

Following last week's Halloween costume, here's a little digital Seymour and Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors:


Thursday, November 3, 2011

TEAM FOX!

Marty McFly and the Teen Wolf team up to form...




TEAM FOX!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Suddenly...

Here I am sporting this year's Halloween costume:



In case it's hard to tell, yes I am wearing several band aids on my fingers.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Treat: Phantom of the Opera

The tiny Phantom of the Opera has traded his organ for a classic Wurlitzer Juke Box and has invited you down into his lair to play some of his favorite records for you.



DO. NOT. GO.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween treat: The Wolfman

Today's Halloween treat is the Wolfman:



Don't be scared, little kitty. Maybe he just wants to pet you.

Maybe.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween treat: Creature from the Black Lagoon

I made a Halloween treat just for you. Here's the (tiny) Creature from the (itty bitty) Black Lagoon:



I wish I had time right now to do a bunch of these, but maybe I can squeeze out one or two more before October 31.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

X-Cornered: Storm and Wolverine

Whoops. Forgot yesterday, so today here's two new pieces from X-Cornered week on Cornered. First, there's a 100% chance of STORM:



And from today, the even littler WOLVERINE:



One more to come, and check out everyone else's work on Cornered.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

X-Men Week on Cornered 2: Kitty Pryde

Here's my next piece from X-Cornered week on Cornered. It's the spritely young Kitty Pryde, showing off her power:



More to come, and check out everyone else's work on Cornered.

Monday, October 10, 2011

X-Men week on Cornered

It's X-Cornered week all week over on Cornered. I got overly into the spirit of the thing and will have one L'il Mutant on display each weekday, each displaying their powers on the corner box.

First up is L'il Colossus (oxymoron) displaying his mighty strength:



More to come, and check out everyone else's work on Cornered.

Friday, September 16, 2011

DC Fifty-Too and the Legion of Super-Pets

Calamity Jon Morris runs the art blog DC Fifty-Too in which a wide variety of artists have presented covers of the comics they would've done if DC had let them pick any characters from their history. My entry for the Legion of Super Pets went up yesterday.

Here it is here too:



The Super-Pets have reunited and are ready to take on the cases the super-humans miss in all corners of the DC Universe. Krypto the Super-Dog leads his teammates Streaky the sassy Super-Cat, Beppo the silly Super-Monkey, and Comet the steadfast Super-Horse in this series of single-issue, all-ages-friendly stories. The people of the DC Universe have learned they can count on their heroes. Now the animals of the DC Universe are learning that when they need help, they can call on the Legion of Super-Pets! Sometimes the Super-Pets get themselves into trouble too (like in this first issue when Streaky gets tricked into pulling some thefts for Catwoman). Several issues will spin off of events in other DC comics (though reading those other comics will never be necessary) as the Super-Pets clean up trouble off to the side of what the super-heroes are dealing with. Comedy, adventure, and adorable animals team up in the Legion of Super-Pets!

Since a lot of costumes were redesigned as part of the relaunch, I have drastically altered Krypto and Streaky's outfits - getting rid of the yellow collars and replacing them with blue ones instead. I thought about also giving them really clunky boots, but they wouldn't stand for it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Avenue Q promotion designs

Ann Arbor Civic Players will be performing the great adult puppet show musical/Sesame Street parody Avenue Q later this week. Here's some promotion design I did for them.

First, here's the poster:



I cut out most of the shapes from pictures of different textures (fur coats, people's hair, felt scrap), then resized and colored and put them together. Here's a detail from that poster, a close up of Trekkie Monster:




And here's an ad that ran in a local magazine about LGBT issues called Between the Lines:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vector Potter 19: Voldemort and Nagini

OH NO, It's He Who Must Not Be Named:



People in the wizarding world love their pets. Even Lord Voldemort (who hates everyone) has his beloved giant killer snake, Nagini.

Lord V used to be Tom Marvolo Riddle, and was a terrible cheater at anagrams. I wonder if some people ALMOST figured out that Tom Riddle was really Voldemort when they noticed that all the letters required to spell out "Voldemort" were in his name. I'm sure anyone would've given up, though, when they noticed a couple of extra letters left over. Adding "I AM" before "LORD VOLDEMORT" is anagram cheating, Tom! Your new name should've been "Lord VOLDEMORTIAM" or something.

But then, he IS evil, so I suppose we should've expected cheating, but even on something as sacred as anagram clues? Even the Riddler would never do that.

A confession: Lord Voldemort has never completely done it for me as a villain. I love a good bad guy, but for some reason old moldy Voldy has never seemed as scary as I think he's intended to be. Maybe it's because when we first learn of him he's already been defeated by a baby. Maybe it's how weak he seems when he's hiding out on the back of a milquetoast's head or being carried around in fetal form (wouldn't it have been hilarious if he'd made Peter Pettigrew or somebody carry him around in one of those baby packs like Zach Galifanakas wore in The Hangover?). We get such a strong impression of him as something weak early on that even when he regains strengh, it's hard to shake that feealing of weakness.

Or maybe it's the lack of a nose. How can he smell your fear without a nose?

Vector Potter 18: Minerva McGonagal

Professor Minerva McGonagall:



Minerva McGonagall is, I think, an excellent name for a witch. Sounds very witchy to me. Maybe that's why, with such a classic witch name, Minerva is the witch we see the most often sporting the classic Halloween witch hat. Way to kick it old school, MC McG.

Minerva is also an animagus who can turn into a cat. This came in really useful that time Hogwarts was overrun with mice, when there was all this string that was rolled to nicely, and whenever you need someone to just stare halfheartedly out the window for hours on end.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vector Potter 17: Mrs. Weasley (and cookies!)

It's Ron (and the twins, and Ginny, and Percy, and so on and so on)'s mom, Mrs. Weasley:



It's the dear matriarch of the Weasley clan, Mrs. (aka Molly) Weasley, seen here offering you a plate of fresh, delicious cookies. I assume they're delicious, anyway. They look like chocolate chip, but you just never know in the wizarding world. They eat some strange things. But go ahead and try one. I want to see how you react before I try one.

Molly, along with husband Arthur is the parent of seven kids. They stopped with little Ginny either because they were satisfied that they'd produced a daughter at last or they were hoping to eventually have a non-ginger and finally just gave up.

(SPOILER ALERT FOR NON-READERS WAITING FOR THE LAST MOVIE)

Molly is also notable for uttering the only swear word (not to be confused with curse words, of which there are many) in the Harry Potter series, calling Bellatrix Lestrange a word that rhymes with the inoffensive-in-their-world "witch" just before killing her. Don't mess with Mrs. Weasley. Push her too far too often and she might get you an R rating.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Vector Potter 16: Nymphadora Tonks

Hey, kids. It's Nymphadora Tonks:



How things had changed for J.K. Rowling by the time "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was released. When the first one came out, they changed the title from "and the Philosopher's Stone" to "and the Sorcerer's Stone" for its US release. By the time the fifth came out, she had grown so powerful that she could name a new "character" "Nymphadora" and no one could stop her.

During this series, I've been mixing and matching influences when putting the characters together. Aside from the Mary Blair style influence, I've been taking a little from the movies, a little from the book descriptions (where Ron has freckles), a pinch of original American-edition Potter illustrator Mary Grandpre (who rightly, in my opinion, places the scar in the center of the forehead), and of course my own imagination. Tonks is the farthest away from her movie appearances as hos she looked in the movies was just so distant from how I pictured the character. Of course, as a shapeshifter she could look however she wants, but I got the feeling she usually went more for 80s-style punk than 70s-influenced rocker (is it me or do the later Potter movies seem as though the Wizarding World is just now getting Muggle fashions from the 70s? Or maybe England is?).

As a shapeshifter (or whatever the Potter series word is for shapeshifter), Tonks has the extra magic ability to change her appearance at will (unlike every other wizard who can do so with potions). This comes in handy during a key moment in the books when she... the time they need her to.... uh... Well, she changes her hair color a lot anyway.

Vector Potter 15: Dobby (and sock)

Well, look who we have here, it's Dobby the House Elf:


When I started this project and thought about which characters I would and wouldn't be making, I kind of thought Dobby was unlikely to make the list. He's not exactly Jar Jar Binks, but he's as close as the Potter series ever got to a Jar Jar type - mewling, hairless, referring to himself in the third person, and just a bit too broad with the comic relief.

Still there's something a lot more likable about Dobby the House Elf. Is it the lack of fart jokes? Is it because he is at least sometimes a valuable asset? Is it how his particular story concludes?

Dobby won't ever be my favorite character, but in the end I did wind up liking the little guy, and that's a lot more than I expected.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Vector Potter 14: Neville Longbottom and Trevor

Here's nervous, nerdy, and very lovable Neville Longbottom:



Poor Neville Longbottom is one of those kids who just always seems to be struggling - struggling with the terrible burden of the past, struggling to remember the password into Gryffindor, struggling to just walk and breath at the same time. He's an awkward kid, but you keep telling yourself he'll probably grow out of it.

Neville's parents, rebels against the evil Lord Voldemort, were tortured to the point of madness when he was very young. After that, he was raised by his stern grandmother (how stern? This is a woman who wore a stuffed vulture on her hat. Suggests a lot about her attitude, I think).

Many of the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have pet owls, but Neville has his little pet toad, Trevor. It's a little-known fact that students who have toads instead of owls also use their pets to send messages to people far away, though instead of taking mere hours for delivery, it takes several years. Also, the messages never arrive. Also, the owls eat the toads.

Neville eventually found something he really excelled in: Plants. Neville was a wizard in herbology class (OK, technically even the bad students were wizards, but you know what I mean). Being good with plants may seem just as nerdy as being bad at sports, but Neville proved that attitude wrong in the final battle of Hogwarts when he summoned great vines to come and strangle the life out of Bellatrix Lestrange, the very witch who had long ago tortured his parents.

Wait... that's not what happened? Well, it should have.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vector Potter 13: Cho Chang

Here's Cho Chang:



Cho Chang was a Ravenclaw student at Hogwarts and little Harry Potter's first crush. Before dating Harry, Cho Chang dated Cedric Diggory, but their relationship fell apart when Cedric was savagely murdered by the evil Lord Voldemort and then turned into a vampire. The next year, Cho dated our boy Harry and cried when she first kissed him. Most kids have awkward first kisses, but if you actually leave the girl crying, something has gone horribly wrong. After the crying kiss incident, Harry and Cho actually went on one more date, which somehow went even worse!

After that, Cho Chang quietly retired to a convent probably.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vector Potter 12: Sirius Black

And now, the prisoner of Azkaban himself, Sirius Black:



Sirius Black is Harry Potter's godfather, which seems to imply that wizard kids are baptized. Kind of surprising, right? Usually in modern times, a Godfather's only real duties are to stand around during the baptism and then perform a terrible Marlon Brando impersonation afterward. The traditional responsibilities of a godfather, however, also include assisting in the religious upbringing of the child (something that doesn't really come up in Potter), protecting the child (something Sirius at least attempts), and raising the child in the event of the parents deaths (well, he wanted to).

Sirius Black is an Animagus, a rare wizard with the ability to transform into one specific animal. Sirius, coincidentally sharing a name with the Dog Star, just so happens to transform into a massive, black dog. Also, his favorite Led Zepplin song is "Black Dog," though maybe that's not much of a coincidence. I mean, it's a pretty sweet song. What do you think, a guy like Sirius Black is going to be into "Stairway to Heaven?" I don't think so. "The Battle of Evermore?" No. "Black Dog." It's awesome.

Some lyrics:
"Didn't take too long 'fore I found out, what people mean my down and out.
Framed me for murder, perfect plan, sent me away to Azkaban.
I don't know but I been told, Lord Voldemort ain't got no soul."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vector Potter 11: Ron Weasley and Scabbers

Here at last is Harry Potter's best friend, Ron Weasley (and his pet rat, Scabbers):


Every worthy hero has a sidekick. Batman has his intelligent, capable Robin. Han Solo has the mighty and loyal Chewbacca. Harry Potter has Ron Weasley, a sidekick whose chief attributes seem to be whining and turning away from Harry whenever his feelings get slightly bruised.

Still, even if as a sidekick he is as shoddy and second-hand as his clothes, Ron always comes around eventually. I suppose that's what you need in a sidekick, at least at the most basic level.

Ron is shown here wearing one of his Christmas sweaters from his mother. Redheaded, wearnig an "R" sweater, and attracting girls who are much too good for him - I never realized before how much Ron Weasley has in common with Archie Andrews.

With Ron here is his pet rat Scabbers. A rat is a pretty poor pet to begin with, but (SPOILER ALERT) is an especially poor pet when he is secretly an evil lackey of your best friend's archenemy in disguise. What kind of man spends around a dozen years hiding out in the body of a rat? Answer: A man who likes cheese.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cornered: cute little Wonder Woman

Hogwarts is closed today for the Fourth of July (which I realize makes no sense whatsoever). Instead, here's my entry for today's Star Spangled theme on Cornered, Wonder Woman:


Check out the rest of the Star -Spangled Corners!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vector Potter 10: Bellatrix Lestrange

Time for the Deatheaters darkest lady, Bellatrix Lestrange:



She is crazy.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vector Potter 9: Severus Snape

And now, the teacher you hope you don't get for Potions class (before remembering that there's only one: Severus Snape.)



During the run of the books, Snape remained a figure of contention for many: is he a good guy or a bad guy? (Spoiler alert for you non-readers still waiting for the last movie to answer this for you) How was this a question? I thought it was pretty clear ever since the first book when we learn Snape was whispering some spell during a Quidditch match not to curse Harry, but protect him. After that, it was obvious: he was a good guy. A good guy who was a jerk, to be sure, but there are plenty of those in the world.

Snape had a natural ability with potions and created several new magical brews. Outside of Hogwarts, he also mixed juices with chemicals and invented the popular Muggle drink Snapple (which he pronounced "Snape-ell", though the marketing department messed that up).

Snape's mother's maiden name was Eileen Prince, and he is the second-cousin of rockstar (and secret wizard) Prince. It's widely believed the Prince song "If Eye Was The Man in Ur Life" was written about Snape's unrequited love for Lily Potter (nee Evans). Its chorus: "If Eye was the man in your life/ Eye'd make U happy/ Eye'd treat U right/ Eye'd buy U flowers every single day/Eye'd Give U power/ Eye'd do whatever U say."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vector Potter 8: Luna Lovegood (and bunny patronus)

Here's Luna "Looney" Lovegood and her bunny patronus:



I think we probably all went to school with someone like Luna Lovegood at some point. You know, the kid who would be sitting in the desk right next to you, but was also on a completely different planet.

Luna Lovegood's father published The Quibbler, the Wizarding World's equivalent of The National Enquirer. This was one of the reasons Luna was often ostracized by other kids, given that that Quibbler would write about outlandish, unbelievable creatures with silly names like The Crumple-Horned Snorkack. I never understood this. What made any of the creatures mentioned in the Quibbler seem any stranger than the outlandish, unbelievable creatures with silly names that the students of Hogwarts ENCOUNTERED ON A DAILY BASIS? These are kids that have dealt with Blast-Ended Skrewts without snickering about their names.

How does any story seem outlandish when you live in the wizarding world where dark wizards hide on the back of people's heads and government workers head into the office via magical toilets? How do you see the line between reality and bonkers tabloid story? WHERE IS THE LINE?

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah - Luna. Luna is a pretty great kid. She's a Ravenclaw, the house known for smart kids, despite showing constant bravery against both evil wizards and societal pressures. She's way braver than, say, Gryffindor's Seamus Finnegan. Sometimes I think that sorting hat is just picking houses for kids at random. It's a terrible system.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vector Potter 7: Fred and George Weasley

How are we this far into the series wihtout a single character named "Weasley?" Let's fix that with two at once:





Give it up for Fred and George, the Weasley Twins. That's Fred on the left and George on the right. You know how I can tell? Because I made this picture and arbitrarily decided, that's how.

The Weasley twins love causing touble. If you're friends with the Weasley twins, look out. If you're an enemy of the Weasley twins, LOOK. OUT. One of my favorite moments of the entire series comes when Hogwarts new headmistress/facist dictator Delores Umbridge makes one new rule to many for the brothers to bear. They decide to rebel like never before.




"You two," she went on, gazing down at Fred and George , "are about to learn what happens to wrong-doers in my school."



"You know what?" said Fred. "I don't think we are."
He turned to his twin.



"George," said Fred, "I think we've outgrown full-time education."



"Yeah, I've been feeling that way myself," said George lightly.



"Time to test our talents in the real world, d' you reckon?" asked Fred.



"Definitely," said George.



And before Umbridge could say a word, they raised their wands and said together: "Accio brooms!"


So remember, kids. Next time some adult tries to tell you to stay in school, just tell them the Weasley twins dropped out and went on to be successful small business owners. That's the moral of the Harry Potter series: Drop out of school and you'll be fine.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vector Potter 6: Hermione Granger

No stranger to danger, it's Hermione Granger:



Here's Hermione Granger and her pet half-cat, hald-kneezle Crookshanks. Of all the L'il Potter pieces I've done so far, I think this one reflects the influence of Mary Blair the most (Blair was longtime Disney artist, though you may also remember her illustrations for Little Golden Books).

Hermione Granger was born to two Muggle dentists - a fact that always surprises Americans who didn't realize there were that many dentists in England. Given that Hermione was born to two non-magical parents, it wasn't immediately clear where her powers came from so she was heavily recruited not only by Hogwarts but also by an American private facility: Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.

Hermione wound up being the smartest kid in Hogwarts, and probably was one of the smartest people there even including the teachers. Despite this, she didn't get sorted into the house for the smart kids, but the house for the brave kids because she's also uncommonly brave. Really, Hermione is particularly smart, brave, and ambitious and could therefore reasonably have been sorted into Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, or Slytherin (but not Hufflepuff, reserved for students who are not uncommonly smart, brave, or ambitious. It's always a little unclear just what makes a Hufflepuff. Mediocrity, I guess. I bet there are a lot of sad Hufflepuffs on sorting day).

With everything else she has going for her, at least Hermione is also really homely. What? Nope, she turns out to be beautiful as well (at least once she shows her parents that their years of studying dentistry can be bested by a teenager with a magic stick and she fixes her buck teeth). Aside from a mild tendency to be a bit of a know-it-all and a name that sounds like it should belong to your great grandmother, Hermione has pretty much everything going for her. Naturally, she therefore falls for a whiny redheaded boy who hates studying and whines about everything. Seems like a great match.

Let Hermione Granger be a lesson for awesome girls everywhere. Do not fall for the first guy who will talk to you at age 12. As you get older, other boys will stop being intimidated by your intelligence, looks, and outgoing personality too. Wait for them.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vector Potter 5: Draco Malfoy

My fifth L'il Potter character is that slimy Slytherin Draco Malfoy:



"Hello. My name is Draco Malfoy. My parents are Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Just based on that, guess if I'm a nice guy or an evil little snit. Just guess."

Draco is very proud of being a pure-blooded wizard, meaning all of his ancestors were wizards. You know what that means: like the British monarchy, he's the result of lots of inbreeding. I think that explains a lot of the attitude problem (and the easy bleeding).

Draco if a snob and a bully around Hogwarts, but it's a funny kind of bully given that things almost never go his way at all. Whenever he opens his little mouth, he usually winds up being turned into a ferret or getting a bloody nose from a girl. After a while, it's kind of hard to even see Harry as the underdog in their rivalry. Harry's famous and (usually popular), both of them are rich, and Harry always wins. I guess that's why, at the end of the series, Draco renounces his family fortune and builds a cabin in the woods where he can live by the sweat of his brow and be a friend to all the woodland creatures (this does not really happen).