Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 23: The Ninja Turtles Compete in the X-Games

This weekend marks the 17th year of the X-Games. I have some fond memories of watching when I was younger and wishing I could do some of the amazing things those athletes can pull off. I haven't watched much in the way of extreme sports in the last few years, but we've watched some of the coverage this year and so far there have been some highs, but a few disappointing lows. Friday night was supposed to be an amazing MotoX best trick competition, and while it was exciting to see someone land the first front flip it was a bit of a let down to see two of the main competitors get injured during their first runs. BMX and Skateboard Big Air were fun as always, but now I'm watching one of my favorite competitions--the Street Skate competition. It makes me want to start skating again even though I was never any good at it. Maybe it really just makes me want to play a skateboarding game. That seems much safer.

 The focus of today's picture is Donatello doing his Vert Skate run. He's pulling one of my all-time favorite skateboarding tricks, the Airwalk. All of the other turtles seem pretty excited for him and why not? Look at the height he's getting! Good luck winning X-Games Gold, Don.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 22: The Ninja Turtles Come Bearing Gifts to Wil Wheaton

I had a totally different post and picture ready to go in my head this morning, but then I logged onto Twitter and everything changed, because today... is Wil Wheaton's birthday.

To some of you that might be meaningless, and it's true that it doesn't directly influence my life, but I feel that as a fan I should pay homage to Mr. Wheaton as I have done on other significant days in the nerd world.

My personal opinion of Wil Wheaton went from "nothing" to "awesome" about a year ago when I saw him guest star in The Guild season 3. I loved his character and I couldn't help but feel like I'd seen him in something else before. A quick search on IMDB turned up a number of things I recognized him from including things like Stand By Me and Stark Trek: The Next Generation. I instantly remembered watching ST:TNG when I was younger and liking his character, Wesley Crusher, simply because we shared a somewhat uncommon name. Nowadays he's busy guest starring in some of my favorite shows.

His acting credits aside Wil Wheaton is also a constant source of entertainment for me through Twitter. He comes across as a genuinely nice person with an often biting and sometimes odd sense of humor, which suits me just fine. It's like reading tweets from a friend (who tweets a lot) and not the carefully constructed public tweets of a celebrity. Interested? You should be. Take a look.

Now let's talk about the picture for a minute, shall we? I had actually been thinking about doing a Wil Wheaton inspired picture for a couple of days, I just didn't think I'd be doing it so soon. Since it's his birthday I had the turtles bring him gifts. What do their presents contain? I'm afraid I can't answer that; They're for Wil, not you. Once again my poor ability to draw humans has resulted in tragedy, but it was an attempt made out of love. Wil is looking a little scary in his D20 shirt and sitting on a raised dais in the captain's chair from the starship Enterprise. I just hope whatever the turtles brought is pleasing to him. Chances are he's got a phaser hidden in that chair somewhere.

For more information on Wil Wheaton check out his blog located at

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 21: The Turtles Have a Darkness Growing Inside Them

Last night while making dinner with the wife she asked me to peel some garlic cloves so she could mince them into the pan while I continued chopping veggies.

Me: I'll never forget the trick to peeling garlic cloves as long as I live.

Em: Why?

Me: Because of that video, Vegan Black Metal Chef.

Em: What?

Me: In the video when he's peeling the garlic cloves he talks about cutting their heads off and smashing them with a knife.

*At the 6:35 mark in the video*

Em: Oh.

Which brings me to the subject of today's post: Black Metal.

I am a fan of many types of music. I already outlined for you some of my musical tastes in a previous entry. Today I decided to focus on a musical style that really gets almost no mainstream attention (at least in the US).

I'm a fan of metal in general, but it's not a genre I can talk endlessly about. I know some bands and I can differentiate styles to a degree, but I'm not exactly what you'd call a "metal head." That being said there is something strangely alluring about black metal. It's sort of a macabre fascination I have, not just with the music, but with the culture. I don't really listen to it that often, but I do have an appreciation of it.

If you're not familiar with the black metal musical genre here are the basics. It is not a metal band comprised of only black men and women (more than one person has asked me this). It's mostly fast tempos, with heavily distorted guitars and growly or shrieking vocals. A lot of people mistakenly think black metal is satanic in nature. As far as I understand it that's not entirely true. A lot of it (coming mostly from Scandinavian countries) tends to be anti-christian, but not directly satanic. I'm sure all of this is very interesting to everyone reading but instead of continuing with a full lecture on the genre, how about I direct you to this link here. Don't worry, it's just a link to the Black Metal wiki page. Your souls won't be in any danger by clicking it.

Like I said, I have a fascination with it. I watched a documentary last year called Until the Light Takes Us and have added a few books on the subject to my Amazon wish list. The spread of musical influence and culture is almost always interesting and this is no different.

I also got to see a black metal show last year with a friend. Finntroll was touring the US around my birthday with Swallow the Sun and Moonsorrow (all from Finland). I showed my wife one of the videos from Finntroll's newest album. Her only response was to say, "You are so going to get sacrificed at this show."

I drew the turtles in the sort of stereotypical black metal costume pieces even though I consider them pretty ridiculous. They've got lots of points and black leather and I couldn't leave out the corpse paint. My impression is that the bands that wear this stuff are usually more concerned with the look or the theatrics of the genre than the actual music and meaning, but four turtles wearing spikes and corpse paint is more fun to draw than four turtles wearing black t-shirts and looking pissed off. I also put them in a snowy forest because black metal guys like things dark and cold.

--Here's the video I showed my wife when she was convinced I was going to be sacrificed.--

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 20: That's a Lot of Bats

Did you know that Austin is home to the world's largest urban bat colony? Well you do now. That's right. My lovely city is host to a mass exodus of around 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats every night during the summer. The best part of all of this? It happens right smack in the middle of downtown!

Last night we took some friends around Austin to show off some of our fair city's highlights. One of them is thinking of moving here and wanted to see what Austin has to offer. After a tasty dinner at Shady Grove (a personal favorite of mine and the Mrs.) we hauled ass over to the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats leave for the night.

We were a little disappointed when we arrived. As we walked up we could see a line of bats flying away from the bridge, but there didn't seem to be as many as we usually see and it was still pretty early. We found a spot on top of the bridge (which I prefer over watching from the park below) and waited. After 10 minutes or so it didn't seem like anything else was going to happen. We had heard the drought was causing them to leave earlier than usual, but it still seemed too early. A bit disheartened we started walking back to the car along with the droves of other people who had waited to see the bats.

Suddenly my wife turned around and told us all to stop. Out of nowhere the rest of the bats decided it was time to get up and they were leaving the bridge in a constant stream of leathery flapping wings. We hurried back to find a good spot and watched the rest of the colony leave the nest over the next fifteen minutes.

Watching the bats is just one of the many awesome things I love about living in Austin. If you've never been here I highly recommend it. Look me up. We'll do something fun. Or just wait a while. I'm sure I'll do pictures highlighting all of my favorite Austin things eventually. Maybe I can sell them in a collection as a travel guide.

**There has been some concern expressed (by my wife, and no one else really) that Michelangelo is not "following the rules" and is in danger of falling. Strangely she doesn't seem to be worried about Raph, but I assure you that Michelangelo is a trained ninja. Even if someone walked by and pushed him he wouldn't fall off the bridge.**

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 19: The Ninja Turtles Meet The Guild!

Holy shit, guys! Do you know what today is? Today is the premiere of The Guild Season 5 and I am fuckin' stoked! OK, let me qualify that a bit. Today is the premiere of The Guild Season 5 on Xbox. I don't have an Xbox. I wish I did, but I barely have time to play my PS3 so it doesn't make a lot of sense. What this means to me is that a whole bunch of people get to watch the first episode of Season 5 today, but I have to be super excited for two more days until it's released to the general interneting public!

I debated about whether to post this update today, or wait until Thursday when I get to actually watch the new episode, but I decided fuck it, today is official enough for me. If you don't know The Guild I feel bad for you. Go here now and catch up. Or go on Netflix. I believe the first 4 seasons are available to stream. Each one is a little over an hour so it shouldn't take long.

On to today's picture. I thought about this one a lot. It's hard to over-emphasize my love of this web series so I knew I would be doing a Guild-related picture before I even started this blog. I had a lot of ideas of how to put the turtles into "The Game," or if I should do the "monitor POV" that the show is known for. In the end I decided on the idea of having them wait in line for a signing for a couple of reasons. First is the tragedy of my Eureka drawing. Drawing humans is not my forte and I would hate to once again totally mangle a cast of characters I love so much. Second, I figure a signing is probably the most likely way the turtles would meet The Guild.

In case you're wondering, here's a breakdown of what's going on. Clearly this line is out of control which is to be expected assuming they're at some sort of convention. Donatello is reading his copy of one of The Guild comics while Leo looks over it as well. Michelangelo is proudly displaying all four seasons on DVD that he's getting signed and wearing his Knights of Good t-shirt. Raphael is looking at a head shot of Amy Okuda who plays Tinkerballa in the show. He's got a little crush on her because she's got an attitude like him.

Now I have a little story to tell you because I think it's funny (and only slightly embarrassing) and it relates to today's picture.

This is the story of how I met The Guild creator/writer/star Felicia Day and made both of us maybe a little uncomfortable.

**Disclaimer: I don't usually have a problem meeting/talking to famous people. I don't do it often, but I have met a few and they were very smooth and normal encounters. I ran into Elijah Wood a few months ago at a movie and it was totally fine. I told him I was a fan, he was nice enough to take a picture with me and then we went our separate ways. This is a story about how I totally could not act that way when meeting this particular famous person.**

Last December, only a few days before Christmas, I heard from a friend that Felcia Day was going to be doing a signing at a local comic book shop for her recently released Guild trade. "Hooray!" I thought. "I'm a big fan of her work and I've never gotten to meet her. This will be awesome."

The day of the signing (Saturday) I had to work. The signing was at 2 pm I think (or maybe not, but it doesn't really matter) so when I got off work two hours before I went straight to the comic shop since it's on my way home. My wife opted not to meet me there, so I bought my copy of the comic and settled in to wait by myself. It turns out to be a good thing I got there almost two hours early. The shop started filling up quickly, but I was only about 20 people from the front of the line.

Since I was waiting alone I brought a Christmas present I had been working on for my wife. I was sewing her a plush Toothless doll from How To Train Your Dragon, partly because home-made gifts are the best and partly because all the retail versions of this doll suck. So I waited in line, eavesdropping on my nerdy neighbors and sewing like a boss. Eventually they had to move us outside because there were too many people in the store. It was pretty chilly, but I was OK because I dressed warm like a little nerd thug in a TMNT beanie, fingerless gloves and my trusty Venom hoodie.

Shortly before Felicia was set to arrive a store employee came out to give us a few ground rules. Mainly just one: She would only be signing for 2 hours, so time is limited. I looked at the massive line that had formed behind me and thought, "Two hours is not gonna be enough to get through all these people."

Shortly after that Felicia arrived and they started moving the line into the store in sections. Like I said I was only about 20 people back so it didn't take too long for me to get moved into the store to wait.

About now I began to realize something. All this time I had been pretty excited to meet this person I admired and, through the wonders of the internet, knew an awful lot about. It was almost like meeting someone in person after talking to them on the internet for years. But what I realized was it only seems like that on my end. To Felicia Day I'm not an internet friend, I'm a fan. And while she seemed to be very nice and interested in everything everyone was saying I couldn't help feeling a little bit foolish. No, maybe foolish isn't the right word. Maybe the right word is self-conscious.

Either way, the line continued to move and I watched as people approached and began chatting with Felicia about this new project they were working on, or that favorite thing that they had in common and I started thinking, "What in the hell am I supposed to say to her? I don't have anything interesting to chat with her about; she doesn't even know who I am!" I suddenly began to regret bringing her the Christmas cookies I had in my bag.

Oh, did I mention I brought her cookies? Cause, yeah, I totally did.

It's not uncommon, or so I'm told, to bring gifts to celebrities at signings and events to show your appreciation. My wife and I have often brought snacks and drinks to mc chris shows to help sustain him on the road. It's our way of saying, "Thanks for coming to entertain us." Thinking along these lines I grabbed a few cookies from a batch I made the night before and threw them in a Spider-Man paper lunch sack (it came that way, I didn't decorate it). I even put an ingredient list in there, since food allergies abound in nerd-kind, and an extra Christmas card from me, the wife and our animals, cause who doesn't like getting Christmas cards, right? Well, suffice it to say now I was feeling like a big dork for bringing them.

Despite all of that the line continued to move and eventually it was my turn to speak to the Nerd Queen herself.

Felicia Day: Hi!

Me: Hi.

FD: Thanks for coming out and waiting in line.

Me: Yeah, thanks for doing this signing.

*I carefully placed my copy of the comic down for her to autograph even though I don’t really collect autographs, but it would look weird for me to show up to a signing and not get anything signed so I did it anyway.*

FD: Do you want me to sign the cover or the title page?

Me: Um, title page is good.

FD: Do you want it personalized?

Me: No, that’s OK. Just your name is cool.

*At this point she seemed to become a little confused, like she was worried she had offended me, but as ever she remained very cheery and friendly.*

FD: There you go.

Me: I brought you some Christmas cookies.

*I placed the bag on the table in front of her like this wasn't at all weird of me.*

FD: Really? Awesome, I love Christmas cookies!

*She peered into the bag*

Me: There's an ingredients list, just in case.

FD: Good idea. I do sometimes get hypoglycemic.

Me: ...

FD: Did you want a picture?

*I did want a picture.*

Me: Yeah, if you don’t mind.

FD: Of course!

*I knelt down next to her chair. She's shorter than I imagined. Like, adorably short, though, not creepy short.*

*Click* (That was the camera)

--Awkward pause while she clearly was waiting for me to say something else.--

Me: Thanks again.

*I bolted through the crowd, throwing bystanders into expensive comic displays in order to escape the store*

FD: Umm, yeah, you too.

OK, maybe I didn't really throw anyone aside, but it's tough to say because I don't really remember leaving the store.

Once outside I called my wife to tell her I was on my way home.

Em: Hello?

Me: Hey, I'm done.

Em: Are you calling to tell me you're leaving me and running away with Felicia Day?

Me: Not today.

I hope you enjoyed the story. If you want a little bit more, here's the picture I took trying to look like it's totally normal for a slightly homeless looking man to approach a strange woman and ask her for a picture.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 18: Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday

The picture doesn't really reflect what I'm about to write about. The blog title comes from a song by William Bell (and remixed by the RZA for the Repo Men Soundtrack) so I thought I'd draw the turtles taking part in some stereotypical summer holiday activities. This is how my Sunday felt.

Yesterday was awesome. So awesome in fact I decided to post about it. You may remember me saying we were going to San Antonio on Saturday. Well we did and it was a lot of fun. So much fun that we didn't get home until 3:30 yesterday morning! Needless to say we started our Sunday by going to sleep.

We finally woke up around 12:30 or so and I had the inexplicable desire to eat one or more tuna fish sandwiches. My wife offered to make some and I walked our dog in eager anticipation of my sandwich. When I got back we sat down with our delicious tuna fish sandwiches and watched Sherlock Holmes (the one with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law). It was awesome and I wish we had seen it in theaters, but then what would we have watched yesterday?

After the movie I posted yesterday's picture and my wife read for a bit. We decided to be at least a little productive and go to the gym for a while. When we got back and got showered it was time for dinner! We made linguini with a creamy cheese sauce that I made from scratch! While we were cooking we listened to the Repo Men Soundtrack. If you haven't seen the movie and you like action and a little bit of sci-fi (future tech, not aliens) I highly recommend it. Even if you don't like those things I highly recommend the soundtrack.

While we ate dinner we watched an episode of Top Gear (the UK version) and waited for Breaking Bad to start.

During Breaking Bad we made some popcorn in our Whirley Pop. IT WAS THE BEST POPCORN EVER!

After that it was time to read a little and then go to bed. Man, what a great day.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 17: Tuna Fish Sandwiches!!!

As I've previously discussed in my blog I am not a big fan of food or eating in general. Interestingly enough, I do occasionally get excited about eating certain things. This morning when I woke up for some reason I was all geared up to eat some tuna fish sandwiches. My wife, being the obliging woman that she is, agreed to make some for lunch while we watched Sherlock Holmes. I was so excited I sang a little song about my tuna fish sandwich while I prepared my lunch and decided right then that tuna fish sandwiches would be the focus of today's picture.

When I showed her today's drawing my wife told me she thought it might be the best one I've drawn so far (she sounded surprised that it was any good at all). I think the quality of the drawing should be taken as a testament to my level of excitement over eating a couple of tuna fish sandwiches. Delicious!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 16: Michelangelo Wearing a Coonskin Cap

I'm updating early because the wife and I are driving to San Antonio for a friend's birthday party in about an hour. So what does this mean for you? Well for one thing it means you get this ridiculous picture of Michelangelo in a coonskin cap.

"But why a coonskin cap?" you ask. Or maybe you didn't, but let's assume you did. I chose to draw this because we're going to San Antonio, the location of the Alamo. "That still doesn't make sense," I can hear you saying out loud to no one in particular. Well let me ask you this: who is the most famous person you know that fought and died at the Alamo? If you said anyone but Davy Crockett you are lying! Davy Crockett wore coonskin caps and he fought and died at the Alamo which is located in the city we are driving to today. I rest my case.

I considered drawing the Ninja Turtles at the Alamo, but that would have taken too long and I wouldn't have been able to take you on that mental roller coaster ride through my thought process. Besides the fact that we're not actually going to the Alamo, but there are no guarantees I won't wear a coonskin cap today.

P.S. Check out the blog. It's all updated and looks like a little kid designed it. IT'S PERFECT! I still intend to update some of the features, but for now I like the overall layout and design.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 15: The Ninja Turtles Get Captain America Shields!

The original heading for this post was "Captain Turtle-merica." I think I made the right choice.

Last night all of the Austin-area nerds that were too poor or too uncool to make it to Comic Con this weekend came together at The Alamo Drafthouse to drink their troubles away. Also they showed Captain America at midnight.

The Captain America movie was exactly what I was hoping for: an introduction to the character that wasn't completely stupid and with a decent-enough storyline to make you care about his origin. To me it was the best super hero movie of the year so far. I don't think there were any really big shockers in the movie. We're only a year away from the Avengers movie so I'm pretty sure anyone interested enough to attend a midnight showing knew what to expect. After the credits we were treated to a pretty sweet trailer for the upcoming Avengers movie. Everyone cheered and then settled back into their theater seats intending to wait right-goddamn-there until the movie comes out next summer. OK, maybe that didn't exactly happen, but I wouldn't have been surprised.

Anyway, this is my interpretation of what would happen if the Ninja Turtles found themselves in possession of some awesome vibranium Captain America shields. Notice that "Fight Nazis" doesn't seem to be a top priority.

Oh yeah, and speaking of, vibranium is the most rare and indestructible metal on the planet and what do they do with it? They give it to Howard Stark who makes a shield out of it and then shoves it under a desk and tells Steve Rogers--who is looking for a new shield, by the way--not to bother with it even though it's the clearly the best one for the job and it's the only shield prototype that doesn't look like a refrigerator door. C'mon, movie guys!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 14: Nerd News

Today's picture is maybe a bit of a cop-out, also it's a bit of promotional material for a friend's blog. I like it so much I've decided to give her the gift of my endorsement (again, I'm operating under the delusion that people other than my friends read this). With a link on my page soon she will be famous!

Seriously, though, Thursdays are cool for one reason: Nerd News on Chocolate & Cream Cake. Every Thursday my friend, Mandy Murtis, rounds up links to all the interesting nerdy goings-on from around the net along with some awesome artwork and other tidbits and posts everything so lazy people like me don't have to look this stuff up myself. The best part of the whole thing is that most weeks I get to pretend to be a reporter. If I stumble onto something I think might be worthy of Nerd News I send it to Mandy and I get credit on her blog. I recognition without really doing anything! If only it were a paying position. Most weeks this turns into a competition of sorts between me and a few others to see who can get the most mentions. I always win, of course.

So go forth, dear readers, and make Mandy Murtis and Nerd News famous!

One more time, in case you missed it:

Chocolate & Cream Cake

Update: I just read today's Nerd News and here is the current tally.

Mariel (Who?): 1
Shaun: 1 (pitiful)
Colt: 3 (not bad)
Me: 5! Well, technically there are only 4 mentions, BUT that Boba Fett movie was totally from me, so 5.

Day 13: Teenage Mutant Ninja Suicide Machines

Today I started what I can easily see becoming a recurring theme for this blog: "The Ninja Turtles as..."

My first inspired picture has the Ninja Turtles as The Suicide Machines (or Teenage Mutant Ninja Suicide Machines if you prefer). The Suicide Machines were a punk/ska/hardcore band from Detroit, MI and were one of my favorite bands through high school and college. I still listen to them from time to time and I love everything they've released, even their more pop-centric self-titled third album. My favorite is still their 1996 major label debut, Destruction by Definition, which I discovered through Tony Hawk's Pro Skater featuring their single "New Girl." If you played that game you probably heard that song.

The Suicide Machines even contributed to my musical advancement on a practical level; some of the first songs I learned to play on bass guitar were off their first album. I idolized Royce Nunley because he was one of the few punk bassists I knew that played with his fingers instead of a pick. They combined fast punk bass lines with rhythmic ska runs, and it's still some of the most fun stuff I know how to play.

Everyone enjoy a few of my favorite songs by the one and only Suicide Machines!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 12: Donatello Cooks Meth

Just to be clear I am NOT condoning the use of illegal narcotics. Neither is Donatello. He doesn't do it, or sell it. He just makes it. I do, however, condone one of my favorite shows returning to TV: Breaking Bad.

Breaking Bad is the most intense drama I've seen in a long time. The writing, directing and acting are all amazing and are far beyond most of what is on TV right now. If you haven't seen the show the premise is a Nobel Prize winning high school chemistry teacher is diagnosed with terminal cancer, so in an effort to cover his medical expenses and leave his family with some money he hooks up with a former student-turned-meth-manufacturer to cook his own "chemically pure" form of meth. It might sound like a great premise for a comedy, and while there are some humorous bits (very dark humor) it is definitely not intended to be funny.

About this picture I'd just like to say I don't know the first thing about cooking meth despite having watched all three seasons of the show. I do, however know that Donatello should be wearing a mask and probably a full body jumpsuit to protect from the fumes. My wife helped out a little with this one as well.

Me: Do you wanna see today's picture?

Em: Sure.

Me: I realized as soon as I started I made a mistake, though.

Em: *Looks at picture* What mistake?

Me: He should be wearing a respirator and overalls.

Em: No, he's OK. He's done with this batch, see? It's already blue crystals on the table behind him. That's just left over chemicals.

Me: Yeah, you're right. That sounds good. He's in the RV from the first season, can you tell?

Em: Yeah, but you know what it needs? Some bullet holes.

Me: Good idea! *Draws some bullet holes* Done. How do they look?

Em: Are those bullet holes?

Me: Yes.

Em: Are you sure it's not blue trash on the wall?

Me: ...

Em: I'm just kidding! They're very good bullet holes.

Me: Whatever.

Day 11: Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh

Guess what? Today I didn't feel like doing shit! This is what I give to you on day 11. See me on day 12 for something more interesting.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 10: The Turtles Play Soccer

Today is the Women's World Cup Final. We've just finished watching Japan beat America in penalty kicks and we were all fairly disappointed. Oh well, such is life I suppose. Even more important than the World Cup Final is my drawing for today inspired by the game.

I like soccer. I don't watch a lot of sports, but I do enjoy watching international soccer games. There's something slightly more stirring about watching your nation defending itself on the pitch against another country than watching one city play another city. If watching soccer has taught me one thing it's that soccer players are great actors. Most players could probably hold their own on any soap opera or WB show (where over-acting is imperative), so I've tried to capture that in today's picture. Raph is clearly playing up his injury because Donatello would never foul his brother as indicated by his arms lifted in the international symbol of "I didn't do anything!"

Even though we didn't win I'd still like to say our team played well, and thanks to the refs for calling the game fairly and keeping play going.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 9: Karaoke

So maybe I embellished last night's festivities a bit, but we still had a good time for my mom's birthday which brings us to today's picture. Karaoke!

Have you ever done karaoke? If not you should, it's a lot of fun. We rented a room at a Korean karaoke place that is BYOB and shows the most ridiculous Korean videos behind the lyrics. We had 16 people in the room singing everything from Niel Diamond, to System of a Down, to The Lonely Island and finished the night with our traditional last song: Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

I think the turtles would enjoy karaoke as much as any one else. They're favorite karaoke songs?

Ninja Rap - Vanilla Ice
T.U.R.T.L.E. Power - Partners in Kryme
Shell Shock - Gym Class Heroes
Don't Stop Believin' - Journey

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 8: Birthday Party!

Today is a special day. It's my mom's birthday and she's turning somewhere between 23 and 65 years old! She gets a special mention because she gave me life and helped me make the most of it by ensuring I survived long enough to write a blog in which I post terrible and generally stupid pictures of mutant turtles.

This picture is pretty much spot on with what I imagine a birthday party for my mom would be like if the Ninja Turtles were there. Michelangelo is holding up a beer bong for her while she plays with a sparkler in one hand (my mom loves sparklers like you wouldn't believe), Leo and Raph are playing beer-pong and Donatello--ever the creative one--is building a tower out of the most lop-sided beer cans I have ever seen.

While this party seems like fun I'm sure it's nothing compared to what we'll be doing tonight. We're starting with a nice relaxed dinner downtown, but that will quickly be followed with a series of shots on 6th street, some new tattoos, a quick trip to my mom's dealer (his name is Marko), maybe a late-night detour across the border to score some cash and if we're lucky we'll end the night with a high speed chase and a shoot-out. At least I hope that's all that happens. I wouldn't be able to handle it if things got as crazy as last year.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 7: The Ninja Turtles vs. Voldemort

I promised something magical and here it is. In case you are one of the uncool kids and didn't already know the last movie in the Harry Potter franchise opens tomorrow. That means midnight showings tonight for us hardcore fans. Today's drawing is a pretty simple concept: Ninja Turtles battling the greatest dark wizard of our time and his snake/secret lover. You may think this is a pretty one sided match-up. I mean the turtles had a hard enough time defeating shredder in a 4-on-1 battle on that rooftop all those years ago; how can they possibly stand up against someone with such incredible magic? Well I'll let you in on a little secret. Ninja Turtles have a racial bonus of 30% damage reduction from magic and a base saving throw of 14 versus spells (15 if the attack is from behind because of the shell). Meanwhile Voldemort only has a cursory knowledge of the martial arts at best and Nagini doesn't even have hands! It's really no contest. Dumbledore probably should have thought of this sooner instead of putting all of the world's hopes on the shoulders of one often-whiny teenager.

In all seriousness I am very excited for this movie, but I was not always a Harry Potter fan. I remember my younger brother reading the books, but I didn't think much about them. Even when a classmate of mine (in 11th grade) convinced me to read the first chapter of the first book I wasn't hooked. It took me finally watching the first movie with my brother (on a camping trip no-less) to convince me that maybe there was something to this Harry Potter nonsense. My wife (girlfriend at the time) was already a big fan and she told me I needed to read the books and catch up with the series, so I read the four that had been released at the time over the course of a few days which is pretty impressive considering I tend to read slowly. I don't remember seeing the second movie in theaters, but ever since number 3 we've been to every midnight showing. The wife and I attended the midnight book release for book 6 together and I even went to the midnight release for book 7 by myself when she was out of town. Nothing says "Harry Potter nerd" (and maybe "virgin") louder than a grown man attending the midnight release of a children's book by himself. And to be perfectly honest, I'm quite proud of that. The "Harry Potter Nerd" part, I mean, not the virgin part. That part isn't true, honest.

For even more Harry Potter awesomeness check out my good friend and actual blogger Mandy Murtis' blog Chocolate and Cream Cake.

And to see someone way more obsessed with Harry Potter than me visit Samar's--another good friend and real-life Hermione Granger--youtube channel.

P.S. Hey! I've been doing this for a week straight! That's about 5 more days than I expected. Only 358 more drawings to go.

P.P.S. Thanks to Mandy for helping me with my broken words.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 6: Pizza Eating Contest

First a little about the picture. This is my interpretation of the Ninja Turtles having a pizza eating contest. Why? Well, why not? I figure Michelangelo's got this one locked down. I don't have a good reason why other than he's "a party dude" I guess. Raphael is coming up a little short and looking a little... green. (Ok, that was a pretty terrible pun, but I couldn't resist) Donatello on the left obviously isn't feeling too well either. Meanwhile Leonardo is puking into a bucket marked "Pizza Puke" in case you can't read it. I don't have a good reason for why I drew Leo puking except that I've never seen a Ninja Turtle vomit before and I thought it would be funny.

Now, onto the reason behind this picture. I have to tell you something that may shock you (I'm operating under the delusion that people I don't already know personally are reading this). It may be hard for some people to accept, but it is a fact. Are you ready?

I hate eating.

There. I said it. No take-backs. I really don't like to eat. I'm not a fan of food in general. If I could take a pill instead of eating I would. To me eating is largely a waste of time and money. How many more hours could I log on my Playstation if I didn't have to stop and eat? How much money could I save if I wasn't buying food constantly? All that time spent at the grocery store or in restaurants wasted. Now, I will admit that since I've been learning to cook I have a greater appreciation for food and how it can bring people happiness, but I'd still rather skip the whole thing.

The reason I bring this up is because my wife and several friends are doing a "Biggest Loser" type weight-loss challenge. It's more of a health thing than a weight thing, but either way they're dropping pounds. Why am I not participating you ask? (Just pretend you asked) Well I am, kind of. My goal is to gain as much weight as they lose. Sound ridiculous? Well it's not.

I'm a pretty small guy and I've always been small. I'm between 5'5" and 5'6" and as of yesterday I weigh 125 lbs. That is, as near as I can remember, the heaviest I've ever been. Nothing I do or eat seems to make much of a difference. A lot of people think, "That's not so bad, I'd love to have that problem!" Yeah, well, it's OK if you're a girl I guess. Guys aren't supposed to be tiny and frail.

Part of my problem is I rarely work out. I've been trying to lift weights more regularly and put on some muscle. The good thing about having near zero percent body fat is it takes almost no effort to start getting some definition. The other part of the equation is my eating habits. As I said I don't like to eat, so I rarely did. Most of the time I would skip breakfast because I'd rather have an extra 10 minutes of sleep. Some days I would skip lunch because I would be too lazy to make one and didn't want to spend the money eating out. I would eat dinner, but usually not a large portion. When you don't eat much it takes much less to fill your stomach. Going out to eat I would rarely finish my plate because restaurant portions are so huge. And just to be clear this is not me admitting I have anorexia even though I'm sure it sounds like it. I just have a very high metabolism and I don't like to eat.

So, that brings us back to the weight-gain challenge. In order to pack on pounds I have been trying to do two things: Work out (weight lifting, minimal cardio) and eat. A lot. So after stuffing my face last night at a Harry Potter movie party and forcing myself to eat breakfast this morning even though I really wasn't very hungry I was feeling a bit like Donatello as I tried to decide what to draw today.

I hope you enjoyed your peek into my subconscious today. Tomorrow should be something more... magical.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 5: Donatello Dreams

This morning I was driving to work wondering to myself what I should draw. There isn't anything significant happening today and I didn't have anything particularly interesting on my mind. All I could really think about was how tired I was. That's when morning-me had a brilliant idea: I'll draw Donatello sleeping in his bed and dreaming about... something! More-awake-me thinks maybe this wasn't such a brilliant idea, but they can't all be gold and anyway it turned out pretty OK I think. This one is also sort of space themed, but I figured Donatello might very well dream about walking on Mars so why not? This also made me wonder what the other turtles dream about. I may have to explore the possibilities another day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 4: Eureka!

Today is kind of a special day. More so for some people than others. Today is the premier of season 4.5 of Eureka on Syfy. Now, maybe you don't think that warrants a special blog post or picture, but too bad, it's my blog and I do.

Eureka is something I was kind of tricked into loving. I started watching it out of mild curiosity and I needed something to watch while I did dishes, folded laundry or did other chores (I know, it's like I'm some sort of adult or something). I figured Eureka would be a goofy science fiction show with some cheesy gags, but I underestimated the writers and cast. I have since grown to be quite attached to the town and its residents to the point of becoming very depressed about the events that switched up the plot in the beginning of season 4.0. I love the show and I love that they're willing to take risks with the plot, but I genuinely feel bad for the characters and no amount of reasoning will tell my brain to stop.

Now, as for the picture it probably requires some explanation. For the uninitiated Eureka is a town full of the top minds in the world which can create some really ridiculous problems for the town's not-so-genius-but-still-really-street-smart sheriff. This picture shows an out of control magnetic field (fucking magnets!) adversely affecting our most beloved turtles. Donatello is safe because his weapon doesn't have any metal in it and because he's not anemic so he doesn't have to take iron supplements. Sheriff Carter, Jo Lupo, Fargo, Allison Blake and Henry all look on trying to reason out a solution which will be discovered near minute 56 of the show. Magnetism is my second favorite plot point to nit-pick after time travel and this show is chock full of examples of both.

I truly apologize to all of the actors I have depicted in this drawing. As you can see my ability to draw people is far less than my ability to draw Ninja Turtles. Just imagine that at 5 year-old draw the humans.

From left to right are Fargo pointing at (trying to poke?) Raphael. Allison Blake is about to make what I would assume to be a very important call about the magnets. Carter is questioning Donatello (who clearly doesn't know what happened). Jo Lupo is taking notes for some sort of security report. Henry is taking readings of some kind since he will likely solve this problem by himself.

I also included perhaps my favorite set piece in the show. Just to the right of Donatello is one of the Global Dynamics color coded maps that appear in every lab. They are awesome and I have been assured are not for sale. If anyone from the show ever reads this please note that I accept gifts and am willing to trade artwork.

P.S. OH NO! I accidentally ripped the paper while pulling it off the spiral binding. Just pretend that it's a rip in the space-time continuum or something. That actually kinda makes sense for this picture.

P.P.S. I posted an "About Me" section; just click the link at the top. I am actually not that happy with how it turned out and have been brainstorming ways to improve it, but I'll leave this stupid version up for now if you're curious.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 3: The Turtles Stop an Asteroid

So, I'm on day 3 and I have another space themed picture for you, but there are a couple of differences. For one the turtles are actually in space this time. Also, this one has nothing to do with NASA or the current shuttle mission. This time I was inspired by the book I'm reading called Everything is Going to Kill Everybody. It was written by writer and editor Robert Brockway about a whole bunch of doomsday theories. Last night I read about asteroids and something called a Verneshot. In my mind there is no better doomsday contingency plan than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I think I've pretty well proven my point with this drawing.

Since it's Sunday and I didn't have to work today I tried to take some extra time with this one. I opted to not use notebook paper and I found some colored pencils in a drawer so I got to add some color. I should mention that those are green gloves and boots. Even the Ninja Turtles can't stand the vacuum of space on their bare skin.

While I was drawing this my wife came by to check on my progress periodically. She pretends to be all "Oh wow, you're so good at drawing Ninja Turtles!" But then she really just wants to give me a hard time about it.

Em: I like your drawing

Me: Thanks. It is pretty awesome, huh?

Em: Yeah, but how can they be in space if they were just watching the Shuttle launch yesterday?

Me: These pictures aren't canon. They don't have anything to do with each other.

Em: Oh, well how are these turtles supposed to get back to Earth? It's not like they have jet packs.

Me: Yes they do.

Em: No they don't or they would have this thing. *makes the shape of a giant box on her back* Like the astronauts doing space walks.

Me: No, they have different jet packs. This isn't NASA issued technology.

Em: Oh, I see. It's Splinter-issued?

Me: What? No. Donatello invented these suits and jet packs. They'll get home fine.

Em: No they won't, and now there will just be Ninja Turtles floating in space and you can't do anymore pictures.

Me: Yes I can. I told you these pictures aren't part of a canon. And they'll be fine getting back to Earth.

Em: Whatever. That's not even real anyway.

Me:  The Earth? It's totally real.

Em: No, an asteroid heading towards the Earth.

Me: Yeah not anymore cause the Ninja Turtles stopped it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 2: Turtles at a Shuttle Launch Alt. Angle

I bet you thought I was just making that bit up about the sunglasses yesterday didn't you? Well to prove you wrong here's the same picture, but from the front.

Bitchin' aviators? Check.
American flag? Check.
Bald eagle? It kind of looks like a dodo or something, but birds are hard to draw so also Check.

I got all excited to draw this after I finished last night's post, but I had to calm myself down and wait until today. 365 pictures is a lot of pictures and I have to maintain an even flow of one per day to ensure my success. This is a marathon not a sprint. I'd hate to be like one of those people who wastes all their energy out of the gate and then gets to the end and goes all wobbly legged and collapses at the finish and then starts pooping themselves on national TV because they didn't think, "Hey, this race might take a while and I'll probably be too tired if I'm not careful and reserve my resources." You know, metaphorically speaking.

I'd also like to mention the single tear rolling down my/Donatello's cheek. There are occasions when it is manly to cry a single tear. Watching something that is basically a massive controlled explosion launch actual people into space where people are definitely not supposed to be is one of those occasions. Space exploration flies in the face of all natural logic and is therefore the most bad ass type of exploration to be undertaken by our species, and NASA has been leading the charge for over 40 years. As a nation we said, "You know what? We're going to space!" and God came down and said, "But why? I gave you everything you need on Earth. Space is specifically designed to keep you guys on your planet." and we said, "Too bad! We're going to space, mother fucker!" I am almost positive this was the actual conversation that led to the American space program.

This brings me to another point. If you couldn't tell I am, in addition to being a fan of TMNT also a fan of space travel and exploration. Some people may not think it's all that cool to get excited about shuttle missions and wear NASA t-shirts, but I do. You know what else I think is cool? A lot of really nerdy things that will likely find their way into my drawings at some point or another. In the interest of full-disclosure here's a list of things I am a fan of and therefore likely to find their way into my drawings/blog posts.

  • All things Science-Fiction
  • All things Fantasy
  • Spider-Man
  • Most other comic book super-heroes
  • Eureka
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Guild
  • Awesome web-comics
  • More Science-Fact things like NASA
  • Video Games
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Anything else I deem worthy

I hope this very incomplete and possibly confusing list helps to prepare you for what you may see here in the future. One thing this blog will definitely be is a reflection of me, and not only my love of drawing Ninja Turtles. One last note: I will be doing a new drawing everyday, but I may not be able to post every day. That's the idea, but it might not be feasible. I'll try to do a different post for each picture and keep it as up to date as possible, but I have a job and a wife and friends and a PlayStation, so other things might get in the way of my posts from time to time. Just don't give up on me and my ridiculous dream!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 1: Turtles at a Shuttle Launch

Today is my first ever post on this blog! Lately I've been seeing more and more people doing "doodle-a-day" type projects, and a friend visiting last weekend even bought a "Doodle Book" (which I misheard as a doo-doo book because I am 12), so I thought, "Hey, I can do that!" Of course immediately after that I thought, "No you can't. You're a terrible artist." But you know what? My internal dialog can just shut the hell up, because I've been drawing Ninja Turtles since I was 5 and I'm pretty sure that I'm at least adequate at it by now. So here I am, posting my first Ninja Turtle drawing of at least 365.*

This drawing commemorates the historic last launch of NASA's Space Shuttle. Shuttle Atlantis launched this morning despite the fact that I obviously was not there to watch it. Thanks, NASA. Whatever. It's still a pretty awe-inspiring moment even though it would have been so much more amazing with me watching live.

Since I couldn't make it I decided to start my challenge off with a drawing of what it would have looked like if I had been there.

Also I would have been a Ninja Turtle. Donatello to be specific, because he is the best.

Also, you can't see from this angle, but I'm wearing mirrored aviators and there is a bald eagle reflected in one lens and an American flag reflected in the other because fuck yeah, America!

*I am notorious for not finishing challenges, especially if they're self-imposed. We'll see how long I keep this up.