Thursday, June 23, 2011

Minimate Customs: Blue Beetle

I've been incredibly prolific, for better or for worse,  with this dorky little Minimate thing I do of late.  No lie, I've finished something like three dozen projects that were in various states production over the last few weeks.  Two factors combined to explain this surge: one, I finally printed off a new, large group of decals; and two, my family was out of town for a few days.  So my dining room turned into my own little Minimate factory over the weekend, with me (in some cases) just putting the finishing touches on a longstanding project, or (in others) built someone from start to finish.  Other men, when their wives and children leave them alone, hit the strip clubs.  I make Minimates.  Judge accordingly.

So, anyway, I'm (understandably, I think) eager to show some of these guys off.  I'm very, very pleased with many of these, and some (like the guy you'll see today) I'd categorize as among my best work.  So you're going to see a lot of Minimate posts in the coming days.  In some cases, I'll do themes; others, those which I think are particularly strong, will be on there own.  Like this guy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Finally, a Dallas Sports Victory I Can Get Behind

I watched exactly one half of an NBA game this year: LeBron James' much hyped return to Cleveland.  And, since it was on opposite either an Eagles game or Phillies playoff game(can't remember which), I didn't even watch all that much of it.  Still, that's more then I'd watched over the last several years, certainly during the regular season.  Basketball, particularly the NBA version, just doesn't do it for me as a spectator sport.  I find the game tedious, the league and its' players unlikable.  Even during the Jordan Era, when I cut my teeth as a sports fan, I was never particularly swayed by the charms of the NBA.

So it's curious that I found myself invested in these just-concluded NBA playoffs without actually watching any of the games (until last night, when I caught the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the finals).  Part of that interest is because the NBA had, this year, achieved a weird equilibrium between being wide open and dominated by a handful of teams.  A distinctive class system emerged: you had the elite teams, six or eight stacked superteams that all looked like they could go all the way; the middle class, the decent teams with dreams of filling out the playoff field and not much else; and the rest.  Never, in my lifetime at least, have you seen a sport quite so top-heavy as the NBA this year.

Of course, interest in the NBA was driven largely this year by the emergence of a new villain: the Miami Heat.  And I, certainly, was just as interested in anybody in watching them fall.  What's curious about the Heat (and, specifically, LeBron James) is that they don't relish the role of villain the way others have.  Most teams, and players, that have engendered such negative feelings have relished their black hat, but the Heat haven't quite gotten things figured out.  LeBron might not have figured out how to be Michael Jordan, but he sure as hell doesn't have a clue how to be Dennis Rodman.

What's really interesting about these finals is the team cast in the role of National Last Hope: the Dallas Mavericks.  I think we'd all relegated them into the category of perpetual bridesmaid, that weird subclass of elite teams that, year after year, somehow come up short.  In the NBA, you've always had an abnormally large group.  I think we all just assumed that Dirk Nowitski's Mavs would join Reggie Miller's Pacers, Pat Ewing's Knicks, Karl Malone's Jazz, Chris Webber's Kings, and Allen Iverson's Sixers as fondly remembered, but ultimately fruitless, teams of unfulfilled greatness.  Suddenly, there's hope for every team that's been so close, but yet so far.  Yes, in the Mavericks' victory I somehow find an omen for the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.

People want to look at the Mavericks defeat of the Heat as a triumph of good versus evil; I don't, if only because, in my experience, evil wins more often then not in the NBA (exibit A: how many rings does Kobe Bryant have?).  But that's certainly a compelling storyline, so I guess we'll stick with that.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Minimate Customs: Making Mine Marvel

As I continue to clear out my Minimate custom archives with "theme" posts, let's turn away from the DCU for the moment and take a look at the Distinguished Competition.  As I've previously stated, I don't make many Marvel customs.  But I've been making more recently, probably because I've got a lot more opportunity, since I'm printing decals, and I've come to the Hypno- Hustler, so I'd better take matters into my own hands (note: I'm not actually making the Hypno-Hustler... but I bet this guy will).  So what follows is a quick tour of the fringes of the Marvel Universe, where I've always preferred to hang.