A year and a half ago, I began listening to this podcast: As you might guess, it reviews & talks about various Transformers TV shows & movies. It’s run by 2 musicians out of Chicago, and it’s VERY entertaining! And it’s what inspired me to begin doing the series of drawings I posted about recently. You can check out the podcast HERE.
The show’s hosts, Dale & Eric, post a lot of updates on their Facebook page. This is also where they interact with many of their listeners (myself included). Most of the ideas I came up with for Transformers fan art were spurred on by in-jokes mentioned in the podcast. Some of them were very specific. This is Dale, the show’s “captain” and resident Transformers fan. He often talks about “shipping” certain characters in the cartoons (as in, ‘Will Character A hook up with Character B?’) And, in the midst of recording an episode, he’s been known to call out directly to one of their listeners (Emily, a “ship name” enthusiast) and ask for the combined name of the two characters, should they get into a relationship.
Then there’s Eric, the show’s other host.He is a Transformers “newbie”…someone who previously only had a vague awareness of the franchise or its fandom. Several episodes back, Eric pledged that, if a certain monetary goal could be met, he would brand himself with a Transformers tattoo. Dale jokingly suggested that it be the likeness of another listener (Connor, who’s catchphrase became “Hey!”).
I mailed the above drawings to the hosts as a surprise gift. Upon receiving them, they proceeded to talk about them while recording the an episode, which I was THRILLED to hear!! Also included in the package was this drawing:The morning I had planned to drop these drawings off at the post office, I was listening to the most recent episode of the podcast, in which the hosts joked about “Party Animal Optimus”. I IMMEDIATELY knew that I HAD to draw that & mail it to them as well! So I did.
In the weeks since then, there has been even MORE back & forth interaction, via either a post on Facebook, or directly from the podcast. On one recent episode, Eric posed the question, “Where in the world is Starscream?”— and he specifically mentioned that he imagined the villainous character dressed like Carmen Sandiego. So I obliged him.
Even MORE recently, Eric’s 2 kids appeared on a special bonus episode of the show. One of them said the words “Old-Timey Primey”. The other one piped up & said, “Lorin should draw that.” How could I refuse?I immediately thought of the opening of the old TV sitcom “Cheers”.
Once THIS drawing was posted to the Facebook page, Eric chimed in with this……which made me REALLY happy.
Be sure to check out OptimusPrimeCast.com in the links above!!
These images are from a recent series of drawing exercises, done for fun & practice. As subjects, I used the cast of the 1987 “Star Wars” parody, “SPACEBALLS”!
Barf, a Chewbacca rip-off, played by the late, great John Candy.
Hot-shot pilot Lone Starr, played by Bill Pullman.
The comical villain, Dark Helmet, played by diminutive ’80s nerd Rick Moranis.
His ludicrous henchman Colonel Sandurz, played by George Wyner.
And finally, directing all of this (and starring in 2 roles), Mel Brooks, who plays the space-age politician, President Skroob.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:
Recently, I figured I would try drawing some fan art of “Transformers” characters from the ’80s and ’90s. The inspiration to do so came from listening to a podcast (OptimusPrimeCast.com), in which they talk about the cartoons, and develop little in-jokes along the way. The show is very funny and entertaining, and it made me want to depict some favorite characters with a little bit of wit and humor. KIND OF like drawing a caricature of a pre-existing (and copyrighted!) character. All in the name of fun!! #PleaseDon’tSueMe
So here’s what I’ve come up with so far…“BEAST WARS” was the first TV show reviewed on the podcast. It featured the character Dinobot, who was a fierce warrior, always talking about honor (very much like TNG’s Worf), as one of the main good guys. Dinobot was beloved by his comrades, especially the young Cheetor, who looked up to him as a role model.
Ravage was one of a handful of characters from the original 1980s Transformers to make a cameo appearance in Beast Wars. He showed up after having been upgraded from the smaller, micro-cassette form he had in the old days. In this story, Ravage was a Covert Agent working for the mysterious, Illuminati-like Tripredacus Council.
One of the most well known & easily recognizable of the original (also known as “GENERATION ONE”) Transformers was the villainous Starscream. In a famous scene from the 1986 feature film, he finally achieved his ultimate goal of becoming lord and ruler of the bad-guy Decepticons. He was even given a crown & everything! Although…he didn’t retain his position for very long.
These have been LOTS of fun to work on!! That’s all for now, but I have ideas for more, and I think this will be an ongoing series for a while. Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoy these pieces!
It’s been a while since I last posted anything here. There’s been a lot of things going on. One of those things was my brother Joel’s wedding in Hawaii!Joel & Jenna are an awesome couple, who have lots of adventures together!CHEERS to you, Joel & Jenna! I love you both!!
50 years ago, I…I wasn’t born yet. But in September of 1966, the very first episode of “Star Trek” aired on TV. I never actually watched it when I was a kid, but as a fan of sci-fi, I was always aware of it. In 1996, during my last year of college, I decided to watch all of the first 7 Star Trek movies in a row…as research for an art project I was then working on. Pretty soon, I was watching episodes of the old TV series, along with “The Next Generation”…and I was HOOKED!!!
As my caricature career was just beginning, I found myself compelled to draw these actors from these movies & TV shows, playing these wonderful characters that I had fallen in love with.Most of these were done as “samples” for display at the retail locations where I worked. But by the mid-2000s, I started drawing stuff that had a wee bit more detail…just for fun!Shortly afterward, my fondness of the airbrush as a tool came to an end. I gravitated more towards colored pencils and Art Stix (which is mostly what I use today). But my fondness for Star Trek is greater than ever!Looking back at these drawings, I realize there are still MANY characters I have yet to tackle (Worf, Khan, the “Deep Space Nine” crew, and others). So here’s to my “ongoing mission”—may it “live long and prosper!”
Here are a handful of live drawings I have done over the last 4 months…at Rainforest Cafe, and at various events around the Dallas area. Super Heroes, animals, and Pokemon have been very popular themes lately!
All right. The new “Star Wars” movie has been out for over a month, and I’ve already seen it THREE TIMES. Despite my previous post about “Farewell to Star Wars”….where I speculated that this would be the jumping-off point for my interest in this series….I can’t deny that I really loved this movie! It’s not my FAVORITE entry in the saga (“Empire” is still the best)….but it IS that rare gem you occasionally find at the movies: a really good sequel, worthy of its predecessor(s).
I’ve got to admit that the folks behind “The Force Awakens” have sucked me in. I swore it wouldn’t happen, but yet, here we are. I’m already planning on seeing Episodes 8 and 9 when they come out, to see where we go next with this story and with these new characters. But seriously, THAT’S IT for me!! No, really, this time!!
Growing up in the late ’70s and early ’80s, the Star Wars movies were a staple of my childhood. Once I graduated from college and entered the mundane, everyday reality of adult life, I seemed to have a growing desire to re-capture various elements from my childhood. Thus, as a caricature artist just trying to make a living, some of my earliest celebrity samples at our theme park stand were of Star Wars actors. I even thought to draw “The Maker” himself, George Lucas… …TWICE. While both caricatures of Lucas were most often greeted with a “Who’s THAT supposed to be?”…the drawings featuring the stars of the movies were getting plenty of recognition and attention from our customers, as well as from people passing by. This was mostly thanks to the theatrical re-releases of the Original Trilogy (the infamous “Special Editions”), which were introducing the then-20-year-old franchise to the kids of the late 1990s. And as the Star Wars train chugged along, I continued drawing those same actors again and again. For pure enjoyment. Even THIS could be qualified as a Star Wars caricature… On the pop culture landscape of that era, all of this nostalgia-fueled resurgence in Star Wars was merely the tip of the iceberg. The REAL event was yet to come, for audiences all over the world were being primed for a brand-spanking NEW trilogy of movies from the mind of Mr. Lucas.Rumor had it that these stories would take place BEFORE Luke Skywalker was even born, and show how Luke’s father became the evil Darth Vader. So, in the summer of 1999, the first movie came……and I kept drawing the characters. Over and over. It sounds very silly to say this now, but I probably saw “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” in theaters at least 10 times. Really. Over the next year and a half, I remained absolutely jazzed about these new Star Wars films (later dubbed the “Prequel Trilogy”). I remember at least 2 more drawings I did back in those days (but alas, couldn’t find so I could show you). One was of the slobbering Gungan character, Boss Nass (I know…he’s a digital CREATURE…not the same as caricaturing a flesh-n-blood actor). Another one (which was left unfinished…similar to the Liam Neeson caricature above) was of kid actor Jake Lloyd attempting to peek under the skirt of Natalie Portman, in one of her outrageous costumes. Flash forward to 2002, and we got the 2nd movie, called “Attack of the Clones”. And I eagerly began digging into caricatures of THOSE actors (strangely, many of whom were in the previous movie, but with different costumes and/or age makeup). By this time, the Prequel movies had begun to develop quite an unsavory reputation. But I didn’t care. I was into it. And then, in 2005, we got the wrap-up movie, “Revenge of the Sith”. Again, this was still a movie series I was heavily into, at the time. I totally bought it, hook, line and sinker. Over the next 5 years, certain things in my life began to change. I became bored and/or disgusted with using the airbrush as a medium. I drew fewer and fewer celebrity caricatures, mainly due to a much slimmer diet of Hollywood and movie news. My focus shifted away from collecting toys and DVDs. And, perhaps most importantly, I spent some time living in Korea. Once while working overseas, I attempted another Star Wars caricature. It was a return to the classic characters of the Original Trilogy, the one that I grew up on. Unfortunately, I never finished it; guess it didn’t seem like a drawing that excited me. I DID, however, begin a NEW Star Wars drawing just a few months ago…and I very much intend to finish this one! Now…as I type this…ANOTHER new Star Wars film is about to be unleashed upon the world in a matter of days. As it happens, I’m also just days away from my 43rd birthday. And I find myself at a bit of a crossroads. Last year, I watched a very in-depth series of YouTube videos about the Prequels…which caused me to completely change my mind, and to disavow my previous love for them. Objectively, I can simply no longer deny that those are horrible films (Sorry, George). As for those original movies from long ago (at least the first 2)…well, it seems that I’ll ALWAYS have a soft spot for them, because I was such wee lad when they first came around. Even if these new Disney flicks are totally fun and enjoyable, I kind of doubt that I will really have a strong desire to follow each future installment. Getting excited about a new Star Wars trilogy is something I’ve already done…TWICE…in one lifetime. For me, I can’t help but feel like that (space)ship has sailed, and that it’s time for me to move on.