First, happy Independence Day to all of our U.S. community members! May your day be filled with all the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness promised us in the Declaration of Independence.
For all you non-U.S. folk, happy Fourth of July! Which isn't anything significant, but is, nonetheless, today's date. Hooray!
Second, we had a ton of great entries for Character Contest 67, which challenged you to take two great concepts and mash them together. So without further ado, I present the relative handful of submissions that I thought had something truly special and unique about them.
AMS' "Mech Ronin":
Appalling, in a funny way, is Atomic Punk's "Kid Doctor":
Blue Blazer's "Ninja Cowboy":
I love the samurai cowboy hat in BornToBeALoser's "Samurai Cowgirl":
Dan's "Cowboy Alien":
DaRumblyTank's "Robot Cowboy" is so cute I just want to give him a hug, whereupon he would shoot me down in cold blood. Oil. Whatever.
dblade's "Runeslinger" is awesome in every way:
I love the attitude of DiCicatriz' "Cowboy Sorcerer", I think it's a great expression of the melding of the two different concepts, each having their place and contributing to something that's unique, but still recognizable. This is a great example of exactly what this kind of mash-up is supposed to be about.
Frevoli's understated but sinister "Dr. Ninja":
I really like the composition of Hammerknight's "Red Dragon Ninja Cheerleader":
I love everything about Headlessgeneral's "Cheerleader Wizard", from the knee socks to the outfit to the pose to the great flame letters. It totally seals the deal in the merger of the two concepts.
The thing that caught my eye about JWTx's "Cyborg Cheerleader" is the gun. And the energy pompom. You get the feeling this girl was cut from the squad after the accident, and now that she's been cyborgized, she's back for vengeance.
Kaylin88100 went the extra mile this week, turning in twelve different entries! I thought "Kid Wizard" was one of the cutest of all the ones with that combination, especially with the exaggerated eyes and big staff. It's like Wendy the Witch if she was a bad-ass.
I liked Knitesoul's "Sorcerer Kid" for the unintended consequences angle of dealing with powers beyond your skills.
Kytana's bold grayscale color palette really helps set the stage for the Alien Wizard:
Leadmetal's "Dino Redneck" made masterful use of some of the ripped items and (I assume) capes to make those killer wings. Great job!
Logosgal's strength has always been storytelling with her compositions, and this Zombie Robot is no exception. I love that it busted through the wall even though it was right next to the door, and I love that instead of brains it wants microchips. Very funny.
MartianBlue's Alien Outlaw flat-out rocks:
Nakiato had a very clever take on Will Eisner's classic creation with "Spirit Cheerleader".
Newerlie's "Spirit Sorcerer" might not be as strange a mash-up as some of the other options, but it's a great image. The face in the fog is particularly cool.
Rancid's "Doctor Robot" is so cute, I almost wouldn't mind the prostate exam!
Rozenstal's take on the Cowboy Robot is a lot more menacing than most, and for that reason is pretty cool.
What can I say about SeanDavidRoss' "Cowboy Ninja" except, wow.
Tarkabarka's "Teen Spirit" is one of the most clever mirror-image compositions yet. But it's the "tramp stamp" that seals the deal on this one.
Tool's "Cyborg Cowboy":
Trekkie's "Robot Dinosaur" is genius:
Waally1's "Cyborg Doctor" makes great use of color and looks cool, but no way is that guy cutting on me. No. Way.
Watson Bradshaw, I think, perfectly captures the love we rednecks have for our lawn equipment:
Finally, Zyp once again brings it with "Ninja Cowboy". I love the use of the traditional Chinese hat instead of a cowboy hat, and combining the pantaloons with the boot. Plus, Zyp, you gotta get that background up on the UGO site if you haven't already. That's awesome.
I'm having a hard time picking a winner this week because they're all really good. After a fair amount of agonizing, I narrowed it down to Zyp, SeanDavidRoss, Trekkie, DiCicatriz, dblade, and MartianBlue, as I felt they not only had kick-ass images, but also did a great job showing both sides of the mashup while still letting the new gestalt shine. Purely as an illustration, probably dblade's is best, but the I get way more sorcerer than cowboy. Zyp probably has the strongest combo of the two, but he seems more like a general martial artist than ninja per se.
So ultimately, I am going to go with ... DiCicatriz! I just felt like he has the certain kind of Clint Eastwood swagger to him, and I could totally see him in his own series. It was a really, really close call, though, and I'm sure others would have gone with one of the other alternatives. But that's where I'm putting down my marker, so there you have it.
Congratulations and thanks to everyone!