April 11th, 2007

Smile

(no subject)

Shortpacked!: If he can sing, he should hawk Skittles.

Introducing Ultra Car as a character is no small investment. In one of life's most supreme ironies, I have trouble drawing automobiles. I've simplified the design substantially, but even the scale of him compared to other people gives me consistent trouble. He's also a slew of colors not shared by anyone else in the cast, so that demands a sizeable increase in color pallette.

Panel layouts are suddenly awkward, as I have to accomodate a character whose face is at everyone else's crotch. At least Garfield gets to sit on a table all the time, lifting him up to reasonable eye contact with everyone else; a car can't really do that. And so Ultra Car's presence demands wide shots, which pushes me into drawing more background than usual.

And it has to be three-dimensional background, because Ultra Car, unlike your typical human cartoony character, exists in more than one plane. He stretches out at an angle away from us, requiring me to do the same with everything else in the shot. Suddenly, perspective matters.

And yet, here he is. I probably won't be spoiling anything at this point by saying he's not leaving the strip any time soon.

Appreciate the increased level of technical skill he forces me into!

Ron got me Panther (right), that decade-old McDonald's Happy Meal toy. I figger at least one or two people out there need to see what a Happy Meal toy looks like, since every random thing under the sun that a particular fan takes a disliking to is decried as a "Happy Meal toy." I'm pretty sure these people have never seen a real Happy Meal Transformer, so here one is.

He stands up.

That's pretty much it.

I adore him, regardless. Why? He cracks me up. His beast mode face is hilarious. His eyes betray an incredible boredom or apathy, and yet the rest of his face is sneering cartoonishly. It's like he's a bad actor, told to be ferocious on cue, but he really wants to be somewhere else. Perhaps he wishes he became a doctor, instead of starring in cereal commercials. Who knows.

Honestly, to me he looks like a funny little Gozer dog like, y'know, from Ghostbusters.

In Japan's manga continuity for Beast Wars (which is separate from their dubbed version of our cartoon), he's actually Ravage. The old Ravage. (Hence his appearance in the photograph.) And the Beast Wars Ravage who shows up in the cartoon/toyline/manga is his son or something.

Wacky trivia which I have related before, but I feel compelled to mention again anyway.