Archive for the ‘HeroMachine’ category

Because I’ve Been Feeling Very Scottish Lately . . .

March 4, 2010

I created this version of a Highland Dancer with HeroMachine v. 3.0.

Here also is a poem about a Scottish lass by William Wordsworth. (Not a bad poem, even if he was a stuffy English git).

The Solitary Reaper

BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?—
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;—
I listen’d, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

Hat tip for the text of “The Solitary Reaper” to


"Beware My Power . . ."

February 16, 2010
In brightest day
Or darkest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power . . . GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT!

Hey everybody! Happy Mardi Gras! Because nothing says “Mardi Gras” and “Last chance to blow it out before Lent begins” like costumed superheroes, I give you my latest super team: Green Lantern Corps, The New Recruits. Except for John Stewart, I made them up on the spur of the moment last night (Please don’t sue me, DC!) As usual, click on the image to see a larger version. Also as usual, I used HeroMachine v. 2.5, HeroMachine v. 3.0, and Paint.NET 3.5.3 to create the images. I like the idea of a band of costumed interplanetary do-gooders, and I like the way the GLC uses just three colors (green, black, and white) to produce nearly endless variations in the Green Lantern costume. Anyway, enjoy, and leave feedback.

Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, ©DC Comics.

The All-American Family

February 13, 2010

Once upon a time, in an alternate reality, the superheroine Lady Liberty, the leader of the Liberty Legion, married Freedom Fighter, commander of the Freedom Force. They produced a plethora of patriotic, powered progeny, a sensational series of super siblings. Here’s a candid shot of the happy family at home: Mom, Dad, and the kids! Click on the image to see a larger version of it. Please enjoy and feel free to submit feedback.

Images created with HeroMachine v. 3.0, Shakti Warriors, and Paint.NET v. 3.5.3.

More Superheroes

February 9, 2010
Click here to see a larger version of the image.

I had thousands of requests (well, OK, one) from loyal readers to post more of my superhero creations. I actually created the Celtic League of Superheroes nearly two years ago using Heromachine v. 2.5. (Also available for download here). Version 3 of Heromachine is now in development, but after a weekend’s worth of experimentation and fiddling, I decided I didn’t like the Version 3 remakes as well as the originals. Don’t get me wrong. I think HM 3 will be 31 flavors of awesome when it gets finished, but for these characters and this portrait, I thought the original versions would be better. I used Paint.NET v. 3.5.2 to create the group shot.

As for the characters themselves, they are avatars or champions of the Celtic countries, charged with defending these lands, and indeed the whole world, from the machinations of a sinister, evil wizard, druid, mage type guy and his band of assorted nasties. The concept crosses the standard superhero motifs with bits freely filched and adapted from Celtic mythology, in much the same way that Thor or Wonder Woman comics borrow from Norse or classical Greek myths. My ultimate goal is to create a series of stories about these characters which could be published alone, included as part of a novel, or converted into comic book scripts. A silly pipe dream? Perhaps, but I thought it would be fun to try. Right now, I’d settle for one complete, coherent story instead of the jumble of vague ideas in my head.


February 6, 2010

Just a little something to show you what I’ve been up to these days. Here’s a quartet of patriotic superheroes, The Liberty Legion: Red Rocket, Whitewater, Blue Eagle, and Lady Liberty (Red, White, and Blue, get it?) I’m also working on writing their origin stories. At any rate, enjoy!

Click on the image to see a larger version. Images created with HeroMachine v. 3.0 and Paint.NET v. 3.5.2.

I Won Again!

September 9, 2009

Yes, Dear Readers, it has happened again.

More than a year after my first victory in the HeroMachine Caption Contest, I have won again!

Jeff Hebert, creator of the fantabulous HeroMachine software, website, and blog has recently revived his much beloved caption contest. Every couple of weeks, Jeff searches through his vast library of comics, finds a single panel rich with comedic possibilities, removes the dialogue, and invites readers to submit their own. The reader with the funniest dialogue (in this case, that would be me) wins a prize drawn by Jeff. Since he is currently hard at work on the next major upgrade of the software, the prize will be an item of my choice to be included in the next version of HeroMachine or (shudder) a caricature of my face, an item too horrible to be contemplated.

Here is this week’s panel with the original dialogue removed:

Here’s the same panel with my dialogue inserted, which I hope, Dear Readers, you will find appropriately hilarious:

I have an idea of what I would like for my prize, but I haven’t made a final decision. I’ll keep you posted.

The Next Generation of Heroes . . .

April 14, 2009

is coming.

Jeff Hebert, the creator of HeroMachine v. 2.5, one of the coolest websites and software packages ever, has been hard at work on the next major upgrade to HeroMachine since early in January. HeroMachine v. 3.0 will have a huge number of new features, including a larger color palette, greatly expanded layering capabilities, new accessories for characters, and the ability to mark characters and equipment with patterns, including camouflage, tartan, and metallic. But that’s not all. With version 3.0, aspiring artists and creators of superheroes will have the opportunity to select individual body parts for the characters, and have the ability to move, scale, and rotate those body parts and accessories, in effect, customizing the look of each character.

Jeff has set up an “alpha” test version of HM 3 (even earlier in the development process than a beta version) and is actively seeking comments, suggestions for improvement, feedback, and bug reports from users. He’s been gradually adding and enabling features and components and hopes to have the site completed by some time this summer. Here’s a sample character that I created on the new site, Red Hawk:

This looks like it will be really cool when it gets all done. If you like comic books or superheroes or have dreamed of creating your own characters, head on over. In the immortal words of Mark Shea, “Check thou it out.”