Character Contest 56 Winners!

First, a bit of embarrassing math-related record keeping -- the original contest post said this was Character Contest 55, but it is actually Character Contest 56. My apologies; I claim a dual art and English degree as the culprit. Also too I am a number idiot.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's move on to the fun stuff, our Finalists!

First up is Amaranth's "Serpents of the Sand", which I liked for the nice environment and the way the lower body seems shrouded in sand.

I loved the stance on AMS' "Robot Henchmen". The setting is great, the color scheme tight and pleasing, and the glow effects on the guns are perfect. Leaving out the colored sky and leaving just the buildings against the white background works really well, also.

BakerDoc gave us the "KKKK Soldiers", front-line troops of an alternative timeline hate group. I like that he kept elements and colors from the real-world group but incorporated enough new elements to modernize it. The biker pants in particular nail the effect, while the gun gives just enough future-variance to it to spike interest.

Frevoli's "Ophiuchi" serpent-themed henchman looks the part, especially with the logo instead of a face. That's creepy. I can totally see Cap or some other costumed do-gooder wading through these guys like a threshing machine, sending severed staffs flying left and right.

I really dig Hero of Wu's henchment. They've got a very classic Nazi style vibe to them, but with enough differing elements to make them his own. Very menacing and again, a great look for guys destined to get the snot beaten out of them.

I wanted to give Iflyte a nod for doing a bang-up job with his battle-torn setting in "Oni". Something that elaborate isn't easy to pull off and it looks really good.

Imp's entry just made me chuckle:

Knitesoul's "Wings" has a fun, whimsical, and yet scary aspect to it that I liked very much.

Kwnos had four elementally-themed entries that were all quite good; I chose "Roveo" to serve as the example but they're all well worth checking out.

Mr. Chris' "Petty Officer" was also a chuckler:

MSCat gave us the "Rag Tag Team", who would look right at home backing up the Joker or the Scarecrow or any mildly psychotic bad guy.

What sold Myro's "Cannon Fodder" to me, frankly, was the expression of the guy on the right. He's all "Wait, you're gonna hit ME?!" Love it.

Nakiato made what I thought was a very clever use of a breastplate as a helmet in his thought-experiment about what The Punisher's henchmen would look like:

PapaKrok's "Henchmen Tribute" captures the very essence of what it means to be a henchman. He even wrote a stirring tribute in words that I think is well worth reprinting:

Here’s to you, loyal henchman. For precious, oblivious optimism in the face of certain annihilation and personal injury. For the boredom filled days, occasional hard work, global mentality and side splitting, pummel-filled moments. The comic world wouldn’t be the same without your selfless, outmanned, under skilled, outgunned sacrifice. Salute!!!

He also submitted a wickedly cool looking concept, the Sede. As he says, "Sede are the evil offspring and servants of Gordian-Rot. They crawl from spore pods hidden within the rotting cavity of his body and are inexhaustible in strength and number as long as their parent-host remains viable. They, like most nasty evil creeping vines, choke life and property into oblivion if left to their own devices." Awesome! And the visual is just as good, maybe better:

Pesky's "Parabots" for me nail the whole concept of uniformed, front-line cannon fodder types of guys. They look cool enough on their own, but you can tell that they're part of a larger force. I think using the camo pattern on those legs was also a very clever way of making them look distinctive given the limitation of both legs being together.

Rancid's "Prime-apes" is both punny and cool, my favorite combination.

I wanted to highlight Rhinoman's "Smokey of C.A.T.S." mostly for the great use of setting. The blobby ground with the rock guys coming up over the horizon is great -- that little addition of figures below the horizon really nails the whole figure-ground relationship. Then the white background with the planets floating in it does the same thing. Simple but extremely effective.

Spidercow2010's "Henchtemp43" is both clever and features some really nice smoke effects for the setting. I particularly like the arrows pointing to his crotch, as if to say "Kick here". Too funny.

I love Sutter Kaine's "Cyberninja". The light gray outline of the clothing, with the black highlight, and then the medium gray interior, is a fantastic look. The glows in the blue bits are a small detail that helps enormously, and the face is really well built. Just a great design all the way around, perfectly accented by the color choices. Great job on this one.

So out of those, the ones that were sort of in my "final cut" were BakerDoc, Frevoli, Hero of Wu, Kwnnos, PapaKrok for the Sede, Pesky, and Sutter Kaine. I had to go through and carefully think about what it was I wanted to go for in this contest, the whole idea of a faceless soldier on the front lines of a major organization. I love the spooky imagination of PapaKrok's Sede, those things are downright creepy! But then I thought maybe they were too much like mindless automatons and less like what I think of as a "henchman".

Pesky's Parabots are probably the best purely soldier submission, but then I thought, well, they're maybe TOO soldiery.

I love Hero of Wu's guys, they look like they could come right out of a B.P.R.D. sketchbook. But then I thought, well, maybe they're too much like Nazis.

So at the end of the day, I ended up deciding to award the overall win, despite incredibly stiff competition from those I just mentioned and many others, to BakerDoc for his KKKK Soldier. And the reason is that I think he did the best job taking something we all know, and then elevating it to a distinctive yet still recognizable plane. Plus, they look like they'd be pure fun to beat the hell out of, which for me is the hallmark of a truly great henchman soldier design.

So congratulations to BakerDoc! Let me know what you'd like for your prize and I'll get on it.

Many thanks to everyone who entered!

29 Responses to Character Contest 56 Winners!

  1. like all of them but i like the kkkk solider best there something good about it

  2. Nick Hentschel

    Sadly, I wasn’t able to participate much in this contest: I had an idea, but couldn’t flesh it out fast enough. Congrats to those who think quicker than I!!!

  3. I liked all of them, my favorite one was ¨Robot Henchmen¨ ´cause looks mean. This week was to bad for me i had to work a lot and i lost 500$ in the super bowl ´cause i took my dad´s advice and just could do one concept and wasn´t really good. Anyway congrats to all of them and of course to the winner

  4. Awesome contest…can’t wait for the next one

  5. Nick Hentschel

    Overall, I’d go for “the Sede,” for a combination of originality, simplicity, creepiness, and how clear it makes the theme (i.e. showing the main villain behind them).
    Second place to Imp’s entry, which isn’t visually striking, but inventive and well-composed. And the humor alone makes it worthy of at least an Honorable Mention; it’s not necessarily the “best,” but it is my favorite.

    Third-place tie between “Wings’ (again, simple and inventive), and CyberNinja, just because he looks cool.

  6. nice job man, I wish I knew heromachine was so lenient I had an amazing “hate group” character for bad guys contest he looked eerily similiar but nice job!

  7. Imp, you’ve won my vote, sir.

    🙂

  8. Congrats, bakerdoc!

    A second contest missed because I’ve been too busy at work, and my laptop is dying.

    Quick nods to Iflyte’s Oni, Imp’s Interview, and Nakiato’s Cobras.

    My personal favorite is spidercows Henchpins. Too funny.

  9. Nice job everyone. I would have loved to have entered, but time wasn’t on my side (as for several others). Props for MSCat’s entry; those oversized sleeves are great and add a nice touch to an already great image.

  10. My first character contest and I got recognition! Thanks Jeff!

  11. Darn, I had an idea for this contest, but I kept putting it off until it slipped from my mind entirely! Congrats to the winners!

  12. Thanks, Jeff! I wanted to show how the C.A.T.S. team may be outnumbered at times but they are expendable so no big deal! LOL! And my opinion on the zodiac contests is that they just seem a bit harder to be creative with, at least from my point of view. A random name generator contest may just be the trick to cure the winter blues!

  13. Extra-special congratulations to BakerDoc and standard garden-variety off-the-street congratulations to everyone else. Thanks for the mention, Jeff, and my personal thanks to Atomic Punk (I liked my HenchPins better’n my HenchTemp43; go figure) for kind words.
    All thru this contest as I watched entries come in I kept thinking guys were going to lose points because their henchmen were TOO cool. So many henchmen that would look badder than their boss.

  14. well done to BakerDoc, and thanks Jeff for my “final cut” inclusion.

    I also decided on my FNF prize, the information on which I’ll be emailling you shortly

  15. ThePerfectTense

    Well done!
    I suppose I didn’t make it, but to be honest I didn’t expect to! It was my first contest after all.
    Again, Well done!

  16. Well done, guys. The creativity of some of these are mind-blowing. Congrats to BakerDoc.

    I have to say, the Rag Tag Team are very well done for being such a simple concept. I can easily see those guys being The Joker’s or Scarecrow’s henchmen. Great work on them.

  17. A lot of great stuff here, buys. I mean, it would be greater if I was a finalist, but such is life. 🙂 I gotta go with Cyberninja, myself.

    So, when’s the next character contest? Seeing a big bunch of great entries inspire me to do more!

  18. spidercow2010

    @Jack Z (#17): It generally goes Character Contest one week, Caption Contest the next, repeat ad infinitum. It’s nice for the character contest winner, whose winning entry is posted in the masthead for two weeks.

  19. As Spidercow2010 said, it rotates from week to week between caption and character contests, as some people prefer one over the other.

    Also, not only does the winner get in the masthead here, but also gets featured on the front page of UGO.com (right column towards the bottom). That’s millions of views of your creation!

  20. Congrats to BakerDoc.

    The KKKK Soldier is a fine henchman for heroes to beat 🙂

  21. Thank you Jeff, and congratulations to all the other finalists.

    I personally like Frevoli’s “Ophiuchi” (although I imagine him as the organization leader), the funny Imp’s entry, PapaKrok’s Sede (a very original idea) and design of Rancid’s “Prime-apes”.

  22. Congrats BakerDoc! Most excellent!!! I feel my fist balling up in anticipation of a hearty face-punch to the kkkk henchmen!!! Great concept and great execution. I especially like the world domination map in the background. I loved the rest as well, amazing creativity and great humor!!!
    That was really fun, aye!

  23. i have made several good characters some better than most i see posted regularly on here but i cant find where to post so people can see them on here. if you want to take a look check out my facebook page.

  24. Er, you’d have to link to your facebook for us to do that, cameron. 🙂

    If your facebook is public, I think it should work for hosting. If not, there’s photobucket.com or imageshack.com.

  25. Congrats to BakerDoc! Great concept. Thanks Jeff for picking one of my images for a finalist! The subject this week brought out a lot of cool ideas. Cheers!

  26. look me up by my email, cameron_stanley_84@yahoo.com im the one with dead pool as a profile pic

  27. Cameron, leaving your email address on a public forum like this is a bad idea.

    Why not just make your super-hero album public and post a link to it? That way anyone can get to it without having to hand out your email address or other private info.

    Several people here use Facebook for their entries.

    Otherwise you can post them to Photobucket or ImageShack or Dropbox or even the UGO Forums, all of which are free and public.

    It’s a little off-putting to have someone wander in here, declare that they’re better than most everyone else, then refuse to leave a valid, public web site where their images can be seen.

  28. i didnt mean to come off rude. i was just saying that i have some good ones that i have came up with that i would like to share too. i didnt know how to post them on here. i have them on my facebook and am working on some more. and it is private. i will make just those albums public so people can see. i am sorry that i didnt post my info to my pics at first, and didnt mean to come off that way, i was just hoping someone could direct me in the best way to share my pics and maybe find some differnt people to share different ideas for new pictures.

  29. those were all good designs i was actually working on a football type character but i didnt finish it i thought that would be awesome