Archive | May, 2010

Michael Bay Ninja Turtles:

31 May

With the recent announcement that Michael Bay is set to direct the TMNT reboot, I decided to do a visual of what it may entail:

As always, right click view image to see it larger.

Oh, and as a bonus treat: me as a Green Lantern!

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Halftone Fun!

23 May

So, I read all 5 (with the 6th coming out in July) volumes of Scott Pilgrim today.

They were great.

They also inspired me to dink around with photoshop and creating some halftones along with other shading techniques.  I feel like the only halftone technique I didn’t fully utilize was having the halftone shades create themselves around objects.

Nevertheless, I took a traced/sketch of a photo of Bev from Little House that I was working on last night to practice faces, and I decided to add some tones to it.  So, I hope you enjoy my little learning project.

As always, right click view image to see it in greater depth/size.

And yes, there is some tone to the face and arm, but it wasn’t dark enough for the lower resolution of the online image to pick up effectively.

Secret Pleasures #2: Digimon and Pokemon

22 May

Words can not express my love for Digimon and Pokemon, in fact they often don’t.  This secret pleasure is only revealed (until now) to friends once I know they’ve already accepted me, because truth is I’m obsessed.

To begin, here is my opinion on the Digimon vs Pokemon battle: they’re both great in different ways.  Pokemon is a wonderful video and card game but the TV series isn’t that great.  Conversely, Digimon is a wonderful TV series but not a good video or card game.  So, that’s my opinion let’s move on.

Patamon can talk which makes a way more exciting TV series.

The love for both Digimon and Pokemon probably spawn from two sources: 1) the love of cute animals and 2) the love of using super cool powers to beat up bad guys.

Seriously, Pikachu and Patamon are both innocent, cute creatures with big cheeks and big bellies-the perfect snuggle partners. They have cute voices (Japanese and English) and always show wide, emotional eyes.  If they weren’t two dimensional I’d probably hug them every few minutes.

Digimon and Pokemon all have wicked powers that humans get to use for their own benefit.  Digimon specifically digivolve into more powerful creatures and use even more cool powers.  Digimon and Pokemon’s Digidestined or Trainers, respectively, get to satisfy there own egotistical needs for power and defeat (actually it’s more like “reform”) evil.  Who wouldn’t love that?

And don’t forget the digimon and pokemon are always loyal as best friends.

There doesn’t seem to be a reason why everybody shouldn’t love Digimon and Pokemon.  Oh right, I forgot to mention that show is primarily aimed at children 6-12 years old.  That’s why it’s a secret pleasure.

When I was 17 I traded a $20 gift certificate to Starbucks for a green digivice (Green means Takeru aka TK’s digivice) at a White Elephant party; I don’t regret the decision.  For weeks I carried in around under my shirt so that I’d gain walking steps in order to digivolve my digimon.  I’ve mastered all of the games by now and store it safely on my bedside table.

Last summer I bought the digimon soundtrack at a garage sale.  Yes, I have all the songs memorized.  I’ve even got digimon movies, books, and manga.

As you may be able to tell I talk a lot about my digimon possessions.  That’s because I’m a far more obsessed with digimon than pokemon; I’d even say I’m a digimon expert.  MechanisticMoth is the Pokemon expert.

Despite their looks, the differences between Pokemon and Digimon are vast.

 

I can have hour long conversations about both Digimon and Pokemon and believer me it’s not rare.

These shows/games that are aimed at little kids have captured my heart (though I was a little kid when I first got into them); the Japanese have my love forever.  It’s hard not to become obsessed, yet it’s a little embarrassing, too.   That’s why it’s a secret pleasure.

My Secret Pleasure: cute creatures fighting bad guys with wicked awesome powers

Check out the confusion between the two franchises.

Secret Pleasures #1: 90’s Boy Bands

22 May

The 90’s were amazing!  I used to think them insignificant compared to the psychedelic and groovy decades previous, but I’ve realized my ignorance.  As more time passes I find myself indulging in 90’s fads more and more.  In fact, many of my Secret Pleasures span from the 90’s; therefore, the first secret pleasure is that of the most 90’s thing of all: Boy Bands.

Almost everyone had a favorite Boy Band back in the day.  There were posters, dolls, cards, key chains, and almost anything you could think of.  Really, if you weren’t supporting Boy Band memorabilia you weren’t cool.

They dress sharp to make the fans go wild.

And who was the coolest of them all?  In my opinion it was the Backstreet Boys.  But, N’Sync, Boys II Men, 98°, Take That, and No Authority held a place in many others’ hearts.

There is no doubt that Boy Bands used to be hot.  The key words are “used to be”.  Nowadays, Boy Bands get a snicker when mentioned and that’s why they’re a secret pleasure.

What tween didn’t like this?

Years after they’re rise and fall Boy Bands still live on deep inside so many people’s hearts.

When Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way” appears on my ipod my lips stretch into an insane smile and I’m put in an elated mood.  I, who used to hate N’Sync with a flaming passion because of their rivalry with Backstreet Boys, look up their music videos on YouTube when I’m bored.  Over 75% of the reason I watch Randy Jackson Presents American’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) is to hear JC Chasez speak.

Classic and sexy Boy Band pose.

Who can deny any Boy Band’s charm?  They’re hot (sometimes one is ugly or creepy to make the others look better) men singing about love.  Even if it isn’t the 90’s anymore girls’ hearts will pound with the unexplainable want for these singers.

Don’t you want them, too?

On the outside you may snicker about your tween obsession with Boy Bands, but on the inside they’re melting your heart.  Maybe melting isn’t the right word; for me I feel jittery when I hear Boy Band music.  It’s far from my preferred music style but this is all forgotten- it’s supposed to sound cheesy.  And truthfully, I’m not complaining.
My secret pleasure: hot, sexy men singing about love.

Superhero Job Satisfaction Test

21 May

We here at Mechanistic Moth understand that some jobs don’t come easy.  Sure, we like to criticize those jobs and many of the things in the world, but, every now and then, we like to also extend a helping hand.  So, if you don’t feel like your life as a superhero has been truly fulfilling you, then go ahead and take this quadruply-tested by professionals test to check.

Yes, I understand that this is from that one documentary... but god, look at that bulge.

Please respond to each statement by circling the corresponding number on the 7-point scale.  7 is strongly agree, 1 is strongly disagree, and 4 is neutral.

1.) My job just does not fulfill me with as much zest in my life.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

2.) I feel like I can achieve incredible feats.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

3.) When I wake up in the morning, I no longer have the same shining demeanor.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

4.) I do not feel like I can surmount a showing of immense strength, dynamic speed, cosmic powers, etc.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

5.) I can no longer best my one or two menial weaknesses.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

6.) I am thrilled to face my arch foe for the one thousandth time.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

7.) Putting on my spandex, domino mask, or equivalent, in the morning fills me with glee and pride.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

8.) I am drinking at least 10 cups of coffee to keep me interested in my duties.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

9.) I often find myself staring at my reflection in the mirrors of the giant skyscraper I’m supposed to be saving.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

10.) I am taking normal means of transportation.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

11.) I only shrug my shoulders as another trans-dimensional Reptilian People attack occurs outside my window.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

12.) When I see someone in need, I do not hesitate or think about myself before helping them.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

13.) My sex drive skyrockets the more time I’m in costume.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

14.)  I find myself arguing with my teammates over who gets to give the knockout punch to Dr. Blackdeath or something of the equivalent.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

15.) My arch foe no longer seems as interesting as they used to be.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

16.) I am lonely, but a trip to a metropolis with old friends (from that team up a few years back) on another planet within a parallel world no longer satisfies my need.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

17.) I have been calling into headquarters sick much more recently.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

18.) My powers have been failing me.
1  2  3  4  5  6  7

Does your superhero name no longer satisfy you?  If so, please choose from the lists below (however, you are more than welcome to add some personal flair, these are just suggestions for new names not restrictions) to possibly add more spring to your step.  You can skip a step if it happens to make your name even more enjoyable.  Also, always be aware that adding a simple “The” to your name can really amp up the credibility!

Step 1: Choose zero to two of the options below.  If not satisfied continue to Step 2.

Black – Mystical – Marvelous – Death – Spring – Praying Mantis – Organ – Kettle – Naranja – Psychic – Iron – King – Doctor – Gemmed –  Steam – Rainbow – Tiger – Scrabble – Boob – Cat – Cowl – Personal – Diary – Farm – Depressed – National – Sky – Diamond – Sunset – Waterfall – Jag – Knife – Credible – Treasure – Horse – Pack – Sitcom – Dance – Outdoor – Mesquite – Beard – Anatomy – Surgery – Brick – Switch – Dairy – Bee – Sting – Lever – Laugh – Tortuga – Ninja – Sexy – Bathmat

Step 2: Did step 1 not fully complete your new name even with the addition of a “The?”  Well, perhaps Step 2 can ease some of those worries with some nouns to add to the mix.  Choose zero to two to add on to step 1.  Or, even have one of these be in front of Step 1’s choice!

Man – Mr. – Gent – Boy – Lad – Guy – Woman – Mrs. – Miss – Girl – Lass – Gal – Thing – Gender-neutral Person – Person – Identifiable Object – Object – Noun

Do you feel a little bit better?
Nevertheless, please attach your numbered response to the first section along with your new name in the comments section.  I can then tally up your score and let you know whether or not your super heroics are really fulfilling your job satisfaction.

Blogging From Mexico: Part IV

20 May

After eating at the Potluck at the Legion in downtown Chapala tonight, my grandma said that she was proud of me which seemed out of the blue.  She then said that I should know why.  I obviously didn’t and inquired about it.  She said that I was handling myself very well with all of the people thus hinting at all of the physical contact.  She must have been watching my slight winces every time someone touched me in some manner.  I then told her, “yeah, I don’t like touching.” She said, “Neither did I for about 25 years.”  My Grandpa then chimed in, “even with beautiful women!?”  And, I replied “yes, even with beautiful women.”

Then the man next to me scraped his callused fingertips and long nail (sometimes just a tug on my arm or a pat on my shoulder or back) against my arm to attract my attention to yet another terrible joke.  I turned away from him and whispered swear words… 5 minutes later, the cycle repeated.

Graffiti in the area of Mexico I'm in (because I don't want to make a giant general statement) is more so tagging, but I think it looks really neat on the older buildings with the tags layering ontop of each other

Yesterday was another pitter patter do nothing day which I am all for.  We did manage to take ourselves out to this Mexican restaurant that’s sort of on the outskirts of Chapala.  I ordered some enchiladas and a burrito for 80 pesos (come on, that’s a steal).  The waiter gave me a look like “Seriously!?” and then proceeded to alternate between Spanish and English while telling me that both dishes were fairly large.  I gave him a stern look in reply stating “Oh no, I got this.”  I received the enchiladas first and pounded out both of them and about half the rice mixed with all of the beans.  At this point, I was already full, but then I had the burrito coming.  The waiter came back and joked about ordering me another burrito; I, in return, demanded two more… I could have been joking, but I was deadly serious.  I had to prove to him that skinny people can eat, too.  This could have turned out to be my undoing, but I battled forward.

The burrito was great. It was filled with guacamole (that I’ve only begun enjoying over the last year) and thicker chunks of carne asada than what I was used to.  However, I do not remember the last half of the burrito because I was no longer tasting… it was more like shoving down and hoping that nothing would begin fighting its way back up.  I paced back and forth between the bathroom and my seat just to let it all settle.  Then, finally, I took the last bite.  With a triumphant smile, I raised my arms up about 10 inches into the muggy air.  Unfortunately, the waiter never did end up seeing my achievement thus breaking off my playful “F U” to him and his preconceptions.

Being safe in Mexico... in a car... with other drivers who are impatient... kinda like everywhere else...

Back to the potluck tonight.  I began my dish around 2:45 – my Grandma and I had recently returned from swimming where I also happened to get stung by a Mexican Bee… which is really me just ascribing a place to a bee because I don’t know where its origin truly was but I do know where its place of demise was: stinger inside my forearm, body in the pool drowning – but even by 3:45 it wasn’t all the way cooked, yet.  Some of you may have tasted the dish I made: it’s just some root vegetables (Beets, Potatoes, and Yams) thrown in a casserole dish with oil salt (preferably of the sea) and pepper.  Well, luckily we had to head to the Legion early because Grandma was part of the crew hosting the event and had to help set up.  So, luckily, my dish had time to roast for another 20-30 minutes in the Legion oven.  There were about 25 people who showed up, and about 12 dishes and 3 desserts.  So, I tried a little bit of each (excluding the things I knew I obviously wouldn’t like) and went back for seconds… then had 4 servings of dessert.  I think I’m getting fat.  I am seriously concerned.

So, because this was the Legion, I have heard enough war stories to last me probably 10 years.  Although, I have to admit that my Grandpa Ed’s are pretty funny and entertaining.  Excluding all of the people touching me, I did get a lot of admiration by being this person who was the youngest by probably 20-30 years who could cook.  I have to admit, though, most of the time I just stared at the birds (some type of swallow and something that looked like a larger canary) and traced how I would draw them on the tablecloth.

I’m a little tired of being told I’m handsome (okay, that one is sort of a lie), tall, should probably play basketball, need to stay in school, don’t smoke (despite half of them actually being smokers), people inquiring about what I was reading (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), jokes about Seattle, and being touched.  Emphasis on the last one in case I haven’t made myself clear.

Peggy and Ed: the two people I didn't have to make an effort to tolerate

Peggy and Ed were the best that I met which is probably a little bias because Peggy has been my Grandma’s friend for 30 or some years.  Meaning that her son and my dad were friends… meaning that she saw me after I fell out of that two story window and looked miserable in my cast… meaning that they were actually quite lively and enjoyable.  Funny, my smile in that picture reminds me of my cousin Corey… which does not happen a lot.  Anyway, the first time I met them was last Saturday/the first day I was in Mexico/the day I slept a lot.  They managed to catch me in between two naps/sleep recovery sessions and I was still rather sleepy.

Well, we got a call tonight saying that the tour did not have enough people.  So, our jaunt to the circular pyramids has been canceled.  We haven’t made any decisions about what to do, but I hope it’s something a little bit touristy because, as nice as it has been to relax and hang around the house, I wouldn’t mind some actual pictures showing that I did something neat in a foreign country.

Iron Man 2 ReeeVuuu

19 May

Because Robert Downey Jr. in Red Pajamas acurately describes my feelings for this movie... and it makes me giggle.

Alright, I’m going to be up front here: Iron Man 2 did not exceed any expectations… nor did it even reach some.

When I saw the first one it was three in the morning and my chronic headache was keeping me from sleeping.  I was strangely surprised with the film and how much it entertained me.  Therefore, I expected similar results for the second one, but, alas, it tries to cram in too much in too little.

Badass.

I’ll also let you know that the copy I watched was a Mexican pirated version that my Grandma and I bought at the market today for 10 or 20 pesos.  So, the audio was pretty janky, and I realize that a full blown cinema experience may have altered my perceptions a bit.  Nevertheless, my problems are not necessarily based upon the thrills of seeing or hearing, but with the overall premise and plot.

My major problems are with two points:

The fulfilling of the male patriarchal role in which somehow – through some strange means – the thing that keeps Tony alive that he made in desperation in a cave in Afghanistan just also happens to be the same thing his father imagined and planned for Tony to make

The fulfilling of the hetero-normative relationship

Two hot, sexy women! Oh god, how to decide!?

I find it a little ridiculous that the answer to all of Tony’s blood-poisoning/I’ve basically have had my ass kicked/ depression problems can be solved by watching 16mm film of his father.  I cringed when I knew that Tony’s Dad (Howard played by John Slattery which made me happy) turned to the camera and said “Tony…balhalfbalh” because it was pretty damn obvious it was going to happen.  This predictability was prevalent throughout the whole film, but this part was super saturated.

Now, of course Tony’s going to get Pepper in the end.  In this film, they are even more flirty when, before, they never fully got together which I thought was one of the strongest points in that film.  My problem comes with when they actually meet at the end.  She complains about the danger, resigns from her powerful position, and then they get together.  Now, we can take that she may not have actually resigned and was in a moment of hysterics.  Let me remind you that hysteria comes from hysterectomy which is what they would do to women for them to stop fainting and becoming hysterical.  Pepper is hysterical.  Through Tony’s suave demeanor, he performs a metaphorical hysterectomy to calm Pepper down through the assimilation to the hetero-normative relationship.

At least I can be happy that her actual costume doesn't have impossible cleavage like in the comics... despite the upsettingly normal "hot-girl-changing-clothes-man-gets-distracted-action" scene...

Overall, it was a tad bit overacted, but that’s acceptable in a comic book film.  I enjoyed Sam Rockwell being a dick, and Mickey Rourke convinced me with the tortured villain seeks revenge performance creating a character outside of the comics who’s just as memorable. The interplay between Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow was quick and witty.  They both provided some grounding to the film even if Tony’s antics seemed all too similar to the first film.  Scarlett Johansson is sexy, but that’s basically all that’s needed from her.  Even her shining moment of the typical action scene “14 guys-beat them up in a single hallway-magical capabilities that are ultra realistic-guy’s surprised with woman’s ability” seemed just way too typical and nothing fresh.  I feel as if Scarlett really tried, but the script did not provide many opportunities.  Don Cheadle does well as the mixed-feelings friend who comes to the rescue at the end, but I don’t feel like the script acknowledged fully that the character is a military man as seen with the showdown scene where him and Tony bicker to figure out how to fend off the attack.  Samuel L. Jackson plays himself.

Some of the action seemed a bit ridiculous at the end with Tony still flying around near all the people.  I’m not sure how no one was hurt when an entire glass building blew by any of the glass falling down… but that’s just logistical knowledge.  And, I have to accept that it’s a comic book movie… therefore, it breaks a lot of logic.

The movie was a little disappointing, but I believe many will look past what I saw and find it to be a rather enjoyable film.  Nevertheless, I have my reservations which brings the film to the neutral ground of:

This review is based upon mostly first reactions to the film, but I tried to be fair in evaluating it as a film and not tying it too much to the previous film or comics.

UPDATE: I just realized that Black Widow has fingerless gloves!  Although, I may have to disagree with Monique and say that they look pretty badass there.

UPDATE #2: I forgot to mention the creation of a new metal/element.  Ummm… ridiculous.  I almost threw up/went pee/I really wanted ice cream/why am I sitting through this.