Monday, December 31, 2012

Just finished a quick art piece for New Year's Eve!  On tablet in Photoshop.  The pic will say the rest.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Great Conjunction Date!

Just a little something I quickly whipped up on Flash tonight for fun.  I did this in celebration of tomorrow's date!  I was compelled to, as stuff like this has fascinated me for the longest time.  :)

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Honeybee Taffy & Candy Canes

I went to see Wreck-It Ralph (Disney; 2012) on November 23, and needless to say, I loved it!  (Ditto the animated short, Paperman, which preceded it.)  It was a 10:25 PM private 3D showing for me, my big brother Peter, Tony, Stephen, and my nephews Angel and Gabriel!  (When we left the theater, it was dim and creepy, as the theater was about to close, and everyone was leaving, but it was a pretty cool contrast to the movie we came out of.)  All four of the main characters (Wreck-It Ralph, Vanellope Von Schweetz, Fix-It Felix, and Sergeant Calhoun) are great, and they all manage to steal their own show (rather than let some marketable character steal the show from the main character).

I thought Vanellope (voiced by comedienne Sarah Silverman) was adorable!  At some point, I strongly contemplated doing a fan art of her meeting The Mighty B!'s Bessie Higgenbottom (voiced by fellow comedienne Amy Poelher).  I could've done this in the style of that Vanity Fair 2008 photoshoot which featured both Silverman and Poehler (with Tina Fey), but featuring them both in Vanellope's Sugar Rush video game was more interesting.  :)

This was done tonight in nearly 4 hours on tablet in Photoshop.  I might do more Wreck-It Ralph fan art at some point!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Japan's Avengers - English Version

Using the same resources as last time, I have just assembled (pun intended) an English-language version of my very popular Japan's Avengers poster (originally in Japanese)!  Done in the style of international posters.  I had to do a lot of last-minute changes to make sure there weren't any typos or such!  I hope you will enjoy this one, too (though the Japanese poster is my favorite).  :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Honey Halfwitch for the Halloween Season!

To get myself into the Halloween season (after a very busy and very strenuous two months), I did this fanart of one of my favorite characters, Honey Halfwitch!  This very obscure little witch girl was the star of 13 theatrical cartoons produced from 1965 to 1967 by Paramount's Famous Studios.  The first of the cartoons was a Modern Madcap cartoon entitled Poor Little Witch Girl (released in April of 1965), in which the character was known simply as "Halfwitch."  The late Shari Lewis (best known for creating the puppet character Lamb Chop) provided the voice for the character in the first 9 cartoons, which was created by veteran cartoonist/animator Howie Post.  For some reason, the last four episodes saw a very radical (yet short-lived) change in the look of the series to a more minimalist style, and Honey was interestingly voiced by an actual little girl (much like a Peanuts cartoon).  These last few episodes were cute and entertaining enough, but I missed the sweet Howie Post version.  (I always thought it would be funny to imagine what Honey would sound like if voiced by Mae Questel, but I'm glad Shari Lewis did the character, as that scratchy little voice she created really fit the character superbly.)  Honey Halfwitch should have had a comic-book series (much like many of the Harvey characters before her)!  Having been created by Post, she was definitely worthy of one.

Finished tonight in around an hour on tablet in Photoshop.  I drew it while looking at the series' title card for reference.

Here's the lyrics to the theme song, written by Howie Post and composed (and sung!) by Winston Sharples:

Oh, Honey Halfwitch, she's a funny
Kid witch, what a honey
When she flies up on her broom
She zips around with a zoom-zoom-zoom
She's magical and mystical and smart

Oh, Honey Halfwitch, bright and sunny
She's as cute as a bunny
She's half-wizard and half-girl
She waves her wand and you're in a whirl
She's full of tricks and sweet as an apple tart
A half-pint pixie sure to win your heart!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sandra!

Done tonight on tablet in Photoshop, here is a birthday present I made for very talented young cartoonist/animator/friend Sandra D. Rivas, who turns 22 today!  Here, she (in my own rendition of her cartoon self-portrait) rides on Rekira's back with Lily Merriweather in front of her!

Have a great one!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Happy 45th Anniversary, Ultra Seven!

Done tonight on tablet in Photoshop, this is the first new tablet art I've done in a month, after moving to a new Richmond neighborhood!  And it couldn't have been a better occasion, as tonight is the 45th Anniversary of one of my top favorite superheroes, Ultra Seven!  Japan's answer to Superman.  The TV series, Ultra Seven (Tsuburaya; 1967), created by Eiji Tsuburaya (as an unofficial follow-up to his previous hit, Ultraman), premiered on the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) on this day in 1967!  And for this occasion, Rekira (giving a piggyback ride to Lily Merriweather) shakes the hand of one of his inspirations.  (Another character I made, Dengeking, is influenced by Seven as well!)

Have a great one!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

RIP Jerry Nelson and Neil Armstrong

I was sad to hear that veteran Muppet performer Jerry Nelson (78) and pioneer astronaut Neil Armstrong (82) have died Thursday and today (Saturday), respectively, so I whipped up this bit of art featuring Rekira and Lily Merriweather flying into outer space.  Done on tablet in Photoshop.

Thanks for the great memories, Jerry and Neil.  We'll miss you.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Japan's Avengers - Assemble!

I saw The Avengers in theaters twice in May, and it has become one of my favorite superhero movies ever!  So I was imagining my own version of the film, where Japan's famous superheroes are assembled the same way Nick Fury assembled Marvel Superheroes!  After pondering and pondering over it for about a month or two, I finally decided to realize it!  Using various pics from the Internet (mostly toy pics from the manufacturers' websites, or from online stores like Hobby Search), I put them together into this fake poster.

In Japan's Avengers (Nippon no Abenjaazu), Godzilla, Ultraman, Masked Rider, Mazinger Z, Ultraman Zero, and Sailor Moon (and Tuxedo Mask, though he's off-poster) are assembled to fight legions of monsters and aliens led by Ultraman Belial!  And yes, that is Times Square in the background.  :)

The tagline is: "Earth's Mightiest Heroes Unite!  Defeat Ultraman Belial!"

The "Japan's Avengers" logo is completely original, done in Flash in about an hour.  The source poster was assembled from various photos in Photoshop, and titles were added in Flash.

Imaginary cast/crew credits on the poster are as follows:


Susumu Kurobe (Shin Hayata/Ultraman)
Hiroshi Fujioka (Takeshi Hongou/Masked Rider)
Hiroshi Abe (Jirou Gou, Godzilla's human form/disguise)
GACKT (Kouji Kabuto, pilot of Mazinger Z)
Mamoru Miyano (Human form/voice of Ultraman Zero)
Miyuu Sawai (Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon)
Jouji Shibue (Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask)
Sonny Chiba (the Nick Fury character)
Hiroyuki Watanabe (the Agent Coulson character)
Yumiko Shaku (the Maria Hill character)
Shirou Sano (the Dr. Selvig character)
Hiroyuki Miyasako (Voice of Ultraman Belial)


Director: Takeshi Yagi
Special Effects Director: Shinji Higuchi
Screenplay: JP Cassidy (obviously), Kei'ichi Hasegawa
(Based upon the Avengers screenplay by Joss Whedon and Zak Penn)
Executive Producers: Shougo Tomiyama (Toho), Tsugumi Kitaura (Tsuburaya), Hideaki Tsukada & Kazuhiro Takahashi (Toei), Dynamic Planning
Based on characters created by Toho Company, Ltd., Tsuburaya Productions, Shoutarou Ishinomori, Gou Nagai, and Naoko Takeuchi
Music by Alan Silvestri
Produced by the Avenger Production Committee
-Toho Eiga
-Tsuburaya Productions
-Dynamic Planning
Jointly Distributed by Toho, Shouchiku, and Toei

I know that a movie like this will never be made, but the imagination is up to fans like myself.  :)

ADDENDUM: To justify my position on the two Ultramen (three if you count Belial!), I had both of them in mind.  (I thought of Ultra Seven, but I wanted to give his son Zero a chance to shine!)  Zero's inclusion aside, I wanted to pick out the characters most iconic and recognizable to the Japanese public, rather than just the fans.  Also, Zero plays an important part in Ultraman's surviving for more than three minutes in Earth's atmosphere.  :)

I also wanted Zero, because he parallels to Thor, as Belial does Loki.  As far as other Avengers parallels, Ultraman and Masked Rider share Captain America's role (although Ultraman is the team leader of the above depicted characters), as they're the pioneer archetype heroes of Japan.  Sailor Moon is sort of like Black Widow, Tuxedo Mask is like Hawkeye, Mazinger Z/Kouji is Iron Man, and you can guess Godzilla's role...  :)

I even got comments about not including Super Sentai!  LOL  Actually, I'd love to include them, but they're already a team!  The fun of this team is that they're a team of individual heroes, the kind you wanted to see together.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Happy (Belated) Independence Day! - 2012

I had wanted to do this yesterday, but the schedule was hectic, and a lot has been going on during the week.  (My big sister is going in for a bone marrow surgery tomorrow, so I wish her best of luck.)  But I did a 4th of July artwork anyway.  Here's Lily Merriweather garnished in American colors/symbolism, done tonight on tablet in Flash!

Hope you had a great one!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Neighborhood Trees 01

At least once a day, I love to take a walk outside around my neighborhood, and look around at the beautiful surroundings.  A whole panorama of trees surrounds my neighborhood (at the center of which is the office, a swimming pool, and an empty court where I like to hang around and look at the trees, especially in the mid-to-late afternoon, against a blue sky.

Here's my first attempt to capture that scenery, done tonight on tablet in Photoshop.  I admit it's a bit loose, but I'm glad I did this, and I would love to do more of these things.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Who's the true "God of Anime?"

I posted the below article on Tumblr, and it has become the most popular thing I've ever posted!  At 120 notes at this writing, I am both flattered and thankful.

To put things in perspective, this article was never meant to be an attack on Osamu Tezuka.  (Remember, I'm a Tezuka fan!)  I'm simply trying to dispel a long-standing American misconception; while he indeed revolutionized the modern manga industry (thus, he has earned the title, "God of Manga" in Japan), he did not create anime.  Yes, he did revolutionize it on television (the same way Jay Ward or Hanna-Barbera revolutionized animation on TV)!  But I would think that the proper credit for "God of Anime" goes to Yasuji Mori.  Of course, there were animators before Mori, going as far back as the 1910s (they included Noburou Oofuji and Mori's friend/senior Taiji Yabushita, among others)!  But many true anime historians have noted that Mori, who worked on animation as far back as 1948, shaped the modern anime industry in 1957, when he became the first animation director at Toei Animation Studios (which Toei set up in aspirations of being the Walt Disney Studios of Japan)!  Without him, we wouldn't have Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and others, and Tezuka may not have gotten into animation, if it weren't for Toei's adaptation of Alakazam the Great (which Mori worked on as animation director, although credited only as an animator)!  Mori was a true master, and helped make Tezuka himself a master of both worlds, comics and animation.

So for the longest time, I found it really upsetting and saddening that many people still refer to Tezuka as the one who started anime, and the beautiful, colorful works of Yasuji Mori are forgotten.  And so, because no one else ever stepped up to do something like this, I was eventually inspired to make this article (on May 31 in Flash) to help people understand things better.

And when you're surfing Google or YouTube, look up not only Yasuji Mori, but his works including the short film (and Toei's first animation ever) Koneko no Rakugaki/Kitty's Graffiti (Toei; 1957), Panda and the Magic Serpent (Toei; 1958), Magic Boy (Toei; 1959), The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots (Toei; 1969), and my personal favorite ever (and the first where he finally got onscreen credit as "Animation Director"), The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon (Toei; 1963).

To paraphrase Walt Disney, "I only hope we never lose sight of one thing - that at Toei in 1957, it was all started by a cat."  ;)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kyle!

Just finished a little birthday present for yet another fellow cartoonist/tokusatsu fan, Kyle A. Carrozza (creator of the wacky and hilarious webcomic, Frog Raccoon Strawberry, for Dumm Comics)!

Pictured below is Strawberry Fields (left), the heroine/star of Frog Raccoon Strawberry, with Lily Merriweather dressed up in a frog costume of her own.  Done on tablet in Photoshop.

Have a great one, Kyle!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter 2012!

Just made this tonight for Easter Day!  It's Lily Merriweather, with a bunny on her head!  Done on tablet in Photoshop.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Manga-style Lily!

Mind you, I'm firmly sticking with the current Franco-Belgian style I had just experimented with, but I simply did this piece out of amusement.  This is a highly-detailed manga/anime version of Lily Merriweather, which I would use if I had ever decided to work with a manga/anime style!  Done this morning on tablet in Photoshop (but started on yesterday evening, due to family commitments).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Franquin-style Lily - Part 2

Here are the sketches I promised I'd show in my previous post:

The first Franquin-style Lily experiment pencil sketch (Type A), done on March 4, 2012:

Another one done on the 14th (with the previous design added for good measure!):

And here's a second variation on the Franquin-style design (Type B), which resembles the previous Lily design I worked with, while also recalling Franquin's work on round-headed characters like Gaston Lagaffe and Modeste!  (It also looks sort of like Peyo's work as well, like the Smurfs or Pirlouit, which was sort of what I was looking for!)

And soon did a fully-inked & colored version on tablet in Photoshop!

I love both designs!  Type B is more like what I was looking for, but Type A looks like it could work.  :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Nico!

Just finished a little birthday present for the funny and very talented cartoonist/animator, Nico Colaleo!

Pictured here is Rekira getting some, er, attention from Nico's "hipster chick" characters, Scribble and Skarfy!  Done on tablet in Photoshop.

Have a great one, Nico!  :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Franquin-style Lily!

Just to let you all know, the family is doing fine after Arianna's passing.  We're coping as best we can.  Friday of last week was the memorial service, and it went beautifully.

During the last week or so, I've been playing around with Lily Merriweather's design once more.  This particular new look is inspired by the style of another favorite comic category of mine, Franco-Belgian comics! Especially the likes of The Smurfs, Spirou & Fantasio, Modeste & Pompon, etc.  These titles have appealing, cartoony characters, and yet the stories they inhabit are not only funny, but very intriguing as well.

I've been doing pencil sketches, which I'll post next (once I finish a second batch), but here's my attempts on tablet in Photoshop.  This particular style for Lily is inspired by the works of veteran Franco-Belgian cartoonist, Andre Franquin, one of my favorites.  The first, fully colored, was done on March 6th.

And this prior one from February 29:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Goodbye, Arianna

I am very sad to report that my grandniece, Arianna, who was born prematurely on January 14, passed away last night at about 10PM (February 24).  She was in intensive care, and succumbed to an infection she was fighting with for weeks.  My family was very sad over the news, some of my family members pretty much saw it coming.  I was looking forward to having more kids in the family.  (But we still do have Jenna, who's several months old, so I'm thankful for that.)  So I decided to express myself with this drawing:

Done tonight on tablet in Photoshop.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happiness is... Hugging a Warm, Fuzzy Friend.

After playing my Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron PC game for the umpteenth time (it's one of my favorite games), after using two favorite playable characters in the "Dog Fight" mode (and it's always a comfort whenever they're on the same team), I just felt like drawing this.  Also because, thinking of Snoopy Come Home (Mendelson-Melendez/Cinema Center Films; 1972), I always felt that Snoopy and Peppermint Patty were a great couple.  :)

Drawn this morning on tablet in Photoshop.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! (2012)

Finished today is a new piece I did for Valentine's Day!  (Done on tablet in Photoshop.)

Here's the first:

I did another version of the above two this morning!  I like the above versions better (a bit more elaborate and polished), but these are worthy of showing:

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day.  :)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

My 50th Post!

This is my 50th post on this blog!

To kick off February for this occasion, I did a new doodle on tablet in Photoshop during the night!  Just completed is a scene of Rekira being surrounded by a horde of Omicron Robot Spies, and ready to fight them.

As an added bonus, some more Rekira stuff I had yet to post from last year.  All were also done on tablet in Photoshop.

Here is a test comic art I did of Tatsuo, on utilizing a technique similar to the col-erase procedure I've done with many of my recent doodles.  This was done on December 10 of last year.

An illustration I did on November 5th last year of Mysti-Girl from the Dynamic Heralds!

And another test of Rekira himself done on November 15 of last year.

And a couple of FX tests done with the above.  The first is an NG "half-tone" test, the other is a red neon test.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Just finished tonight (on tablet in Photoshop), a little birthday card for podcaster/friend Mike Dent (R5 Central and Otaku USA's Friday Ace)!

Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The New DC and Marvel Logos!

Yes, folks, I'm just as riled up about the unveiling of the new DC Comics logo.

The above image is from a related article on the new logo by the Bleeding Cool news blog.

The clever part of the logo is that it looks like a turning page of a comic.  That description was much better than DC Comics' own description, and it is honestly pretentious.

The article quotes Amit Desai, Senior Vice President of Franchise Management at DC, who we also revealed was behind the presentation to DC Comics internally, as saying “We didn’t want a static logo, but a living identity that could capture the power of our characters and storytelling. What is special about DC content is the notion of a dual identity. When you think about our DC Comics superheroes, there’s a secret identity. When you think about Vertigo, it’s this notion of good vs. evil in many of the stories. And so, in addition to flexibility, the new logo communicates this idea of dual identity: there’s more than meets the eye. You have to take a closer look to understand the richness of our characters and stories.”

So that's all it is.  A "dual identity."  It's gone far beyond its original description.  Even its original "bullet" logo (used from the late 70s to the early 2000s) is a lot more generic and universal, as it opens themselves up to other genres!  Kiddie comics, comedies, romance, etc.  Yeah, remember those?

So, I decided to offer myself a challenge.  Could I do any better?  I decided to take up the challenge.

I present to you my own version of the DC Comics logo, a mix of the "bullet" logo and my own unique touch!  This was done in less than an hour in Flash (and this presentation was assembled in Photoshop).  Since DC stands for "Detective Comics," I decided to use a magnifying glass for a bullet, much like what detectives use.

But, of course, you don't necessarily need a magnifying glass or the brain of Sherlock Holmes to enjoy the adventures of Superman, Batman (himself a detective!), Green Lantern, Sugar & Spike, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, etc.!

So I did you all one better; I did a new Marvel logo, too!

Have you ever noticed that Marvel doesn't have a unique logo of their own, in comparison to DC Comics?  That bothered me.  Even though I always loved that classic "Marvel Comics Group" banner, and the use of different Marvel characters over the logo in the 80s was a nice touch!  But they never went as far as to make their own unique logo.

How do you define "marvel?"  A "marvel" is something that evokes astonishment and wonder!  When looking at the current Marvel logo, it looks too cold.  Too plain.  Just a blocky font that looks like the text for a hard-edged action movie.  Too much grim, gritty macho stuff.  That's not how I'd define a "marvel."

So, I decided to do a logo that defines Marvel!  Something marvelous and flashy.  An M-shaped flash!  This was done in Flash (no pun intended!) in less than half an hour, with this presentation assembled in Photoshop (right after doing the DC logo).  The "With Detail" one could've been colored/arranged better, but it gives you the idea.  :)

Realistically, neither company would accept these logos, even if they liked them.  But you have to agree, they're quite unique!  They not only define the names, but capture the excitement of what comics are supposed to be.  Just like any entertainment company logo (20th Century Fox, Warner, Paramount, Universal, etc.)!

As for current reading content, that's a subject for another day.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

With Rekira and Dengeking, PUNCH! PUNCH! PUNCH!

Did this for fun yesterday (January 6th).  Yes, you'll be seeing something like this in Rekira at some point!

Drawn on tablet in Photoshop.  Can you guess the reference?  :)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Introducing Dengeking!

Let's kick off the new year with yet another new character from Rekira!  Here is my own direct answer to the Ultra-Heroes and Henshin Heroes, the Japanese superhero Dengeking the Super-Man (Chouriki Senshi Dengekingu)!

Conceived almost a decade ago for the story, this is an updated design.  Done on tablet in Photoshop.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

First Art of 2012!

I have returned yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon from my vacation in North Carolina!  Here's the first drawing I've done to ring in the New Year:

Done tonight (January 5th) on tablet in Photoshop.  Here is Rekira, welcoming the Year of the Dragon.  (Yes, he's part-dragon!)

Happy New Year!