Monday, December 27, 2010

Minimate Customs: Strong Bad

This one's a little bit of a departure, in that this Minimate was not made for myself, but for my wife as one of her Christmas presents.  Hillary's a big fan of the web cartoon Homestar Runner, and in particular Homestar's (I guess?) nemesis, Strong Bad.  Here's a look at the guy:

Well, one day I was scrolling through Cubeecraft, a site that offers free downloadable papercraft toys.  They are very neat, but also make for great Minimate decal templates (with some adaptation).  One of the characters available in their pop culture section is (you guessed it) Strong Bad, which put the idea in my head.  I had a couple sets of boxing gloves sitting around from the Rocky Minimates, so once I made the template, the rest was easy.


As you can see, Strong Bad's rather... unique body type doesn't translate exactly to a Minimate's dimensions, but what can you do?  Really, the hardest part of the whole thing was not giving him to Hillary right away, but I stayed strong and made it to Christmas morning, where he was warmly received.  I also made one of these for my buddy Dave, another big Strong Bad fan, but he's a little different, since I didn't have another pink torso handy and had to use a slightly tan one.  Hope he's opened it by now....

Oh, and here's my decal, in case anyone out there wants their own (you're on your own for the boxing gloves, though):

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Minimate Customs: Shade the Changing Man

One of my all-time favorite comics series is Peter Milligan's Shade the Changing Man, one of the late '80's mature readers books that DC published that eventually became the foundation for Vertigo.  For my money, it's the best long series in the Vertigo catalog; yes, better then Sandman, and Preacher, and certainly the criminally overrated Transmetropolitan. Though, I have to say, the series does fall apart a bit after issue #50, when Milligan kills off one of the main characters whom, it turns out, was actually the heart and soul of the book.  Milligan admitted in an interview with the Comics Journal that this was probably a mistake, although it's one that he would repeat again in X-Statix.  Some people never learn, even when they learn.

Anyway.  To give you an idea of who I'm talking about, here's a couple bonus wallpapers I made of Shade:

 The artwork here is by Chris Bachelo, Shade's original artist who would go on to greater fame at Vertigo by illustrating two Death mini-series.  He then went to Marvel, where he does largely shitty (though stylish) work on the likes of the X-Men, Spider-Man, and other characters for whom he's wholly inappropriate.

So Shade was always on my to-do list, and, well, one day I did 'em.

His hair comes from the Secret Invasion Phoenix, his head from BSG's Sam Anders.  The hair, I think, is what spurred on his creation, but the face is what gives him just the right poet/pretty boy look.  His boots come from the ice skates that came with Pet Shop Adrian (and yes, I hated to ruin them, but sacrifices must be made sometimes). 

And the coat.  Shade's funky coat.  I really wasn't sure how to do this; in the comics, Shade's coat is very much the byproduct of computer coloring, so I tried as best I could to replicate the blend.  It's just an old white lab coat Sharpied in many colors. Here's a look from the back:

For once, my general sloppiness was actually a help, and not a burden.  He may well be my favorite Minimate custom; my buddy Kevin called him my "masterpiece", and I'm not one to argue... okay, I am, but not in this instance.  Issues of Shade are pretty easy to find in the cheapie bins, and DC has been reprinting the series recently; if your curiosity is at all peaked by what you see here, I strongly recommend you check this overlooked classic out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Miracle at the New Meadowlands

Haven't seen this yet?  Then watch it, because it's fucking awesome:

I love Joe Buck's call:  "Gets a block! Are you kidding!"  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Made a Quiz--Marvel/DC Crossovers

Yeah, busy day around here... I made another comics quiz. This one relates to the Marvel/DC intercompany crossovers, on which I'll have more to say at some point.

Can you name the DC/Marvel Comics intercompany crossovers? - sporcle

I Made a Quiz-- Showcase 1st Appearances

Here's a new comics quiz that I made: characters that first appeared in DC's legendary 60's series Showcase. Not a whole lot more to say about it.

Can you name the comic book characters that first appeared in Showcase? - sporcle

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Minimate Customs: Hourman and Green Lantern

As I've mentioned in the past, a lot of my work has been done in filling out the ranks of the DC Minimate Universe. And a big part of that has been finishing off the Justice Society of America, comics' first super team. One of my favorites has always been Hourman; I think I probably first saw him in an old JSA/JLA crossover (which used to happen annually in the pages of Justice League of America), and I first really took notice of him in a not-quite-as-old JSA/JLA crossover. Basically, I just liked his costume: yellow and black, with a cool yellow hood. And he had unique abilities, gaining superhuman strength and speed for an hour by taking what is, in effect, a short-term steroid pill. It's probably pretty dumb for a guy that only has super powers for an hour at a time to advertise that in his name, but whatever. Here's the cover to one of those JLA issues featuring Hourman (he's on the left between the Golden Age Flash and Black Canary):

So Hourman was obviously on my short list, but a little daunting because of his hood. But I got an idea on how to pull it off by looking at the Pocket Superheroes Hourman, which uses a yellow hood piece with some black paint on the head to replicate the traditional black shading of Hourman's hood. Bingo.
The Pocket Superheroes figure also came in handy because I was able to swipe his hourglass for this guy. His hood comes from the Spectre (painted yellow, obviously), and his head from the Spirit, with some black Sharpie extending the mask (more on the Spirit some other time). His cape comes from Robin, with some red and black Sharpie detail work, also seen on the legs from the AIM Soldier. Rounding him out is a belt from Daredevil, with the billyclub holster cut off. I'm pretty happy with him; I suppose I could still paint over those little black lines on his legs, but other then that he's pretty great.

I'm going to post one more today-the Golden Age Green Lantern- featuring my first foray into the world of decals. Most of the better customizers have been using decals for years, but I've only now been getting into them, thanks to the example set by the great Luke Porter at the Minimate Factory. Luke was kind enough to send me a few decals to sample, and I've since started making and printing my own. I'll start showing those off once I take some pictures of the finished projects.

Anyway. This custom stems directly from a discussion on the Minimate Multiverse boards about making an Alan Scott custom. I stole... er... copied the formula used by MM member Nervous, subbing a Hal Jordan GL head for the one he made (with the mask Sharpied purple, which wasn't 100% successful). The cape comes from Ocean Master, the belt from Ares, and my favorite touch, his ring hand, comes from the Kingpin (more Sharpieing here). Oh, I guess I should post the picture:

His boots aren't really comics-accurate, but make for an acceptable (and easy!) substitute. Even without the decal he's pretty much recognizable, but with it he's better then I could have hoped. These guys are two of my favorites, and the best of the JSA ones I've done, save for a few villains that I'll be showing off at some point.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Banes of My Existence: Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann is the absolute worst football color commentator I've ever heard. He was a key cog in what was, year after year, the most dreadful announcing team ever: the ESPN Sunday Night Football crew, with Mike Patrick and, later, Paul McGuire. Paul Zimmerman, the great Sports Illustrated football writer, used to rank the NFL announce teams every year, and he railed against these clowns for year. I don't think they ever managed a star (out of a five star system), and I don't recall anyone ever expressing disagreement. Simply put, Joe Theismann makes a broadcast unlistenable.

He was finally put out to pasture, after one year on Monday Night Football. And no one outside of Joe Theismann missed him for one bleeping second. But, inexplicably, the NFL Network added him to the pretty solid team of Bob Papa and Matt Millen, and the result has been sadly predictable. Imagine if FEMA decided to give Mike Brown another shot, and you'll get the idea.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few nuggets from tonight's Eagles-Texans game:
  • Talking about a Texans receiver whom had just made a catch on second down: "I wouldn't be surprised if they go back to him right here." This was said as the receiver was shown heading to the sidelines.
  • After an Eagles sack: "Well, that's what happens when you send more then they can block. [Brief pause.] This time, it's only four."
  • Seconds before the referee announces an offensive holding call, said confidently: "This'll be defensive holding".
  • On Houston star receiver Andre Johnson, late in the game: "The Eagles have completely taken Andre Johnson out of the second half of this game. He had the one catch along the sideline for about 7 yards, but that's it". Johnson's second half stats to that point: 3 catches for 58 yards, including a 31 yarder. As if to pound the point home, NFL Network posted his stats to that point: 4 catches, 100 yards.
Theismann is the classic example of a dumb guy that thinks he's smart, and tries to prove it over and over. Oh, I almost forgot, my favorite Joe Theismann factoid! Joe's second wife, Jeanne, caught him in an affair and confronted him. As she told the court during their divorce proceedings: ''he said, and I quote, 'God wants Joe Theismann to be happy.' ''