A Fresh Look at the Beards of Multiple Fantasy Worlds

Since our last post about comic book characters and their beards, we have had a few complaints about leaving out other more beloved characters who have mastered the art of facial hair. Not all are part of the comic world, but they all do exist in various forms of fantasy, and have seemingly made a profound impact on a number of our readers. So for them, we offer a fresh look at the epic beards that exist in multiverse.

Hagrid From the Harry Potter Series – The character of Hagrid would not be the same without that birds nest growing down from his chin. As big as he is, this character was given a full beard style that perfectly depicts his persona.

Batroc the Leaper from Captain America – For the original comic design, Batroc the leaper is sporting a beard that could rival Hagrid’s in size. This unique characteristic is a perfect adornment for the otherwise understated comic book character.

Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon – An oldie but definitely a good, Ming has taken his beard trimmer to new heights in beard styles. Not only is he sporting the always ominous fu Manchu, but he tapers it off into two sinister points. Well done in the making the bad guy look really bad category.

Seneca Crane from the Hunger Games – This is what happens when you take creativity with your beard trimmer a bit too far. There are curves, and swirls that extend all the way to the hairline making this by far one of the most original beard styles born yet.

Evil Spock from Star Trek – With must give a special nod to one of science fictions greatest actors. We lost Leonard Nimoy last month, but his contribution to science fiction will never be forgotten. Nor will that perfectly groomed beard that is evil alter ego wore in Star Trek. With just a little goatee and mustache one of the most loved characters in the series suddenly seemed sinister.

spock-vs-evil-spock

Leonidas from 300 – Pulling off that perfectly trimmed beard 300 times took a lot of beard trimmers working very hard. If you see the original, it seems impossible to emulate, but with Hollywood stylists and a very good beard trimmer Leonidas and the rest of the 300 were made to look exactly how the real Spartans did during that time.

Gendo Ikari from Evangelion – This character takes his beard grooming tips very seriously, with a short cut that barely grazes his chin. This is a no-nonsense beard style that only those who don’t let anyone stand in their way could pull off.

Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones – All we can think is to please buy that man some beard balm. The ultimate prisoner of war look, it is obvious that Jaime is not getting any beard grooming tips while being locked up.

This mix of characters from all the fantasy worlds is a perfect depiction of how the beard really does make the man. If you are developing characters, and want a physical feature to help tell their story or define their place in your fantasy world, play around with different beard styles to see what you can come up with.

Arrow Flinging Comic Characters: Who Would Win in a Battle Between Green Arrow and Hawkeye?

There are no two characters in comic book history as similar as DC’s Green Arrow and Marvel’s Hawkeye. Both are assassins in their respective worlds whose weapon of choice is the deadly recurve bow and arrow. If the universes they reside in were to collide, who would triumph as the master archer?

Some Background

Despite their similar choice of weapon, the characters evolved from very different places. Hawkeye is a bit Batman-ish, with dead parents and life as an orphan. After running away with his brother to join the circus, he is taught the fine art of archery. After some flirtation with the evil underworld, he finally decided to put his skills to good use and join the Avengers.

Green Arrow is an orphan as well, whose parents got mauled by a lion as he watched in horror instead of using his recurve bow to kill the animal and save his parents. After the death of his parents he took on a new rich party boy persona until a yacht accident left him stranded on an island with nothing but his recurve bow and arrows. It was on the island that his final transformation into a bad guy killing arrow slinger began.

Skills

Hawkeye is a strong hero with incredible strength and speed on top of his abilities to shoot a recurve bow. Green Arrow is better trained though in fighting skills like the martial arts. Head to head in hand to hand combat, Green Arrow would take down Hawkeye with one well placed kick.

hawkeye_vs_green_arrow_by_lex_207-d383bj4

Green Arrow is also more complex with his recurve bow and arrows, and has developed his own (probably after reading hundreds of reviews ;))that explode, emit deadly gas, acid, tear gas, etc. As a part of the Avengers team, Hawkeye’s only strength beyond his ability to shoot is his ability to call upon his friends in time of need.

So Who Wins

Clearly the robin hood-like Green Arrow has honed his skills better and worked on developing more. If it were a fair fight, he would likely win hands down. The problem is that Hawkeye has the power of the entire team of super heroes to support him, which makes us think inevitable, he would be declared the winner.

As far as archery skills go, they are evenly matched. But if you want that skill to help you blow up stuff, then Green Arrow has it covered.

In one way or another both of this very thought out characters would triumph in the end. If you are planning on entering the comic contest we are running, take a look at these two archers and their backgrounds. It is the detail in their former lives that makes them so interesting. This could be something you may try in your comic to catch the eye of the judges.

Obscure Comic Book Characters: A History of DC’s Lobo

Heroes and anti-heroes often pop up in a story line, only to be forgotten after the conclusion. This was the case with Lobo, who DC Comics used off and on during the ‘80’s as an alien – villain. In the ‘90’s the character was slightly transformed and re-introduced in his own comic as the anti-biker.

Interesting to note that there was never any intention of keeping up with the Lobo comic. In fact, he was a parody of Wolverine, a much loved heroic comic character.

The origination of Lobo is of an alien villain with a hunger for senseless violence. Czarnian, his character is responsible for the killing off of the entirety of his whole race. The character is portrayed as a pale male with red eyes and black eyelids. The hair is depicted as a scraggly gray black mane that flies behind him.

The stand out feature of Lobo is his mode of transportation. Heroes are typically given fancy cars and invisible airplanes. Lobo has a pimped out motorcycle that has built in weapons of destruction placed in every available spot. Of course, as he is one of the baddest of the DC bad guys, there is no need for any motorcycle helmets. Instead, his greasy head of hair is always streaming behind him.

lobo

Lobo does also carry with him a very heavy arsenal of gear, but you still won’t find any motorcycle helmets, perhaps arai motorcycle helmets should design him a personalized one like you can find with the reviews over at http://www.helmetadvisor.com. Instead, his gear consists of a wide array of killing weaponry in all shapes and sizes. Not a gun toting motorcycle riding by any means, Lobo prefers the up close and personal killing that knives, swords and machetes offer.

In fact, Lobo is one of the most gruesome of all the DC anti-heroes but that doesn’t stop him from some forms of semi-normal human contact. The most notable is his apparent kinship with diner owner Al and waitress Darlene. This is his favorite spot to eat apparently and also to destroy by mistake.

Lobo has interactions with some of the more well known super heroes such as Superman, Batman and even the reclusive Aquaman. The cross over of characters of this kind has helped to build a very strong following for Lobo, who is now considered to be one of the greats in anti hero comic lore.

We tend as an industry to focus on the good guys and with very few exception overlook the complexity in creating the anti hero. If you are creating your own comic, remember to give the bad guys and their personalities just as much attention as you give to the heroes.

 

Infamous Comic Book Heroes Who Could Use a Beard Trimmer

Our favorite comic book heroes all have different weapons and tools that they wield. Whether it be a cool cave, web shooters, morphing powers or god hammers, there is always something that enhances there super-ness. One physical trait though that only the toughest of the tough possess is found on the chin in the form of a beard.

Solid Snake Punisher

Punisher has been portrayed in many forms, but the spin that he gets from Greg Rucka is by far the scariest. With a perfectly trimmed Manchu beard it is easy to imagine him wielding his weapon of choice and taking down dozens of bad guys without batting any eye. This is one of those times when the animation of the face and the addition of the beard let’s you know that the hero is a force to be taken very seriously.

Ralph Dibney

The former mayor of Bummer Town looked almost Nick Nolte-ish with his ginger colored beard and long trench coat. This was not long before his demise, as he was trying to bring his dead wife back to life. The addition of a beard to Ralph’s physical persona helped to illustrate just how affected he was by Sue’s death. The growth of that beard, and of course its coarse look which made it obvious that the super detective could not have cared less about using a beard trimmer.

Aquaman with the Harpoon Hand

Poor Aquaman is the red headed step child of the X-men and rarely gets the respect he deserves. Which is probably what led to his complete makeover with mermaid-like blond locks and a flowing beard to match.  His character got some edge, he got a harpoon for a hand, but his fellow super X-ers really didn’t seem to notice.

aquaman-comic

Thor

If you have ambitions of entering the comic contest by re-making a classic, take a cue from Mark Millar and his Thor in Ultimates. This beatnik-type Thor is an anti-establishment sword wielding hero that looks like he would have fit in perfect during a 1960’s peace rally. Transforming a well known super hero into someone completely off the well, yet still engaging is one way to grab the judge’s attention for the contest.

Wolverine

Wolverine is definitely rocking his beard trimmer to shape that soul patch he’s got going-on on his chin. This new version of the wolfish X-man has hair all over like his predecessors, but the soul patch was completely new and very short lived. Which was a shame as it gave the character an edge that wasn’t seen in earlier versions.

Beards are a fantastic feature to add to your super hero to show his character. Neat and trim belongs to those who are just and can show restraint, while wild and rugged help to portray the good guy who is going off his rocker. The next time you are contemplating the facial features for one of your characters, consider what type of beard he would have, and then give it to him.

Have You Chosen the Backstory For Your Comic? – Maybe Your Superhero is a Super Ultrasound Tech

If you are planning on submitting a continual story comic strip in the Bomb Shelter Comic contest, you have your hands full. This specialized form of comic writing requires more story telling than other type of comic. And it all has to begin somewhere.

There are some comic strips who don’t follow any type of story line. Peanuts is one of the most obvious, but others such as Blondie and even Reggie and the gang didn’t rely on any continuity in their scripts. To this day we have no idea where Charlie got Snoopy, and how the heck he became friends with Lucy.

Continual story line comics are different. You have to remember what your characters did last week, last month, -and if you’re lucky – last year. Think superhero comics. We all know how Batman got his wings and why Superman hates kryptonite. More complex was the Spiderman comic, who day to day worked off of the events that had just transpired. Sort of like a super hero soap opera.

How to Get Started

For some people it starts with a great character, and then their history while other comic writers get an idea for the backstory first and then build from there.

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For example, you are a student at an ultrasound technician program and start thinking about how a good story would be a student who finds a way to use a sonogram machine to tell if people are lying. This would open up a lot of plots for your future comic, but it is character based. If you had thought how a chemical spill caused the sonogram machine to have this amazing power, your story is history based.

The story of the superhero ultrasound technician and his trusty sonogram machine will need to have some backstory. Or you can treat it like a short term comic and never talk about how the character came to want to be an ultrasound technician, or how he got his powers. Once you decide on how detailed the story should be, you can go ahead and begin putting your comic together. Just make sure to get all the details right like salary, how to, certification, etc. (check out medicaleducationhq.com to get the details).

All the Good Back Stories are Taken

Not if you have a creative mind their not. Sure you have the Hulk’s messed up potion and Spidey’s spider bite but there are other methods of giving your protagonist his powers. You only need to find the right one that fits your vision. If it were me writing about the ultrasound technician, I would incorporate the lying machine into the backstory. Maybe he helps people this way because his family fortune was wiped out in a Ponzi scheme, or he lost his job because a co-worker told a lie about him. Something traumatic that would make mind seek vengeance against other liars.

You have a lot to think about, and not much time to accomplish it. Now is crunch time, where if you have aspirations of being chosen in this years comic challenge you better start cracking.

Calling All Comic Creators: Creating the Right Atmosphere to Create Your Contest Ready Comic

The comic book contest for our site is get ready for take off. Are you ready to enter it? It’s not easy to put together all of the elements needed in good comic storytelling. If you are having a hard time getting inspired, or making it past the first word, try these tricks that writers use to help them get their focus back.

Step Away From the Comics

Novice writers of all genres make this mistake all of the time. They think that by reading a bunch of comics, books or stories, they will find the inspiration they need. The trouble with this is that:

A.You suddenly feel inadequate against the other writers you are reading, and

B. You end up creating a spin off of what you just read.

You don’t want either of those to happen to you. To keep your self esteem high and your stories original, stop reading. If you are that stuck, take a nap or watch T.V. The best ideas will come when you are thinking about something completely different.

Doodle

If it is the drawing that you are stuck on, keep a pencil and paper nearby and doodle as you relax and watch T.V. Playing around with different styles, without the pressure of having to create something, will help you in creating something.

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Meditate

This may sound silly to some, but focusing on clearing your mind will actually make it more creative. Set the mood with soft candlelight and an essential oil room diffuser. Choose a scent from the dozens of essential oils available that soothes you. Create an environment that is as quiet as possible, turn off your cell and close your eyes. Focus on breathing in and out. The diffuser (we recommend checking out more at Scentsationoil) will make this more pleasurable. As your mind and body relax, all of the clutter is dissipated and your thoughts become clear enough to begin thinking about your comic for the contest.

Do Something Completely Out of Your Element

Race around a go-kart track, hit some balls at the batting range, or take your dad out fishing. New experiences give you new ideas to work with in your comic. There is only so much creativity your desk can help you muster. You need to see some of the outside world too if you want to write a draw a truly unique comic for the contest.

The genre you chose is one of the more difficult types of writing out there. Don’t cut yourself short if you find yourself in a temporary drought. The ideas will soon start swimming again if you first clear your mind and then fill it up with new experiences. Good luck on your project and with the contest. May the best comic creator win!

AMAZING PRODUCTS WITH POWERS THAT A SUPER HERO WANTS: HOW ‘BOUT A PETSAFE STAY AND PLAY FOR SUPER PETS?

Super hero comics are full of super hero stuff that makes sure that the good guy always wins. Batman is the super stuff god, with a fully equipped bat-mobile, wrist bands full of tools and of course his super hero buddy Robin.

There are gadgets and gizmos on the market today that can make you feel like superhero too. Only a brain-iac knows how most of them work, the rest of us are just happy to have them around when we need it.

Motion Sensors

A light that flicks on when something, or someone, moves in its range. Motion sensors are one of those home protection devices that most home owners have no idea how it works, but are thrilled when it does. This is like the normal guys equivalent to having x-ray vision, or being able to see in the dark. I don’t think that even Spidey can do that.

Wireless Dog Fences

If it were a penguin fence then Batman would have one for sure. A Petsafe Dog Fence like this one magically makes it very uncomfortable for your dog to leave the property. Without the use of any pain causing death rays. A pet fence is great for keeping the super pets under control. This is even better than Wonder Woman’s magical lasso at keeping the animals in check. The possibilities with wireless dog fences that have great reviews for a super hero are endless.

petsThe Internet

You’re on it all the time, but do you really know how the heck it works? Imagine if a super hero got an iPhone, and then got online. Who the heck would save us from the bad guys? No matter how big the bat sign looms over Gotham City, I would bet that Batman  would be more interested in his Facebook page. Well the internet may make you and I feel like a super hero, but we need to keep It out of the hands of our super heroes.

Bluetooth

I am completely baffled by Bluetooth technology, but very happy to have it in my life. Think about what would happen if our super friends were Bluetooth equipped. No more bat signs in the sky, or special wrist band radios, they could all just sync together to lay a blitz attack on whatever anti-hero comes their way. This brings a whole new level to the Wonder Twins uniting.

Microwave Oven

This one has been around for decades now, but still makes me scratch my head. Cold food goes in, hot food comes out. In only a couple of minutes. If super heroes ate, they would use a microwave oven. I wonder if their alter egos do? Maybe Clark and Lois do at home.

Modern comics of course incorporate almost all of today’s doo-dads into their stories, but the classics pretty much remain in the dark ages. Take a look at the stuff you are using everyday and think about how modern technology is starting to give us powers that most of these super heroes would envy.

Seemingly Boring Jobs That Would Be Perfect For Super Heroes

With the exception of Superman and his gig at the Daily Planet most of the best comic book super heroes don’t seem to have a day job. In fact, Batman and Robin aside, you have to kinda’ wonder where they get their money from. Wouldn’t it be cool to create super heroes from some of what we consider to be the most boring jobs possible on this planet? What would their super power be? And how could it be used to save the world from destruction?

Stock Broker

Wall Street by day, all streets at night… the stock broker bandit would be a Robin Hood of sorts. Stealing money from his rich clients by day, he would then don his hundred dollar bill cape and hand that out money out to the needy, fighting corporate body guards who stand in his way. My hand would certainly be out for a visit from this caped crusader.

Teacher

Roaming the halls in high heels, this wonder teacher would be able to put an end to the bully syndrome. Just one tap of her magic pen and any bully that enters her view is turned instantly into a whiny cry baby. Her biggest adversaries would be tough guy dads and bossy moms who think their child is the epitome of good deportment.

Super Teacher Male-color

Waiter

Super waiter is able to produce a table in seconds, already adorned with a basket of hot bread and glasses of water. He will be able to leap and bound into the kitchen to get your lunch to you in under five minutes.  Super waiters powers lie in his super apron, where pixie dust is stored to get the cooks to move faster. His biggest threat is when those cooks come to and realize the spell he put them under.

Immigration Lawyer

The Vancouver immigration lawyer is hard at work helping immigrants obtain visas by day and fighting injustices by night. Roaming the streets with his powerful law book he is able to put a stop to all crime and make sure that everyone is obeying the law. Be wary if you find him as a lawyer through bcjusticereviewforum.ca!

Cab Driver

Like Wonder Woman’s jet, the cab driver can turn the invisibility cloak on at will, defying traffic and getting his passengers to their destination on time. Traveling faster than even the speed of light, residents of his Gotham city never are late for work.

Beautician

A super beautician’s super power is a no brainer. 30 minutes in her super chair and the client is transformed into a beauty queen. All the power is in that magical hair dryer which can turn even the ugliest duckling into a gorgeous princess. Super beautician has to fight off all the jerks who suddenly show interest in the beautiful client.

All of these super hero’s will work in print or online. There are hundreds of different ways ordinary people can be saved everyday, if only there were enough superheroes to go around.

Contest Coming – Who Do You Want To See Win?



You could be this cool. Hard to believe, I know.
You could be this cool. Hard to believe, I know.

We get inquiries all of the time about featuring yet unknown comics and while we would love to entertain all of that talent, it would be a disservice to choose one over another. So we thought of something to solve this little problem and put together a contest for aspiring web comic artists and writers.

Get Ready, Get Set…Draw!

Anyone with an original comic is free to enter the contest. We love comics of all shapes and sizes and so do our readers. This is a great opportunity for us and our readers to get turned on to some fresh raw talent. Everyone had to start somewhere, and a contest like this is as good as place to start as any.

We have a deep respect for all types of comics, from silly stick figures to detailed illustrations so draw to your hearts desire ‘cause we’re happy to showcase it all. With absolutely nothing off limits there are millions of possibilities for even the freshest of comics to consider.

We do have to insist that any work submitted is 100% original and non-commercial. That’s legal mumbo jumbo for don’t steal anyone else’s stuff, not even an idea, and don’t try and sell our readers something through your comic, subliminal or otherwise

Who’s Going to Vote?

We decided that to judge the amazing content that is sent to us daily, we needed a panel of judges that was full of talented and creative web comic creators, illustrators, writers and just plain fans. We searched high and low and far and wide for such a unique panel until we realized that we already had it right here. Our own readers will be the judge and jury for the contest and will have the chance to vote on the comics they believe show the most talent.

Besides artwork, the web comic judges are going to look at characters, story lines, witty one-liners, and funny punch lines. Creativity will also be considered along with whether the judges think that the web comic has what it takes to be around for a while.

We’ll separate the entries into different categories to make it fair and offer kudos to the top winners from across the board.

Speaking of the Prizes

You will definitely get acknowledgment from our entire community. Even if you don’t win, your comic is going to be seen by all of our readers. We have some other more tangible prizes in mind that need to be ironed out, but for now all we will say is that if you win, you’ll get a very, very, very big pat on the back and the respect and admiration of web comic fans from all over the world.

So What are You Waiting For?

You have been asking us for months to put your work out there for you so now here’s your chance. Give it your best shot and put your most creative ideas and images together for us to see. There’s nothing for you to lose, but you can win some fame and notoriety.

 

Want to learn more? Click here to visit the rest of our site!

How Online Comics Have Changed the Comic Industry

BOOM! BLAM! BRANG! Comics sure have changed with the introduction of the internet...
BOOM! BLAM! BRANG! Comics sure have changed with the introduction of the internet…

Creating comics is a multi level art form that does not get the recognition nor the appreciation that it deserves. For decades the industry has been controlled by giants whose focus is skewed towards the mainstream and getting recognized and published through one is nearly impossible. The larger comic publishers won’t even open a submission from an unknown artist, let alone consider sharing it with the world.

That leaves hundreds of talented artists and story tellers with no recognized venue to market their work. Or at least it did until the 1990’s and the birth of our information super highway. The internet has been a godsend for thousands of brilliant comic creators who otherwise would have never been heard of.

With the emergence of online comics came a freedom for artists to showcase their work however they wanted. This has sparked hundreds of brilliantly creative formats for a genre that used to be pretty cut and dry. Read your online comics today and you’ll find that they are bolder and edgier then what gramps was used to. With no worries about censorship, comic creators can now go all out with their work, much to the readers delight.

some lulz.

There is an amazingly wide range of artwork showcased through online comics. Some are simplistic, using not much more than stick figures and engaging dialogue, while others are incredibly detailed. Still other comics use real photos in their work. The internet has broadened the horizons for any one with a good idea, and the end result is obvious with hundreds of examples of impressive work that would have never been revealed otherwise.

Every genre of comic is represented on the web as well. You get your fix of super heroes, both light, dark and everything in between. You have what the older folks would refer to as the funnies, although I bet they are scratching their heads at the popular tech jokes that are prevalent here. Fantasy also reigns, often with imagery that is so intricate and beautifully crafted that you wonder why it’s not hanging on a museum wall.

What makes the web comic stand out is that the entire focus is on the story, and the images that are telling it. These are not just add-ons to a daily they are the only reason why you are there. From the moment the world wide web began to gain a world wide appeal the growth of web based comics began. There is freedom of expression allowed that no longer lays hidden in a bed side drawer. The web introduced an interested audience for anyone who had a creative idea they wanted to share.

Since most people are opting for their laptop over a newspaper with their morning coffee these days it can only be expected that the web comic industry is going to continue to grow and thrive. The internet has become a fantastic forum for talented artists and story tellers to share with the world their often overlooked brilliance.