Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! - 2012

Currently on vacation in North Carolina with my family.  Here's a drawing I based upon a hand-drawn pencil sketch, took a picture, uploaded it, and did the usual tablet on Photoshop thing, tracing and coloring it.  This is the last drawing for the end of the year.

Hope you all have a great one!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from Ryusei Works - 2011

Today, for Christmas, I offer you readers my Christmas card (done quickly late last night, because I was afraid I wasn't going to get this done; plus I go on vacation later tonight), featuring Lily Merriweather riding on Rekira, done on tablet in Photoshop!

This may or may not be my last tablet drawing for 2011; whether or not I take my tablet with me (since I have a laptop), or I do the usual hand drawn stuff while I'm there, or both.  Either way, I hope you like this, anyway. I'll let this card do the talking.  See you all next time, if not the New Year!

Friday, December 09, 2011

A new Lily piece, and RIP Ricky Garduno

Here's yet another Lily test, done this morning on tablet in Photoshop, complete with blue draft lines!  Some people (artists included) like the new hairdo I did for Lily, so I just might use it after all.  :)

And something sad happened this past week; animator/cartoonist Ricky Garduno died at the young age of 35.  Some say it was suicide, which makes his passing more tragic.  (He was very depressed, I hear.)  Although I never met Ricky in person, he became a friend on Facebook a while back, and he enjoyed my art and a lot of other cool stuff I shared there, even commenting a little here and there.  That made things more poignant, so I had to acknowledge that.  Below, here's something I just finished tonight, on tablet in Photoshop, featuring Lily with Kimbo from Garduno's 1930 Nightmare Theater, featured on Dumm Comics (one of my favorite comic strip sites).

Rest in Peace, Ricky.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Charlie Brown Vs. the World!

Here's another piece I just finished today!  Mom thought this was funny.  :)

I'm a big fan of the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (Universal; 2010), based upon Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley's acclaimed graphic novel series!  The movie was not afraid of its comic-book roots, and is the closest we'll ever get to 60s Batman-style campiness today!  Colorful, action-packed, funny, exciting, even poignant.

Scott Pilgrim is basically the Canadian slacker version of Charlie Brown, and the rest of the characters in Scott's world draw parallels to Peanuts' characters, too, when you get right down to it.  And it was that which inspired me to do this parody poster, with Charlie in Scott's place!  Drawn on tablet in Photoshop.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Today, Austin-based artist/fellow tokusatsu fan Matt Frank turns 26 today!  I met him in person at this past Dragon*Con, along with several other friends I'd have only spoken to on the Internet, and it was a great time to be had.

And for his birthday today, I whipped up a new Rekira drawing for him!  Done on tablet in Photoshop.

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Hope you have a great one!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Megaro-Goji portrait and two Lily tests

Had a busy but great Thanksgiving!

Below is a quickie I just finished for fun:

A portrait of my personal favorite Godzilla design (the "Megaro-Goji" from Godzilla Vs. Megalon)!  Drawn on tablet in Photoshop.

And here are two Lily pieces I did before Thanksgiving (also done on tablet in Photoshop), with two alternate designs/hairstyles:

Shorthaired variant.  Drawn on the 18th.  Logo is close to the final version (already completed)!

I like this one better!  This is more like the final design I'd settle on, although the hairstyle might go back to the original (which this one is a variant on).  Drawn on the 23rd.

Monday, November 14, 2011

REKIRA Comic Test 01

Here, for my 40th post on Blogspot, I present some more new Rekira pieces I did last night.  A couple of test pieces for the comic project.  Both are done on tablet in Photoshop.

Here's an illustrated color test, for a 50s-style cartoon-like design:

Here's a somewhat rough take of what a typical page would look like, with shading:

And here's the same one as above, tinted in blue.  I thought this looked beautiful.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bessie Kills Giants

I recently read a really charming and poignant graphic novel story, called I Kill Giants, which was written by Joe Kelly (of Man of Action Studios) and drawn by J.M. Ken Niimura, and published by Image Comics.  The comic is about a young girl named Barbara Thorson, who's a troubled outsider (getting into trouble at school, bullies, etc.), and imagines herself as a slayer of monsters in a fantasy world, being a D&D freak and all.  (Somewhat similar to Pan's Labyrinth.)

I sort of thought or Barbara as a more badass version of The Mighty B!'s Bessie Higgenbottom, in that, despite their differences, they're both "nerdy" bespectacled characters!  And then, it finally dawned on me; "I should do a drawing of Bessie as Barbara!"  And here it is, drawn tonight on tablet in Photoshop.

I think my Bessie drawing skills are getting better!  :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pippi at the Picnic

I present two new Pippi Longstocking works!

The one below I completed tonight on Veteran's Day, in Photoshop on tablet.  Here is Pippi, Tommy, and Annika enjoying a stroll in the countryside.

And here's something I completed on August 5th, a scene from the first Pippi Longstocking book, where Pippi wrestles an irate bull to save Tommy from its fury, and actually broke its horns off!  (Yes, like I said, the books are that cool.)  This is one of my favorite scenes.  This one was done in Flash on tablet.

I may do some more drawings of this scene, only better!  (And probably in Photoshop.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kali!

I would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to the very lovely, funny, and talented animator/singer, Kali Fontecchio!

I thought that with my drawing spirit recently restored (and fighting my cold, which is wearing down), I'd actually do a birthday card for her, as I enjoyed her work so much!  I'd been kept so busy for the rest of the day, so I rushed to do it at the last minute.  I hope she likes it, and the rest of you out there like it as well.  :)

Finished about 15 minutes ago, on tablet in Photoshop.  Here's Kali's character, Maude Macher, doing a birthday greeting with Lily Merriweather and Rekira!

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Dynamic Heralds - Introduction

Introducing the other heroes of Rekira...

SUPERHUMAN TASK FORCE: DYNAMIC HERALDS!  (Choujin Sentai Dainamikku Heraruzu)

The above picture was drawn on my tablet in Photoshop early this morning, and the logo was done very painstakingly in Flash, pasted into the file.

As you can tell, the Dynamic Heralds are my own answer to not only American comic-book superheroes (like the Fantastic Four or the Teen Titans), but also Toei's Super Sentai Series.  (My personal favorites are 1975's Secret Task Force Goranger, created by Shoutarou Ishinomori, and 1983's Science Task Force Dynaman, the first Super Sentai to be seen in the US mainstream... sort of.)

Back in 1997, I started work on my own attempt at emulating the Super Sentai Series, and the project was called Five-Element Task Force Dynamic V (Gogyou Sentai Dainamikku Faibu), which would've been a sort of brother series to what became Rekira (called Tatsu-Man at the time).  It would've been more marginally realistic than Toei's fare (ie. Ishinomori's 1977 series Swift Hero Zubat and the 1997 anime series Virus Buster Serge, which had one of the best "realistic" attempts at a Super Sentai-like team ever!).  Later, I decided to combine the Dynamic V project into Rekira, and the working names for the team included the last one I used, Superhuman Task Force Hyper Heros (sic; 5-letter words), before I had worked and worked on the concept into what it is now, with the name being a reference to Dynamic V (paired with another 7-letter word).  I'll share the concepts with you readers another time.

Below is the basic Dynamic Heralds Rollcall!  Done in Photoshop (with a tablet) tonight.

Yep, the very same five youngsters I reviewed in my last post!  Each member was genetically modified, or "die-cast," in a digital molecular machine called HERA (Hyper-Electric Re-Atomizer), and also given special mutant powers, depending on their talents.  The basic features of each member is near-invulnerability, regeneration, and enhanced agility.  And they also can't age because of that.  (Maybe that could explain why 70+ year-old comic-book superheroes stay so young!)  Their costumes, made of DynamiChrome, are synthetic suits, generated onto the wearer's body via digital watches called DynamiCores.  The suits can also regenerate if damaged.

The Heralds are assembled by Verena's father, renowned scientist Dr. Victor Freston (alias "Prometheus") and his assistant, Raymond Wertz, who acts as the team's leader.  This portrait of Dr. Freston was drawn on tablet in Photoshop on November 4th.

A somewhat more detailed description of the team:

Herald 1: Captain Vertex (Raymond Wertz - Red) - The leader and gadgeteer.  Has no super-powers, aside from his own basic "die-cast" features, thus relying on his DynamiChrome suit, which has the ability to move for 30 seconds in just 3 seconds (which would've killed the average human being)!

Herald 2: Mysti-Girl (Verena Freston - Blue) - The ESPer of the team.  Can telepathically move objects by first shooting them with a ray from her fingertip.  Also has Enviro-Vision, in which she can see beyond her own surroundings like a map (as though she were seeing herself inside a labyrinth from above).

Herald 3: Steel Hammer (Isaiah Vanterpool - Silver) - The strongman of the team.  His hands can change into hitting weapons, like a hammer and a wrecking ball.  He can also discharge electricity, as well as generate magnetism to catch a metal object.

Herald 4: Therma-Gal (Theresa Lin - Pink) - The team's energy shooter.  Shoots rainbow-colored Rain-Bolt beams from her hands, as well as shoot a very powerful Ion-Prisma Beam, which can burn her opponents to a crisp, or at best, temporarily blind them just from looking directly at it.

Herald 5: Aquati-Kid (Brian Copcutt - Yellow) - The submersible of the team.  He can breathe underwater, and, when in contact with water, control it as a weapon.  He can also talk to undersea lifeforms.

But the question remains... how will the Dynamic Heralds face the mighty Rekira!?!

Stay tuned for more Rekira stuff!

More characters from REKIRA (and a brief character review)!

So, I introduced you to Tatsuo Kongoji last time:

Now, here are more characters from Rekira:

Below is a gifted group of young friends, led by computer programmer Raymond Wertz:

With Verena Freston (whom I also introduced to you in a previous post):

Athlete and gamer Isaiah Vanterpool:

Verena's cheerful friend Theresa Lin, an artist:

And surfer/skateboarder/slacker Brian Copcutt:

What do these five dynamic youngsters have in common?  The answer will be revealed soon!

Friday, November 04, 2011

New REKIRA character preview - Captain Vertex!

For the first time in this blog, I unveil a new character for Rekira:

Herald 1 - Captain Vertex!

Drawn tonight on tablet in Photoshop.

Who is Captain Vertex?  And why does he have the title of "Herald 1?"  You'll find out in one of the next posts!  (During the weekend, or next week the latest.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

New Sketches for November!

At the moment, I am recovering from a cold I've got after my trip to Pennsylvania two weekends ago (most probably the after-effects of same).  Shortly before Halloween, I managed to pass the time to do three sketches:

Of course, I intend for Rekira to have human characters as well!  And for the first time on this blog, I give you a first look!  (If you've seen these characters elsewhere on my other art pages, there have been some changes since then.)  Drawn on October 29th on my tablet in Photoshop, here is Tatsuo Kongoji, the hero of Rekira:

Also drawn on the same night, here is Verena Freston, the series' heroine.  She is part of another set of characters, which I will reveal on this blog in due time.

At this point I was feeling really sick (constantly coughing, really cold, almost shivering, and somewhat weak), and to try to struggle with my cold, I did this "get well soon" card for myself.  Here is a visibly injured and fatigued Rekira, surrounded by his various monster foes.  I pre-traced everything very well, but by the time I got to the monsters in the background, I almost lost it, due to my condition, and I must admit, I held together very bravely at the last moment.  Drawn on October 30th.

More to come!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The monster formerly known as Chelios!

Here's another one I just completed tonight (Oct. 28)!

Drawn completely in Photoshop with my tablet.

Remember this monster?  This is the monster you saw in my Rekira video!  Though some people were perplexed by the monster's name; Chelios (which I didn't know could be a man's name, the name of at least two famous people)!  Chelios is also supposed to be Greek for "eel," so in response to that, I figured I'd add a "saurus" to give it a kaijuu image!  Thus, the monster's name is:

Electric Eel Monster CHELIOSAURUS (Denki-Unagi Kaijuu KERIOZAURUSU)!

I'm much more satisfied with this design than the more complicated design I've used before.  Especially with the more simplified stripes on his body, much like the kind you find on a fish or some amphibians.

I'll add more monster designs as soon as I can.

The Omicrons - the evil henchmen of REKIRA!

Here's a first look at some of Rekira's more basic foes:

Drawn with my tablet in Photoshop tonight, these are the Omicrons, my own answer to the henchmen usually fought by Japanese superheroes (Masked Riders fighting Shocker Soldiers, etc.).  In a way, they're also like the Daleks, especially the ones from the two Doctor Who movies from the 60s (Dr. Who and the Daleks, and Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.), in which the Daleks, compared to their TV counterparts, have colors to designate their rank.  (The recent Paradigm Daleks from the new TV series has attempted this, too!)  Masked Rider V3 (Toei; 1973) also has Destron Soldiers in two different styles; the basic black & white ones, and the white and red ones for scientists.

The Omicrons are robot spies mass-built and governed by the mysterious super-computer, Telikos.  The red Field Commander leads a team of green Soldiers, all wearing a disguise like the one pictured, and keep a low profile to monitor all outside activity.  The blue Laboratory Workers are in Telikos' secret base building and monitoring all equipment.  Their skeleton-like appearance is very frightening and menacing to their human targets.

Below is the original concept pencil sketch for the Omicrons, finished on September 19th:

More Rekira art to come!

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Rekira Design Sketch for October 2011

Just finished a new Rekira design sketch this morning, as a round-up for the project!  Done in Photoshop with my Bamboo Fun tablet.

This one's called "Type A," for this is the "Dragon Talon" version.  (Later, I'll post the "Type B" "Webbed Paw" version.)

More Rekira character designs to follow!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pippi Longstocking Character Lineup 01

It's been a while, but I finally finished the first set of characters from the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren, drawn in my style!  Drawn over a pencil sketch with my Bamboo Fun tablet in Flash (on October 12).

Here it is in Swedish:

And English:

More on the way!  (Yes, I intend to include Mr. Nilsson and Pippi's Horse!)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

This past week, Steve Jobs, co-founder of the electronics company Apple, Inc., died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.  His legendary status is well deserved, and it's sad to see him go so soon.  He was a pioneer, an innovator, a billionaire, and a great inspiration to us all.  And despite his health problem in the last several years, he pressed on bravely.  I could go as far as to call him the real-life Tony Stark/Iron Man!

And thus, he deserves a tribute.  Finished just now on Flash is a tablet drawing I did of Lily Merriweather paying tribute to Jobs.

Thank you for years of quality computers and groundbreaking gadgets, Steve.  We'll miss you.

Some new stuff for October 2011 - Part 1

Here's some stuff I did more recently!  Aside form sketches and such (which still need to be scanned and posted), these are either experimental stuff, or from in-progress projects.

Below is a tablet doodle I did of Lily in Photoshop (to test my color/line skills)!  Drawn tonight in over an hour.  Note a somewhat different hairstyle for Lily!  (I may still use the one I've been using before.)  Just thought I'd give her a wild look!

And below is a sneak-peek at a new Rekira CG model I'm working on!  This is how it looks, as of late, upon molding it in ZBrush, from a rough model I did in 3DSMax.  This is the same technique I used on the previous model, only it's much more refined and detailed.  I like how it came out!

I will later add the mapping and additions, such as the horns, claws, and the star-like diamond in his forehead.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here Comes Pippi Longstocking!

It's been a while since I posted anything new, as I've been busy moving to another part of Richmond. Progress is going well, and to get me back into drawing, I just did this movie-style teaser poster of one of my favorite characters, Pippi Longstocking!

In both Swedish:
...and English:
This was done entirely in Flash. I drew Pippi in my own Mighty B!-esque cartoony style (similar to what I'm doing for Lily Merriweather) with my Bamboo Fun tablet, and I had painstakingly designed the logos in both Swedish and English. In fact, I did one for each of the three book titles (Pippi Longstocking, Pippi Goes on Board, and Pippi in the South Seas); I added "The Strongest in the World" for the first, as I thought it was cool to have a subtitle. Plus, that's what everyone calls Pippi!

I do admit that the 1988 film, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, was my first exposure to the character, and I found her to be quite appealing. I saw the film on cable in 2004 or so, and really enjoyed it! (I was already aware of the 1969 Swedish TV series between then; as my older sister remembered them upon looking at VHS covers for them at Suncoast, and I was intrigued.) I saw it again on Netflix in early Spring of last year, and my interest in the character was rekindled, so much that I bought all three of the original books by Astrid Lindgren. I have to say personally that the original books are the best versions of the story, hands down. They're just as compelling as any comic-book, and possibly the most extreme version of the character. (If it were up to me, I'd do a movie trilogy!) But as far as adaptations go, the aforementioned 1969 Swedish TV series with Inger Nilsson in the title role is the best adaptation (because of Astrid Lindgren's actual involvement)! Despite the major changes, it was very well thought out and conceived. Other adaptations I enjoy are the 1961 episode adaptation in The Shirley Temple Show (with Mousketeer Gina Gillespie as Pippi) and the aforementioned 1988 movie (with Tami Erin as Pippi). I'll present reviews of these adaptations later.

But whereas Ultra Seven, Underdog and others are among my favorite superheroes, my most favorite superheroine is Pippi Longstocking.

So why do I love Pippi so much? In a way, I saw Pippi as an inspiration for Bessie Higgenbottom from The Mighty B!; just as wacky and silly, but very lovable. Pippi is also super-strong, like Superman! (And possibly invulnerable! She can jump from tremendous heights, and land on the ground with not even so much as a scratch!) Some adaptations give Pippi magic powers, though, but in the books, she's really just super-strong, and super-imaginative, always telling tall tales. And another great thing is that she lives all by herself at her father's cottage Villa Villekulla (with her pet monkey Mr. Nilsson, and her nameless pet horse, who had several names in adaptations, the most popular being "Lilla Gubben," the Swedish word for "Little Old Man," a name given to the horse in the 1969 series), has an obscene supply of gold coins (with which she buys things), and does whatever she wants! (Who wouldn't want to do that?) But most of all, she loves her best friends, Tommy and his little sister Annika, and she looks after them as they all go out doing fun things, going on adventures and such. She's nice to well-meaning adults, but reserves her worst behavior for bad adults (bullies, crooks, pirates, etc.). And for a children's character, Pippi is also pretty brutal; she wrestles a bull (which almost tried to kill Tommy), but while she doesn't kill it (she already knows the value of life, as a hero should), she breaks its horns off, and basically wrestles the animal down to complete exhaustion! Mas Oyama would be proud of her. Unlike most adaptations, the books truly show Pippi's emotional side, my favorite of those moments being in Pippi in the South Seas, where, on Kurrekurredutt Island (where her father ruled as the natives' king), she saved Tommy from almost being eaten by a shark, and when realizing that he had a bloody scratch on his leg (from the nick of the shark's tooth), Pippi hugged him dearly (almost squeezing him), and she wept, as she thought she was going to lose him. It was a very touching moment.

I may discuss Pippi more in future posts, and you'll be seeing more fanart from me as well!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy 20th Anniversary, Rekira!

The moment has arrived!

Today is the 20th Anniversary of the creation of my own original giant monster, Rekira!

Who, or what, is "Rekira?" Refer to this introduction link for more info! In it, I explain how I conceived this awesome monster.

Below, I made my 20th Anniversary artwork for Rekira. Based on a pencil sketch I did yesterday while at Caffespresso, I traced it over tonight in Flash. Here is the black & red version:



Source Sketch:

That's a different-looking logo, isn't it? :)

I also used two lightning bolts on each side, as opposed to one in the final version.

And something that's been ridiculously long overdue, my support tribute to my friends in Japan!

The little girl riding astride Rekira, in case you didn't know, is my other character, Lily Merriweather.

On March 11, when a series of disasters began to hit Japan, I was absolutely distraught. I was so sad for everyone there that I couldn't draw for weeks. But I knew I could not give up. I can't. So I wanted to do something to acknowledge my friends over there. Rekira may be a monster like Godzilla, but he's also a hero. And Japan needs heroes, now more than ever (even the American Lily).

I began drawing this weeks after the disasters, and finished inking it (with Micron pens) on April 8, 2011. After some personal delays up to this point, I scanned and colored it last night in Photoshop. I'm really proud of how it came out.

This 20th Anniversary for Rekira is a day to be remembered.