Wednesday, July 25, 2012

That Looks Cool: Sketch Blog "Week 7: Envirob"

Week 7 is here and nearly got away from me (damn you, week seven!!!), This week's theme is "Envirob" a designer vinyl figure.


I know nothing about it, but he looks awesome and I had to take a crack at drawing this cute little guy.




Jon Frank, artist a-go-go, also joined in this week with
his wonderful take on the character.



If you'd like to take part in this weeks "That Looks Cool", or any of our past themes, email me you art and any links to me at matt@grindhousecomics.net

thanks again for looking!
Matt
-aka Dr. G

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"El Esqueleto: The Skeleton" Issue #4

Issue 4 of "El Esqueleto: The Skeleton" - "Massacre at Baron Fivekick's" starts today and updates with a new page each Wednesday here on the blog.

Or you can read El Esqueleto on "The Duck" web comics site.






That Looks Cool: Week 6 "Marceline" from Adventure Time


Week 6 is upon us and this weeks theme is "Marceline", everyone's favorite vampire queen from "Adventure Time"



I went with a "Metal!" posie for my Marceline sketch.
Marceline by Matt Haney


If you'd like to share your art of Marceline, email me at matt@grindhousecomics.net.

Until next week,
-Matt
aka Dr. G

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vintage Toy Ads: Fred Meyer Stores

Fred Meyer stores is a retail chain in the Northeast US and Alaska that is still in business today. I've heard of them; never been to one. They sound a lot like WalMart with the grocery store/discount store, one-stop shopping.

Anyway, I found a few cool, old ads to add to the site:



Here's a trio of Ads from November 27, 1986:
1) Our first ad has some features the Playskool "Alphie II" robot, The "Dreadnok Swampfire" The GI Joe "Recon Sled", Transformers "Sky Lynx", "Omega Supreme" and the GI Joe "Tomahawk" helicopter!


2) We got a nice two-page spread of "Freddy's Toy World". Man, I want those $2.97 "Starriors" and "Marvel's Secret Wars" figures! Other cool stuff: A "Bigfoot" Ride-on Monster truck, "Astronaut Barbie", "Swiftwind" and some figures from She-Ra Princess of Power, Popples, Care Bears, Fluppy Dog, Pound Puppies, Centurions.

The Mind-blower: "Over the Top" action figures and "Over the Top" Arm Wrestling Table!.Now you can "arm wrestle just like the stars of the "Over the Top" movie"!

I'm a big OTT fan (as we call it at the annual TopCon conventions) and get a big smile seeing these actually promoted. Good on you, Fred Meyer stores. I remember these figures languishing forever on the shelves of the local Shopko store. I always wanted them, but never got any when they were originally out. Maybe it was the lack of a Robert Loggia figure...

3) The third ad shows some M.A.S.K. love. Stinger, Hurricane, Outlaw and Boulder Hill (the ad calls it "Bunker Hill") get some play. Also, some Rambo and the Force of Freedom figures. Looks like Troutman, Warhawk and Rambo.

This next ad jumps back a couple of years to Dec 21984. Alvina and the Chipmunk dolls (I had a Simon), Get Along Gang Clubhouse Caboose play set, The GI Joe APC and mini battle-field play sets and a personal favorite the He-Man Battle Set. I loved these as a kid. I remember the He-Man set, but played all the time with the Skeletor set I got in the Christmas of '84. These a disturbing Christmas morning Polaroid of me in my Underoos with yellow skull mask and goat head staff lording over a pile of presents. The reason for the season, I guess

And lastly, some video games also from Dec 2, 1984.Atari 2600 and 5200 aplenty. "Kangaroo", "Jungle Hunt", The Colecovision Conversion Module, "Dig Dug", "Qix", "Mario Brothers", "Centipede", "Galaxian", "Ms. Pac-Man", "Pole Position", "Star Raiders", "Asteroids", the infamous "E.T." game, "Missile Command", and the "Point Master" and "The Boss" Joysticks. Good stuff.

That's it for today. If you've got any vintage Fed Meyer store stuff you'd like to share on the blog, email me at matt@grindhousecomics.net
Or post your memories in the comments section.

Later, kids
-Matt
aka Dr. G

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

That Looks Cool, the Sketch Blog Week 5: Zulu Kaiju Monster

Week 5 is here! (sorry I'm a day or so late posting...)



This weeks theme is based on a Japanese vinyl figure that I thought looked cool. He was listed as "Zulu Stage 2" from the "Monster Heaven" vinyl figure line, but I have no idea what series or film he's from. Still, a kick-ass design that I found to be a lot of fun. Now, monsters attack!


Zulu Stage 2 Kaiju by Matt Haney aka Dr. G



If you'd like to share your take on "Zulu" email me your artwork and any links to you site at matt@grindhousecomics.net

thanks for looking,
-Matt
aka Dr.G

Last Page of Issue #3 of "El Esqueleto: The Skeleton"

Issue #3 end today! Next week, the cover of issue #4 posts and then on July 25th "The Massacre at Baron Fivekick's" begins! It's gonna be all out action! Exclamation mark!!!



Stay tuned for more action,
Matt aka Dr. G

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vintage Toy Ads: Star Wars Episode IV "A Canuck's Hope"

Got some new, vintage toy ads. Hope folks like these as much as I love 'em. They bring back such fond memories of kid-dom, wish books and toy shopping. "Toy Porn", I guess.

This batch is Star Wars themed and from the great white north, so don;t be alarmed by these Canadian prices :)


Our First ad comes from "Consumer Distributing" a long gone catalogue store (similar to Service Merchandise) that went under in 1996. From November 7, 1979. Star Wars 3-Packs. Pretty good offerings, but I'm really surprised to see no Han Solo.
Also, check out the fantastic Energized Spider-Man. I loved that toy as a kid. I had the copter and web traps too. Played with that all the time.



 
Next up, some Star Wars watches from Texas Instruments from an ad that ran December 2, 1978. I don;t think it was for any store. It seemed to be an insert of hot holiday gift for 1978.



Here's a Sears ad from November 1, 1978 showing some early Star Wars offerings. I love the line art of the original nine figures. The Landspeeder art kinda nice too. Is it traced from a movie still? It looks a little more dynamic than the other toy art.


This December 7, 1982 ad from Kmart has a couple of unusual offerings. Die cast Star Wars ships and the Jawa Land Crawler don;t pop-up too often in the old ads that I see. Also got the Dagobah playset from Empire. Even in Canadian dollars, the prices seem crazy-cheap.


The cherry on top is this Sears ad from November 24, 1980. It's full-on Empire Strikes Back toy-orgy. First a Millennium Falcon set with Han and Chewie, killer stuff!

The sets of seven Star Wars figures kills me. set "f" "Includes Lobot", set "g" "includes Tusk the Ugnaught", set "h" "Includes Dengar" Way to sell the sizzle, Sears. Kids are climbing over each other to add the bald-guy in bell bottoms, the pig Umpa Lumpa and Mummy Johnny Cash to their Darth Vader collector case. Come on, set "F" has Boba Fette and IG-88 from Empire and they go with Lobot?

The biggie for me is the Imperial Attack Base. This is the same Christmas I got this toy and I played with it non-stop. I think It might have been on of the first playsets or bases I ever had. Everything before had been making things out of shoe boxes or Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys. But this, boy oh boy, had that laser cannon, the collapsing ice bridge and the bunker. It was used as so many environments, I used to pretend that it was the rebel base from Empire. I used to pretend that under the ice bridge was the cave where Luke got hung upside down by the Wampa. Writing this makes me want to jump on eBay and look for one now!

Other great stuff: The Tauntaun, the Rebel turret and probe, Imperial Troop Transporter, Snowspeeder, Dewback, Ice Planet Hoth (I had this too; loved, loved, loved the radar dish laser cannon), Cloud Car, X-Wing and Vader's Tie Fighter, and the Droid Factory. Also, the 2" tall Yoda is so popular you can order him by himself at $4.49 (seems steep considering Kmart has Dagobah advertised for $3.99 in the ad above)

I think I'm heading to eBay to look at Imperial Attack Bases...
-Matt
aka Dr. G

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

That Looks Cool: Week 4 "Lunatic" from the anime "Tiger & Bunny"

Week 4 is upon us. This week's character is "Lunatic" from the anime "Tiger and Bunny".

I actually watched the first couple of episodes of this show earlier this year on Hulu. It's a lot of fun; sort of a superhero reality show from what the first episodes set up. It's one I've been meaning to revisit. Lunatic is new to me. I assume he shows up later in the series (looks very villainous, but don't know that for sure). Love the design and had a good time drawing him.

Lunatic by me (Matt Haney)


Chris Ralston Brings It On again, Kirsten Dunst-style, with his take on Lunatic! Be sure to check out Chris other artwork and comics at http://www.r10creations.com/

If you'd like to take a crack at drawing this dude, email me your rendition at matt@grindhousecomics.com!

Later,
Matt aka DR. G

That Looks Cool!: July 2012 theme picks

Well, the new previews catalog has come and here's the next 4 weekly character/theme picks of things that I thought looked cool:

Week 5 (July 10): MONSTER HEAVEN ZULU vinyl figure



Week 6 (July 17): Marceline from Adventure Time



Week 7 (July 24): Envirob figure



Week 8 (July 31): The Purple Superman


Here's what July looks like for sketch themes. As always, if you'd like to share your rendition on that week's character, email me at matt@grindhousecomics.net.

There's no deadline for submissions. If you send something in advance, I'll hold it untill that week's theme comes up. If you send in a past character, I'll update that weeks post with your entry.

Any style is great (and recommended). The character choices are just a springboard to you creating something cool. Your "Purple Superman" doesn't have to be a cute version like the one pictured. It can be realistic, anime-style, comic style, etc...; whatever interpretation springs forth from you!

-Matt aka Dr. G