Last year, I had Yonda, Boomer, and Dwight participate, so now I have the remainder of the nominees taking the challenge in different ways.
I start off with typing the text and make ‘thumbnails’ of the pages, giving me an idea of how they’ll appear when I add the text and images. Seeing as how long the latest pages are compared to the previous ones, I think I’ve improved more on my ability to tell stories, although I could use a lesson in drawing comics better. However, I’ve recently learned that it’s all right if a work of art is ‘finished, not perfect’ and being able to complete something will give you more confidence and a better sense of purpose.
Last month, Pokémon GO came out, and boy, did the number of downloads rise. And even though I enjoy the Pokémon franchise, I decided not to get the location-based game. It uses up quite a bit of battery power, you know.
Within a few days of release, there were some reports of accidents, injuries, and the occasional traffic jam, all because the users never bothered to pay attention to their surroundings. A problem like this inspired me to put Nespa Vespa (Jacken DeBox’s three-wheeled Italian scooter) to somewhat greater use in this PSA I completed on July 31st. Note: I’ll get a scanned version of the image as soon as I can.
Some of the characters I created are still being developed personality-wise. As you can see, Nespa is portrayed as plucky, rather sassy vehicle who can take Jacken to other places whenever possible. It occurred to me that while the name ‘Nespa’ comes from merging the words ‘nest’ and ‘Vespa,’ the initials of Nintendo’s home console, NES, appeared in the name. As a result, I made Nespa more of a gamer girl, gave her handles some dexterity, and placed a smart phone holder in her compartment. It’s pretty interesting how the whole thing plays out when you give someone certain attributes. Once I thought of this story, it practically wrote itself!
I may not have a comic or some concept art at this time, but just this morning, I realized today is Flag Day, one of the less celebrated days of the year with an exact date. I knew my fictional city of toys, objects, and vehicles (Blockopolis as it’s called) didn’t have a city flag, so I made one the fastest and best way possible: with Adobe Illustrator!
Along the way, I figured out how to make an object look more like a flag and threw in a gradient effect to give it dimension. Oooh, I just love the way it turned out! This beauty is symbolic of the importance of education, self-awareness, and caring for one another. I call it, ‘The Brilliant Building Block.’
Today’s the 72th birthday of well-known puppeteer, Frank Oz. He brought us various Muppet voices with which we’re most familiar: Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam the Eagle. He even performed extras during the run of The Muppet Show, including my personal favorite, Hugga Wugga.
Before I knew about this day, I’d drawn this picture of a combination of Frank’s Sesame Street Muppets: Grover, Bert, and Cookie Monster -Groberkie.
Frank Oz also performed Yoda in the Star Wars franchise, and I always found the voice and speech pattern very amusing.
Another fact about Frank Oz: he had a couple of roles for Pixar Animation Studios (Fungus in Monsters, Inc. and Subconcious Guard Dave in Inside Out).
Happy 72th, Mr. Oz! May your impact on the Muppets live on forever!
Last year, I found out about a day that comes every year on the third Saturday of April: Record Store Day. I went ahead and made my own album cover for my signature character, Jacken DeBox. I bet some of you never knew he could also be a musician. See how he gaily plays Squeezen, his concertina (that’s what you call a small accordion).
Now, if this had a track list, it would look something like this:
- Hop, Stomp, and Twirl
- Open the Door
- It’s Tipper Time
- Picture Day Delight
- Wobble and Clumpy’s Studio
- Under the Spring Sun
- Room of Enchantment
- Turn on the Radio
- I Would Like a Book
- Quick and Steady
- Nothing Wrong with Polka
- Boomer Brings You Back
- Up and Down Clown
- Hiding in Place
- Need More Batteries
- Living Like a King
- What’s Poppin’? (Make it Snappy)
- Backwards Pizza
- Doll off the Wall
- Ridin’ with Nespa
- Jokes for Dessert
- Homecoming Hurrah
- Ringing My Hat Bells
- World on Yonda’s Shoulders
- Electric Carpet
- Two Eyes, Blue Eyes
- Soup for the Chicken’s Soul
- Little Big Storage
- Punch out of Line
- Very Merry Pear
- I Don’t Wear Shoes
- Root Beer Shower
- Educational Buddy
- Jacken DeBox’s Theme
If my Blockopolis series ever gets launched, I’m sure the record deal could happen.
Nearly eight years ago, I gave Jacken DeBox someone who is what Pete would be to Mickey Mouse or what Buzz Buzzard would be to Woody Woodpecker. I’m, of course, talking about none other than Punchline DePunch. The last name used to be ‘DeBop,’ but I did a little change to see if it would have a better ring to it. Still unsure of what that last name should be as of now. Anyway, I came up with this little story earlier this week and decided to work on it before April 1st. And I must say, it’s really helping me expand more on my Blockopolis series and make it a little more promising.
In this latest feature, Punchline is excited about the 1st day of April, which we all recognize as April Fools’ Day. He comes up with this idea of pranking the residents in alphabetical order (the ones I came up with so far anyway) as follows.
- A – Sticking letter magnets to the right side of Arby so the words say, ‘ARBY IS A ROAD HOG’
- B – Telling Boomer about Great Barry finding a nicer adventurer
- C – Delivering a fake cake to Chickpea; the fake cake turns out to be Clumpy, who’d been duped into turning into a cake in preparation for a dessert art exhibit
- D – Handing Dwight some trick gum that leaves the mouth oozing black liquid when chewed
- E – Putting an opaque fly mask on Edgar
- F – Sticking a rubber spider on Featherly’s net
- G – Telling Great Barry about Boomer finding a braver boat
- H – Gluing Helix’s landing skids to the helipad
- I – Swapping out Inchbean’s scanner with a vacuum (Punchline himself didn’t trick Wobble with anything by himself, so Wobble doesn’t count)
- J – Throwing a water balloon at Jacken inside his box (this one is backfired)
It’s eventually revealed that Jacken and Tipper, standing on the other side of the wall, were one step ahead of Punchline, with Tipper providing the controls of the Jacken Decoy’s workings.
For those keeping track of my works, I did not include Damsel 5000 because Luman Shein most likely has a security system keeping anyone from tampering with her. Also, in Punchline’s thought balloon, there’s no impediment used when a P name/word is used. That’s because was thinking, not speaking.
And one last thing: there’s a Hidden Mickey in the panel with the character whose name begins with D, which is the first letter in the name Disney. Pretty clever, right?
So far, I’ve drawn over 20 unique characters in my Blockopolis body of work. The most recent ones I’m showing just in time for Easter are a plaid rabbit and a pogo stick.
Sweet-Tooth Bunnsen is the mascot and founder of the Bunnsen Bite-Bites Candy Factory, home of the famous Blocolate. On special occasions, this calm, fast-paced fellow takes time to pass out tasty treats to the residents of Blockopolis, and because his legs aren’t particularly good for jumping (even though he resembles a rabbit), he prefers to go high and low on his trusty pogo stick, Ogo Pogo.
Bunnsen Bite-Bites – Better than nibbles and chomps! (Trademark)