SykoGrafix
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January 13, 2016

My favorite stuff of 2015

2015

It is now the year 2016.Not a very futuristic sounding year, despite being further into the future than 2015, which still sounds so far flung and exotic. Anyway, a lot of great stuff came out  in 2015 and I figured I’d take a moment to talk about some of my most favorites. I’m sure that all of these 2015 releases are going to be things that I will continue to enjoy for years to come.

Favorite Game – Splatoon

Probably not just my favorite game of the year, but my favorite thing of the year. Splatoon is a triumph of style and game design. Nintendo’s squid-tastic ink shooting multplayer game is easy to get into but with plenty of strategy and variety. You could spend all day playing, or just jump in an play a few matches here and there, and always have fun. One of the best moments in my life as a video game player was the Transformers themed Splatfest. I fought with everything I had over every last drop of ink in the name of the Decepticons. Seeing the Decepticons team win over the Autobots was the most euphoric victory I’ve ever experienced in a game before.

1-splat

Favorite Book – The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Full of detail, great behind-the-scenes info, and plenty of colorful artwork, this book is a must have for anyone who was ever a fan of the Masters of the Universe franchise. Some of the artwork collected in this book is so badass that it might be hard for some common Earth folk to believe it came out of a toyline.

 2-motu

Favorite Toy – Transformers Combiner Wars/Unite Warriors Devastator

Actually, I’m cheating a bit on this one, as I do not have it yet. I got the Japanese version and have not had it shipped to me yet. But it’s a forgone conclusion that I’m going to like it a lot. Getting a near-full range of combiners from the original Transformers toy line remade into modern standards was a pipe dream for a long time, but Hasbro and Takara delivered. I’ve got Superion and Menasor, and they are really good, but Devastator is in a class by itself and it’s clear that they went all out on this release with each member of the team boasting impressive detail and size. The Japanese release goes even further with added articulation and accessories.

 3-dev

Favorite TV Series – Daredevil

This show takes having a Netflix subscription from being a nice luxury to an absolute must have.  It makes some bold moves and does things that couldn’t be done on regular network TV. All of the Marvel TV shows have been really good in 2015. Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. really hit its stride and Agent Carter was fantastic. Jessica Jones was amazing too. I don’t watch very many serialized TV shows any more, but I certainly made time to watch these.

 4-dd

Favorite Anime – Young Black Jack

Uhh… actually, I don’t know if I watched any other anime from 2015. I watched shows from as early as a few years ago and some classics, but, unless I’m forgetting something,  I guess I missed out on most 2015 anime specifically. I’ll have to fix that. But Young Black Jack is pretty good, with some creative uses of Osamu Tezuka’s star system. The last few episodes are really powerful. Young Black Jack is not as cool as old Black Jack, but then again, who is?

 5-ybj

Favorite Movie – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Obviously. It’s Star Wars, so of course it’s my favorite, and there isn’t much of anything else to say. Besides this, I enjoyed Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World, and Ant Man was really good as well. Overall a good year for movies that sets the scene for more good years to come.

 6-sw7

That’s all for 2015. I’m looking forward to all the cool stuff that 2016 has to offer, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to offer some cool stuff to you as well!

What did you like about 2015?

Sayonara.

 

December 23, 2015

The Force Awoke.

I remember where I was when it happened.

It was during an illustration class in the first year of the Video Game art college program I had gone back to school to take. We were all at drafting tables, mostly working independently. During a break in the action, I pulled out my phone to check my message and read my Twitter feed. My eyes widened as I read the events that has transpired earlier that day. I knew I had to be the one to tell everyone.

“George Lucas sold LucasFilm to Disney and they just announced that they’re making Star Wars Episode VII.”

The room rustled. Cool moment.

It seemed hard to comprehend at the time. Star Wars was not in any danger of being forgotten, but the prospect of getting more movies, numbered sequels even,  was unfathomable.  It was exciting to think of the possibilities but the question over what they were going to do with it cast a shroud. After all, how do you create a sequel to Return of the Jedi?

Quick painted BB8 doodle drawn by me using the software Mischief.

Quick painted BB8 doodle drawn by me using the software Mischief.

Well, here we are. They did it and it’s fantastic.

I’m not going to go into too many details or post any spoilers but I do want to say that I’ve seen The Force Awakens twice so far and loved it. The new characters were great, the call-backs were fun, the returning cast was so good to see again, and the ending was pitch perfect.

I have to say that watching it the first time was kind of a weird experience though! I feel like I know every inch of the other 6 movies, so seeing a movie that I didn’t know anything about, but was so obviously Star Wars, was very strange! I didn’t know what was going to happen and that new sensation was ever-present. Upon my second viewing though, it had become much more familiar, and in a very good way.

I think that it is very much a Star Wars film, but it’s also it own thing with a modern sensibility. From a lot of the action and the dialog, It did feel like a movie made in 2015, and that’s fine. It’s a new beginning for this franchise, and while I don’t want it to become too over-saturated to the point where it looses its magic, I’m excited to see what happens with it moving forward.

All that said, my most favorite part of Episode VII is when the annoying kid sitting next to me, who kept on saying things like “Who’s that?” and “What’s that?” and “My tummy hurts!” and his dad, who had to keep telling the kid to be quiet, left their seats and did not come back. Then I could finally enjoy the movie! My main concern regarding when Episode VIII comes out is that I do not sit beside anyone else like that, or, coincidentally,  sit beside the same kid again.

Sayonara.

November 24, 2015

New art and lots of it.

It feels like I’ve been finishing more new pieces of artwork this fall than I have in a long, long time. It feels good.

If you’ve been following me on Tumblr, Twitter, or DeviantArt, you’ve probably seen it by now, but I have added a bunch of new pieces to the illustration page. There is Optimus Prime, Nintendo stuff, and more.

newart

Also, Ninjapocalypse is back in business after a long break. There will be at least 5 new characters, one every week for the next while. I’ve got them all queued up and, let me tell you right now, these new characters are some of the most detailed I’ve done for that site. It would be fantastic to get more support on Ninjapocalypse as it continues to expand with more entries, so please check it out!

Sayonara.

October 31, 2015

Fifteen

Trick or treat!

I launched the first version of SykoGrafix.com on October 31, 2000. The first Halloween of the new millennium,  appropriately enough. That was fifteen years ago as of today. There have been many changes to the site since then, and several ups and downs in my life as a creative individual, but I still feel just as connected to the theme of this website as I did on that day 15 years ago.

I think that this current version is the coolest SykoGrafix has ever been, but I thought it would be fun to look back at some the graphics that I used to use to give the site its character. I found two that are pretty nostalgic for me, so I’m marking the occasion of this 15th anniversary by sharing them here.

old-1

Here is the original enter graphic. I had totally forgotten that I used to use this faux-asian looking font with the exaggerated bar-code. I thought it was futuristic and cool, but it eventually turned pretty cliched.

old-2

And this title graphic comes from some time later. I still think this one is not too bad. Some of the drawings I used to use were not that great, but this one of my original mascot character Cyan is alright, and there effects were usually pretty cool too.

What will I be doing 15 years from now? Will I still be doing SykoGrafix? I don’t know, but if I am doing anything, it will probably still have this electric blue personal stamp on it.

Sayonara.

October 6, 2015

It’s Tumblr Time.

tumblr

Seems like every artist is on Tumblr now, so I am making my cyan-splattered mark there too. SykoGrafix on Tumblr will act as a companion to SykoGrafix.com, and will feature quicker posts and more frequent updates. Of course, there will be finished art there, but there might also be works in progress, silly doodles, pictures of stuff I find, interesting links, video games, toys, other artists’ works, and all sorts of inspiration and insanity for artists/ninjas that I either find, make, or want to share. I will also be using it to announce if I am doing any game or art streaming.  I will probably set it up to post once every day or two for the next while, but don’t worry, I’m not going to spam your dashboard. I hope to be able to build an audience over there, so please check it out and add it to your following list.

As you may know, this is not my first foray with Tumblr. I’ve been using it for awhile now with my other web-based project, Ninjapocalypse. I wanted a way to connect Ninjapocalypse to SykoGrafix as a part of this new Tumblr, so I made a random Ninjapocalypse character trading card widget. You’ll find it on the right side of this site and in the left sidebar on the Tumblr. Each time you load the page, the widget randomly chooses a Ninjapocalypse character and creates a trading-card style image, complete with nameplate and a link to that character’s entry. Here are some examples I screenshotted.

np1 np2 np3

I don’t know anything about using jQuery, or even what jQuery actually is, but I managed to figure out enough to make this happen, and it’s pretty much exactly as I imagined it. Some characters work better than others, but most turned out pretty good and some are pretty funny once they’re inside the widget’s confines.

More new artwork is on the way. With all of this web-stuff out of the way, I feel like I am just getting started.

Sayonara.