Friday, February 1, 2013

Brysketch: Donatello

Well! I haven't done this in a while. My increasingly-limited free time mostly goes to drawing new comics, but lately I feel the urge to draw other things as well. So today it's Donatello, who might just be my favourite Ninja Turtle now!? (Because which Ninja Turtle you relate to is an important life question, after all.)

First up, here's the basic inked version:

And here's the quickly-coloured version:, fill tool quick. (Colouring is something I need to practice.)

I'm mostly happy with it! Not quite as good as it could have been, but far from the worst thing I've drawn. Time permitting, I may do the other three TMNT in the same style.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012 Picks

I liked some things in 2012. And here they are!

Song: Comeback Kid - Sleigh Bells

If 2011 was the year life gave me a bit of a kick in the teeth, then continued on as I got optimistic and began to climb my way out of the hole I was in, then 2012 is the year I emerged from it entirely. Hard work paid off, real happiness stopped eluding me, and I felt more complete and comfortable in my own skin than ever before - but with a deep understanding that the work's never done and that I can't ever rest on my laurels. So the title/chorus alone have some resonance with me, but the song itself is something that keeps sucking me in - that aggressive beat and sweet vocals are a killer mix, it's super catchy, and has a message that really hits home. As far as capturing how I felt for most of 2012 - optimistic and persistent, but with a sharpened edge - this makes a hell of a soundtrack.

Also: Bad Religion - Frank Ocean, Closer - Tegan and Sara, Love Interruption - Jack White (featuring Ruby Amanfu), Let's Fall in Love - Mother Mother, King and Lionheart - Of Monsters and Men

Comic: "Prophet" - Brandon Graham/Simon Roy/Farel Dalrymple/Giannis Milonogiannis

Rob Liefeld has a certain... unfavorable reputation, let's say, amongst some comic readers, perfectly representing to many the style-over-substance excesses of the dark '90s that the 2000s tried so hard to live down. "Prophet" was one of the books in his Extreme Studios stable to be given a ground-up reimagining from up-and-coming visionaries, and perhaps its success hints at Liefeld's true calling - setting up the pins for others to knock down.

"Prophet" is an intense, unforgiving, and hugely imaginative sci-fi epic that drops the reader in the middle of a violent, truly alien universe and expects them to keep up. The series is low on emotion - its future is a particularly brutal one - but it's damned enthralling to read, and the skills on display here could be game-changing. Full-force weirdness in the best possible way, and sure to be looked back on as a modern classic.

Also: Saga - Bryan K Vaughan/Fiona Staples, The Massive - Brian Wood/Kristian Donaldson/Garry Brown, Hawkeye - Matt Fraction/David Aja/Javier Pulido, Mind MGMT - Matt Kindt, Angel & Faith - Christos Gage/Rebekah Isaacs/Chris Samnee

Show: Sherlock (BBC)

Note: I left Doctor Who off this list because I love Doctor Who on a level beyond that of other television and probably can't compare it fairly to anything else. So yeah.

The world is getting a lot of Sherlock Holmes these days, but this series stands head and shoulders above the rest by actually being every bit as sharp and clever as the great detective himself. The second season picks up directly after the first season's cliffhanger ending, and the ride, though short (each season consists of three movie-length episodes) delivers some of the most thrilling, challenging and rewarding television being made today. But what really locks this choice down was that amazing, intense, heartbreaking finale, and that one last mystery that's going to simmer in my brain until we're lucky enough to get more.

(Though I'm pretty sure I've solved it... but if I can count on any show to surprise and impress me, it's this one.)

Also: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Community, Girls, Parks and Recreation

Movie: ParaNorman

Okay, full disclosure - I didn't get out to see many movies this year. There are a ton I've been wanting to see, but a really full schedule kept me delaying seeing them until most were out of theatres. So keep that in mind.

But I loved ParaNorman. Which isn't surprising, because this is a movie pretty much made for me specifically - I'm a sucker for stories about "outsider" kids, paranormal plots (especially ones with a sharp sense of humour) and stop-motion animation. And the animation here is absolutely stunning. But what impressed me the most was the story and its themes, with a script that wasn't afraid to go to some dark, surprisingly thoughtful and mature places without for a second treating its intended audience -- y'know, kids -- like they can't handle it.

(And hey, zombies!)

Also: The Cabin in the Woods, The Dark Knight Rises, Wreck-It Ralph, The Avengers

Dying to See: Argo, Life of Pi, Django Unchained, Skyfall, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Looper, Moonrise Kingdom, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Frankenweenie, Safety Not Guaranteed

Game: Batman: Arkham City (Game of the Year Edition)

Not only is Batman: Arkham City the best game I played in 2012, I think it's the only game I played in 2012. And even then, I've only played a a little of it so far. And it's also a rerelease of a game that came out in 2011, so it doesn't even really count for a "best of 2012" list anyway. uh, never mind. (It's good, though!)

So, how about you? Anything from 2012 that you particularly loved?