Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 264: Raph on Patrol Alt. Angle (Fan Request)

Yesterday I posted a reader request. Her original request was for Raph on a building overlooking the city. I debated on the point of view for the picture for a while then decided why not do both? So today you get the other side of yesterday's picture. I'm pretty happy with this one.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 263: Raph on Patrol (Fan Request)

The word "fan" may be a bit strong; "person who found my Twitter" may be more accurate. So far I haven't taken any requests, but only because no one's made any. She complimented the blog and asked if I would do one so I guess as of now my policy on requests is yes, I'll take them. Some days I have a hard time coming up with ideas, so why not fill the gaps with requests?

Anyway, she asked for, "Raph on the roooftops overlooking the city? I'd be happy with anything Raph though." So here's what I drew. I'm pretty happy with this one, all I can say is perspective has never been my strong suit, along with body shapes or geometric shapes in general or coloring inside the lines.

I infused a bit of Spider-Man into this one with Raph crouching on a terribly ugly gargoyle and I watched the first few episodes of the original cartoon series while drawing it for some good old school inspiration.

*Update* I feel like an idiot, but I was so excited to get a request I forgot to mention the fan that requested this picture.

The pic was done for Jaime and you should go check out her awesome nerdy blog at

In the future I will make this a more standard process.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 262: Leonardo Cleans

Last night my wife and I were laying in bed reading like we do every night. Well, that's not entirely true. I was reading; she was talking about how she wanted to read, but she was so tired she would probably fall asleep after two pages, but I should go get her book because she left it in the living room and she wanted to read and might not be able to get to sleep if she didn't read. **Spoiler alert** I didn't go get her book and she fell asleep two seconds after the following conversation anyway.

So I was reading a Donatello one-shot that my friend bought me at the comic shop when my wife posed a question.

Em: So Raphael is cool, but rude, right? So that's what he has going for him.

Me: Yeah, and Michelangelo is a party dude.

Em: So he's the fun one.

Me: Yes.

Em: And Leonardo... cleans?

Me: What? No, Leonardo leads; he's their leader, and Donatello does machines.

Em: Oh leads I guess that makes more sense... but that's dumb, leads doesn't even rhyme with machines. Cleans rhymes with machines.

Me: OK.

Em: So who cleans?

Me: What? No one cleans; they're turtles. Have you ever seen their lair? It's a mess!

Em: Well that should have been the first ninja lesson Splinter taught them: how to clean up after yourself.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 261: The Turtles Are the Expendables

A few nights ago my wife and I watched The Expendables. I know, we're behind the times. We just missed it when it was in theaters, but we have a good friend who is especially fond of these kinds of over-the-top explosion fests and she let us borrow it yesterday. I have to say I really liked it, even though Stallone's face is kind of a like a creepy doll's, like they got a wax statue of Stallone to stand in for him in the movie. I only know that's not the case because all those explosions would have melted a wax statue. I especially liked when Terry Crews and Stallone Wonder Twinned the shit out of the helicopter at the end and by becoming form of a missile launcher and shape of a person shooting at a loose warhead respectively (I apologize for that terrible analogy). Even better than all the explosions and bullets is the fact that Jason Stathem is in 90% of the film.

I have to admit something. I have a bit of a man-crush on Jason Statham because he is awesome, and that's just a fact. He is a bad ass in 90% of his roles. His film jobs have undoubtedly provided him with lots of amazing skills like stunt driving and fighting techniques, plus he's got an English accent, and not a proper soft-sounding accent, a real kick-your-ass, soccer hooligan type accent. Did you know he used to be a black market salesman (details are sketchy on this. I assume it means he sold like fake watches and purses, but you never know, it could've been guns)? Did you know he was a world class diver on Britain's National Diving Squad? Did you know he does most of his own stunts because he's a real life bad ass and has a background in mixed martial arts? Did you know he's been in three separate films where his character's been attacked with an axe? Well now you know. Jason Statham: awesomest guy I wish I knew.

Everyone go out and watch three Jason Statham movies right now and you'll be inspired, and be granted the skills, to hunt down an evil drug lord or gang leader and throw a knife right into their face.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 260: Leonardo As Wander

Today's picture is a reference to one of my favorite games of all time: Shadow of the Colossus. I got the ICO/Shadow of Colossus HD remake for Christmas and I finally got around to playing it. ICO was new to me and very well done, but Shadow of Colossus is beyond amazing, even now. The amount of emotion that game is able to tap into with such a simple story and very little dialog is amazing. It creates a real sense of isolation and a grandiose sense of purpose in your quest. It also made me feel very conflicted. The point of the quest is to seek out and kill 16 colossi in a forbidden valley, but with most of colossi I was sad to see them die. It's hard to put into words exactly how this game makes me feel, but it left a very strong impression the first time I played it and I highly recommend it to anyone who looks for an emotional gameplay experience.

In the picture Leonardo is the main character, Wander, from the game. He's clinging to the back of a colossus and preparing to stab its vital sign to destroy it.

I also decided to use my day off to do something I've been considering doing for a while now. I've always liked those high speed videos of people creating art pieces because it shows you how someone can make something amazing from nothing so I decided to do my own. My art style is incredibly unique and I knew that everyone was wondering how I can make such amazing drawings. Well, here you go. A few notes:
  • The notebook is the same style I've used to draw 99% of my pictures.
  • I always start with pen first unless it's a special drawing.
  • I never start over. All mistakes have to be assimilated into the drawing.
  • Most pictures take between 10 and 20 minutes to finish.
  • These are new colored pencils I stole from my wife. My old set was getting pretty worn.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 259: They're Back (And So Am I)

"Oh my god, it's been months since the last Turtle a Day update!" cried no one in the history of ever. "What is going on?!"

While my readership is small and (mostly) comprised of friends and relatives I feel an explanation for my absence is order, so here goes...

I am lazy and easily preoccupied.

Remember all those posts where I got really overly excited about something for little or no reason at all? Well that happens a lot, it's sort of my personality. I become intensely obsessed with things very quickly and then I seemingly move on. That's not entirely true because most times I just sort of tone things down a bit to keep from completely driving my friends insane/alienating everyone I know. That's kind of what happened here. I was really on board with doing this blog for a while and then it started to become, not less fun exactly, but definitely felt more time consuming.

Of course the other thing that happened is we went on vacation for like a week and a half. I did draw during that time, but we were so busy the drawings were "meh" at best and when we got home I didn't feel like scanning any of them right away. It got pushed back and eventually just didn't happen. Meanwhile you might remember back in December I got hit while sitting at a red light. I won't go into the details, but I was also dealing with that every single day during my vacation and for like another month after we got back. I won't rant about how insurance companies are evil, because I don't think they inherently are; they're companies, they exist to turn a profit, I understand this. I will however say that the adjuster you get assigned to your case can make a huge difference and some people are just miserable bitches for no other reason than to make everyone else as unhappy as they are. In short I had some excellent experiences with insurance adjusters and I had some terrible experiences with one adjuster in particular and these experiences were an almost daily occurence for like two months after we got hit.

On top of this I got like three new games for Christmas and I've spent a large amount of my free time playing those so... I don't really have a better excuse than to say playing video games is sometimes more fun than writing a blog.

I'll be perfectly honest, I've been talking to some of my friends about this and promising to get back to updating regularly, but it was nice taking a break and until a couple days ago I was really wondering if I wanted to start again. I guess I should thank Michael Bay for providing me such great inspiration that I couldn't help but post a new update yesterday.

The bottom line is this: I really do enjoy writing this blog even if no one ever reads it (though I know at least a few people do), but the pressure to draw something, scan it, upload it and write something even remotely interesting every day coupled with the guilt of missing a day makes it less fun. I've given it some thought and I think I'll stick to the same format as much as possible, but I won't force myself to post daily. This will hopefully alleviate some of the (invented) stress of doing a daily blog that can quickly turn super-boring for you and give me time to come up with something that you'll actually want to read.

To kind of catch up to where I'm at I've posted the drawings I did over Christmas and New Years and date them as if they were actually posted on time. The descriptions are minimal, but I did the pictures so I might as well use them.

I also continued drawing for about a week or so after we got back, but sadly I can't find that notebook. I have about a million of the same notebooks I got from work and I'm not sure what happened to the one I was using after Christmas. Oh well, those drawings were all phoned in anyway.

So to summarize: I'm back (yeah!) and the blog will stay mostly the same. My original goal for this was a picture a day for a year. I only lasted for about five and a half months, but, knowing myself, I only originally estimated I would keep it up for about 45 days. So I guess hooray for me?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day One Million! Emergency Michael Bay Movie Post

**Note: This is a long-winded post about my personal feelings on the upcoming film. If you just want to see the pictures I took scroll to the bottom.**

Wow, it's been almost three months since my last update. Christmas vacation and several other factors (mostly my own laziness) have all but killed Turtle A Day, but that's not the reason I decided to rez this blog. I'll write another post later today, maybe tomorrow, on where I've been and what the future holds for TaDblog, but the reason for this post is simple...


If you're here you've probably heard about the new Ninja Turtle movie set to release on Christmas Day of 2013 and all of the controversy surrounding it. If not allow me to summarize. Michael Bay is producing the movie and a video was recently released where he revealed that in his movie the Turtles would be aliens, not mutants. The internet predictably went ape-shit. Then after a day or two of letting everyone get really worked up (including the original theatrical voice of Michelangelo) he released another statement telling the fans to relax and chill out. If you want more in depth reading on this massive pop-culture clusterfuck I suggest this article from The Mary Sue. It combines most of what's happened so far and the author is a big TMNT fan so I support it.

Not surprisingly several people have asked for my opinion on this whole debacle and I have been kind of eager to make a general statement about this for anyone that cares (mostly my friends and family) because I'm not all that upset to be honest. Don't get me wrong, I would kick Michael Bay and his terrible ideas off the project if I could in hopes of getting a legitimately good Turtle movie, but I don't have that power.

My feelings are, at best, conflicted. I am an obsessive fan of things (Turtles definitely included), but I rarely turn fanboy over anything. In general I'm content to kind of let studios and creators do what they want with my favorite franchises under the belief that they can't ruin what I already love and sometimes they really are trying to make something awesome and unique. I don't get a say in the creation of most of my favorite things so mostly I just like to go along for the ride. It's for this reason I don't get so worked up about canon vs. non-canon material and I can enjoy (on a terrible terrible level) things like Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.

Did you ever see the movie Jumper? The movie was based on a novel and it was OK, but not great. I don't remember being really impressed by the film, but I do remember an interview with the author of the book and he said something that's stuck with me. I'm going to paraphrase a bit here, so don't crucify me if I misquote. He said when people ask him, "Aren't you afraid the movie will ruin your book?" he replies, "Why would it ruin my book? My book is right there on the shelf. The movie doesn't change that. If the movie gets more people to read the book that's a good thing, but the book will always be the same no matter how the movie turns out." When I heard that I thought, "Wow, that's a good way to look at it."

Basically Michael Bay can do whatever he wants in his Turtle movie; it won't change the comics or cartoons or other films. All those things we all loved about the Turtles will still be intact allowing us to either accept or reject (most likely reject) this new version. That's why I'm not actually all that upset about the changes he's making.

Now, let me tell you why I am pretty upset. Do you know how long it's been since the last Ninja Turtle movie? Five years. You know how many people saw that? Not many. I actually liked it, but like I said, I'm content to go along with the ride. This franchise hasn't really been taken seriously or given a legitimate budget since the early 90's. That's a long time for a series about giant talking turtles to hang on. Then out of nowhere there were talks of revitalizing the franchise with a big budget movie! This could have been Batman Begins for mutant reptiles! Then it all went to crap. When Michael Bay was attached I tried to stay positive. At least it was clear this movie would have a big budget and lots of exposure. It might be OK if they hired decent writers and a good director. However over the past few days it's become painfully clear this isn't going to be what any of us hoped it would be. Mostly I'm in mourning over the premature death of what really could have been the beginning of a new and awesome era in Ninja Turtle history.

I guess I should be thankful. Michael Bay, with a single sentence, has alleviated all the doubt and anxiety I would have surely suffered over the next two years wondering if this movie might be something amazing when it would have ultimately probably turned out to be a huge disappointment. Instead of giving us a Spider-Man 3 he's given us another Transformers; predictably bad from the beginning and therefore not technically a let down at all.


Now, the fact that my expectations have been set somewhere just above "non-existant" on this film doesn't mean I can't have some fun with it. I had a brainstorm yesterday about what the Turtles might think about this new origin story and from there things got a little ridiculous. Here's the proof. Special thanks to my wife for taking the pictures. She's a professional and way more talented with a camera than I am. Enjoy and for more on the anti-Bayification front be sure to follow @JudgementBay and @handsoffmyTMNT on Twitter.