Character Contest 25: Masthead!

Do you recognize this character:

That winged cow-head fellow appears in the banner right at the top of this here site, on every single page.

I hate it. And I want you to make a better one.

Therefore, whoever submits the best HeroMachine-created illustration to replace the redoubtable minotaur will have that character appear from here on out in the actual banner instead. It's practically immortality! Well, at least til UGO redesigns the whole thing again, anyway. But close!

Here are the rules:

  1. The character submitted cannot have been entered in a HeroMachine contest before.
  2. Submissions must be made as comments to this post, including a link to the character image on the web someplace (UGO Forums, PhotoBucket, whatever).
  3. No more than three (3) entries per person, with a deadline of Monday night at midnight.

Good luck everyone!

92 Responses to Character Contest 25: Masthead!

  1. Jake says:

    Do we submit this as a pic of the face using the Headshot view or the whole body in normal view?

  2. Gene says:

    LoL, you know just last night I was looking at that thing and wondering what was so special about it that it was in your banner.

  3. Jeff Hebert says:

    Hm, good question Jake. Since only the headshot will appear in the masthead (anything bigger just becomes a blur, mostly), that’s probably the smartest thing to do. But it’s not a rule or anything, full-shots are still fine as long as it looks good when cropped like it will need to be to show in that narrow space.

    Ultimately, THAT’s the criteria — how does it look in that space. In other words, cool feet probably aren’t the most important factor here 🙂

  4. Jeff Hebert says:

    Gene, to be honest I think it was a designer (don’t know who) at UGO who was just hacking around in the app and using it as a placeholder in the overall design. Once it was in, I couldn’t get it changed.

    I think it’s been long enough now that no one will notice. I am such a REBEL!

  5. NEON_N64 says:

    Should it have a background or not?

    This contest should have been done a long time ago.

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    No background would be preferable.

  7. Demented The Clown says:

    Sweeeet Basically A Free For All.


    The Hair.

  8. Aaron says:

    Does it have to have an animal head?

  9. Jeff Hebert says:

    Absolutely not, Aaron, it can be anything at all. Complete free for all, as DTC said (within the bounds of good taste, of course).

  10. kingmonkey says:

    Good taste? Awwww! I guess Phallus the Clown won’t be making an appearance in the masthead.

  11. Jeff Hebert says:

    You are correct, Kingmonkey. Although for the record, I would totally watch a show called “Phallus the Clown”.

  12. Gero says:

    I give you my one and only entry to this contest, the new face of Heromachine, Super Jeff!

  13. Frankie says:

    LOL. “Phallus the Clown and the Masthead” America’s hottest new show to watch, premiering after the Superbowl.

  14. XavierKain says:

    when you say character cannot have been entered do you mean the illustration or the character specifically i am working on a redesign of a female i had entered previously, so would it be a viable entry as long as it not the same illustration i entered previously.

  15. Tristan says:

    Can It be more than one person in the picture like a hero with a side kick behind him/her???

  16. Jeff Hebert says:

    @XavierKain: New illustrations of previously entered characters is fine.

    @Tristan: That’s a fine idea, go for it!

  17. Firecracker says:

    First up is the epitome of what HeroMachine is or every will be — BulletJeff

    Second is a more serious? entry — Tman

  18. Timespike says:

    Is it acceptable to just do a waist-up creation? If it’s not going to feature legs or feet, is it kosher to just leave them off?

  19. The Eric says:

    Here’s my entry:

    I wanted to make something fairly simple with characters from several genres (superhero, space marine, grim barbarian), to show more than the “Superhero” part of the program.

  20. Timespike says:

    Never mind – the entries of other have answered my question. Here’s an updated version of my old favorite Overwatch using both of my won items to their intended effect. 🙂

  21. William A. Peterson says:

    Superfan1, post “The Smoking Gun” to the Forums, and come up with a story (at least 5 sentences), and it gets a HotW Nomination, for sure!
    But, for the banner, there can be only one…
    And that one must be Super Jeff! 😀

  22. William A. Peterson says:

    Though, I still think everyone who views the HeroMachine Banner should be greeted by “A Smiling Face”!
    (If you can like, I can redo him without a background, and post just the Headshot…)

  23. Gene says:

    Ok, everybody can just head on home. I’ve got it right here.

    Good lookin chap, eh?


    And the full body, striking a pose version:



  24. Brad says:

    I think Super Jeff is the one. You won’t appear as an egomaniac, and I say the Jeff brand belongs here, baby!

  25. Gero says:

    @William & Brad: Thanks for the shout-outs! Though I’d have to admit that The Eric’s idea of showing several things you can do in one image is a great idea…

  26. Haruhi Suzumiya says:

    What about if i show that cow guy being strangled by another hero?

  27. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Haruhi: It is certainly your prerogative to submit an entry that has no chance of winning 🙂

  28. Scorpidius says:

    Hey Jeff, liking the idea and here are my three entries.

    I actually had two of my characters on your old banner (Scorpidius and Hujan the elephant) and I must say it was a big buzz seeing them there everytime I came to the site, so good luck to whoever wins this, because it is great seeing your work up there!

    Good luck all!


  29. Fabien says:

    A good mascot : an humourous character.
    Look at the coat of arms on the blazer….

  30. MartianBlue says:

    This could be interesting. 3 submissions
    1. Ymir

    Sorry no headshot, I made him on another computer. It died, and to be honest with you, I don’t know if I could maike him again or not.
    *Ignore the human, he’s just there for size reference*

  31. MartianBlue says:

    Actually he probably wouldn’t fit… If not, just say so, and I’ll come up with something else in his place

  32. Mr.Vampire says:

    I acctually think everyone should submit banners regularly, so it could change every week!

    Anyway here’s my entries:

    Entry 1. Simplicity.

    Entry 2. Eclectic man?

    Entry 3. Not realy an entry.

    Last one didn’t turn out as nice as I planned, and got a bit of compression blues when I saved it. but it reflects my first statement so it stands.

  33. Gero says:

    @Mr. Vampire’s 3rd entry: “My God, I can see FOREVER!”

  34. Vaxx says:

    Even though Kyle’s is funny, i think it’s very well done.

  35. kyle says:


  36. Malpi says:

    Here is my first ever subscription to a Heromachine contest.

    Hail to Olaf 😛

  37. Aaron says:

    Ok here’s my last one. Unfortunitly when I saved it lobbed the head of the side 2

  38. Tristan says:

    @Jeff: just and idea but you should pick finalasts and than lets the hm community decide by having a poll

  39. Tristan says:

    Heres my first entry Hag, Blue bird and Tommy Hawk

  40. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Tristan: Interesting, I have considered something like that … I thought about maybe giving you from Tuesday til Thursday night to make submissions, then putting the finalists up for Friday Night Fights, with the winner settled on the following Tuesday. What would you think about that?

  41. Demented The Clown says:

    Would there still be honorables?

  42. Jeff Hebert says:

    @DTC: All the ones I’d choose as finalists would be honorable mentions. That’s how I do it ordinarily, I go through all the submissions, pull out the handful that are HMs, and from those pick the one winner. In this case, the role of “chooser” would be played by the public voting.

  43. Gene says:

    hey Jeff, How hard is it for you to change the mast head? What about using this contest to kick off the change, then every two weeks feature the winner of the every-other-week character contest in the banner?

  44. Jeff Hebert says:

    The masthead is pretty easy to change, and that’s something to consider doing. Good idea!

    Actually though we’re going to be launching a new initiative in a week or so that will feature the winner’s creation, name, and brief character description (I think those are the fields, anyway) in HeroMachine “Create Your Own Hero” type ads that’ll be splashed all over to be seen by, literally, millions of visitors each week. That image will change weekly with each new winner. So the weekly contest winner will have their work featured on a major web site for a week, which is pretty cool.

    I’m not sure how that’ll affect the weekly contest format. I should put up a post for feedback on that …

  45. Aaron says:

    You should do a character contest where we have to create a wrestler

  46. kyle says:

    how about pirates

  47. MartianBlue says:


    Again, let me say thanks for the alien head.

  48. Danny Beaty says:

    @MartianBlue: Great job on Vanguard!

  49. XavierKain says:

    I have recently experienced a bug in Firefox in which i set up several objects in a few categories and as soon as i switch to a new category several items are deleted this bug has hindered my two character attempts for this contest 🙁

  50. Kaldath says:

    1) My first entry is a direct replacment for the Minotuar

    2) My second Entry is the Emerald Faerie

    I will add my 3rd entry later once I get it made.

  51. Anarchangel says:

    I don’t think this guy will win but hey, what the hell, stranger things have happened right?

    My third entry.

  52. rodney says:

    I always I guess tolerated the guy in the banner. It’s almost like a icon. You only had to see him to know it was heromachine. Owell New times, means new things.

  53. Horrorfan731 says:

    I don’t know if you would look for something like this.

  54. Horrorfan731 says:

    This guy is simpler than my last entry

  55. Horrorfan731 says:

    simple but complicated figure it out

  56. SongBird says:

    Okay, so, this might seem like it was made out of laziness, but not really. I spent more time thinking about it than I did working on it, is all. I was thinking about something sci-fi inspired. I wanted to make a future banner that could lure people here. I wanted to make something sexy, cool, and something that didn’t stray too far away from the idea of being able to make your own hero. Here goes nothing, my first, last, and only attempt at this contest:

    (Btw, both pictures are already in png format and can be used to add text to and everything)

  57. Rozenstal says:

    Swamp beast (Lavkraft`s old god)^

  58. spidercow2010 says:
    Hadn’t actually planned to send both of these, but snapfish decided for me. Couldn’t get her little ‘brain-tail’ to all show up.

  59. Alexander says:

    Hey All!

    This was a rather fun contest–thanks for having it! Here’re my submissions:

    What better mascot for a website with the name of a sandwich, but one with a Hero (or a submarine, torpedo, grinder, etc.) for a head? Take a bite, enjoy!

    This is one of my more recent pics. It’s an experiment in patterning–it was fun–I quite like how it turned out.

    I didn’t mean to create this one the way I did, but she really turned out looking like Billie Piper from BBC’s Dr. Who and the British music scene–it was totally subconscious, I swear!

    I’m going to go back and look at some more submissions–have fun ladies and gents!
    ~Xander, GamerMage

  60. MartianBlue says:

    @Danny, thanks. I’ve been working on him for a long time, trying to get him just right, probably 2 or 3 weeks. In all fairness, After making 20+ different designs, I had to turn to the ugo forums for help, and there Imp inspired me with his own version. I took the two versions I had kept, and Imp’s version, tinkered and wa-la, Vanguard was born.

  61. Demented The Clown says:

    Introducing Johnny Rogers aka J.R. , the standard superhero. His origin is simple he got hit in the head with a basket ball during basket ball practice at his high school. Which gave him a mild concussion, and the most basic super powers.

    His powers include flight, superhuman strength, invulnerability to anything up to standard explosives, superhuman endurance, peak human intelligence, peak human speed, and peak human agility.

    He works for his local sheriff’s department, and occasionally is called in by the U.S. military. He is sponsored by the S.S.C.C. Super Suit Clothing Company, and wears, models, and advertises many superhero costumes. He also owns his own superhero gadget company, simply known as Rj’s Super Gadgets. These gadgets are mostly designed, and made for other superheros. R.J. has been shown to use them when needed, although rarely.

    J.R.’s Black and Red Suit #1

    J.R.’s Armored Suit #1

    J.R.’s Military Suit #1

    J.R.’s Officer Suit #1

    J.R.’s Officer Suit #2

    J.R.’s Patriot Suit #1

    J.R.’s X-Suit #1

    J.R.’s X-Suit #2

    Pick Ya Favorite

  62. Lord Sorcerer says:

    Here are my entries:
    1.) The Lord of the Dance (Because everybody’s got their own inner minotaur):

    2.) Lockdown:

    3.) The Mighty Ankylus:

  63. Danny Beaty says:

    @Demented The Clown: Great use of colors in the J.R. costumes!

  64. XavierKain says:

    I was finally able to work on and complete two entries for the contest two Redesigns One is a new Image of my Valkyrie Character and the other is an upgraded version of my Evil Commander.

  65. Capshot says:

    These are my entries.

    1.Mild-Mannered artist by day, Superhero by night.Jeff transforms into his alter ego of…
    2.Jeff, after years of hate for the masthead, decided to delete it, permanently.
    Here’s a version, while I zoomed in.
    3.He’s just a random hero who uses electricity.

  66. vampyrist says:

    here is a pic of the half vampire mercenary Vampyrist

  67. PsyckoSama says:

    First a cook 4 armed snakelady… I personally like what I did with the staff.

    Second, Drek the Destroyer, an evil alien overlord bent on the conquest of Earth…

  68. PsyckoSama says:

    This character is meant to be the incarnation of all things “Dark age”. He’s a giant, freakishly muscular mutant cyborg biker with big guns, samurai swords, bullets a plenty, and a bright orange Mohawk. You don’t get more late 80s/early 90s than that.

  69. Gene says:

    Well I made a Male, then a female, so I wanted something different for my third Entry;

    The Green Dragon

    Good luck to all 🙂

  70. Hammerknight says:

    Here is my entry for this week. I thank a couple should be shown because Hero Machine is for everyone. Isia and I both do a lot of art with it and I think that the banner should show that couples can use it too.

  71. Artfuldodger says:

    Even if I don’t win, I can still take solace in the fact that no matter how bad she is, she’s still better than the old mascot. As you can see, I matched her theme with the theme of the site. It would’ve been a lot easier if you had a proper pegasus insignia.

    If you can’t tell, the thing in her hand is a giant paintbrush. Or maybe it’s a regular paintbrush and she’s just really short. I dunno.

  72. Asherian says:

    “Where you can make a design for your remake of beauty and the beast set in 3010 and suffering b.b.s”

    I’d make more, but didn’t have time this week.. spent it all trying to make her face look slightly angled to a varying level of success.