Monthly Archives: July 2009

Friday Distracticon: Serial trouble and I don’t mean Captain Crunch

So by Friday, I'm usually pretty brain-fried and in need of distraction, a state which I am sure is shared by most of the world plus the people who read this blog. So during my jog this morning I thought of a new sort of Transformer called "Distracticons", whose only real power is to make their opponents stop paying attention for long enough to escape:


This week, I've been a bit distracted by the "Wednesday Comics" experiment by DC. If you haven't heard, each week DC is publishing a set of one-page comics stories on old-fashioned tabloid-sized newsprint, in an effort to revive the serial sensation of comics in their heyday:
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Random Panel: Great moments in bad first dates


(From "Amazing Man" number 10, 1940.)

META: Movin’ on up

Just a heads-up, I'll be in San Antonio all day helping a buddy move, so if your comments and whatnot take a while to get approved, that's why.

In the meantime, consider this an open thread, talk about whatever you like.

Tiles tiles tiles

(Hammerknight has been kind enough to assemble another set of recipes for cool stuff you can do with the HeroMachine 3 Alpha. Thanks big guy! Click on any image to embiggen it.)1


Random Panel: On stating the bloody obvious


(From "Amazing Man" number 10, 1946.)

Sometimes short is bad

I won't go so far as Randy Neuman did and claim that "short people got no reason to live", but I am willing to say that people who wear purple shorts with purple shirts and purple pointy-topped boots got no reason to be super-heroes:


Look, if you're wearing an outfit that would fit right in at a McDonaldland Playscape Junior Play Date and you're over the age of ten, you probably shouldn't even be outside, much less adventuring. My hope here is that somehow Mr. Tomorrow badly misread the corporate "Casual Friday" policy and, since he's packing heat, everyone was too scared to say anything.

I could almost live with this ridiculous get-up if it weren't for the pointy-topped skin-tight boots. If he were gadding about space in, say, some fashionable yellow or purple flip-flops, we'd be getting somewhere, like he's "Tommy Tomorrow the Space Cabana Boy" or something. I'd even be willing to spot him a pair of low-slung pointy-toed floppy Robin booties, but those things he's got on now have got to go.

And why, in the name of all that's sartorial, would you wear a long-sleeved shirt with your shorts? Do they not have thermostats in the future?

I do, though, feel happy that in the World of Tomorrow they at least they recognize that anyone willing to go out dressed like that isn't to be trusted to hold on to their gun, and so is forced to wear a tether.

At least someone up-time has some sense.

(Image and character © DC Comics, Inc.)

Random Panel: Walt Disney interviews gone bad


(From "Day of Vengeance" number 1, ©2005 DC Comics, Inc.)

Character Contest 13: Kick it!

Apparently I am on a sidekick kick, because your character design contest for this week is to create a sidekick for some well-established, but currently solo, character! You can pick any character you like, so long as they don't currently have a sidekick and so long as your attempt is not a re-do of some other previously existing creation. In other words, you can't re-make Robin, since there's already a Robin, and you can't make a new sidekick for Batman called Aquaman who swims around and talks to fish.

The contest will run for one week, with the winner announced next Tuesday. The person with the best design will win the option of having either their caricature or any one item of their choosing included with the final HeroMachine 3 product. Everlasting fame, how sweet is that?!


  1. You can enter as many times as you want, but to be eligible, you must leave your entry as a comment to this post, and include a link to view the image on a public web server somewhere (i.e.,, the UGO Forums, etc.).
  2. Each entry must give what current character your creation goes with.
  3. No PhotoShopping or other image manipulation allowed with the exception of basic cropping.
  4. You must use some version of HeroMachine for your image.

Just to get the ball rolling, here are a few off-the-top-of-my-head ideas:

  • Krypto-Kid (Superman), a young boy of Superman-like abilities, origin unknown;
  • Shieldmaiden (Wonder Woman), a young Amazon kicked off of Paradise Island for being too warlike, sent to apprentice with Diana in hopes that her more warlike nature can be curbed.
  • Bot! (Zot!), a hyper-enthusiastic robot slavishly devoted to Zot who hopes to proselytize the Way of the Robot to all meat-shields, converting them to the cybernetic lifestyle.

In other words, part of the fun is figuring out why a given character would have a sidekick now, after all this time, and how their new compatriot would fit into the main narrative.

Good luck everyone, I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Caption Contest 57 Winner

I am happy to present the winner of Caption Contest 57, and the guy who gets to choose either his own custom item or a caricature of his head for inclusion in HeroMachine 3, Cory!


The other Honorable Mentions were:

  • Al: "Go ahead-say anything about it that can’t be made into a ‘That’s what she said’ joke. I DARE you.”
  • Ian: No, it’s not to be taken internally.
  • The Doomed Pixel: It’s a penis. Why, what did you think it was?
  • Xstacy: It’s too late to change the design now, Ted. Besides, I don’t think anybody will notice.
  • JWMan: “It doesn’t even look like it should be standing let alone work. I give it a D+ merely out of baffled fascination.”
  • Fishpants: You’re too late, Mr. Bond! The ammunition balls will be here any minute.
  • Abron:Is That a Giant Laser Of Doom or are you just happy to see me?
  • Biffbiffley: “Why, we were given grants for this project by Pfizer, how could you tell?”

Thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to Cory and our Honorable Mentions. Some time this afternoon I'll put up the next contest, let me know in comments if you want another Caption Contest or to go back to a Character Design Contest instead.

Random Panel: Great moments in awkward insults


(From "Amazing Man" number 10, 1940.)