Archive for September, 2008

Third Contest deadline approaching…

Alrighty! Been a long time since the last post.  (Been kinda busy playing games….) but just wanted to say the deadline to the third contest titled Villains will be do September 30.  Win yourself a Free Game! 

Illustrate a villain from any video game…plain and simple! 

Looking forward to the entries!  Oh yeah, my 360 started it’s own blog!


Meet Alex Garner!!!

Yes, Alex Garner, the super cool Comic book digital painter! He plays video games too! 

The guy is really cool and down to earth!  He is very humble about his fantastic art which was refreshing. I remember following his work in the late 90’s and his current stuff is simply mind blowing! Without further hold up on with the interview! 

Questions by me.   Answers and Eye candy by *AlexGarner! 

How did you break into the biz…do you remember your first published work? 

In late ’92, I sent some work to Jim Lee for a talent contest he hosted in the back of WildCATS #2. I wasn’t very confident with my pencils at the time, so I only applied for an inking position. The four who succeeded in the contest were J.Scott.CampbellBrett BoothSal Regla, and myself. I believe my first published inked work was on WildCATS #0 over Brett Booth’s pencils. And I did such an awful job on it that soon after, Brett kicked me to the curb which freed me to work with Campbell. Obviously, that turned out to be a very good thing for me as Campbell and I became a pretty successful penciller/inker team for the next 6 years on such series as Gen¹³ and Danger Girl.

What keeps you motivated to churn out fantastic colors on a regular basis…(I guess besides paying bills!) 

I hate to say it, but some of it is just 11th hour dumb luck. Honestly, I usually have to work very hard to get my palette working at all. There are those artists out there who have the innate ability to pick the perfect color scheme from the get-go, but not me. No, I have to constantly wrestle with Photoshop just to produce something that will function at a minimal level. So, this means I sometimes use bright and flashy colors to compensate for a lack of pre-visualization, which is odd because my personal preference really lies with much more desaturated, earthy palettes. But also, the characters I paint tend to wear pretty garish outfits, so it’s usually counter-intuitive to dial down the bright colors. These are super heroes after all. 


Has there ever been a project that you wished you could go back and press the re-do button? 

Sadly, almost every one. Only a very few times have I ever felt completely satisfied with a finished piece after it’s done. A vast majority of the time when I look back at my art, I wince in frustration at what might have been. But if there’s one good thing that comes from all my negativism, it’s that I have a constant and obsessive need to improve.

(Awesome piece here by the way…at least I think so!)

What are some challenges you face with deadlines. (Or to put better -do you have problems with the many deadlines you face?)

Usually the challenge for me is in the beginning stages of a painting. If I’m not “on” and in-the-groove, then I’m just scratching and clawing to put together any sort of functional composition. That’s when I usually lose a lot of project time and then the stress sets in. But generally, I’m pretty good at not over-booking myself with too many deadlines. I believe it’s really important to be able to deliver a product when you say you will. Otherwise, you develop a professional reputation for flakiness that’s really hard to shake.

How long have you been a gamer? What games do you currently play? Favorite Game ever? 

When I play, I’m mostly on World of Warcaft with my friends. I usually don’t have time for a lot of other gaming. However, I did recently finish Bioshock, which was really excellent. Off the top of my head, my all-time favorite games are Diablo II, Resident Evil 4, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time. For me, those were three timeless gaming experiences.

What artist do you admire? 

These days, I really gravitate toward Craig Mullins. In my opinion (and many others), he’s the gold standard for digital painting and speed-painting. Adam Hughes  is also a tremendous influence on me as well. A truly gifted and great guy.

What makes a good illustration to you? 

You know, that’s a tough question to answer. When I look at any good illustration, I tend to focus on what strong elements were brought to the table and I try to dissect the artist’s thought processes behind them. It’s such a case-by-case basis for me. For instance, I really like the artwork of bothMike Mignola and Joe Madureira, but they couldn’t be more stylistically different in their approaches.

Is there a dream project out there right now that you wish you could work on? 

Nothing specific at this time. My primary focus is just to become a better illustrator and then go from there. I’ve only been painting for over a year, so I still have a lot to learn.

Favorite character to illustrate? 

I’ve been illustrating Illyria from Angel so much lately, I guess it’s her for now. Rogue and Ms. Marvel have been fun recently too.

Big thanks to the man himself AlexGarner! The guy went from inker to digital painter!  Gotta love that! 

Best 20 bucks I ever spent…

This is what I got….for 20 bucks! 

It may not go down as the best game in history but it sure is fun! It “borrows” heavily (by borrow I mean copies) from Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War.  The controls from Gears of War are applied button for button, even the run button with the motion camera following the character.  


The graphics are everything you would expect from a game in this generation.  (At some points the main character’s head looks funny in the cut scenes!) The game opens with a sort of feel like a Splinter Cell. If you played Resident Evil 4 you will also understand where a lot of the roots of this game came from.   


I will repeat: 20.00 bucks will get you some entertaining hours in a decent action shooter. If you like good graphics and slick action this game will be up your alley! 


I am not stating this game will win any game of the year awards…(This is not a review by the way!) There is a lot of things that keep this game from being a Triple AAA Title like Resident Evil 4 and Gears.  We as gamers need to understand not every game has the be an epic quest or feat like those titles.  The action stays solid throughout and the gun play is nice.  


The feature that the developers of this game was banking on in this game was the Glaive. That is the claw/hand of the main character that throws like a bat-a-rang and stings like bee! It soups up with more beef when mixed with things like fire and electricity.  There are some creepy moments in the game that MAY get a jump out of you.  

I wished a few things were pushed in this game a bit more. The melee needs more power behind it. Multiplayer was kinda garbage, but the single player mode was a spot on delight! Give this game a try it you liked the mentioned above games.  If it had a Co-op component it would be even sweeter! 


This is just the humble opinion of one gamer who digs art.  I like this game…for 20.00 bucks that is! 

Check the game out in action and see it for yourself.  

Meet dannlord!!!

I have had the honor and pleasure to have some great artist grace this humble blog…the great thing about it all, the one thing that united them all…even myself is the fact that we are all gamers/artist. 

The next artist introduced is a fantastic artist who has a serious passion for games and art as well.  He may be busy and not play as much as he wants to…but still he is a gamer at heart! 

Meet dannlord

The guy is super cool!  He was uber busy, yet still found some time out of his schedule to answer some questions about himself!  Thanks dannlord

Questions by me!  Awesome Art by dannlord. (some of his Gears of War colors’ by Protobunker) 

Hello Dannlord!  Thanks again for agreeing for the interview! Could you start with a brief bio about yourself… let the people know who you are, and what you do. also anything else about yourself as well.

I was Born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1977.  I am 30 years old, and have been drawing since age 3.

My professional career in comics  began as a digital colorist, working for Studio F in titles that include “Mystique”, “Thunderbolts” and “Incredible Hulk” for Marvel Comics, as some titles for other companies such as Dark Horse and Image. 

Later, I entered in a collaboration with Les Humanoïdes Associés in France, doing color work on the titles “Millenaire” and “Lune d’ Ombre”,  while doing that I managed to illustrate my first work in comics with the miniseries “EL ARSENAL: Unknown Enemy “, published in the United States and Canada by Arcana Studio. 

A couple of years ago I got together with some other colleagues from my hometown and founded Protobunker Studio, where I continue my work as a comic illustrator.


How long have you been in the art field? What is your background/school education in relation to art? 

I have worked as an illustrator since 1999, but back then I worked for a newspaper and magazines. It’s been only six years since I started working on comics.


Who are some artist that have influenced you to go into the realm of creating art for a living?

Trying to create art for a living was kind of a natural decision for me (I can’t see myself doing any other thing for a living) but seeing the works of Gimenez, Jodorowsky, Otomo, Shirow among others has always been like fuel for me.

I see that with a lot of your images…there is a living breathing world in there. Has creating a story with your illustrations been part of you since the beginning? I see that through it all you are a true comic book artist. 

I love detail and working in creating a good sensation of space and that my scenes have some kind of movement. Whenever it is possible to me, specially with my sequences, I try to work on as many different things happening at the same time as possible. It is very difficult at times. The (my) mind enters a labyrinth, thinking about so many things, but in some way that calms me and the hours seem minutes. Just can’t get enough of that.



What games are you currently playing? and What systems do you own?

Currently I’m not playing any games, I’m pretty busy right now, and I have only the xbox 360, but now that the fight between the HD DVD and the BlueRay is over and MGS4 is out, I am definitely gonna buy a PS3 and try to escape for a weekend at least to play it.

One word answers…

Gears of War 2=anxious

Xbox 360 =issues


Nintendo Wii=kids

Are you satisfied with your art=no

In 5 years you are=better

Project you would love to work on=batman

If you could pick anywhere to live it would be=space

Best artist in comics now=dunno

Favorite current comic series right now=none

Your sequential pages are nice. They tell a fluid and nice story… would you ever consider taking your skills to the field of animation? 

Perhaps in the future, so far I do not have plans to enter it, although I found it very interesting. You must recognize that I know nothing about the production process of an animation. 

Storytelling has been a part of society for ages. Comics have been a part of society for quite some time as well. As artist we all have stories to tell. In the future what project would you tackle of you had all the time in the world and money to fund it? (Really! This could be anything? Written, pencilled, inked, colored, by you!)

So far I have many of my own ideas and stories that I would like to tell, but that is a bit hard to think on producing other things. If you are  talking about Anything, being a lover of science fiction, it would be great to do a comic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. That would be huge for me.


Thanks for everything Daniel Perez! 

Thank you!

Taking a look back…are we spoiled???

Take a look back and remember the times of previous video game generations and just think how blessed we have been with the number of great titles that have come across our television sets…

Even look back just four years ago…when The Game Cube, Xbox, and Playstation 2 rocked everyone’s entertainment system…


We didn’t have gems like Bioshock, Metal Gear Solid 4, or GTA 4…what graced our systems 4 years ago were titles like Jet Li Rise to honor…Red Dead Revolver and Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy.


Which one would you choose…this or 

 Jet Li: Rise to Honor 


We take certain things for granted as gamers these days.  The industry has exploded in terms of what games have been released in this generation that we are currently in.  And since we are so used to seeing these graphics and gameplay now…we are a little spoiled.  

The updated graphics engines alone are reasons for any gamers now a days to purchase new titles…look at the the games being released…Let’s take two titles same name different console generations…

Area 51 for the PS2 and Xbox.

Blacksite: Area 51 PS3 and Xbox 360.

…Look at the difference in these two games…they speak for themselves…  Area 51 was a decent FPS for the Xbox and PS2 and it was ok, solid at best.  It received some decent reviews(about an 8.0 average) And Blacksite: Area 51 came out with more of a whimper…pretty good visuals.  Some great battles in there as well…but it came out really at the wrong time.  (In the middle of a Bioshock, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4 Sandwich!) But still an ok game! 


Look at Halo 2…


…and Halo 3 



…two great games generations apart…  


Even titles like Jade Empire which looked beautiful back in the day…compare it with Mass Effect…Not just in terms of graphics…but the entire gameplay itself is not even close to it’s masterpiece cousin that released in 2007.  

Jade Empire…good game



Mass Effect…epic life experience…



I remember paying 50 bucks happily for half-life 2 for xbox and playing through that load crazy game…only to pay 60 bucks 3 years later for the Orange Box which includes half-life 2, episode 1, episode 2, portal, and team fortress on a single dvd…

Half life 2 on xbox…


..VS. The Orange Box! 


Half-life 2
Half-life 2




Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2




One game that had so long of load times in there, vs 5 games in 1!  You tell me which one was a better purchase! 

We are getting a lot for our money these days.  Our games had multiplayer in them in the past yeah, but now so many games are getting released to have a social network party going! Take GTA San Andreas, and compare it to GTA IV….the difference is ridiculous.  You could already play San Andreas for a while, but now you could play GTA IV for like months and still find new things to do because of the multiplayer features…

Take a look at the top games of 2005 when the xbox 360 first came on the scene… 2005 was a great year for gamers

We had Resident Evil 4 (Cult Classic-Changed the way we play games today) Shadow of the Colossus (Great game just didn’t sell as much as it should) Jade Empire…


Those were heavy hitters yes..but look at the other games that were at the top of the list. Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks. Heroes of the Pacific, The Incredible Hulk:Ultimate Destruction, more greats like Devil May Cry 3, and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory.  The Warriors also released that year (great co-op beat’em up!) Guitar Hero (debut!) and also Prince of Persia The two Thrones…True Crime: New York snuck in there as a great sandbox action game as well.  

Pretty good year yes… but in the year when the 360 debuted the regular consoles still stole the show.  So we really can’t count the Next gen (our current gen) until 2006 (even though call of duty 2 was awesome on the 360). 

2006 was another good year for games.  The xbox 360 had full year under it’s belt and the PS3 and Wii launched. We saw great titles like Gears of War( One of the best co-op games ever…graphically just a powerhouse) Resistance Fall of man (only real reason for owning a PS3 at this time…)  The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (only real reason to own a Wii at this time!)

2006 also had Rainbow Six Vegas (Giant sleeper hit) Splinter Cell Double Agent, Final Fantasy 12, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Saints Row, Dead Rising (great title only missing online multiplayer) Bully, Scarface, Guitar Hero II, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and  The Elder Scrolls Oblivion.

Great Year for a last stand of the PS2, but clearly the xbox 360 stretched it’s muscle with many knock out titles wetting the appetite of many gamers.  It would be hard to top Gears, Resistance, and The twillight princess..but 2007 was immense…

2007 was and I will go on Record as saying, the best year of gaming in my lifetime.  The Year starting slowly with a couple of hits like Crackdown, God of War II, Super Paper Mario, then we saw hits like Ghost Recon Advance War Fighter 2, Then hits like the Darkness, Metroid Prime 3, Blue Dragon…Heavenly Sword, Quake Wars Enemy territories, Guitar Hero III, then the holiday season came. The games listed above were winners already, then titles started to drop like wildfire…HALO 3, CALL OF DUTY 4, Assassin’s Creed, MASS EFFECT, ROCK BAND, CRYSIS, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, SUPER MARIO Galaxy, THE ORANGE BOX, Rachet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, BIOSHOCK… what a holiday.  


My eyes are still glowing from these sure fire hits…so many Triple A titles came out that Holiday season that some are were under the radar releases…

2008 has been an impressive year and may top 2007…with releases already of GTA 4 and Metal Gear Solid 4.  We have Gears of War 2 coming and Resistance 2 coming Left 4 Dead looks promising, Fall out 3, and Fable 2 speaks for themselves, Guitar Hero World Tour, Possible Prince of Persia, Little Big Planet, EndWar, Halo Wars, Rock Band 2, Far Cry 2, Dead Space, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Spore (Finally) 

And in 2009 some titles that look amazing are Resident Evil 5, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Borderlands, Killzone 2…man pretty good time to be a gamer! I haven’t listed all the games…just a few gems…

Gamers…come on admit it… we are spoiled.

Meet Kalel06!!!

Hello! This is Goldie! I am filling in for the gamer who digs art on this interview! Today I will be interviewing spook who will be speaking for Kalel06.  What’s going on spook! 

umm…how do you eat in that thing…err-I mean not much! Glad to be here! 

Something against fish-controlled cyborgs???  Well what are you by the way…is that a mask…or your face???

hmm this was how I was drawn…I never really asked?  So…how do you eat in that thing? 

That’s it! You VS me in a game of HALO!!!- how do I eat…Hey…wait a minute…How will I eat???

Hey calm down…calm down…by the way who cleans your tank? 

HA! Jokes on you buddy! My suit is self cleansing! As soon as I figure how to get some food…I will be all right! Now on to this battle in Halo! 

That’s enough you two!  I will conduct this interview from here.  Thanks again goldie…don’t worry I will feed you.  Thanks again spook for stopping through! On with the interview!  Thanks again Kalel06 for being a supporter of this blog~

The Real Spook! 

The guy has skills…I met Kalel06 on  The funny thing is we joined the same day. I am a big fan of his work, and all the time he takes in perfecting his craft.  He is a talented artist and the most recent winner of the monthly contest which awards a free game to a gamer who digs art! He convinced me to give photoshop a serious attempt! 

On with the show. Goldie by me.  Spook by Kalel06!

Alright Kalel06…let’s get it started.

First of I would like to state that it’s still a bit wierd that I am interviewed. Though I feel I have some strong pieces, I still have so much to learn and I am still learning. Thank you very much though.

No problem!  What is your background in art? Art school? self taught? 

Been drawing since I was about 6yrs old. My family noticed I was doing very well in all my art classes growing up so they enrolled me into a specialized art High School in NYC. Did some design course work in college and worked at a design museum. I guess one could say I’ve always been surrounded by art. 
I did eventually start teaching myself since my professors always tought at a slower pace than I liked. So I bought books and read tutorials online and I am still doing so. Always learning more.

What is your day job? 

I have a boring desk job. I place orders for a well known textile company. Orders come in through the fax, I input them in the system. Rinse and repeat. Fortunately, I have internet access so I get to have some contact with the outside world.

How do you know when a piece is finished? And what roles do you think traditonal media has in today’s field of art?

That’s a tough one. I guess it has to be when I find nothing else to tweak in a piece. I usually take a little more time to look at it as whole after I think it’s finished just to try and polish it as much as possible. I may go back and change the color of a certain light source to see if it looks better, but if I find that it was fine the way I had it, then it is done.

I still think it has a major roll. Sure we have computers to simulate traditional media nowadays but nothing is as jaw dropping and inspirational like a well done oil painting or watercolor piece when you are directly in front of it. Or any other traditional media for that matter. It’s like you can see the effort in every stroke. Also, you have to know the basics before you can master any type of art.

Comics or video games?  which field would you prefer to work in?

I have such a strong love for narrative. I love comics so much for being able to tell a story and really entertain. Yet at the same time, games are evolving into a very strong story telling medium and has the advantage of interactivity. If I had to choose one, it would be games, mainly because you allow your player more freedom in your universe while still having the ability to control what they see.  With games like MGS4 and GTA leading the way in storytelling, the industry seems to be settling in very well with the rest of the narrative mediums.

Favorite game to play co-op? 

Well, I have been playing a lot of Rock Band lately with my wife and friends and I must say, that is one of the best multi player games I have ever played. I also love Halo 3 co-op with 4 players and I have crafted so many great memories in that game with some buddies but I just can’t seem to get enough of pretending to be playing the guitar or drums. Things are looking great for the future of co-op games since the games industry is all about being social now. It’s a great thing.

There are many gamers over the age of 25 these days.  You and me fall into this category. (80’s bro..what can I say…we rock!) Being married how do you balance spending time with your wife and playing video games and doing art?

Balancing that time can be quite tough. It’s about sacrifices. Sometimes I want to spend my whole day on the computer drawing til my hand hurts, other days I wouldn’t mind playing games til the wee hours of the night. In the end though, I just have to communicate with my wife and let her know what I need and she will communicate what she needs. I love spending time with my wife more than anything and I’ll admit that everything else is second to that. Family first, always. She is very good at understanding that I love to do art and I love to play games so she tries to get involved in that as much as she can. When she can’t I try not to abuse the time so as to try and balance everything out.

Artist you most admire:

There are too many to pick one, but they range from Jim Lee, Massimiliano FrezzatoWill Eisner, Joe Mad,Craig Mullins, James Hawkins, and of course the masters like DaVinci and Dali. I try to gain as much from the art world as possible and the Internet has helped so much in my art since it’s a lot easier to view pieces and get inspired.

 Coolest moment in your life?

I might have to say meeting Jim Lee. I was one of the first in line to meet him at a convention here in NYC. I had been thinking of a million ways of telling him how awesome he is and how he inspired me to really think about getting into art as a career, but at the same time not wanting to sound like the insane fan boy. When I gets to be my turn, I handed him the book, shook his hand and had a brain fart. I just stood there and watched him sign the book. When he hands it back, he looks at me as if waiting for me to squeal like a schoolgirl at a Jonas Brothers concert but I didn’t say a word. Nothing! Completely star stuck. Then the next comic book geek in line pushes me out of the way and bombards him with compliments. Still, the coolest moment ever. He’s a lot shorter than I imagined him to be. How does he fit all that awesome into such a small frame?

 Jim Lee 
What systems do you currently own and play? Favorite game ever? 
All connected to my TV are Xbox 360, PS2, Regular Xbox (for the games that aren’t compatible with the 360), Wii, Gamecube(just for kicks), NES, and the all mighty Dreamcast.
I’d have to say both Half Life and Half Life 2. Both of these games revolutionized the industry for good. After the Half Life released, every game has had scripted sequences. After the release of Half Life 2, physics as gameplay not decoration, became standard (and bad guys that have masks with glowing eyes). And they are fun as hell. Memorable moments gallore.
Thanks Kalel06 for stopping through! Love the art, thanks for participating the in contest, and looking forward to thing from you in the future! 
Well that sums it up. Aside from that I would just like to point out that I love every aspects of games, especially the business end of it. My poor wife has to always put up with me saying “Wow, babe, Nintendo just bounced back from the grave since the previous console wars. They are producing record revenues month after month.That’s marketing and PR at it’s best.” Then I have to wake her up.   

Thanks for the Interview! It was fun.
NP Media Website Coming very soon!

Thank you kind Sir! It was a blast! 

I still want to play  you in Halo! 

One match! I will give you one match! 


Up next…break down of how much games have changed in the last 4 years…

And the winner is…

Whew…this was a lot harder the second time around. Again thanks to all the artist who spent their time on creating some cool video game art! I appreciate it, and the readers appreciate it! I created this blog, and future site as something for the average gamer /artist could participate in.

You don’t have to be best artist in the world to win the monthly contest. Soon I will be adding some video game trivia questions in for a chance to win some other cool prizes as well so stay tuned for that! 

Ok…thanks to all that have commented on the pieces.  It’s good to see artist get support! As stated in the previous blog, the comments were used to HELP me decide (not decide) on who the winner will be.  

When looking at the criteria on who should win I looked at a couple of things. Originality. Not just in the characters chosen (people all chose fantastic battles and I would love to see them all unfold!) By originality I looked at the poses that the characters where in and the overall illustration. I am an artist so I love seeing NEW things.  Using poses that are pre-existing may look cool, however I see it as an easy way out…

If I am shelling out 60 bucks (plus tax and shipping) of my hard my hard earned cash I don’t want to see something that could have been photo-manipulated, by taking two pieces of art that already existed.  It may look cool, but I want to see artist push beyond what it easy…bottom line I want NEW art. Reference is needed but don’t just follow it, use it to create something totally brand spankin’ NEW! To anyone who submitted DO NOT take any offense to what was written. All the pieces submitted were great! 

Alright enough talk. And the winner based on my thoughts posted before is… 

yes…kalel06!! He took these characters and made them his own. At first glance when I saw it…I thought…pretty cool and left it at that. Then as an artist I looked at how I would have done this piece. It must have taken him forever (not that you have to work forever on a piece…) but the little details start to surface. 

The patterns in Nariko’s outfit, the scars on Kratos, the details on both their weapons. I searched long and hard to see if there was anything similar to this piece on the web, and there wasn’t. He went ground up and crafted a nice little VS piece. I also love the flames in the background and the lighting effects used on the characters and their weapons…the chains alone must have taken forever.  I drew both these characters myself long before this tournament, so I really understand the details in both.  (Nariko’s hair alone is amazing!)  

He took his time and was patient in putting together a well crafted piece for the contest. So congrats to Kalel06!   

As promised his game will be shipped and he chose…

The average gamer able to win a brand new 60.00 game for their hard efforts in creating some art…the is the reason why I created the contest! 

Once again, the contest for September is called Villains. Choose an antagonist, villain, thug, or bad guy from any game past or present to illustrate. Think about originality…don’t just send images that look like











Because I can already see these poses done by the people who originally illustrated it. Don’t be limited by someone else’s ideas…push it beyond what is already done. Make it your own! Have your villain terrorizing a hero… it doesn’t have to be a single shot of a character. As long as the villain is the main focus of the illustration you have your shot at winning any game you want (60.00 max!!!) Deadline is September 30. 

Thanks again!  

Coming up…an interview with a Spook aka… the winner of the August contest Kalel06!