Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Official Handbook of the HEROTALK UNIVERSE

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Rasheed, Muhammad. "[COVER] The Official Handbook of the HEROTALK UNIVERSE." Cartoon. The Official Website of Cartoonist M. Rasheed 15 Nov 2020. Pen & ink w/Adobe Photoshop color.

Obviously I'm a long-time huge fan of the old Marvel Universe character profile, particularly the Deluxe Edition and the Update '89 series. This here project evolved organically from working on the Herotalk Battles Street Fighter II parody tale, as I needed to stat the fighters out so they made sense. 

The first one I made was of Brian Colding, because people were questioning how he was able to defeat the legendary tough guy Mr. T. So of all these profiles, his is probably the only one genuinely close to being realistic. The next one, of course, that demanded I provide some explanation was the Batboy profile, which was simple enough -- jeremy611 happened to be the world's finest (see what I did there?) Batman fan, so whenever I depicted him in caricature he had Batman's full skillset. Why? Because it was fun. *shrug*

The problem that I had with these was that the original ones were designed strictly for the specialized caricatures I used for the Herotalk Battles project, but once the message board expressed great enthusiasm for them and many people asked me to do some of them and even started making special requests, now the "universe" part was no longer accurate. In other stories involving sophisticated 'mary sue' versions of us board members, we had already established an expanded universe that was actually much more fun than the limited scope of the parody game. So to keep the greater project consistent, I was forced to make double or even triple versions of the characters to reflect the other versions we had written for other popular tales. Even though I was often mentally fretting over it, and feeling regret that I didn't make the game parody "right" from the beginning, in the end it turned out fine. I'm presenting them below in alphabetical order for no other reason than because that's how Marvel published theirs. 

The original parody game profiles I just made up according to my needs in the fight game story I concocted, but for the other entries I provided the courtesy of asking the board members what they actually liked and whether they wanted their real names shown or not. As you see many opted out of the latter. Sometimes they wouldn't tell me what they liked either, and would just say I could do whatever. For me that still required the courtesy of doing a little detective work to see if I could get a spark of inspiration from their actual hobbies and interests. Some members ignored my mini-questionaire that I private messaged to everybody so they didn't get to take part, which was a mild bummer. Over-all I think the project was a success, especially now that I've FINALLY! completed the cover. 

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