Friday, May 30, 2008

When teens grow old

Yeah, it's a little unfair of me targetting the emo teens when, in spite of the fact that there wasn't the term 'emo' in my day and we weren't half as pretty, I could be accused of being just a haggard shell of what was once one of them. Still, it kept me amused for a couple of days.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Super Villains!

Every superhero must face a super villain. Usually loads of them. Miserable Androgynous Little Shit Man is no exception. Here are just some of his foes:

A deadly cyborg bagpiper, the Cyber Piper plays hideous piercing tunes that can penetrate any defense shield. There is no escape from the dreaded Cyber Drone! MALS Man's headphone/iPod combo are no defense for this weapon so he must rely on more cunning methods to defeat the Cyber Piper.

Seeing as the Cyber Piper is a bit rubbish, it's time to bring out the big guy. Every superhero needs a super villain that's pretty much the same as him. And so we have:

The story of The Sickness is a tragic one. The teenage emo kid that once found himself in scientist millionaire Randall Randallson's lab was blasted with deadly radiation. He wandered around the lab for days, not knowing what to go about the green glow coming from his flesh. The poor lad was starving. So when he saw Randall standing by his microscope, the kid only saw one thing - food. He took a chunk out of Randall's arm and MALS Man was born.

But his story did not end there. The radiation caused the kid to mutate and grow, until he bacame the beast known only as... The Sickness. He is named that because radiation can actually make you quite ill. Like, the powers are great and everything but chemo really knocks the wind out of you. So he's not doing too well. But he's still a teenager and still angry at... something.

Next up, we have:

The good and evil twin all in one! Benson just wants to be loved. He likes flowers and Grey's Anatomy. But, behind Benson, lies evil - Hedges, the murderous vicious bunny. He likes killing people and doesn't like Grey's Anatomy one little bit. Together, they make a powerful foe as Benson uses Hedges as his shield. Not only would nobody risk harming that cute little bunny but the Conjoined Bunny Brothers are also immune to MALS Man's Manlove ability (Benson is openly gay but Hedges is deep in denial). With Benson attached to his back, Hedges is unstoppable.

Finally, Mr.Trombley made some great suggestions for super villains (check them out in the comments of the previous post). One, I just couldn't resist, though this may be slightly younger than he was thinking:

Everyone knows Hitler is pure evil. It is safe to assume he came out of the womb goose-stepping and generally doing evil things. But what most people don't know is that he managed to escape by travelling through time into the future, where he terrorises people and makes them sad and stuff. The guy way back in history was merely a stand-in. Baby Hitler is way more evil.

So that's just a few of MALS Man's enemies. He has many more. Actually most people really don't like him at all. He's an annoying pain in the ass. So he has no shortage of super villains to fight.

I think Baby Hitler needs his own spin-off.

Oh, and for Adam, here's a look at some of those teddies we can hawk at Hot Topic -

I thought I was really just having a laugh with the 'they don't conform' thing, you know, seeing as most emo or goth kids try their damndest to be identical to each other, but then I found these. They actually use as their tagline, "dolls that refuse to conform". I have to admire them for getting in first and for separating these poor innocent kids from their money.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So what are his powers?

Every superhero needs powers. Otherwise, they wouldn't be superheroes, would they? Although Batman doesn't have powers. He's a cheater. He's just a plain ol' non-super hero with some stuff he ordered off the internet. Anyone could do that. But real superheroes need powers.

So let's begin. The first, and most used, power that Miserable Androgynous Little Shit Man (he really needs a catchier name) has are these -

MALS Man's Power Tears are his deadliest weapon. Powerful blasts of salty liquid can stop any foe. More than that, they'll make his enemies feel awkward and not sure what to say. A deadly distraction technique. But the Power Tears come with a price: MALS Man's eye liner will run and, after every battle, he must retreat to a quiet bathroom to reapply.

For defense, MALS Man has this trick up his sleeve -

In a flash, MALS Man can withdraw into a bubble of darkness where he sits miserable listening to depressing songs. Nothing can penetrate the darkness.

And MALS Man's last super power (until a story demands a new one) is this -

MALS Man's Manlove ability can turn straight men gay for a brief and confused period of time. They stop to question everything they knew about themselves, then feel strange and full of regret for things they enjoyed but now wish they hadn't done. Note: actual gay supervillains are immune to this power.

Of course, every superhero has a weakness. MALS Man's is his mood. All his powers depend on a forced state of misery. Jokes, amusing anecdotes and happy songs can all destroy this state and MALS Man becomes powerless. To defend against this, he wears his headphones and pink girly iPod but, if his headphones are removed, he is at your mercy. Put on just about any track by Journey and this happens -

It's quite horrific.

These are just his default powers and weaknesses. Things all changed during the Black Tights Saga, when he got a new suit, went deaf and replaced Emo-Teddy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sell me a superhero!

John K had a post all about superheroes on his blog and that got me thinking about them. There was a time when superheroes were all just cheesy adventure. Then they went 'dark'. I guess The Dark Knight Returns changed everything. From then on, heroes were brooding, miserable beings who dealt with real life problems. Newer heroes were born who took this further and many amounted to some bitter guy with a gun.

So heroes changed from what kids aspired to be - something totally extraordinary - to what they thought they were - miserable alienated outcasts. Because teenagers are an awkward bunch. They think they're miserable and bitter but, truth is, they haven't earned it. They're not old enough to have anything to be miserable about. But, man, when it comes to selling comics to suckers, these sad sacks will lap it up.

On a side note, I think the 'dark' thing helped reassure the adult comic buyers that they were more serious and not in fact the embarrassment they once were. As someone who is into cartoons, I have no right to judge. And yet, I do.

So I thought - if I was to make a superhero to sell to this demographic, who would it be? Not a superhero I thought was cool, but one that was marketable to the Lavinge-buying public and their dodgy fathers.

And so Miserable Androgynous Little Shit Man was born!

Here's the story -

Mild-mannered millionaire scientist, Randall Randallson, was busy looking through a microscope, as scientists are known to do.

Unknown to Randall, someone had infiltrated his lab. A miserable androgynous little shit! Yes, some moany teenager who thought his life sucked, spent all morning doing his make-up and making sure his clothes matched all his friends' 100% and yet considered himself totally unique and didn't want to be judged by his appearance had wandered into the lab. But this wasn't just any miserable androgynous little shit.

No, this was a radioactive miserable androgynous little shit.

Randall was too engrossed in his work to notice. That is, until he was bitten! The little shit had bitten Randall's arm! Suddenly Randall began to change. He spent several hours dying and doing his hair. He spent just a few more minutes doing his eye-liner. He found out what all his friends were listening to and made sure he had the exact same music on his super-pink iPod. He grew big muscles and a chin (because that's super). He became uncomfortably bisexual. And then... the whining began.

And so was born Miserable Androgynous Little Shit Man! Once an ordinary scientist, Randall Randallson was now gifted with the powers of a miserable androgynous little shit.

Oh and he got a sidekick - Emo-Teddy (look, he's all broken, just like the poor teenagers, how totally original and cool - nobody understands him). He's probably got a gun too.

If you're wondering why he's not wearing pants, well, superheroes wear their undies on the outside and what more efficient way to do that could there be than simply not putting on pants? Also, it means there's a space for branding. If anyone wants to advertise on MALS Man's legs, he has no problem whoring himself out.

So there's my superhero. What do you think? Have I got a market? I think kids could totally relate to him.

If you had to sell a superhero, who would he (or she) be? Do me a superhero!

Monday, May 26, 2008

It was only a matter of time

My one escape from reality kicked me in the pants at the weekend with the infamous Red Ring of Death. Goodbye Grand Theft Auto. Goodbye whatever else I played on that thing (can't quite remember). Goodbye.

In terms of hardware failure for just about anything, like any piece of equipment from the Stone Age to now, the XBox 360 has got to be the worst piece of kit ever. Never have I heard so many stories of consoles dying. In fact, I always counted myself lucky being the only person I knew who didn't have a problem.

When I say 'always', I mean for the six months that I owned the console before the RRoD came my way. Six months. That's how long I got out of it. I could buy a 360, then find out I have seriously aggressive cancer all through my body and still outlive the piece of crap. They should warn you about that in the manual at least.

It has to be some sort of conspiracy. I just haven't quite worked out what it's about yet.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

That child I once was

It's like the part of me that was a child fades in and out sometimes right where I am. But sometimes you just can't go back.

Indiana Jones was just one. They seem to be remaking and resurrecting everything. Rocky, Rambo and countless other things. Television shows. They're bringing them all back.

Many of us take pride in not growing up. I love video games, cartoons, movies. They bring out the child in us. So I guess coupling that with the nostalgia of things that actually were around when we were kids makes sense.

I remember a documentary years ago on dogs and how they were domesticated, comparing them to wolves and wild dogs. After a lot of research and study, they came to the conclusion that dogs are domesticated by keeping them in a constant state of youth. In a way, their development is stunted - they are puppies all their lives. They don't have to grow up. They are provided for, are told what to do and where to go, just as puppies are by their mother. They are kept safe. Sounds kind of nice but it means they are completely under our control - we control them by keeping them young.

So I'm wondering - by not growing up, by constantly feeding the child in us, are we being domesticated? Controlled?

We're all just puppies and we're getting younger by the day.

I want to be a wolf.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Tin Foil Filled Skull

So I got to see the new Indy film last night. It's okay. Entertaining in parts but it doesn't really have much of a story. I mean, they didn't seem to have any concrete goals most of the time so spent half the movie wandering around getting captured by cartoon Russians.

But it was definitely entertaining in parts, had some good sequences, a few great lines. I found myself wishing Marion hadn't made it into the movie, a complete turnaround from what I thought I'd think. And, in another turnaround, not only did I not mind LaBeouf, I thought he was pretty much essential. He brought life to a film that wouldn't have had any otherwise.

And, man, that bit where Shortround turned up... woah. WHO DA BITCH NOW?!!! EH, DR.JONES?!!! BAM! Fantastic.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


It's pretty hard to describe in words but it's something like this anyway. A slight dizziness and a fizzy feeling. I can't remember from the last time how long it lasts.

The thing about coming off depression medication, which isn't all that different to being on it, is that you question things - am I feeling this way because of the withdrawal? Or the depression kicking in? When you're on meds, you wonder if you're really yourself of if it's the meds.

It's no-win, I guess.

But, you know, sometimes depression can make you feel like things are shit. But, as I said in one of my earliest posts here, sometimes it's simply the fact that life is shit. It's not depression. Not some chemical imbalance. Not withdrawal. It's just that things are not the way you want them to be and life is not satisfying. In that case, pills would just mask the symptoms and not tackle the problem.

The difficulty is that you can never tell if it's the depression or life itself that is the problem.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Even more adventures in advertising

Producer said no problem to this. Director wasn't so enthused. Luckily, it got tied up in the courts before the ad was even made.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Unmedicated Cartoon Life

As some of you may know, I have been on Lexapro for depression (that's the 'medicated' part of the blog title). Having a glance again at some of the listed side effects, I noticed 'taste perversion' is listed.

What an odd description. Taste... perversion.

Like there are magazines devoted to this stuff that you can only find in the dingiest of porn shops.

Anyway, the reason I was going through the leaflets is that I have decided to go off the meds. I was on Lexapro years ago and felt it made a big difference. This time, not so much. Unlike the previous time, I'm not sure I needed them to begin with and I didn't actually feel they helped me.

So now the great unmedicated experiment begins.

Friday, May 16, 2008

More adventures in advertising

I could write a book on my brief foray into the world of advertising. It wouldn't be a very happy book but at least this particular story had a happy ending. If you're blatently racist, don't expect to win a pitch for an anti-racism campaign. You're at a disadvantage.

Do ad guys still negotiate that they can smoke in their office as part of their contracts?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm such a stud

It was pointed out to me yesterday by someone I know how I always look like crap in my blog pictures and I was challenged to make myself look better in the next post. Well, I think these pics, as badly drawn as they are, are pretty accurate.

I don't remember what it's like not to be tired. Those rings around my eyes are very real. I do have perhaps a vague recollection that maybe I wasn't constantly exhausted during my teenage years. But something went badly wrong in my twenties and I live in a permanent state of grogginess now. So that's pretty accurate.

My hair is balding at the front, with a forehead that gets a new wrinkle each day. And my hair does what it wants at the back, not unlike the tentacle thingies. So, yeah, my head does look a little like I'm wearing a rubber glove.

My skin is bad. I have this belly thing.

Yep, pretty accurate.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Adventures in advertising

You can only hear a marketing guy for a sweets company (candy for you USers) say he's trying to sell drugs to kids for so long before questioning his motives.

Actually, drugs seem to be a common theme among marketing execs. Is it that they see themselves as the pusher? Probably. Or is it just that drugs are often at the forefront of their mind as they have been snorting coke just 15 minutes before the meeting? Maybe. I don't know.

Whatever it is, marketing people like drug references. Am I the only one who sees that as slightly inappropriate when it comes to targeting children?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mmmmm... summer time...

Yeah, I love ice-cream. I think it's my favourite major food group.

Anyone find the whole concept of cleavage as odd as I do? I mean, I love cleavage but, when you break it down, what it amounts to is this created space - a hole, an absence of breasts. Strange.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just who do you work for?

"Non-partisan". I actually heard one producer use that. How far would he go, I wonder?

You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've seen pitched. Or ads that agencies or clients wanted to produce. I don't even know if I believe in the concept of 'evil' but, if I did, I've seen it and heard it from my drawing desk.

Often, in the world we live in, making money overrides morality. It's like the "I'm just doing my job" is the out-clause for anything. Some tits even believe that's the good way of doing things - let market forces sort them out.

Well, it's a tired reference I know, but if you are a Stormtrooper on the Death Star, sooner or later someone is going to drop a proton torpedo into your little hole and blow the shit out of you. And you'll deserve it.

The last ad I ever animated on was for Pfizer. For asshole clients. It made me feel dirty. I haven't worked on an ad since. I guess I should count myself lucky that I've been able to avoid it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

100% Failure rate

As of yesterday's post, every one of my submissions is accounted for. Every single one of them a rejection. Every single one of them a form rejection, some not even bothering to put my name.

To everyone who sent me a rejection, fuck you. I hope your eyes get pecked out by sparrows (it will take longer than crows). And that you contract some hideous disease that causes your skin to tighten and tighten until it eventually rips and falls from your sick flesh. Actually, the sparrows can do their work at that point because I'd like you to see that, like the guy who saw his face peel off in Poltergeist. Then I hope you get... hmm... a paper cut. But a really bad one that stings. Then gets infected with maggots that eat away at your bare flesh until you eventually die an agonising death. But not before I give you a card that says I apologise for the stock response but your pathetic life has been rejected. I can't see a market for it. But I wish you success in your eternity in whatever hell you'll be going to.

Unless they reject you too.

If that doesn't happen, I'm going to find out who each and every one of you are and keep photos of you with me for the rest of my life. And some day, maybe many years from now, I'll spot you on the street from that cardboard box I'll be living in. And, when you pass, I'll put out my leg and trip you up. If I'm lucky, you'll graze your knee but, at the very least, you'll look like a tit.

And, then, when I'm close to death, I'll take each one of those photos and write 'FOOD' on them. Then, when the inevitable zombie apocalyse comes and I rise from the grave hungry for human flesh, the only memory I'll have is that you, each and every one of you, are my food. And I will eat your brains. I can't imagine your brains would give me much sustenaince but then a zombie doesn't digest food anyway. And, in a way, it's fitting - just like now, what little brains you have will be utterly useless. But I'll eat them anyway.

Fuck each and every one of you. The least you could have done was do me the decency of writing a proper letter. And putting my name on it. Gobshites.

I think I'm taking this rather well.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hot days

Been hot the last few days. Yeah... hot.

I think on hot days, there should be guys in the studio bringing around cocktails.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Following the herd

I saw a thing on here, which had people drawing themselves as teenagers. So I thought I'd join in. Thing is, I can't remember much of what it was like being a teenager.

The endless struggle

I see this sort of thing happen so many times. How hard is it to do things in the right order? Why start animation before you have an animatic? Why work with 'temp' tracks that mean nothing will fit afterwards? Why is there always that long period of inactivity followed by the need to start every process simultaneously?

What is it with some producers' fascination with doing things arse-ways?

Monday, May 5, 2008

My daily suicide attempt

Does this count as suicide?

I reckon the whole cholesterol thing is a complete myth. I had high cholesterol, completely revised my diet on doctor's orders, then had it tested six months later and my cholesterol had actually gone up.

Weird that killing yourself instantly is considered suicide but killing yourself through poor eating, drinking or whatever isn't. Maybe it's the intent that's important. Is there a self equivalent of manslaughter?

Friday, May 2, 2008


I'm glad some of you enjoyed my little Astro Andy thingy a few days ago. With all my rejection letters mounting up, it was nice to have that little bit of encouragement.

It means a lot.