Graphic Design and Illustration.

Archive for ‘January, 2012’

Clint McQeen, Roving World Reporter

A lame name I know, but I think there might be a few gags in there for this alleged strip that’s been slowly fermenting in my mind since I watched an Indiana Jones marathon a few weeks back. So here he is in all his line art glory. This will probably be his most refined state as I broke out an old Pentel brush pen I had stowed away that I plan to do most of the strip in, as I do not think I can afford much time to this endeavor. Unless of course, a certain someone can track down a Wacom Inkling for my birthday that is.

A Gamer’s Story from a Non-Gamer

A strange thing thing has been happening.

At least for me anyways.

Since I’ve been poking around, looking at what Winnipeg has to offer the creative mind, I’ve been bumping into a lot of would-be gamer developers. A lot of them. There are so many of them that a documentary has been made (and currently being shown) at the Sundance film festival called Indie Game the Movie. It’s been getting quite a bit of local buzz. All about the independent video game developers here in this city and some other places as well. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it has shown up enough in my digital and real life that I think I’m going to have to pick myself up a copy in the future.

It is strange though. I never would have thought Winnipeg of all places to be a hotspot for indie-game development. But after joining the Secret Handshake and meeting a number of developers and playing the Winnitron arcade game, I may have to rethink that preconception. Makes sense when you think out it. Winnipeg has long been the home of really great independent animation. The Cat Came Back and The Big Snit come to mind. So it‘s not a great leap to imagine video games as being the next natural progression for independent creative expression here in the ‘Peg.

So all this buzz about indie gaming has got me thinking about my one and only time I ever had a very brief encounter with video game development. And the strange convergences and coincidences that are a hallmark of living in this city.

Waaaaaay back in the day (when I was in high school) I had this friend of mine, Ryan, who was a real computer nerd. Always had some programming project up his sleeve. He reminds me of the character Jason, from the Foxtrot cartoon. Anyways, he showed me some drawings he was putting together for a video game he was programming. The graphics were deliberately crude stick drawings, mostly because Ryan couldn’t draw and he wanted to harken back to the vector graphic video games of yore. I helped him out with a few things drawing-wise and a few snide remarks I made about his drawings (keep in mind I was 17 at the time, everything coming out of my mouth was snide) actually helped developed some of the rather gruesome aspects of the game (again, we were both 17 at the time). The game was called Robot Revenge and was released as shareware. It can still be found here I believe. I promptly forgot all about it afterwards.

Years later, both Ryan and I met up at our 10 year reunion. And he got to talking about that shareware game. You see, there was a “cinematic” opening sequence of the game where a flying saucer containing a bunch of killer robots flys down and kills someone close the the main character that you play in the game. And it‘s followed by a, “You bastards, you killed so-and-so”, and then the game starts as you get your revenge on the robots. Any of this sound familiar? The game was released as shareware in the very early 90’s, long before a certain infamous cartoon killed a main character in the exact same fashion (and continues to kill him off at every opportunity).

Now it does seem unlikely, that an obscure DOS shareware game could have influenced a couple of animators in a totally different part of the world to create an aspect of their cartoon that would lead them to fame and fortune, but it is fun to speculate. And considering that Winnipeg is some sort of strange nexus of convergences and coincidences, it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility. As they say, everyone is seven degrees of separation from knowing everyone else in the world. In this town it seems more like 2 or 3 degrees of separation. Either way, my friend Ryan wasn’t that bothered. It was an amusing story to tell people he hadn’t seen in years, I suppose.

So to sum up, independent game developers should take heart, the world is watching you. If programmerators in Winnipeg, of all places, can make inroads into the popular culture of our times (even if it is only in our heads at times), surely to God you can make a dent wherever it is you call home.

A sketch is made… and a hero is born?

Quickly made this sketch while on a break from work. He’s been burning a hole in my brain for a while. Possibly from a result of all the pulp detective and spy novels I’ve been reading lately (aren’t garage sale finds simply the best, lets see the iBook store compete with that!) He doesn’t have a name yet. Working on a possible sidekick, and a very basic plot to get the ball rolling.

Will this (eventually) become my first webcomic?


A Much Better Render!

A while ago, I posted some images of the pendent I 3D printed for my wife for Christmas. While I was hoping I’d have a much more professional shot by now, it seems I may have to wait a bit for that. In the mean time, I’ve rendered out a much nicer 3D image of the piece, that I think better represents what the final piece looked like.


Review Update – Pictures!

So the photos are up. The one I’ve posted is of course of your truly. If anyone is interested, the other pics can be seen at this link.

As you can see, the images are a little noisy (it was shot in a bar after all), but all things considered, its about the most non-digial looking digital capture I’ve seen in a long time.

Kudos to Patrick Letourneau, the guy with a master plan using a WW2 Aerial lens, projected through a ridiculous system of bellows and screens. And apparently some 3D printed parts as well! Huh, didn’t know that. Most certainly a camera like no other!

Secret Handshake – The January Review

It’s that time again for my very unofficial review of The Secret Handshake, a monthly meetup for creative people in the greater Winnipeg community.

I originally wan’t sure I was going to go to this one. January has been a pretty busy month for me, and it was damn cold outside. But last minute, I decided to go anyways.

It was very slow to start when I got there. But I did arrive pretty early, so it’s not like there was a ton of people to chat with, and as a personal character flaw, I do take a while to warm up to people. And sometimes people take a while to warm up to me. I can be quite an enigma to people and I think I have a very intense way about me when I talk to people that might be a bit off putting. I’m a portrait artist at heart and I have a thing for faces. I’m always deeply and intently observing people’s faces and I think people often take it the wrong way. But the slowness of the evening taking off gave me the opportunity to really enjoy my meal. The meetup was at the Lo Pub, which seems to be the usual haunt. I had the special, an Tuscan Tofu Sandwich with fries. Very tasty. So basically, stay away from the Philly on their menu, and I do not think you can go wrong.

Once the evening picked up though, there was quite a bit of activity on the stage area of the pub. Some guy had gotten a hold of a lens from an old WWII bomber and fused it to a bellows camera which was haphazardly attached to a digital camera. It was huge, awkward and very, very cool. Not too sure what possessed him to actually do it. My wife said it was probably Everest; it was just there. I’d recommend anyone who is into photography (or Istagram) to check out the camera. The pictures that camera actually took haven’t been posted yet (he took a LOT of pics, mostly because it was really hard to keep it in focus) but check back in a while. The quality and essence of the pics could be described as Instagram the really, really hard way. I hope he actually makes some use of that camera. It’d probably be just too much of a pain for a lot of commercial use, but it had a really nice quality to the images. Hopefully someone will see this and have a special project that could make use of his ingenuity. And hopefully my pic turned out as well. The little LCD preview certainly made me look way more badass than I actually am. Would be cool to have kicking around even if the focus might not be bang on. But then, that’s the charm of a picture like that. As with most things modern and cultural, I’m going to blame the lighting and camera crew of Firely for that one. (Disclaimer: I’m not a browncoat, but I am a little afraid of them.)

Once my pic was taken, it was time for me go. Amazingly, I managed to time the bus almost perfectly. Like I planned it that way or something. The trip back home wasn’t as eventful as some others I’ve had, but we all did manage to piss of the diver for some reason. A lot of the busses now use a touch pad to open the rear doors. I hate them, as they only seem to work some of the time. So, everyone was pressing pretty hard on the touch sensitive door to ensure the door would open. The driver got so mad he stomped up to the middle of the bus to show “those of us who don’t already know,” that the door was “electrified(?)” and you don’t have to actually touch the door, just place your hands close to the front of the door. And magically, the door opens. I was seriously awed by the miracle of the open bus door. But was a little confused as the door very clearly indicated that you had to touch the door to open it. My protestations went unanswered, and I was sorely tempted to touch the door even after our little demonstration, just to see how much I could wind up the bus driver. But clear thinking prevailed as I assumed he’d just not let me off at my stop and I’d be forced to walk home from what I’d imagine would be a long way off from home. And -30 degrees is a bit too cold for such playfulness.

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Introducing: Superfluous extra animated character

As mentioned in my previous post regarding Saturday morning cartoons, I have just reposted my cartoon interpretation of the hit sitcom Big Bang Theory. And as promised, an extra animated character that has nothing to do with the original show. Meet Schrodinger, the robocat.

I figure his backstory would be simple. He was was built by Walowitz to prove to Sheldon that he is intellectually superior, even though he only has a Masters degree in Engineering from MIT rather than a doctorate like everyone else in the group. Of course, Sheldon is unimpressed, as this ain’t no soft-kitty! Raj seems to like him.


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