New Designs Round-up – May 2019

Three new t-shirt designs have recently been uploaded onto my Redbubble and Teepublic stores.  First up we have a new design for my gaming category. Anyone that owned an N64 will no doubt be familiar with the 64DD; an external hardware add-on that would allow you to play games on a disk drive format, which had a larger memory capacity compared to the N64’s game cartridges.  I remember getting monthly updates on the 64DD progress courtesy of the Official UK Nintendo magazine and each month it was looking bleaker and bleaker. The 64DD did eventually get released, but only in Japan were it flopped and consequently was quickly forgotten by Nintendo. To this day I still think that was a shame, so to celebrate I created a design that showed exactly how the 64DD would have worked.  Firstly, the 64DD would have plugged directly into the bottom of the N64 console. Then the N64 RAM expansion Pack would have been required (this add-on did make it to us, largely because some games actually needed it in order to work), and a special N64 cartridge that allowed for the N64 to connect to the internet could be inserted into the cartridge slot. And finally the 64 disk drives themselves would slot into the front.  All very neat and tidy, and when you see one in action on Youtube, it’ll make you still want one. You could, of course, settle for my t-shirt instead.

Continue reading New Designs Round-up – May 2019

The Evolution of TMNT: Part 2

Here’s part two (of two) of my Evolution of TMNT article.

TMNT – Animated Movie (2007)

TMNT 2007 02

The rebirth of the turtles in the new millennium resurrected plans for a new feature length film, but this time going down the CGI path in a bid to save money more than anything else.  When the simply titled TMNT was announced, it looked like this version would harken back more so to the original comic books. While that was true to an extent, it was a real mix of everything we’ve had before.  The look of the turtles were lean and mean, thanks largely to not being constrained by men in suits and animatronics. Their design was a rich flavour of the cartoons and live action films, with a hint of the original comic book designs from later issues.  Overall this was deemed a success, and certainly helped path the way for future projects.

INTERESTING FACT: The plot line for this film is almost identical to the plot for the fifth Highlander film, Highlander; the Source (not really worth watching)

Continue reading The Evolution of TMNT: Part 2

The Evolution of TMNT: Part 1

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have stood the test of time.  Since the mid-eighties they have managed to grace both the small and big screen as well as printed media, spanning now several generations and continuing to go strong even after all this time and many franchise reboots.

Your favourite Turtles carnation may very well depend on your age and personal memories, and even I would be hard pressed to pick a definitive version of the turtles that I would be happy to settle with if I could take only one on a desert island with.  So let’s briefly explore the contenders, starting with where it all began….

Continue reading The Evolution of TMNT: Part 1

Happy TMNT III Day

Apparently the 1993 third live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film (aka TMNT III; Turtles in Time) has the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score of all the Turtles films.  I also follow enough TMNT fan instagram accounts to know that this is not a surprise. Personally, I find this a little sad.

I have complete and utter affection for this installment in the series.  I remember the first time I watched it (on TV) and what I even had for dinner while I was doing so (pizza, obviously).  Consequently, I may always watch it with rose-tinted glasses but I think it’s got a lot going for it.

Continue reading Happy TMNT III Day

They’ve got character

Welcome to my new blog.  Rather than give the token “Hello World”, or “Testing 1,2, testing’, or ‘Is this thing on?’ opening post, I thought I’d just start by talking about the newly released set of Star Wars Episode VIII character posters.

lastjedicharacter

When I came across these last week, I initially thought my browser hadn’t opened the images up correctly as I couldn’t see the top of their heads.  I then realised that this was a stylistic cropping choice made by someone. Nice, I thought.  It gives them an eerie edge, strongly suggesting that the film may echo this.  Then there’s the red.  Lots of red.  If you’ve seen the first trailer (which I’m sure most have), we know that red features heavily in one particular shot and that it was a very deliberate choice made by director Rian Johnson (not to mention the Star Wars title being red this time round).  And finally there’s the rough, brush stroke cut-outs at the bottom, complementing the noisy off-white backgrounds.

These are bold posters made with bold (and some would say even brave) decisions.  I, for one, rather like them.  However, I’ve already seen quite a bit of backlash out there on the web.  I didn’t realise it until one critic mentioned it, but they are remarkably similar to the Matrix Reloaded character posters from 2003.

Matrix

As you can see, the framing of the characters is identical.  The red has been swapped with a subtle green.  And the background kept bright white.  But of course, these were made nearly fifteen years ago.  My gut reaction was that they actually look very similar to the work of illustrator Rob Prior, whom’s work I first came across when it featured in the Art Awakens competition in 2015.

Rob Prior

I can certainly see why these would divide opinion.  It’s unusual for a big budget film to be a little different with its marketing.  Judging by the recent Spiderman Homecoming poster (which is truly awful), we’re used to seeing conventional photoshop montages that feature as many characters as possible.  I even remember the final The Force Awakens poster got criticised for not featuring enough characters on it as it was sans Luke, although we were then quickly told there’s a reason for that which became clear after seeing the film.  These Last Jedi posters are pretty minimal, even with the number of colours on show.

I have no real conclusion to this post.  We all have different ideas and visions, which leads us to form our opinions. I also feel that character posters serve a different purpose than the final movie poster, and while design consistency is nice to see, and at times essential for a marketing campaign, I think the opportunity to give us something different has been well utilised at the right time.  I sense that someone’s had a lot of fun putting these together and that is no bad thing.