Christmas cards 2009!

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately.  Life has been beating the crap out of me.  Life can be a real jerk sometimes.
Anyhow, I spent a month making and deleting or losing(computer crashes) or being just not happy with how the good ones turned out.  In the end I just stuck with two small but nice ones.
Hope readers enjoy.



Heroes: Thanksgiving

Noah Bennett stalks his old coworker, Lauren, at a grocery store and asks her to to join Thanksgiving dinner with himself, Claire, and his ex-wife and new boyfriend "Doug".  While through the episode he keeps up the idea that it's not a date, but it pretty much is. 
Noah even gets to meet Mr. Muggles new puppy friend, Miss. Lovegood. 
Well, he kind of gets Claire back together with Gretchen and makes some good with the ex-wife & her man.  Claire is back to being miss stupid, "oh, my life is SOOOOO difficult, blah, blah, blah!"  What the hell Heroes writers? Claire needs to learn that she looks normal, and can heal from damn near anything.  She's got it easy.  I hope they fuck her up bigtime, some serious pain (maybe psychological) to teach her that she is very much a normal person. 
At the end of the episode, she steals one of the compasses from her father and convinces Gretchen to go on a road trip to the carnival of stupidity.

Peter and Angela have an awkward family dinner with Nathan/Sylar.  Nathan/Sylar is fighting with itself for control of the body.  To make matters even stranger, the Petrelli holiday is a forced dinner with the Sylar part, and as soon as he finishes his food, he decides to cut open Angela's head.  Nathan ends up fighting bcak and flying away.  And of course the writers need to be slapped in the face- Peter would have taken the Sylar base ability, he's had it before and knows how it works, why wouldn't he get it to start stock-piling tons of powers.  He has access to the closest power to his own original ability and didn't take it.  He's a fool.  The only other way he could get to Sylar now is by getting the Haitian's power and killing him while dampening the healing.
Oh, another side note, wouldn't Claire's blood bring Nathan's frozen body back to life???

Samuel learns about his power's potential from Mohinder's film reel.  Why didn't Hiro just bring Mohinder into the now?  That would solve the hiding him part. 
Anyway, Samuel still won't give Charlie back to Hiro, and flaunts it as the reason Hiro can't kill him.  But of course there is a way around this, as mentioned in my Heroes post like 2 weeks ago(maybe last week's episode).  Things get tense and Hiro and Lydia go back to the night Samuel's brother was killed by a "government man".  As it turns out, Samuel killed his own brother, and upon Hiro and Lydia's return to the now- Samuel blames it on Edgar.  Hiro saves Edgar to help at a later time.  By the looks of things Hiro is inadvertantly building an army to eliminate the growing Samuel problem. 
Hiro could even go back to right before Charlie was taken save her and kill Samuel, thus solving everyone's problems.

Whatever, I must be a lover of painful writing because I continue to watch this crap.  If I, of all people, can think of simple solutions to all these in show problems, I am sure MANY others have found alternative solutions, which means there needs to be better writers on the show. 
What happened to all the awesome of the first season? 
I quit for tonight.
More complaints after tonight's episode.


Heroes: Brother's Keeper

A mobile last minute post before tonight's new episode.
Tracy is losing control of her abilities and goes to find Noah Bennett She instead finds Claire and they have a low grade lesbian moment. Claire gets frozen and her foot breaks off. She thaws and apparently grew a whole new foot. She needs to look into organ donation.
Hiro jumps back in time and gets ahold of a film telling of Samuel's full potential. Why doesn't someone jut kill him? With all the powers around him it shouldn't be that difficult. Even Hiro could just teleport Samuel's head a fraction of a moment through time and space- a hell of a spectacular decapitation. Maybe even teleport it into Samuel's own hands a few minutes prior to doing it. So Samuel would be all WTF?! My own head! Then kerplowey, his own dissappears.
Over in Petrelli land- Peter gets info from the Haitian pointing to Nathan being Sylar's body. Nathan and Peter go find Nathan's body which as not disposed of as it should have been, then go to find Parkman...
...and Parkman is conveniently healed by Peter. Parkman tells them that Nathan only needs to touch him to be reunited with Sylar's mind- so much for mental powers. Well, big suprise, Nathan touches him "accidentally" and now Sylar is somewhere in his own body while it still believe's itself to be Nathan. I would also lke to note that Peter specifially takes the flight power- so instead of getting a random one he knows which to take. That also leads me to wonder why he still hasn't taken Sylar's main power and subsequently all the sub-abilities??? Peter's an idiot. If he got them all he could use Sylar's own ability to cut out the healing power(the magic spot) from Sylar's body, and finally kill the guy.
Well, they take off and Parkman is full on powered up- using it to escape from the hospital/police custody.
I think that is a good enough on the spot episode recap.
Later peoples.


Heroes: Shadowboxing

Trying for a super quick post.

Sylar's body wakes up at the carnival as Nathan, gets up and flies away.  Then at the end shows up at Peter's apartment saying he may be in trouble.  Sylar's body contains his original ability, so if he accesses it can he fix Peter's neutered ability?  Reverting Peter back to the Badass-ness he held in the first season would be awesome.

While Rebecca is telling Mr. Bennett about who her target really is(himself- a vengeance quest for killing her father, very cliche) Samuel is trying to build a divide between Claire and her father.  It doesn't work to well, and Samuel eventually tasers Rebecca to help his own case, and make Noah look worse.  Noah also figures out that the sinkhole killing many was done by Samuel and also finds out that the compass could be used for bad things in the wrong hands.
Also, Gretchen decides that her life is more important than Claire's friendship and leaves.  So no more lesbianic scenes.

Peter is learning that the new power is draining himself while he heals many patients from a train wreck.  He also sees Emma do some medical work and points it out to her, she tries to say she learned it from TV or something, but then admits it's from medical school.  She also tells him about the nephew of hers that died because she couldn't hear him while he was drowning.  Peter tells her she saved the little girl earlier, and passes her the girl's tiara.  They had a moment.  Oh wow, how unexpected.

Then Parkman and Sylar are pushing each other around, trying to gain the upper hand in the body's pilot seat.  Parkman has the advantage of the telepathy, but Sylar doesn't care about killing people, so it becomes a difficult inner battle.  Sylar tells Parkman that he can't win because Sylar will kill everyone involved with his body-theft.  In the end Parkman tells Sylar he will kill someone to stop Sylar, himself.  He left a note with the waitress at a diner saying he had a gun and will kill everyone, the police arrive and Parkman makes Sylar mimic pulling a gun out, and then gets shot.  Very cool.  I figured he would have suicided, but this works as well.
What I don't get is how Parkman can't just take Sylar's mind and stuff it in a comatose person's body.  Or just set up a mental vault and keep him in it for good.  He would then be stuck with absolutely no way to do anything.  He can control minds, which means Sylar should have ZERO influence over him.  This bothers me a lot.

Screw this, I'm done for now.


Fat Princess

The Legend of the Fat Princess, for Playstation 3, is a wonderful multiplayer game along the lines of "Capture the Flag".  Only the flags are the opposing teams' princesses.  You have to build and defend your own castle, upgrade characters, and stuff the princess so full of cake she turns into a giant blob (which in turn makes it very difficult for the oppostion to steal her back, as they must carry her).

(The pic is of my Ranger character after stuffing her with lots of cake)
There are 6 distinct types of characters in the game: a villager, worker, ranger, mage, warrior, and a priest.  Everyone starts as a villager and is very weak but can slap others to make them drop things and have a chance to daze them.  As soon as you pick up a hat from either a dispencer in your castle or on the battlefield after someone drops one upon their death, you gain the abilities of that character type. 
Each of the other classes has 2 levels.
  • The worker is quick and can mine metals and chop down trees to help build and upgrade things.  They begin with more life than a villager and have an axe to defend themselves.  The 2nd level is a Bomb thrower.  These little guys are very dangerous, they can blast the hell out of everything in sight.
  • Rangers start as distance fighters with a bow and arrows.  Their upgrade gives them a slower but more powerful weapon, a blunderbuss.  Very fun medium ranged character, medium life bar, medium attack power, and fun for beginners. 
  • Mages start as fire users, sending out blasts of fiery death, and once upgraded they can use ice to slow, freeze, and damage enemies.  Unless you are with a group, these guys can be slaughtered quite quickly.  A side benefit with this upgrade is a magic potion dispencer starts giving out a bottle that if thrown on enemies(or dropped on yourself) will turn anyone in blast proximity into a chicken.  Chickens have the least amount of life, but are fun to run around jumping, pecking and squawking as. 
  • A warrior begins as a simple, strong fighter with sword and sheild.  Their upgrade provides a huge attack bonus with a large spear and a charging slash, as well as a life bar boost.  They have the most life and are fairly difficult to kill.
  • Finally, the priests.  They are originally healers, being able to heal, and eventually upgrade to dark priests, able to drain the life force of enemies in the nearby vicinity.  Very helpful for friends, but choose to be them only if you have lots of backup.  They don't stand much of a chance out on the battlegrounds on their own.
The game itself has both Single Player and Multiplayer options.  In Single, you can learn the Legend of the Fat Princess, by playing through a series of story based games, all based on parts of the whole Multiplayer game, such as killing the opposing teams entire group (Team Deathmatch).  The second Singleplayer mode is a gladiator arena where the player must defeat wave after wave of enemies in a stadium.
Multiplayer Mode: This is where the game is really amazing- teams of up to 16 versus 16 people in the capture the princess or team deathmatch modes.  Unbelieveable amounts of death, in your choice of either bloody gore, or my own choice the, inexplicably more disturbing, "Clean" fights.  With this setting every enemy defeated explodes into a mess of teddy bear parts, confetti, toys and various candies like lollipops.  This is hours of insanely fun entertainment.

I highly recommend this game.

2012: A Lesson in Stupidity

First- I would like to say this is not just about the movie.  Although I'll get those comments out first since the commercials are what prompted this post.

From what the trailer looks like, the movie appears to be hours of John Cusack escaping from a killer crack in the ground.  It follows their car.  Then waits for them at the airport and continues following their airplane.  I can't guarantee it, but the crack could might actually follow them through water at some point.  Then possibly in space as well.

Since time immemorial groups of people have been spouting off worldly doom.  Hellfire and brimstone in a global catastrophe causing the deaths of most the worldly populous.  Well, I would like to say the odds of it happening are roughly zero.  I have an obsessive nature when it comes to studying religions, mythologies, and the like, and all the old tales don't tell of apocalyptic destruction.  A perfect case would be the Revelation of John the Beloved.  The book itself is a key to the internal war that comes to each individual.  It is NOT mass human extinction, where believers of such and such are magically brought to an eternal party in the clouds with a giant bearded man.  No, not that at all.  It is the path of spiritual birth and growth every person must make.

The Mayan calendar points to the end of an age, the end of an era. (Besides the fact that the calender had to end some time, hell, ours end once a year and we celebrate the birth of a new year)  Cyclical change on a massive scale.  Mind you, it obviously is not an instantaneous change, but the long, slow birth of a new way of life.  A gradual tipping towards mankind's maturing nature.  A growth towards worldly illumination.   Hopefully mankind will stray from it's current focus on base wants, and more towards a love of the higher internal selves we can become.

People need to stop believing that the ancient civilizations were inferior.  They were NOT FOOLS.  It seems to be an unstoppable misconception that the cultures of antiquity couldn't have been smarter or wiser than us, but that is a foolish mistake in itself.  The reason all their creations, be it their myths or architectural marvels, have such endurance is because they MEAN so much.  The great power behind such symbols gives them strength, an everlasting meaning to those people with the capacity to see behind the veil of sterile material translation.  A recognition or resonance in ourselves.  Reflection of the eternal in the everyday self.

I don't understand how people in general can put so much credence in an ancient culture's calender, but have absolutely no faith in the same culture's other beliefs.  Sure some groups can't have ALL the answers, but if they could produce astronomical calculations that are as good as ours, why wouldn't  they be right about the other things?  It drives me crazy talking about things like this to people.  We should not be expecting Ragnarok, or Armageddon (which, by the way, is a LOCATION, not an occurance- look it up Rev. 16:16 "Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon").  No, we should not expect Earth splitting upheavals, or fantastic events (apart from the typical large storms/earthquakes/etc. that happen anyway), no blazing infernos scorching the land from stars falling, none of that.  We need to understand all the old writings point to internal changes.

Any culture that could make pyramids had to have a knowledge beyond the common, not to mention they had the means to build them, which we would struggle with today.   That culture's wisdom should be heeded, their thoughts immortal in truth.  The Mayan's didn't proclaim the end of everything in 2012 is part of a natural cycle, a very long continuing progression of life, and should not be feared.  Nor used for monetary gain, as is the case for the movie coming out tomorrow.


Quote of the day...

"If Jesus wanted him to have a PS3, Santa would've brought him one."
-Dan Feltenstein


Illustration Friday: Blur

I only had a short time for a quick sketch.  I wanted to put in a drunken old man, with a bunch of different fuzzy, blurred thought bubbles, but because time is short, I am just saying screw it and leaving it at the crappy sketch stage.

And I think my computer hates me.

Hopefully, this Friday's will go much better.  Plus I have a ton of draft material I'm editing.  Soon there shall be FUN STUFF!   SOOOOOOOON...  If things go well with computer fixing.


Heroes: Once Upon a Time in Texas

Here's the latest attempt to keep a Heroes post short.

I'll get the parts I felt were the least entertaining out of the way first.  Noah Bennett has a not-quite-love-interest, in the form of a seductress/coworker.  She isn't super powered, just a lonely lady looking for connection.  He repeatedly says no, and in the end she resorts to wiping her mind through the Haitian instead of living with the possible embarrassment of her situation, and Mr. Bennett maintains marital sanctity.  I believe this was just episode stuffing- just extra fluff.

This episode's main course is Hiro going back to save Charlie, the waitress girl with mega memory that Sylar killed in season 1.  Hiro has to try and fix things while keeping an untarnished timeline.  Making sure things stay as close to how it was as possible, without deviating from this momentous convergence of people.  Samuel shows up to get Hiro to rethink this, because it affects a large group of intersecting lives(Peter, Sylar, Claire, etc), not just a couple.  Mostly he is doing it to keep Hiro from messing Sylar up any more than future Sylar already is, or so we are led to think.
After many attempts at stopping/diverting Sylar, Hiro eventually gets him to agree to save Charlie in return for Hiro's knowledge of Sylar's future.  Sylar does it, I believe, for more than just the knowledge of future, perhaps also because Hiro is faster and could seriously mess with his plans of gaining great power.  Sylar also doesn't need to get Charlie's ability through killing her anyway, and if things were as I believe them to be or could have gone, he may have studied Hiro's brain enough to have taken the power.  A very small chance of that occuring, but it is there anyway.  It would majorly affect the timestream, and probably didn't happen as it would change FAR too many variables if Sylar got time travel.  I also like how Hiro knows he doesn't have much time to live and he helped save Charlie, but has no way help himself.
(On a side note- this may explain why Sylar never used Charlie's memory in season 1 after getting it, even though Hiro saw her dead)
Anyway, Sylar fixes Charlie.  Then Hiro tells Sylar he becomes the most powerful of the specials, killing many people,  and everyone else gathers together to stop him.  He will die alone, no one to mourn him, no tears shed.  Hiro also says he wishes he could change fate, but Sylar must go on his path.  That is a bold statement for someone changing history while saying he wishes he could change history.  He then leaves Sylar elsewhere.  Charlie feels that her life shouldn't cost others their lives and leaves Hiro. 

She changes her mind and comes back, but then Samuel has takes her.  He had the elderly time guy hide her somewhere in time as his dying act and is using that as leverage to get Hiro to fix one of his own "stepped on butterflies".  The mistake Samuel made was killing Mohinder 8 weeks earlier.  Which I think is a nice explanation to why no one has been able to get ahold of him.  Which also makes me wonder, is Molly still alive?  She barely ever reappears.  Mohinder and Parkman were her surrogate fathers, and they are awfully neglectful.

I believe that with Hiro reattaining his powers, he could easily go back to the point where Samuel is having Old Man Time send Charlie off, freeze time, inform the OMT what he is doing, and save Charlie in an easy manner.  It would appear to Samuel that OMT did what was asked, but in reality Charlie would be perfectly safe where/whenever Hiro would place her.  But NOOOOOOO...  that will probably not happen, even though that's what a reasonable person would do.  Or, at least, what I would do.  Simple and effective.


Illustration Friday: Skinny

 For this one, all I could imagine is those absurd girls being obsessed with their weight.  In my mind they're always like, "Did I eat today?  Oh jeez, they can TELL!!!  AWWWWW!!!"
So I made a quick 5 minute sketch.  
Of course I had to add the even more absurd idea that they would eventually begin to worry that all the air molecules would start adding weight through accumulation in the lungs and blood, while very negligible (and very necessary for living), to them it would be extremely noticeable.


Heroes: Strange Attractors

Another super late, crappy and quick Heroes post.

Noah and Tracy try to get the healer/death touch kid Jeremy released from jail.  Jeremy's townspeople believe he should be kept, and are purposely keeping him detained.  Upon release the twon mobs him and he uses the death touch, bu trefuses to heal him, thus resulting in more jail time. 
A couple of the police sneak him out and in a very sad scene chain him to a pickup truck.  Jeremy refuses to use the death touch on one of them and him is drug to death.  This was one of the best story parts of this show- A kid finally coming to terms with what he can do and choosing to not use it for wrong, then dying because of ignorant people.  Of course the cops never saw the healing, only the death.
Well, Noah and Tracy end up finding him and thinking they have let him down.  Somehow all the years of his "killing animals" (being hearsay- Jeremy has shown regret for killing, so maybe it wasn't true) and they think they failed.  Noah's job was to tag and observe- how could he know that the healing what also result in the death touch as well?  He mentioned another had the ability, but until it manifests, how can they be sure?
In any case Jeremy was definitely the most moving part the series has had in a while. 

Samuel shows up and talks to Tracy to get her to join the Carnival and she appears to be considering it.  This travelling fair is getting to be rather large, with all Sam's invites.  Well he goes on his way, and in the end levels the police station containing Jeremy's murderers.  At least we know he has a sense of justice- vengence for harming those he considers "Family".

Over in Sorority-ville, Claire and Gretchen are stuck with a couple other girls in a slaughterhouse type game of find the stuffed bear.  Whichever pair finds the bear get into the Sorority.  During the search Claire admits to needing Gretchen and they find out Rebecca has invisibility and may be trying to hurt them.  The second group saw both Claire heal and Rebecca go invisible.  Awkward explaining that to everyone else.

Now for Mr. Parkman.  He has the remarkable ability to do things with the brain, with the exception of using his own.  Somehow Sylar is hitchhiking around in Parkman's skull, and Parkman tries to drink him away.  Matt goes on a binge drinking session and Sylar fades away which is quickly followed by the triumphant Matt passing out.  When he wakes up Sylar has taken over his body.
How the hell did this happen?  What are these writer's thinking?  First off, from previous posts I've expressed my hate towards the idea of Sylar in Matt's head.  Making someone believe they are someone else doesn't make a second person, it is OVERWRITING the original.  One person.  Not a person and a second mind.  And certainly not one person and a second mind in the Overwriter's mind. 
On to the drinking Sylar away issue.  Taken from the story view- even if they are sharing a brain, Sylar would be fully exposed to the same amount of alchohol as Parkman and couldn't have taken over.  Besides, Sylar cannot use his own powers anymore to find out how Parkman's work because his are stuck in his own body.  Parkman has control over the brain/mind- he could easily contain and shelf Sylar off in some crappy memories forever.  Or better yet- stuff him in a coma patient's body or something.  Then Sylar would be confined to a useless body. 

This stuff is really starting to piss me off.


Illustration Friday: Fast

I wanted to do a really sweet multi-step overlapping running person, but my computer died, and I spent the last few days attempting to revive it in between work hours.  Now that it's semi-alive(at least working) and don't have the time to do what I wanted, I asked a roommate what to do, he said "Cheetah."
I replied, "I think a lot of people will do that."
So he said, "Shut the hell up!  I don't care, I want to see a cheetah!"


Heroes: Tabula Rasa

In an attempt to get this post out before the new episode I'll keep it SUPER SHORT.

Hiro shows up at Peter's and then is brought to the hospital.  Peter thinks Hiro came to receive help instead of the reverse.   So he heads out to find Claire and Noah to find a healer.  According to Noah Claire's blood won't work because cancer is living, but does that mean that all the virus and bacteria that cause all kinds of havoc in a body AREN'T living???  Ridiculous.  Well they find this kid that Noah checked on once and find he controls the flow of life and can kill as well as heal. 
Peter gets the ability and gets shipped back to Hiro, who is gone before he gets back, while Noah stays with the boy to make sure he is all right.  Can Peter now heal Emma? 
(A side note is that I hope Mr. Samson Gray finds this healer and then takes the power so his cancer will be magiced away and then he will have a way to kill Sylar, who is now considered "Big Game" prey)

Over in Hiro land- He is in a hospital talking Emma into accepting her ability as a good thing.  She shouldn't be a dumbass about it, whoever thought up the idea of people not wanting these powers is retarded.  Remember Claire complaining about being a freak?  She should shut the F up man.  She CANNOT get sick, or dead, that is AMAZING.  Someone should give her super powered diarrhea and then let her complain.  Yeah, she wouldn't after that. 
Anyway, Hiro sort of convinces Emma to grow into the ability, not push it away.  It is part of them, something that is a defining characteristic.  Hiro eventually vanishes and appears 3 years ago, where he may be trying to save Charlie from season 1. 
Didn't he already try it?  She had already been aware of the impending death and was OK with it.
Besides, wouldn't his going to change it severely change the present?  Considering it was one of Sylar's kills, it may have drastic consequences in the now.

In the Carnival Sylar is revisiting memories lodged in the body, as opposed to the mind's storage.  He get's into a confrontation with Detective Lubbock and doesn't kill him.  Then Edgar speeds in and kills Lubbock.  So Samuel is slowly forcing Sylar's body to become part of the carnival through much deception and an absurd baptism.  Do they not realize that Sylar's hunger is not activated and as soon as it is, he is in a veritable buffet of useful powers?  With his current capabilities, none of them really stand a chance against him.  Or when Pansy Parkman returns "Sylar's Mind", will mental Sylar go on a damn rampage and slaughter the entire group in what is essentially a massive Easter Egg Hunt of abilities?

Where have Tracy and Parkman and Mohinder and so on go?  Has Angela dreamed about the loss of "Nathan" and his current running away to the circus? 
UGH!  I am sick of this post already.  I'll try and get tonight's episode watched on Hulu tomorrow, then posted ASAP. 


Another marker sketchbook page

Here's a random page from one of my sketchbooks.  Of course a lot of pages are random thoughts and ideas that fall out of my skull and plop onto paper.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

First off I would like to say that my picture is of DOMESTICATOR!!! (Another one of my stupid creations)  Originally I wanted a house-bot that was a compilation of ludicrous household appliances.  There wasn't enough time for me to do a good version with a toaster arm-cannon, a shoulder mounted sink (with water hose), and various other attachments to cook and clean.  So I made do with a quick sketch of a robot (made out of a microwave, blender, and vaccuum) grilling hotdogs.

As for the movie...
(Spoilers ahead)
Is Michael Bay still a child?  What is he thinking?  Instead of being a somewhat well-oiled machine, this movie feels like a kid's playtime.  It lacks plot.  With a threadbare story, it's just a series of fights, chases, and explosions.  The film seems like they just took a bunch of loosely tied together images floating around in Bay's skull and mooshed them all into a blob and called it a movie. 

So kids will love it for all the flashy items, and there are a few notable scenes that made me laugh, specifically when Jetfire is talking to Agent Simmons about his father, the first wheel, and asks Simmons, "Do you know what he transfomed into?"  Simmons says no, and Jetfire's response is, "NOTHING!"

So we are given two and a half hours of, as one of my friends put it, Megan Fox distracting us from robots.  Does that make her a Distract-o-bod?  Which also makes me wonder why all of the Decepticons don't hide in a better fashion like the new blonde love interest Alice.

Worst of all they changed Soundwave's voice.  THAT is what defined his character!  I could see his not being an old boombox tape deck, but making him a satellite!?  Why didn't they keep him as a surveillance worker and be a fully docked MP3 player with speakers and such?

Then at the end Jetfire gives Optimus his parts and power, so why didn't they just do that at the begining???  Why the hell would people wait for all the property destruction and deaths before they go, "Oh, wait!  We can make a super weapon of our own, and just forgot to use it right away.  Our bad."  Not well thought out.

Overall I would say it's worth a rent.
And I'm still pissed about Soundwave.


Scribblenauts part 2: Unconventional wisdom.

First- Two things I thought were awesome.
1) A velociraptor does NOT appreciate having a chariot glued to the back of their head. Or tail.
2) If I have a magic wand and sit on a gorilla with a pointy stick and crown in a saddle on a centaur with a halo and spear, then we fight a T-rex, it turns into a frog and a steak.  But if we fight a mammoth it turns into a frog and 3 steaks.  Score for my tribe!

A list of random things I've learned from playing Scribblenauts.
  • If you call on Santa, he hands out random gifts to anybody, good or bad.  Some of the presents he pops out are; pets, sweaters, toys, video games, board games, and...  voodoo dolls.  Odd.
  • The most useful items I've found are a time machine and a mind control device.  Next in the lines of handy things would be wings, a teleporter, and a Cupid arrow.
  • Death can beat both God and the Devil, but is subsequently able to be beaten by you with a spork.  Or you can stuff him in a barrel.
  • Recipe for god = a human + ambrosia.
  • Satyrs are stubborn and rufuse to play a pan flute with me.
  • A black hole will suck things into their doom, while a portal sends out a very angry monster.
  • A blob and a ghost will fight each other and never die.
  • Jackalopes will ignore you and just walk around making horrible sounds. 
  • A bum will be fooled by the following trap: Boobytrap a snowman by setting it on a bear trap and stapling money to it's head.
  • Clones/Dopplegangers/Duplicates and Me all make multiple you's(Maxwell's).  They are also all evil and will try to steal anything you are holding and say "Yoink".  But if you use a shrink ray on them they will keep stealing each others things instead.  Then you may pick them up and fit up to 3 of them in a wallet or pocket.
  • If you make an ocean, then make a whale, the whale is too big to fit in the ocean.
  • Robots are good and cyborgs are evil.
  • If god has a sword, he's good, but if I have a sword I'm the enemy.
  • If you leave a trail of meat/brains up to a corpse and drop lightning on the corpse, it will come to life, eat, and pass out from being stuffed.
  • Cthulu and Shoggoth are not above love.  If you Cupid arrow them they will love you.

A few more colored pencil studies.

Three more old sketchbook pages.
The top of the first is acrylic paint,the rest are pencils.
Also the first is a BIG score- a rabbit with a monster sized carrot.  Right below it is a Golden apple.
The second is a Firebreather in motion, and third is an old friend.

Old Sketchbook study pages in colored pencils.

Here are 2 more sketchbook pages from 2000.


A few crappy sketchbook pages from 2000.

All these were lame color theory practice pages with acrylics.

The first is-
1. Lightning striking a guy
2. Jack-o-lantern
3. Candle

The second page-
1. Some dead woods
2. A fairy
3. Flower

Third page-
1. Poseidon by a whale
2. Guy hung on a tree

Fourth page-
1. Lake at night
2. Animal in grasses
3. Gyroscope in motion


Illustration Friday: Frozen

I had a ton of ideas this week's word, but I ended up getting bogged down at work and just doing an Otsi inspired iceman mummy.
A quick sketch and paint.


Heroes: Hysterical Blindness

Another attempt to keep these Heroes posts short.

Claire and Gretchen start bonding in a sorority function.  Where Claire becomes super suspicious of Gretchen and things happen that make it look like Gretchen is a loony and jealous of Claire.  As it turns out it is a second person with invisibility, a sorority sister working with Samuel's funky carnival messing with Claire and trying to lure her into poor standings with friends to get her to want to join the circus.  Claire confront Gretchen and Gretchen reveals her lesbian urges towards Claire.  I suspect Claire liked it.

Samuel is metaphorical man with all his seed planting.  Not in the pervy way, just planting actual plants and sending messages out to push special individuals into coming to him.

Peter saves a distracted Emma(the aura/sound seer) and accidentally absorbs her ability, losing the super speed in the process.  That happens to be a great scene in the episode- Peter begins to run, the music picks up in an epic fashion, and then turns to a record run down sound like 3 times.  He then realizes the speed is for sure gone and he now sees sound.
Later he sees Emma seeing colors and they bond playing a piano making fun light waves.  Ooh, yay.  Lame.  Although, I do enjoy the everyday feel of the characters figuring things out.
In the end of the episode, Emma is messing around with a cello, picking up sound/light power and accidentally uses it to blast a crack in a nearby wall.

Over in Nathan/Sylar land, Nathan was shot and buried, and Sylar emerged from the ground.  Probably a natural reversion, but why didn't it happen to the origiinal shapeshifter when Sylar offed him?  The empty headed amnesiac Sylar is picked up by the police and held in custody. 
I don't get why his mind is in Parkman's head.  When Parkman made him think he was Nathan, he didn't pull the mind out and shove a substitute in, he just made Sylar believe he was Nathan.  Thus this whole thing is messed up.  Why did Sylar's mind hop out and his body continue wandering around on autopilot?  His mind should be IN the body believing itself to be Nathan.  Period.  The writers are really bogging the story down with extra crap.  Sure the idea is kind of sweet, but writing new things into the story without keeping with the past is poor writing.  Like all the characters that show up and then are just forgotten.  (Molly, Claude, Waterbreather-guy, Peter's Irish girlfriend he left in the virus decimated future, etc...)
Back to the Sylar's bady.  He is in a police cell being questioned by Ernie Hudson and some psychologist lady.  Sylar notices that her watch is off, being way ahead, and she says that skill may be a key to finding who he is.  Ghostbuster/Police guy Hudson gets the finerprints back and knows who he is, then pulls the camera plug in an attempt to get a confession for Sylar's mother's murder from back in season 1.  Nice refresher.  Well Sylar doesn't believe he would do that, then manages a super powered defense and escape.  He sort of kidnaps the psychologist because she promised to help him.  He ends up on the run with her left behind and wanders into Samuel's Magic Carnival showing up and disappearing in a forest, giving Sam "half" of Sylar.

Towards the end Hiro teleports into Peter's apartment and passes out.  Why doesn't Peter get Claire's healing and/or blood.  He could theoretically draw infinite amounts of tubes as she/he regenerated and then inject them into various people healing them all.  Hello Hiro, salvation is in sight. 
But since Peter is a tard, things like this are overlooked.  He is both a specially abled individual and a paramedic, healing would be SUPER helpful. 
I am still pissed that he didn't take Sylar's power, and subsequently all the additional ones.  Then again, could Claire's blood fix his DNA and restore his original Empathy??? 

What ever.  I quit for now.

My Personal Favorite Photos 3

The third image is a picture from yet another party.  *SIGH*
Anyway, this is my friend Rachel.  A somewhat mundane photo, but I really like it regardless.

My Personal Favorite Photos 2

This is another picture from a party in I believe 2007.  This is one of my friends and she was doing a strange dance while I was getting pics of various things in the room.  This is the only one that turned out well.

My Personal Favorite Photos 1

Here's a picture of some random girl at a party I was at like a year or so ago.  No idea who she is but the image turned out phenomenal.


A Tiger Mage and a Hornet

Here are two more marker sketches that I did with a bunch of Sharpies.  I really like the feel of Sharpies on heavyweight cardstock paper.
The first is a Magus Tiger sketch from a story I started WAYYYY back in the day.  I am still updating all that stuff, going through serious editing, and pretty much doing general clean up work. 
The second is a hornet that I freehand sketched from a picture I saw somewhere on the net like 6 years ago.
YAY Sharpie!!!


Heroes: Acceptance

A quick Heroes post in an attempt to get done before tonight's episode.

Nathan finally meets up with Peter to discuss his new found powers. Peter thinks that it is a trait that runs in the family.  I am somewhat displeased with the fact that instead of Peter holding Nathan and cycling through to see what powers he could find(being ones he already has had or used, or familiar with) he doesn't swap out the super speed for the much more useful telekinesis.  If he started siphoning off abilities, he could get healing, or as I have previously stated a bunch, Sylar's base power, which would enable him to suck up all the rest.  Even without killing the bearer, as we know Sylar can do, but just doesn't.

Nathan also discovers a cover-up case where he was the person that accidentally caused the death of a girl he liked many years back.  His mother covered it up, and he wants to "make it right" by telling her mother.  She gets pissed and has him killed.  But that obviously doesn't work.

Tracy over in the land of professional women decides she wants to do "helpful" work.  Doing things for people as opposed to just being a selfish business person.  So she turns down a job offer from a former political partner.

Way over in HBO's Carnivale-rip-off-ville, Samuel catches a couple people in a conversation of smack talk about himself.  He decided to do what he feels is right for the group, and thinks it is right because he is the leader.  He gets a tattoo image from some girl's back showing that Mr. Bennett has decided to rethink his stance on specials. 
At that image Mr. Bennett is studying images of a "Compass That Changed the World" newspaper clipping and pics of Darth Speedster.  So he may also rejoin Peter with the offer to help find other people with abilities.

Now to the best part of the episode, Hiro.  Hiro repeatedly attempts to stop a jumper from suicide by going back in time to keep him from photocopying his butt, an act that continuously leads to his wanting to kill himself.  After like 49 tries Hiro just gives up going back, then goes up to sit in discussion with the man instead.  So Hiro learned that sometimes changing the past isn't needed.  Doing things in the now can solve the problem.  Just talking things out, no time manipulation necessary, a little bit of friendship goes a long way.  Something about knowing someone is there for you can support a person in the darkest of days.  After this realization, he tells his sister about his own secret burden, his own impending death.

Illustration Friday: Flying

Sorry this is SUPER late.  I worked a gazillion hours this weekend at the hospital.  With all the crazy Minnesota weather issues and H1N1 outbreaks it is becoming a really huge problem.  It caused all my current other work to be pushed back by a few days. 
Well, I did this quick Watercolor, and added some scanned in feathers just because I felt like it.


Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

Just a few thoughts on the new Marvel Comics based game.

Another Marvel comics game that could have been better.  Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing multiplayer experience, but the single player game is average.  So overall I really enjoyed playing with a group, and would recommend this game for anyone with a chance to play with other people.  

The player(s) start with only 4 characters to choose from; Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, and Spider-man.  The story is goes something like this- the main 4 characters start questioning their jobs as heroes.  A split happens as some feel they are being used as mercenaries in a militaristic fashion by being sent in to destroy some stuff, hurt some people, and bring forced action to other countries.  Government agencies want to enforce a superhero registration program for all persons with abilities of ANY kind.  If you resist you become a criminal and are hunted down incarcerated as such. 
During the course of the game other characters are slowly added or subtracted as the story progresses and a divide grows between the heroes.   Plenty of other Marvel cameos come in as "support", but are either limited to boss fights or just story additions.

As single player goes it is a moderate level of fun and you can take your time and pay closer attention to the story.  But, meh, it's just "ok".  I do want story in a game, but it should also be more focused in the single player.  Leave the story loose for games with multiplayer mode.  With a group game I don't want to sit and watch a 10 minute story continuation.  There needs to be action, with only enough filler video to cover the load time of the level.  When I am by myself I fully appreciate the depth of the story, but a limit should be necessary.  Multiplayer is where this game really shines and the lengthy cutscenes are a large annoyance.  All my friends that have played this game all have the same complaints. 

In my opinion Marvel should've spent far more money on making more characters available, both in the begining of the game, and having the option to use all the people encountered  throughout the story.  I was pissed that both Bishop, Cable, Havok, She-hulk, and the pair Cloak and Dagger are in the game but not unlockable. 

I don't care that each character has a multi-person super move, called "Fushions".  Sure they are cool, and occasionally very useful, but I would rather a larger selection of characters to choose from, not just the 36 or so available for the end of the game.  When the story impedes the ability to play specific characters, forcing me to change characters, I get angry. Marvel did this in the first game as well. STOP DOING IT!  Marvel easily has HUNDREDS of characters to choose from.  They have tons of heroes and villains already in the game, why aren't they unlockable for use after encountering or battling them??? Ludicrous!

I mean come on, Bulls-eye shows up, why didn't they make him a palette swap of Daredevil?  Or Carnage for Spider-man/Venom?  What about Moon Knight for Iron Fist?  Black Panther for Captain America?  Firestar for Human Torch?  Chamber for Penance? I could go on and on.
I want to see some of the Young Avengers or the Runaways.  I want to see Kang the Conquerer and Dr. Doom be available as a playable character.  I want to see Black Bolt and the Inhumans.  Where is Fin Fang Foom for a giant boss battle?  He could be paired in a level with the Mandarin.  How about a Galactus battle that encompasses an entire city? 

Or there's the future possibility of making a game in which you would get the base game(consisting of MASSIVE amounts of levels, TONS of sh!t to destroy, and UNBELIEVABLE amounts of people to beat the crap out of) and then would be given a certain amount of characters to download free for play.  Then at a later time have the option to buy even more characters.
I want an EPIC game, not so heavy on story, but there should be just enough to keep players on a path, and like a hundred levels of hack-n-slash with some light puzzle solving, with a minimum of a hundred selectable characters at the begining.  The levels could be enormous, like a more free roaming type feel, an immense city of roaming around fighting people combined with a reasonable amount of collateral damage.

The game could easily be brought down to simply being a bunch of people(more than 4) with crazy powers going on a monster rampage through whatever passes as bad guys' current residence and destroying everything in sight.  Sometimes a simple game is a better game.  So, by focusing more on the Hack and Slash, or more appropriately Power and Punch, could be what it takes to make an enjoyable multiplayer experience into a highly addictive group activity.

All right Marvel-  More Characters, More Levels, and More Awesome.  (Awesome being things/people to destroy.)  They have plenty of story material from years past (but keep it light for 2+ players) and could easily have an Infinity Gauntlet game.

One last note- they also NEED to have multiple save slots.  It sucks having no extra save spots.  A single save for Single player and a single for Multiplayer.  What the hell game makers!?


Violet Eyes

Here's yet another image from years gone by.
This is from 1999 and I made the eyes, lashes, brows and lips in Adobe Illustrator, then did the rest with brushes in Photoshop.  Blah.


Scribblenauts Part 1: Lessons in Problem Solving.

Scribblenauts is an ingenious problem solving game.  You are a boy named Maxwell with a magic notebook and your job is to accomplish a serious of various tasks.  Whatever you write in the notebook appears on screen to help solve the problems.  Now, of course, there are some words that don't work, specifically vulgarities.  Although poop doesn't work, vomit and booger both show up.  So they tried to make it kid friendly, while still offering adults an immensely entertaining game of "How Imaginatively Can I Do This...".  Some tasks are very simple, like helping a woodcutter get a tree down.  Each level takes a little more effort as the difficulty gradually increases.
One could solve most of the games levels with a small amount of items used over and over, but gives you bonuses by making you think of alternative solutions when repeating a previous stage.  Occasionally the game's items ignore all physics and plausibility, and goes on to do nothing of what it should/would do.  Like if you summon a hurricane all that appears is a handful dark clouds and a pitiful amount of rain, but if you summon a tsunami, the water wave decimates everything on screen(including you) and starts the level over.

A massive amount of the fun in this game is just seeing what you can do with a random set of creations and still achieve the goal of the level.  One can dink around for hours, days, or even weeks with just making random crap appear on the title screen(Pictured at top) and see how things react.  There is a bar that limits the amount of things you can make, so you cannot make an infinite amount of money to bribe a cop or some such.  I discovered that I can only make 6 gorillas, but I found I could stack them all and ride a gorilla tower.

Anyway, here are some of the things I did...

Problem #1:  Help some guy cut down a tree.
1) Go the easy route- Use a chainsaw to cut it down.
2) Less conventional- Burn it down with a campfire.
3) An original idea- Weild a badger like an axe.

Problem #2:  Help get a lady's cat off a roof.
1) Lame way- Make a ladder and climb up.
2) Marginally less easy way- Spawn a pterodactyl and fly up to grab the cat.
3) An original way- Blow the house up with C4.  No house means no roof, so the cat will then be on the ground and reunited with a questionably happy owner.

Problem #3:  Get a soccer ball past a goalie into the goal.
1) Easy way- Run past him with the ball and shoot it in.
2) Less normal way- Drop a virus on his head and when he falls over ill throw the ball in.
3) Awkward way- Shoot the goalie with a bazooka then kick the ball in over his dead body.
4) My favorite way- Create a gold bar and give it to the goalie.  Walk away and explain to your new best friend, Mr. Leprechaun, that there is a real greedy douschebag goalie hoarding his(the leprechaun's) gold.  When the goalie is being beaten to a pulp by a very angry leprechaun walk the ball into the goal.

Problem #4: Trick or Treat with 3 kids.  Either scare them or give them candy to achieve the goal.
1) Easy way- Give them candy or create a ghost to scare kids.
2) Better way- Create the monstrous Shoggoth of the H.P. Lovecraft mythos(both Cthulu and the Necronomicon are there as well). The kids crap their pants and run like hell.
4) Morally ambiguous way- Glue a razor to some candy. The kids recognize it as candy and you still win!

Problem #5: Catch a butterfly.
1) Easy way- Use a net.
2) Better way- Throw a rock at it to knock it out of the air.
3) Best way- Glue an anchor to it so it can't fly off the ground.
4) Ineffective but hilarious way- Drop a meteor on it.  Everything dies(including you).

Problem #6: Clean all the garbage out of the park.
1) Easy way- Pick up the trash by hand and throw it in the garbage bin.
2) Fast way- Create a flamethrower and burn the everything in sight to a cinder pile.
3) Fastest way- Set off an atom bomb in the park.

Problem #7:  Knock over a pyramid of glass bottles.
1) Lazy way- Throw a baseball at the stack.
2) Why didn't I do this earlier way- Put antimatter above it and the bottles are sucked, presumably, into another dimension.
3) Laugh out loud way- Put a human cannon on the other side of the room and shoot the bottles with a clown.


Another marker sketch.

A marker sketch of an ugly fish.

Marker sketches from an old sketchbook.

I made these with sweet Prismacolor markers. 

Another Comic Strip

This is another sketchbook image I made into a comic strip.  Originally from 2003.  The color and stuff was added last night.

A Comic Strip

Here is an old sketchbook item I cleaned up and am posting.  Originally from around 1998.


My Personal Favorite Pieces 2

This is my other favorite.  I think it was in 2000, and I made it by cutting apart a pair of jeans.  I ripped off the bottom edges for the hair, and cut a female silhouette from one of the legs and scanned them in.  Then I used Photoshop's dodge and burn tools to get the highlights and shadows.

My Personal Favorite Pieces 1

I made this in 1999 and it remains one of the 2 favorite images I've ever done.
I noticed the image seems very dark in the Google blog, not sure why, it seems to happen a fair amount that pictures come out darker than they are normally.  Oh well, I know it prints out fine at least(not this version, my own high res copy).

Heroes: Ink

All right I'm going to try and shorten these Heroes posts.

In this episode, Claire's new BFF Gretchen learns of the regenerative powers.  Mr Bennett bring the girls out for Indian food, and Gretchen in very subtle manner, hints to her interest in Claire's healing ability.  Bennett wants to call in the Haitian, who is conveniently on speed-dial.  This pisses me off SO MUCH.  He could have rendered Sylar easy to defeat.  Powerless means killable.
Well, Claire says she can handle the situation and goes to work.  Thus her and Gretchen becoming best friends.  Claire then gives her an up close look at the power in action.

On to Parkman, who is equating his power as a bad thing.  Ah...  hello, cliche.  I am sick of this idea.  It is an immense gift, people can't lie to him.  But he is being sort of mentally harassed by the Ghost of  Sylar past, who is somehow both in Parkman's head and in his own body(posing as Nathan).  Lame.
I believe Parkman has created a sub-persona in the guise of Sylar to teach himself to stop trying to avoid using his power.  I think it's like this because- 1. Sylar is posing as Nathan so he shouldn't be fighting with himself over the body.  I've mentioned before, he is a healer, he will heal the mind and revert to Sylar anyway.  Then there would be 2 Syalr's-one in body and one in Parkman's mind.  2. Sylar "uses" Parkman's abilities against him.  So I would believe that Sylar couldn't have latched onto Parkman's gray matter, but is just Parkman working against himself.  Maybe it is a telepath's version of a midlife crises.
Aside from those thoughts, I believe Parkman's ridiculous insistence on the avoidance of his ability is itself driving him crazy.  Come on Matt, telepathy is like a sense, it would be like a normal person trying to live blindfolded.  What an idiot.
He ends up being tricked by "Sylar" to beat up a guy who he is investigating, and uses his ability to cover his tracks by altering his partners memories.

Of course I've said it before, I think that things are becoming very close to the future from "5 Years Gone".  Parkman working his way towards becoming a douchebag "Nightmare Man", Sylar becoming himself and CHOOSING to stay Nathan because the power it affords him, etc.

Elsewhere Peter is being sued by Samuel who is trying to expand his family through dubious means.  Instead of just telling Peter that he has powers and inviting him to help others with a travelling carnival, he uses his abilities to make an actually empathic do-gooder doubt himself, and look like an ass in the process.  For someone that talks about family and all that jazz Samuel seems to be a real A-hole.  He then stops by a former place of residence and causes an anomaly to level the place and hurt/kill many people.  He appears to have marked Peter with a tattoo compass as well.

Now for a new character that I both like and dislike.  A deaf lady named Emma.  She can see lights where noise should be.  A doctor tells her it might be synesthesia which is an actual problem, not a power (senses being messed up- like smelling color or hearing smells).  So she wears headphones so people won't talk to her and pity her because she is deaf.  GET OVER IT.
Near the end of the episode she sees wonderful colors coming from a cello.  He gets up and steps away for a time.  She goes over and plays an amazing number.  Would that be a number by color???  The thing that pissed me off is the fact that she is just discovering her ability and she masters it on the first try while f*cking around with an instrument.  Every other person had to train to use their powers when it required use(not an automatic power like healing).  Isaac was already a painter when he started doing the pictures, so he had built a useful skill before manifesting the power.  Remember Peter's first image?  It was a stick figure of himself with a stick man Nathan on a roof.  Nathan had an accident that made him fly.  Even Sylar grew in ability, when he got the telekinesis, he didn't use it perfectly on a cup in front of Chandra Suresh.  Other than her magically being a maestro whilst dicking around playing with colorful cello sounds, I think her having an ability like this is very interesting.  It is unknowingly affecting others through pure musical beauty, while she herself can see the beauty on a whole other level.


Illustration Friday: Germs

Here's my first participation in the Illustration Friday site.
Lungs full of germs- Yummy!
I made it with markers, inks, and a few Prismacolor pencils.


Harold the HUGGER!!!

I was hugged today.  It was by a young lady in a bear suit.
So I suppose it would be Hannah the HUGGER, but that doesn't have the same ring to it.
Say it out loud: Har-old the HUG-GER!

I was waiting at a stoplight on my bicycle, minding my own business, when all of the sudden it was Guerilla Warfare with cuteness.  There was a great blur of brown fur, like an adorable wraith, appearing out of nowhere, and dive-tackling me with hugs.  All soft and fluffy, it was horrible.  I was almost knocked off my bike.  I barely managed to escape being mauled by a 5 ft. Snuggle Bear with sanity intact.  Quite embarrassing actually. 
Then it tried to get me to buy some trinkets from a massive garage sale.

Great, now everyone will know I was attacked by the mythic Cuddle Beast of Coon Rapids in broad daylight.  Yet another encounter with a little known Minnesota Monster with poor marketing skills.  This is like the time I had a tea party with a Bigfoot in my neighbor's tree fort.  He was out door-to-door selling magazines for a fundraiser.
Usually nobody believes me, but this time I have photographic evidence.


WTF!? Google needs to fix this.

OK.  I love google, and their Blogger stuff. 
But I literally tried the "Next Blog" button on the top of the page 50 times.
I got (http://alpha-beta-tricks.blogspot.com/) 24 times, (http://www.indirelease.com/) 17 times,  and 9 other sites in between.  Seriously, WHAT THE HELL GOOGLE!?!?

I would very much like to scan through various blogs to see what's out there, and instead I get stuck in stupid loops of the same 2-3 blogs going on over and over.  I even went to other computers, tried starting the blog search from various bloggers' pages, and the same sites still repeat.  It is VERY annoying.  Especially when the 2 listed above don't have a "Next Blog" button on them.
This is a specific issue I have had many times, and it is really something that needs to be remedied.
Come on Google, this problem needs to be fixed, and I actually think out of all the bazillions of brilliant employees at your disposal, at least a handful could fix it with ease.

Also, the updated blog editor needs a spellchecker.