Monthly Archives: February 2011
Tomorrow is March 01. This is a very important date to me.
It’s not my birthday, or the death of a loved one, or a relationship anniversary. 01 March 2003 is the day that my good friend, Brandon A. Mayo, and I began our webcomic, Hawk & Croc.
I was inspired, in late 2002, by webcomics such as Penny Arcade! and 8-Bit Theater to begin telling my own stories in comic format. I’d been wanting to draw comics ever since I started reading X-Men, back in 1993. I saw webcomics as a way for me to get started working within deadlines, and practice being able to tell a story, visually. There’s a lot more to comic art than just drawing pictures; the pictures have to tell a story themselves, without any words!
The obstacle I immediately faced was that I was absolutely terrible at writing. I could not come up with original ideas to save my life. I went through a bunch of ideas before finally settling on telling the story of two fellas who went on a road trip across America. I came up with two strips on that idea, and quickly ran out of gas.
For a few years, I’d been friendly with Brandon Mayo. We met on a Sonic the Hedgehog message board on AOL, and had a few other things in common; Most notably, our love for the SNK characters, even though neither of us had really played too many of their games other than the occasional King of Fighters. Brandon had written a few fanfiction stories, such as Art of Fighting Adventures that I thought were pretty hilarious, so I asked if he wanted to co-write a webcomic with me. He agreed, and we were off!
Except we still needed a subject on which to write. We’d both revealed that we had our own characters, Dariaan Nighthawk and X-Croc, and Brandon suggested that we just write stories about them. We wouldn’t count them as the official, canonical stories that either of us had in mind; just an alternate reality where the two worlds collided. That sounded reasonable enough to me; Why create new characters if we didn’t have to?
We began planning everything in January of 2003. At the time, I was recovering from surgery on my left knee (I had torn a ligament while wrestling the previous year), and because I couldn’t really do anything other than sit around the house, I had pretty much all day to plan and plot stuff. I drew up the first couple of strips we wrote, and randomly put “01 March 2003″ on the corner of the first one, mainly as a placeholder, but also as a potential start date. I showed them to Brandon, and he was amicable enough to the 01 March start date. And that’s where the story begins. Tomorrow.
A portmanteau (“port-man-toe”) is when you combine two words to make a new one. “Smog,” for example, is a portmanteau of “Smoke” and “fog,” and “sexpert” is a portmanteau of “sex” and “expert.”
In high school, a very good friend of mine used to dye her hair a lot, and often more than one color at a time. A few of us would enjoy coming up with weird portmanteau names for combinations of the colors of her hair. A couple of our favorites were “blorange” for when it was half-blue/half-orange, and “gurple” for the half-green/half-purple (I voted for “preen,” but it turned out that was already a word).
I still enjoy following this tradition. Some of the other fun color portmanteaus I’ve come up with are:
“Bred” (Blue/Red) (also a real word… But less morbid than “Bled.” Heh)
What are some of your favorite color combination portmanteaus? Leave me a comment!
My latest custom creation to be shared with the Internet. Currently for sale on eBay!
Made by repainting a Toy Biz Marvel Legends Series 11 “Legendary Riders” line Hulkbuster Iron Man figure, and sculpting a new hair and beard on the Tony Stark head to make it Jim Rhodes, the pilot of War Machine!
Attempting to update the blog from my iPod touch. This could become incredibly cool, incredibly quickly.
In 1998, I was a junior in high school. I had a rather strange hobby, and that was customizing action figures. On Monday nights, I liked watching professional wrestling. That fall, I met a kid in my class who would end up becoming one of my best friends. He also customized action figures; wrestling figures! That night, I went home and repainted a bunch of my WWF action figures, and brought them in to show him, the next day.
Over the next several months, the two of us would go on customizing rampages.
In 1999, it occurred to me that I should create a wrestling figure that was all my own. My own design, my own character, all mine. I grabbed a bunch of random parts – The legs of Triple H, the arms of Billy Gunn, the shirt of Road Dogg, and a head of the Undertaker. Combined and repainted, I created “Big D.”
I then went and created Big D in WWF War Zone for the Playstation 1, and gave him the “Colossus” moveset, meaning his finishing maneuver was the Choke Slam. This is a move where a wrestling grabs his opponent around the throat (and belt, so he doesn’t kill the guy), lifts, and slams the opponent’s shoulders/back onto the mat. The open left hand on the figure was perfect for this move.
Over the years, Big D has been my wrestling persona; he’s nearly always the first “create-a-superstar” I make in each wrestling video game I own, I’ve made figures of him in every style of wrestling figure available, and during the brief time my friends and I attempted backyard wrestling, Big D was the character I portrayed. And his finisher is always the Choke Slam.
I even included Big D in my online comic, Hawk & Croc, under his “real name,” Biff J. Rockenheimen.
Since then, tend to refer to Big D as “Biff,” especially since I remembered that the idea for the name “Big D” came from one of former WWE and WCW champion Kevin Nash’s on-screen character, Diesel.
But no matter what, this original Biff J. Rockenheimen/Big D custom toy (which I have repainted numerous times, to keep him looking as good as my current painting skills will permit) is my favorite incarnation of the character. It is the original, and, therefore, arguably the most “pure.”
“Psycho” Andy Costello dot WordPress dot com.
There’s got to be a way to shorten that.
Today, 24 February 2011, begins my attempt at making daily blog entries. Again.
I’ve tried with a few other forms of blog, but maybe today will actually be the start of something consistent. It’s not like I don’t have the time to post SOMETHING every morning, before going off to my daily adventures.
Who am I? My email signature currently reads:
“Psycho” Andy Costello
I’m an artist living in the horrendous desert known as the metropolitan Phoenix, AZ, USA area. So this blog will likely have a lot of things that are related to my artwork.
As you’ve probably guessed, my primary artistic interest is illustration. I spend more money than I should on comics and books filled with concept artwork for video games.
Secondly, I am currently majoring in Graphic Design. Hooray for ten-year Associate’s Degrees, right? But, no student loans means no debt once I finish. In theory, that will be this May.
Finally, “Artist” is a rather all-encompassing term. My biggest hobby is customizing action figures; repainting them, frankensteining parts together, re-sculpting areas, and making all-new toys and characters. I’m like Sid from the first Toy Story film, but less sadistic. I’ve never owned any bottle rockets.
I do other things, but if I tell you everything now, you’ll never come back and read more of my posts. So that’s all for now. Peace!