Sunday, February 27, 2011

Alien Slacks Billboard

Just an imaginary ad for a non-existent product.

After I drew the alien in his spiffy new slacks, I thought, as I often do, how I could make the illustration  more complicated. So I placed him in an alien environment, added a logo and cheesy tagline and turned it into a billboard ad.

The logo was hand lettered (with a little distortion help from Illustrator).

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Alien Slacks

Just another sketchbook doodle that I turned into a full-blown illustration.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the original sketch. His arms are a lot shorter here. Not really sure why I lengthened them in the final drawing.

Helpful Tip #1: How To Choose A Name For Your Dog

Here's a helpful tip for all of you readers out there who are racking your brains trying to come up with a suitable name for your new dog:

Step 1: Think of a name.

Step 2: Stand in the middle of your front yard or in the center of your local park.

Step 3: Scream your dog's potential name over and over at the top of your lungs.

Step 4: Do you feel like a bloomin' idiot whilst screaming the name? If not, then you've chosen your dog's name wisely. If you DO feel ridiculous, then you need to go back to Step 1, because believe me, you'll be repeating Step 3 ad nauseum throughout the life of your new pet.

That's the valuable lesson I learned back in the early 1980s. I'd just got a Dalmatian puppy (that's him in the photo above), and I thought it would be the ultimate in coolness to name him Frodo. Yes, I said Frodo. Bear in mind that this was decades before Peter Jackson ever dreamed of filming Tolkien's trilogy, in a time when the only people who'd ever heard of Lord of the Rings were basement-dwelling Dungeons & Dragons players. To the public at large, the name Frodo had about as much meaning as a handful of Scrabble tiles thrown randomly onto the counter.

Frodo had an unfortunate tendency to hightail it out of our yard at every possible opportunity, so I spent many an hour standing outside screaming his name, much to the puzzlement of the neighborhood. I knew during the first ten seconds that I'd chosen the wrong handle for him.

So remember, it might seem like a good idea when you're sitting in the comfort of your home to name your dog "Mr. P. J. McFluffington," but in practice, not so much.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Scooby Who

Hey, it's a mashup of two of my favorite things: Doctor Who & Scooby Doo.

I was watching the most recent season of Doctor Who on DVD and it struck me that Rory very much resembled a live-action Shaggy (much more than Matthew Lillard did in those two mediocre Scooby movies). That was all it took for the idea of a Scooby/Doctor Who mashup to pop into my head.

I found the classic Scooby Doo "running characters" title screen online and started substituting Who characters for the Scooby ones. Obviously the Doctor had to be Fred. Amy worked out perfectly as Daphne. As I mentioned earlier, Rory makes a perfect Shaggy. River Song's not really all that Velma-like, but she'll have to do. I needed a Scooby, so who better to fill that part than the only dog in the Whoniverse-- good old K-9? Then all that was left was to substitute a Cyberman for the Creeper. It worked out much better than I expected. Why, it's almost as if the Who producers planned it that way.

I tried to match the Hanna Barbera animated look as much as possible, so it's a little different from my usual style. I think this was the first time I've ever drawn a Cyberman. They're tough to draw. Lots of angles and fussy little lines.

Before anyone says anything, I know that Amy didn't wear that outfit in The Pandorica Opens, but the Scooby girls both wore skirts, and I wanted at least one of the females here to be wearing one as well, so I fudged Amy's outfit a bit. Technically Rory should be in his Roman Legionnaire duds too, but I nixed that idea because I wanted to play up his resemblance to Shaggy. And of course K-9's never been in any Matt Smith episodes, but I needed a dog, so... chalk it up to Artistic License.

The text was hand drawn, based on the original Scooby lettering. Odd that the original title is actually a question, but there's an exclamation point at the end instead of a question mark.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the original Scooby Doo title card.

I Have Gazed Into The Abyss...

I generally go see a movie every weekend, but due to increased work hours I haven't been able to go for the past two or three months. No movies means I've not seen any trailers for upcoming films for a while. That's why I was absolutely gobsmacked this weekend when I saw that THIS just came out:

Really, Hollywood? A city full of talent and millions of dollars at your disposal, and THIS is the best you can come up with?

This makes the third time they've trodden this hard-packed and well worn ground, but this time there's a twist. Big Momma's son witnesses a mob hit, so he has to dress like a woman and hide out in an all girl's school for his own protection, thereby ripping off Sister Act and grafting it to this mess. You know you're in trouble when you start mining Whoopi Goldberg movies for inspiration. There's not an original idea within a hundred miles of this so-called film, and sensible moviegoers are well advised to steer clear of these tepid waters. 

Was anyone, anywhere (other than Martin Lawrence) really clamoring for a third installment of this dismal series?

Sometimes I wonder how original and thought-provoking films like Inception ever get made. In fact I'm not even sure Inception is a real movie; I'm beginning to believe I just dreamed I went to the theater and saw it.

Hollywood's been doing a lot of whining lately about how ticket sales are steadily dropping. They need look no further than this poster for the answer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chickensaurus Rex

Hey Science! Lay off the dinosaurs, huh?

When I was a kid I thought dinosaurs were the coolest creatures ever. The idea that giant monsters once walked the face of the Earth was the most awesome thing I could possibly imagine.

Unfortunately, every year Science discovers new facts about dinosaurs that strips them of their coolness.

First they told us that everyone's favorite dinosaur, the Brontosaurs, never existed. What we thought was a Brontosaurus was actually the much less cool Apatosaurus. Then they told us that most dinosaurs probably had feathers. That immediately made them about a thousand times less cool to me. Giant monster lizards are awesome. Big birds are not. Birds we've still got all over the place.

Now Science has dealt dinosaurs the ultimate blow. They're now telling us that the most fearsome creature to ever exist, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, was also covered in feathers, and was not a ruthless, meat-eating predator. It was in all likelihood a vegetarian. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't like the idea that the T-Rex was nothing more than a giant rooster.

Tell you what, Science. If you uncover any new information that makes dinosaurs cooler, like they could shoot laser beams from their eyes or something, then by all means tell us. But if you discover any more stupid stuff about them, like they were really only 6 inches tall, then keep it to yourself.

Here's my attempt at making the best of the situation and trying to make the T-Rex cool again.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the original rough sketch of the Chickensaurus.

Here's the tighter digital sketch I did. In the final image I changed his legs to a more dynamic pose, so it doesn't look like he's just standing there waiting on a bus.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

REVISED Doctor Who Infographic

Wow, what a crazy few days it's been. I never dreamed my little infographic would ever get so much attention. Thanks to for originally featuring it over at their blog. Then they told two blogs, and they told two blogs, and so on and so on until tens of thousands of people were looking at it every day. It's my Official Fifteen Minutes Of Internet Fame!

The original infographic has now passed 100,000 views on Flickr! Thank Kew, internet!

A lot of fans wrote me, pointing out various mistakes and flaws in the info. That's fine; I was writing it from my own knowledge of the show, which is admittedly spotty, especially where the early Doctors are concerned.

I finally got the chance to take (most) everyone's suggestions and corrections and make a newly revised version of my Doctor Infographic. If your suggestion wasn't used, don't take it as a snub. Please keep in mind there is limited space here and I have to be concise. There's simply not enough room to include some of the convoluted back stories and plot lines that some people wanted to see. Think of it as a shorthand version, or an introduction to the Doctor.

This is the final version of the Infographic. For now.

And for those of you who've asked, I'm planning on making it available to buy as a poster. Have patience.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Please Stand By

Hello, faithful readers! I know it's been a while since I posted anything, and I just wanted to assure everyone that I haven't abandoned my blog. Among other stressful events in my life lately, I've been under the weather for the past week or so with some kind of bug that I just can't seem to shake. Whenever I do get a free evening in which I could be blogging, I end up spending it trying to sleep off whatever I've got.

Naturally this had to come at the same time that my Doctor Who Infographic got picked up and reblogged by 4 or 5 major blogs (Digg, Nerdist, Blastr & Laughing Squid), causing the entire interweb to focus its Sauron-like gaze onto me. The response has been nothing short of amazing. My work's never before been exposed to so many people all at the same time. It's a little overwhelming to think of how many people are looking at it right now. Too bad I'm not conscious so I can enjoy it.

I'm feeling better today, so I'm hopeful I'm over the worst of it.
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