Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Ballad of Jonny Prequels

Let me tell you a story, children,
Come gather 'round the fire,
Let me tell you the story, of a man,
Named Jonny Preex

Jonny... Jonny Preex
Preex, short for Prequels
Jon-ny Preex
Jon-ny Prequels
Jonny, he loves them prequels

Now over at the comic book factory
Was a hard working young man
He was a man of few words, drove a truck as big as the sun,
And we called him, Jonny Preex

Jonny... Jonny Preex
Your truck blocks out the sun
Jon-ny Preex
Jon-ny Prequels
Jonny, I can't see the sun

See, Jonny Preex had a pretty little girlfriend
And he didn't live with his mom
So it might surprise you to hear, that his one passion
Was Star Wars

Jonny... Jonny Preex
Oota goota Solo?
Jon-ny Preex
Jon-ny Prequels
Jonny, that's no moon

Now Jonny truly did like Star Wars
But what he really loved were the prequels
That's right--the prequels
Episodes One, Two, and Three

Jar Jar... Jar Jar Binks
Mace Windu is kind of mean
Jan-go Fett
Kit Fis-to
Darth Vader says 'NOOOOO!'

One day it got dark all of a sudden
At the old comic book factory
I looked outside, and there was Jonny Preex's truck
Blocking out the sun

So I says to Jonny Preex, I says
'What are you up to Jonny Preex?'
He looked at me with determination in his eye, and said,
'I heard tell there's somthin' out there, somethin' called
'Expanded Universe... '

Katana... Katana Fleet
Luke married Mara Jade
Te-ras Kasi
Ta-lon Karrde
Chewbacca's dead... I said he's dead... those bastards killed him...

Jonny jumped right in his truck
And revved that monster up
Drove off into the darkness seeking the Expanded Universe
And we never saw him again.*

Jonny... Jonny Preex
Preex, short for Prequels
Jon-ny Preex
Jon-ny Prequels
Jonny, he loves them prequels

Jonny... Jonny Ee-Yew
Ee-Yew, short for Expanded Universe
Jon-ny Ee-yew
Jon-ny Expanded Universe
Jonny, may the force be with you
May the force be with you

Now sometimes, after you watch a prequel
If you listen real carefully
You can hear Johnny Preex flipping through the pages...
Of a novel 'bout the Jedi Academy

* Actually, that's not true--we saw Johnny Preex at work the next day, and the day after that, and so forth.

click above for larger view

Jonny Prequels is in fact a real person--however, surisingly, his first name is not Jonny. Perhaps even more surprising, I actually do call him Jonny Prequels, or Preex for short. Even more surprising than that, there's actually a tune that goes with the chorus to The Ballad of Jonny Preex. I'm not musical at all, so I imagine I must have heard it somewhere--it's something along the lines of the themesong to the old Davey Crockett television series or the themesong to Branded which I recall hearing on an episode of Married... With Children.

Anyhow, I was stuck at work after hours one day due to awful Los Angeles traffic, and I asked Jonny Preex what I should draw. He suggested this guy, but neither of us knew his name or military classification. We just knew he was one of the Clone Troopers that attempts (unsuccessfully) to kill Yoda when Order 66 is given in Episode III. A few weeks later, when I got around to coloring this piece, Coheteboy (who's more versed in Star Wars than Preex and I put together) told me Commander Gree's name off the top of his head, and gave me some color reference.

Phew. Writing ballads really takes it out of me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Don't Tread On Me...

I've been awake for about 33 hours straight, worked an 11 hour day, and topped it off by playing Guitar Hero for 3 hours (yes, i have succumbed at last). Basically that means I'm going to pass out. Before I do... here's King Hiss, leader of the Snake Men, rival to Skeletor and Hordak, enemy of He-Man:

click above for larger view

Also posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lady in Blue

(Posting early... )

A few weeks ago, I drew this for a re-design challenge. Here today, is a standard version of Shokoti:

click above for larger view

Pose is a bit awkward on this one, and something about the colors doesn't quite mesh. Hmm.

Also posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Battle Toad Tuesdays! (Part 3 of 3)

Concluding this particular series, here is Rash, the fun-loving wisecracker of the Battletoads:

click above for larger view

I tried to make my version of the 'Toads a bit more "realistically" toad-like as far as their faces went, but I kept their bodies tall and lanky to retain the feel of the original designs. Color-wise, I stuck pretty close to the source material. Now how about some wallpapers? (The background elements in the wallpapers were snagged from some screenshots I found online)

click above for 1280 x 1024 (Fullscreen)

click above for 1920 x 1200 (Widescreen)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Bath Time" - And we're off to France!

..Even baby sea dragons need bath toys to keep them occupied so they don't figet too much while they're being washed.

..And in other news!!!

This coming week, January 23, Bobby, Mr. T and I will be in Angoulême for the Bande Desinee festival!! This will be our first time at the festival and we heard nothing but great things about it. So expect to see pictures soon!


[Edit: We're in booth H27 so everyone who will be there, come by and say bonjour!]

Thursday, January 17, 2008

BONUS POST: Links to Awesome Stuff!

ITEM! Newsarama, one of the premier comic book news sites on the web, posted an interview with Josh about Necessary Evil! Check it out here.

ITEM! Vinny drew an awesome pin-up of my character Cog! Check out Vinny's post here and be sure to check out the rest of his sketchblog!

Lady in Red

(Posting early...)

When I was working on my illustration of Light Spinner, I decided to draw up her eventual alter ego as well. I finally got around to coloring it, so here's Shadow Weaver:

click above for larger view

I'm happy with the pose on this one, except for the obscured Horde logo on her belt. I had a bit of difficulty coloring it--for some reason monochromatic red color schemes are something I have difficulty with, and I ended up making a lot of adjustments. The minor changes I made to her costume draw influence from Maleficent and Morticia Addams.

Also posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

More progress with my Tom Hanks Caricature!

Not finished yet, but getting there . . . just a bit more to go, some more textures, and maybe a little more work on the hair and some of the edges. Currently I'm working on a large two page spread for Golf magazine. Six people and a lot of detail, will post soon.

lifedrawings from Bobby's class..

Every so often, I would try to tag along with Bobby to his life drawing classes at Sheridan College for some good ol practice. I love the energy of his classes, from both him and his students-- its a really calming place for me. So here are some from the other day that I'd like to share, of this very petit Hawaiian lady.

These were done in manila paper, 18 x 24 inches, with some conte.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Axl Rose for REVOLVER Magazine

Yeah, my first post with Imaginism Studios!

This is a full page illustration that I did before Christmas for REVOLVER Magazine. The idea for this piece was to show Axl on his throne with his Yoda near his side as a guide of sorts. I guess Axl had this weird little oracle woman with him at all times and the rest of the band made fun of her and called her Yoda, which may help explain why Yoda is in this illustration? You'll have to buy the magazine and read the article.

My first idea for this piece was to do a Norman Rockwell-ish painting, sort of like a Saturday Evening Post cover, I had a cleaner design behind Axl, a small circle with flames. It's a fun idea, Axl in nothing but a kilt and shoes with Yoda and all that painted in a warm and totally ideal American family setting, totally backwards of something Rockwell would have painted. Long story short, last minute and I mean the very last, the idea was changed dramatically and I had to trash that idea and paint flames everywhere in the background all in under three hours. This means that I had to also re-work a lot of what I had finished painting on Axl and Yoda, having to add warmer color, reflective light from the flames, and so forth so that they would feel like they were really within this surrounding.

Battle Toad Tuesdays! (Part 2 of 3)

So, Battletoads. The cartoons and video games of the 90's were rife with anthropomorphic action heroes with a fondness for surfer slang. These characters arose in an attempt to cash in on the Ninja Turtles of course, and of the various Ninja Turtle imitators, the Battletoads are possibly the only ones worth mentioning.

The Battletoads were the stars of a video game, which even today is notorious for its difficulty. And here's the funny thing about me and video games: I am terrible at them. I like playing video games, and I love the mythology of video games, but I don't have much time for them, and generally, I'm terrible at them. I've passed/fully unlocked maybe 5 video games in my life. So it goes without saying that I never even came close to beating Battletoads. And yet I just said it. Hunh.

Anyways, here's Pimple, the Battletoads' resident tank:

click above for larger view

Charles actually suggested that I draw the Battletoads over a year ago. I followed that suggestion immediately... but didn't ink and color these guys until two weeks ago. Yay for procrastination?

Tune in next week for the third of the Battletoad trio!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stephen Silver joins Imaginism Studios

Yes it's true. Our wonderful friend Stephen Silver is also one of our newest members to Imaginism Studios.
He's an incredible artist and all around great individual. Silver can do many things but specializes in Character Design. He also teaches Character Design classes on

Welcome Silver! I have a feeling it's going to be a great year. More news to come...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jason Seiler joins Imaginism Studios

I'm very happy to welcome our new member to Imaginism Studios: Jason Seiler.
He's an amazing illustrator that specializes in caricature. Seiler also teaches caricature on

Welcome Jason! We're very excited to have you join us!

Friday, January 11, 2008

O Juliet!

This was a fun little piece for our friend Steven Gettis who collects original art from a ton of amazing artists. The theme was to interpret our favorite literary figure. Juliet really isn't my favorite literary character, but I had pictured this silly image in my head and just had to draw it. And I also chose to draw her beacuse she is one of the most memorable characters in all of literature.

Its an honor to be part of his collection with the likes of such great artists like:
Mike Mignola, Louie and Ronnie del Carmen, Enrico Casarosa, James Jean, Scott Morse, Bruce Tim, Adam Hughes, Alberto Ruiz, Stephen Silver and Bobby Chiu to name a few.

So please check out his site: Steven Gettis
A really fun collection. And what's most interesting is that you can see the connection that the artists have with their favorite literary figures.


What's a Spector?

I know I've mentioned COTU and talked about Fuerza-T in the past. Here's an illustration of a little known Fuerza-T prototype that I did for an upcoming COTU project:

click above for larger view

The figure was to be named Spector, and it ought to be painfully obvious that he was to be built primarily from Skeletor's parts. My drawing is pretty accurate to those details. I deviated a little, attempting to mimic the style of the Fuerza-T card art. Much like my illustration of Goldar, this piece is not part of my "regular" series of Masters of the Universe drawings, as it deviates from my usual modus operandi, and was done for a specific purpose that COTU has in mind. The coloring, for example, is a blended style, as opposed to my usual cel-shading. A more J.Ho-ized version of Spector (and the rest of the Fuerza-T cast) will come in the future.

Check out COTU World blog for some photos of their excellent He-Man customs (on the links list on the sidebar... or if you can't be bothered, click HERE).

Also posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Battle Toad Tuesdays! (Part 1 of 3)

I'm feeling succinct, for once. Treasure it while you can! Here is Zitz, leader of the Battletoads:

click above for larger view

I'll offer some more jibber jabber about the Battletoads in the next installment of this series. As if you asked.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Lifedrawing at Seneca College

Today we went to Seneca College @ York U for lifedrawing. It was so much fun! I've been to lifedrawing pretty frequently recently but mostly just to teach so it was a great change to do some of my own studies. I brought my tablet pc to do some digital painting.
We had a wonderful model named Gay.
Here are some quick studies...





Here's some amazing links!

William Wray Aka. Bill Wray
Bill Wray Aka. William Wray
Torsten Schrank
Daniela Strijleva
Justin Wright
Carlos Ruano
Joshua James
Annette Marnat
Florian Satzinger
Luc Desmarchelier

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sweet Adeline...

(Posting early... )

With this post, I'm wrapping up my first batch of Masters of the Universe variants re-cast as new characters. There are still a lot of variants to tackle (and I will!), but for now I've covered the main classic variants. Allow me to present a lady codenamed Flying Fist, with accesories and armor courtesy of Flying Fists He-Man.

click above for larger view

The original Flying Fists He-Man figure was not particularly feminine, but once I re-cast Terror Claws as a female, it made sense to give Team Grayskull another woman warrior as well. As far as the costume itself, I combined the redundant double-belt of the action figure into an armored girdle. The perspective on the shield is messed up, but I can live with it. Color-wise, I initially had some difficulty making things mesh, but once I decided to make her furry barbarian short-pants black (instead of brown), the rest of the colors really clicked into place. The end result is pretty faithful to the original color scheme (with the exception of the aforementioned furry barbarian short pants). Now how about a bio for this little lady?

* * *

PROFILE: Peace-loving and kind, ADELINE, known on the battlefield as FLYING FIST is essentially a gentle but fair soul who has taken on the role of protector. She is strongwilled, but when faced with failure she has a tendency to blame herself.

Adeline's mechanized triple flail can pulverize granite and break solid plate armor, while her rotating shield is capable of generating a defensive barrier of wind, or firing an offensive whirlwind blast. When held aloft, she can utilize it as a limited one-person helicopter, and in the past she has also used the shield as an improvised boat propeller. The flail and shield are both semi-magical items, requiring the input of the user's chi for proper use.

Adeline wears an armored girdle that grants her the strength of a storm giant, and an enchanted breastplate that conforms to the shape of its wearer, allows for a full range of movement, and provides magically enhanced stamina. However, even without her girdle, she has an abnormal level of strength. The cause of this is unknown.

HISTORY: Adeline hails from a serene and remote village in the foothills. Her mother Adele was famed amongst the locals for using her tremendous strength as the village's protector, earning her the nickname "Flying Fist." For the most part, the village was peaceful, and Adele used her strength for mundane tasks such as helping with construction and demolitions and clearing fallen trees. Occasionally some small-time bandits would show up, or a bear would wander too close to town, but all in all it was a peaceful existence. Adeline knew that her mother's strength came from the magic girdle, though her mother never explained where the girdle came from. And when Adele passed away, some five years ago, Adeline inherited the girdle and the role of village protector. It wasn't long before Adeline inherited the nickname "Flying Fist" as well.

Following another dream-vision, Teela visited Adeline's village with Team Grayskull in tow. Adeline had long been in possession of a magically locked chest belonging to her mother, and with the help of Teela's magical powers, she was finally able to open it. The chest contained a breastplate marked with an ancient heraldic symbol of Grayskull's line. After this, it quickly came to light that Thunder Punch was in fact Adeline's father, and like Thunder Punch, Adeline's mother Adele had once been a champion of Castle Grayskull. Initially, Thunder Punch was vehemently opposed to involving his daughter in the struggle between the protectors of Castle Grayskull and its would-be conquerors. However, the Sorceress convinced him that while it was not Adeline's inevitable destiny, it was the legacy of both her parents, and she had a right to choose for herself.

Adeline had planned to reject the invitation to join Teela's group, but after witnessing a battle between Team Grayskull and some Horde Troopers, she understood the bigger picture--in order to protect her village, there was a bigger world outside of it that needed protecting as well. With a tearful goodbye, Adeline bid farewell to her village.

Shortly after arriving at Castle Grayskull, Adeline came across a room with two broken and discarded mechanical devices. In her village, Adeline's strength made her ideal for carrying out repairs on large structures like windmills and water wheels, so she had developed something of a sense for mechanics--she tinkered with the devices a little, and was able to restore them to perfect working order, and even improved them with some minor modifications. Thus, the mechanized triple-flail and rotating shield became Adeline's primary tools in combat. When Team Grayskull isn't searching for He-Man or battling the forces of evil, Adeline often spends her hours trying to repair the ancient technologies contained in Castle Grayskull, with the "assistance" of Orko..

All things considered, Adeline has adapted to life with Team Grayskull rather smoothly. At times, her relationship with her father is strained, but overall, Adeline and Thunder Punch are both doing well in mending their estranged relationship. Teela has become a surrogate big sister to her, and Orko and Cringer are both very fond of her. There's something of a brewing romance between Adeline and Battle-Scar, at least when Battle-Scar isn't attempting to rile her up by calling her "She-Man." Such behavior generally earns Battle-Scar a punch in the nose.

* * *

I didn't like Flying Fist much as a name, but at the same time I didn't want to drop it completely. I finally decided on giving the character a 'real' name (Adeline) and using Flying Fist as a nickname, kind of like Duncan/Man-At-Arms. Adeline and Adele are both variations of a German name, meaning "noble," and chosen to be evockative of the ad sound in Adam and Adora (the real identities of He-Man and She-Ra respectively). The relationship between Adeline and Battle-Scar is somewhat meant to mimic that of Akane and Ranma from Ranma 1/2. Man, these character bios keep getting longer and longer. :P

Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here and the post is here.

For my other "new characters from old variants" posts:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Free Digital Painting Video - Happy New Year!

First Videocast for 2008! Happy New Year everyone! I wish you much success this 2008.


Part 1

Part 2

One Year Later!

Well, here we are--the one year bloggiversary of Oh Snap! The Friggin Amazing J.Ho Sketchblog. You see, bloggiversary is a super clever portmanteau of the word "blog" and the word "anniversary." Have I ever mentioned that I hate the word "portmanteau?" What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, so, I've managed to stick it out for a year so far, without missing a single post, and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. If you had any idea how lazy/unmotivated/lethargic/quitty I am in RL, you'd be impressed. But whether or not you're impressed, I thank you, Dear Reader for tuning in. Whether you're a crony who's known me since I was in grade school, or someone who randomly stumbled upon this blog, or anyone in between, I appreciate your patronage, and wish you a safe and happy New Year.

The inaugural sketch that I posted on this blog was Skeletor, and for today's post, I'm continuing my series of He-Man/Skeletor variants turned into a new characters. Did you ever look at Terror Claws Skeletor and wonder, "Skeletor, why the hell are you wearing a metallic purple sports bra?" I don't have a good answer for that question myself, but here's a new character named Terror Claws, for whom a metallic purple sports bra seems more appropriate:
click above for larger view

The rough sketch for this one has been sitting around here foreverrr, so I'm glad I was able to finally use my holiday time off from ye olde day job to finish this (as well as a few other drawings, to be presented in the following weeks). Her face paint is definitely influenced by the Superman villainess Silver Banshee, but I think the face underneath as well her body type, both take after Trish Stratus (this was not intentional, just an observation I made after the fact). As usual, I tweaked with the colors of the original toy, adding some and switching some, hopefully creating a vibrant and visually pleasing recipe in the process. Oh, and as a bonus, I even drew her with the original toy's alternate weapon:
click above for larger view

And the final touch--a painstakingly written bio, nerdily composed by yours truly:

* * *

PROFILE: Named after the sacred Infinitan artifact weapons which she wields in combat, TERROR CLAWS is the fearsome leader of Skeletor's Elite--a group of powerful warrior-mages handpicked and trained by the Lord of Destruction himself. In hand-to-hand combat, her namesake claws can effortlessly rend through the toughest armored units of the Eternian military, and enhance her strength to a level possibly rivalling He-Man's. In ranged combat, she wields a dragon-skull arm cannon, created by Dragon Blaster. Terror Claws is a seasoned magic-user as well, specializing in scrying, enchantments, and counterspells.

Terror Claws' true power, however, is her ability to lead. Cool, collected, and meticulous, in Skeletor's absence, she has been able to wrangle and lead Skeletor's Elite, as well as his other forces. Even the mutinous Evil-Lyn cannot deny Terror Claws' efficiency as a leader.

Unlike her fellow Elite, Terror Claws possesses a sense of honor that extends beyond her fealty to Skeletor. This "defect" did not escape Skeletor's attention--on the contrary, he felt it would be a weakness that he could exploit to insure her continuing loyalty. Terror Claws has no obvious weaknesses, but it seems inevitable that she will be drawn into a confrontation with Evil-Lyn.

HISTORY: An orphaned Infinitan girl with no memory of her past, was brought to Skeletor's attention because of her unusually advanced magic capabilities. Inexplicably drawn to her, Skeletor inducted the orphan girl into the Elite training program. In spite of being one of the later recruits, and one of the youngest, she rapidly rose through the ranks. Is her loyalty to Skeletor a true testament to the power of the Elite re-education system... or does Terror Claws have an as yet unrevealed motive?"

* * *

Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here and the post is here.

For my other "new characters from old variants" posts: