Ok guys, this week I want you to create the best character you possibly can. They must have a face, clothes and recognisable hands and feet, although hair and facial hair are optional. The catch? You must create your character using ONLY items found in Insignias- Standard, Insignias- Shapes and Background- Shapes. You cannot use items from any other item slot, no body parts, no tops, no pants, no hands, no feet and no hair, just shapes. Your characters can be anything you want; superhero, fantasy, sci-fi etc. so long as they are entirely made up of shapes.
Rules for posts, contests, and challenges: 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. Please keep all submissions PG13: full or partial nudity is prohibited. I have the right to delete any post that I believe crosses this line without warning. Only post characters that have been created solely using Hero Machine, and that you know for certain have never been entered in 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.
All entries must be in JPG or PNG form (BMPs are too big), posted to a publicly accessible website (like the HeroMachine :,ImageShack, DeviantArt, or whatever - Please do not use Photobucket);
- 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 filesas [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). *
This contest will close on Sunday, September 17th at 9:00am Eastern.
I want to start by thanking anyone who reads this for taking the time, that I understand people may disagree with my opinions, that I know the creators of HM in NO WAY support hate, and that I know the change I am asking for may be impossible due to technical reasons. Still, I think it’s worth a discussion. This character contest provides a useful context.
In my opinion the swastika found in the Insignia Standard category and the Confederate flag found in the Background Shapes category have no place on HM.
The symbols are simple enough so that should someone want to make them they can using other items. But I think making them available ready made through HM is wrong. Even when used to make villains it simply spreads the idea that characters wearing them can be somehow ‘cool’.
People with deeper knowledge of the history of the superhero genre have explained to me that the symbols played an important part in the history of comics e.g. Cap America punching Hitler on an early issue’s cover. However, I think that is not a valid argument to keep them because again, the symbols can be made using other assets in HM such as stars and rectangles.
I’ve been told HM is not about politics, but it can be argued it is as it includes these symbols.
I’ve been told it’s a slippery slope. That then the American flag could be removed. 1) I’d be okay with all symbols being off of HM. Because the user can always make them from other shapes. 2) I think the idea that it’s a slippery slope is a non-sequitur in the same way Trump’s equating of Nazis in Virginia and the counter-protesters was basely wrong.
I think that the argument that it would amount to censorship cannot be used as a reason to justify the inclusion of these items. If someone posted a pro-Nazi character it would likely be removed. So by having the symbols it’s basically saying they are there only to make characters that are defined as evil. So removing ones who portray Nazism as good would in itself be censorship.
I also don’t think removing the symbols makes us forget history. It makes a statement that the symbols should not be seen as acceptable. After all, Nazi symbols are illegal in Germany and they have not forgotten their vile history. Furthermore, including the symbols in itself removes historical context. People, especially young people, see these in a setting on HM providing no judgement and may think that they are non-political and okay to embrace.
I think that at the very least the moderators of HM should place a disclaimer on the site explaining their stance on these symbols, and if they decide they should not be removed then clearly explain why. The last thing I would want is for new users to think that HM somehow endorses hate.
Finally, again, I know that for technical reasons the requested change may not be feasible. But I don’t think that makes the issues moot. I am asking for a simple disclaimer on the site that explains HM’s position.
Thanks again. I truly love this community on HM and their art.
Respectfully, I disagree. I’ve used this site since I was about 13 or so. Never have I seen this site get used for hate or promoting it. Never have I seen this used to promote propaganda, only the sharing of creative minds and giving the ability to create heroes to those who don’t have the ability to draw. Those shapes, like you said, will be made regardless if someone wants too. Even those who can draw will promote such things on other sites. This is not the website or the place (Character Creation Contest), in my opinion, to suggest hate or ask for censorship. This is a free range site for the mind to creativity create their imaginative character and bring them to life, whether they choose to share them or not to the community. If a character is obscenely or purposely offending, I have the most confidence the moderators will take care of it. This is a humble and loving community, I believe hate and malice will ever be found here. This site gives us such a great opportunity to take advantage of a wonderful program/software for free to express our imagination. It would be wrong to censor anything and thus making us more sensitive to the material. We can be better than that. This site will never condone the use of those symbols of history to be something used to create an offensive stance. They are only available to give as many options as possible to the minds of the creator, and there is no barrier or censorship on imagination. Someone could also create a character using those symbols in a very negative light, because sadly, there are bad people today who use those symbols. I hope I don’t offend you or frustrate you, but this site has a very special place in my heart and is a love of mine, I will always defend it. We are all entitled to our opinions, but I humbly disagree with yours and I don’t find it necessary to worry about those symbols on such a site as this. Art is a form of expressionism, and to censor such things as art, is a form of oppression.
Hi, Ubiquitous Pixel. I really appreciate your thoughtful reply. I think an open dialogue, no matter the subject, is important. I want you to know I was not suggesting hate on this site. I also love HM and it brings a lot of joy to my life. I also want to say that I’ve never encountered a more vibrant, helpful, creative, and engaging community as I have here – as your response shows. I just wanted to state my opinion – and while we may not agree on everything – I think your measured response is proof that while the symbols make me uncomfortable I have very little to worry about.
I’d also quickly like to put in a small reminder here that people can still use this thread for posting entries for the CDC. You know, seen as that’s kinda what its here for and no-one has entered at all.
Just here to leave an entry… don’t mind me…
Halloween’s coming up so was feelin the creepy/spooky… I call her Ms. Skel-O-Lantern…
That is amazing for using just shapes, good lord, very nice.
Holy mackerel! Uh, I was going to play with some shapes to see what I could come up with but I will bow myself out after this! Way to knock it out of the park!
Wowzers, Christi, that’s a tough act to follow.
Decided to try and work with the contest’s restrictions, rather than fighting against them.
Ok guys, this weeks contest is now closed. The results will be up shortly.
I know, wrong place, contest is over, anyways, et cetera….
But I just noticed that anyone at all replied to this thread! 😀
Hermann, you seem to be missing an important point, and one UP missed as well.
Maybe it’s just you looking at this as artists, and not as storytellers.
But, if you look at the early Captain America comics, for example…
You’ll see LOTS of Swastikas there! Not because Cap, and the other good guys, were wearing them…
But an awful lot of Nazi bad guys were!
Less true of the Confederate Flag…
The Ghost in the Haunted Tank waved that flag because, in life, he had been one!
The notion that his relative was working for the ‘Damn Yankees’ may have been a shock,
but he still understood that even a Yankee was better than a Nazi!
The problem with those symbols, in today’s environment, is that it’s been long enough,
we have some folks thinking that those flags ever stood for anything good or decent,
or that the ideologies they represented were somehow good ideas…