Power User Profiles: ExtremelyEpic

So, I am again doing another one off PUP. And this time we’re going to take a look at someone who can only be described as a Mech-Expert. His work frequently stuns me, using items in ways I never thought they could or would be used. He also does some pretty kick-ass landscape works as well, which really show of his skill at atmospheric shading (if you go to his galleries one the forums or deviantart check out a pic call Trapped, it really exemplifies this. Oh and Abyss. Actually, just check it all out, it’s worth it). Plus he has a very apt username. So ladies, gentlemen and mechanical lifeforms, please welcome ExtremelyEpic.

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Kaldath’s Caption Contest #25

Once again it is time for a new caption contest! This week I want you to come up with your best replacement dialogue  for BOTH dialogue bubbles  for the following image:

20-legendsoftheDCU26

The usual rules apply, You are limited to Three (3) entries which are due by 12 noon Eastern Time on Tuesday April 14th.  Of course I as always expect you to keep your entries no worse then PG-13 in nature and that you follow all the normal rules of the forum when writing your caption for the above image. That being said I wish you all Good luck!

Character Design Contest ♯68- Angels & Demons

Ok guys , for your challenge this week I want you to create either an angelic character or a demonic character. Now this could be done in two different ways. The first would be to do the whole feathered wings/ horns ideas that are the classic representations of the two, or you could create a whole new character based upon a known theological character (i.e. Gabriel or Lucifer). I’ll be interested to see what you come up with.

As per usual, no limits on entries this week and the contest will close at midnight Saturday (blog time). The winner gets to claim a custom made item from dblade to be put into heromachine, so long as the item conforms to his prize rules, which you can find here: http://www.heromachine.com/forum/the-heromachine-art-gallery/dblades-whiz-bang-item-dispenser/. Please read the contest rules before entering, have fun and good luck.

Rules for posts, contests, and challenges that I am hosting: Original characters only, no copyrighted characters, no characters based on copyrighted characters, no characters based on RPG’s or other games. The characters must be your own design and not based on any character that might be copyrighted in any way. I have the right to delete any post that I believe crosses this line without warnings. Only post characters that you have either created for this contest specifically or you know for certain have never been entered to a contest before. If you aren’t certain, don’t enter it, because I’m not going to go back through all of the contests and check.

Character Design Contest ♯67 (Animal Themed) Poll

Character Design Contest ♯66 (Fashion Show 2) Winner

Another great turn out for this weeks poll. However, unlike last week, this week it was not a close finish, instead the winner had a clear 20 votes over his nearest competitor. And, I believe this is his first CDC win. So please give a big hand for Mattisagamer and his excellent Exyle. Congrats Matt, make sure you see dblade about your prize.

66 mattisagamer- Exyle

What I Learned from Watching The Super Friends

super_friends

When I was a kid, the only super-hero action you could get was on Saturday mornings, and then only from the classic “Super Friends” cartoon. Looking back, I realize it was a pretty bad show, but as I said it was the only game in town. So I watched the living daylights out of it.

All these years later, I only remember two things, both thanks to Aquaman:

  1. When crossing the street, look left, right, then left again.
  2. If you get something stuck in your eye, pull the upper lid out and down on top of the lower lid. You’ll tear up and wash out the obstruction.

So there you have it. He might have been terrible at fighting super-villains, but he could teach the heck out of child safety. Thanks, Aquaman!

More Layout Changes

I apologize for how frustrating all this is, but I’m still testing various layouts and ad partners to try and get revenue where it needs to be to keep the site afloat. As a result you have probably noticed that I’ve returned to the old layout for HeroMachine 2 and 3, with no sidebar column and an ad unit integrated into the app itself.

I’ll likely be changing the sidebar to a narrower width and putting it back in some time today, so be warned. I’m also still working on a premium membership where you can have the no-ad layout full-screen sized. I’ve encountered a bit of a problem on that front, though, which is delaying me.

Thank you for your patience and your support.

Kaldath’s Caption Contest #24 – Results

Last week I asked you to give me the best replacement dialogue for the following image:

 

CA1

 

Out of all the entries the following 5 are mt Favorite:

EnderX : “Oh, by the way. Rob Liefeld is going to be drawing your book from now on.”

Skybandit: Turn your head and…is that too much pressure?

Skybandit: You’re being replaced by Will Smith in the next film!

JR19759:  “…Well, after the success they had with The Superior Spiderman, the guys upstairs have decided to replace you with Baron Zemo.”
Frankie: Captain America finds out his spandex is made in China.
And of those five, our winner is …………………………….

The AFD in AFD Studios

For those who don’t know, the company name I’ve operated under for however many years is “AFD Studios”, which stands for “April Fool’s Day”. Why? Because that’s the day fourteen years ago that my father passed away from an aneurysm, a complication of the asbestosis that had robbed him of most of his lung capacity. I was there when it happened, which I still think about every few days even all this time later.

We always joked, my six siblings and I, that when our father died we’d all inherit one seventh of his debt, but as it turned out he was able to leave us each a little bit. It was enough, anyway, for me to take a year off to work on what became HeroMachine 2. Thus the company is named in his honor, as he helped make it possible.

I wrote the following article back in 2006, and it still sums up my feelings pretty well. I wanted to share it with you folks, who have made the time since so much fun and so fulfilling. This is the guy we owe part of the success of HeroMachine to. Thanks, Pop. Rest easy.

Today, April 1, is the anniversary of my father’s death. I’ve put together some thoughts about him and me below the fold … it’s pretty raw and heavy, so don’t click on the button unless you’re ready for that. The short version is that I miss him more now than I did while he was alive, and appreciate the fact that he raised seven great kids and greatly contributed to his community. I also mourned and came to peace with the fact that my idea of what I needed as a father died long before his body did.

My relationship with James L. C. Hebert was complicated while he was alive, and has only gotten moreso since his passing. Now that I am the same age he was when I was born, I realize how difficult life must have been for him and Mom. Seven children by the age of 36, and him without a college degree or a steady job. Yearning for the freedom of the open road and no obligations, even while overloaded with them. Driven by the loss of his own father while forced to be a dad for seven little ones. Destroying his body with alcohol and cigarettes while unknowingly being eaten from the inside out by asbestosis.

Of course I knew nothing of that as a child. Children, like animals, aren’t terribly interested in your burdens or your demons, in what happened to you when you were younger or in how hard your life has been. Children need love and security, and I got little of either from Dad growing up.

Dad was less a person while I was growing up than a kind of elemental force of angry nature. Life as a child for me was spent figuring out how to avoid his rage. My most vivid early memories of him are of yelling — at me, at my siblings, at my mother, at people on the phone. I remember a birthday party of mine (maybe I was seven?) when I was apparently acting like a brat, whining and sullen. I don’t remember why I was being rotten, but I am pretty sure I was.

I do remember Dad hauling me inside the little entry to our house while the other kids were outside playing Red Rover. He started spanking me, yelling at me to shape up. I remember it hurting, but it was probably more from the emotional trauma than that the blows were terribly hard. He spanked me into a corner and I was crying so hard I peed in my pants. At my own birthday party. I had to go change and then wipe my eyes and pretend that I was happy to be there.

That was probably the lowest moment.

There were good memories too, of course, but honestly, not very many. Most center around him bringing stacks of comic books home … maybe that’s why I love super-heroes so much. The idea of a person with amazing powers, able to escape whatever mundane troubles plagued their secret identities to become a crusader for justice and righting wrongs. Plus it was about the only thing Dad and I could share, so that made it even more special.

He and Mom took my sister Donna and I to Dogpatch, USA, which was fun mostly for the scene of him in a centrifugal force ride. It spun so fast his toupee flew off his head and stuck to the wall. That was pretty priceless.

I still think of his lessons about road manners. He spent a lot of time travelling as a salesman for one thing or another, and had good insights about how you should act on the road. I still thank him whenever I flash my lights at a semi to let him know that he can move over safely.

It’s tempting, when talking about someone who’s died, to suppress the bad and emphasize the good, to end on a positive note and wrap things up in a nice neat bundle with ribbons and good cheer. But life’s more complicated than that. When he died I didn’t really mourn. I didn’t have crying jags, or get terribly depressed, and I couldn’t understand why.

I finally came to realize that the father I had needed and longed for as a child had died long before in my mind. In fact, in some ways he’d never been allowed to exist. The hugs and the love weren’t there when I needed them, as a scared and lonely little boy, convinced his father despised him and yearning for approval that was never to come. When I was no longer a child, I had already buried that idea of a Dad.

What replaced it was respect for a man who did the best he could, and who (all things considered) did pretty damn well. Along with Mom he helped raise seven great kids, who have all gone on to success and happiness. He helped hundreds of drug and alcohol addicts recover and move on with their lives. He brought happiness and love to his siblings and his mother and his grandchildren.

It gets easier, with each anniversary of his death, to concentrate on those things and not on the father I needed, but never had, as a child. I feel sorrow for the people I love who miss him, and I hope against hope that he is in a better place now, free from the burdens and pain that dogged him throughout his life, able at last to hit the open road with a clear conscience and a happy heart.

Friend of HeroMachine author Ian Thomas Healy still needs to hear from you winners so he can get your prizes to you! He says:

Related to the Jackrabbit contest from last month: Okay, the contest is closed and the trailer is finished! You can see the final product at http://youtu.be/kQ4eWr9S86o. I used pictures from Keric, Melmo44, Mr. Nobody, and RobM, but since I had so few entries, I’ll send ebooks to HerrD and Calvary_Red as well. Send me an email with your format of choice (Kindle, EPUB, or PDF) so I can send you the ebook. ian AT ianthealy DOT com.

Mr. Nobody’s picture made me laugh out loud when I saw it. Great job! You win the signed ARC. When you email me, include your mailing address. Thanks for playing, everyone!”