Sunday, December 9, 2012

Baking Bread

The latest collaboration between myself and my wonderful wife Anna.  She came up with the concept and did the inking.  I did the sketch and coloring. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Easter Island Stereoscope

I took a couple of days off from work this week and did a wee bit of drawing, and then decided to try to do another cross-view illustration.

For anyone that hasn't seen these before, you basically look at the two images together like one of those old Magic Eye books (cross your eyes, or do whatever works), and it's supposed to turn 3D.

I've always been fascinated with the Easter Island heads. Seeing them in person is definitely on my bucket list!

Monday, November 19, 2012

"They Live" Animated Series Line-Up

Click on the image for a larger version.

Recently (a few months ago) I was contacted by Rondal Scott III over at Strange Kids Club to see if I would do a Saturday morning cartoon style line-up of a classic 80s movie for their magazine release. I chose They Live! I basically rethought the whole end of the movie, and wrote out small blurbs for my general concept, and biographies for each of the characters. Read them... if you dare!

General Concept- After blowing up the transmission station in LA, Nada and Frank take the fight to New York City. There they meet a young girl named Maya who has attempted to digitally subvert the alien invasion. Her hacking efforts can only go so far so she enlists the demolition talents of Nada and Frank.

Nada– For the Nada I wanted to stick with his classic clothing. After all, he never changed clothes through the entire movie. His clothes are a part of him. Those nightmarish jeans already appeared to be sneaking into his body cavity from the bottom. To make the design look more like an 80s cartoon I also added a power gauge and bright laser blasts to the gun. By 80s cartoon logic it was permissible to burn a hole through a baddy with a laser gun, but not with bullets. Funny.

Frank– The Frank design was also pretty faithful to the costume from the film, but with more of a focus on his construction background. Rather than equipping all of the good guys with sunglasses, I decided to a give Frank and Maya (more on her later) the new and improved alien spotting contact lenses. Unlike the contact lenses from the movie, which miraculously didn't look like they were wearing contact lenses at all, the cartoon lenses reflect a bright green eye-shine.

Maya– In the grand tradition of 80s/90s cartoons I have included Maya as the token kid/ethnically ambiguous character. She never appeared in the source material, but that never seemed to stop cartoon producers before (See: H.E.R.B.I.E. in the Fantastic Four). It does seem like the line-up of characters needs some fresh blood to expand the universe. She was also necessary to balance the mindless/tenacious machismo of Nada and Frank. I wanted Maya to be the brains of the operation. Just look at her fancy state-of-the-art Compaq SLT!

Holly– In my animated series Holly has become the boss alien's #2. She has dropped her good girl pretense and become an 80s femme fatale – much like a noir femme fatale, but with big padded shoulders.

The Boss– In the film they never confront a leader of the alien invasion, so I invented one. Keeping with the “fight the establishment” theme of the film, I made the boss alien a Wall Street fat cat in the style of Gordon Gekko. The boss is accompanied by his faithful robotic suitcase, who desperately wants to take their relationship to the next level.

Alien Minion– In addition to all of the other aliens that have implanted themselves into human society, The Boss is protected by a phalanx of alien riot police. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of these alien minions that Nada and Frank blast their way through every Saturday morning.

In the end the fill line-up with the descriptions wasn't used, but they created a one page splash ad instead. It looks pretty funny!  

Would you watch it?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


John Gielgud as Hobson from Arthur - The 1981 version, not that shameful remake.

The other day Anna and I were talking about our favorite fictional characters from film, video games, books, etc. and Hobson was in my top five.  Everything he says is hilarious.  

The other four are Rowlf the Dog, Guybrush Threepwood, Ford Prefect, and Professor Farnsworth.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Classic Halloween Monster Line-Up

Click on the image to enlarge
I've been trying to keep in the Halloween mood this year by doing a lot of Halloween themed drawings.  It's a bit tough to get into the Halloween spirit when the birds are chirping and flowers are blooming.  People in New Zealand really get into Christmas early as well, which makes it difficult.  I've seen a few houses with their Christmas trees up already.

This is my version of the Halloween classics - the wicked witch, cursed mummy, Frankenstein's Monster, blood-sucking vampire, and howling werewolf.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 5, 2012

3D Stack of Jacks Crossview

Another Halloween 3D crossview.  I am quite enjoying doing these.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Count Orlok Crossview

This is my attempt at doing a stereoscopic crossview illustration while drawing a REAL vampire (not that sparkly bull$#!+). I figured my faux-cutout style actually lends itself pretty well to being turned into a crossview image, so I gave it a try. 

This basically works like the old Magic Eye books.  If you need further instructions you can find them here.

Happy Halloween!

Haunt: Halloween Graveyard

It's that month again!  My favorite month of the year!  When all of the ghosts and ghouls come out to play (at least they used to when I was a kid in the 80s and early 90s anyway).

Even though I'm down here south of the Equator again, and all of the trees are blooming, and the sun is shining, I still have autumn in my heart.  It also helps that Dunedin has the creepiest graveyards in the world to get me in the Halloween spirit!

Edit: I know I already submitted this earlier, but the word for this week at Illustration Friday is "Haunt" so I thought this was appropriate.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mitt Romney, Man of the People

This is my response to Mitt Romney's latest comments wherein he stated (erroneously) that 47% of Americans have a victim mentality and expect a hand out from the government, and that all of those entitled voters support the Democratic party.

First of all: perhaps it seems a bit callus to attack people who don't pay federal income tax as "believing they are victims", when 75-90 percent of those receiving federal entitlements are the elderly, seriously disabled, or the working poor?  Maybe that seems a bit dickish?  Well, Romney stands by his statement.  He says he was highlighting the differences between those who would vote for Obama, and those who would vote Republican.  

But even that statement is inaccurate.  The states paying the lowest federal income taxes overwhelmingly vote Republican, while those paying the highest rates of federal income taxes vote for Democrats.  This all made the news months ago.  Not to mention, most of the people getting those tax breaks are elderly, who also generally support the Republicans.  He's spitting insults at his core voters.

Every interview and quote I hear from Romney makes him seem progressively more insular and incapable of empathy. Is this really the best that the GOP can offer?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

#20 James Garfield (1881)

The twentieth president of the United States - James Garfield.

Garfield was the last of the log cabin presidents.  Those men born in a log cabin, that worked their way up to the highest office in the nation.

Unfortunately his presidency didn't even last a full year.  He was shot and killed by a lawyer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Romney Economy

I drew this a couple of weeks ago after the RNC.  With the inclusion of Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate, I have never been so adamantly opposed to a republican ticket. 

I think it's especially funny/horrifying that Ryan is meant to be a budget hawk, but hasn't even run the numbers of the Romney budget that he has come out in support of. He literally said so himself.  

In fact, after Romney's recent statements on Meet the Press, I don't even think there are numbers to run.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

GIS Rage

For the last week I have spent countless hours trying to calculate probable distribution maps for my research using a program called ArcMap10. It is quite possibly the most infuriating software I have ever come across. Not only is it confusing to begin with, but it glitches constantly, and the help menus are usually the opposite of helpful.

It also didn't help that most of the step by step guides for my research methods were made for ArcMap9, and they seriously changed the programming language between the two versions, making it even more confusing.

I have been working on this illustration for days (usually while ArcMap was loading or freezing) to vent some of the frustration of having to use that maddening program.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Army Aunty

I was inspired to draw this after reading an awesome scientific paper about exploding termites that it started with this quote by E.O. Wilson (the grand-master of myrmecology).

The quote stuck a funny mental image in my head, so I decided to draw it.

I was just watching a TED conference presentation by E.O. Wilson that I enjoyed quite a lot.  I definitely recommend it to any young people with an interest in the sciences.

#19 Rutherford B Hayes (1877-1881)

The nineteenth president of the United States: Rutherford B. Hayes.

The product of one of the most contested presidential elections in the history of the country.  (Only in this instance they created a bi-partisan congressional commission rather than conceding to a biased supreme court).

Apparently Mark Twain even stumped for Rutherford.  That would have been amazing to see.

Rutherford willingly retired after his first term in office. I can't even imagine a politician doing that nowadays.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#18 Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)

The eighteenth president of the United States: Ulysses S Grant.

Grant was a civil war hero, and during his presidency fought for the rights of African Americans, winning passage of the fifteenth amendment.

Even though many historians rate him as one of the worst presidents, anyone who so tenaciously persecuted the KKK is alright with me!

Friday, August 24, 2012

#17 Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)

The seventeenth president of the United States: Andrew Johnson.

After Lincoln was assassinated Johnson became president of the United States. Unfortunately during his presidency civil rights for black people took a step backward and he allowed many of the racist policies of the south to continue.

I recently saw an article where Johnson was named as the worst president in U.S. history.  Even worse than Buchanan, which I find surprising.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Todd Akin = Moron

A bit of political venting.

If you haven't read the news at all in the last 48 hours Todd Akin, a Tea-Party Republican from the House of Representatives, recently made the following statement in a television interview:

"From what I understand from doctors, pregnancy [as a result of rape] is really rare.  If it's legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."

Barring how insulting and ignorant his comments were, the scariest part of me is that this guy is actually on the United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and he doesn't even know how the female reproductive system works.  There really should be a scientific aptitude test that politicians have to pass as a pre-requisite to serving in congress; let alone to serve on the department that has jurisdiction over NASA, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (to name a few).  In fact, there are only four congress people on the entire board that have a background in sciences other than the medical profession (and political science of course).  Perhaps the real scariest part is that the committee on science, space and technology is dominated by lawyers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

#16 Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

The sixteenth president of the United States: Abraham Lincoln.

Definitely my favorite of the presidents.  I can't help but lament that they just don't make politicians like this anymore: honest and honorable.

I think most people know his history, so instead I'll write down a couple of my favorite Lincoln quotes:

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

#15 James Buchanan (1857-1861)

The fifteenth president of the United States: James Buchanan.

Buchanan was the president leading up to the civil war.  He made a few lackluster attempts to prevent the south from succeeding from the union that were ultimately ineffective.

Buchanan was also the only US president to remain a bachelor, and his niece acted as hostess in the White House.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Croak Blockers

Just playing around with colours and shading styles again.  I'm trying to give it the crayon look in the style of a lot of the Pixar concept art.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

#14 Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)

The fourteenth president of the United States: Franklin Pierce.

Nobody has much to say about Pierce.  His policies in office brought the country closer to the civil war, and his party replaced him in the next election.

On the bright side, he had a very impressive comb-over.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

#13 Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)

The thirteenth president of the United States: Millard Fillmore.

Fillmore was president in the 50s so the issue of the slavery was ubiquitous.  During Fillmore's presidency slavery was abolished in the District of Columbia, but the Fugitive Slave Act was also passed, which more than cancelled out the advantages of abolishing slavery in D.C.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Daredevil Redesign

The challenge this month over at superheroofthemonth was to do a redesign of Daredevil.  I've always been a fan of Daredevil, but was never super fond of the costume.  I don't understand why he needed a big "D" on his chest.  You'd think the horns would enough of a calling card.

For my version of Daredevil I obviously wanted to play up the devil aspect (all the better to scare criminals). I also wanted to make the mask reflect his blindness.  I also gave his feet a cloven hoof look because it seems like he could have better balance and it would give him a bit of grip when he scrambles up walls (like a mountain goat).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dunedin Douche Bag

This drawing is a bit of cathartic venting on my part.

The men's fashion in New Zealand drives me a little crazy.  Especially among college aged guys.  The fashion is typified by baggy-v neck shirts, dark shoes with long dark socks, and really really short boy's shorts with the bottoms rolled up even higher on the thigh.  It's a horrifying display of man thigh.

Lately I've been seeing a guy on campus with one of those "too cool for school" expressions, and everything he does makes me angry.  The other day I was walking behind him as he cut in front of traffic because he was too impatient to wait for the walk symbol.  But then he walked up to the door for handicapped people, slammed the automatic door button, and struck a little pose as he waited for the door to slowly open.  Even though I actually waited the fifteen seconds for the walk symbol to turn green, I still walked past him as he waited for the electric handicapped door to pen.  Apparently his arms were too weak to push the door open on his own.

It pissed me off so bad that I decided to immortalize the moment in digital technicolor.

It's really strange, because among some men in New Zealand (thankfully not all of them) there is a really false bravado that reminds me of insecure schoolyard bullies.  It is blatantly chauvinist.  It wouldn't be so bad if television advertisers didn't focus so much on that sub-set of population.  Every other commercial is about "Man"-this and "Man"- that.  Last year they were advertising Man Bread, Man Ice Cream, and (I swear I am not making this up) Man Yogurt.

#12 Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)

The twelfth president of the United States: Zachary Taylor.

Even though he was only president for about a year (before his untimely death), he temporarily prevented the south from seceding from the union - by threatening them with violence.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

#11 James K Polk (1845-1849)

The eleventh president of the United States: James K Polk.

The first and only Malfoy to be elected president.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#10 John Tyler (1841-1845)

The tenth president of the United States - John Tyler.

John Tyler was the first vice president to become president because of the death of his predecessor.

He was also the target of the first impeachment resolution against a president (headed by John Quincy Adams).

Later he helped create the Southern Confederacy, and died a member of the Confederate House of Representatives.

Friday, July 13, 2012

#9 William Henry Harrison (1841)

The ninth president of the United States - William Henry Harrison.

Poor William Henry Harrison holds the distinction of being the first man to die in the presidential office - after only a month.  It's hard to find a picture of him where he doesn't look depressed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#8 Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)

The eighth president of the United States of America - Martin Van Buren.

Only a democrat could pull off those amazing sideburns.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

#7 Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)

The seventh president of the United States of America - Andrew Jackson.

This guy is far too complicated for me to pin down in a sentence or two so I'll just write a quick juxtaposition:
Popular president for the people vs. The trail of tears.

I really really wish he had succeeded in abolishing the electoral college.  A man can dream...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

#6 John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)

The sixth president of the United States - John Quincy Adams.  It sounds as if Adams's presidency was rather uneventful because he had to contend with opposition in Congress (sounds a little familiar).  Prior to his presidency he was a brilliant diplomat, helping to design the Monroe Doctrine.  After leaving the presidential office he became a Congressman and spent the rest of his political life fighting slavery (even predicting an inevitable civil war).

He was also the first president to be photographed, so now I have to start worrying about getting accurate likenesses.

Trivia time: at his inauguration John Quincy didn't swear on a Bible, but instead on a stack of law books.  He viewed swearing on a Bible as a violation of the separation of church and state.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

#5 James Monroe (1817-1825)

The fifth president of the United States of America.  He was the last of the founding fathers to become president, and the author of the doctrine that bears his name.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ABC Velvet Worm

As a bit of a break from reading statistics text books I thought it would be fun to do a quick drawing of a velvet worm in the style of the ABC book that I made for my niece for Christmas.

Who knows, maybe I'll make an ABC of invertebrates next.

I've been a bit derailed from the presidential caricature series by other work that came up, but I plan on getting back into that this weekend.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

#4 James Madison (1809-1817)

The fourth president of the United States - James Madison.  The original nerd president.  He was considered the "Father of the Constitution", and author of the Bill of Rights.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

#3 Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)

The third president of the United States - Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson is among my top three favorite presidents.  I was listening to a biography about him earlier this year, and it was pretty inspiring.  It's a shame that people didn't heed his advice a bit more (e.g. abolishing slavery, limited supreme court terms, etc.).

It annoys me to no end that the tea-baggers have recently tried to claim Jefferson as one of their own.  I keep seeing misquotes attributed to Jefferson, as well as quotes taken out of context plastered all over the internet.  Something tells me that the man who wrote, "I cannot live without books," would find little in common with this fellow here.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Peripatus News

This week has been a bit crazy!  On Tuesday I had my fifteen minutes fame, appearing in a local newspaper for my peripatus research, as well as doing an interview on national radio ... live. Live on national radio.  My hands were shaking like leaves.

If anyone is interested, the newspaper article can be found here.

And you can hear the interview below-

Just ignore the bit in the middle where I can't calculate fractions - 400 million divided by 200,000 = 10-20!?  So embarrassing.

Things aren't looking to get much calmer in the near future either.  Next week I have a final exam, and I start a new job.

If you click on the peripatus picture above, you can see his tiny little eye.  So tiny.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

#2 John Adams (1797-1801)

The second president of the United States: John Adams.

Sometimes I feel a bit bad for John Adams.  He has been so overshadowed in history by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  He was the second president of the US, but he doesn't even have a famous memorial or his face on any currency (let alone on Mount Rushmore).  Even Andrew Jackson has his face on currency, and that guy was a bit of a tyrant!

#1 George Washington (1789-1797)

For the last week or so I've been doing quick doodles of the United States presidents just to relax a bit.  Yesterday I was looking at the calender and realized it's only 22 weeks until the election, and there have been 44 presidents.  I'm going to try to draw two presidents ever week, so hopefully I'll have drawn them all by November 6th.  (And hopefully that's all I'll have to draw for another four years).  I am going to post them chronologically in order of presidency.

This is going to be a bit of a learning experience for me as well.  I'm sadly rusty when it comes to presidential history.  I know 1-7, 16, and 37-44, but everything in between is very fuzzy.

Lets get this thing started! - #1 - President George Washington.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cookiecutter Shark

This is a bit of an oldie that I forgot to post earlier this year.  I think I originally drew this in April, and then promptly forgot about it.  

Cookiecutter Sharks have to be one of the strangest looking fish in the world.  Apparently what they do is swim up to large prey, scoop a large round bite out of their side, and quickly swim away.  They have even attacked humans in that manner.  Big ouch!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil.

Anna and I each came up with our own versions of the three wise monkeys, and this was my concept.  Hopefully she'll draw up her idea soon too!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


A mullet sporting a mullet.  Yay for double meanings!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Run Indy! Run!

Steel yourselves for the scariest statement of the year: "George Lucas is writing another Indiana Jones movie!"

Once upon a time that statement would have filled me with an incomprehensible elation, now I'm just heartbroken.  For the last fifteen minutes I've been trying to come up with a stupid MacGuffin (as in, "What's Indy going to try to find next, a ______!?!"), but nothing is more ridiculous than a crystal alien skull.

  • Indiana Jones and the Valley of the Unicorns.
  • Indiana Jones and the Golden Pok√© Ball.
  • Indiana Jones and the Malignant Mole Cluster. 
  • Indiana Jones and the Firing Missile Jetback Boba Fett Action Figure

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Noghri: Rukh

Click on the image for a bigger version.
With seven years between myself and the Revenge of the Sith, I feel like I am finally starting to heal.  I am ready to love Star Wars again.  So long as I avoid any reference to Anakin Skywalker, the Clone Wars, or Jar-Jar, I have been enjoying revisiting some of my old Star Wars comics and even watched the "Holy Trilogy" again about a month ago.

One thing I've recently recalled is how disappointing I have found most Noghri designs (especially my own!).  Not only do I find the Noghri designs lacking, but there is a surprising lack of respect for Rukh, the most bad-ass of the species.  So my goals here are two-fold: redesign the Noghri based on my own aesthetic, and finally give Rukh some fanart love.

Considering the amazing Noghri sense of smell, I thought that the primary feature on their face should be their sinuses.  I wanted the head crest to tie into the nostrils, as if they had an extra sensory function.  I also wanted the design to be inhumanly compact and stout.  Finally, for Rukh, I wanted his uniform to look a bit like it was pieced together from random bits of imperial armour and uniforms (not so much like a barbarian like I've seen in other versions).  I also gave him a BFG and traditional looking knife (all the better to stab Thrawn with).

Actually, to be honest, I did enjoy the way that Vatine drew the Noghri in the Heir to the Empire comics, but it didn't really gel with the descriptions of them from the books.

I'm also including my initial sketch where I tried to figure out the Noghri anatomy a bit -