Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Another Dinosaur Update

Hey all.  Sorry I haven't been around lately.  I have been a very specific combination of busy/lazy/not feeling like typing words.  Instead I have been doing some art stuff, and I thought I would post a piece I just recently completed here.

It's an adult Bambiraptor.  I'm pretty proud of it actually.  Be sure to click to view fullscreen.

And of course you can find my new art over at my deviantART page:

I do have some more content in the works that will hopefully be going up here soon.  I have some thoughts about River Tam from Firefly that I really feel like sharing with the internet.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Breif Art Update

Hey folks.  Just a quick update this time because I felt bad for not posting anything in a while.  Was looking through some old stuff and found this watercolor I did at a friend's house a while back.  Just another dino, nothing special.  This is of course not the most accurate thing I've ever done; I had no skull reference.  Personally I think the eye placement looks pretty weird.  So I am going to call this Theropodus genericus.

Sorry about the poor quality.  It is a webcam photo and photoshop can only do so much.  (I'm not proud.)

Stay tuned.  I have a lot of thoughts regarding the latest Doctor Who episodes.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Classic Doctor Who Season One

Well, folks.  It sure has been a while.  After the doodle-a-day project ended I kind of let the blog go for a bit.  I did this for several reasons.  First and foremost, this past semester at school was by far my busiest and most difficult.  In addition to classes and homework, I also had work, animation, and social responsibilities.  Finally, I had just grown kind of weary of blogging.  I always had it in my mind to write more here, but I decided not to sully the place with one of those "still alive and will post soon" messages, because I hate those.  I promised myself that the next time I updated I would have some honest to god content, and the drive to continue updating.

So here we are, almost seven months later.  I hope I haven't lost too many of you folks, but I understand if I am now once more typing into a void.  It's not like any of you actually commented anyway.  ;)

Alright then.  So.  Recently I discovered something about myself: I am immune to camp in television.  It's not that I don't see it (ridiculous costumes, bad special effects, and cheesy plots are just as noticeable to me as to anyone else), but rather that it genuinely doesn't bother me.  As a result of this power, I was recently able to watch the entire first season of Doctor Who - that's right, the classic 60s Black & White show - and enjoy it unironically.  Here follows my thoughts.

An Unearthly Show

I watched the first episode (An Unearthly Child) on a whim, out of simple curiosity.  Being a fan of the new series and having seen some episodes of the classic series I was interested in seeing how the whole thing started.  I did not anticipate going on to watch the entire season, but that first episode got me hooked.

And what a first episode.   I kept trying to imagine what it would have been like to be watching that show when that episode first aired, back in November of 1963.  How strange it must have seemed.  The show begins on a shot of the TARDIS, immediately recognizable to a modern viewer as The Doctor's timeship, but the viewers of that first episode would have no idea what its significance was, considering police boxes were common at the time.  The show then proceeds to the opening titles, filled with psychedelic visuals and the now-familiar synthesized theme music that must have seemed very strange at the time.

The greatest tragedy in watching the first episode today is that it is impossible to truly enjoy the mystery.  The show is structured to make us intensely curious about Susan - the Doctor's grandfather - and then the Doctor himself.  The answers are revealed slowly.  We don't even get inside the TARDIS until the final act.  Though I of course know more about the Doctor, his origins, and the TARDIS than the writers at the time even knew, it is still possible to appreciate the slow reveal of this enigmatic alien.

The episode ends with the Doctor kidnapping his first two human companions (they know too much), Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, and crashing the TARDIS - which for the first time has failed to change from its camouflaged police box form - in the wastelands of Earth 100,000 BC, as an ominous shadow approaches in the foreground: a strange ending to the first episode of a strange show.

The rest of the season continued to push the envelope on weirdness.  The Daleks - The Doctor's most famous enemies - made their first appearance in the second ever serial.  They go on several more sci-fi adventures, including a strangely video-game like series of gopher missions on the planet Marinus and tangling with the telepathic alien Sensorites.  They again returned to Earth's past several times, once to go on a months-long journey with Marco Polo, again to the height of the Aztec empire, and finally to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror (apparently the Doctor's favorite time period).

The thing I was most impressed with in the first season was the surprising amount of character development. I had been expecting a very different show, with more focus on suspense and sci-fi than on writing believable characters.  And while the character development was slow, it was definitely there and to a significant degree.

The Doctor 

The First Doctor (original work)

I was very interested in getting to know the first incarnation of the Doctor.  This is after all, the original form.  The one that grew up on Galifrey.  The one that stole a TARDIS to see the universe.  I was very curious as to how different he was from the Doctor as I knew him.

It turns out he is quite a bit different.  The Doctor was originally envisioned as a sort-of antagonist, who's mischeivious actions would cause trouble for the heroes of our story: Ian and Barbara.

The First Doctor is grumpy, obstinate, and sometimes downright villainous.  In the first serial, 100,000 B.C., The TARDIS crew are being chased by a caveman through the forest.  The caveman is attacked by some offscreen beast and the crew run back.  The Doctor argues with the humans that they should take this opportunity to escape, but Ian and Barbara believe it is their responsibility to save the man's life if they can.  The Doctor then quietly takes a stone and attempts to bash the man's head in before being stopped by Ian.  A far cry from the Doctor I've come to know!

In the second serial (The Daleks), The Doctor's selfishness once again brings disaster for the crew when he claims an important part of the ship is broken in order to convince the others to go down into the city that he wanted to explore.  Of course, the ship part was never broken at all and the crew ended up as prisoners of the Daleks.

The Doctor did have a few positive qualities at the outset, however.  From the first episode it was clear that he had a very strong relationship with his grandaughter, Susan, whom he protected fiercely.  His love for her was his saving grace in those first few episodes, when it became otherwise difficult to like him at all.  He also shows the Doctor's trademark love of the universe and its mysteries, and his most poetic moments are when he is describing the wonders of the cosmos.

The most amazing thing to me about this first season was the amount of character development they were able to achieve.  I had assumed, considering the silly nature of the classic series, that character development would be nonexistent.  How wrong I was.

The Doctor is a very different character by the end of the season.  Though initially disdainful of humans, he comes to like and respect Ian and Barbara by the end of the season, due in no small part to the sheer amount of time spent with them.  An important moment in this development came in the third serial (The Edge of Destruction) when The Doctor blames Ian and Barbara for sabotaging the TARDIS, when it ended up being the TARDIS itself that was to blame.  Feeling foolish for blaming them, the Doctor apologizes.  From then on  he shows them much more respect, though of course he never quite loses his haughty attitude.

The Doctor's visible softening is so great that, by the time of the 6th serial (The Aztecs), he even falls in love with an Aztec woman, whom he is very sad to leave.  By the time of the final serial of the season (The Reign of Terror), the Doctor, willingly and without hesitation, risks his own life to save Ian, Barbara, and Susan.  A far cry from the man who was willing to smash in a caveman's skull just to get to his ship faster.


Soon I shall write up another post discussing Susan, the Doctor's grandaughter, as well as his first human companions, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright.  Then it's on to season 2!

As for other upcoming posts, I do plan on finally continuing my Buffy rewatch, doing some more drawings, and maybe a little bit of Veronica Mars.  Stay tuned, folks!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Doodle-A-Day 365

Alright, folks.  It's been a long time coming, but here -- finally -- is my last Doodle of the Day.  I apologize for my lateness, but this one was worth spending time on.  I feel like it really sums up the whole endeavor: my imagination, process, and drive as an artist.  It is quite simply a statement about the relationship I have with my art.  Over this year I have grown and changed, both as a person and as an artist.  But, in the end, it all comes back to the simple, wonderful act of putting pencil to paper.

For those who don't know the doodle features the TARDIS in back, Spider-Man on the right, a Velociraptor on the left, Buffy's scythe in front and Serenity off in the background.

I know I slipped up on the last couple of doodles, but I'm actually okay with that.  Though I put it on the internet for all to see, the Doodle-A-Day project was ultimately for myself.  And this final doodle deserved the time and the work I put into it.  I don't regret it.

Here are scans of the work in progress, as a point of interest.  Considering this is one of my favorite pieces I've done to date, I like that it is properly documented.

My first sketch, figuring out proportions and things.

Fleshing out Spidey and the Velociraptor.

Adding shadow and clarifying the TARDIS.

Finished TARDIS and Serenity.

The final pencil, cleaned up digitally.

I had always intended to color this one, but I liked the pencil so much I was wondering if I should keep going.  In the end I'm glad I colored it: I think it looks great and it was some of the most fun I've ever had in photoshop.  (Took HOURS though.)

So yes.  This is the end of the Doodle-A-Day project.  But this is by no means the last of my art you will see.

I'm just getting started.

Buffy Rewatch: Nightmares

Nightmares (1x10)
Writer: Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt

  • Joss is credited as a writer for this one.  Makes sense.
  • Health class is always such a joke.  Active listening?
  • Why are vampires hurt by crosses anyway?  Is it the Christianity thing?  Because other than this one thing, BtVS is a very secular show.  It's strange.  Perhaps crosses were adopted as a christian symbol BECAUSE they hurt vampires?
  • "It's funny if you're me."
  • Calling non-insects insects bugs me too, Wendel.
  • The SMOKING KILLS sign is a bit too much.
  • I'm pretty sure that doctor is breaking a lot of rules by telling Buffy and Giles everything.
  • The only appearance of Hank Summers.
  • The scene where Hank tells Buffy the divorce was her fault is so upsetting to me.  SMG is really great.
  • Nightmares coming true.  That is a genuinely terrifying thought.
  • Where on earth is Xander? Weird tarps hanging everywhere?  I guess it's a dream thing.
  • The Master has seen Cinderella?
  • I actually got a strange amount of pride when Xander punched that clown.
  • So does no one remember except the Scoobies?  I suppose that was not the real Hank Summers?
This is one of my very favorite episodes of this season.  We learn a lot about the characters here.  We learn that Buffy fears having been the cause of her parents divorce, which actually is a subtle but important note about the character.  It all ties in with her sense of isolation as a result of her calling, a main theme of this season and the series as a whole.

We learn that Giles' greatest fear is Buffy's death, which is an important moment for the still growing relationship between them.

Willow's fear involves being in front of a crowd.  This seems to be fairly trivial, but it actually tells a lot about the character.  As we will later see, Willow fears judgement and feeling weak.  As we see in Restless (4x22), Willow is afraid that people will see through her "disguise" of self confidence to the scared, awkward little girl from this season.

Xander's nightmare is probably the least interesting.  The clown thing was kind of funny but not especially revealing.  We will get a much better examination of Xander's fears in Fear, Itself (4x04), Restless (4x22), and Hell's Bells (6x16).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Diotic Ragabash II and Other News

Hey all, life is still chugging along here at The Hummus Offensive.

The last couple weeks I have been working to complete the newest episode of the web series Welcome to Sumwhere.  I'm the main animator for the series, and this episode proved a particular challenge.  Not only was it our longest episode to date, it was also easily our most complex.  Containing a musical number, a fight scene, and lots of flamboyant costumes, this episode was probably the most difficult thing I've done for the site.

I encourage you to watch it here: The Diotic Ragabash II: Destructo Rises.  It is a sequel to an episode we did last season, so if you have never seen it, maybe check that out too.

Overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out, although of course I have my regrets.  I had planned on making the fight scene much more involved, but unfortunately I just ran out of time.  There are other parts of the episode that just feel rushed to me, but you got to do what you got to do I suppose.

In other news, now that TDR2 is finished, I have a couple of weeks off before I need to start working on the next episode.  Because these weeks correspond to my last two weeks of summer as well, I think you will probably see a bit more activity around here.

Expect to start seeing a more regular influx of artwork, BtVS rewatches, and other random garbage over the next couple of weeks.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Quick Update

So I realize that things have been kinda quiet around here lately.  (To be fair I was on vacation for a week, so there's that excuse out of the way.)  I apologize.  I also am aware that I have one more doodle that is so late it's not even funny.  I decided that because I was already well past deadline on it that, instead of trying to get it done as soon as possible, that I would try and make it a cool and worthy final doodle.  As a result it has taken me a bit longer than I anticipated.  However, it is getting there and will probably be up pretty soon.

I also am getting back to my Buffy rewatch, and just posted 3 new rewatch posts earlier this evening.  Go ahead and check 'em out.  Having a lot of fun with this.

I think I shall also do a post talking about my thoughts on the major superhero films that have come out this summer now that I've seen the new Batman.

Finally, I am kind of busy trying to finish the new episode of my web series: Welcome to Sumwhere.  After that though I have a few paleoart-related-projects I have been planning for a while and have every intention to document here.

So, in short: I still have every intention to keep this blog updated so keep checking back.