Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I don't know why I keep drawing cowboys (or in this case, cowgirls), I don't even particularly like westerns. There's just something about the cowboy aesthetic that appeals to me. I think it's the revolver. I'm not a big fan of guns, but the revolver is one sexy piece of machinery. Modern guns hide their moving parts, while the revolver shows off its elegant mechanisms.

I think this might be the same character as the girl in this piece, but I can't be sure.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Art dump!

Hey guys! Sorry about the lack of updates, I guess I haven't had much of interest to show or say lately. I thought I'd dump a few pieces of art I've done lately.

Brother Hogarth
Prefers dogs to people. Loves anything pineapple flavoured. Scared of the dark.

Painted from reference.

And lastly, a giant robot city! In retrospect, probably somewhat inspired by Metroplex.

Hopefully it won't be as long between this post and the next.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Other artists taking on Steampunk Star Wars

This is so cool! Over at CGTalk, there's a whole thread of artists making their own take on the Steampunk Star Wars theme. There's some fantastic work in there, especially on the later pages. If nothing else, check out Marcel "System404" Mercado's stuff on pages 4 and 5. His R2-D2 is great.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Update, Excuses, Etc

Hey guys!

I know it's been a while since I last updated. I haven't been doing much personal art lately, I've been catching up on some games mostly. I finally played through Fallout 2, which I've been meaning to do for years. Fantastic game, and I can't wait to see what Bethesda does with Fallout 3 (the teaser for which is coming tomorrow!). I know there are a lot of people skeptical of Bethesda taking on the license, but there's no other developer I'd trust with it as much as them.

I've also been playing Final Fantasy XII, which I'm enjoying. Art-wise, it's incredibly coherent and imaginative. The last few games in the series have been a little mish-mashy with the art style, but FFXII's is really well put together. Definitely the best art direction for the series since FFVI. As for the gameplay, I'm really excited they're experimenting more. I like the Gambit system, but I'm still not sold on the License Board.

I'm still working on some new Steampunk Star Wars stuff. I was working on one image (the one I posted a teaser of), but I started feeling like I was spinning my wheels with it. I kept working on it but it didn't feel like I was getting anywhere, so I put it aside for the time being and started a different character. I hope that one will be done pretty soon!

And just so I don't look like a total slacker, here's a picture I painted on the weekend!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Art dump

Here are a few random sketches and speedpaints I've done over the last few months that I haven't gotten around to posting before.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Geek Monthly Magazine

This month I was interviewed by Bonnie Burton for Geek Monthly magazine. Go buy it! I'm reading through the rest of the magazine now and it's definitely worth checking out.

It's funny, in the interview I mention how cool it would be for someone to do a viking version of Star Wars, so afterwards I went to see if someone actually had done Viking Star Wars. Turns out that not only had someone made a Viking Lightsaber, but it was the same guy who made the Steampunk Lightsaber that originally inspired my Steampunk Star Wars art! Guy keeps stealing my ideas before I have them!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention, my art was also used in the latest issue of SFX magazine. I haven't seen it, but apparently it's on page 24. If you're in the UK, pick it up!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

New Prints

I've got some new prints up on my DeviantArt store. Now, to the untrained eye these may look identical to my Steampunk Star Wars images, but they are in fact of entirely unrelated characters that have nothing to do with Star Wars whatsoever. I hold no responsibility for anyone who orders one of these hoping to get a really sweet picture of Han Solo & Mr. Chewbacca and is disappointed to receive an image of an unnamed, wholly original but still pretty sweet steampunk space smuggler and his furry partner. You could still hang it on your wall and tell all your friends that it's a picture of Han Solo & Mr. Chewbacca if you like. They won't know the difference, I swear. Oh, you probably shouldn't tell your friend that if they work for DeviantArt Prints. If that's the case, you can just make up some names for them (may I suggest Jasper and Chompie!)

If anyone orders one, let me know how they look!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Just a general update...

Hey guys!

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I've been busy with other work and haven't had much time to work on Steampunk Star Wars or other personal work. But there's new stuff coming, I swear. Here, I'll prove it with a teaser!

So, what else has been going on? My car got broken into yesterday. They left a nice dent in my door and stole 20 or 30 CDs from my glove box. Nothing irreplacable, but it's still a hell of a bummer. Ah well, at least they didn't break a window or steal the car.

I have a new favourite blog! Paleo-future, which looks at the predictions about the future from the past. This is getting linked to all over. It's great seeing how people of the past thought we would be living today. Even predictions from ten years ago tend to be quite inaccurate. Looking through all the different predictions from different time periods, you can see a lot of common mistakes they tend to share. Even when they correctly predict the direction of technology, they almost always completely fail to predict the cultural and social changes that go along with them. People seem to assume their grandchildren will be exactly like them, just with new toys.
Some of my favourite posts:
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900
Suprisingly accurate in some respects, very naive in others. I like the way they casually predict the extinction of all wildlife, and their seeming obsession with pneumatic tubes. Not only that, but they predict automobiles with one or maybe even two horsepower!
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (1993)
The future, as AT&T would like it. My favourite is part 3, where the kid plays a terribly designed virtual reality game with his friends.
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)

Makes you wonder what assumptions we have about the future following generations are going to laugh at. Are hydrogen fuel cells the new pneumatic tubes? And what technologies and cultural developments are we severely underestimating?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Prints Now Available!

I've finally got some prints available for sale through DeviantArt Prints. I've never used them personally, so I don't have first hand knowledge of the quality, but I've heard good things from friends.

I'm putting the Steampunk Star Wars series up for now. I've seen a fair bit of Star Wars fan art for sale, so I don't think selling these will be a problem.

Purchase Prints Here

Although some pieces are available at larger sizes, the best quality prints will probably be around the 10-12 inches or lower size.

If there's a piece of mine you'd like to purchase a print of and it's not in the store, let me know!

UPDATE: New Prints available!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Actual Steampunk Star Wars!

I-Wei Huang (aka. Crabfu), maker of many steam-powered robots you may have seen in the past, has gone and brought his own version of steampunk Star Wars to life with this totally awesome actual steam-powered R2-D2! The brass and wood accents are a great touch.

If you haven't seen his work before, I suggest you check it out.

As seen on Brass Goggles.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Speedpaint video

Hey guys, no new Steampunk Star Wars stuff yet. But in the meantime, I recorded myself doing a quick speedpaint. It's not the greatest painting ever, but I thought it might be interesting to show how I work.

At the original speed, this took 23 minutes.

For speedpaints like this, I generally have no idea whatsoever what I'm going to be drawing when I start. I just start scribbling until I see some shapes I like. This is a different method than I use for something like my Steampunk Star Wars images, where I have some idea of what I want to draw.

It's hard painting while recording it. It's like painting for an audience, I start to get self-conscious about every little mark. But it's cool being able to watch it back and be able to spot my bad habits. Also, when I speed it up 6x like this it makes it really look like I know what I'm doing!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Steampunk Star Wars: Sir Obi Wan Kenobi

Sir Obi Wan Kenobi

As a young man in the days of the Republic, Sir Obi Wan Kenobi was an agent for the Jedi League of Force Champions. He is intimately acquainted with the dark side of the force, as he spent nearly a decade undercover within the Sith Brotherhood, secretly trying to uncover the identity of the organization's Patriarch. His time on the dark side left permanent scars upon his soul and to this day he battles the temptation to indulge his darker emotions.

When his identity was compromised and he was forced to escape the Sith Brotherhood, Obi Wan returned to the Jedi League. Many years of service later, he was chosen to mentor a new agent to continue his undercover work: a young boy named Anakin, groomed by the League especially for this role. Obi Wan spent many years raising and training the boy, but when the time came for Anakin to infiltrate the Brotherhood he was overwhelmed and seduced by the power it offered him. He ultimately betrayed Obi Wan and the League, forcing Obi Wan to kill him. Whatever remained of Anakin after that battle became the creature known as Lord Vader.

Obi Wan has spent the last twenty years living as a hermit on Tatooine, hidden from the Empire, studying the secrets of the Force and keeping watch over a child he swore an oath to protect.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Steampunk Star Wars Desktops

Just a quick update. I resized each of the Steampunk Star Wars images to the proper dimensions for anyone who wants to use them as their desktop. They're all at 1280x960, so you should be able to use them at almost any resolution without stretching. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Steampunk Star Wars: Death Star

Massive Solar-Orbiting Electro-Mechanical Analytic Engine, Mark 6

This enormous Imperial space station, the size of a small moon or asteroid, is in fact an immense analytic engine, a device capable of making millions of calculations every day. Inside is kilometer after kilometer of tubes and wheels, cranks and gears, all spinning and clacking, spitting out an endless series of numbers for the Imperials scientists to decipher.

Although the Empire has half a dozen such devices in operation throughout the galaxy, this version is unique. While the others spend their days crunching statistical algorithms or calculating flight models, the Mark 6 station (under the personal watch of Lord Vader) is dedicated to experiments with Arcane Mathematics, the mathematical study of the Force. They hope to discover a unified Force theory, allowing them to fuse the power of the Force with their technology to create unspeakably powerful weapons. The station already houses a product of this research, a terrible weapon capable of directing a coherent beam of pure Force energy1, strong enough to destroy all life on an entire planet. This weapon has earned the station the nickname of "Death Star".

[1]As it has not yet been discovered a way for machines to directly generate Force energy, it must be supplied by a powerful Force user. The user conjures the energy inside of a specially designed resonance chamber which amplifies the energy before directing it through a series of lenses to produce a powerful coherent beam of unimaginably destructive energy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Stereotypes in Character Design

Hey guys, no new art to show just yet. Had to take it a bit slower this weekend due to my wrist acting up, but new stuff is coming, including a cool collaborative project I think you'll like.

Over at the Story-games.com forum, a few people criticised my illustration of Jabba the Hutt as being a racist Asian stereotype. As much as I hate to admit it, they're right. Like a lot of art criticisms, it's something I didn't notice myself, but once it was pointed out it seems so obvious, and now it's all I can see every time I look at it.

Now, I obviously never intended it to be a racist stereotype. Like I say in that thread, my intention wasn't to depict Jabba as an exotic, foreign villain based on Asian stereotypes, it was to depict him as a villain that flaunts his wealth by dressing himself and his palace with exotic, foreign items. Unfortunately, I missed the mark and ended up with Ming the Merciless as a slug. My intentions weren't racist, but intentions are largely irrelevant when it comes to illustration. The art should communicate everything you meant it to, and not require excuses.

This is an important lesson for any artist, writer or designer. When one is working, it's easy to focus too hard on how nice a piece looks and lose sight of what exactly it's communicating. You have to be critical of your work on all levels. Sure, that Fu Manchu mustache may look cool and totally make him look like a catfish, but it also carries other connotations that the artist needs to be aware of.

So consider my Jabba illustration a work in progress. I was already unhappy with it for other reasons, and in light of this I think it would be a good idea to redo it sometime. But later, after I've done some new designs.


Oh yeah, I've also received a lot of people expressing interest in buying prints of my work. I'm currently looking into getting prints of some of my art for sale, but I don't think the Steampunk Star Wars series will be included in that. You know, copyright issues and all.

Talk to you guys again soon!

Friday, March 02, 2007

A brief moment of seriousness

Glen (aka Gangus) at ConceptArt.org, an artist I greatly admire, has a 2-year old son named Ted. Ted was recently diagnosed with autism, and is currently in a very long line waiting for the government aid needed for him to get treatment. The longer he has to wait, the less chance he'll have that the therapy will be effective. You can help Ted and others like him by going to the link below, reading his story and showing your support.

Help Ted


When you're done with that, you can go here to check out some more of Gangus' art. This is his Victory Gals series, a number of paintings inspired by the pin-up nose art on World War 2 planes. Very cool stuff.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Welcome new readers!

Hey, I got a bit more traffic than usual today. By a factor of a thousand or so!

Thanks to the mega-awesome John Brownlee over at Table of Malcontents for posting about my Steampunk Star Wars series (also, if you go there, you have a 1 in 5 chance of seeing the banner I made for them). Also thanks to the people who reposted the link elsewhere.

Crap, now there are actual people reading this blog. Pressure's on!

UPDATE: Oh geez, I've been dugg. Like, top ten front page style. For perspective, on Wednesday this blog received 4 visitors. Today, as of 2 PM: 27,000. I've been having a pretty bad day, but the overwhelming response to this has helped lift my spirits. Thanks everyone.

UPDATE 2: No sooner do I post that last update than I see I've also been posted on freaking BoingBoing! Bless the blogosphere.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Steampunk Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt

Jabba the Hutt

Jabba the Hutt is the ruler of the desert planet Tattooine. Formerly an underworld crime boss, Jabba took the throne in a bloody coup. It's rumoured during the coup he was being supplied weapons by the Empire, but once in power he turned his back on them and continued his illegal activities with far more power and wealth than he could have ever amassed in the underworld.

Jabba is a model of opulence and excess. His corpulence is the physical embodiment of all seven mortal sins. He dresses only in fine Sarlacc silks, regularly partakes in feasts of rare and endangered animals such as the giant Krayt Dragon, and has a harem of concubines representing every humanoid species known in the galaxy.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Steampunk Star Wars: Han Solo & Mr. Chewbacca

"I'll be bored of this in a week and start drawing dogs wearing hats or something."

Then I thought, "Why can't it be both?"

Han Solo & Mr. Chewbacca
Han Solo is a notorious gambler, con artist and smuggler. Mr. Chewbacca is his Wookiee partner in crime. The duo is wanted by both the Empire and a number of underworld crime lords, but they manage to stay one step ahead of their pursuers thanks to their ship, the Millennium Falcon, said to be the fastest ship in the galaxy. Solo is also known for his quick draw with a pistol. He boasts that of all the men he's shot, not a single one was able to shoot first.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007

Steampunk Star Wars: Lord Vader

Inspired by this neat little project, I decided I wanted to reimagine the Star Wars universe in a steampunk context. I know, whenever anyone reimagines anything, they either make it a) adult and edgy (99%) or b) steampunk (1%), so I'm not getting any originality points, but it's still a pretty exciting idea for me. Meaning I'll be bored of it in a week and start drawing dogs wearing hats or something.

Lord Vader
More machine than man, Vader is the Empire's most decorated General and a very powerful practitioner of the Force's dark arts. He is obsessed with communicating with the spirits of the dead, spending every sleepless night trying in vain to contact his lost love. Twisted and broken in body and mind, Vader is driven with sadistic passion.

He is a master with the traditional weapon of Force champions, the Phlogisticated Aether Torch, more commonly referred to as the phlogisabre.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Way to go, science!

Singapore: Will pay for blood-thirsty murderbots

Singapore, where they apparently don't get the same cautionary tales about robots turning on their masters with fatal results as we do, has decided to offer $1,000,000 to anyone who can design their very own ED-209. Not only will it be designed to autonomously hunt down and kill various human-shaped targets, it will be able to navigate complex urban environments and even operate elevators and doors (much like a Velociraptor made of metal). Worst of all, one of the requirements for the prize violates the most important rule of robotics, the one above all else that will keep us safe from their crushing robotic grip. No, not Asimov's three laws, those are like the New Year's resolutions for robots. Sure they'll stick to them, but only for a week or so. No, I'm talking about stairs. For years, despite all the terrifying advances in robotic technology, we humans felt secure in the knowledge that if a robot ever turned on us, we'd be safe as long as we could find a set of stairs nearby. As illustrated in the film Robocop, robots, with their wheels and large unwieldy feet, are simply not capable of dealing with stairs. But now Singapore has decided that their robot must have the ability to use stairways, eliminating our final line of defense.

In other horrifying news, some guys are teaching a robot arm how to stab you.

So is there any hope left for humanity? Who will save us from the mighty iron-alloy fist of the robot menace? Well, it might be researchers David Salt and John Freeman, who are developing a genetically modified plant capable of eating metal. Sure, right now the plants just extract metals from the soil, but that's really just one step away from an army of marching Venus Flytraps with a taste for titanium, devouring their way through phalanxes of robosoldiers while we sit in our homes watching the spectacle on television, marvelling at the awesome power of nature. Sure, once the robot army is defeated we'll have hordes of metal-eating plants that may or may not one day get the taste for human blood to deal with, but at least we'll be secure in one piece of knowledge: Plants can't use stairs.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Wii, New Tire

I finally got my Wii! It arrived yesterday while I was at work. I waited anxiously all day, and even took off a little early to get home and finally play the Wii I bought two weeks ago.

On the drive home (I drive about a half an hour to and from work every day, as well as take a forty minute train ride either way) I noticed my steering felt a little weird, but didn't think much of it. About halfway suddenly my entire car started vibrating so I pulled over to the side of the freeway. I got out and saw that my front driver's side tire was completely flat, and remembered hitting a pothole pretty hard that morning. I didn't have much room or light (it was already pretty dark out) where I was pulled over so I drove along the should about 500 meters or so to the next exit, where I could pull over under a streetlight with lots of room to change my tire. This was the first time I'd ever changed my own tire. I pulled out the manual and read it to make sure I knew what I was doing. I jacked up the car and was feeling pretty confident I knew what I was doing. I put the wrench thingy on the nut thingy and tried to turn it. Nothing. I pulled with all my strength, it wouldn't even budge. After about half an hour of trying to turn each nut, I finally managed to loosen one. Eventually I got them all off. I leaned down to pull the tire off. I grabbed onto it, pulled, and it didn't budge.

A freeway maintenance truck pulled up and offered to give me a hand. He tried knocking the tire off with a rubber mallet but wasn't able to get it off either, so he called me a tow truck. The two truck showed up around 40 minutes later and I explained to him what had happened. He told me that it was because the steel and aluminum had oxidized, yadda yadda yadda, he kicked it really hard until it came off and after an hour and a half on the side of the freezing cold freeway I got my spare tire on and drove home.

The moral of the story is my Wii number is:
7643 7864 9560 6817

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Last night I saw Pan's Labyrinth. The short review: Hell yeah!

Pan's Labyrinth is a new take on a pretty familiar story. Young girl is dissatisfied with her life in the real world, and escapes (or is forced) into a fantasy world which may or may not only exist in her head, meets crazy creatures, overcomes obstacles, then comes home with a new perspective. You've seen variations of the story in the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth, Neil Gaiman's Mirrormask and Coraline, and Spirited Away among others. It's one of my favourite stories, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.

Pan's Labyrinth puts some twists into the formula. Ofelia, the young girl in question, spends a lot more time in the real world than the fantasy one. She only jumps into the fantasy world for brief periods over the course of the movie. In fact, you could probably remove all the fantasy elements and still be left with a pretty good movie (albeit one I probably wouldn't have gone to see).

The art direction and creature design was all around incredible. This is only the second Guillermo Del Toro film I've seen (EDIT: Actually, I forgot about Blade 2, so this is the third Del Toro film I've seen. Thanks for the reminder, Slinky!), but I could still recognise his signature all over this movie. Ivana Baquero, the young girl playing Ofelia was really great. It felt a little like seeing Natalie Portman for the first time in The Professional, and I'd be surprised if she doesn't go on to do great things. Of course, with child actors it's always hard to tell how much of their performance is talent and how much of it is just having a really good director leading them, so I guess only time will tell. Doug Jones (who seems to be to Del Toro what Andy Serkis is to Peter Jackson) does a kickass job as two of the film's creatures. The man seriously has the most expressive hands in Hollywood.

Definitely go see this if you get the chance. If you do, tell them Eric sent you and you might win a prize! I don't know who would give you a prize for that, but there's still a very small possibility it could happen!

Speaking of subtitled movies, I finally found a copy of Turkish Star Wars on Google Video yesterday. And my life was then complete.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wii Status Update

Well it's been 5 business days since Nintendo told me I'd be receiving my replacement Wii in 3-4 business days. I wanted to find out why it hadn't arrived yet so I went onto the support website and entered my order code to check on the status of the shipment.

Status: Backordered

WHAT?! They haven't even shipped it yet? I was told they were shipping it a week ago!

Tom H. Cruise I just want my Wii!

Friday, January 19, 2007

19 Legends of Kung Fu Part 3

Invincible Elephant
Elephant uses a rare style of kung fu which focuses on channeling energy downward into the Earth. It's been said he can crush stone and cause massive earthquakes with just the stomp of a foot. He also has skin so tough it can withstand all but the sharpest blade. Ironically, his memory is terrible.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fuckity fuck fuckle fuck

Yep, it broke. I got my new Wii connected to the internet and it downloaded an update, which then caused it to freeze. I rebooted the system, it worked fine while I played Zelda for a few hours, then once I quit and went into the Wii menu it froze again. This time when I rebooted it the screen was black. The TV was getting a signal, but it wasn't displaying anything.

Nintendo is sending me a replacement, it should arrive on Monday or Tuesday. So much for my plans for an awesome Wiikend.

Monday, January 15, 2007


At 10 AM this morning I became the proud owner of a Wii. I've been trying to get one since launch but I've just had really bad timing. Apparently today was the first day Future Shop didn't have people lining up all morning for it.

It's been sitting in my car trunk all day while I sit at work, yearning, longing, pining for my dear sweet Wii. Or at least pretending to work while I draw a picture to commemorate the day.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My DVD collection

I finally got around to organizing my DVD collection. The shelf works much better than having them stacked in haphazard piles around my room. Although, I always liked the idea of the small piles slowly growing over the years until they were a series of ceiling high pillars like the library scene in Ghostbusters. Or like whenever a crazy recluse dies and people go into their house and the whole place is a winding maze formed by walls of books stacked in every room. Only instead of journals filled with paranoid ramblings about the Reptile/Zionist Conspiracy, it would be movies starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson I bought 3 for $5 at Wal Mart.

Do you know what time it is?

It's Tenacious D time! Fuck yeah!

The D is coming to Vancouver next month and I am so fucking there! I got the tickets this morning and I'm stoked as hell!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Physical Comedy

Admiral0kelvin: I have very little idea what the Large Hadron Collider scientists are building in Switzerland is for, but it scares the hell out of me. It's like the beginning of every science fiction movie that involves a rift in the space-time continuum.
ColonelCraud: They're probably just sitting around making "hardon" jokes.
ColonelCraud: At least if the large hadron collider fucks up, we'll only lose Switzerland.
ColonelCraud: I mean, it's a good country, but it's not great.
ColonelCraud: The only hope for humanity is a team of scientists gathered from all over the world America
Admiral0kelvin: I'd like to see a movie where the Large Hadron Collider has a catastrophic failure that causes a rift in space-time and Switzerland is invaded by dinosaurs. But the Swiss fight them off with their Swiss Army Knives.
ColonelCraud: It'll turn out that the large hadron collider is just the code name for a water slide.
ColonelCraud: Then all the scientists go down it in their lab coats while Surfin' USA plays
Admiral0kelvin: That should be what the sequel to Real Genius with Val Kilmer is about.
ColonelCraud: "What do you mean the Large Hadron Collider has been taken over... BY JUNIOR COLLEGE STUDENTS?"
ColonelCraud: It's the sequel to Hostel, where the backpackers get kidnapped and taken to a physics institute and bored to death by sadistic physicis lecturers who are sick of students not paying attention.
Admiral0kelvin: Lecture porn.
ColonelCraud: "A number-spattered probability fest - I love it!"
ColonelCraud: They had to cut the scene about tachyons, otherwise it would have been NC-17
ColonelCraud: Harry here.... I feel this... along with SCHROEDINGER'S CUT.... has created a new genre I call "Theoretical Physics Noir"...
Admiral0kelvin: As with the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), people both inside and outside of the physics community have voiced concern that the LHC might trigger one of several theoretical disasters capable of destroying the Earth or even the entire Universe. These include:

* Creation of a stable black hole[7]
* Creation of strange matter that is more stable than ordinary matter
* Creation of magnetic monopoles that could catalyze proton decay
* Triggering a transition into a different quantum mechanical vacuum (see False vacuum)

Admiral0kelvin: Oh, good.
Admiral0kelvin: Whatever happens, I'm sure Stephen Hawking can save us.
ColonelCraud: Along with his new buddy Gizmo, the clumsy robot!
Admiral0kelvin: That would make a good FPS. It would be like Half-Life, only you can't jump. Which is great because the jumping puzzles in Half-Life are horrid.
ColonelCraud: Or it'd be like The Lost Vikings, where Stephen Hawking can open solve equations, but only Gizmo can jump.
ColonelCraud: You have to stop the Swiss scientists from using the Large Hadron Collider, and they're all eating swiss cheese.
Admiral0kelvin: And then Stephen Hawking has to get shrunk to the quantum level and must battle Higgs bosons with nothing but his wheelchair-mounted muon-neutrino beams.
Admiral0kelvin: And then the final boss is Antimatter Stephen Hawking, who has been behind the whole scheme.

Monday, January 08, 2007

19 Legends of Kung Fu: Part 2

Here's the second installment of the 19 Legends of Kung Fu series. These two were actually the first two characters I did for it, but I didn't have them handy when I posted the last batch. I was playing around a bit more stylistically with these ones.

Master Golden Dragon Tail
Master of the Golden Butterfly Shaolin Temple. He is 180 years old and the sole protector of the Sword of Deadly Trials.

Spirit of the Monkey
Spirit of the Monkey is a master of Leaping Monkey style. When he was a baby his parents were murdered by bandits and he was discovered by a traveling merchant and monkey breeder. He was raised alongside a large family of monkeys, and is said to be able to speak with these animals.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

For Your Consideration and Children of Men

I saw two movies this weekend, For Your Consideration, the new Christopher Guest movie about a small film that starts to generate Oscar buzz, and Alfonso Cuaron's sci-fi Children of Men.

I'm going to put off making any final judgments on For Your Consideration until I've seen it again. I was disappointed with it, but I was also disappointed the first time I saw A Mighty Wind and I completely love that movie now. These movies tend to get better with repeated viewings. For Your Consideration was the weakest of the Christopher Guest films so far, but since this is one my favourite groups of movies ever, that doesn't mean it was bad by any stretch. I laughed a lot. The problem is mostly that it was 2/3rds of a really good movie, it just seemed like the last 1/3rd wasn't there at all. The movie feels like it ends before the third act even begins.

I think a big factor is that the movie dropped a lot of the mockumentary conventions of the previous films, and they didn't seem to quite know how to get the jokes in without letting the characters talk to the camera. They managed to get a little of that by replacing the direct character interviews with scenes of the characters being interviewed by the press, but it wasn't nearly as strong.

Catherine O' Hara was great, as was John Michael Higgins, who was the only character who really felt like a character from a Christopher Guest movie. Well, the only one besides Fred Willard, because he's playing the exact same guy he always plays, and is still hilarious doing it. One of the funniest scenes in the movie is the first time you see Fred Willard and Jane Lynch. They got a huge laugh by just standing there. A good chunk of the cast is underutilized, though. Comic geniuses like Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Eugene Levy, Michael Hitchcock, and Ricky Gervais were given very little to work with and none had a very memorable part in the movie. Ricky Gervais had a few funny lines, but he was actually much funnier in A Night At The Museum, which is just sad.

Children of Men was really incredible. I went into it knowing very little besides the premise (it's the year 2020-something and all the women in the world have been infertile for the last 18 years, the world's gone to shit and Clive Owen is badass), and came out seriously impressed. It presented a believable vision of a bleak, dystopian Britain in which anarchy reigns, all immigrants are illegal and kept in camps, and everyone is basically waiting for humanity to die off in what might be the most depressingly anticlimactic apocalypse possible. But they're still better off than the rest of the world, most of which has been obliterated by war and terrorism. Clive Owen plays a disillusioned and all around glum government bureaucrat who gets tangled up with a group of freedom fighters and ends up having to protect what may be humanity's last hope.

Above all, this is a very smart sci-fi action film. It's rare that sci-fi is good enough to get away with taking itself seriously, but this one certainly pulls it off. The performances are great all around, and the writing is smart and clever. Alfonso Cuaron and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki did an amazing job shooting this movie. Cuaron didn't cut the camera unless absolutely necessary, and sometimes didn't even cut it when it was absolutely necessary. Each of the big action scenes is filmed in one continuous take, some of them lasting up to 9 or 10 minutes, which gives them one hell of an intensity. It's like watching a 10 minute guitar solo where the guitarist never even slows down to take a breath. The action never relies on spectacle to get you pumped, it builds the tension the good old fashioned way. There's a car chase that's more heart pounding than any car chase I've seen this year, and neither car even gets out of neutral.

This movie gets two big thumbs up from me. I definitely recommend seeing it.

Friday, January 05, 2007

19 Legends of Kung Fu

I've started a new "project" of sorts, mostly just to give myself an excuse to do work. I'm going to design a series of legendary (but somewhat silly) kung fu masters. The series is tentatively titled 19 Legends of Kung Fu. I'm aiming at doing 19 characters, but who knows what the final tally will be. I may end up with 5, I may end up with 50.

Flying Squirrel
Flying Squirrel uses his kites to glide through the air and attack his enemies from above. Likes nuts a lot.

Tiger Habanero
Tiger uses chili peppers (despite his name, he uses a variety of peppers, not the habanero exclusively) to cause blinding pain in his opponents. He has been known to cover his hands with ground chilis and to fill his mouth with his special blend of hot sauce and spray it at his opponents.