Friday, July 24, 2015
Excessive Depiction of Video Game Characters:
Today is the last day of camp, so we have two final indulgent napkins. My younger son requested that I draw ALL of the the Huggables from Battle Bears. There are considerably more than you see here... I missed the one wearing the ugly Christmas sweater and the one wearing a pleather bondage mask as well as the many color variations.
Generally speaking, the kids are most pleased when I draw something that looks just like the video game. My son was very happy with the quantity of characters here that I more or less copied straight from the source.
So happy in fact, that he was willing to overlook the fact that I had drawn him in the middle.
Too many characters assemble for the last day of camp.
After his brother asked for the "Huggable Army," my older son had to request multiple characters himself just to keep up. I used to have a rule that I would draw no more than one or two characters per napkin....There was a good reason for that rule....
But it was the last day of camp, so I did my best to indulge.
If you are wondering about that pop-tart cart with the rainbow up at the top: Nyan Cat's
video (link to the original video) was one of the top five most viewed videos of 2011. It has the insipidly cute- adult infuriating quality that our older son loves.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
The kids love the over-the-top randomness of many of the characters and events in the story. The Doctor's secretary and driver is a large gorilla named Judy. Gordito, Dr. McNinja's 12 year old moustachioed sidekick, rides Yoshi the raptor. When we came to an image of Judy the gorilla giving Yoshi the raptor a piggyback ride while he imitate Gordito, both kids said, "I want that on my napkin!"
I was just not capable of rendering the exaggerated facial expressions of both characters late last night. The picture is a lot funnier in the comic.
The kids were very taken with the weirdness of this flying Dinosaur creature
in Dr. McNinja's "Paleontologists, Politicians and Prologue." The female, eye patch and epaulet-wearing president of the United States uses it to exile her treasonous vice president to space, while she and Dr. McNinja ride in its mouth.
Interest was expressed in having this creature on a napkin. By the cold light of the morning, it was clear that my rendition was more lame than fantastically weird. Too much pink and purple too....
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Any picture can be improved by adding a cool explosion.
My older son told me yesterday, "please no more Star Wars and dinosaurs napkins!" He said, "I know they are good drawings, but I don't want any more!" I did note the compliment buried in there. But I am aware that the kids are always happier when I draw cartoon characters exactly the way that they look on the TV show or the video game.
The "Coco Loco" is one of the Battle Bears "skins" for the Huggable. I drew it just the way it looks on the Battle Bears Wiki.
I did nonetheless indulge in some creative license with the background explosion.
Some Total Bear-on-Bear Action:
Our younger son has been watching the TV show "Total Drama Island" and its various iterations. The Total Drama franchise is an animated parody of "Survivor" where a group of superficial fame seekers are tortured by a smarmy host while they struggle to not be voted off of the island.
I have to admit that my feelings about an 8 year old watching the show are mostly not positive. It is a show about conniving adults and the nasty things they do to one another regarding sex, money and other body functions. The show's Wikipedia entry, however, notes that it was a very popular when it was first released, and that, "Many of the fans viewed the show as one of the best cartoons of its time."
Total Drama has a reoccuring bear character. Our kids often exclaim over his cuteness, which perplexes me.
My son was very pleased with this napkin because I made it look just like the cartoony bear on the show....None of that nasty creative license that I sometimes indulge in on these napkins.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Watch out for headless pink teddy bears:
Apparently the Huggables in Battle Bears Gold can remove their heads and blast their foes with rainbow power.
I am not clear on the details.
Star Wars Rides Jurassic World Dinosaurs #18:
A Rodian bounty hunter and an obscure dinosaur share a teal color scheme.
Our older son encouraged me to do a couple more Star Wars/Dinosaur napkins because I had missed two dinosaurs that uses in the LEGO Jurassic World game. I don't think the Baryonx actually appears in the movie, It is represented on the Jurassic World website with some pictures that illustrate the very pretty markings on its skin.
I did pick Greedo mostly based on color...And maybe out of motherly perversity, as Greedo was sometimes played by a woman. (Type "Greedo" into Google and it will prompt: "Greedo was a woman")
Yes, I know Greedo the character was not really female. The expanded universe stories and appearances in the prequel "The Phantom Menace" all indicate his maleness. But the old set photograph of the actress Maria de Aragon as Greedo sporting some nice color coordinated pumps while standing next to George Lucas was too much for me to pass up.
Perhaps Greedo would have been able to shoot Han Solo first if he had been wearing more sensible shoes.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Our older son has been enjoying playing "Mountain Goat Mountain." And the game doesn't even have any RPGs or disembowelings, so that's nice.
I thought this would be a quick, easy to draw image, but ran into trouble adapting the night vision goggles to fit on an animal whose eyes are on the sides of its head.
The kids' takeaway from seeing the "Ant Man" movie over the weekend was that they need a giant ant for a house pet.
As their father and I pointed out, they are already doing a fine job of feeding many pet ants already. Our apartment has old wooden factory floors with deep gaps between the boards which serve as excellent ant highways. Thus the ants rarely have to reveal themselves on their frequent trips to retrieve the many morsels of food that our kids courteously leave for them on the floor. But make no mistake, they are there in full force.
In one of our kids' favorite scenes in the movie, the hero's cute daughter feeds the accidentally-enlarged dog-sized ant scraps from her plate under the dinner table. Nothing would please our kids more than passing off some brussel sprouts or kale to a cool pet.....except maybe climbing over the couch while riding on an even bigger pet.
Couch climbing is technically forbidden in our apartment, but it would be hard to argue with an ant who is big enough to be a cast member of the movie "THEM!"
Friday, July 17, 2015
While my older son thought it would be unpatriotic to depict a giant teddy bear threatening the Statue of Liberty, his younger brother had no such reservation.
I have to admit that I am a bit unclear on the specifics of how the Huggables work. I think that in the more recent iteration of the game, Battle Bears Gold, one can play as a Huggable. In the earlier games, they are the antagonist.
There are multiple versions of the Huggables, but the clear winner seemed to be the one who sports rainbow tipped chainsaws.
It was a late night. I did the best I could at the time.
Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #17:
(The series jumps the shark)
Sometimes when it comes to drawing or other art and crafts activities, the best results happen when you are not trying. Sometimes all of the trying hard on other work pays off in a surprising way when a situation makes it impossible for you to give something the usual amount of time or focus.
Sadly, this is not one of these occasions.
If anyone cares, the Giganotosaurus species "included some of the largest known terrestrial carnivores." A Wampa is the monster that hangs Luke Skywalker upside down in an ice cave on Hoth at the beginning of "The Empire Strikes Back." But I can't imagine anyone reading this who is not already familiar with Wampas. (Except maybe my mother... Hi Mom!)
It was a bit of a running joke over the last couple of weeks: that if we did not come up with a good idea for a napkin before the kids went to sleep, someone was going to end up with a Wampa on a Dinosaur. Who knew that I was going to do such a poor job drawing the Wampa.
My apologies to Wampas, Giganotosaurs and their enthusiasts everywhere.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
More fun with giant video game characters and New York City.
We were once again talking about the upcoming movie "Pixels," when my younger son suggested that we should do a napkin with a giant Kirby in New York. The older brother said, "Yes! and he should be eating the Brooklyn Bridge!" This unfortunately touched off a volatile argument about who was going to take this hypothetical napkin the next day. Since the kids were, once again, sitting in the cargo bike on the way to camp, I did my best to come up with another equally desirable image for the non Kirby recipient before the situation devolved into something that threatened our forward progress.
Despite the fact that Kirby is one of Nintendo's most popular and iconic characters, I have managed to remain pretty ignorant about him. I gather, however, that he interacts with the world primarily by swallowing things.
The debate about who was going to take this napkin to camp continued right up until we left the apartment this morning.
I can't believe I agreed to draw two bridges in one night.
My sons considered my suggestion that the Clumsy Ninja should sit on the Manhattan Bridge to be almost as good as the idea of Kirby eating the Brooklyn Bridge.
Nevertheless, the younger son pointed out that I did not do a very good job of drawing the bridge as sagging under his weight.
It's true. Two New York bridges in one night clearly exceeded my abilities.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The kids are pretty excited about the upcoming movie "Pixels" where aliens attack earth using giant video games from the 1980's.
It seemed only fair to render some of their favorite video games on a colossal scale.
The "huggables"- as far as I understand it- are the nemesis of "Battle Bears," and their hugs are lethal.
I suggested that the bear should be going in for the clinch with the Statue of Liberty, but my older son thought that would be too unpatriotic. I explained that the potential death toll would be far lower than that of the Empire State Building. He was unconvinced. I guess the Empire State is a more appropriate choice when it comes to giant monsters.
I'll admit, I was just trying to avoid having to draw the building and the cityscape around it.
I think we have all agreed:
Enough with the Minions.
But....the kids are always open to a reference to the colossal Titan reaching over the wall from the manga/anime series "Attack on Titan." And there is a giant Minion in the recent movie, so the comparison was inescapable.
Ok. Now we are done with the Minions.
For a while, at least.
Some of our previous Titan-at-the-wall examples:
Continuing to scrape the bottom of the obscure dinosaur barrel:
9Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #15)
Commander Wolffe is kind of a hard-headed guy, isn't he?
I originally ruled out the thick craniumed Pachycephalosauruses as being too small to ride, and too hard to pronounce, but here we are.
It is summer camp not Quaker school, so guns are allowed, kind of.
Monday, July 13, 2015
What's small, yellow, cute, doesn't speak English or have visible genitals?
We've noticed the obvious similarities between these characters previously. There was a Pikachu/Minion napkin back in 2013. At least on that occasion, I did not neglect to draw Pikachu's nose. I don't know what happened last night that made me forget such an important piece of anatomy. I see now that I also neglected to put red dots on the Minion's cheeks.....Sigh. I can only blame once again the two napkins a night problem.
Yes, we saw the Minions movie over the weekend. It was not optional as far as my kids were concerned. They loved it of course. I remember some of it. Although the movie does blend seamlessly in my mind with my previous repeated viewings of the trailers, so I am not sure how much new information I have actually retained.
While my older son and I were discussing the pairing on this napkin yesterday, he specified that despite the two characters being done up like each other, the Minion should not be naked....because....that would just be too disturbing. This led to a mildly disturbing discussion of what was going on with the Minions genderwise. I argued that they were likely male...or at least not specifically female, since they all seem to have male names. And they often dress up in female drag clearly for humorous effect. This comic cross dressing is in fact my biggest gripe about the Minions, but it is by no means unique to them. If a non human character doesn't have eyelashes, hairbows, and isn't wearing a silly dress, then it can't be female. And if it's male and is wearing a dress, then it is HILARIOUS.
The kids were not really convinced either way, and they generally tune out their mother's feminist harranguing anyway. We agreed that the Minions must reproduce asexually, perhaps through cloning or some sort of binary fission. (Now there's a disturbing thought)
One could ask similar gender questions about Pokemon characters like Pikachu.... (Although I know people will be happy to rise to the challenge and explain the rules of Pokemon gender to me.)
Let's just say that I think its best that they all keep their pants on.
Yes, I am aware that Tatooine would be a rather inhospitable place for Brachiosaurs.
(Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #14)
Having decided to draw the wistful, horizon-contemplating farm boy Luke, rather than the Force-trained, light saber wielding Luke, somehow the Brachiosaur scene from Jurassic Park came to mind. Sam Neil tells the kids that the Dinosaur is just like a big cow....although probably not one that you would find on a moisture farm.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Zara says, "Go Fish."
One of the napkin ideas I proposed to the kids while we were biking to camp yesterday was to draw the Indominus Rex, the Pteradactyl and the ill fated assistant/babysitter Zara sitting around a camp fire toasting marshmallows inside the Mosasaurus ala Gepetto and Pinocchio in the whale. (Belated Spoiler Alert!)
The kids' responded, "Oh, that's what happens at the end of the LEGO Jurassic World game!...Except they are playing cards and using a flare for light." I decided to follow the LEGO logic and draw the characters playing cards and using the flare also because... firewood would be wet... and where would they have gotten the marshmallows anyway? (We need to keep these napkin images plausible after all)
I always appreciate LEGO games' humorous lack of fatalities. As I mentioned in a previous Jurassic World themed post, Zara's death in the movie by Pteradactyl and Mosasaur seemed unnecessarily nasty and it feels nice to provide her with an afterlife. I discovered last night, while trying to find an image of her, that interestingly, she is also the first female death in the history of the Jurassic Park/ World franchise. Gender politics aside, unlike all the other deaths, her demise was particularly memorable in its awfulness and has been an ongoing topic of conversation for my sons long after the movie.
I did not find any images online of the LEGO game card game scene until I sat down to post this today. It appears at the very end of the game.
The kids said I did an ok job anyway.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
We're going to need a bigger shark:
Did you know that it is Shark Week?
While we had recently been discussing the possibility of watching "Jaws" in honor of it's 40th anniversary, we missed the important news that it is Shark Week until yesterday.
Since it also seems to be "Minions" week in advance of its opening on Friday, I thought a team-up was in order. I addressed the napkin to both boys since it wasn't a request, and I was not sure if either would be willing to take it for lunch.
While delighted by Sharks and Minions in general, the kids were not convinced by my Shark/Minions week napkin logic. They both took a back-up napkin to camp today instead.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #13
Somehow I had missed putting a Star Wars character on a Tyrannosaurus.
I don't think my younger son is any great fan of the original movie.... in fact, I am pretty sure that he hasn't ever watched most of it, But he certainly knows the story and the characters, mostly courtesy of the Lego parodies and spin-offs.
He suggested that Luke and Leia should be included in this series. I probably should have put them on the T-Rex together, but it seems I had trouble enough drawing a convincing Leia. Now I have to find an appropriate ride for Luke....
The Minions movie is opening at the end of the week.
Few things, it seems, cannot be improved by the addition of a few Minions.
Here, they hang out in the cage usually occupied by one of the creepy "Little Sisters" from Bioshock 2.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Bioshock continues to beckon.
I really thought I was going to manage two napkins last night. My drawing of Princess Leia riding a Tyrannosaurus remains unfinished, however, due to the complexity of the leg buckles on this character.
Monday, July 6, 2015
An age-inappropriate video game character offers organic fruit for lunch:
Being allowed to play Bioshock is our older son's latest obsession. It is rated M for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Mild Sexual Themes, and Use of Alcohol and Tobacco." Thank goodness there is no gambling.
According to its Wikipedia entry, it is also "one of the greatest video games of all time," and is a critique of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.
I guess if I allow him to play it, we can discuss the dangers of laissez-faire capitalism afterwards.
Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #11:
A cool guy rides an obscure dinosaur that definitely needs a nickname.
The Jurassic World website identifies the Metriacanthosaurus as a "fleet footed carnivore" that eats other dinosaurs and rates a "High" on the "aggression index." I cannot say for certain, but I do not think this particular animal actually appears in the film.
Captain Rex, a character from the earlier Star Wars animated series "The Clone Wars," is certainly one of the kids' most favorite helmet wearing/weapon wielding guys. There have been a couple of Halloween costumes and many hours of pretending here.
I thought Rex needed a feisty dinosaur, but I seemed to be running out of the obvious choices. The Metriacanthosaurus's name is a real mouthful, but I liked the stripes, and thought they went nicely with Captain Rex's hand painted clone armor.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #10:
Palpatine shows his patriotic spirit with red, white and blue force lightning.
Our kids love Bomb Pops. These popsicles offer an opportunity to dye one's face (and shirt...and shoes) both red AND blue.
During my early, optimistic parenting years, I often tried to deny my sons the sublime pleasures of hideously artificially dyed frozen treats..."Sure, you can have an Ice, Sweetheart, as long as it's Coconut." Success was limited. In fact, my parents have a multi-photo picture frame that displays a series of snapshots of their grandsons sticking out variously artificially pigmented red, blue, and black tongues.
I'll bet Minions and extinct reptiles don't worry about artificial food coloring in their popsicles.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Insipid malice on a big dinosaur:
Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #9
That's "OOO- Teee-Nee" if you need pronunciation guidance.
See the text with the Ewok below, if you want to know how this one happened.
Malicious Insipidity Rides Again:
Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #8
While we were discussing who should ride what next in the Star Wars/ Jurassic World series, the two kids ended up having a nasty little spat. I was having trouble deciding who to put on the Mosasaurus, (the giant aquatic dinosaur who solves the Indominus Rex problem at the end of Jurassic World) so I suggested to them that maybe it should be an Ewok.
And of course if there is an Ewok anywhere, as far as my sons are concerned, it has to be saying "Yub Yub!" This idea of a napkin with an Ewok saying "Yub Yub!' was so entrancing that each of the two kids insisted that he had to have it. As usual, their logic was persuasive but contradictory. The younger kid argued that the Star Wars Rides Dinos series was his, so he should have it. The older kid argued that it wasn't fair for his brother to have the whole series and that he should get to have at least one.
The situation started to devolve quickly, and since the kids were riding in the cargo bike at the time, I couldn't allow much pinching and poking to transpire without all of us ending up horizontal in the street. I used my best "how to deal with toddlers squabbling over the same toy" tactic: Rather than wisely mediating the conflict, I just introduced another variable: "So what do you think a Jawa should be riding when he says "Utinni!"?
The older kid was immediately mollified by the idea of having a Jawa saying "Utinni!" on his napkin. While the younger one wanted that one too, he was satisfied with his ownership of the Ewok saying "YubYub!"
Crisis averted: everyone would have a drawing of a little creature saying some cute nonsense. The dinosaurs were kind of beside the point. Neither ended up on the Mosasaurus....I'm thinking maybe Emperor Palpatine....