Sunday, 18 December 2011

I'm (still) dreaming of a white Xmas...

The gag is that I'm actually allergic to cats.
I still find them deceptively cute.

Happy Holidays, folks!
Been a busy couple of days, but I'm leaving for home tomorrow!
I'll be back soon(ish) with Ackshun Meluhdramer Part Two!


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Ok I have something

Yes, indeed. I have come up with a 'good idea' for a cartoon.
That's all I shall say before I jinx it and it ends up crashing and burning.
For now, here's another uni paper cartoon!

A 21 year-old-man has fallen from a second floor window outside Jesters

Student enrollment for Southampton’s first international campus opened earlier this week. 60 students will be admitted to start studies in Mechanical Engineering at the campus in Iskandar, Malaysia in October 2012.

The Berlusconi story. ('Nuf said ;D)

George Osbourne is ploughing tens of billions of pounds into small businesses as the government seeks to keep the country afloat in financially gloomy times.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The month of many essays

Hello readers/perusers/usual suspects/jive turkeys,

As you see, content has been thinning on this old blog. The main reason? Essays.
Thousands (4) of them! All of them impossibly long (an average of 1800 words each actually) and difficult (not really)!

I have been working on things, but they are all special Saturnalia surprises, so until the wintertime I am unable to post them here.
This means no content.

The constant stress of coursework has also lead me to grow farther and farther detached from continuing Ackshun Meluhdramuh. I have a storyboard and even started doing the drawings... but somehow I lost interest along the way. The 'to be continued' will probably have to be explained away as a humorous lie. This is only one of the several things that make me disappointed in myself lately, as well as the heightened productivity and brilliance of some other artists I admire. How do you marvelous bastards do it? Tell me your secrets!

Anywho, that's the sorry state of affairs at the moment.
What am I thinking of doing?
Shorter animations, for one thing. My attention span when animating is far too erratic for me to work on something too OH HEY LOOK A PLASTIC BAG AHAHA.

Here's something I drew for some godawful time consuming nation simulation RPG full of brony-states. I literally cannot stand that show anymore, bronies. Thanks to you and your weird horse fetishes and religious 'ponyist' fundamentalism.
Thank goodness I still have robots.

I'll have something good soon.
I hope I have something good soon.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Update: Fussed Magazine Feature

Here is the previously mentioned promised feature on yours truly, as written by the good people at Fussed Magazine.
That is all.

Oh, alright. Here are some animals.


Friday, 4 November 2011

A webcomic: Drifting

Here are six episodes of a webcomic I started for a Winchester Arts University webzine. Unfortunately it didn't fit in well with the tone of the magazine, but they've promised to do a feature on me and my work anyway :)
Here is 'Drifting' (Thanks to Ceelz for inspiring the title). Click to embiggen and enjoy!

P.S. since the 23rd of october, I'm now two decades and one year old. Big woop.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

I too have been a most industrious hymenoptera...

I've been recently tasked with providing a satirical cartoon of various news bytes for my university's student run paper, the Wessex Scene. Here are two cartoons I have made for them and the stories that they include:

- Long-time Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi has been deposed of his rule by internationally backed rebel forces. The future of the beleagured country looks as rocky as it does hopeful.

- Riots in London and other urban areas of Britain caused millions of pounds of damage, national indignation and international embarassment.

- This summer saw months of chaos in Southampton over strikes. Bin men fighting against cuts eventually faced a council deadline whereby they had to accept new terms or face redundancy.

- UoS Engineers set a precedent with their first entirely 'printed' aircraft; its unique and rapid manufacturing could revolutionise aircraft design.

- A £250,000 refurbishment at SUSU over a 5 week period has meant exciting new additions to level 4, including a video wall, meeting pods and a brand new reception.

Freshers' week saw record numbers attending the Freshers' Fayre and Bunfight, while Beardyman and Danny from Mcfly headlined the Freshers' Ball.

Archaeologists from the University of Southampton helped uncover the remains of a suspected ancient Roman shipyard in Italy.

Southampton police warned students to be vigilant due burgularies and assault in the Portswood area over the past month.

An NUS report claimed that the student loan is insufficient and that the government should do more to cover expensive living costs.

Friday, 7 October 2011

A picture for a very busy bee...

It was my good friend Dawn's birthday yesterday, so I drew a design for her birthday card, featuring some of many activities that a busy bee such as herself undertakes every day. Check out her blog for great patterns, fabric designs and more :)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Spidey P:R redesign alternate pose

And so, as Project: Rooftop FINALLY release their honorable mentions (and soon results) for the Web-Head 2.0 spidey redesign competition, I am slightly down-hearted. The level of quality amongst the honorable mentions (most of them are designs I felt sure would make it to the final three!) makes me feel as if my hopes of even being mentioned on the site are dwindling into single digits. OOOh the self-pity (boo-hoo, woe is me, etc.)

So I'll put up my non-digitally drawn, crudely-coloured spider-man redesign; this time in a better pose that I was too late to submit to the site.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Redesigns: Public Domain Golden Age Superheroes

Ace of Space
From pdsh.wikia:
Ace Egan found a crashed UFO in the year 1940. He decided to use the ship's advanced technological wonders to combat criminals and Nazis as the costumed aviator the Ace of Space.

The first thing that came into my mind when I stumbled upon Ace was 'flying saucer'. He has the technology... wouldn't it make sense AND look really cool if he learned how to pilot one? Once I had that down, all sorts of possibilities came to light. A remote control panel on his belt, so he can pilot the craft from afar. Perhaps the saucer can be shrunk for easier storage, to the size of a frisbee or even a coin! Maybe the saucer even has its own version of a chameleon circuit, enabling it to camouflage itself as a fighter plane. Most of that may not come across from this picture alone, but needless to say, I think it's a damn shame this character isn't more famous today.

While working as a nuclear scientist at the "Atomic Institute," Barry Dale absorbs the "power of the atom" through unconscious exposure to nuclear materials and gains superpowers as a result. As described by Barry himself: "Evidently my body is so geared as a result of working on radium and uranium that it can explode atoms and give me atomic strength." He uses his new abilities -- such as super strength, flight, speed, invulnerability, "atomic vision," and the ability to heat his body so that he can weld metal with his hands -- to fight crime.

As plenty of us comic book lovers know by now, radiation = bad, not powers. Exposure to radium or urianium or whateverium would have made Barry Dale very sick indeed. But, of course, if I go for hyper-realism, I've ended up with no superhero and one dead scientist. So let's say, Barry didn't get flight or super-strength or atomic vision (whatever that is) but rather... suffered a slight mutation. Let's say he is now able to store and expel tremendous amounts of energy and/or radiation. Obviously such a phenomenon would not be entirely healthy, leading to Barry's slow and painful cellular degradation. So, for argument's sake, let's say Dr.Dale was able to completely convert his body into energy. Through years of training and experimentation in neural engineering, Barry Dale is now living energy. Perhaps not technically a 'master of the atom', but I figured if a guy wearing a gold-titanium alloy armoured suit can call himself 'Iron Man', Barry can call himself Atomaster.

The Hunchback
Alan Lanier, a wealthy playboy, inspired by the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, put on a hunchback costume to fight crime as the Hunchback. The only one who knew his secret identity was his girlfriend Betty. His adversaries included the crime lord called the Scorpion.

I see this guy as Bruce Wayne without the gadgets, but with twice the theatricality. I love the idea of a split personality and perhaps Lanier might even identify more with the hideous hunchback, much like Bruce sees himself more as the bat than a playboy. Maybe not so much a technical genius, but more of an expert in make-up. Perhaps Lanier could give Lon Chaney a run for his money?

Lady Satan
Lady Satan and her fiancé were victims of a German bombing while on a ship. It sunk, and her fiancé died, so Lady Satan took an oath to be the foe of the Nazis. Donning a mask and waltzing about in an evening dress, Lady Satan traveled unnoticed through the streets of Nazi occupied France as she fought the German invaders. She was a sorceress who fought against the occult using powerful magic that allowed her to do just about anything. She also wore a ring in the shape of a serpent which could release gasses derived from “dragon scales” that allowed her to “unveil the shadow world."

I liked this origin story, so all I did was streamline the costume, lose the ring and evening dress, and give her a more menacing devil mask. As a non-believer in the supernatural, I see her more as a trickster or magician, whose special effects know-how can fool anyone into thinking she possesses the powers of the devil himself.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A whole new Mothership

"What in tarnation?--"

Yes folks, I now have a brand-spanking new website. All feedback welcome.
Keep watching the skies!


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Look out! Here comes...

Here's an original character, for a change, The Flying Fox (or Free-falling Fox/Freedom Fox).
Chester Charles Mallory starred in several action films in the years preceding the second world war.
A successful stunt-man, Chester Charles was handsome, charming, arrogant, obnoxious and vain. Often blending his on-screen persona with his real life affairs, Chester Charles thought himself as invincible as the fire-proof motorbike riders and super-strong action heroes he portrayed on screen. Half-way through the shooting of the swashbuckling adaptation of a popular comic book character, America entered the war. British-born with Spanish and Welsh lineage, Charles was eager to join in, not out of patriotism, but motivated solely by the pure desire to show off. His sparkling smile and clever winks could only get him so far, and the army (although desperate for manpower) refused his application.
His pride wounded, Chester Charles did something amazingly stupid. Donning his movie costume, he smuggled himself into an army base and onto a plane bound for Europe. If he couldn't show the world how brave and smashing was as Chester Charles Mallory, he would do so in the guise of The Flying Fox, the comic books' crimson gliding hero! All too soon, Chester Charles learned his limits... much to his chagrin. He's the sorry parody of Captain America, a thoroughly idiotic and cowardly blowhard, thrust into the chaos of war and surviving by the skin of his teeth.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Some Famous Faces...

As I'm going to be looking into doing caricatures for money more regularly (tomorrow I go to my home town's council to ask for a permit, so the fuzz don't nick me for illegal sketching), I thought I'd try my hand at some celebrity portraits. Here are some of my musical heroes... can you guess who they are?*

*this is a rhetorical question, and I am not, contrary to popular belief, insulting your intelligence.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Yet more redesigns: an octopus, a bat and a clown...

Here's another spidey villain redesign, Otto Octavius. Got rid of the mechanical arms and replaced them with jacks and usb cables, turning Otto into The Octopus, notorious genius hacker, capable of sending entire cities into disarray at the click of a button. Decided to go mainly on Otto's 'master planner' persona for this redesign: I see Otto also working from afar to destablize politics, organize crime hits, robberies, even murders... when a certain spider doesn't tangle his webs.

Here's The Batman. Went for a simple, realistic approach: lots of body-armour and compartments. The cape and the mask covering his face completely hopefully make him seem even more inhuman.

And here's his arch-nemesis, the Joker. totally inspired by the Burton/Nicholson Joker with this one, I see his origin being a kind of mix between The Killing Joke and the Jack Napier one. Stand-up comedian gets embroiled with the mob and ends up disfigured after falling in a vat of chemicals. I figured his skin may be bleached and his lips blood red, but any hair would be as good as gone. With the green gone, I removed all other colour and went with a pagliaccio/pulcinella black and white costume.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Another redesign: The Goblin & Green Goblin's Last Stand

Here's my Goblin redesign. After numerous failed attempts at designing a realistic/plausible-looking glider or flight/propulsion system I decided to ditch that aspect of Gobby's character, and focus more on his Norman alter-ego. Norman Osborn is a genius, but science is science and a goblin glider like the one in the comics would be kind of impractical. I had a look at his origin story and the one thing I got from Norman's character or raison d'etre is POWER.
My version of Goblin isn't mad, super-strong or kooky. The halloween goblin mask and gloves are a kind of calling card. By day, Norman is a rich and highly connected technology and weapons magnate. By night, he practically runs all organized crime in New York city, and possibly beyond. This was an idea I got from the Spectacular Spider-man series (before it was cancelled :( ) where Goblin took over from Tombstone as main crime king of New York, whilst still flying around and throwing bombs at spidey. This Goblin is not afraid to get his hands dirty, but neither is he above hiring goons in goblin masks to take out his trash. He runs things from afar, perhaps creating the various other masked villains that make up spidey's rogue gallery.

Here are the redesigned characters in the cover for Amazing Spider-Man: Green Goblin's Last Stand!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Project: Rooftop Webhead 2.0 Spider-man redesign

As the deadline has been extended, thought I'd try again. Wasn't all that happy with the first redesign... hopefully the guys over at P:R won't think I'm trying to cheat or anything. Anyway, here it is, redesign mach 2 :)

For this design I felt like sticking to as realistic an approach as I could, building a costume out of garments and accessories that I think an inventive high-school student like Peter could afford to buy/make. It basically consists of a hooded track-suit, elbow/knee-pads, adapted goggles, belt and climbing shoes. The spider emblem on the chest is made up of the tightening cords of the hoodie, extended and knotted to make up the legs.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A bit of inspiration

Hello Everyone!

Well, I've spent the whole day drawing pictures over a lightbox, animating some small motions little by little, and a very satisfying and cathartic experience it has been! It's been far too long since I last animated anything (ok, only a couple of months, but it felt muuuuch longer!).

So, with a large heap of drawings lying on my bed, along with several character designs and worn out pencils, I thought I'd share a short video that I first saw earlier today on cartoon brew.

The funny/great thing is that I've loved and admired Terry Gilliam and his work before I even understood what he was doing or saying. Certainly WAY before I ever became interested in animating myself. Perhaps I have already mentioned my childhood and lasting love for his 1981 film, Time Bandits, which I first saw when I was about three years old. Basically, the man and his humour (along with that of Palin, Idle, Jones, Graham and Cleese) have been a fundamental part of my life, and a great source of inspiration.

I did some drawings this morning, but my energy petered out around lunchtime.
After watching this short video, I animated non-stop for about three/four hours.

Thanks, Terry.


Sunday, 31 July 2011


Hello everyone!

Thanks for all the comments made for my latest superhero pictures, you're all very kind :)

Good news is that I should have some actual animations up here soon enough!
Stay tuned!
Here is a picture of me after eating too many mushrooms.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Spider-man Webhead 2.0 - Project Rooftop Submission

My Spider-man redesign is also slightly a re-imagining. One thing that always troubled me a bit about Spidey's costume was how very little actual 'spidery-ness' it conveyed. The red and blue combination, the giant eyes... Visually iconic, but not very spidery except for the web motif and obvious spider emblem. I'm also one of those people who prefer the organic webs to the 'high school student who is magically able to invent something which is practically impossible given the resources he'd have' webshooters.
So first of all, I went for a poisonous looking red black and white colour scheme. It's been done, but I still find it fits spidey best. I gave him four-lensed goggles, in an attempt to give him that weird 'four-eyed' spider look. A practical explanation might be that they provide Peter thermal and night-time vision or something.
In the second picture I wanted to show how I think peter's webshooting would work. As spiders produce their webs from their abdomen, I figured that if peter mutated and gained this ability, a web-producing gland would develop somewhere on his back. I turned the back spider-emblem in to a kind of storage unit/backpack for the webbing, with tubes running from it and along his underarms to his wrists. The usual pressure-pad at on the palm of each glove shoots the web, channelling it from the unit on his back.
Finally, the compartments on his waist might contain gas-bombs or flares that might aid spidey in his fight against evil. Standard super-hero stuff.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Bananaman & The Phantom (Project: Rooftop)

Phantom: Loved the original costume and the purple, but decided to add a couple of elements to make him look more ghostly (more black, hooded skull mask and tattered cape). Not much of a departure from the original, but hopefully more imposing.

Bananaman: a superhero spoof character created by the british comic book 'The Dandy', he combined elements of Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel. I wanted to make him more of his own character, thus getting rid of the Superman blues and reds as well as the Batman-style banana-horns and cowl, in favour of more yellows and browns, as well as a banana-skin helmet in the same theme as the gloves and boots. Hopefully still comical, but perhaps a little more original.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Je suis de retour!

Yes, I'm back home in sweet, backwards Italy.
The weather is sweltering, the food is great and I'm no longer wearing socks or vests. Life is good.

As I'll be trying to find stuff to do other than procrastinate/study during these next two months with fellow organisms of my same age, the blog will most likely gather dust for a while. The lack of comments in the last month reassures me that this won't break too many hearts :) It IS summer after all. I hope you're all having fun, wherever you all are!

Me, I'm going to try to get creative. Still nothing on the animation front, but visits to the Pompidou Centre and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris have inspired me to more drawing... so comics might be seeing a comeback soon. In the meantime, I'm going back to destroying all of humanity.

Buone Vacanze!

Friday, 24 June 2011

---halfway there---

Hello all,

just a short blog post to let you know that my parents and I have successfully moved all my mountains of useless crap out of my old flat and into my new shared house for next year. Left Southampton officially for the summer yesterday and am now chilling and relaxing in Fleet at my grandmother's with family. In about a week will be travelling through France and then, eventually, will be arriving home by the end of the month.

Will probably write back here, then!


Monday, 13 June 2011


Hello again, everyone.

Yes, still no content. Unfortunately the creative juices have been running a little dry at the moment.
Between exams, bills, flatmate movings and many other things, usable and potentially entertaining ideas for animation have been few and far between.

Every time I have come up with something, potential for it peters out before I can get going. I think I'm on to my fifth attempt now and still no joy.

SoFi was cancelled due to poor organization. I sort of saw that one coming, as after a week of sending in my submissions I had still heard nothing back, and according to the university's student union website, the event had been moved (forwards and backwards) to sunday the 12th of June, 2010! I have recently heard back from someone that the event will hopefully be held properly in the autumn.

I went to do caricatures for money at SHADE (Southampton's Hottest All-Day Event) at my old halls, after last year's success (when I made about 30-something pounds in six hours). Despite it's name, SHADE was cut short by heavy rain. Despite being able to do caricatures for only three and a half hours, I managed to make 16 pounds and 60 pence. Despite being met with enthusiasm and the fact that my drawings were all received well, I'm still disappointed. During the downpour everyone retreated to the halls bar and proceeded to get very drunk. By the time it had stopped, nobody seemed particularly interested in having their portraits done. That and the fact that my table and home-made signs were sopping wet. Had it not rained, I'm sure I could've topped last year's record.

So that's all that's been happening lately. I have also become a bronie (EDIT from 2014: Future-me is currently red with shame. Ugh.) settled on my dissertation topic and developed a headache which I am trying to sleep off.
However, seeing how my last big headache spawned Bedtime, Kevin!, I'm still hopeful.

Over and out,


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Bedtime, Kevin! episodes on

Well, they're finally up!

They've been numbered in the wrong order and some have been grouped together (Magic Poodle Trilogy), but they're there and ready for viewing :)
Feel free to watch them again and again, whilst I work on the next episode.
It'll be done any month no-- I MEAN any day now. Yes.
No you read wrong.

Stop staring at meeeee

Share and enjoy (please)!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Thank you!

Greetings everyone!
This is just the usual filler post which has no real content and is just put up to make sure that the blog doesn't go into cellular atrophy between one animation and the next.
I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been posting recently and for all your nice words regarding the latest episode/s of Bedtime Kevin! So without further ado, thank you:
Ashlyn, Seema, Dawn, Clarence, Winston and Melissa! You're all fantastic people and much love to you all.
Some news, The Southampton Student Film Festival is rolling along again for a fourth year and, just like last year, I'm submitting. Tapirobot! A Minstrel Remembers and The Fun Rainbow Wish Glitter Puppy Show to be exact.
Last but not least, amidst exam revision, I've been noodling around with ideas for the next episode of BK! Above and Below are some early character designs for a robot teaching assistant.
Stay tuned and thanks again!