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I, like many artists, have a list of things in my head that I'd like to draw, but never seem to find the time to... Some of them I never even started, some of them I started and didn't finish, some of them I've drawn before, but would like to draw again. For no other reason than the sake of typing it out... here is my list...

PS. Most of this list I already typed in an old journal entry years ago, but I'm updating it...

Trickle

Tweak, Tragedy & Trickle in Halloween Costumes

Tweak, Tragedy & Trickle as Cheerleaders

Tweak, Tragedy & Trickle as Jedi

Tweak as Snow White

The Apocalypse Fairies in Halloween Costumes

The Apocalypse Fairies' Horses

The Five Girls from Sucker Punch

Something to do with Wheatley from Portal 2

A Mermaid

A Zombie

A Zombie Cheerleader

Possibly a Zombie Mermaid

Probably not a Zombie Mermaid Cheerleader

Patrick Dempsy as McDreamy

Cherry Darling

Bloodknight

Binyah Binyah Polliwog

All the female races of World of Warcraft that I haven't already done

Frost (Mortal Kombat)

Nitara (Mortal Kombat)

Another Mileena (Mortal Kombat)

Ibuki (Street Fighter)

Steve Irwin

Another She-Hulk

Another Urkel

Poison from Final Fight
(I don't care if she possibly has/had a penis. She's hawt.)

Stephanie from Lazytown, if she were goth.

Stephanie from Lazytown, if she weren't goth. Which she isn't. So... normal.

Marrow

Jubilee

Waspinator

A Mogwai

Catwoman

Luna Lovegood
(Not as she was in the movie, but as I envisioned her when I read the book)

Bebop and Rocksteady

Bulk and Skull

Lady Galinda "Glinda" Chuffrey née Upland of the Arduennas of the Upper Uplands
  • Listening to: Sucker Punch - The Original Soundtrack
  • Reading: The Complete Peanuts - Volume 4
  • Watching: WWE Raw
  • Playing: Dead Rising 2: Case West
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
"Oh my god!? Curt liked a movie about 5 girls wearing leather and fishnets doing flips and fighting orcs? BIG FRIGGIN' SUPRISE!" yeah, yeah, yeah... I know. Just shut up and let me get through this...

This movie is... part Inception, part Alice in Wonderland, part Chicago, part Girl Interrupted, part Lord of the Rings, Part I Robot, Part Inglorious Basterds, and frankly a whole crapton of other parts I could go on listing for ages... It's really all over the place... but in the best possible way, if you ask me. I don't think it's a movie for everyone. It's a little bit of a mind-f*cker, it has its share of downer moments, and you have to draw alot of your own conclusions about the story, because they don't spell everything out for you... but ultimately I think it was a fairly smart, very pretty movie... and not NEARLY as bad as some of the reviews are making it out to be. Which is why I feel the need to jump up and do a review myself... to defend it...

My problem with alot of the negative reviews about this movie is this: I see alot of critics saying the plot is hard to follow and doesn't make sense... and that while the movie is visually stunning, the plot is too confusing and nonsensical to be enjoyed.

Here's my response to that... I said this to the people I saw the movie with as we left the theater, and I whole-heartedly stand by it: Anyone who claims this movie is confusing, but that they could follow the plot of Inception beginning to end with no problems - Is full of shit.

The flow of the movie is set up exactly the same way Inception was. And to a lesser extent, the same way the 1st hour of The Matrix was. There are multiple layers of reality in this film, and what happens in one reflects back upon what's going on in the others. The initial transition from one reality to the next is a bit jarring and confusing at first, but as soon as you get a handle on the fact that we're jumping through differing layers of reality... it's fine. Thus endeth the confusion...

If you're capable of grasping that concept in one of these movie, you're capable of grasping that concept in the other two movies. Period.

But Inception was a smart adult action-thriller Oscar picture starring Leo DiCaprio in a suit, and this is a comic-booky fantasy slam-bang action flick starring relatively unfamiliar actresses in fishnets... so Inception was "Intelligent and Intriguing", and Sucker Punch is "Confusing and Nonsensical" right? I hate smug movie reviewers... I really do.

Anyway, I'm reviewing the critics more than I'm reviewing the movie here, so I'll move on now...

So yeah... multiple layers of reality...

Basically... this girl referred to throughout the movie as Babydoll (we're never given her real name) is wrongfully committed to a crooked insane asylum by her step father... in an attempt to frame her for the murder of her sister and steal her inheritance. He pays off an equally if not more crooked orderly by the name of Blue to falsify some documents and have Babydoll scheduled for a lobotomy, which will forever prevent Babydoll from revealing the truth of her story. The lobotomy will happen in 5 days. Meanwhile, the girls of the asylum all live and socialize together, and engage in public therapy sessions, where they reveal histories of misfortune and sexual abuse and such... which Blue admits to listening in on perversely. That's reality uno. I call this crazy house reality.

As a method of coping with the trauma of her new surroundings, Babydoll recreates the asylum as a mafia owned burlesque-club/brothel within her head. (Consequently, this is where the "Babydoll" name comes into play, as all the girls of the asylum are recast with cute stripper names here: Babydoll, Rocket, Blondie, Sweet Pea and Amber are your protagonists). Anyway, in this reality, Blue is recast as the club's owner. The asylum therapist Dr. Gorski becomes Madam Gorski. The therapy sessions are re-envisioned as erotic dances. (Before someone says "Ew! Pervy!?" you really never see any of these dances in any kind of detail. Ever.) Rather than waiting for the lobotomy to come in 5 days, Babydoll awaits a mysterious character called "The High Roller" who's coming in 5 days to pay a high price for her virginity. But other than the change in theme, stripper reality actually runs fairly parallel to crazy house reality. It's just a bit flashier and less depressing. Think Chicago or Moulin Rouge.

Now, the third reality, which I call orc slaying reality is alot of what you've seen in commercials. Babydoll (and the audience) slip into orc slaying reality whenever Babydoll begins dancing in stripper reality. Which if you're keeping score, is also when she's spilling abusive details of her past in crazy house reality. Anyway, orc slaying reality is far less literal and reality based than the previous two, and basically just serves as an ass-kicking sword-swinging metaphor for the more mundane activities happening in the previous two realities. To give the movie its visual pop. This is where all the crazy fantasy action happens. This is your "Matrix." Things that in the other realities are represented as a simple task, in this reality, are an epic quest. Here Babydoll and the girls are a fishnet-wearing, gun-toting, jetpack-flying 5-Girl army... engaging in over the top fantastic flights of fancy and battle with samurais, zombie nazis, orcs, dragons, robots... all the fun stuff.

Now basically... the meat and potatoes of the plot, which begins in the 3rd reality, but runs through the first two realities as well is this: To escape this asylum/brothel/war torn apocalyptic fantasy world... Babydoll is told she must collect five items, A map, Fire, A knife, and a key. The fifth is a mystery. The why and the how of why she needs to collect these items varies from reality to reality, but the fact she needs to collect them stays the same. For instance, in Orc-Slaying reality, the girls must kill a dragon to obtain two fire crystals from its gullet. In the other realities, they simply need to steal a lighter, so they can start a fire and trip the alarm system, because the brothel/asylum's security system automatically releases all the door locks in the event of a fire.

It's in this aspect that the movie gets kindof artsy and deep. We slip in and out of the 3 realities throughout the movie to achieve maximum dramatic effect... because it's more fun to watch 5 girls kill a dragon than to pickpocket a lighter... but sad emotional dialogue makes more sense when you're an abused stripper as opposed to a sword wielding soldier. The setting of the movie essentially changes to suit the needs of the film.

That said, we don't see the WHOLE story in any one reality. The plot moves onward, switching in and out of each reality, leaving gaps in the others... and the viewer is often left to draw his or her own conclusions about how the story progressed in the two realities we weren't watching, as the plot moved on in the one we were watching.

I personally found that very creative and cool. Since I understood the concept behind the movie... I really enjoyed the way the story was told. Evidently, that's not the way alot of other people felt... lol... so many just labeled it confusing and nonsensical.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to sound like a cinematic snob and say, "If you didn't like this movie, you just didn't GET it." That's not it. I could see where even if you understood the movie... you might dislike it. Some people just don't like orcs, robots, strippers or crazy girls in an insane asylum.

Those people are not me.

Frankly, as an artist-type person, I felt like this movie took alot of what's been going on in my head for the better part of my life, and put it to film. So yeah, there was a bit of "Wow" factor in it for me. An ensemble cast of diverse attractive female protagonists, who are part damaged crazy girls, part exotic stripper girls, and part sword-swinging leather-clad battle girls. All woven in and out of a framework of insane asylums, medieval battles, burlesque dances and robotic rocket fighting. Part horror, part drama, part cabaret, part fantasy, part sci-fi. It's like someone took every drawing I've ever done and smashed them together into a movie. Really. Is it really surprising anyone who's ever known me that I liked this flick?

That said... yeah, I obviously loved it. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea. I honestly don't even think it's a GREAT movie, just one that really spoke to me personally. But by giving you my honest thoughts on it, I hope I might at least sway some like-minded individuals who were turned off by bad reviews into giving this movie a second chance.

It may sound like I've laid the whole film out for you here... but I really haven't. I've basically just given you the framework for how the story is told across 3 realities, and the basic synopsis: 5 girls need to get 5 items. Still plenty of plot twists and drama ahead... And metric butt-tons of action... I assure you. Very very pretty and fun to watch action.

Some people suggest turning off your mind if you go see this flick. I suggest the opposite. Crank your mind up to full speed. Don't tune out and stop trying to follow it. TRY to understand it. Don't complain that pieces are missing, paint the missing pieces in yourself. You might just end up with a very engaging picture...

Anyway, thems just my thoughts on the matter. The critics may not like this movie, but it's definitely one of my new all time favorites.

*Two Thumbs Up*

-Curt

PS. Every other thing about this movie aside. GREAT Soundtrack. It's all covers and remixes of existing songs, set to a trippy, kind of psychedelic score. Fit the tone of the movie beautifully at every turn. Set the mood phenomenally. I found myself toe-tapping and head bobbing along with the action throughout the whole movie, marveling at how they took recognizable songs and remolded them into an original score for this film. Been listening to it for days since I saw it.
  • Listening to: Sucker Punch - The Original Soundtrack
  • Reading: The Complete Peanuts - Volume 4
  • Watching: Fantasia
  • Playing: "New Mortal Kombat Soon" Waiting Game
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I've started uploading some of my Mortal Kombat Symbiote designs...

For those of you that don't already know, Symbiotes are customizable Vinyl toys, produced by Symbiote Studios, available for purchase at...

www.SymbioteStudios.com

Please. Go buy some. Support the line. Design your own. Have fun. Spread the word.

:P

Moving on...

I hesitated to post these for a long time for two reasons. One is I kinda don't want these to over-shadow my real artwork... I feel like in alot of galleries... mine included sometimes... people have a tendancy to latch onto gimmicky fanart (*Cough*WaltDisney'sSinCity) and completely ignore the other things in the gallery. And I didn't want to become "The guy with the Symbiote designs"... and some other ignored artwork. The OTHER reason is... there are just so damn many of them. (There are alot more than what I currently have posted).

However, I'm getting around those things two ways. Now that you can organize where things sort in your gallery, I'm just making a sub-folder for these and putting them all in it. They are not in my main "featured" gallery. I don't want them to be. They're just a niche in the overall gallery that is me. lol... As for the quantity issue... I'm uploading them gradually. For now I just uploaded the 10 Mortal Kombat 1 designs. Soon I'll do Mortal Kombat 2, then 3, and so on in that fashion... I haven't completed every game... but I work on them randomly all the time, cranking one out here, one out there... so once I catch up with the ones I have done, I'll likely just post them as I complete them.

By the way, I want to note that I'm COMPLETELY AWARE of how unspectacular the MK1 ones look. They're all VERY basic, because the costumes in MK1 WERE very basic. They were fuzzy little sprites with very little detail. In that regard, the symbiote designs are... accurate... lol. In future games (and future designs) they get better and far more detailed. I promise. Just like the actual characters have become more detailed over 9 games so do my drawings. I suggest using Scorpion as a benchmark. Scorpion is in every Mortal Kombat game, more or less. It's very easy to look at Scorpion in each round to get a generalized idea of where the amount of detail has moved overall.

Now, moving on, I'm just gonna clear the air and say yeah, you may notice on SymbioteStudios.com my name is plastered on some of the products (Symbiotes included). This is not a huge coincidance. Symbiote Studios has paid me to do ACTUAL Designs for ACTUAL Symbiotes and other products. So ya'know... that's why I'm posting these. I'm plugging the line and the company, lol... If they make money, I make money. /highfive (lolz)

THESE designs I'm uploading now however (The Mortal Kombat ones), were not endorsed or created by or for Symbiote Studios. AT ALL. They are merely custom designs I did in my spare time for fun and my own amusement. Because I'm a huge Mortal Kombat fan. They do not reflect products that are in development or production by Symbiote Studios in any way shape or form. Once again, THESE DESIGNS ARE FAN-ART.

Anyway. Hope you like them. Hope you bear with me as I get around to posting the nicer looking, more detailed ones.

More Mortal Kombat Symbiotes to come...

Once I'm done posting the Mortal Kombat ones, I may put up some others. (Yes I have more).

EDIT:

Okay Mortal Kombat II is up.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: The Complete Peanuts - Volume 4
  • Watching: Dexter - Season 4
  • Playing: Pokemon Black & White
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I'm toying with the idea of doing a big ass round of posting all (or at least a great deal of) the box art & concept art I've done for Symbiote Studios over the past few years...

Probably just make a new gallery folder called "Work Stuff" and put it all in there.

The reason I never posted any of it before was because honestly... most of it isn't very artsy artwork. It's all box designs, concept drawings... a couple of simple T-Shirt designs... nothing really, "WOW!" inspiring. All very commercial.

The reason I'm considering posting it now is basically just to create a more well-rounded gallery for myself. Give the impression I've had some business success. Show people what it is I've been doing with my time BETWEEN drawing all the boobs in my spare time. (lolz...)

Basically just thinking about doing it to make myself look good from a commercial standpoint. Hehehe...

Because I mean seriously, I've worked on licensed products & designs from the following franchises/titles that I think are impressive...

Star Wars
The Secret of Monkey Island
Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock
Farscape
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Sam & Max
Dr. Tran

And that's just the stuff that's actually getting/been made. I did some unproduced stuff too for like... Dark Horse Comics (*Cough*Hellboy) and Bill & Ted, lol. (Probably won't post those, I have no idea what the legal mumbo jumbo might be).

But that's impressive right? Makes me think I should put it up.

I'm really not trying to sound like an overblown arrogant jerk, rattling off his accomplishments here... but that stuff is cool isn't it? lol

I want more exposure.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: The Complete Peanuts - Volume 4
  • Watching: Angel - Season 4 & Dexter - Season 3
  • Playing: Smackdown vs Raw 2011
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
Reposted from my facebook notes... :P

1. Red Dead Redemption

■ After reviewing all the games I played in my xbox gamer history, this was the #1 standout by a mile. Great great game. No two ways about it. I'm not even nuts about cowboys, but it takes all the best parts of being a cowboy and lets you live them. Much the same way Arkham Asylum did with all the best parts of being Batman. I didn't even plan to buy it, but after hearing Zach's praise for it, when a cheap copy came along (also via Zach) I bought it on a "what the hell" whim, and I'm glad I did. Great game. The Undead Nightmare DLC also didn't dissapoint.

2. Dead Rising 2

■ Okay, so aside from combo weapons and multiplayer, it wasn't all that improved from the first Dead Rising. I'll admit that. But I still enjoyed this game alot, as I enjoyed the first one. I'm a zombie killing kinda guy. Zombie killing video game franchises are some of my favorite franchises, time and again. And though the competition wasn't very stiff this year, this WAS the best new zombie killing game of 2010. And I do feel the multiplayer added alot of fun. Who doesn't like playing with a friend? VS Multiplayer was also very fun when you can actually get a match. (Because the matchmaking system admittedly, sucks hard.)

3. Transformers: War for Cybertron

■ Good god did this game have long levels... felt like you'd be playing for like 2 hours and then you'd realize you were still on the SAME level. Hehe... but it was still very fun, and I've gotten alot of continued replayability out of its multiplayer vs. It's got really fun multiplayer vs. Definately the best transformers game ever made. I know they never will, since Beast Wars is past its prime now, and the cars are whats in again, but I'd die of overwhelming happiness if they ever took this game's formula and made a Beast Wars version. I'd settle if they just added some Beast Wars themed DLC to War for Cybertron 2.

4. Fable 3

■ I bought this game originally intending to resell it, because it was... well essentially free, with the deal I used. So it seemed like an easy profit. But then kept it on a whim when I found out it had co-op multiplayer (because I just enjoy playing new games with a friend more). Like Red Dead, I'm glad I did, because it turned out to be a very fun game. Having never played Fable 1 or 2 much, I didn't really have a high amount of anticipation for it, but now I'd like to go back and try 2, just because I enjoyed 3 so much. My only gripe is that in a game that revolves so heavily around YOUR character, I wish they'd have given us more character customization. More outfits/hairstyles/makeup whatever! My character's look just feels way more limited in this game than I think it should.

5. Starcraft II

■ It's been a while since I've played a new RTS (Not counting Brutal Legend, which was only half RTS) So I really enjoyed this game's single player. No complaints. It was fun. That's why it made the list. Reason its on the lower end of this list is, I haven't really gotten much play out of it since I finished single player. Like, at all. Partly because I suck at RTS multiplayer. Like so many, I just don't think quickly enough to stay competative with people who like... know what they're doing. Also partly because, it only runs on one damn computer in my house... and that's not the computer I use primarily. So I basically have to go out of my way and use a computer I don't normally play on to run this game, which leads to me... not playing it much at all. I think if my hardware ever catches up to it, I'd definately revist this game and get a little more play out of it, but atm... *Shrug* It's more effort than its worth. Your fancy graphics leaving my PC behind have done you in once again Blizzard. Like WoW and Warcraft 3 before it, I'm sure this game will look great on my PC 5 years from now. In the meantime, I have xbox games to play that run smoothly out of the box.

6. Super Street Fighter IV

■ Ah, finally, the reason I didn't buy Street Fighter IV. And I can't complain. Awesome game. Renewed my interest in Street Fighter as a franchise, after Street Fighter 3 utterly killed it. This is the first Street Fighter game I've placed before a Mortal Kombat game in about 2 decades, so that should say something about it, since I'm like... the world's biggest Mortal Kombat fan. (Or at least Northlake Illinois' biggest.) I'm sorry Midway, but you guys dropped the ball on MK vs DC. Meanwhile Capcom hit the ball out of the park with SSFIV. It took everything I ever loved about Street Fighter as a child, polished it up, made it pretty, and handed it back to me for more fun. Classic Characters, Classic Gameplay, New Story, Great Graphics. This game rocked. Which is probably why the new Mortal Kombat in 2011 is ripping off the same formula and doing all those same things. So hey, that should be awesome. At least Ed Boon knows how to rip off a good idea when he sees one. lolz...

7. Super Scribblenauts

■ If you liked Scribblenauts at all, you MUST buy this game. It fixed everything that was wrong with the original Scribblenauts and improved upon it. It offers you much more creative flexibility than the first game. First thing I wrote into the game was "Giant Purple Cake". In the original, I'd have gotten an average cake that was neither giant nor purple. In Super Scribblenauts, I got a GIANT PURPLE CAKE! Furthermore, this game is just made better mechanically. The movement controls are better, the way you interact with items is better, you can now glue things virtually anywhere, instead of just pre-determined spots in the environment. It's great. And CHEAP! That's always good when buying a video game.

8. Pokemon Soulsilver

■ EhhhhhHhhhHHhhhhhh... okay, this wasn't... THAT much greater than any other Pokemon game I've played the last 5 years, but it was still a good time killer. And I LOVE that they let your Pokemon follow you around onscreen for the first time since Pokemon Yellow. I've missed that terribly. Low on the list because while it was fun, and I recommend it for any Pokemon fan... it didn't exactly wow me with much the Pokemon games before it didn't have. It actually removed a few features from the previous game (Pokemon Platinum) that pissed me off. Taking away functionality is never good. But they didn't take away so much that I hate the game. Plus I do still use my Pokewalker on a semi-daily basis, so I guess I have this game to thank for that. (Since it was, after all, included with it).

9. Halo: Reach

■ Alright, I feel like I'm gonna catch crap for putting this so low but... I've never been nuts about Halo. Yeah yeah yeah, shooting stuff is fun, and that's why I play them, and that's why it made the list... but I've always found the story kinda boring. And the franchise on the whole a tad over-rated. That said, this is the first Halo I ever actually bought, instead of just borrowed or played at a friend's house (or Best Buy). I didn't originally intend to, but Zach offered me a deal, so I caved. And yeah, it was just as fun or unfun as any other Halo. Pretty much have the same likes and dislikes about it as any other. But, what I will give it is, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I can finally make my own damn spartan for use in single an multiplayer, instead of being forced to play as boring old green Master Chief. That, is awesome.

10. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4

■ This game was about the same as Lego Star Wars, but... more Harry Pottery. Fun game. Cute. Entertaining. But yeah, a lego game, aimed at kids, so... not particularly challenging or anything. Still, fun way to kill time, if you're into this sort of thing, and I am. It would probably be higher on the list if I hadn't played it so recently. Barely feels like it's had time to sink in, really. I only have two complaints. 1st is, it left me wanting Lego Harry Potter years 5-7, so... since the last movie isn't even out, I have a long wait ahead, which sucks. 2nd is, and this is a more serious complaint, for a lego game... where customization should be somewhat simple, but theoreticaly limitless... the custom character options SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. They give you SO FEW pieces to work with when making a custom character. There's a WORLD of missed opportunities here. It blows. And there's NO reason for it. None. They half-assed the character customizer, plain and simple. For instance: I wanted to make Luna, because she's not in this game, having shown up the 1st time in year 5, so I thought "Okay, basic lego girl face, long blonde hair in a Ravenclaw sweater, shouldn't be too hard." BUT NO, not only do the hair options suck (there's only one long blonde one that's really more of a white-blonde befitting a Malfoy, and doesnt really resemble Luna's hairstyle) but there's NO Ravenclaw clothes! AT ALL! That... in a Harry Potter game, is crap! You have 4 major houses in this world, it's a basic "duh" to include them all in your character customizer. Oh there's a Gryffindor sweater, but if you want a Ravenclaw, or a Hufflepuff, or even a Slytherin (which is highly popular amongst your angstier kids) you're SoL. It blows.

Honorable Mentions:

11. Smackdown vs Raw 2011

■ Fun, but still just your basic wrestling game. Not hugely different from any other. Also not the best roster ever. Not the worst, but not the best. Does have some nice online custom-wrestler sharing features though, which is why I bought it and enjoy it.

12. Final Fantasy XIII

■ I've really gotta get around to finishing this some day. I was enjoying it, but I got derailed by Pokemon Soulsilver's release and never came back to it. I enjoyed what I played of it. I want to finish it. But as a consiquence of only playing half of it, I don't have fond enough memories of it for it to have made the list. Though had I finished it, it may have.

13. Brutal Legend

■ Reason this isn't on the main list is, I played it like... 1st thing last year... got it for X-Mas last year, so I played it literally the 1st week of January. That said, it's not very fresh in my mind anymore and it honsetly feels like I played it in 2009 (even though I didn't). So yeah, not the greatest game ever, but really funny, especially if you like Jack Black. I enjoyed the hell out of it. Might replay it someday. Probably would have made the list had I not played it so early in the year.

14. Grand Theft Auto IV

■ Like Final Fantasy, I never finished this. Red Dead derailed me. I'd like to one day. It was pretty fun, an played very similar to Red Dead (since they're made by the same people) but I think I just like the world and the ambiance of Red Dead better. Being a cowboy hero is more fun than being a Slumdog Russian criminal. Still fun though.

15.  Portal: Still Alive

■ Really fun game, as many are already aware. Good way to kill a few days. But as many are also aware, very short. Good way to kill ONE day, if you don't have anything else to do. Again, I played this back in January, so since it's not fresh in my mind, and since it was really short, only an honorable mention.

Top 5 Replays:

1. Left 4 Dead 2

■ I still get more replay value out of this game than any other game I ever remember owning... probably my whole life. I love this game. Purchased it well over a year ago and I still pop it in to play multiplayer sometimes when the mood strikes me. Since they brought over some of the L4D1 content in DLC, it's just been all the better. I eagerly await L4D3.

2. Borderlands

■ Okay I admit, I intentionally snubbed Borderlands and left it off the list last year because I was getting kinda bored with it right around the time I wrote the list. But now I'm replaying it and enjoying it alot again, so I wanted to unsnub it this year. I think I was just burnt out on shooting games at the time I did this list last year. I also think not playing splitscreen helps this game alot since its interface didn't lend itself to splitscreen, and was always kinda irritating.

3. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

■ Because hey, I never really stopped playing it. Though it did kinda get a little boring toward the end there... in the pre-cataclysm months. (PS. BTW. Reason Cataclysm isn't on this list isn't because I'm not enjoying it, but because like The Force Unleashed II, I don't feel I've devoted enough time to it yet. I haven't even finished all the 5-Man dungeons or set foot in a single raid yet. I'm sure it will be on the list next year.)

4. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

■ I finally got around to buying the Ultimate Sith edition of this game, so not only did I play all the new DLC levels, I replayed the whole game on hardest difficulty for achievement whoring fun. It was actually easier playing it on hardest a second time than it was playing it on hard the first time. The difficulty curve between hard and hardest isn't that different, and I already learned all the game's tricks on hard. But in any event, it was still very fun, and renewed my interest in buying the sequel. (Footnote: The reason the sequel isn't on this list is I don't feel I've devoted enough playtime to it yet. I scratched the surface a bit in 2010, but still have the bulk of the game ahead of me atm.)

5. New Super Mario Bros. Wii

■ Still an awesome game that brings back all the magic of classic Mario games. Didn't really replay it in full, just occasionally replay levels for fun. Because hey, it is fun.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: The Complete Peanuts - Volume 2
  • Watching: SNL: The Best of Will Ferrell - Volume 2
  • Playing: Borderlands
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
Just because I stopped drawing topless Warcraft characters for ~6 months doesn't mean I gave up on ever finishing them! Take that my imaginary journal antagonist!

So yeah... there's Blood Elf boobs up now. Click'em. They're over there, on the left side of the page.

PS. Reason I'm really writing this journal: While I was in photoshop messing around with one topless warcraft woman, I took the opportunity to update the Orc and the Gnome. First of all, I never liked their backgrounds... Unless I have a very clear plan for a background, the ones I draw always suck, and I very seldom have a clear plan for them, so they usually suck. To that end, as I was looking for Blood Elf reference, I saw some drawings done by another guy that used in-game screenshots as backgrounds, and I liked the look of it, so not only does the Blood Elf have a background made from WoW screenshots, but the Orc and Gnome have both been updated with the same.

Furthermore, I just made a butt-ton of small tweaks to the Orc & Gnome that I felt they needed... the Gnome moreso than the Orc... I was never completely happy with her, so she got alot more shading, a few more highlights, some more detail work, mostly in the oil & sweat area, a redone bra or a slight boob job, depending on the version you're looking at... and probably some other small changes I'm forgetting. The orc basically just got some scars, a slight hair recolor and a smidge of facepaint... to make her look more warriory dontchaknow. Oh, and I ripped her leggings a little. The orc I like, I just feel she's too simple, so I keep trying to add small touches too her.

Anyway that's it.

-Me

PS. Unrelated side note: my mood in this journal entry isn't a mistake. I wish it was December.
  • Listening to: Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • Reading: Nothing Really
  • Watching: Travel Channel Disney Specials
  • Playing: Dead Rising 2: Case Zero
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I'm finding lately that there's a lengthy list of video games coming down the pipeline that I'm way too antsy about playing... most of which aren't coming out until next year, which blows hard.

So for no other reason than to get it out of my system, here's me ranting praise about those games...

1st up, because it's the closest one to release... and I feel stupid saying it, but I am anyway... WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 (Stay with me, I know I'm not starting with everyone's cup'a tea here, but I'll get to other games). So SDvsRaw 2011... the idea of buying sports games new usually pains me... because I, like most video game fans, realize that in a years time a new version will hit the shelves and the previous year's title will cost $20. And the one from 2 years ago will cost $10... buuuuut... all smart shopping consumer tips aside... I still want this game. I used to be a bigass wrestling fan, 10 years ago, like lots of people when it was seeing a resurgance in popularity. Back then, I bought new wrestling games all the time, but I probably haven't bought a new one NEW in like... a decade. That said, I've wanted too. I still watch wrestling on and off, this year more than ever actually. I wanted buy the new one in 2009, but I didn't. I wanted to in 2010, but I didn't. Though I did buy 2008 in 2010, which was fun, but felt horribly out of date. This year I think I'm caving and getting the new one new. The features they're adding to this one have swayed me... WWE Universe mode, which is always active, and dynamically changes the wrestlers interactions with one another as you play it, based on what you do in the game. Fully explorable backstage areas. Allowing people to upload and share their created wrestlers and actually edit one anothers work. (I always loved the create a wrestler feature, but hated the hours and hours it took to make each one well. This way, I can download the wrestlers other peopel make, have the leg work done for me, and just change anything I don't like about them.) All and all it just basically sounds like a huge improvement of a game this year, feature wise. Especially since I'm currently playing the 2008 version, so I get all the upgrades from 2009 and 2010 that I don't have as well, like Superstar Threads. (Modifying the costumes & color pallettes of the regular in-game roster). So yeah... I think I'm caving and getting this one. I'm sure in 2012 I'll just want the new one, but I'll deal with that dilemma a year from now.

Next up, The Sacrifice DLC campaign for Left 4 Dead 1 & 2. Okay, so it's DLC not a game, but I'm still dying to get my hands on it. Left 4 Dead is definately my favorite new game franchise of the past few years. It's not even the best LOOKING game, by far, but it's just so damned fun. It's consistantly been my go to game when I'm otherwise between games. I get more replayability out of the L4D games than probably any other game period, save maybe World of Warcraft. But unlike WoW, Left 4 Dead is free. SOOOO The Sacrifice... wowza, sounds like the best damned DLC ever, because it's using the cast from Left 4 Dead 1 (whom I've sorely missed playing as since 2 came out) and throws them into a new campaign with all the new stuff from Left 4 Dead 2. THAT MEANS, I get to use the NEW guns, I get to use MELEE weapons, I get to fight the NEW special infected, and I get to DO IT ALL AS ZOEY AGAIN! HOORAY! For those of you that don't know, the cast of L4D1 & L4D2 are each 4 different people, so 8 people total, and while both games are very fun, and both gams have cool casts, 2 is obviously the more improved version, so I play it more often, and consiquently, I miss playing as the L4D1 cast... especially Zoey. FURTHERMORE... they're updating the No Mercy campaign from L4D1 with all the new features/enemies from 2 as well, and throing it into the same DLC pack just for the hell of it! So I get to play TWO campaigns with all the new stuff using Zoey again! THAT'S FRIGGIN AWESOME! The only thing that could make this news better is to hear I can play as my choice of any of the 8 characters in new and updated versions of all the campaigns from 1 and 2... but frankly, if the updating of No Mercy is any indication, I'd guess that the likelihood of that happening isn't as far off as it might currently feel.

So, next up... that other game I mentioned. World of Warcraft. Specifically, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm... now, I'm not going to go into all the reasons I like WoW, or why I play it and why I think it's fun, because it's a huge game that gets lots of press, and you've probably heard all the high points and low points about it by now. I'll just say this... I've been playing it on and off since it launched, mostly on, but I do kill my account for a month here and there occasionally, when I'm burnt out on it. That said, I've noticed with the last two expansions, and I'm noticing it again now... that in the months before a new expansion... it gets really boring. Now, it can take YEARS to "complete" everything there is to do in this game, and I use quote marks because you can never really complete everything, realistically, but you can get damn close. I myself am a person who has gotten damn close, within the limits of reasonable sanity. That said, when you "complete" everything there is to do, and content patches and updates slow to a crawl while Blizzard prepares to launch the next new expansion... as I said, the whole game grows really boring. That's not to say I think it's a boring game, just that like any game, once you've seen it all and done it all... there's not much left to see and do. And then the new expansion hits and KABLOOEY, you suddenly have a 10,000 new things to see and do, usually more than enough to keep you busy for the next two years until the next expansion. So in any event... while I'm not nuts about paying the monthly fee (who would be?)... I still think it's worth the fifty cents a day. Because it is a very fun game, set in a very fun universe, and it does offer literally an entire world to play in (multiple worlds actually, if you buy the expansions) with a VAST amount of content to explore, and I'm eager to explore more of that content. The game has its downsides, many of which I'm aware of and agree with, but a game doesn't get this popular if it doesn't have some awesome upsides too. And it does.

Moving on, a franchise near and dear to my heart... probably my favorite franchise of all time. Mortal Kombat. The new Mortal Kombat game, unlike the previous three I listed, doesn't come out until NEXT YEAR.... ugghhhh... it pains me. Especially since it looks friggin awesome. This game looks to be what Street Fighter IV was to Street Fighter 2. It's disregarding some of the changes to the franchise that were made of the past few years, and basically taking the casts of Mortal Kombat 1 and 2 into a fancy new overhaul of the franchise. And while I loved the newer games of the past few years just as much as I loved the classics... everyone always loves the classics more. They just have nostalgia. So this game looks friggin epic. And after the dissapointment that was MK vs DC, I am SO READY for this game. I don't hate the DC Universe, but I never wanted them in my Mortal Kombat. Especially since DC forced Midway to baby up all the fatalities and tone the violence down. MK vs DC was decent gameplay wise, but the general tone and theme of the game just blew. So again, I am SO READY for a proper Mortal Kombat game again. The only slight misgiving I have is, it looks like this sequel is going the same route as the new Star Trek movie... in that... the story supposedly involves Raiden mucking with the past... altering it, and possibly skewing the franchise off into a new, alternate, rebooted continuity, that disregards the last few sequels. Which may be cool, or might suck hard, since there were things I both liked and disliked from the last few sequels. I guess it depends where they go with it. Either way, ignoring the story for now... from a gameplay and quality standpoint, it looks like an awesome sequel.

Next up, the new Twisted Metal game... this game pisses me off! Why!? Because I don't own a PS3, so like God of War 3, I won't be able to friggin play it! And like God of War 3, it's a sequel to a franchise I really really enjoy. Maybe I'll muster up a PS3 through some miracle before the game sees release, but until then, I'm mostly ignoring the existance of this game, just because every cool thing I read about it pisses me off a little more, since I won't be able to play it. On the plus side though... it will probably have splitscreen multiplayer (every other version of it did, after all... and I think it already did in some E3 footage...) so if Zach gets it... unlike God of War 3... at least I might get to play it a little. But like I said... mostly putting it out of my mind for now. I do definately want it... there just wouldn't be a point, since I couldn't play it, lol... damned Playstation exclusives...

Next Next up... Gears of War 3... the first Gears game I actually own an Xbox for, and thus the first I'm actually excited about buying (since, the first 2 came out before I owned an Xbox, I had no real reason to get excited about them). I did however play the first 2, like I said, via Zach, who did own an Xbox when they were released and they were both quite fun. Multiplayer shooting games are fun. Multiplayer shooting games with bloody exploding monster heads are better. (this is where Halo and CoD fail for me, btw). In that respect, the Gears franchise delivers. And since this one looks like an all around improvement on the first two (4-Player co-op sounds sweet, I might add. If it has guest support, I might even be able to muster up 4 people to play... though not if they need gold accounts...) In any event, my only dilemma with this game is whether to play as one of the new female characters, or continue playing as Dom. See... traditionally... just due to some combination of habit, personal preference, and superstition... 99% of the time, on my first playthrough of any game whatsoever, no matter what it is... I pick a female character. I'll pick guys plenty in subsequent playthroughs, or when going for extra unlockables/achievements, or in an ensemble game where you command a team of guys and girls... but if I have a choice between a guy or a girl for the first time right out the door... I pick a girl. Damn near always. That said however, I've been playing as Dom for two games of Gears already, since the first 2 didn't have girls, so I more or less identify with Dom in the gears universe at this point... and I think I want to keep playing as him... which is contrary to my usual "pick a girl" instincts. So I think this is going to be that 1 time out of 100 that I pick a guy over a girl in my first playthrough of a game... though I'll very likely go back and play as one of the girl characters in a second playthrough, should I ever do one. Either way, can't wait.

Finally, saving the best for last imo... Batman: Arkham City. Holy shit do I want to play this game, and holy shit does waiting until the middle of 2011 seem way way way too far off... I mean crap, another Christmas will have come and gone by then. If it weren't over with already, another season of Lost would have come and gone by then. I know almost nothing about this game, other than its a sequel to Arkham Asylum, and frankly, that's all I need to know. Sold. Day one buy. I didn't but Arkham Asylum on day 1, I waited the year out and got it for X-Mas last year... and while that worked out fine for me last year, I loved the game enough that I will NOT be able to do that again. The game did an epic job of letting you BECOME Batman. Do almost everything Batman ever did. And the sequel is now going to let us do MORE things Batman does and be even MORE Batman, which the first game did MORE than well enough on its own, so the sequel logically, should be the most epically epic game in history. Furthermore, if there's one thing I could have complained about in the first one (and there ain't much) it would have been, "More villains! More villains! More villains!" And the second one seems to be delivering those villain. Two-Face and Catwoman, absent from the first are already confirmed. Joker and Harley are definately back. Zsasz is confirmed to return. I -think- I read somewhere that Mr. Freeze might be confirmed for this one (but don't quote me on that). Riddler is rumored by his voice actor to be in this one. Killer Croc, Scarecrow & Bane were all cliffhanger teased in the first game. We're just a Penguin away from having a kickass party if you ask me. Furthermore, the story, from what I read, is supposed to borrow elements from the Batman No Man's Land story, where all the major villains have taken over small districts of the city to control, and theme those areas in their own crazy image, which to me just sounds awesome... I can totally picture an insane Joker district, an upscale "suit and tie criminal" Penguin district, a Two-Face district full of crazy juxtaposition, a leafy plant ravaged Poison Ivy district, a perpetually Snowy iced over wasteland of a city block for Mr. Freeze... and while I'm sure not every villain will get a fully realized area like I just described... the idea that they might still pleases me... and I still can't wait to see what they do with it.

So there are all the games I want to be playing right now, but I can't, because they're not friggin out yet.

And I keep sweeping the internet trying to fnd new information about them, but I don't really want new info, I want the games. NOW! And it's driving me nuts.

The end.
  • Listening to: World of Warcraft Soundtrack
  • Reading: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8
  • Watching: Son in Law
  • Playing: Left 4 Dead... While I wait for the rest of these
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
As you may have noticed the new pair of green boobs in my gallery, I'm here to give notice that I'm doing sexy pinups of all the WoW races.

Like many nerds who draw boobs and play Warcraft, it's something I've had on my drawing board for a while now, and it was only a matter of time before I got to it.

To premptively answer your questions: Yes, even Gnomes. Yes, even Dwarves. Yes, even Goblins. Yes, even Worgen. Yes, even Tauren.

There will be normal boobs. There will be blue boobs. There will be purple boobs. There will be furry boobs. There will be midget boobs. I'm an equal opportunity boob drawer. I don't want to just do the pretty races, like some people out there.

I view the "ugly" races as a challenge, frankly. I've done about 4 or 5 pages of misc tumbnail sketches trying to make a hot version of every one of them. So far I think I'm succeeding in making most of them cute. I've put more work into the ugly ones thus far. I haven't even done rough sketches of a Human, Blood Elf or Draenai, because they're all hot as is, and they don't worry me.

I'm doing my best to make them all look race-appropriate. By that I mean... I'm not the first person to do this, cleary. Nerds love their fantasy boobs. I DO however, want to be one of the few to do it right. I see alot of people who's solution for gnome/dwarf fanart is to make them taller, with more human proportions... I think that sucks, frankly. At that point, they're not gnomes, they're just short humans with pink hair and big eyes. That's lame. Those drawings are lame. Anyone can turn a gnome into a human and make her hot. Make a gnome who looks like a gnome hot, and then you've got someting.

ANYWAY...

I'll be alternating Horde/Alliance/Horde/Alliance.

I orginally planned to do them all nude... but I wasn't liking it, so I put undies on all of them. Then after I put the undies on, I said to myself, "Well, might as well do a bra, too" to cater to the people who feel weird for looking at drawings of Orc boobs. So long story short, I'm doing 2 versions of each now: top on & top off.

So you can use one for your desktop at work, and one for your desktop at home! :D

lol

ANYWAY, I may make them all into a calendar when I'm done, seeing as there are 12 and all... assuming I finish before 2011. If I can catch up with the months, I'll start doing that. (IE. If I can get 3 done before the end of March.)

Soooo...

1st up: Orc. Go check her out.

Next up: Gnome. Coming as soon as I can color and post her.

Oh PS. Speaking of coloring, I tried a new "inking" method, and I love the results. Instead of using vectors to ink her, I just used a paintbrush and my tablet. I had tried this in the past with poor results, but I think I've finally become practiced enough with my tablet to make it work. Please, go check her out. Let me know what you think. I say this not to toot my own horn, but because I honestly believe it: I think that orc is my best coloring job ever.

PS2. On a related but unrelated note, I got the complete set of Warcraft Novels I won in that Blizzard Dessert Contest, and I'm currently reading my way through them. Just finished "Rise of Horde". Just started "The Last Guardian". I liked Rise better. Humans are boring. But Guardian is at least giving me a neat inside look at Karazhan, and it should pick up more as I get further in, and the 1st war starts up.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: The Last Guardian
  • Watching: King of the Hill
  • Playing: Resident Evil 5 - Lost in Nightmares
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I decided to play through Final Fanatasy X & Final Fantasy X-2 again... don't know why... just kindof got a bug up my ass to play them again.

I know people like to suckle at Cloud & Squall's balls, and give Tidus alot of crap for being happy and upbeat, and not some brooding sulking anti-hero... but I liked ten. Sue me. It was a huge step up in both quality and gameplay, imo (naturally, since it was the 1st on the next-gen consoles of the time) and I liked the vast majority of the cast. Tidus and his par for the course pointy-haired swordwielding. Wakka and his witty dim-wittedness. Spunky Rikku with her swirly Al Bhed eyes. Good ol' Kimhari, adding that non-human element that every Final Fantasy cast needs. Yuna, and her ability to summon shit, my favorite ability in any Final Fantasy game. Lulu, with her amazing rack, and her amazing skirt made out of belts. Aaaaand Auron... okay, I never really liked Auron. But I didn't dislike him either. He just never really lept out at me.

Plus, X & X-2 had voiceovers for the dialogue. No more reading 1000s of text boxes. Nuff said.

So anyway, I decided to play them again. To anyone who liked them the first time, I'd recommend it. It's been fun. I'd forgotten just how much of these games I'd forgotten.

I remembered the broad strokes of the plot, but the details had all faded from my memory, so it has actually been fun unraveling the plot a second time.

I finished X the other day, and I'm nearing the end of X-2. AND, I'll have you know, I got ALL their Ultimate Weapons on my new playthrough. I got 0.00 seconds on that damn chocobo race, I played a crapton of Blitzball, I collected all the stupid blue butterflies, I dodged 200 lightning bolts in the stupid Thunder Plains, and I did it all in about 2 days. Apparently, this stuff is like riding a bike, becuase I remember all those things being much much harder 7 years ago.

So like I said, I'm close to the end of X-2 now. Just started Chapter 5 of 5. I never actually finished X-2, so I'm curious to see the ending. The 1st time I played it, I got to chapter 5, and then found out I never got the trainer dressphere, because I answered some damn question Kimahri asked me in Chapter 2 wrong, and it would be impossible to get at that point in my gamesave, and yelled "AW FUCK!" in frustration, and quit playing. But now, 5-6 years later, I've finally gotten over it and restarted. And I'm happy to report, this time I was READY for his blue ass to ask that question, I answered it correctly, and I got my trainer dressphere. So I should be on my way to 100% completion now. So anyway, don't ruin the ending, cause I'm not done yet.

Does anyone else find it odd that the in-game models for Tidus, Yuna & Rikku look caucasian, but their cinematic models look Asian? Or is it just me? I understand, since it's a Japanese game, why they'd be modeled to look asian, I just feel it's kindof inconsistant. Their in-game models look like white people to me. 2 of them are blonde for cripes sake. Maybe I'm nuts.

Anyway, I don't have an overall point. Just that I liked these games the 1st time I played them, and I'm enjoying them again almost a decade later. (And one console generation later).

XI f'ed it up by making itself an MMO (Seriously, I don't object to a Final Fantasy MMO, but it should have been a side-game, not XI) and I never got into XII because of the new combat system. I played it like, 1 day, then never picked it up again. But I'm considering giving it a second try once I finish X-2, since Zach seemed to enjoy it.

If nothing else, I'm REALLY looking forward to XIII now. I had lost interest in the series. Since I never played XI or XII, It had been half a decade since I touched a Final Fantasy game... so XIII really wasnt huge on my radar. But now that I've replayed these I'm excited about the franchise again. I hope XIII is as awesome a step up on the next-gen of consoles as X was from VII, VIII & IX.

(PS. Let it be known, that I played VII, VIII & IX too, and I didn't hate any of them... I enjoyed them all.. I just never really understood all the Cloud/Squall/Sephiroth hype. Frankly I always thought they were all kinda jerks. So I don't cling quite so religiously to VII and VIII as some people tend to... but they're all fine games.)

(PS2. I never played anything before VII. I was introduced to the series by my friend Mike on the PS1. He actually introduced me through VIII, and then I backpeddled to playing VII, because it was a greatest hit at that point, and it was cheap.)
  • Listening to: Bif Naked - The Promise
  • Reading: Nothing Really
  • Watching: Christmas Movies
  • Playing: Final Fantasy X-2
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
Anyone else out there noticed that there are a handful of movies... that any other time of year aren't Christamas movies... but when you watch them in December, for some reason they transform into Christmas movies...

I'm talking about...

Home Alone
Home Alone 2
Gremlins
Batman Returns
Quite a few of the Harry Potter movies

Strictly speaking, none of those movies are Christmas movies... but they all take place around Christmas time (or at the very least, in Harry Potter's case, have alot of winter/christmas scenes) yet when you watch them during the holiday season... the christmasy setting takes over and transforms them into holiday movies somehow...

It's the damndest thing...

I don't know if I have a point in this journal entry, other than pointing out this odd phenomenon I noticed...

Seriously, go watch them. If you watched Batman Returns in May, you wouldn't give the Christmasy elements of it a second thought, watch it right now, and suddenly it turns into a holly jolly superhero movie. It's weird.
  • Listening to: Bif Naked - The Promise
  • Reading: Nothing Really
  • Watching: Ella Enchanted
  • Playing: Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
Ya'know, say what you will about him... and I admit I'm usually the first person to jump on the bandwagon when it's time to make fun of Michael Bay as a director... (lol, explosions) but this movie is still awesome.

I love the cast, I love story, I love the soundtrack, and the end is probably the only scene in movie history that STILL chokes me up every time I see it.

I think old Mike's early work is his best. Bad Boys was great. Armageddon was great. I think it started to go downhill around Pearl Harbor...

Damn that robot and his gold tooth...

EDIT: A commercial for Bad Boys just came on after Armageddon... I think I'm gonna watch that too...
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: A Lion Among Men
  • Watching: Armageddon
  • Playing: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I, like many artists, have a list of things in my head that I'd like to draw, but never seem to find the time to... Some of them I never even started, some of them I started and didn't finish, some of them I've drawn before, but would like to draw again. For no other reason than the sake of typing it out... here is my list...

Trickle

Tweak, Tragedy & Trickle in Halloween Costumes

Tweak, Tragedy & Trickle in Cheerleader Uniforms

Tweak, Tragedy & Trickle as Jedi

Tweak as Snow White

The Apocalypse Fairies' Horses

Patrick Dempsy as McDreamy

Cherry Darling

Bloodknight

Cammy

Binyah Binyah Polliwog

All the female races of World of Warcraft, without clothes on
(I'm a nerd, It's mandatory)

Frost (Mortal Kombat)

Nitara (Mortal Kombat)

Steve Irwin

Another She-Hulk

Another Urkel

Poison from Final Fight
(I don't care if she possibly has/had a penis. She's hawt.)

Stephanie from Lazytown, if she were goth.

Marrow

Jubilee

Waspinator

A Mogwai

Catwoman

Luna Lovegood
(Not as she was in the movie, but as I envisioned her when I read the book)

Bebop and Rocksteady

Bulk and Skull

Lady Galinda Chuffrey née Upland of the Arduennas of the Upper Uplands
(With a Gaaaaaa...)

...

...

And that's about all I can think of right now.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: A Lion Among Men
  • Watching: King of the Hill
  • Playing: Street Fighter IV
  • Eating: Sweet & Sour Pork
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
Someone just posted the following on my Pink Power Ranger Nudie Boob drawing...

"I prefer Kim, because she was the original. In fact, all Kat was--to me, anyway--was Kim's replacement and replacements for the MMPR is when the show began to dip and now, it's just another product put forth to make money."

Now, some of the people who know me well enough... are aware that when it comes to Power Rangers... I'm a fan. Always have been. Always will be. And nothing pushes my fanboy buttons more than people who try to tell me the show jumped the shark after Mighty Morphin'... I hate that frankly... the show gets a bum rap constantly, from people who by and large, haven't even watched it for over 10 years, and don't know what the hell they're talking about. As such, the following was my response to him...

"See this, to me, is a load of crap.

Power Rangers, as it exists today, is a much, much, MUCH better show than it was when it was originally conceived 15 some-odd years ago, in both story and production quality. I've heard hundreds of people try to say the show went downhill after Mighty Morphin' and frankly, it's not true in any way shape or form... it's just a load of BS that people cling too to try to justify the claim that their generation was better than todays generation, and that once they "grew up" and stopped watching Power Rangers, it stopped being good.

Don't get me wrong, I loved Mighty Morphin'... still do... we all did, but seriously it's a load of crap to say it was better than anything that followed it...

From a writing standpoint, the original show was very formulaic and poorly written, as most people know. Starts at school/juicebar, Rangers discuss problem, Bulk and Skull make fun of Rangers' problem, Rita sends putties, putties are defeated, Rita sends monster, Rangers morph, Monster gets big, Rangers call zord, Rangers defeat monster and go back to juicebar, Rangers learn valuable lesson from the days events that solves their earlier problem, Bulk and Skull do something funny and humiliating, episode ends with Ernie giving everyone free drinks on the house. (How DID he ever make any money?)

Today not only does the show have fresh themes each season to keep things interesting, some of which end up being pretty damn cool, but the episodes are far less formulaic. The Rangers have plot and backstory that unfolds over the course of the season. Things that happen in early episodes effect things that happen in later ones. There are plot twists, mysteries, episodes with unique stories... it's a hell of a lot better, script-wise, in a nutshell.

Furthermore, production and effects have vastly improved, which is only natural over a decade and a half. Costumes of both Monsters and Rangers are more detailed and unique, and less cheesy. Zord and morphing effects have VASTLY improved. (Watch a morph sequence from season 1 and a morph sequence from a recent season. They don't even compare.) and the fighting and cinematography are generally of a much higher quality than anything they put out 15 years ago.

Now, that's not to say there haven't been some low points since Mighty Morphin too. Seasons like Turbo, Lost Galaxy & Operation Overdrive... eh, kinda boring, I'll admit. But there have been high points too. I'd personally recommend In Space, Time Force, SPD & Dino Thunder as awesome seasons. Many who took the time to continue watching after Mighty Morphin consider "In Space" one of the best seasons ever, and the point at which the show really took off.

And lastly, if you wanna look at it from a business standpoint, it's no contest. Power Rangers were the best selling toy line of the previous decade (look it up), every year the line is new and fresh, and every year, fans and kids buy a complete set of toys all over again. It's a succesful franchise, built on a succesful business plan, that knows how to keep things fresh every year, for 15+ years now, and keep people interested in the product.

Power Rangers is by no means a franchise that has dipped since its first season, in any way shape or form."

/endrant

Now, I just wanted to re-post that here, because I thought it was well written enough, and expressed my feelings on the matter well enough, that it would make a good journal entry.

Mighty Morphin' is great... I LOVE Mighty Morphin', and it will always hold a special place in my heart, like so many others who grew up on it. But Post-Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers are good too, and don't ever try to tell me different unless you're prepared to back that statement up thoroughly.

If you're a Pro-Power Ranger person, who didn't forsake the show at the drop of a hat when you hit puberty and it stopped being "cool", and you still enjoy an episode from time to time, in any form, Mighty Morphin' or otherwise, then by all means, feel free to leave a response with your thoughts on the matter, I'd be happey to read it.

But if you're an Anti-Modern Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger "Purist", who hasn't watched a single episode since the first three seasons, yet somehow has opinions on recent episodes which I should consider valid for some reason... stay the hell out of my way. -_-

Grrr...

-Me

PS. He responded again! Check here for part two...

comments.deviantart.com/1/5872…

I don't want to post it here. This journal is long enough as it is.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: A Lion Among Men
  • Watching: CSI Miami
  • Playing: Rumble Roses XX & World of Warcraft
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I re-did War, because I wasn't happy with the background.

It was too dark, too busy, I felt like the actual drawing was getting lost in the background, so I pulled it back to a bare-bones white background, then jazzed it up a little bit from there. I like it much better this way, 'cause the drawing stands out more, and it's easier to examine the things I actually wanted examined.

I also tweaked the actual drawing herself a little, while I had the opportunity, but nothing too major. Mostly just extra little details.

Anyway, like I said, I like it better this way. If anyone who saw the first version has any huge objections, feel free to let me know, but I think my preference lies with this version.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: A Lion Among Men
  • Watching: The Outer Limits
  • Playing: Rumble Roses XX
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
As you may have noticed, the 1st of my next round of Apocalypse Fairies is up.

I liked doing the "Playmate Data-Sheet" descriptions on the last round alot, so I chose a similar theme for the descriptions this time.

I also like how my last two drawings had real backgrounds... so I chose to continue that pattern into this one.

Anyway, lemmie know what you think.

And fyi, yes, the other three are coming. I can't promise they'll come fast, but they're coming.

War is in the can, obviously. Pestilence is drawn and ready to be inked and colored. Famine is 90...ish... percent penciled. She's more or less where I want her to be, but I over-worked the sketch like crazy, so it's messy as hell now, and needs to be cleaned up. Death is only in the rough sketch phases.

Sooooo... considering how long it took me to take War all the way from the planning stages to the finished stages... it could be a while before you see the next one... but inevitably, the Apocalypse will come, I promise.

PS. I'm not 100% sure I like the framing and the border as they are now, so if I change those at some point later this week, don't be suprised. Feel free to offer suggestions.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: A Lion Among Men
  • Watching: Lost
  • Playing: Rumble Roses XX
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I finally got around to downloading the first several episodes of "Wolverine and the X-Men". For those of you that don't know, I'm like... the biggest friggin' X-Men fan in the world... or at least in the Western suburbs of Chicago... So I've been incredibly eager to watch this show...

What follows are my impressions...

Overall... I like it (obviously). I've only watched 4 1/2 out of the 8 episodes thus far, but I'd already call it better than "X-Men: Evolution". That's not to say I hated Evolution, I was just never really on board with the whole... everyone is a teenager in Highschool twist... not that it wasn't interesting, but I prefer something more stylistically faithful to the comics... which the new show is, for the most part.

Animation wise, I really like it. I's realistic, but cartoony... kinda like most of DC's animated series'. Plot wise... It's not quite on par with the original animated series... but let me qualify that statement with the word "yet". I think with time it has the potential to be as good, if not better. It's just hard to compare 4 episodes to several seasons worth right out of the box. BUT... let us examine those 4 themselves...

Episode 1: Wolverine vs Racial Tolerance...

Let me start by saying, I don't know if it was intentional or an accident on the part of the producers... but I found the racial subtext in this episode was jumping out and smacking me in the face... the story centers largely around Wolverine helping the adorable little child of an inter-racial couple... which outside of "The Boondocks" you don't see on TV too often. That wasn't bad in and of itself. Good message. Subtle. Cool beans. But what I found hilarious, was there's a point in which Wolverine is trapped in a burning building... afterword, when his body is pulled out, several people are looking on, at an injured Wolverine... and the three black people on the scene rush to help him, while the white guy stands around with that, "But he's a stinking mutant!" look on his face, and then proceeds to call the cops. Like I said, I have no idea if it was intentional or deliberate, but I suspect it was deliberate... seemed to be a thinnly-veiled way of implying right from the start of the series... that the X-Men are pro racial tolerance. *Thumbs Up* Screw upper class fat white people with sweaters tied around their shoulders. BUT, now I'd like to step away from the serious topic of race relations, and say, this was a good start for the series. It set up the plot, and was mostly about Wolverine on his own, but still threw enough other mutants at us that it felt like an X-Men show. Bonus points for cameos from Rockslide and Dust. I loves me some Young X-Men.

Episode 2: Wolverine vs Rogue's Tortured Soul...

This was a neat episode in that it furthered the plot and introduced us to the brotherhood. I'm gonna focus on the Brotherhood here, because they were always one of my major problems with Evolution... again, not that I hated them... but I disliked how different they were in Evolution. Wacky costumes, different names, different personalities. This brotherhood was closer to MY Brotherhood. I loved Blob, because he was spot on with the comics... no wacky mohawk and overalls here. Avalanche, odd new facial hair aside, was also pretty close to the Avalance I know and love. Toad, I didn't hate, but I didn't love. I guess I dislike this direction Toad had gone in ever since the first X-Men movie, where he's always green and spitting up goo now... even though he never really did that in the classic comics. And finally... Domino... Domino, Domino, Domino... this is where I go nerd rage... WHY Domino... let's take a Hero character (one that I like I might add) from the comics, who never really had ANYTHING to do with the Brotherhood, and for some reason, turn her into a villain, and throw her in with them. For the most part she just seemed to be filling Mystique's shoes too, leading around the stupid members. Being kind and nurturing to Rogue, while still exploiting her powers. Which makes me think... why not just use Mystique? Rogue and Quicksilver, while I classically consider them heroes, make sense, because they both have been part of the Brotherhood, and they both have their shady pasts, so it's a fun new twist on familiar territory, which I like... but Domino just feels tacked on to me. She'd have been better saved for an "X-Force" themed episode down the road. Buuuut, all that aside, again, a good episode. I loved that it centered around Sentinels and Senator Kelly... that took me back to the original series, which started off in a similar way.

Episode 3: Wolverine vs Team Building...

This one is where the team really starts to take shape. Emma gets thrown in the mix, which I like... using Emma instead of Jean is one big honking way of keeping this show classic, but still modern and different. Emma instead of Jean on a weekly show... it's new territory man. It's gonna be fun. Now, naturally, I saw humor in the fact that after Emma joins up, Cyclops finally gets pulled back in the mix. They didn't really say anything about their relationship at all, other than giving eachother a look when they first meet, but being that they're currently sleeping together in the comics, I still found it funny. I was dubbing over Wolverine saying, "Hey, Scott, we got you a hot new blonde to replace your supposedly dead wife. Shed that 5 O'Clock shadow and messy hair and put your tights back on." Speaking of Scott's 5 O'Clock shadow and Messy hair: lol. Every time they're not on a mission, he's sitting around in his boxer shorts being depressed. Not to mention, he has "depressed guy stuble" when out of costume, that magically vanishes when he's in costume. Scott and Emma aside though, what I really LOVE about this show... is it's throwing new characters at us by the handful... this time we get a big dose of Forge and Magneto. X-Men has always had a large supporting cast, and my favorite episodes of the original show were the ones where a classic X-Man who wasn't part of the regular cast like Colossus, Longshot or Nightcrawler, would guest star. With this show, every episode is like that. I don't think a single episode has one by thus far that didn't introduce at least one new X-Man, as either a regular or a cameo.

Episode 4: Wolverine vs Storm's Tortured Soul...

And on that note, we get our first real looks at Storm & The Shadow King. I think this was my least favorite episode thus far... not because it was bad or anything, but because I never found The Shadow King to be a particularly interesting villain. Nor has Storm ever been one of my super-favorite X-Men. And now that I've said that... I have suprisingly little to say on this one... the last three episodes were all about setting up the show... this is our first actual... standalone episode, with its own plot. So I guess it did its job. Gave this new team of X-Men a new crisis to face. They did. The team learned to trust Emma a little more. They moved on. Not bad, not great.

Episode 5: Wolverine vs The Bayou...

Now... inevitably... whenever a new piece of X-Men media comes along... we hear one question from the masses who grew up on the 90s cartoon: Where's Gambit? Why no Gambit? What happened to Gambit? As the second highest badass on the totem poll of the 90s cartoon, after Wolverine, there's a large chunk of X-Men fans who don't feel satisfied until they've had a hefty dose of Gambit. Well, this episode seems to be the producers way of saying early on, "Here. Shut up. Here's your friggin Gambit." The whole episode is basically just a love/hate buddy tale between Wolverine and Gambit. But, that's all good, as I've never had a huge problem with Gambit. Even though he's again starting out a villain, I like this Gambit better than the Evolution one... because this one's actually a talker. I hated that in Evolution, as soon as we get introduced to Gambit and Colossus, they both barely say a word... this time, he's charming ladies, he's cracking wise, he's getting on Wolverine's nerves. He may not be an X-Man, but he's still Gambit. And I've got my fingers crossed for the future, hoping we'll see more of him, and eventually, that he may even join the fold.

Episode 6: Wolverine vs A Boat Load of Losers...

As our first Nightcrawler-Centric episode, I liked this one alot. Nightcrawler was my favorite X-Men as a boy, and is probably still in my top 5. Plus his name is Kurt. My name is Curt. He's one letter away from being that much more awesome. But what REALLY put this one over the top for me, was the cameo from Pixie! Hooray! I love Pixie. She's one of my favorite characters out of the huge handful of students that have been introduced in the last 10 years. I liked her when she was just the pink-haired girl with wings floating through the background 5 years ago, but now that they're fleshing her character out more, I like her that much more. She's this decade's new Jubilee. Just like Jubilee was the 90s answer to Kitty. What are the X-Men without a stupidly inexperienced young girl to get into trouble trying to prove herself? We also got some Squidboy, proving that he has his uses outside just being a convienient plot device used to soften up The Juggernaut and dying. I'm a little unclear on why exactly his mom was a mutant now, but whatever... it's not like she was an important character to begin with. And on the villains front, we get a hefty dose of Spiral and a just a hint of Mojo, with an ominous "To be continued" feel to the ending. That's always fun.

You may have noticed I started with 4 when this journal entry began, but just reviewed 6... I watched 2 more while I was typing. With 2 yet to go! And more as the weeks roll on!

Anyway, I'm excited. It's a good show. Good animation, good plot, despite my problems with it. And like I said, mutants by the handful, which is always good. If you enjoyed the 90s cartoon, but were letdown by Evolution, or if you didn't watch the 90s cartoon, but loved Evolution, either way, this show is for you, because it finds a great balance between the two. It's Classic X-Men themes from a hip and jazzy new perspective.

I give it two thumbs up.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: Nothing Really
  • Watching: Wolverine and the X-Men
  • Playing: The Sims 2
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
Over the past month or so... for some strange reason I can't even fathom... my 6 Sin City Disney Princess drawings have been posted on dozens and dozens of blogs and websites across the internet...

Seriously, google "Curt Rapala" & "Sin City", you'll get tons of results.

I have no idea what started it...

Anyway, most of them are just a blurb and a link... some are full on articles... some of them pull quotes off my website, as if I actually said them to the person who wrote the article. Some even come off as if I'm the one posting them (which I wasn't).

And while the exposure doesn't bother me at all, it's the comments on some of them that irk me...

Part of it I'm able to shrug off... like, eh... it's the internet... it's expected. If you've never heard "John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory" it states quite appropriately: Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad. That's the point of view I take on the matter, for the most part.

However, it naturally still gets to me, to a degree. I've frankly never believed any of the six drawings were perfect... I did them well over a year ago, and they were one of the 1st projects I did with "digital" inking, and thus, one of the suckier ones. I'm fully aware that they all have their flaws... some of which I'd like to go back in and fix, truth told. Not to mention, they were rushed.

But be that as it may, excuses, excuses aside, there's constructive critisicm... and there's being a jerkoff. And there's many a jerkoff attacking me on these blog posts, saying things like: they suck, they're derivative (duh?) and unoriginal, they don't look anything like the princesses, their 4 year old could do better... I mean come on... that's just... being mean for no good reason... We all know your 4 year old can't draw. :P

And several say Disney's lawyers should come after me, for insulting their characters and corporation, seemingly failing to realize that Sin City was produced by Dimension Films while it was still owned by the Disney Corporation, so technically all I did was mash together several Disney movies into another Disney movie... just like Kingdom Hearts... (Did I just blow your mind? Hehe...)

But anyway, people are just giving me an extremely high amount of crap, basically, crap I never even asked for because, as stated, I didn't have a damn thing to do with posting them on these blogs... they basically just got swiped off of my website and stuck all over the damn internet. (But again, they do all link back to my site, and it's not as if I dislike the free exposure.)

So anyway, it just bugs me... and I have no overall point, I just came here to vent...

On the plus side though, alot of people like them too... both the people posting them, and some of the people commenting... so that takes some of the sting off. It's just easy for me to get caught up in the negative comments, and ignore the positive comments, because negative comments always seem so much more detailed on the internet... a negative comment will take 3 paragraphs to tell me why I suck, but a positive comment is just, "That's awesome!"

Anyway, that's all... like I said, just venting.

Thanks alot to anyone out there who might have liked them though. ;)

-Me

PS. One more thing that bugs me is the "Why isn't Miho Mulan?" thing came up in about 500 comments too, and I've explained my reasons to death on that one... Go into my deviantart gallery, open her up and read the comments if you don't already know why... I'm done trying to explain that one...
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: Nothing Really
  • Watching: Home Movies
  • Playing: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I just found a World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Beta Test key in my junk mail folder...

Tried it out on Blizz's beta website, and the thing is legit... my account is all upgraded and such... right now I'm jumping through the many, many hoops they make you jump through in between finding out you got into beta, and actually being able to play in beta... (Right now I'm on the, downloading a buttload of beta patches phase...)

BUT... the IMPORTANT point is: I can now officially say I beta tested all 3 versions of WoW! Woohooo, the streak is alive!

BUT EVEN BETTER...

With Orginal WoW, I bought my way into the stress test beta, and open beta, for about $10 each... Anyone could get into those Betas, but paying got you to the top of the waiting list...

With The Burning Crusade, I got into the actual, exclusive, closed Beta test, but only managed to do so by winning a writing contest on a 3rd party website...

THIS TIME, however, I just legitimately RECIEVED a Beta key... which for some reason makes it more satisfying... *Thumbs Up*

So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to continue jumping through hoops now, so hopefully I can be playing by the end of the night... My character will probably still take a while to copy, but at least I'll be able to check out Orgrimmar on a new character and see the barber shop...

Thank you for indulging my excitement...

-Me
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: Son Of A Witch
  • Watching: CSI
  • Playing: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
I'm excited onaccounta I've been approached by SymbioteStudios.com to do some toy designs...

There are more details to it, but I hesitate to mention them, because I don't know the legal ins and outs of these types of things. Essentially they asked me to design some things similar (though less copyright infringing) to the South Park Dudes posted on my website www.notafishinglure.com/SPDude… .

More news as it develops.

PS. As for artwork, I'm working on a big ol' honkin' friggin project that should shut up everyone who's ever told me I don't draw enough -men- for good. I'm Inking it now. Let's just say it involves 71 men and 1 woman (No, not that way, pervert) and at the moment I have... 3 and 1/2 of them inked... so it's gonna be a while. But I'm getting there. (The pencils took about a solid damn week.)

PS2. I don't want to blow what it is, but I'll say this: It's Fan-Art, it relates to something coming out soon, and that last paragraph was full of hints.

PS3. Apocalypse Fairies 3.0 are on temporary hiatus due to my inability to make a Famine I like, and this fanart project side-tracking me. I still fully intend to finish them, but they're on the back-burner for now. I made one Famine that I hated and abandoned, a second I also abandoned, and a 3rd I kinda like, but then I started to like the second one again when I gave it another look, and I think it could work if I modified it a little, so I may go back to using that one, but I still kinda like the way the 3rd one was coming, so I may put some meat on the 3rd one's ribs and convert her into Death. War & Pestilence's pencils are still 99% in the can, I have very fews problems with them, aside from minor adjustments.
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: Son Of A Witch
  • Watching: Full House
  • Playing: World of Warcraft
  • Eating: Nothing Really
  • Drinking: Milk, as always
Not in the movie, I thought he was great in the movie...

But it seems like everytime I log onto Deviantart, and see the "Most Recent" stuff, there's ALWAYS ANOTHER DRAWING OF HIM! And hand of god, that's not an exaggeration. I'm pretty sure I've seen a new Heath Joker every time, or close to every time I've logged on, since the movie was released... and thus far, only one of them I actually liked...

Not that I don't understand the desire to do fanart people have... I do fanart too, I get fanart... it's just gettin' kinda old, ya'know?

Once you've seen 500 Heath Jokers, you feel like you've seen'm all.

This sentiment also extends back to Wizard World Chicago, where I saw around 10 Heath Joker cosplayers, at least one of whom was female...

And the opening night of Dark Knight at the theater, where I saw 2 or 3 more, again, one of whom was female...

And G4TV's coverage of San Diego Comicon, where I saw about 5 more (and that's only the people who made it to TV)...

I'm just kinda... sick of him, ya'know?

Attention everyone! It was a good performance! I get it! Can we all move the hell on now?
  • Listening to: Nothing Really
  • Reading: Wicked
  • Watching: Family Matters
  • Playing: Gears of War
  • Eating: Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • Drinking: Milk, as always