The Drawing Contest For People Who Can't Draw


Hi everyone. My name is Ian Thomas Healy and I drop in here from time to time to enter contests. I’m a writer of superhero fiction, and I have a new novel coming out on September 1 of this year, called THE ARCHMAGE. It’s a sequel to my novel JUST CAUSE, which you may have heard of or possibly even read. Anyway, to celebrate the upcoming release, I’m hosting a character contest here on HeroMachine.

What I want is for you to make me a character from any of the Just Cause Universe stories or the novel JUST CAUSE itself. Right now, there are three ebook short stories online, and two of them (GRACEFUL BLUR and THE SCENT OF ROSE PETALS) are free, so you don’t even have to spend any of your hard-earned money to enter. The third short story (THE STEEL SOLDIER’S GAMBIT) is only 0.99 USD, and the ebook version of JUST CAUSE is $2.99, so if you decide to pick characters from either of those tales, you aren’t risking much money, and I promise you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. The normal HeroMachine character contest rules apply:

  • All entries must be in JPG or PNG form (BMPs are too big), posted to a publicly accessible website (like the HeroMachine forums, ImageShack, PhotoBucket, or whatever);
  • Entries must be made as a comment or comments to this post, containing a link directly to the image and the character name;
  • Please name your files as [your name]-[character name].[file extension] before you upload it. So DiCicatriz, for instance, would save his “Bayou Belle” character image as DiCicatriz-BayouBelle.png.
  • Please make the link go directly to the image (like this) and not to a hosting jump page (like this). See this post on how to get the direct link for most sites.

You may enter once per story, so you have up to four chances to win.

And why should you bother with this contest? OMG FABULOUS PRIZES! Two winners will win a signed digital ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of THE ARCHMAGE two weeks before it goes on sale, and the Grand Prize Winner will get a signed print edition ARC (Note: International shipping may be slow if applicable, so the Grand Prize Winner ALSO gets a digital ARC). These are exclusive books/ebooks that you can flaunt and show off to your friends because you got ‘em first.

  • One runner-up will win with the best interpretation of the character as I have imagined him or her.
  • One runner-up will win with the best original interpretation of the character.
  • The best overall character design will win the Grand prize.

This contest will run from August 1 to August 15.

Here are the characters you may want to design. Of course, you can just run with the brief descriptions I’ve included, but to really get a feel for the character and win one of the runner-up prizes or have a shot at the Grand Prize, you’re going to want to read at least one of them:

From THE SCENT OF ROSE PETALS (A 1940s period piece. Costumes should be period-appropriate):
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*Also available in the Apple bookstore

  • Lady Athena (a Greek female, dresses like a Legionnaire, carries a spear)
  • Dr. Danger (a Caucasian male non-powered archer)
  • Colt (a Caucasian female speedster)
  • Flashpoint (a black male with light-themed powers)
  • Kid Crash (a Caucasian male teen who has contact explosion powers)
  • The White Knight (a Caucasian male with a suit of “light” medieval armor)
  • John Q. Public (a male who has human-only shapeshifting powers)

From THE STEEL SOLDIER’S GAMBIT (A 1970s period piece. Costumes should be period-appropriate):
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*Also available in the Apple bookstore

  • John Stone (a male living granite statue)
  • Tornado (a Caucasian male with wind powers)
  • Javelin (a Hispanic male with a battlesuit kind of like Iron Man)
  • Lionheart (a male with lionish characteristics and related powers)
  • The Steel Soldier (a battle android)

From GRACEFUL BLUR (A contemporary piece, set sometime after the events of the novel of JUST CAUSE)
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*Also available in the Apple bookstore

  • Mustang Sally (a Caucasian female speedster)
  • Mastiff (a huge Caucasian male brick)

From JUST CAUSE (A contemporary superhero piece)
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Get it from Barnes & Noble
*Also available in the Apple bookstore

(From the Lucky Seven, one team in the book)

  • The Spark (a male Caucasian with an electric whip)
  • Tremor (a female Caucasian with vibration powers)
  • Juliet (a black female with psionic powers)
  • Trix (a Caucasian male with random powers)
  • Stratocaster (a Caucasian male with a magic guitar)
  • Bullet (a black male with flight powers)
  • Carousel (a female android with super speed powers)

(From Just Cause, the other team in the book)

  • Mustang Sally (female Caucasian speedster)
  • Juice (black male brick with energy absorption powers)
  • Doublecharge (female Caucasian with electrical powers)
  • Crackerjack (male Caucasian with invulnerability and tactical gear)
  • Desert Eagle (female Native American with wings and pistols)
  • Forcestar (Asian male with Green Lantern-type powers)
  • Glimmer (male Caucasian with psionic powers)
  • Mastiff (male Caucasian brick)

And the bad guy:

  • Destroyer (fifteen-foot tall battlesuit with four arms and a variety of weaponry)

Good luck, everyone!

67 Responses to The Drawing Contest For People Who Can't Draw

  1. Awesome! I love this! Afterwards im going to buy all your books.

  2. We’re still eligible if we can draw, right? –but seriously–if we have no kindle and no nook, the reading sample I call up has no reading sample. . .

  3. I used to work at a Barnes and Noble, and they have a free Nook APP you can download to iphone or other mobile devices. You just register an account @ BN.com and you can ‘purchase’ the free book/story/novella and read it on whatever device has the app on it.

  4. So… Excuse my thickness for a moment, but are we /drawing/ as in putting pencil to paper, or are we drawing as in working in HeroMachine?

    But anyways, kudos to you for being abble to lure me out of my lurker-stalkiness!

  5. Herr D:
    We’re still eligible if we can draw, right? –but seriously–if we have no kindle and no nook, the reading sample I call up has no reading sample. . .

    If you don’t have a Kindle or Nook or iPad and don’t want to install the free reader software on your computer or smartphone, you can go to Smashwords and download the files as pdfs or even read them online. Go here: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ianthealy

  6. Cape-Jacker:
    So… Excuse my thickness for a moment, but are we /drawing/ as in putting pencil to paper, or are we drawing as in working in HeroMachine?

    But anyways, kudos to you for being abble to lure me out of my lurker-stalkiness!

    HeroMachine, please. That’s why Jeff’s hosting the contest for me. :)

  7. Ian Thomas Healy: HeroMachine, please. That’s why Jeff’s hosting the contest for me.

    That’s what I thought, but I just wanted to be sure. This contest definitely interests me, as I too have written books (though none of mine have published – YET!), and love any opportunity to speak to fellow authors.

  8. I want to be able to do Something for this, but I’ve got HM block!(like writers block for writers)

  9. Gonna concentrate on several versions of one character – Desert Eagle…something about winged women…I don’t know…

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/djuby/2012/08/djuby-deserteagle1.jpg

  10. Djuby, did you mean to NOT mask the pistols to the hands, or are you having problems too? Anybody else having problems masking weapons to hands lately? I cleared my cache, shut down the ‘puter, defragged the SOB, and I STILL can’t mask weapons to hands!

  11. skybandit:
    Djuby, did you mean to NOT mask the pistols to the hands, or are you having problems too? Anybody else having problems masking weapons to hands lately?I cleared my cache, shut down the ‘puter, defragged the SOB, and I STILL can’t mask weapons to hands!

    I JUST tried masking that exact gun to that exact hand (and a few other combinations) on my PC running Windows 7 64bit, FireFox 14.0.1 and Flash 11.3.300.262 and it worked fine. Just to be sure I also opened IE 9 and it also worked…..

  12. Thanks, Worf, must be my machine. Bummer.

  13. I can’t masked for this type of female hand. I use male hand and working correctly.

  14. Harlequin:
    I can’t masked for this type of female hand. I use male hand and working correctly.

    Hmmmmm female hands work for me fine, but maybe I’m the odd one out here….

  15. I tried masking these guns to these hands and I must be doing something wrong – it looks like the guns are crazy glued to her hands – which is an interesting strategy I guess, but esthetically confusing

  16. Tried again – the right hand worked ok but the left one is…well…hmmm…what’s the word?…

  17. It looks like it’s a bug wherein if you use the right-hand trigger hand and Flip it, then try to mask the gun onto it, the masking doesn’t work. The flipping of the hand seems to be the problem.

    The solution for now is to use the Hand Left version instead so you don’t have to flip it; that masking works properly in the test I did.

  18. Thanks Jeff – clearly the issue is mine as I still cannot mask the left hand properly. Not too worried about it. I’ll figure it out…or I won’t…life will go on.

  19. First picture is up already, lollygaggers! :-D

  20. By the way, everyone. Here’s the official book trailer for THE ARCHMAGE. http://po.st/ao89im

  21. First of four entries, hopefully! Here’s my rendition of John Q. Public!

    http://www.majhost.com/gallery/bobobo1/Rorschach/jack_-_john-q-public.png

  22. I’m happy with my execution, I guess, even the wedding ring bulge, but the POV didn’t LOOK as interesting as I’d hoped.

    http://i1067.photobucket.com/albums/u438/jamais5/hm3/HerrD-SalenasPOV.jpg

    ah, well

  23. Sebastian978

    From the Lucky Seven, Stratocaster. Gave him a more rock n roll-ish look.

    http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/sebastian_978/Sebastian978-Stratocaster.png

  24. Sebastian978:
    From the Lucky Seven, Stratocaster. Gave him a more rock n roll-ish look.

    http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/sebastian_978/Sebastian978-Stratocaster.png

    Hmmm, do I smell some Glam-Metal influence there? ;)

  25. Really enjoying these, everyone. Keep ‘em coming!

  26. Stratocaster, From the the lucky seven tem…i even used a real stratocaster…i am a big guitar fan/player

    http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh539/ImtheJuggernaut94/juggernaut-Stratocaster.jpg

  27. Sebastian978

    umm could be lol

    Worf: Hmmm, do I smell some Glam-Metal influence there?

  28. Evidently, from now on we can only mask ONE hand. Anyways…

    http://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af309/skybandit/Skybandit-DesertEagle.png

  29. I want to ask it to you like anime or manga type characters? I usually make this type of pictures and i see here to a lot of people don’t like this type of pictures.

  30. Desert Eagle 2: Thanks to Jeff and all those who offered masking advice. This worked as long as I used the female hand right, and shrunk down the male left. Still working on the turned out hand.

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/djuby/2012/08/djuby-deserteagle2.jpg

  31. Don’t know what your idea of a “magic guitar” is, but here’s mine.

    http://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af309/skybandit/Skybandit-Stratocaster.png

  32. YouAlreadyKnowIthink

    so then, do i have to buy the books to enter, or can i just make something off of wut uve described up in your descriptions O_o

  33. YouAlreadyKnowIthink:
    so then, do i have to buy the books to enter, or can i just make something off of wut uve described up in your descriptions O_o

    Read the rules. Two of the stories are free, and the others have free previews available. You are not required to purchase anything to enter the contest.

  34. Watson Bradshaw

    so I haven’t read Just Cause yet, so I can’t wait to see if my designs are any thing near to what you imagined.
    From THE SCENT OF ROSE PETALS
    http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o240/watson_kaboos/watsonbradshaw-flashpoint.png
    I went with more of a pulp comic look, a kind of reverse Shadow.

    From THE STEEL SOLDIER’S GAMBIT
    http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o240/watson_kaboos/watsonbradshaw-javelin.png
    I thought the boots looked kind of like bell bottoms!

    From GRACEFUL BLUR
    http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o240/watson_kaboos/watsonbradshaw-mustangsally.png
    I tried to give her a functional yet edgy look.

    From JUST CAUSE
    http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o240/watson_kaboos/watsonbradshaw-forcestar.png
    my version of a powered up japanese teen

  35. Damn bro this rendition of desert eagle is flawless

    djuby: Desert Eagle 2: Thanks to Jeff and all those who offered masking advice. This worked as long as I used the female hand right, and shrunk down the male left. Still working on the turned out hand.http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/djuby/2012/08/djuby-deserteagle2.jpg

  36. The neat thing about psionics like Juliet is that anyone in a crowd might be concentrating on tk or have a pressure headache or have the physical tics associated with Tourette’s–so maybe they could stay incognito while stopping a speeding car . . . like so.

    http://i1067.photobucket.com/albums/u438/jamais5/hm3/HerrD-JulietSaysYIELD.jpg

  37. Marquis Samedi

    Hey, djuby, don’t the rules say you can only submit 4 entries?

  38. Oops! Actually it says once per story, so I think I’m really over the limit. Had fun doing them anyway. Perhaps there is a way of “unsubmitting” them? I would have a hard time choosing between #2 or #5 for submission. Could a moderator advise me on the options if there are any?

  39. Actually I take that back. I should have read the rules more carefully, and if I have in fact disqualified myself then thats a lesson learned. Had a great time working on Desert Eagle – #5 is, I think, the best HM3 attempt I have ever made.

  40. Don’t feel too bad, djuby, I just noticed that I mistook the two teams of the final story for two stories, and submitted one for each team. Ah, well, this is my fourth and final entry. Hopefully slack will be granted, as the third story only had two characters to choose from anyway.

    http://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af309/skybandit/Skybandit-DrDanger.png

  41. Glad to know I’m not alone! lol

  42. @ djuby: You laugh at the mighty Skybandit? Bah! I fart in your general direction! :)

    I would ask why your Desert Eagle #2 is decorated with Eskimo eagles and packing something other that Desert Eagle automatics, but then you might ask why my Stratocaster is using a Gibson flying Vee. Isn’t artistic license great? :)

    BTW, your DE #5 kicks ass. I’m jealous.

  43. From The Steel Soldier’s Gambit, Lionheart:

    http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/7410/arianairislionheart.png

  44. Thankyou mighty Skybandit. Who doesn’t love some good artistic licence?
    Great work btw!

  45. Harlequin:
    I want to ask it to you like anime or manga type characters? I usually make this type of pictures and i see here to a lot of people don’t like this type of pictures.

    I’m curious who has mentioned a dislike for anime/manga. Usually I see praise for your work.

  46. Harlequin:
    I want to ask it to you like anime or manga type characters? I usually make this type of pictures and i see here to a lot of people don’t like this type of pictures.

    I say go for it. You usually amaze me with the stuff you manage to pull off.

  47. YouAlreadyKnowIthink

    My Take on Lionheart, i didnt get the whole 70’s fashion look so i just did wut i could and though would look good xD

    http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii563/TNGnikkuh/YouAlreadyKnowIthink-Lionheartpng.png

  48. Starfighterace421

    First off THE SCENT OF ROSE PETALS made me cry inside a little…

    Second I did Kid Crash as my first entry (maybe only we’ll see) http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/starfighterace421/2012/08/starfighterace421-Kid-Crash.jpg

  49. Would these be an exception to posting (for example, in the art gallery forum pages) copyrighted characters?

  50. Herr D:
    Would these be an exception to posting (for example, in the art gallery forum pages) copyrighted characters?

    Yes, but I would prefer you not continue once the contest period has ended.

  51. First replies.

    Dblade – I see a lot of time to here tell to not like the manga’s and anime’s. In these case i first ask, because i don’t want to waste my time.

    Worf – Hmmm. Hmmm.

    So ok, i made a picture for this for fun. I wrote down a lot not my type the spandex, and superheroes. I don’t read the books i only use the little description. I think a lot which character or characters i use for a picture.
    So i choose 2 of them. Carousel and The sparks I want to make a good illustration. I hope everybody like it.

    Sparky Carousel

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/tarkabarka/2012/08/Harlequin_Sparky_Carousel.png

  52. Okay, I’m closing contest entries now. Thanks for playing, everyone! Winners will be determined shortly!