Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Herotalk Archives: Sketch Challenges and Miscellaneous Images by M. Rasheed

As a member of the sadly gone Museum of Black Superheroes, Herotalk message boards, appreciatively curated by designer extraordinaire Omar Bilal, I was very prolific. I found the online commnuity full of passionately opinionated Black genre fans and creators to be immensely stimulating to my own creativity and I produced a lot. I was active on the boards from about Dec 2005 up until Omar closed it around early 2013, and if I wasn't participating in one of the monthly sketch challenges, I was drawing some other thing for my own amusement to post anyway. In other blog posts linked at the bottom of this one I've dedicated to completed story project mini-events that the board members were kind enough to indulge me in, but in this blog post I'll just post the various miscellaneous images I created without any particular theme. 

I'll start with a series of images drawn for a monthly sketch challenge that asked us to draw the characters of other members. I tried to draw as many as I could, often pairing characters up, or having them interact with pop cultural guest stars for fun gag skits. Note that I didn't always draw their characters strictly on model, but would frequently draw the board member basically cosplaying as their own character, usually depicted with the same powers and abilities. This provided a huge emotional payoff reaction in the very next month's challenge, when on my own initiative I caricatured board member Zeppo the Clown killing everybody.

I also drew regular caricatures of the board members, as in this example above depicting the brits New Era and Damali. New Era I understand did have his own characters, but for whatever reason was too shy to share them on the boards. Interestingly, the foul-mouthed youngster literally wasn't shy about anything else. lol

I remember being very mean when I drew this of jeremy611, but
I no longer remember the context of the gag's inspiration.

This is Chuck Collins, the award-winning cartoonist behind the
awesome Bounce webcomic. I was providing an illustrated
instruction as to how he could control his third eye.
I'll assume this was drawn as inspiration to a discussion debating
whether we should consider Panthro 'black' or not.

For some silly reason I drew a bunch of board members as
part of a FLEX HECTIC! Corp., all wearing his costume.

I decided I didn't want to be left out of all the fun...

I remember at some point threatening to stretch people on
the rack a lot because of an epidemic of rampant insolence
infesting the boards. This is a visual of a
properly disciplined KRStyle.

This is my character 'Mort' from my Monsters 101 graphic novel series,
depicted as a Skrull. I no longer remember the context of the gag.

In these Remote Viewing Caricatures popular running gag below, most of which are identified by the bright yellow background, I made the attempt to guess what the board members looked like from profile photo choices (nobody used their actual photo) and personality cues, to varying levels of accuracy success. Naturally I included my brother A-Rah and my old friend Brian Colding in the gag just to be silly. 

Most of these were done very early after I had first joined Herotalk so the one with Mshindo I. requires some bit of explanation. At the time, he was using one of his paintings as his profile pic, and in the teeny-tiny distorted thumbnail was what appeared to me to be a Wily-Kit/Wily-Kat type pixie creature, hence the reason why I drew him that way (the real painting in close up turned out not to look ANYTHING like what it was looking like, so maybe I needed glasses even way back then).  I posted it without any explanation whatsoever, so of course he immediately demanded an explanation. lol In hindsight, I suspect my weirdo efforts to explain probably didn't make a lick of sense to him and he very well may still be irritated with me over it.

This one was of 'YABB GOD.'
I just forgot to label it.

These posts below represented my contribution to a monthy sketch challenge where we had to draw our own redesigned version of the Sun-Man action figure, by the independent toy company 1985 Olmec Corp. I posted my character close to mid-month after there were already several entries in the thread. And then I got the itch to do a sketch tale starring all of them. Casting my own entry as the original Sun-man, and everyone else as enslaved, sun-powered goons of his archenemy Pig-Head, this was really my first major storytime event in the earliest days of my Herotalk tenure. I would later go back and create a title card for the proto-webcomic which I'll post first.

One of my very favorite parts of hanging out with the old Herotalk message boards gang was how seriously we ended up taking the posting count rank increases. I was the first the reach the highest rank in Herotalk v2, and when I did it I instantly started acting all extra and "prima donna-ish" about it, going so far as to pretend I was now a cosmic-level being on the boards. To my amused surprised, my performance became infectious, with many of the other core contributing members mimicking me as they achieved that rank behind me. It ended up turning into a thing and the Herotalk Immortals were born! This was an open-source group story that we all contributed into.It had no set structure and, like my Herotalk Battles story, would often feed off of whatever the lastest group beefs and dramas were and morph them into an abstract genre tale for the adventures. To my disappointment I can't find the majority of the ones I wrote other than the very last one, which i'll go ahead and post below. The main persona I took on in my version of a Herotalk Immortal happened to be derivative of Lovecraft's Cthulhu, the Great Old One. 

from Google images

Villain Talk: Immortal Conquest

LOCATION: Deep space

More than 1.4 billion light-years away from the Milky Way, a great and terrible dance tears apart whole suns and their orbiting worlds. Two colliding galaxies, with the smaller of them releasing a tremendous jet of energy from the super massive black hole in its center, take millions of years to finish the breath-taking impact. The blue cosmic lick of flame is millions of light-years long and a thousand light-years wide, destroying tens of thousands of stars many times more massive than the Sun of Earth. It is a cosmic ballet as beautiful as it is destructive.

But all is not as it appears to be.

The Immortal MRasheed recharges his energies by drinking deep of the galaxy's ancient nectar after a colossal battle with the dread warlord called The Immortal Skywatch. The battle was so terrible it transcended all space/time, crossed over into numerous realities and their worlds... creating new infinities even as it shattered whole dimensions. Amazingly, both The Immortal MRasheed and his dread rival lost vast amounts of their essences in the battle... great cosmic chunks of primordial goo shattered into bits and sent flying throughout all the limitless universes. Each piece generated a new version of each Immortal, each piece developing a whole new personality with its very own lesser goals, though still retaining an anchor onto the omnipotent host form.

The Immortal MRasheed can feel each of his many tiny avatars scattered throughout reality... one of them the gritty and cynical greatest superhero on an ancient and dying world, another a tyrant king ruling mercilessly over an island of beautiful reptile women, another a Master of Sellouts of a petty and materialistic blue orb, another a scorpion-tailed barbarian devil beast feasting on the hearts of its large, bat winged foes... The Immortal MRasheed can do nothing to draw the infinite, tiny beings back into his core; his present job of regenerating his depleted energies taking up too much effort. But in this universe that he calls "home" ...where he chooses to conceal his great, multi-tentacled visage behind an image of an enormous predatory galaxy...he feels one of The Immortal Skywatch's hateful avatars drawing its own strength together for some unnamable dark deed.

The Immortal MRasheed will not allow that to happen! Immediately a dart of cosmic fire in the vague shape of a sleeping man speeds out of his great essence towards the poor, abused world The Immortal Skywatch scurries upon. This world has seen many abuses in the last few aeons as lesser Immortals, Ancients and Elders have made war and pommelled each other upon its ripped and torn surface.

Thinking of the new scars that he himself will contribute to the broken world in the dark months ahead, The Immortal MRasheed's newly-created, human-sized avatar smiles for the very first time...


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