Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Fighting Fantasy Adventures of Skimflint the Small: Deathtrap Dungeon!

I just finished playing through Fighting Fantasy Book 3: Deathtrap Dungeon, by Ian Livingstone, and... lo and behold... I actually won! I got killed right at the very end of Warlock of Firetop Mountain and didn't have the right keys or whatever in Citadel of Chaos, but I beat Deathtrap Dungeon, on my second try! First time, I played as a generic barbarian warlord guy (called Grimp or something) who was pretty tough, but really unlucky. He got to the end, but didn't have the right jewels to get through the exit door.
So, undaunted, I decided to try again. Rolling a miserable 9 for skill, I compensated with an amazing 21 for stamina and 12 for luck! I immediately imagined this character being quite small but clever and agile. Hence, Skimflint the Small.
On his way through the dungeon, Skimflint got a ton of loot, helped some fellow contestants and won the final battle with only 6 stamina left, receiving the 10,000 gold piece prize.
I have decided to play through the first two books again, once again as Skimflint, with the same stats, and see how he fares. Three cheers for Skimflint!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Ballad of The Batgirl

As my submission to Project Rooftop's latest contest - and celebration of its 8 years of redesigning - I thought I'd go full tilt re-imagine mode (principally because, for once, they will accept them!)
The subject of this contest is Batgirl.
A character I've never been that much of a fan of, save for the version in 'The Batman' animated series. In general, I dislike female characters whose identity is so derived from another, more established male hero, instead of characters in their own right. Granted, I'm sure Batgirl has been fleshed out a lot more since her creation, but the origins are still what they are. Hence, my idea for a re-imagining.

This Batgirl lives in the same fictional DC universe I've been creating, where the Trinity (loosely made up of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) act as a form of supposedly neutral super-police, protecting the planet from invasions and cosmic threats, while the more socially minded and down-to-Earth Justice League/Justice Society (Green Arrow, Hawkwoman, Miss Martian, Zatanna, Mr. Terrific and The Flash), routinely save people and help the unfortunate.
The Batman of this world is even less of a team player than the one in the actual DCU, as he is violent, conservative and paranoid (as would be anyone who had decided to dedicate their life to avenging their parent's deaths by dressing up as a bat). He spends most of his time in Gotham, where is still something of a legend and his identity - and humanity - is the subject of much speculation.
A high school student by the name of Teri Cairo is obsessed with the Batman, and worships him as a hero, despite her parent's claims that he is 'just another psycho, like the Joker'. After seeing the latest news report of the dark knight's daring rescue of a family being held hostage by an armed gang of bank robbers, Teri decides to change her life. She purchases the materials and equipment needed for her to make her own costume and thus is born... the Batgirl!

She starts becoming somewhat of an urban legend herself, and the tabloids immediately start declaring her 'The Batman's sidekick'. This leads the dark knight himself to confront her, warning her bluntly of the danger she is putting herself into and that he will not be held accountable for her safety.
Ignoring his admonishments and determined to prove herself worthy, she tails the Joker to his hide-out, only to be captured by the clown prince of crime. While captive, the Joker expresses his joy at having captured 'batsy's sidetwerp' as bait to lure Batman to him, by testing a new experimental mutagen formula on Teri. Muttering something about turning her 'batty', he injects her with the formula, before the Batman storms in to beat him senseless. Neither Batman nor the Joker notice what is happening to Teri, before it's too late...

Batgirl is hideously transformed into a half human, half bat hybrid. Horrified by her new form and distraught by her hero's failure to aid her in time, Teri runs away, taking shelter in the dark alleys of Gotham, afraid and ashamed. It is here that she is approached by the Justice Society. Through their help and encouragement she emerges to resume her heroics, no longer emulating the Batman's rough ways, but as her own person. Mr. Terrific finally perfects a watch-like device that can reverse the effects of the mutagen upon command, allowing Teri to return to her family and school. By day, Ms. Cairo... by night, the Bat-Girl!

And there you have it :) Let me know what you think, won't you?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Death Battalion Redesigned: The Horned Hood!

We come now to the third member of the nefarious Death Battalion: Professor Cadiz, also known as The Horned Hood!
Masquerading as a famous scholar, the Professor held a talk on the precious 'Maharajah Jewel' from India: in fact, Cadiz was the terrifying Horned Hood, dressed as a devil and wielding a thorny club, out to steal the jewel!
HH's original costume is a little too 'Crazy Batman' for my liking, so I decided to push the devil theme to its full potential. Perhaps Cadiz has some kind of dark magical power and needs the Maharajah Jewel for its hidden mystical properties? Or maybe he is just a theatrical conjurer, who needs it as the final component in some new evil contraption or weapon. Either way, these new, more ornate duds should suit him much better.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A Rebel Goblin for Goblin Week

A wee freedom-fightin', fascist-bashin' rebel goblin, specially hand-crafted for goblin week.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Death Battalion Redesigned: The Laughing Skull!

Next up in my Death Battalion Redesign, is John Dodd, alias the Laughing Skull!
Washed up banker, Dodd started running a theatrical extortion racket, burying alive those who didn't pay him, under mock rhyming tomb-stones. His original outfit was a little low budget halloween, so I gave him a raggedy suit and creepier mask: I definitely wanted this guy, who went from banking to murder, to look seriously unhinged.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Death Battalion Redesigned: The Black Thorn!

So I got a little tired with Doctor Who and have been too busy to continue work on my graphic novel, so I needed to draw SOMETHING. I went for a little random article search on PDSH and found this gem: The Death Battalion.
This was almost certainly one of the earliest supervillain teams and - similarly to the Sinister Six - they were all enemies of the same hero: a certain Mr. Scarlet, who defeated them.
Because the hero in this case is pretty unremarkable, I decided it was high time I redesigned some of the rogues for once. So, first up in my All New Rebooted Death Battalion... The Black Thorn!
I decided to really go all out with the thorn motif (his head is supposed to look a bit like a scorpion sting) as well as give him more of an armoured look. The instant dehydration 'Mummy Ray' gun is such a brilliantly kooky idea I had to upgrade it and include it in the redesign.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

12 Doctors Challenge: Doctor #10

After having lived a full, long life, Doctor 9 would finally succumb to fatigue and old age, before regenerating in number 10! My Tenth Doctor, portrayed by Sheridan Smith, would be the the brightest and bubbliest of all his/her incarnations. Taking the title of the Doctor to heart, she would travel around the universe as a healer and problem-solver rather than hero. Not that this wouldn't lead her into the odd scrape. While undercover at an American college, she would meet James, a medical student who while admiring the Doctor's passion, is a little wary of her unorthodox teaching methods. Eventually, she reveals her secret to him and he begrudgingly accepts to join her in her travels.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Golly the Goblin

Here's another puppet to add to the collection: the garment-stealing mischief-making Golly the Goblin :)
Click to embiggen. TF

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

12 Doctors Challenge: Doctor #9

My re-imagined 9th Doctor would mark something of a turning point. 
After many adventures as Doctors #7 and #8, the Doctor would be forced to regenerate by an incident of her own making. An experiment  gone wrong and lo, time to change faces. What experiment? Doctor 8 becomes more and more obsessed with rewriting her biology so as to maybe do away with the process of regeneration or at least fine-tune it so that it avoids a change in personality. In her research, she learns something that she had never known before: Gallifreyans naturally change genders upon their sixth regeneration cycle. But, much worse: they only have 12 in all. Horrified at the lack of control over her nature and at the realisation that she has already used up 8 of her lives, she creates a machine intended to overwrite her genetic programming, but that instead kills her and triggers regeneration number 8. 
So is born Doctor number 9, played by Olivia Colman.
Her Doctor would be quiet and melancholy, sometimes stern yet sometimes warm. This is a darker Doctor, who has become slightly disillusioned with life and decides to travel the length and breadth of the Universe to truly understand what she stands and fights for. She would spend most of her time travelling alone, becoming a much more mysterious Doctor, save for when she needs the help of  her Perambulating Holographic Light Interface (Polly for short). Gradually, through her philosophising, she would gain a greater understanding of the world, of the preciousness of life and of her own place in time and the universe: not as their master, but as integral part of them. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

12 Doctors Challenge: Doctor #8

After Doctor number 7 gets in the way of a stray laser shot or is bombarded by a poisonous gas cloud while trying to steer the Tardis out of a black hole, she needs to regenerate.
In this new, fan-fictiony re-imagining of Who mythos, she'd turn into Lyndsey Marshal!
Quite like Doctor 6, she's very hands on. An inventor and tinkerer, with a penchant for colourful jumpers, Doctor 8 is immensely curious and adventurous, but not without a colder, more calculating side. Sometimes it might not be wholly clear whether she sees her companions as people or components in some grand plan. This might explain why she'd have so many guests in her Tardis, none of them staying for long. Her first and most constant companion would be Pietro, an ex-monk, philosopher and aspiring alchemist.

Monday, 6 January 2014

12 Doctors Challenge: Doctor #7

Welcome to 2014 I guess!
Remember that Doctor Who challenge I was doing last year? Well, after Doctor number 6 (Chris Addison) I'd thought that perhaps the Doctor would get zapped by some kind of regeneration destabliser or something and would regenerate into a woman. Not only that, I imagined that from this regeneration on until his/her 11th and penultimate regeneration, the doctor would continue regenerating as a woman.
So who did I imagine as the first ever female Doctor?
Why, my long-time crush and star of screen and stage, Miss Ellie Kendrick!
Her look is inspired by 1930s fashion, but I also attempted to evoke the 'classic' doctors, by adding some little personalised details: a fossil broach and a three-star belt (Orion's Belt), which would highlight this Doctor's passion for science, astronomy and history. I imagine this Doctor being perhaps the most brainy of all his/her incarnations, and continuously annoyed by anyone patronising her based on her gender and/or youthful appearance. Her companion would be a telepathic blue dragon-centipede from Future Earth, which she affectionately refers to as Cid.