Sunday, July 24, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Early on in the production of Tales #59, I started fiddling around with Illustrator to get a feel for lettering myself. I think it would've been around about this time that I'd started playing around with ideas for creator owned books, so I was keen to learn what I could. I actually really dig the font in this... kinda wish I remember what it was!
Anyway, the final job was done by Eric Talbot, who did a bang-up job on it. This also has some of my favourite dialogue in it. It's just a little thing, but I think it's very Mikey. I think Mikey and Raph are the two clearest voices in my own head, but I remember being desperate to pitch for the Donatello series that ended up going to Jim (Brain Thief), because I really, really wanted to get a better feel for the guy.
This is a sample page Dan (Berger) sent me when I started working on the Mirage Universe Sourcebook at the very end of my time working with those guys. I actually completely forgot I had this, but if I find anything else, I'll post it here. This gives you a pretty good idea of the direction it was heading originally. Some articles were longer than others, but I don't even think they were as in depth as the Archie ones were... I wanted to address this, adding in personal bio stats more along the lines of those comics, or the Marvel and Dark Horse handbooks.
Anyway, take a look.
Monday, July 11, 2011
I know preferred to draw the Turtles the classic way when we were working together, but I would always try to get in as much of this sort of stuff as possible. I don't think Peter Laird dug it either. I remember having drinks with Eric Talbot and a couple of other guys at Mirage (who dug the idea) but were surprised it flew.
Critters was such a mixed bag. An awful yet great sci-fi horror comedy. It had this weird 80’s Spielberg vibe by way of John Carpenter. I actually really hope that some day this is remade. I think this could be great with today’s technology and with a little more focus. Anyway, they were pretty hilarious effects — handpuppets full of teeth — but I dug them. Crites.
Ages ago, I was toying around with the idea of toning Burning Man. I think I even put the idea forward to Dan and Jim maybe once (maybe... I'm not 100% sure, it was a crazy busy time). I remember taking a practice shot at a page from Jim's stuff leading up to it and thinking "I can do this", but something sidelined me and I didn't get to finish it.
Here's the rough. If I were to do this today, it'd be a lot different I think.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Mist” seems to cop a huge amount of hate from people. Personally, I can’t understand why. All the performances are amazingly solid (especially Tom Jane), it’s genuinely suspenseful, dramatic and horrific, and the monsters look fantastic… in spite of some varying CGI quality…
What I love about “The Mist” and the creatures in it is the escalation. You start off with very little and as the film goes on, the monsters get bigger and bigger, but the film still manages to do what Alien did so well in that it reveals what it needs to and then lets your mind do the rest (in most cases anyway). You’re only ever told as much as the characters in the story — who you can identify with pretty quickly — which I believe gives this film the credibility it needs to to make you accept what’s going on in this film without really questioning it.
Shown above is one of the larger creatures from the film (far from the largest though), and this is all you see of it.
Movie: Reign of Fire
I think I was the only person in the cinema who really enjoyed this movie when we saw it, but I still say it has the best goddamn dragons ever put to the big screen, and this male bull was awesome to watch. The design was fantastic and the CGI was even better, it's just a pity that the movie seems to get the reactions it does, because even though it's not perfect, it's still a hell of a lot of fun and does a great job of building the suspense with it's dragons. Christian Bale is also my favourite actor, so it gets bonus points for that!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
This bit of art was just purchased to be used in an RPG! They've asked for more, so we'll see how it goes! Funnily enough, I was pissfarting around and this was kind of a re-imagining of Leatherhead (origin up).
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
From one of (if not) Cronenberg’s best films, the Brundlefly is an amazing creature to behold; shockingly repulsive but such a fantastically designed creature that it’s impossible to look away from.
This drastic reimagining of the original 1958 movie “The Fly” chronicles the tragic descent of brilliant young scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) as his body undergoes a slow and horrific metamorphosis following an experiment in human teleportation.
The film manages to perfectly balance the drama and reality of the situation with the outlandish and horrific nature of what is going on, which is something Cronenberg has always been a master of. It's an interesting examination of how people in relationships can change (for whatever reason; drug addiction, physical impairments, psychological instability, etc.) and how that affects the relationship itself, and also how it affects those closest to the person at the center of it all. Of course, what happens in the film is an EXTREME case, but the parrallels are still there.
It's also these sorts of horror films -- where normal people in a very believable world are put in extreme situations without the gimicks of set-piece deaths or undying hockey mask killers -- that I dig the most.
“TALES OF THE TMNT” STORY PROPOSAL
“MY ENEMY’S ENEMY”
Please note: I've had a tonne of requests that these be resurrected from my old blog (don't go looking for it, it's now some kind of marketing spamware site). I will not be going back to these stories if I ever get the opportunity to return to the Turtles. I may keep ideas I like every now and then, but that would be it. Consider these to be stories along the lines of the true conclusion to the Image run, or the rewritten #8 of TMNT volume 1.
This issue is a bit twisty, and the pitch itself may seem dense, but the story, while keeping in line with the “done-in-one” style of Tales, involves a number of elements from past issues. We’ve got Tang Amaya from Ross May’s #22, along with elements from #36, #56, #59, #64 and the other stories I have pitched this time around (provided they make it through of course). The essential focus of the story revolves around the legacy of the Shredder, and we will see how different groups, both good and evil, are affected by it. At the end of #64, we meet the cabal of underworld figures looking to eradicate the remnants of the Foot Clan and destroy the shadow of the Shredder. Now the first stage of their collective plan is about to go into motion…
Based on intelligence gathered, the cabal takes a closer look at Tang Amaya, the mysterious kunoichi who wears the Shredder’s glove. Lin, the supposed ex-Foot ninja who freed Hun and led the assault on Precinct 5 in Tales #36, tells them basically who Tang Amaya is. She was a contingency plan, a sick game started by the Shredder -- Tang Amaya is Tang Shen’s sister, who Saki had brainwashed into believing that Hamato Yoshi was responsible for Tang’s death. She was a toy of the Shredder’s and one of her best assassins while he was alive, but now that Saki is dead, she claims to be the rightful heir to his mantle and persists in hunting down the Turtles for their link to Yoshi. Lin reveals the existence of Splinter to the other cabal members at this point too.
One of the other cabal members points out that Amaya’s group was last reported in an area currently held by an African-American gang. Photos are then passed around of an ancient Japanese symbol written in a specific Foot code that has been appearing throughout New York in various places, like graffiti. Lin tells them it’s a challenge code, Amaya’s trying to draw the Turtles out. From this they figure out where she will be and when. The Turtles haven’t been responding because simply because Amaya has been targeting the wrong areas (now that the Turtles have split up).
We crossfade this to a scene across town, where Leo, Donatello and Mike are all gathered. Miller is discussing the same thing with the Turtles (the challenge symbol). Miller can’t make heads or tails of it, and hasn’t been able to take it down the usual areas because of the corruption in the police force, so he thought he’d bring it straight to the Turtles hoping they might. Mike suggests they take a photo of it using a camera-phone and send it to April (who is at the farmhouse with Casey, Shadow and Splinter) to ask Splinter about it. He replies, telling them what Lin told the cabal.
Miller is in a bind, he has to be careful about who he tells about this, but Mike knows. Lauren Stanton (the female journalist from #59). They get in touch with her to send feelers out to figure out where she might be hiding. Stanton tells them to give her a couple of days.
We cut to later, where Lin and her group of Shredder loyalists confront Amaya and deliver an ultimatum. She can either join the rest of the loyalists or perish. Amaya laughs at them, but Lin just smiles and commands her group to leave, knowing full well what is coming to the naïve girl. Zooming out, we find that Stanton herself is up in a nearby building using surveillance equipment, spying on the meeting, but there is another person there, in the shadows, smoking a cigarette. This is the man from WAY back in Volume 1, #4 who was spying on the Turtles in April’s apartment. Stanton slips the man some money and heads out to warn the Turtles of what is coming. However, as she leaves, the shadow man also calls an associate… King Cobra!
We cut to King Cobra’s club, where he and Hun are planning their next move. Cobra tells Hun that his informant has found Amaya (but neglected to tell him about Lin being at the meeting). Here in the club we also get our fist glimpse at Touch and Go (as this story would be set just before the Touch & Go story). The criminals gather up their men and head out. The time has come, this is the beginning of the eradication of the Foot Clan (or so they think).
We cut back to the Turtles, who are also planning how they will confront Amaya. When they last fought, Amaya threatened the Turtles that Hamato Yoshi would pay for his crimes. They are determined to find out what she is talking about, but must tread lightly. They are also determined to find out what they can about Lin, and her involvement (or potential animosity). They agree that they will wait until the next challenge is issued and move from there.
Cut to later. Leo pounces on one of Amaya’s ninjas, and tells the lackey that they will meet her that night.
Later, we see the Turtles arriving at the meeting place where Amaya waits. They agree to split up and scope the place out before doing anything. Leo and Don meet up and discuss their options. They contact Raph but can’t get through to Mike. The time comes and Leo and Don go (Raph will keep lookout) in to meet with Amaya. Here we learn of Amaya’s brainwashing by the Shredder. How she is really Shen’s sister, and how the Shredder made her believe that Hamato Yoshi was responsible for her sister’s death. Leo tries to reason with her, but a fight breaks out. During the fight Raph tells Don that someone is coming, and before anyone realizes what is going on, Mike (unconscious) is thrown through the doors to the warehouse. The Purple Dragons, King Cobra’s gang AND Lin’s Shredder Loyalists (in civilian gear, making their true allegiances inconspicuous) storm in, Hun laughing at what a pathetic fight Mikey put up.
It’s chaos, Leo and Don don’t know what to do or who to fight, but Raph drops in and goes for Hun. Hun throws the Turtle off and commands his men to kill the Foot Clansmen. All of Amaya’s men and Amaya herself rush into the fray. Don goes to help Mikey, and Raph fights anyone he can.
Leo finds himself fighting alongside Amaya as he continues to try and reason with her. He manages to slowly convince her, but just as it looks like she’s about to realize Hun grabs her and tears off her arm bearing the Shredder’s gauntlet. The fight suddenly comes to an end. Amaya falls to the ground, and Leo comes to her aide. Don has Mikey and Raph has been badly wounded by King Cobra. Hun throws the gauntlet to the ground and laughs at them before leaving. King Cobra tells his men to kill the Turtles and the remaining Foot Ninjas, but the Turtles manage to escape with Amaya.
We end with the villains victorious (for once), but the Turtles are more determined than ever to take down these vicious gangs and the secretive Shredder Loyalists. And it looks as though they may have just earned a new ally, providing Amaya pulls through. On the final page, Lin returns to the warehouse alone, and retrieves the Shredder’s gauntlet.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
This was something Paul Harmon whipped up not long after #50 of Tales of the TMNT. We were batting ideas back and forth about stories to tell after that issue, and I expressed the desire to start looking more at the Utroms and the Triceratons, and came up with a story that basically began this whole conspiracy over who the Utroms really were, what their intentions were, and a slew of revelations about the Triceratons themselves. Not sure how it would've flown, but this was a design we came up with for the intro to a story that would set a lot of those things just mentioned up. We also revealed that there were other Dinosaurian races out there, and that all tied into a bunch of other shit.
Movie: Street Fighter 2: The Animated Film (1994)
You rule Blanks.
Monday, July 4, 2011
It was a brief, but glorious run that was unfortunately cut short just as the show had found its legs, but I used to host a podcast with a couple of other local gamers. Check it out, and any past episodes at GAMEPlayPodcast.com