The blog where I write things.

Archive for August, 2010

My Evaluation of the X-Entertainment MS Paint Contest

Hey everybody, I’ve been following X-E’s “Least Favorite TV Character Contest” with great interest.  The rules are simple: draw your least favorite TV character in MS Paint (or an equivalent program).  The response was enormous.  Here’s my judging criteria:

Technique:  How good is the drawing?  Also, does the drawing look like the character? 

Concept:  How good or original is the idea behind the drawing? 

Charm:  That “certain something” that makes a picture stand out, without regard to the previous categories. 

Each criteria is evaluated on a five-point scale, with the total making up the final score, with 15 being the maximum.  Without further adieu, here’s my reviews of each entry:

1) “Janice Soprano” by DJ D

Our first entry.  Good line work, might have benefitted from more detail and color.  It kind of looks like it was traced from a phtotgraphic image.

Technique: 3

Concept: 3

Charm: 2

2) “Mr. Six” by IHAQ

This is a good one, about as unsettling as the real commercial.  That always annoyed the heck out of me, too.

Technique: 3

Concept: 3

Charm: 3

3) “Snooki” by Mandy Reeves

Hoo boy, this picture captures the character pretty well, considering it’s only slightly more cartoonish than the real thing.  The tan, another nice touch, was described by my brother as “clown orange.” 

Concept: 3

Technique: 2

Charm: 3

4) “Vince Offer” by Jugendsehnsuch

A masterpiece.  The Nazi angle is a nice touch, and the dollar signs in the eyes are an excellent detail.  The overall technique is superlative; this entry could easily pass for a real-life canvas painting.  The artist offers an animated GIF showing the making-of process, which helps you appreciate the work that went into it.

Technique: 5

Concept: 4

Charm: 3

5) “Steve Urkel” by penguin_poet

I like the jaunty “do the Urkel” pose, but as X-E Matt pointed out, this was taken from the Urkel-O’s box, which hurts the originality somewhat.  The colors are very acurate, though, and the overall likeness is very good.

Technique: 2

Concept: 2

Charm: 3

6) “Paula Deen” by PlantMonster

I’m not familiar with Paula Deen’s work, but the “Kalimayo” gag makes for an excellent “Temple of Doom” reference.

Technique: 3

Concept: 4

Charm: 3

7) “Janice the Muppet” by MORFNBLORSH

This is one of the best-drawn entries I’ve seen yet.  Has a layered, paint-like appearance that makes for an outstanding likeness, like a silkscreened poster. 

Technique: 5

Concept: 3

Charm: 3

8) “Randy ‘Not Eric’ From That ’70s Show” by Yohnny D.

A classic example of a character added in a show’s twilight to replace a well-known lead.  He was only in the last season, so the artist gets bonus points for obscurity.  Also, he reminds me of Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys.  If you watch “Live at Knebworth,” you’ll know what I mean. 

Technique: 3

Concept: 3

Charm: 3

9) “Scratch” by Class3KillStorm

I saw this cartoon back in the 90’s and I kinda remember this chicken-like henchman of Dr. Robotnik (back when he was called Dr. Robotnik; why did they change it to Dr. Eggman?).  Good likeness, very recognizable. 

Technique: 2

Concept: 3

Charm: 3

10) “Steve Urkel” by Larry

Another Urkel.  Admittedly, I didn’t think much of it at first, but the more I looked at it, the more it grew on me.  As I examined it, I asked myself: how do he clog the toilet?  Why is the toilet exploding?  And Why does Steve look like a speed freak?  The fact I was paying so much attention is a testament to the artist’s ability to infuse interest into ordinary material.  Last year, Larry entered a diorama into another X-E contest that had a Halloween theme, and it featured a “Winchester” action figure from MASH as a mad scientist.  It’s one thing to have a mad scientist, but to have one with a sarcastic wit and a pompous New England bearing is something else entirely. 

Technique: 3

Concept: 4

Charm: 4

11) “Michael from Salute Your Shorts” by Charles A.

I’ve heard of “Salute Your Shorts,” but I’m not really familiar with it (I originally thought it was some sort of cartoon).  However, this is an excellent picture because it pretty much tells you what the chracter is like even if you’ve never heard of him (and I haven’t): a dumb, wide-eyed jerk.  Actually, he kind of looks like a live-action Calvin. 

Technique: 4

Concept: 3

Charm: 3

12) “Vincent Chase as Aquaman” by Jerrod K

This is just plain funny.  Any number of people could’ve done Vince, but far fewer would actually have him dressed up as Aquaman.  It makes him look like an even bigger jerk than usual, taking the concept to a whole new level.  Excellent.  Even the fish hate him!  As I hear it, the joke is that Vince is actually famous for playing Aquaman on screen!  Man, that Aquaman cannot catch a break.  An entire cable show revolves around making fun of him. 

Technique: 3

Concept: 4

Charm: 3

13) “Uncle Joey” by Alex

Excellent craftsmanship, but the likeness is a bit off.  To be honest, it looks more like Joe Piscipo then Dave Coulier.  The “durp durp durp” and accompanying hand motions are a nice touch. 

Technique: 4

Concept: 3

Charm: 2

14) “Uncle Joey” by Fox

Here’s another Uncle Joey.  The picture may not be a tour-de-force, but the “Predator” angle helps it stand out.  I also like how Joey is doing his annoying schtick, completely oblivious to his impending doom.  Then again, he kind of looks like Howie Mandel. 

Technique: 2

Concept: 3

Charm: 3

15) “Shannon from Lost” by Cliff

I was never a fan of LOST, but this captures the character pretty effectively, and expresses a good reason for hating her: she does nothing but stand around sobbing in a bikini top (or is it a brassiere?). 

Technique: 3

Concept: 3

Charm: 2

16) “True Blood Tara” by Dan

I don’t have cable, and if I did, I probably still wouldn’t watch True Blood.  However, I like this drawing because Tara looks like an angry Muppet.  When I look at it, I imagine her face shaking with rage and a tuba playing in the background.  I also like the fact that the monsters in the background are frightened of her. 

Technique: 3

Concept: 3

Charm: 4

17) “Vicki the Robot” by Lisa B.

I used to watch Small Wonder a lot as a kid.  After viewing the recent DVD release, I was surprised at how much I liked the show after all these years.  Still, I can’t help but appreciate the detailing in Vicky’s hair, dress, and pinafore. 

Technique: 4

Concept: 3

Charm: 2

18) “Tori from SBTB” by Ed W.

Here’s another obscure one: “Tori” only appeared for a brief period during the latter part of Saved by the Bell’s run.  I think X-E Matt had a crush on her or something.  This is another one of those pictures that doesn’t seem interesting at first, but kind of grows on you.  I think it’s due to Tori’s bored and/or annoyed expression.  It captures the character pretty much perfectly. 

Technique: 3

Concept: 3

Charm: 5

19) “Uncle Joey” by Louie Q.

Boy, people really hate Uncle Joey.  I’m glad I haven’t seen Full House in such a long time.  The crowning touch is the inclusion of that woodchuck puppet he acquired at some point.  The likeness is somewhat better than the others, but something still seems a bit off.  The mullet is pretty funny, though (as most mullets are). 

Technique: 3

Concept: 3

Charm: 2

20) “Akumaro Sujigarano” by Neg

Here’s another one from left field.  Only hard-core Super Sentai fans are likely to recognize Akumaro Sujigarano, which I assume translates to “demon king Sujigarano” from the Japanese.  The likeness is excellent, with outstanding color detail making for a (presumably) high degree of accuracy (with repeated exposure, you get a pretty good general idea of what a Sentai villain should look like). 

Technique: 4

Concept: 4

Charm: 3

Thus concludes part I.  I’ll move on to the later entries before too long.  Matt from X-E will announce results around Wednesday, so to all my fellow entrants, good luck!

Advertisements

X-Entertainment MS Paint Contest Entry!

It took all night, but here it is.  For you readers out there, I’ll update this post with more making-of info later.  It’s a long story. 

A true clash of titans.

Charles (In Charge) shouts at Sue Sylvester through a megaphone.

Title: “Back In Charge”

Description: When the contest came up, the “Glee” lady was the most odious TV character I could think of.  This started as a simple unflattering drawing, but then I thought: a jerk like her should get her comeuppance, and who better to deliver a comeuppance against my least favorite TV character than my FAVORITE TV character?  Who better to administer vicarious revenge than the man who’s in charge of our days and our nights, our wrongs AND our rights?  The idea was so simple, it practically drew itself.  The space-time anomaly in the background was included to explain how Charles entered the “Glee” universe.  As for why this is taking place on a grassy plain, adjacent to forrests and mountains?  Charles takes a lot of guff from the Powells, and he likes to get away from it all.  Besides, he’s the outdoorsy type.  One look at this and you’ll want Charles in charge of you, too!  Filmed in Panavision.


Darkwing Duck Returns… in Comic Book Form!

Darkwing Duck Returns!

The terror that flaps in the night...

Hoo boy, I wasn’t expecting this.  This is no joke.  BOOM! Studios is publishing a new Darkwing Duck comic.  According to wikipedia, the comic launched as a four-part miniseries and was successful enough to be extended into something continuous.  Who knew?  It was announced back in March and launched around June.  I won’t spoil the comic’s initial storyline, but the link provided will offer some insight if you’re interested.  When it comes to comics, I usually prefer to wait for the paperback.  However, this may be an exception, as I am a pretty big fan of the show (as are a number of my internet friends).  My hope is that renewed interest in the Darkwing Duck character might lead to a DVD release for the remaining episodes of the show.  So, to any fans of Darkwing out there, please consider a purchase!  Here’s a link to the article announcing the comic’s release: 

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=25219


My Summer Jukebox Playlist

It’s summertime.  Whether on the radio or on the net, around this time of year people think about what songs they like to listen to.  I probably have more fodder for this list than anybody.  As a lifelong oldies listener, I’m pretty hip to the well-known summer oldies. 

As you may have guessed, I have a Summer Jukebox playlist on my iPod.  It is currently composed of 135 tracks, 85 of which are by the Beach Boys.  I bet most of you didn’t know they had that many songs.  To be fair, many of the tracks are alternate mixes, a capella and what have you. 

Any way, I figured I might take a look at a few tracks and point out why I think they are appropriate. 

“Afternoon Delight” by the Starland Vocal Band- I know what you’re thinking: this song is about copulation!  Not necessarily.  This song was written at a time before every other word or phrase was a sexual euphemism.  I only started to hear this song within the last few years, but it’s so incredibly catchy that I could listen to it ad naseum.  Will Ferrell and company recorded a very funny (and surprisingly faithful) version of this song for the movie “Anchorman”.  It is also on the playlist.  Bonus points if you can identify a Simpsons joke relating to this song. 

“California Saga (On My Way To Sunny Californ-I-A)” by the Beach Boys- this was orginially part of a three-part suite on the Beach Boys’ “Holland” album of 1973.  The album was so named because it was actually recorded in Holland.  Different compilations have different versions: the original album version is slower than the single release, reportedly because of the European power supply that the original recording sessions used, resulting in a speedup when played back on U.S. machines. 

“Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” by Leslie Gore- featured in the movie “Ski Party,” you probably recognized this from the Simpsons, which is where I first heard it.  The episode was “Marge on the Lam.”  It really is as infectious as they make it out to be.

That’s it for now, tune in next time for more iPod-related adventures!