Category Archives: Sharing Day

Sharing Day: You Did It!

I’d like you to take a moment to post a comment telling us something you’re proud of, an achievement or project you’ve accomplished that you think is cool. Maybe it’s your blog, or a book you’ve written, or a particularly great illustration, or that you lost fifty pounds, or a volunteer organization you help out with, or the deck you built, or a photo of an awesome cap you knitted. Just anything that shows off your interests in a great way and that you want to share with the community.

Imagine it’s like we’re going around the room and you’re asked to introduce yourself by saying “Hi, I’m Jeff, and I _______.” So I’d probably say “Hi, I’m Jeff, and I built a web site that lets people make their own super hero drawings at”. I want to give you a chance to brag on yourself a little and to point the rest of us at something you’ve done or been involved with that you think is great. Or even pretty good. Or even just mildly interesting.

Lay it on us, String Bean!

Sharing Day: Your Feedback

For today’s Sharing Day, I would like to ask you to sound off about three things:

  • Your overall opinion about the blog portion of the site — are there things you enjoy, things you hate, things you want to see done differently? Basically anything you want to say about the non-app part of what we do here.
  • Your opinion about comic-book reviews McKnight57 has been posting. Are you interested in what’s currently being published in the comics world or are you indifferent?
  • What is your favorite Seinfeld moment?

If you respond to all three, you can request a One Minute Sketch of whatever you like, and I’ll do a sketch in one minute or less of it and post it as a comment.

Ready, set, SOUND OFF!

The Pumpkin of Justice!

Genius creator Blue Blazer just sent me these awesome photos of his Justice League inspired Halloween pumpkin carving. He did these himself and I think they turned out great! At least, if I were an evil spirit or hulking zombie thinking of invading a house protected by a pumpkin like this, I’d certainly move along to someone less intimidating.

Click any one of these to embiggen in a slideshow.

Sharing Day: Best Tip

I have a lot going on this week and unfortunately I just don’t have the time for an Open Critique Day. Instead, I’d like to ask you all to help each other:

Give us your one “Best Tip” for creating characters with HeroMachine.

Maybe it’s how you use “Zypping” to add highlights, or your recipe for simple but effective backgrounds, or the process you use to envision a character before ever committing it to paper. It could be something as simple as how to save a color or as complicated as a link to the awesome scene you created. Whatever it is, post it here and maybe it’ll help someone else down the line who’s stuck.


Sharing Day: Good Reads edition

My question for you today is:

If a friend came to you who had never read a comic book/fantasy novel/science fiction novel before (your choice) asking for your advice on what to read, what one book would you give them to introduce them to the genre?

You only have to do one of the three (though you can do more if you like), but I’m going to take a crack at them all.

In science fiction, I always recommend they start with “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. It’s well written, with intriguing characters you really come to care about, and it’s nothing so crazy far-out that it would scare them off.

If they’re a religious person, I recommend “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell. It posits that First Contact with an alien planet was made by a group of Jesuit priests. Only one returns, and the novel is about figuring out what happened. It’s great science fiction, raises some excellent moral and spiritual questions, and is accessible to anyone even if they know nothing about sci-fi.

On the comics front, I’d probably go with the Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli Daredevil collection “Born Again“. (For a non-religious person, that’s two religious books. Hmmm.) I think it’s grounded enough in reality for anyone familiar with pop culture to be comfortable with, but with enough super-hero elements to be a decent introduction to the modern incarnation of the genre. Plus it’s a gorgeously illustrated and written book.

Finally, on the fantasy front I think you probably can’t go wrong with “The Sorcerer’s Stone“, the first Harry Potter book by J. K. Rowling. It has all the juicy fantasy tropes presented in a friendly way. If they were a darker sort of person, I’d go with Steven Brust’s “The Book of Jhereg“. Because it’s written in first person, I think it’s easy to get into the character’s head, and I love the way that Brust makes the magical world very commonplace in the mind of the main character. After all, for him it’s just normal; it’s only magic to us. Or, if they’re a more literary sort of person, I’d give them Brust’s “The Phoenix Guards“, set in the same universe but with different characters, told in the style of Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers”. It’s just a rollicking good read all the way around.

Most of those (and more) can be found on my Amazon Listmania list of sci-fi/fantasy books that I love.

Now, your turn!

Sharing Day: Gone to the Dogs (and cats and monkeys and … ) Edition

Pets have a long and rich history in super-hero comics, from the massive Superman menagerie to Ace the Bat-Dog to Gropey the Spider-spider*. And in my own life, we have a plethora of critters from horses to miniature donkeys to our great dogs (including one named Monster who really needs his own comic book). So our Sharing Day topic this time out is:

Tell us your favorite true-life pet story.

Preferably it would be about your own pets (or those of someone you know personally) and not, you know, a cut and paste of “Call of the Wild”. Here’s mine.

We were still living in Texas on hour hundred acre place, and had driven our truck out on the back part of the property for some reason or another. We had Flash, our big male Shiloh Shepherd, with us, and we let him out so he could run a bit while we were working. We thought our four miniature donkeys, vulnerable little cuties that they are, were safe on the other side of the ranch, near the barn. So we were startled when a few minutes later we heard loud, aggressive barking and some frantic braying — apparently the donks were very close, hiding in the trees, and big ol’ Flash had tracked them down!

We started to dash off towards the sound, convinced we’d find nothing but mangled equine parts and a happily-munching dog, when suddenly the barks turned to panicked yelps and we see our ferocious guard beast pelting at breakneck speed back through the cedar trees, Jack the angry miniature donkey hard on his heels, two feet tall of towering fury. Jack chased him around the truck three times, his braying beating out the yellow-bellied yowls of panic, until we finally opened the door and let Flash into the truck, where he remained cowering and safe from the prey turned predator. We dubbed him “Honorary Pussycat” for the day and he never lived it down.

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite pet story? In return for playing along, you can (if you want, no obligation) ask me a question about whatever you like and I’ll answer truthfully. Photos of the pets in question are very much encouraged.

*(NOt an actual thing, but dammit, it should be!)

Free Draw Friday

Today I just want to take time to enjoy awesome looking images. So take this as a “Free Draw Friday” to post an image that you love. It could be one of your favorite HeroMachine creations (your own or someone else’s), or something you drew yourself, or just a really cool picture you found on the Internet. All day long you can come back here to see what others have put up and get a little lift.

Here’s mine (via Reddit):

Sharing Day, Geek Interview Edition

One of the cool things about Dragon*Con is getting to see some of the creators and actors you’ve loved in person. So my question for you is:

If you could have one hour of live, in person, one-on-one time to talk with any real-life, currently alive person from the world of geekery, with whom would you choose to conversate, and what would you ask them?

As for me, I’d choose Joss Whedon, as someone who has excelled at producing geeky content from multiple genres (supernatural, super-heroes, horror) in multiple media (television, musicals, movies, the web) and who just seems like a nifty guy. Among other standard questions (“What was it like directing Sarah Michelle Geller!?”), I’d ask him what commonalities he sees between super-heroes powers and stories, and more standard fictional entertainment. And if he’s surprised that out of all the people he’s “made big”, that David Boreanz would be the one to ultimately star in another big hit.

In return for playing along, you can (if you want, no obligation) ask me a question about whatever you like and I’ll answer truthfully.

A Legend Remembered…

Over the weekend, as some of you know, Joe Kubert passed away at 85. He was an artist/writer and at one time, DC’s director of publications. Either way, the man was phenomenal. As a way to insure that his legend lives on for a least bait longer, I thought it only fitting that blog, of which I’m proud to be a part, should honor him in our own way. He deserves at least an honorable mention. So, here’s to Joe, an artist, a writer, a legend, a teacher, an icon, a husband, and most importantly, a father.

Rest in peace, Joe Kubert (1926-2012), you deserve it.

This post is for anyone who wants to share any memories they have of Mr. Kubert’s work or any thought regarding his legacy or impact on the comics and art world in general.

Hall of Fame updates coming!

Today’s usually “Sharing Day”, so I’m finally going through the nominations for new “Hall of Fame” HeroMachine illustrations. As a result you’ll see a ton of new posts today when each of them goes up. In other words, today should be a long series of awesome images, rolling on like the tide!

Feel free to use this as a space to discuss them as they go up, or to talk about whatever you like.