More Munky Pictures

It’s time to dust off the old blog, and what better way than to kick it off with some random artwork that I’ve had lying around since the old Freestyle heydays of 1999 and 2000!

Anybody who worked for Freestyle Interactive during its first few years will know all about the “munkies.”  While they eventually would outnumber the humans 4-1, in the beginning there was only one.  The following strip is the original “Ryan’s Plush Monkey” comics I did in late 1999:

Two things come to mind in the nostalgia category: First, the monkey (actually from the defunct Puffkins plush line) did look a lot like a Furby, and we should know because Tiger Electronics, the ones responsible for those freaky babbling little mogwais, was one of Freestyle’s first clients.  The second thing that comes to mind is how at a startup, and I think particularly during the dot-com boom, anybody who could tell a CAT-5 cable from a shoelace was drafted into doing IT work for the office.

Later, Robo-Munky emerged.  This is an illustration of a costume that Ryan built for the Purple Monkey out of cardboard and parts of a CRT monitor stand:

Bot Designation 000.9b

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Since this is a forum for bad art, here’s a robot from my meeting notebook. I started at the feet and sort of ran out of ceiling space on the notepad as I worked my way up, hence the caption. I think the end result would make Sir Mix-A-lot proud. The dude on the left was left over from a previous meeting, and on all counts I don’t know what I was thinking.

Anyway, I swear I can do this and pay perfect attention to the discussion simultaneously!

IMAGE VAULT: SPIDEY VS. HULK

ONE DAY WHILE SAVING THE WORLD..! (184k)

For some reason, I really like this one. It’s another one of my images from Neefer’s collection, drawn some time in 1991. During that time, Peter David’s “Incredible Hulk” run was in full swing, starring the merged Hulk (later dubbed the “Professor” persona during Paul Jenkin’s run, but really he was just a giant bully with the intellect to match). Spidey’s summary of the Hulk’s volatile backstory was cobbled together from my OHOTMU TPBs and then-recent issues. And it only scratches the surface of how messed up the Hulk was at the time.

Of course, the thing that sets the Hulk apart from most characters in comics is that his status quo is constantly in flux, and has to stay that way for the concept to work. Thanks to the pop-psychological nature of the Hulk as a violent manifestation of Banner’s multiple personality disorder, each new creative team can make up new rules and shift to any persona for the character they feel will suit the stories they want to tell. If the book starts to flounder, they can dump it all and start from scratch without pretending the past never happened… an option a lot of comics don’t have today, with 40+ years of backstory to keep track of and no convenient MPD to make everybody forget.

Bruce Jones is currently writing the character very close to the TV series incarnation, with an emphasis on the horror and suspense that comes along with a guy who can’t help toppling a few buildings when you piss him off. It’s probably the most popular the title has been since 1991 when Dale Keown and Peter David were on a roll. This current phase will pass eventually like all the others and the Hulk will be interpreted another way, and so it will be as long as the property is going.

As for the art… I would like to think I’ve at least gained a better grasp of how to draw thighs…

IMAGE VAULT: SOCIETY OF SPIRIT LEADERS

Boy, it’s been a big time for nostalgia. I had my high school reunion a few weeks ago, and now Neefer has surprised me by scanning in all of the artwork she stole from me while we were “an item” back in the early 90′s… I haven’t seen most of this stuff in over ten years! It’s a happy-sad discovery, since I see some areas where my “art” has improved and other areas where I’ve lost something over the years.

I want to post more of this batch, but for tonight I’ll just share this ditty:


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Society of Spirit Leaders

The first entry is called Society Of Spirit Leaders. This is a very early comic strip effort from (probably) November ’91. It’s an embarassingly heavy-handed diatribe on peer pressure in High School, drawn to kill time during a family Thanksgiving trip. It definitely reads like the work of a teenage geekazoid struggling to make a “statement”, which it was. There are plenty of moments where I have no idea what the hell I was thinking! Lame as it is now, this turned out to be my first step away from wannabe sci-fi/fantasy art and closer to the wannabe cartoon style that eventually led to The Bastich.

I kind of regret the portrayal of the Spirit Leader. By this time I was so completely alientated from the “average” student body that I had no point of reference to base her on, so she just comes off as an insulting caricature. Oh well, this is all good therapy!

The three punk kids who appear on page 2 are based on some friends of mine… or at least for a while some of them were. The guy with the spikey hair was my best friend for about a year, and then he hit his Freshman year and hooked up with the elite non-conformist clique, ditching me almost completely without a moment’s hesitation. What a fucknar. Yes, I’m still a bit bitter about that. The NC’s had their secret handshakes, and trenchcoats, and in-jokes and the whole deal, and no matter what I did, I was never cool enough to get into their inner circle. Of course, as an adult, I would know to tell these guys to spin on it, but at the time is was like being a loser squared — even the dorks were too cool for me!

I actually had some good friends during High School, but it wasn’t until I got to college that I finally found a sizeable group of people who were both “cool” by my estimation and also not a bunch of asswipes. (Pat and Bapper excepted, of course.)