Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AWESOME! - Tiger Electronics

Video gaming. Think of every gaming system you've ever played. Atari? NES? Sega Genesis? No, no... Let's talk hand-held systems... Game Gear? Nintendo DS? PSP? ... I'll bet there's one system you haven't thought of... Nope, not an iPhone. Clearly you're not thinking AWESOME enough... You're not thinking... TIGER ELECTRONICS. Oh yeah... I'll bet the memories are flooding through your brain now... Cutting yourself on impossible plastic packaging, realizing you don't have the right kind of battery... Nor do you have any idea what kind you're supposed to buy, looking for more light so you can see the LCD characters more clearly... That tiny little reset button that requires a pencil to get at... Oh yeah. Now you're a kid again.

If you were anything like me growing up, you didn't get to have all the fancy 16-bit consoles which dominated the video game market in the 90s. You had the NES. So imagine the dissatisfaction of watching commercials for games like Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat and realizing you have absolutely ZERO means of playing these monumental games... Your options? Save up enough quarters and pray your parents take you to Hampton Beach so you can totally ignore the ocean and spend your afternoon in the arcade... Or you bought the TIGER Hand-held version of that epic game. And let me tell ya', if you thought the 8-bit graphics on the NES were bad, wait till' you get a TIGER UPPERCUT IN THE FACE from an LCD Sagat who looks absolutely nothing like his 16-bit counterpart...

You wanna' know hardcore video game devotion? Then you buy yourself a TIGER handheld video game and watch a true fan of video games indulge in the "oregano dime-bag" of the gaming world. When you couldn't afford to play the real thing, you endured the cheap substitute... And after years of suffering through the black and green madness that is LCD graphics, you know what happens? You awaken yourself to one AWESOME realization... These games are kinda' addictive. And I'll be honest, they are capable of providing hours of simple good ol' fashioned fun without the use of flashy graphics and impressive sound effects. TIGER understood the roots of true gaming. It's not about bits, it's about fun and imagination. No story line, no stages, just easy gameplay and something even more special... A video game you can actually play in the bathroom. No really, try hooking up a Sega Genesis in your bathroom. Two things'll happen: A.) Your mom/wife/whoever you're living with that's not a dude will get mad at you and B.) You'll most likely electrocute yourself.

~ Mark

Chronicles of the Refigerator Man

There was a video me and two of my friends (Dan and Kevin) filmed back in High School called "The Refrigerator Man" ... Definitely the finest Amateur Cinema has to offer. In a nutshell it was about a serial killer who traveled through refrigerators and, well... Killed people. There's a lot more to it, but I don't want to give too much away seeing as we're planning on turning it into a graphic novel down the road... I have a lot of pending projects... It's a little depressing.

In any case, here's some art work for it!

Not da' Cooler!!
~ Mark

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AWESOME! - 80's Robots - Short Circuit/Flight of the Navigator

There are few truths in this world that I hold on to… One, there is a God… Two, dogs are awesome (but I should save that for another post) and Three… There is nothing on this planet greater than the sheer glory of cuddly 80s robots! I'm sure your mind is going a mile a minute right now trying to gather as much intel as you can on your childhood… You may be thinking "Batteries not Included", you may be thinking of Paulie's "present" from ROCKY IV… Or maybe your mind's dial is set to AWESOME today and you're thinking about the greatest science fiction movies to come out of those heavenly 80s… And no, I'm not talking about Return of the Jedi (because there's nothing cute about C3P0) and the Terminator isn't cute, he kills… I'm talking about SHORT CIRCUIT and FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR! Granted, MAX from Navigator was more of an Alien than a robot, but I mean, come on... He's made of metal and he's plugged into a spaceship.

Now I know "cuddly" might be a little off when describing something as devastatingly awesome as robots... But with all the mechanical violence and chaos going around in the 80s, these two movies were a glimmer of hope in a cruel, cruel world... Terminator, Robocop, Cyborg... gulp... Superman III... (shivers), terribly morbid in nature, and kids love robots! Imagine how many unsuspecting children were drawn to the lulls of Arnold's "I'll Be Back" and spent the night hiding under their covers in a pile a sweat and possibly pee... (lay off, I was a kid! I pee'd!). Terminated. But let's be real, my parents didn't let me watch R-rated movies when I was a little boy, shame on them... So what was my comfort food? TV recordings of both Short Circuit and Flight of the Navigator. I'd like to meet the one person on this planet who thinks Number 5 is NOT alive... I'd like to meet him and ask why he wasn't tantalized by the site of robots shooting lasers and reciting The Three Stooges, then I'd wonder why he didn't shed half a tear over the thought of poor 'Number 5' being hunted down like an animal and disassembled... NO DISASSEMBLE!! ... How does such a cold-hearted individual claim to be more human than the time traveling cybernetic alien space craft MAX... Maybe the communists of the 80s that we tried so hard to silence had a point, maybe Johnny #5 needs to hop on board the USS Trimaxion Drone Ship and enforce some serious propaganda on the real enemy of the 80s... Anyone who hated these movies!

You wanna know why these movies are so great? They came out at a time when kids movies were appealing to all age groups. There was little segregation in the film world... There was PG and there was R. "R" meant you were getting a gore-fest full of profanities and nudity, "G" meant you were getting Disney... PG meant you were getting the middle ground. These are iconic of that time period. Sure, Short Circuit had a family-friendly agenda, but when you think about it, how many kid-oriented movies have opening scenes with Robots mixing a gin and tonic? Even Flight of the Navigator (which was a made-for-tv Disney movie) had a very serious tone to it, and quite frankly it was a little unsettling having David return home only to find the world thought he was dead for 8 years, his family has aged tremendously and the government wants to experiment on him... It's not like movies where a kid winds up in the future and everything is technologically advanced and fascinating, he was flat-out terrified. Plus his brain was being experimented on and almost got fried in the process. That's pretty awesome. Nowadays it's all about flashy colors, campy bad guys and bad pop music.

It's also reminiscent of a time when you didn't need to use CGI to achieve visual amazement. Flight of the Navigator conquered some of the best effects I've ever scene, and it was done with very, very minimal computer graphics and mainly utilized optical illusions and stop-motion animation. Short Circuit used animatronics, not once did you see a computer-created image... Nowadays half the robots would be CG and they'd be performing stunts completely unrealistic to their actual design, thus killing any hope of believability. Film making has gotten lazy.

In a nutshell, there's nothing nostalgic about the time we live in, kids are growing up with bright colors, silly songs and straight up campiness. It's pathetic. Lets bring it back to a simpler time when a kid AND an adult could get lost in a world where robots can be your friend...

See ya' later alligator!
~ Mark

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kindergarten Robo Cop

Doodled something similar to this back in 2002 and ran it in the ol' school paper... Sadly I wasn't the best artist in the world, so it was long overdue for a makeover... which is what this little ditty is.

Can't say there was any real reasoning behind the drawing... Though if you watch Robocop 2, you might see a similarity in the concept. Basically the government felt Robocop was too violent, so they reprogrammed him to be more kid-friendly... So I just took that a step further and put him in a school... threatening a problem child.

You know... his methods remind me of being in Sunday School... Church was much more strict in the 80's...

Thank you for your cooperation,
~ Mark

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Video Game Tribute #12 – Sim Ant

In all my reminiscing of the NES oldies and common classics, I forgot about this little gem which most likely slipped under the radar of a lot of casual gamers in the 90's. I think we've all at least heard of Sim City, an old computer classic from 1989 and maybe even the more popular "The Sims" from 2000 on... For a good while Maxis' famed "Sim" games were on top of the world. There was Sim Life, Sim Earth, Sim Park, and about 6 different versions of Sim City... But there was one Sim game which will always stand out as the greatest and most unique of the Sim Franchise... Sim Ant.

What's "Sim Ant" you say? Exactly what it sounds like... An Ant Simulation video game. When I first heard of it, I couldn't fathom the possibilities of controlling the mighty Ant Kingdom... But man, oh man, was I in for a treat. The game begins with the hatching of a lone ant at the side of his (her? Do ants really have genders? You can get ants in your pants, but what do ants have in their pants??) mighty Queen (oh, Queen... maybe they do have a gender). What's unique about this ant is that he's yellow... I honestly have no idea what the logic was here other than you needed to distinguish the main ant from the others. From here you go and gather food for the queen, you leave the ant hill, get these little green pebbles, and bring them back to the hill... Wow, so epic. You know nothing!!! You think just getting a green pebble is easy for an ant?? Try getting that pebble when you have giant spiders chasing you, stupid kids mowing their lawn right over your precious ant-country, pillbugs hiding in what you think is an ant hill but NO, it's no ant hill it's a big bug that eats you!! And all you wanted to do was feed your queen!! But it doesn't stop there, there's an even greater threat... competition. The confederate forces of the Red Ants. Not sure that they're confederate... More like communists. Though I think the Cold War was over by the time this game came out, so I guess they're just fire ants. Not as exciting.

All I'm sayin' is, Sim Ant is the most epic portrayal of Ant Life that I have ever witnessed/interacted with in my entire life. It's the Braveheart of the ant world. You're a yellow William Wallace... Or a Black William Wallace... You're technically running the black colony... You know now that I think about it, this game may have more to do with race than it does politics. Yikes. But I'm not gonna' go there. All these ants really want is FREEEDDDOOOMMMM!!!!!

Ants in your pants? No...

Scottish Warlords in your pants.
~ Mark

Monday, September 20, 2010

AWESOME! - Saliva: Every Six Seconds

We all have that one album. You know the album I'm talking about. The album that every time it comes on, you sink into nostalgic euphoria, kick back and forget all your worries. For me, that's "Every Six Seconds" by Saliva... Only it's not the kind of album I lean my head back and relax to... It's the kind of album that makes you wanna' run outside and fight a tiger... It's so awesome that even if you live in New Hampshire where there are no Tigers, a bear will emerge from the forest, mate with a stray cat and instantaneously give birth via Alien chest-burster to a Tiger with which you may then wrestle to your heart's content to the gut-shaking bass of "Click Click Boom".

I'm sure we've all gotten over Nu-Metal, and I've heard Every Six Seconds classified as such, but when you get down to it, it's just straight up annoy-your-parents rock n' roll. Say what you will about the band, I'll admit their recent efforts have been lacking, but Josey Scott's vocals on this album are superb, there's no denying that. Seriously, try and deny that... I'll smack you. Better yet, Josey Scott'll smack you... Heck when that guy screams "Make me a Superstar", his voice Shoryuken's you in the face... As a matter of fact, every time that song plays, I imagine Josey Scott punching Godzilla's head off over the fiery pits of hell (picture it sometime, way more epic)... But not the Japanese Godzilla... Matthew Broderick's Godzilla. The real Godzilla's awesomeness may just rival Saliva's frontman on a bad day.

You can think of this album like Bungee Jumping... You immediately immerse yourself in the heavy-hitter "Superstar", after the initial shock of rocking your face off, you begin to feel a little euphoric in the melodic, yet still heavy, "Musta' Been Wrong", now you're about to land upon your watery death and the adrenaline in your blood starts racing to the sounds of "Click Click Boom", but what's this? You're not dead, you've been bungeed, saved in the elastic goodness of "Your Disease", you wanna rock out, but you want to rock moderately... But what's this, you're no longer going up anymore, you're falling back down, what if the elastic doesn't hold, what cruel fate that would be! "The World is After Me"!!! (actually it's just "After Me")... Now you're back up, but the pace is slowing down some, not as terrifying, you can simply ease into the album and enjoy "Greater Than/Less Than", "Lackluster", "Faultline", "Beg" and "Hollywood"... it is what it is... You're now being brought back up, you gloat in your victory over death, you just took a ride on the "Doperide"... Now you look over the bridge and say "My Goodbyes"... Glorious.


Every Six Seconds... For the longest time people thought this was a reference to the myth (or reality) that every six seconds men think about sex... To the contrary, the band explained that every six seconds a new life-cycle occurs... But as far as I'm concerned, every six seconds this album is playing a knight slays a dragon, an angel gets its wings, a crack-addict finds Jesus, and I simply get shivers up my spine.

Basically, this album was the soundtrack to my Freshman year of college back in 2001, I listened to this religiously and to this day it brings me back to a simpler time when music could drown your sorrows. If you like hard rock, melodic riffs, good vocals and an angst you can work out to, than Saliva: Every Six Seconds is the album for you.

Nuff said.
~ Mark

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Brothers' Collaboration Part III

Worked on another picture with my brother... This time featuring a littler version of his monster encountering a friendly swamp creature...

Swamp Love!
~ Mark

Turble Concept Art

You know, in all the villain chaos, I forgot I don't have any real concept art of Turble... so yeah, here's one for our little furry hero!

Martini Madness!
~ Mark

Turble Villains #5

I like elephants… They're cute, my mom loves them, they helped train Tony Jaa into the killing machine he is today… There's just one thing that they're lacking. They don't spit hot fire! Out their trunks!

This is yet another concept art for a Turble Villain… He's cute, yet tortured. Even the cuddly ones feel pain…

~ Mark

Monday, September 13, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Baptizer 3000

I came across an old drawing I did in college for a comic strip I used to run in the school paper called "Sugar-Frosted Sea-Bunions" (I did a post on this a ways back). Now most of those drawings are either lost or simply outdated (i.e. they kind of suck), so every now and then I like to re-create them and make them look a little better.

The concept came from years of church and noticing the evolution of technology within the services… Back in the 80s, it was all about the hymnals… later in the 80's and 90's, transparencies were used to project the words to whatever worship song we were singing… Now in the 2000s we use projectors… Some churches even use giant tv screens… Pretty soon I'm sure we'll be using holograms… or wearing 3D glasses, that seems to be the trend nowadays… A dumb trend at that. Thank you James Cameron for ruining modern day cinema with your awesome movie!

Anyway, this drawing takes it a step further… With the BAPTIZER 3000! It's just the natural progression of things, why should the pastor get his nice suit all wet in a lake… or worse, bleached in a chlorine infested pool! No more expensive trips to the dry cleaners anymore, the Baptizer 3000 takes care of all your Baptizing needs!

Just don't get it wet!
~ Mark

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Donkey Kong Revisited...

You may remember an older post I did with a sketch I made of Donkey Kong… I always wondered how that would look colorized…

So here it is… Colorized.

Pretty self-explanatory.

~ Mark

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One of those days...

~ Mark


A lil' somethin' somethin' I doodled whilst at my abode last night… It's a turtle… man… octopus… hybrid… thing. He apparently lives. I figure this thing exists in some weird future where life is no more and this thing emerges from the depths of a swamp somewhere in the amazon… after California collided with that region in the great quake of 4020 AD… That's why a mutated Turtle in a post apocalyptic amazon happens to know English… It has New Yorker genes. I'll bet it makes a mean pizza pie!

I'm also going to assume the turtle isn't giving a declaration of its own existence, rather Steve Jobs actually owns a fraction of life in the distant future and branded it as "iLive".

Steve Jobs. He actually bought the future.
~ iMark

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Turble Villains #4

Part 4 in the concept art for Turble... Originally I doodled this guy to be the anti-Turble... Mainly due to his color Yellow being opposite Turble's Purple on the color wheel... I may keep with this theme due to the fact I haven't designed a main antagonist for the game yet... Or have I?!?! ... I have not.

I'm thinking the background images for these concept drawings may be the style I use for the game's backgrounds. I like simple. Making this character's wings pixelated was done purposely... I thought it gave it some uniqueness. I am pleased.

Without further ado...

Pixel Dust!
~ Mark

Friday, September 3, 2010

Turble Villains #3

Villain numéro trios! It's a cyborg bunny who spits vines and plants from his mouth… Not really sure what I was hoping to accomplish when I drew this one, but I'm just pleased that he kind of looks like a carrot. I wouldn't expect there to be any vegetation in a post apocalyptic world… But then, can you really blow up the ocean? … Maybe this bunny was created to spread new vegetative life on the planet… But then he wouldn't really be a villain anymore… I guess that just makes Turble an Anti-Hero.

There's a bit of subliminal messaging in the bunny's concept… He's spreading seeds and growing new life… Bunny's mate A LOT. So Yeah. Take that. I can be deep! Turble's got some real philosophical stuff goin on behind the scenes, aight??

There's also a flying creature in the background… I just wanted to fill up some more space… He's not a boss, just one of the game's enemies.

Bunny Hop!
~ Mark

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Turble Villains #2

Had some serious inspiration today to do some more concept art for the Turble Bosses... This particular one features a super intelligent trout operating a mechanical... amphibious... Whale thing... I think it's pretty awesome. Not sure what a boss battle with something like this would be like, but I imagine it would take place on some kind of water level. And I imagine in a post apocalyptic earth the water won't be clear and clean... It'll be icky... and will probably be something that hurts poor little Turble...

I don't wanna' hurt the little guy, I hope he wins.

Mecha Trout!!
~ Mark

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Turble Villains

I haven't forgotten about our most beloved futuristic, cannon-wielding, space gerbil... Whilst in the boringest (word?) of meetings today I sketched out some new bosses for my far-from-even being close to being close to finished side-scroller "Turble". Basically all the bosses are going to be some form of cybernetic-infused mutant... Because the plot will involve Turble going through the post apocalyptic wastelands of Earth in search of power cells for his dying robot uncle... Hence, the bosses are cyborgs who most likely have power cells... We have good ol' Danny G to thank for that classic plot.

Someday I hope to get cracking on this game... But in the meantime, enjoy the concept art!

kill turBle!
~ Mark