Saturday, December 4, 2010

Little Teenage Mutant SOMETHING??? Turtles

This set started off with some bizarre inspiration after a random Facebook discussion that somehow raised the topic of zombies, mutants and I think also cowboys, not to mention country music. So yes, the fact that this led to this shows indeed that my mind works in a very 'uni-Q' way.

This 'grand version' brings together a theoretical discussion where the creators know they want
1) Teenagers,
2) Mutants and
3) Turtles.

But the question that my imagined creators are asking themselves is: what to go with these obvious combinations that would eventually lead to a multi-billion dollar industry? (Ignoring as well that several toy makers and even countries like Germany did not allow them to be called 'Ninjas' but instead 'heroes'... trivia point folks, right it down or commit to memory, your call).

Perhaps the conversation went something like this then... or perhaps not...

Little Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtle!!

Asking the eternally important question: 'why Ninjas?' even though the answer would no doubt have been a very educated and high-brow version of 'duh!!'

Little Teenage Mutant ZOMBIE Turtle!!

I did it, I DID IT!! I drew a decent ZOMBIE!! I now consider myself a light mauve belt in zombie drawing!!

Little Teenage Mutant DEMON Turtle!!

I got lots of help from Ziggy Jr. on this one. He wanted the hair to be 'completely blonde'. Hm, I wonder why he identifies demonic presences with being blonde? Hm, indeed!!

Little Teenage Mutant CYBORG Turtle

Well, I think this not only satisfied my quota of alternative TMNT characters but also takes care of any worrisome 'Little Robocop' worries that may have been out there. Yes, you know who you are!!

Introduction to Little Ziggy 'buttons'

Do you know who these 'people' are? I started off this new approach with an easy one.

This next bit is then to take everyone through a quick trip into why I started with the 'Little Buttons', which I’m sure if I didn’t include you wouldn’t sleep at nights anymore:

First, I ran across this tee-shirt at that PERFECTLY embraces the kind of simplicity (the 'KISS' principle!!) that I'm trying to, well, embrace with the 'Little Ziggy' templates. Zap zap bing and it’s done. Amazing!!

I then saw this picture - maybe even the same day - done by Steven Dressler (seen on of Conan O'Brien. Again, this is using the same ‘template’ but in my eyes the artist has achieved much more direct and powerful results than the feeble attempts I keep making.

Granted all this was coming after my horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE attempt at the Lady Gaga Zombie drawing.

This was the 'killer' though, this fantastic collection of 77!!! minimalist superheroes collected like this. For the original as well as the answers, see

NOTE: you'll have to copy/paste this ENTIRE ADDRESS into your browser for it to work, as some numbskull put an ampersand in it! BUT YOU MUST SEE THIS IT IS GENIUS PURE!!

As such, I started to reexamine the 'Little Ziggy' work in order to come up with a premise that could approximate something this clever and so much fun to do!!

So of course inspiration struck in me in a place where I could NOT just jump up and start sketching or otherwise stop what I was doing (Dr.'s hate it when you do that). But I thought why not try something similar to the representative squares above but in a 'button' shaped representation?

The picture below was then my first round of sketching with the Scooby Doo gang (noting it took one fan all of 2 minutes to guess who everyone was, even from the original 'un-lined' version, yes, including the round brown spot… I mean, that could be ANYONE!).

However, I felt like having the black lines - especially for the hair and also what garments were present - was too much. So I cut it back to this:

I really liked how both 'Fred' and 'Daphne' turned out, so I decided to do away with 'all the black' to see if it could still work (changing then minor bits that I felt were necessary for identification, including 'Shaggy's' beardy thing).

And viola (literally a fat violin), here's how it all transpired!! I am looking forward to trying my hand at more of these as time permits. I find it a refreshing way of looking at things and just so much gosh darn fun, too!!

Little Venus

Yes friends, it is the secret fantasy of every boy who grew up a geek that some clear night the hot Amazon Babes from Venus will land only to ask sincerely: 'We need you Earthman! You must come with us in order to teach us about this thing you call kissing'...

And yes, despite our hesitations and fears, we would do it ONLY to protect our beloved Earth...

Actually, this is sort of what came out of a long sketching session one weekend. Sort of a cross of the 'little Ziggy' format with some retro and manga thrown in.

Like a bachelor recipe after the shops have closed: I'm just not so sure how it worked, even though it did have a pungent yet pleasing allure!!

Here it is again with a slightly more simplified background. Same fantasy.

Little Lady... Zaza?

(Please accept my apologies for this post. I blame a combination of too much food and the snow!!)

OK this was a very silly day. I had wanted to try my hand at zombies ever since I started the interview process with Jared Moraitis, an amazing artist who is next in line over at ZN HQ. So after a 'quick sketch' (literally about 15 minutes worth... I think it shows, too!!), this is what we landed with!!

And what better way to bring it to the world than via the font of all knowledge that is good and just!! Hope you can read it, if not I'll clue you in later (which may take a while since that implies I have to get a clue first)!!

But wait, there’s more (translation : it gets worse) :

Little Lady Zaza Zombie
(alternative pen work)

OK I got bored watching the snow fall and 're-penned' the first version. I think the whole zombie thing looks so much better when done in the whole 'Mike Mignola and co.' way that is as little color as possible - and then very much pastel except for one or two rich ones - and really thick lines and blackened in spots when you can do it.

OK live and learn... or better said don't live, walk dead looking for brains to eat and learn...

Little Ming the Indifferent

This piece started out as just a 'free sketch', namely just adding bits and pieces to the ‘Little Ziggy template’ as they came to mind.

I quickly realized I was doing something seen recently concerning the original Flash Gordon comics. Well, I was actually doing that rather poorly because at first it looked more like 'Little Satanic Spaceman from Saturn'. Okay.

As I tried to 'tighten up' the more Ming-y aspects however, I began to think that ol' Ming just didn't always look like he was really 'into it', if you know what I mean. OK, if you have a name like 'Ming the Merciless', sure, you're EXPECTED to be all evil and take-over-the-universe-y.

But what if you were called 'Little Ming the Indifferent'? You see, it changes things!! Well, like he says: whatever.

Anyway, here are the fonts:
'bwhahaha... whatever' via gypsy curse.

The top line - after angrily looking for something more 'Flash Gordon-y' - is a sort of 'alienesque' font called lomax. Oh..... kay. Whatever...

Little Paigey

This drawing has been stuck in my mind since I read a recent web-site update from an upcoming interviewee, namely the one and only Paige Pumphrey. Her work is outstanding as you can see at her blog and more:

Class, style and so much more!

However, she not only draws really great stuff but she’s also volunteered to have folks draw her!! In fact, she recently took part in the patented ‘Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School’ drawing session held during a recent conference in New York seen at this link:

The rest as ‘they’ say was pure obsession!! On my part, that is.

I won’t give away too much more as I’m totally psyched about having Paige at ZN HQ, but I really enjoyed putting together this little pre-interview ‘homage’.

Font is a modified* ‘Lounge Bait’ (*read: I added stars instead of big blobs - blobs, I said, BLOBS - over the ‘i’s’).

Little Calvin and Hobbes

This posting is 'simply' my little ode to Bill Watterson's timeless strip, which is not unexpected since as those of you who have spent the night with me (both of you!) know that I keep at least one of his collections on my nightstand year-round.

His style was not only amazing for its simplicity but also its grace! Even though he stopped years ago, the stories and adventures of Spaceman Spiff and others live forever in our hearts!!

I find Hobbes much more fun to draw. He seemed 'realer' to me than Calvin even... that is, until I got my own 'Calvin' in the form of my son. Yes, Junior drives me mad on a daily basis but what a wonderful imagination he has!!

Font is none other than the official one from the strip! It’s sometimes found under the name 'calvino', go figure.

I would note that I always loved Hobbes so much, who was probably my second favorite character of the modern 'mini' era next to Opus the Penguin. I think its because I had my own version when I was a kid (Zippy the Chimp, who by a strange coincidence was owned by my Great-Uncle, who also owned Flipper and Skipper the Dolphins... go figure). Oh the adventures we had!!

Little Aliens

This is the final 'character' from Toy Story I wanted to do. Wasn't sure at first if they'd fit into the 'Hello YouKnowWho' mold, but it wound up being really fun to do.

And until I did my research with some of the kids’ books, I was not aware that these little guys’ 'emblem' on their uniforms was in fact a pizza (well, a pizza with a planetary ring around it). So not only did I get my picture done, but I learned something, too. Which is nice.

Here is another version with a little bit more background added. I also thought I'd add a slight reference to their religion as well, sorry if that causes offense to any other worshippers of The Claw.

The font is inspired by one called 'Saturn' though I didn't wind up using it. Also the 'rocket' flying above is an old graphic I did, converting a picture I had of a lava lamp into a rocket. I have 'several' (= too many) variations if you're curious.

Finally, this is a 'personal' request; the kids just got a copy of 'Toy Story 3' from their USA 'Grandma' (her nickname being an inside joke involving Teletubbies, cute babies, and more!). They ... and honestly their old man ... are really excited!!

What a great series though, I hope the third installment lives up to the first 2!! I've heard good things (plus keep tissues handy, I know)!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Woody

(ok since no one reacted after 'Little Shaft', I'm curious if this will get a 'rise' out of any of you!!)

This was my second picture of my own personal Toy Story trilogy. Well, let's put it this way: I KNOW there will be at least 3, I'm still kind of iffy on Ziggy Jr.'s desire to have Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head included. I'll do a final combo pic as well, so WATCH THIS SPACE!!

And for the 'Hell No Kitty' purists, I just turned the head sideways again from the usual template, and also took some liberties with arm and leg shape. A ton of fun to do, and I am becoming convinced that drawing is the best fun you can have in clothing optional settings!!

Font is rope mf, selected by my trusty partner in crime, Zig Jr. who is sitting here reading this as I type it and laughing because he's pretending he's NOT reading as I type... go to bed!! Yes, NOW!!

Little Buzz

My son has been really wanting some Toy Story love in ‘Little Ziggy World’ so this is the first. Fun to do, oh how I wish I was a kid when these movies came out!!

Heck I even got his slight astigmatism (sp?) in!!

Seriously, his eyes don’t line up, now you won’t be able NOT to notice it... well, he's also got that dimple thing, but it's not really as creepy.

Font is spaceshipbullet. Groovy.

Little Surfer

Felt like doing some Super Heroes, or perhaps better said, a superhero. Or whatever ol' Shiny Head qualifies as...

Here's a rendition of the Silver Surfer for your enjoyment (for non-comic fans, he was in the 2nd Fantastic Four movie ... well, I guess you wouldn't have seen that either if you don't like comics).

Originally at least he was a great tragic figure, but I've lost track with all the various 're-inventions' and new universes that have been created the past couple of decades.And if you're curious: any time I draw a Super Hero (or Villain) and Jack Kirby also drew it at any point in his career, that is who I am trying to imitate!!

I also tried my hand at some Kirby-esque backgrounds here, too. His backgrounds (or even abstract collages!) and also especially cityscapes are among my favorite aspects of his work!!Font is nothing, I literally just goofed off with one of the 'normal' ones (Arial? not sure).

In terms of the version sans background, I really need my art muse to teach me more about how to add backgrounds that 'pop'. I just figured continuing with the blue would work. Does it? I dunno...

Poco Muerte

(which I hope means 'Little Death' in Spanish!! )

Feliz Muertos / Happy Day of the Dead everyone!! Now for those not familiar with same, here comes the Wikipedia update part:

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated by many in Mexico and by some Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration when eating and partying are common. Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two are celebrated differently.

All I know is it makes a LOT more sense to me than what they do in Catholic parts of Europe. My own wish is that when I pass, please have a GREAT party, laugh a lot, then chuck my dead butt (hopefully mulched and under a great tree) in the ground and fuggit about it!! But the yearly visits and little souvenirs? No thanks.

In this collection - yes I wanted a collection for some reason - you have 4 pictures by moi, and also some coloration help from my kids.

Font is a terrific one I've used before called Skullphabet!!

The kids did one each although they got bored with it REAL quick (too many details and nooks and crannies).

But I do love how this holiday is always so colorfully decorated. I just think it's the right attitude, namely celebrating the departed and remembering the good things about them!!

This is what I call my 'Jean Tuttle' version. Jean is literally one of my first interviewees, a fantastic graphic designer and simply one of the most truly nice people on the planet. I learned so much talking to her.

She does a LOT better than me with things like this, so absolutely check out her website. She added some 'old' pieces she did recently (read: prior to Photoshop and all that crap, which I still don't have). Oh, now that I think about it, I also got the 'tiled' inspiration from her. Silly, how could I ever forget that.

Jean Tuttle people: look her up, learn her stuff, join us!!

or even

for more!!

Little Jack

(Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's classic 'The Nightmare Before Christmas')

Another from my brief series of Halloween themed pictures!!

Jack has got to be my favorite individual Halloween character of all time. And this movie more than any other - even 'Beetlejuice' - exhibits the vision and genius of Tim Burton like no other.

Font is same name as movie.

NOTE: I really wanted to do Sally, too, but at the time I had been fighting a migraine for a couple of days, so my PC time was limited!!

Little Addams Family

When I was a child, I loved checking out collections of different illustrators from the 'adult' section of the library. No it wasn't pr0n sillies, there was just a kids' section and a 'parents' section. But I must have checked out the Charles Addams Anthology a dozen times.

The various series and movies - although classic and good in their own ways - never came close to the macabre naughtiness that 'Chas' (as he signed his name) managed to accomplish.

For a fantastic run down character by character, I would propose to everyone that you read the descriptives provided for the souvenir tee-shirts here:

Also, you are correct 'Lurch' is not included because (a) his description didn't really thrill me and (b) I mean, come on, he's the butler. How many people put the freaking butler in their family pictures?

Font is Fiddums Family, the actual font at least from the movies (modified slightly for space).

I include some individual pieces, noting I did Gomez and his mother together and so their 'individual' pieces are not here. Well, anyway I never liked them much anyway.

Ah my dear Little Morticia.

I was quite surprised - actually no, I wasn’t, not at all - during my research to find several sketches of Morticia by Charles Addams that dressed this lovely 'dedication' to his own wife in VERY sheer garments.

The only part of his own description is I do not understand why she should be considered a 'ruined beauty'. I admire a woman that's not afraid to hide her natural coldness... ahem...

Poor Little Wednesday.

Despite many people's assertions (assumptions? wishes?) that Wednesday was the more evil sibling - owing of course to the movie versions - CA described her as a 'child of woe', 'wane and delicate' and sensitive, enjoying picnics and such!

So this goes back to the original version, even though taking a stab at my own version of Christina Ricci did have, um, certain potential advantages. At least for the research part...

Ah Little Uncle Fester, my favoritest of them all!

This is actually my second version. I lowered his head significantly into his body to sort of give that hunched effect. His description by CA reminds me of a recent showing of turn of the century (20th that is) artists and some of their 'deviant' behaviors!! If only the police knew!!

THIS captures the whole 'Hello Kitty' aura for me in some kind of sick Gothic way... in other words, I love it!!

Little Pugsley

As mentioned with Wednesday, the depiction by Addams was much different than either the TV series or the movies. I certainly don't remember any depictions of him being either blonde OR blue-eyed.

I'll never forget my own 'Pugsley' moment, making a miniature 'guillotine' once out of wooden popsicle sticks (sort of thinner versions of the Doctor’s tongue depresser sticks). No it didn't really work, but that didn't stop me from painting my finger red and pretending with my sister that it had worked!!

First time I ever saw anyone faint like that...

Little Julia

And now for something completely different... transitioning smoothly from BCA Month to Halloween, I bring you none other than a Happy Birthday wish to my wee 'angel' (oh ha ha) Julia.

It's hard to believe that on Sunday she'll be 7 (going on 17). So Papa was happy to make a special picture just for her THAT SHE HELPED ME WITH. It features her choice of clothes (that’s her favorite shirt btw and it really does say 'I DAZZLE' except with sparkles), painted nails and a 'blank' spot for her tooth that is coming out any day now (seriously).

I love you little one. Happy Birthday.

Font is surprisingly enough 'Julia Script'... how convenient, no?