No need to dig out the old Hanna-Barbera VHS tapes – there is no “Jadex” among the Herculoids, at least anywhere outside of the Deitrick household. My Star Pupil and I spent last Saturday morning doing what Saturdays were made for: watching cartoons. We spent a lot of time with the old H/B action shows like “Herculoids”, “Jonny Quest” and “Space Ghost” and once I was able to muzzle the internal critic complaining about the absence of all three Laws of Thermodynamics we had a good time
We were at most seven minutes into our session when it became evident the team needed an extra member bearing a strong resemblance to my Star Pupil.
These members of the Monastery of the Mendicant Equine Brotherhood of Mary our Lady of Garound will figure prominently in Dog King John and the Stolen Syrup…
…where they are often referred to as “The Poor Horsemen of Notre Dame”
“May you live in interesting times”.
It’s allegedly an old Chinese saying and has been alternately described as a blessing or a curse, but in this case it’s more of an observation. This past year has been interesting but I managed to survive and learn a little bit. I’ve inched up the scale on my cripple-ometer but the new upstairs studio continues to be a blessing and losing my job at the college has turned out to be a much better development than I anticipated, if for nothing else than all the URI’s (upper respiratory infections) I’m NOT getting.
My blog-world has changed for the better as well with many more followers and some genuine friendships into the bargain so I’d like to extend a gift of sorts in return
The four symbols below were developed as a feature of a deck of cards designed in grad school years ago. Instead of the traditional heart/club/diamond/spade designations I divided my deck into winter/spring/summer/autumn suits. I also designed the royalty figures (king/queen/jack) to age from suit to suit – spring: youth, summer: adolescence . autumn: adulthood and winter: elderly. (I’ll show the art another time.)
The images from those new suits can be found below and I’m sharing with you all today as tattoo patterns – if you read this blog you’re welcome to use them in that manner. Some of the solid black areas have washed out a bit (perils of using designers’ markers on unfamiliar vellum) but they’re still great patterns to work from. There’s no need for any kind of payment – all I ask is that you keep karma in mind when you do use them i.e. don’t steal credit for their creation, don’t take unfair advantage using them for profit and don’t use them for something other than tattoo art.
I’d be happy to answer any questions and I’d love to see photos as long as they’re in good taste. I’d rather not have to explain a tramp-stamp to my grandson.
One of the reasons I embarked on my long-term figure drawing program in the early 2000’s was a comment I once received about the drawing this image replaces.
“Oh – it’s a female figure? I never realized that!”
Granted, field operations leaves little time for beauty care, but I never made a mistake identifying gender when I was in the military myselfr so the comment stung a little…and that’s probably why my female figures are now a little more glam. True, the uniform on this particular cone-rifleman is a tad more snug than the way it was in the original drawing, but I did forego high-heel combat boots.
Original 1986 version:
Sculptors are the bikers of the art world : brash, strong-willed and you’ll rarely find one that will concede anything to another artist…which makes this post a bit unusual. I recently commissioned a custom action figure from Jay Sabich at 37 Custom Toys and I have to tell you he does Grade-A work and I would be hard pressed to match it.
The figure depicts Rogue from the X-men wearing the red & black uniform she wore in the pages of X-TREME X-MEN, a look that I prefer to her regular green/yellow aerobics instructor look. TOYBIZ released a figure in that uniform in 2006 but unfortunately they gave her that anorexic look that was so popular for female figures of that era,
(…or as my daughter said at the time “I just pretend they’ve been very, very sick)
This figure has also been done in the whimsical style of the old Justice League: International figure line which in turn was based on the animated series of the same name. It’s also been done very, very well and you’d be hard put to distinguish it from a factory figure. The sculpting is crisp, and the surface finish is understated and uniform. I usually keep my figures stored away but this young lady has a place of honor on my desk.
If you’re interested you can contact Jay at 37 CustomToys on most social media platforms or you can email him directly at capmarvelfan@yahoo. Please check his work out and do business with him if you can. He’s a little guy competing with the corporations and he deserves the support.
Again – a color version of a drawing that I’ve shown here in the past as a black & white image: My version of Venus from FIREBALL XL5 with some “tweaking” in both appearance and ability.
(It occurs to me that in our current socio-political environment someone could assume some sort of sordid intent with my use of the word “tweak” but please be reassured there is no ulterior motive.)
There’s a bit of challenge in maintaining uniformity in the XL5 crew (especially after you’ve seen color photos) so I kept the good doctor’s green jumpsuit but gave her a pointy-shouldered jacket to match Steve Zodiac’s uniform.
It also seemed a perfect situation for my beloved Trap-Jaw palette comprised of the tropical magentas/oranges and turquoises of that particular He-Man adversary. However, I was putting this together it occurred to me that those colors just a matter of horking from Filmation’ s color choice – some of those colors can be found in vivid sunsets of both dawn and dusk in Alaska.
…and there’s yet another influence, one that I thought I’d imagined for years – a toy set called Hamilton’s Invaders that was on the market for the blink-of-an-eye in 1964. It also used colors like chartreuse and turquoise found in my “Trap-jaw Palette” and while print advertisements were the only presence Hamilton Invaders had in the Last Frontier, what I saw was intriguing enough to have a permanent aesthetic influence on me.
Latest installment – but lacking captions, logo etc. I don’t have a 11″X17″ printer/copier so I had to tile the image from multiple smaller prints – hence the are also some obvious mismatched areas I’m also trying to brainstorm a way to enhance the aerial perspective as seen out the window without the linework washing out completely in some places.
I don’t know how many of my readers live in Seattle, but if you do live in the Emerald City, work in a creative field and are interested in professional development I would recommend enrolling in The Rekindle School (https://www.classesandworkshops.com/). Rekindle is an independent education program loosely affiliated with the Seattle Experimental College and features classes in traditional art, cartooning, writing and film-making.
Nils Osmar is the writer, director, producer, principal and chief cook/bottlewasher of this program and every semester he puts together an entire academic program from scratch. Even if his former students didn’t sing his praises as a teacher and creative professional I would still recommend him highly, if nothing else but for the firm shove he gave me towards professionalism when I was taking baby steps towards a creative career 40 years ago.
Nils is one of those rarest of animals – an established creative professional who is also a decent teacher. Not only can he walk the walk, he can talk the talk….and you’ll understand him when he does.
My Star Pupil spent a couple of hours in the studio with my Beautiful Saxon Princess and I. He had made a snake and lady-bugs out of Paperclay a few days earlier and yesterday they had dried enough to paint.
I’m a product of the Seventies in that both my social sense and my creative vision were influenced a great deal by what was going on in the decade from 1970 to 1979. Economically speaking it was terrible with most of the decade stuck in ‘stagflation’ – a stagnant economy wracked by inflation, and the country suffered a major geopolitical black-eye in Southeast Asia. At the same time it looked like racial issues were being addressed, and the multicultural bridge crew of the Starship Enterprise more than an escapist’s dream – which made my heart warm. My parents were an anomaly for their generation in that they were color-blind when it came to race, and so the idea of everyone of all colors getting along and working well together seemed only natural.
I was excited to be studying ‘commercial art’ as well and I loved the flamboyant renderings and splashy color choices of illustrators like Bob Peake that were so popular at the time. I looked forward to working in that design world, so at times it was challenging to have my illustration career on hold for five years while I served in the Army….but when I came out of the Army things were starting to change. Individual art directors were being replaced by committees and group-think tends to shun the experimental. Race relations were starting to change as well and the future didn’t seem as positive as we thought in the previous decade.
One indication of the changes was also one of my signature bodies of work – the group of uniform designs I created in 1986 and 1987 for FASA’s foil-covered BattleTech House books. It was a marvelous opportunity and a great learning experience: if you line the books up in order of their production you can see a gradual positive change in both my figure drawing and marker technique.
Unfortunately that project is unlikely to happen again with the same results.
Why? Jordan Weismann was the sole art director for the entire project and he pretty much let me run with my ideas – in the entire series he turned back exactly one drawing. Unfortunately by the last book Jordan had left and I had to contend with three different people dictating often conflicting changes which made for a drop in concept and quality. I no longer had the freedom to excel.
There were other trends that were disturbing me… Early on in the BattleTech project I was able to keep that Enterprise bridge crew model-mix of genders and races but as the series wound up with the committee in charge, it seemed like all the figures they took exception to had darker skins or only “X” chromosomes. Those committee objections took me totally by surprise (hence the title of today’s post). I’d been tooling along with my Seventies goggles but when I stopped and took a good look around in 1988 everything was very different.
I won’t even go into how I feel about the way things are now, but rest assured that I still prefer that Seventies perspective and I still put more stock in a person’s actions than the way they look.
This laser-equipped trooper from the Eridani Light Horse happened at the very beginning of the series
Re-visualized version from earlier in this decade