Monthly Archives: October 2010

Pop Quiz 2 Winners!

My thanks to those who participated in our Halloween Pop Quiz, and my apologies for the results coming in so slowly. I blame my new zippy Internet access for luring me into its siren call, resulting in many lost hours.

Unfortunately I couldn’t give a passing grade to very many of the entrants, as most failed to read one of the most important elements, rule 3:

In a comment to this post, give us your critique of the original

Only Rozenstal, Cliff’s Tigger Boy, MMI, Myro, and Danny provided critiques of the original costume (however brief they might have been, as in Cliff’s “He didn’t go far enough” epic tome), so only they qualified. Which is too bad, because I honestly thought Marie did the best job with rule 2:

… redesign a better one …

Most of the qualified entries more or less just recreated the costume in HeroMachine, which wasn’t the goal at all — you were supposed to improve it with the original as the inspiration. I’m sorry if I didn’t make that more clear. It does mean, however, that I didn’t have a lot of choice, and have given the prize to “Me, Myself, and I” for his cooler and well-explained update of this unfortunate Prom reject:

To this suave, two-faceted international man-about-town:

Congratulations to MMI, who wins his choice of a) any item he likes to be included in HM3; b) a portrait of himself to be included in HM3; or c) a custom black and white “Sketch of the Day” style illustration of any subject he likes (within reason), and thanks to those who entered!

RP: Why the British lost the Colonies

Happy Halloween!

In honor of this silliest of American traditions, and with thanks to SpiderCow2010 for choosing it as his contest prize, I give you … PunkinHead!


This nightmarish visage can be found haunting the pages of “Head-Zombies” in HeroMachine 3 even as we speak, in both a blank pumpkin and face-carved version. Enjoy!

RP: The perils of raising a teen-aged super-hero

RP: He calls it "Job number 1". Just don't ask what "Going number 2" means.

(From “Heroic Comics” number 1, 1940.)

Halloween Pop Quiz!

In the spirit of Open Critique Day, and in honor of Halloween, today you are going to be providing helpful costume design pointers to other Internet citizens bedeviled by poor fashion sense (for instance, these sad bastards) in our second one-day surprise Pop Quiz!

  1. Go out on the web and find an image of someone in what you think is a poor example of a Halloween costume.
  2. Grab the link to the outfit image, then redesign a better one in HeroMachine.
  3. In a comment to this post, give us your critique of the original (along with a link to the image), and a link like for any character design contest to your proposed re-design.

At the end of the day I’ll pick a winner, who will receive their choice of any HM3 item or portrait, or a “sketch of the day” style custom black and white illustration of whatever they like (within reason). Then we can all go out tomorrow and celebrate by dressing up in slutty costumes and begging our neighbors for candy. As Jim Gaffigan says, when he was a kid that was cool, but try it now and they call the cops on you! Probably because he makes a hot Catwoman.

Good luck! And hurry — just look how badly this guy needs your help:

Scary HM3 Halloween Cemetery

With profound thanks to Me Myself and I (meaning the frequent contest entrant and commenter, not literally me, Jeff Hebert) for putting this together, I am happy to present what may be the most ambitious Recipe to date — MMI’s Super Creepy Halloween Cemetery. I thought it would be the perfect fit for the Halloween week.

Next week we’ll have another installment of Hammerknight’s great “character archetypes” series, but this one was too perfectly timed to wait.

Thanks again MMI!

Note that if anyone else has recipes or how-to visual guides they’d like posted here, by all means send ‘em on.

Continue reading

RP: More wrongity wrong wrong

(From “More Fun Comics” number 11, 1936.)

I do not think that word means what you think it means

Atlas Comics briefly published a comic titled “The Grim Ghost”, but I think maybe the fact that Dictionary.com didn’t exist yet really hosed them, because this guy doesn’t exactly look “Grim” to me:

Purple, aqua, and white aren’t exactly the colors that spring to mind when I think “grim”. A “g” word, yes, but not that particular one. And when I suggest that “The Gay Ghost” might work better, it’s not in the modern derogatory sense but rather the more traditional “happy or festive” connotation. I mean, look at the guy — that enormouse double popped collar and painted-on-jeans with flyaway purple bandanna clearly says to me that he’s looking for a party. I think he’s even got a frilled cravat, for the love of fashion!

My understanding is that he was some sort of revived pirate from the Colonial age or whatnot, so I can understand wanting to stick with the fashion that brung ya. But come on, one set of deep knee bends and we’ll all get to see just how happy he really is, if you see what I mean.

Just going from the outfit, and knowing how much editors love alliterative character names, I think a better fit in addition to my earlier one would have been “The Happy Haunter”, or the “Spectacular Spirit”, or the “Phantasic Phantasm”. Because the one thing I absolutely do not get from this guy is “Grim”.

(Image and character © Atlas Comics.)

RP: Masquerade costume, riiiiiiight …

(From “Heroic Comics” number 1, 1940.)