Saturday, September 15, 2007

Extreme Chamber of Blockadeover Horrors

I'm working on those redesigns for some of the female characters in "So Super Duper" and I'll post 'em either tonight or tomorrow. Right now, I have a terrifying e-mail to share with you all, from my most prolific commenter, "Anonymous."

Yes, the guy who comments (and therefore loves) me most is Anonymous. Sorry, MaGnUs, but this guy's got you beat. Not only does he comment multiple times on the same post, but he even adopts different "voices", conflicting opinions, and on occasion even signs his Anonymous posts with the names of different people. I don't know where he finds the time!

This morning I received a message from the gentleman behind the Anonymous mask. Yup, now I know his real name! I made a solemn promise to never reveal it, though... and that's just as well, since the abomination I'm about to show you might inspire some of my more rabid fans to hunt him down with a torch and a pitchfork, like in an old Frankenstein movie. Rest assured, dear readers, this revolting abortion of high-tech fabric and otherworldly technology was instantly banned from the now-legendary "maybe" pile the nanosecond I laid eyes upon it, and I shall do everything in my power to keep it from coming to pass in my own universe.

Now, steel yourselves, my friends... for THIS!


*ULP*... *HORK*... Hang on... *wipes dribble of vomit from corner of mouth*

Okay, I feel a little better now. How's everyone holding up? Anybody faint? They did? Crap. Somebody grab the smelling salts. ...We good to go now? Okay.

Anonymous has a blood curdling tale to accompany this nightmarish costume design:
So, it's like 5am here, and there's a knock at the door. I stumble across the place in my footie pajamas, wiping my eyes and hoping it's another supermodel with a flat tire or millionaire looking for someplace safe to hide his cash. I open the door, and there's a horrific flash of color.

No, wait. It's just two jerks in loud costumes. This had better be damn good.

One, all in yellow and blue looks normal enough, except that his skin, eyes, hair, and goatee are all colored to match. The other is wearing what looks like a loincloth made of oranges and violets and has the worst skin condition I ever did see. Chalk-white. Maybe he's had a scare. Or maybe he's a zombie. There's a Native burial site just down...well, you don't want to hear about that.

The duo invite themselves in and the goateed guy starts making waffles.
Turns out I own a waffle iron. Hm.

Anyway, they start telling their story. Goatee is Barricade Brat of Earth-3, as it turns out, and he's been on a roadtrip with Bizarro-Blockade-Boy. Scanning wi-fi signals as they drove through my neighborhood, they caught me reading your blog and decided they want in.

Wow. These waffles are awful. But one of these guys is evil and the other is eating my television remote, so I'm humoring them as well as I can.

"We wish to help our Blockade Bro'," BBrat (so he insists I call him) explains. There was also talk about their own formerly robotic dingi, keeping them as souvenirs-slash-weapons, and...well, it was too early for that, especially with the waffles trying to make an escape, so I cut that talk short and tried to hurry them to the point.

"Me and Bratty-cade am designing costume," BBB shouts as I shoo him away from my cat. "Me am sad it am so ugly." Then there was a quick argument over whether the Bizarro conjugation of "beautiful" should be "ugly" in that context, but I'll spare you.

I present you with what they described, mostly because they're threatening to make me walk the plank, and I really don't want to find out how they'll force the issue. Alas, none of us can draw worth a damn, except Bizarro-Blockade-Boy, and he only wanted to make turkey pictures after tracing our hands. And my laptop doesn't have any actual artsy software, so it was all in Microsoft Paint based on the template you provided.

Ready? Take a deep breath, because we're going in.

BBrat insisted on maintaining the classic colors, even though it made coloring the skin impossible with a palette of sixteen colors. Red and silver might have made better options, but I was overruled. By which I mean I was smacked in the head with a begonia. I don't remember owning one of those either, by the way. In any case, your hair in this scenario is dyed to orange (or silver--ouch!), and has very light muttonchops (or are those sideburns?) that sculpt up at the ends. For subtle contrast, there's also a soulpatch dyed purple. These are supposed to be a shade or two darker than the costume colors. Oh, and there's a Superboy-like spit-curl, which appears to balance out the other (facial hair) features.

The costume itself is all one piece, though a complex piece. From the capeless collar, we spread across your upper back to the sleeves. Sure, this reduces the frequency of backrubs, and sure, it's sort of an atrocity. But we're not done, yet.

"To get anywhere in life, you have to break all the rules." BBrat has a point, I guess, even if he's the worst chef ever. "He doesn't like long sleeves and bare legs? He'll change his mind when his costume is ONLY long sleeves and bare legs!" No matter how much he twirls his moustache, I'm thinking no, he/you won't. But there it is. From the collar, we go into the sleeves. They're voluminous sleeves, though it's unclear in the picture. Baggy sleeves out of Golden Age Quality Comics.
I talked them down from making it sheer, at least. The seams are done up in orange piping that gets all twisty, attach at the...I'll call it a belt for now, and then--I swear they wanted it this way, and it wasn't my idea, the damn things flow into the toes of the boots! The piping becomes the soles, and then there's another pipe across the boot rim.

BBrat said something about "liquid fabric" to explain why you weren't going to trip over them. BBB held onto a boa made of violets and made flapping motions when he tried to explain it.

The sleeves are held together in front by a tasteful (so they tell me) gold chain.

Oh, the belt? That's a super-high-tech anti-gravity apparatus, they tell me. It has kilt-like qualities, so you can feel free to wear what you like beneath, without violating the Comics Code. But it's also a holographic billboard that lets you strobe messages as you see fit.
Fighting in a library and can't banter with your foes? Program in "you're about to be Blockaded!" and make your feelings and wit known.

And there's a bench around the insite for Cootie to sit. There's also a mechanism to retract any surplus sleeve that's in your way, and feed it out when there's not enough. Oh, and there is plenty of space in case you need to carry weapons or tools with you.

Things I think I should draw your attention to, in case they're unclear given the artistic tools at hand, include the recurring "BB" motif. The pendant dangling from the chain is a gold mirroring of an Interlac B, of course. The cut-outs extending from the sleeve (following your collarbone along the top) likewise resemble the Interlac letter. We would also trim your soul patch to a simplified version of that shape, one stem, where it looks more like a 20th century T. Finally, when you stretch out your arms, the mega-sleeves will hang much as your current BB symbol does. Or not so finally. That's a pinky ring on your left hand. Gold-colored Legion flight ring, with amethyst flakes in your classic insignia. You can punch people and leave it on their foreheads like Pulp vigilantes did.

Similarly, while not to the extent that others have tried, the tops of the boots are intended to very subtly evoke tower crenelations.

Lastly, I'm asked to tell you that the belt/kilt gadget "am Bizarro-belly-shirt."

Be grateful. I talked them out of swapping the colors on one sleeve.
BBB hate asymmetry.
I'm sorry you had to go through that, Anonymous. If I ever run into these two, I'll give 'em each a punch in the 'nads on your behalf.


MaGnUs said...

On the one hand, I hate this guy because he comments more than I do... on the other hand... well, this design of his makes my worst stuff seem like 21st Century Cockrum stuff.

Anonymous said...

That hurts. It really does.

Superman said...


Anonymous said...

Y'know, I told them, if it didn't have crenelations all over the midsection, nobody would like it. And what do they do? Steamroll right over me.

Other rejected ideas included not just "man-scaping," but actual man-topiary all over the chest. And shoulder-pads. They were seriously into shoulder-pads, like they were in some kind of '90s reboot. I had to sneak the nipples in when they weren't looking, too. They wanted'em covered.

And yes, BB, punching in the 'nads would be great. I wish I had thought of it, but there are Comics Code censors all over the place, here. I'm lucky "damn" got past them.

(Real-ish world aside: It was a lot of fun trawling through your old posts looking for costume features for you to hate, then trying to make them "work." Did I miss anything?)

Jeremy Rizza said...

Yeah, the sleeves could've been puffier. Heh.

Anonymous said...

If I could've found some colored pencils, they would've been puffy and see-through, if that helps. With MS Paint, all attempts lost any shape of the arm, which looked more sloppy than horrifying.

It probably should've also had different heights on the boots and a gratuitous thigh strap matched with the lower boot too, now that I think about it.