Sunday, March 25, 2018

"Suit, Construct Blade"

In my earlier post featuring Titan-Boy, I said I wanted to make it more obvious that his suit was morphing and changing to create his weapons. I tried to create that effect here with abstract polygon art. It's still not what I have in mind, but it's closer. God teaches me to try and fail as many times as is necessary in all important things.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Transformers: Dynamism

Transformers: Dynamism 

Today I'm doing something different. The link is to a Google Document of a Transformers comic I wrote when I was fifteen. It's nothing revolutionary, but I've been advised to share it on this blog a few times, so I thought I would since I mentioned Transformers in the last post. This comic was sort of my vision for what the Transformers movies could be more like. There's a minimum amount of humans, but I kept some of the more violent aspects of what I consider to be pretty cool fight scenes. On that note, even though they're super-powerful robots, it still might be too graphic for a lot of people (my younger cousins included).
To my mind, the Transformers TV and movie franchise has always been about a war between good and evil, and war is scary. In portraying realistic alien robots fighting, that scariness has to be present. But I completely understand that things shouldn't be graphic for the sake of being graphic, so feel free to not agree with me. 

This story idea actually came from a game I was playing in a car ride. I was counting how many cars that passed us could be Transformers I recognized, and a trailer truck with dismantled F-15's passed by. My mom suggested that would be a good plot for a Transformers comic, and I agreed.
I basically just picked the characters I liked for the story. Soundwave is my favorite Transformer (no surprise), so I knew I had to start and end with him. I know the twins Skids and Mudflap (or Mudflap and Skids if you prefer) are controversial, but I liked the idea of twin soldiers fighting alongside each other even if they aren't the brightest bulbs. There's more than a place for people who are brave and good without being particularly clever. That's what attracted me about them before I learned about the extreme problems with their movie portrayal. I included my version of them anyway.

The comic itself isn't perfect. It would need to be edited for length depending on how many pages I actually received, and the writing isn't the most nuanced of all time. I wanted to show that I can do stuff like this, and that I want to get better. God is good, and He will do what He will. That's what I most like about the Transformers: they're a race of ancient powerful pure good or evil aliens here to save us from ourselves or utterly destroy us. It's angelic in a sense, and the (admittedly few) moments when I see that accurately captured in the movies is where they shine.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Behold Titan-Boy. He's a superhero I made up with, like Jamy, a certain message in mind that I wont spoil here. His name is based on the titan Prometheus, one of the original inspirations for the Science Fiction genre. His name is also based on my personal favorite superhero, Larry-Boy (followed closely by Franklin Richards followed closely by Spider-Man). And of course it just sounds cool to me. In my opinion, there aren't enough superhero characters with the title "-Boy" at the end of them. His powers tie into the message I want to tell which is connected to the corruption of fantasy and imagination, a very science fiction concept. His suit is basically low-grade programmable matter which can form any solid object so long as he pre-programs it before it's needed (have I mentioned I'm a computer science major?), it remains attached to his suit, and it's small enough for the limited suit modules to form. That why there's all those weird square things around his weapons. I'd want to make it more obvious in the actual animation or comic (or possibly motion comic).

Because of this, his design (as you can probably guess) is partially based on Optimus Prime from the Transformers stories. This is complicated but important. I love parts of the Transformers films, but the movies themselves are, as a whole, terrible. However, there are parts of them worth using, and I can even use the awful parts the same way PIXAR's The Incredibles uses aspects of the James Bond movies to strengthen its message and story. There's actually a similar major problem to The Transformers movies' in Titan-Boy's other style inspiration, Tron Legacy, but it's much more subtle.

The last image is actually the first drawing of Titan-Boy that I did. I originally wanted the face plate to look like athletic gear, but it just ending up looking like a horror-movie character's and detracted from the Optimus Prime look I was going for. So I got rid of them. Then I simplified the design more and more so that he would be more distinctive and recognizable. I'd still be interested in doing more of that. God you are my only God. Your will be done especially for this plan.

Jamy Welkins

So this is Jamy. At least that's her working name. There's something about how I made her character that's based off more of a feeling than any one person I know (although she is named after a very wonderful person I do know). She was originally created just as a vehicle for a specific story with a message I wanted to tell. That evolved into (I may as well say it even though it's crazy) the idea of writing about a magic high school closer to what actual modern high schools are like than the magic schools I've read about. Jamy is our entry point into this world, even though she doesn't particularly evoke it. One of the things I like about her is that she's not really the hero of the story. She's basically the heroine's sidekick or Watson. But she also has her own story and struggle that I wanted to focus on. She's an everyman. I like sidekick stories. So that was what I was trying to capture in these images: casual. That casual relateability that I knew she had when I first thought of her.

I was tempted to not put these drawings on here for a few reasons. One of them is that the project she's a part of is so much bigger than this, and another is that even though these drawings of her are by far the best I've done, I'm still not capable of the art style I want to be able to draw her in. God you know the plans I have for her, but God your plans be done, not mine.


"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." -Luke 12:48

I told myself I would post something different before posting another Superman drawing, but I'm not putting up this picture for any particular artistic merit, just personal value. Today I participated in my second Walk for Water that I have ever done. It's an event that raises awareness and money for people, particularly people in African countries like Liberia, that don't have access to the same clean water that we do every day. It does this by letting donators participate in a 2-mile walk holding a bucket where you fill up your bucket with dirty water and then go back to have it sanitized. I didn't donate much, but it was good to help even in such a small way. I hope I'll be able to do more someday.

Anyway, it made me think up this drawing with Superman on it. If I had gotten my way, they would've been on a road, and I would have come up with some way to frame them more as clear equals, but I guess I ran out of space or I'm not quite good enough for that yet. I still wanted to draw it. It turned out very different from the image in my head.

What I'd love to see from superhero stories more than anything except more good portrayals of religion is to see superheroes tackle social problems, not just physical and occasionally emotional ones. There's a temptation with stories of all kinds to focus on just one aspect of a conflict: either physical, emotional, or social. It's the same way people want to just focus on physical, emotional, or social solutions. But that's too simplistic. We can do better. People have done it before.

I'm so thankful we know an actual superman who can do more for people than any of us can put together. There is One who really will do everything that can be done to save us all. Thank you God. Amen.