Character Contest 45 Winners!

Many thanks to everyone who entered Character Contest 45 - The Kirby Train. Before getting to the fun stuff, I have a bit of bad news to report -- the following entries were not considered for stated reasons. I feel particularly bad for those with multiple entries like kyle and venomfang666, but the state of my internet connection just doesn't allow me to process characters that are not directly downloadable from the link. In some cases, I could see from the name that the character wouldn't qualify, as they were supposed to be a color and a mode of transport.

The number in parenthesis is the comment number on the original thread.

  • Galactic Ketchup (9) - bad link
  • ajw (11) - not a mode of transport
  • DANIEL ENGLAND (12) Bad link, and "ding thing" has neither a color nor a mode of transport
  • Neon Sequitur (18) Bad link
  • kyle (36, 96, 138) - bad link (imageshack)
  • TJ (52) - bad link (photobucket)
  • Hanna (62) - bad link (imageshack)
  • Galahad (102, 104) - not a mode of transport
  • venomfang666 (109, 119, 121, 130) - bad link (photobucket)
  • abominal401 (110) - "Mystery Crimson" not a mode of transport
  • Grip (141) - no color ("Ice Skater" -- ice isn't a color)
  • Grip (148) - "Trance" is neither a color nor a mode of transport

Since most of these are bad links, here's how to get good ones.

Most of the time the bad link is from copying the URL in the address bar of your browser, but that won't work for right-clicking on the link and saving the image directly because it usually has some other bits of data in it for you, the image creator, that no one else can use. If it has something like "?action=rotate" in the address, then it's useless to me.

PhotoBucket: PhotoBucket puts a big giant box over on the left side of the image screen labeled "Share this image". You want the link in the "Direct Link" box. That goes directly to your image without all the other PhotoBucket crap loading around it.

ImageShack: ImageShack has a set of boxes on the right side of the image viewer screen. In the one called "Links to Share This Image", you want the one labeled "Direct".

Those are the two major culprits, hopefully that will help for next time; I'm sorry I wasn't able to use your entries this week.

Now that we have the unpleasant bits out of the way, on to the happy news!

First, "Blue Stilts" from Danny Beaty literally made me laugh out loud:

Another one I thought was funny came from Galactic Ketchup, called "Brown Streak". The effects on the word balloon were particularly nice.

Joel would win for "Best Slogan", if that were a category. Regardless, it made me laugh.

The final "Funny and Good" entry I wanted to highlight was Gargoyle323's "Silver Streaker", wearing nothing but a fancy Galactus helmet and sporting classic Kirby Krackle.

A number of other folks presented illustrations that didn't quite nail the overall challenge, but which I thought were outstanding enough in some way to bring to your attention. For instance, Atomic Punk's "Crimson Camel" features a spectacular space background, particularly in the upper right corner of the image.

Danny Beaty also had a more serious entry that featured a really kick-ass surfboard with custom mounted rockets, "Golden Skimmer":

Blue Blazer's "Red Rover" is a well done and funny image, and although it's not particularly Kirby-esque I would pay cash money to hear the phone call on the hotline from the Police Commissioner -- "Quick Red Rover, Red Rover, send Red Rover right over!"

Galahad's "Onyx Gateway" used masking very creatively to emulate a cool series of interstellar gates.

While those entries all had something great about them, and while there were others that I thought were wonderful overall character designs and illustrations (like Imp's "White Walker", Solander's "Crimson Rider", Phatchick's "Punch Buggy", Martian Blue's "Scooter Red", Galahad's "Blue Blazer", Cliff's "Black Biker", and abominal401's "Light" -- that one had spectacular effects but didn't have a valid Kirby name -- among others), a few stood out for not only being cool to look at but for capturing the essence of a "Kirby Character". Thus the following images I thought were the overall "Final Finalists".

Frevoli's "Taupe Transporter" not only looks very Kirby-like, but he used a keyboard in the chest piece. Classic!

I thought Gargoyle323's "Golden Gondolier" was cool and a very good Kirby vehicle, but I didn't quite get enough of the characters themselves. Great job though.

Jack Zelger did a bang-up, spot-on, very cool "Big Barda" style character with his "Lavendar Luger". I love the use of the top-down perspective and the flying hair, too. The armor and the collar are what really nail this one as Kirby.

Me, Myself, and I had great harness and shoulder gear in "The Fuchsia Flyer":

The first entry I came across that I thought really nailed it was Rancid's "Red Zoom". It too has a very New Gods vibe, especially with the improvised power sled. Just a very cool looking guy and totally in the spirit of one strain of Kirby's vision.

Watson Bradshaw's "The Sapphire Segway" also nails the Galactus-era Kirby. If the background had been a little stronger on this one, it might have won, but even as-is I think it's extremely well done.

The First Runner Up -- and believe me, I agonized over which one of these two to pick -- is Kingslaughter's "Emerald Sword". I love, love, love the top-down perspective, the color choices, the out of control gear shoulders, the hand effects, the expression, the helmet, the background, and just the general idea that there's a guy racing around the cosmos on a giant green sword. That's at least four kinds of awesome and exactly the kind of random yet cool thing Kirby used to do. Just an all-around fantastic image.

Which brings us to your overall winner for the week. I went back and forth with "Emerald Sword" and this one, because I think both absolutely nailed the concept I was going for. Ultimately what tipped the balance was actually the description, which I think is a first. The bit that got me was "Hear the bleat of his little squeezehorn, puny mortals, and tremble!", which is still making me chortle even as I type this.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the winner of Character Contest 45, "The Vermillion Vespanaut" by Spidercow2010!

The colors, the absolutely ridiculously over-the-top helmet, the krackle, the setting, and the humor all are perfect. Fantastic job, Spidercow, this is one of my all-time favorite images I've seen from the HeroMachine. Well done! Let me know what you'd like as your prize -- a portrait or item for HM3, or a custom "Sketch of the Day", and I'll put it on the List of Doom.

Congratulations again to our Finalists, our Winner, and everyone who took the time to share a creation with the rest of us. Well done, all!

27 Responses to Character Contest 45 Winners!

  1. Watson Bradshaw says:

    Great job Spidercow2010, love the over the top headgear! I can totally see The Vermillion Vespanaut going up against the Silver Surfer or the New Gods 🙂

  2. John says:

    I whole-heartedly concur with the overall winner! Very, very well done!

  3. VonMalcolm says:

    I haven’t gone through all of the entries yet, but the winners are hilarious! Congrats. So this is what is meant by ‘Kirby-esque’.

  4. Gargoyle323 says:

    Congrats Spidercow2010 on a great looking character. Well deserved win. Also,congrats to all other finalists. Great job by all!

  5. TopHat says:

    Oh man, I’m kicking myself for not entering.

    You should totally do another Kirby contest in the future, like, a Kirby-esque helmet contest.

  6. Frevoli says:

    This being only my second contest; I’m glad to’ve been mentioned at all, let alone a final finalist… overall, a worthy winner, I must say

  7. I am actually very happy to see “Emerald Sword” as the first runner up! Thanx Jeff. 🙂 It was a concept I had in my head for quite some time!I tried to illustrate it as Kirby-ish as possible! Congratulations to Spidercow2010 for the win and awesome entry, well done to the other finalists too! I just love these contests!

  8. MartianBlue says:

    Congrats all. Congrats spidercow. And thanks Jeff for the reference.

    I have to tip my hat to the winners of this contest for their creativity.

  9. Galactic Ketchup says:

    I’m stoked that Brown Streak got a mention :L

    Congrats to Spidercow and everyone else, all the finalists were awesome.

  10. dave3dclark says:

    Congrats to everyone 🙂

    I know this isnt necessarily the right place for this, but is there a way to copy the code in hm3 like hm2 so i could work on the same charecter in multiple places.

  11. venomfang666 says:

    congrats spidercow, i fear the day when the vespanaut comes a bleating his squeeze horn

  12. Me, Myself & I says:

    Congrats Spidercow2010, well done!

  13. Danny Beaty says:

    Congrats Spidercow!

    @the good Mr. Hebert: Wow, two honorable mentions! Thanks Jeff! I really thought “The Green Wingman” had the best chance of all of my entries because (in my opinion) his mask reminds me of the head of the Kirby created “Machine Man”.

  14. The Imp says:

    I had a really hard time with this one. Maybe it’s because I think Kirby was a shitty artist, I kept trying to make my entries look cooler instead of realizing that Kirby characters are supposed to look ridiculous and stupid. 😀

    Congrats, Spidercow! That one and the Blue Stilts had me laughing so hard I nearly sprayed soda on my keyboard.

  15. Me, Myself & I says:

    Don’t worry The Imp (15) you’re not alone in having a tough time with this one. It is difficult producing something in a style you dislike. While Kirby did have some neat characters his style certainly isn’t what I prefer.

  16. Neon Sequitur says:

    Jeff, I’m confused as to why I was disqualified for posting a “bad link” — I just went back to the submissions thread, and the link I posted is working for me. And it worked when I first posted it — I try to test every link I post.

    If it works when I click on it, I’m not sure what else I can do to ensure that it’s a “good” link.

  17. Me, Myself & I says:

    Neon Sequitur (17), your image was disqualified, not because it couldn’t be accessed, but because the link did not go directly to the image. Instead, the viewer can not see the complete image by simply clicking the link. They must click at least another time in order to get to the full image itself.

    This is what you had for a link.

    If you used this instead it would have worked.

  18. Me, Myself & I says:

    Neon Sequitur (17)

    If you would have used this link instead it would have worked.

    The issue wasn’t that the image could not be accessed. The issue is that the link did not go directly to the image. This results in extra hunting for the viewer (in this case Jeff) in order to view the whole image and save a copy as needed.

  19. Jeff Hebert says:

    Neon, as the contest rules state:

    Please make the link go directly to the image (like this) and not to a hosting jump page (like this). If you see “preview” or “rotate” somewhere in the link you’re probably doing it wrong.

    This was your link:

    When you click on the link, it goes not directly to the image but to the jump page with all the PhotoBucket stuff on it. Just looking at the link, I can tell you cut and pasted it from the address bar of your browser because it has the ?action-view stuff that I specifically warned you all — many times — to avoid.

    If I can’t right-click on it, choose “Save Link As” and get the image onto my hard drive, the odds are I’m not ever going to see it.

    In this case, you want the “Direct Link” from the big box over to the left of the page you posted, with “Share this image” at the top. That link is:

    Do you see how that’s different? Clicking on that link takes you to a page with only the image in it, and nothing else — not the PhotoBucket header, not the Facebook share information, not the other surrounding stuff, nothing. If you right-click on it and choose “Save Link As”, you get the image, not an html page like with the link you posted.

    In practical terms, the link you posted makes me go to the PhotoBucket host page and load all the stuff on it which, when my internet connection is crappy (like right now) can take up to five minutes. Multiply that times 190 entries and you can see how it would take me (literally) all day just to get the images on my hard drive so I can judge them. That’s compared to the fraction of the time it takes to download just the image itself.

    That’s why PhotoBucket and ImageShack put those “Direct” links in there — it’s so you can give out the address for just the image and not the rest of the garbage they load on the jump page.

    If I just sprang this on you guys out of nowhere, I’d feel bad, but I’ve posted this over and over and over again, with specific instructions for PhotoBucket and ImageShack in particular.

  20. @spidercow2010: Congrats!

    Thanks for the Honorable Mention. I was trying to emulate a nebula. “Crimson Camel” was a two-fer. He’s both a color and a mode of transportation. Okay, I over-thought that one.

    A few new entrants this time around. Welcome all new HM’ers!

    I thought these really captured the New Gods vibe:

    Gargoyle323’s Crimson Creeper
    Jack Zegler’s Lavender Lugerand
    Rancid’s Red Zoom
    Watson Bradshaw’s Brass Bullet Train

    Lot of great entries. I agree with Jeff that though neat and original, a lot of us missed the contest’s Kirby theme.

    On to CC 46! 🙂

  21. spidercow2010 says:

    Many thanks to Jeff and to all my congratulators (“Fear the awesome might of . . . the Congratulator! Mwa ha haaa!”). I was surprised to win over all this stiff competition, especially the glorious Golden Gondolier, the lovely Lavender Luger, and the excellent Emerald Sword. And aside from its general awesomosity (I like how he’s got a butt going), the Crimson Camel’s background kicks mine’s metal-clad heinder. Well done, all.
    Jeff, I’m going to renege on my earlier threat to ask for Kirby dots or krackle or whatchawannacallit–I think I know how to make my own now–and request a planet. We’ve got Earth’s moon, and Saturn, but outer space is very big, I’m told, and more variety would be great. Some vaporous swirly atmosphere around it couldn’t hurt.

  22. spidercow2010 says:

    Wait, wait, I take it back. I found more planets (under Background:Floors, the others being under Background:Sky (?)) so never mind. What I’d really like is sky (I ask for big stuff). There’s one sky, with some fluffy, frankly kinda crude, clouds which always seem to have their most interesting parts out of frame, so I’d like another sky to play with. Maybe more clouds, rainclouds, or a sunset, or clouds that sit on and slightly above the horizon. I guess I’m being kind of vague. Okay, let’s say just clouds; a cloudbank I can duplicate, re-size, rotate and position however I want. Yeah, that’s it. Yeah.

  23. Jeff Hebert says:

    Planet it is. I mean, rainbows. Er, a sunset! No, a cloudbank!

    Cloudbank for the win, it’s on The List. Which I REALLY have to start working on some day.

  24. spidercow2010 says:

    Yeah, I gotta knock off the stream-of-consciousness typing.
    Planning, research, forethought, knowing what you’re talking about…yawn.
    Thanks, Jeff.

  25. purplepineapple says:

    can some one please tell me how to enter my hero, or hereos in a contest, because i got a lot of good ideas and creations

  26. VonMalcolm says:

    My Favs (Not Necessarily Kirby-esque:

    The Crimson Creeper
    Scooter Red
    The Golden Grinder
    Steampunk Skater
    Lavender Luger
    The Crimson Jetpack
    Brass Bullet Train
    Jaundiced Jet Skier
    Golden Gremlin
    Aqua Aviatrix
    Raspberry Rocket
    Crimson Sit-In-Spin
    Red Roomba

    Top 7 (In No Particular Order):

    The Aero Pharaoh
    The Black Biker
    Blue Blade
    Mystery Crimson
    The Golden Gondolier
    Emerald Sword
    Vermillion Vespanaut