Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Soar as the falcon soars...run with the speed of gazelle

If you've 20 minutes to spare here and there, I encourage you to watch Filmation's live-action THE SECRETS OF ISIS on hulu.com.

I remember hating Isis as a little boy. First, she paled in comparison to Captain Marvel on the SHAZAM! live-action show. Second, she never seemed to do anything.

Watching the show now, I have a better appreciation for them. They were definitely for kids, and each had a very important message about believing in people you love, solving problems by following the law, following your conscience and not peer pressure, etc. Isis spends most of her time helping teenagers make good decisions, the stopping of crooks is very much secondary.

Sure, Isis doesn't do much...it seems like her appearance alone halts crime. Crooks just kinds give up in her presence. And her powers seem to change depending on the scenery and what the budget would allow. And the sets...these poor actors had to run around the crappiest alleys of Los Angeles to film this show.

Another great feature of the show was the '70s post-hippy vibe. The supporting teenagers were usually a racially balanced group.

So yes, please, check it out. Just keep in mind it was made in a day that super-hero fare was meant for 7 year olds and not 37 year olds. She's solving crime with love, not gore.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Study in Gatchaman

After Star Wars took the country by storm in the late '70s, the demand for sci-fi was back, with little supply.

Capitalizing quickly, the (non sci-fi) Japanese Anime Gatchaman was rescripted, dubbed, and repackaged as the sci-fi show Battle of the Planets, which I loved as a kid.

I decided to draw a nice image of the group, in color. To gear up, I was sketching the team a bit around xmastime.

If you're not familiar, the science ninja team's uniforms (visors in particular) are bird-themed (eagle, condor, swan, falcon, owl). So I added two guys I draw often suited up as teammates (dodo and chicken).

UPDATE: It probably was too indirect, so I clarify that the teammates I added were Matt (dodo) and myself (chicken).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Out and About

Fish-philes know I am not hitting the gay clubs with great regularity, but I have been "out" two weekends in a row. First, I was hosting Serge from Montreal (my friend Xavier's ex BF). Meeting up with other friends at Paradise, we remarked on a scruffy built guy in tight, tight T-shirt with amazing shoulders. I generally need strong motivation to draw someone...strikingly handsome, eclectic attire, exceedingly heinous, etc. But with this fellow, it was the shoulders. I still couldn't capture them, they were just perfectly sculpted. This past weekend, Matt was in town for business and wanted to meet up at Club Cafe. It was a, hrm, interesting evening—but what happens in Boston stays in Boston, eh? After he stumbled away, Adam and I noticed the shoulders dude, whom I promptly spoke to. Mike's a nice guy, and after I told him about my sketch, and the motivation (his shoulders) he told me he's having troubles with them. The coloring is courtesy of Adam. http://adamsredchalk.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 14, 2011

Creations from my childhood redux week: Sigmund and Friends

Last installment...direct from my freshman year of high school—Sigmund and Friends.

Sigmund was this weird, prune-like things appearing in little cartoons.Not sure what else to say about him.

The "and friends" were Jacques and Simone, a happily married couple from Quebec. Jacques was a red-headed body-builder with a mohawk, and his wife was an elderly Native American named Simone. Initially Simone looked like Sigmund in a braided wig. Later, she developed her own look as she appeared in my sketchbook over the years.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creations from my childhood redux week: Mimi Chandler

Amidst a "Barbie" craze while I was in junior high school, Mimi Chandler was "born."

At that time, there was a Barbie for everything, and she had many careers. Mimi took it all further in little cartoons titled The World of Mimi Chandler: there was Policewoman Mimi, Fry-cook Mimi, Astronaut Mimi. You get the idea.

She had many different beaus, too, to suit the occasion. None were terribly interesting (in comparison, anyway!—who could compete?!?). However, among the cast was Mimi's half-sister, Miona. Miona was half-Hawaiian, wore heavy makeup and a pink Mohawk. Far more punk rock than her famous elder sister.

I later introduced Mimi into The Adventures of Arche-Lady series, as a glamour gal reporter, always chasing a story in an evening gown. It was later revealed that she and Arche-Lady went to college together.

Mimi appeared in my sketchbook around 2005 or so, as a travel magazine editor, which took her around the world encountering adventures along the way. I had planned (and still toy with the notion) of writing and drawing such stories, using my travel photos as reference. Think Arche-Lady without the super-powers.

So, keep your eyes peeled for some camp fun in Scandanavia, India, Brazil, and more. Maybe.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Creations from my childhood redux week: Harry the Cat

Trapped indoors during recess by the harsh New England winters (notice the trend?), our 5th grade class' energy was diverted to "creative writing."

Enter the fey kitty detective, Harry the Cat. Harry's adventures were told in prose, but each one was accompanied by several illustrations—like a mini Nancy Drew novel.

The stories are best described as an upgrade from Scooby Doo in terms of sophistication. They might even be a bit more so than early Arche-Lady stories. But still, a mystery novelist I was not destined to become...and Harry did not survive the 5th grade, aside from occasional renderings in sketchbooks.

I'm sure I wasn't intending him to be such the prissy pussy at the time, but looking back, he sure was.

Think Sherlock Holmes played by Terry-Thomas.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Creations from my childhood redux week: Gigi's Garage

Welcome to creations from my childhood redux week!—I've been sketching the various gems from my youth to your hoped-for delight.

First up is the hippy-chick Gigi, owner of Gigi's Garage. Trapped by the harsh New England winter as a pre-schooler, an ugly knitted blanket draped over the family dog became the inspiration for this enduring character and her long garishly colored hair.

Gigi (pronounced GIG-ee, not jee-jee) appeared in little cartoon snipets, alongside her supporting cast around the run-down auto-mechanic shop. Gigi herself was not a mechanic, but I vaguely remember the burly, dirty fellow. Otherwise, I don't have a clear memory of the other cast members and have no record (drawings) of them. One of them was named Bluebird, I know that.

I am pretty sure there was a little theme-song, too, though I am struggling to recall any of it. Keep in mind I was like 5 years old.

But yes, that is her hair.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

From the Gayest Corners of Your Video Screen: Regal Bryant

After xmas, I was introduced to video game character Regal Bryant from "Tales of Symphonia" for his homoerotic costume design. Skimpy shirt that barely covers his pecs, bound wrists, and an unbuckled belt make this a pretty gay outfit. Even though I used blue pencil and colored his hair blue, Matt said it wasn't blue enough. Hence, take 2.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Filmation Aquaman

Happy New Year!

One of the few gifts of "entertainment" for me this xmas was a DVD of the Filmation Aquaman series from the late '60s.

For some reason, this was never aired as re-runs locally when I was a kid, unlike a lot of other cartoons from that era. So, I'd only seen snippets on Cartoon Network some years back, though they edited them horribly.

The series isn't quite as "bad" as the '70s Filmation Batman series, but still has its moments: Mera (despite being quite powerful in the comics) is pretty weak and useless, always needing to be saved; Aquaman and Aqualad rely heavily on their giant seahorses for transport; and the addition of Tusky the walrus is pretty absurd...I mean, the action takes place pretty deep, and the poor guy is never off camera long enough to get air...not sure how he survived.

The interaction between Aquaman and Aqualad is fun: Aquaman calls his junior partner "tadpole," "minnow," and "squirt." Aw.

The series also was the innovator (I think) of the sound effect of Aquaman's telepathic commands used in Super-Friends and even today in Batman: Brave and the Bold.

Each episode is like 7 minutes long, so you can enjoy in small chunks...so, do!