Cool Names & Role Playing Games

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Boy, it took a while for me to come up with my next update, but finally here it is. Admittedly, I’ve been off the boil, feeling isolated in Zone 5 in London, a little worn, but just last weekend, I’d gone to the London Super Comic Con 2015, my first international con & I must say I’m feeling rejuvenated seeing the loads of talent there and most of all, having some pretty encouraging feedback from publishers themselves about my style & artwork! Safe to say, business cards were given & I’ll be sending out some e-mails & perhaps there will be something in the pipeline, crossed fingers!

So, there’s that with my first Con & I’m pretty sure this won’t be my last. I’ve learned some things that I could bring to the next one, like take more photos with hot cosplay chicks 😉 & forget the seminars & go to the publishers to network. Now, it’s less about learning & more about producing, being disciplined, & just to do it! Also, I’ve learned from talking to the best people in this game, is that now I know I have the chops to take this career seriously & redouble my efforts which really really helps a lot to focus on what I need to do whereas before, I hadn’t been confident enough as I’ve never really gone out from the local Malaysian market. There’s always that doubt in my mind that I’m not good enough to stand side by side with the big shot comic artists & publishers. Is that a common Malaysian mentality, to think that you’re not good enough, till it had seeped into our psyche.

Also, word up to my fellow Scubrat, Ade who is mad talented with his project with Where Angels Fall. Do check him out & give him a like. I’ve seen his portfolio & it’s really amazing, bro you really need to finish your comic! I must admit that I’d started to dislike London early on with some pretty horrible experiences, not to mention, a nightmare with my landlady, but in the end, the city has redeemed herself.

Next on my adventure, Scotland! And hope you like this cartoon, a homage to my nerd roots.

 

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Gunnersaurus Cartoon for Arsenal fans in Berlin

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Und auf wiedersehen!

Here’s a quick cartoon of the Arsenal mascot, Gunnersaurus that I did for Arsenal Germany, mainly for the fans I met in Berlin. So this is my last full day in Germany before I leave for the UK, and hopefully see my very first competitive Arsenal game in London. And big up to my fellow Gooners in Berlin at the Blarney’s Irish Pub! Met up with some cool folk, Carsten, Marc, Harry, Peter, Rakit & crew. This is something I missed while in Malaysia as when I started following football in 1998, Arsenal didn’t have much of a fan base in Malaysia at that time. But I realised it has grown a lot when I went to see last season’s F.A. Cup finals against Hull at Herris Damansara Perdana, our supposedly “unofficial” Arsenal fan club restaurant.

From Germany, to UK (I guess this cartoon seems apt, then!) my adventure here isn’t done yet as I suspect I’ll be around the area for a while and will be back as soon as Spring next year as I even plan to take an intensive course in German.

On another note, thanks to a tip from fellow friend Jacques, I’m to setting up a Patreon page for folks who can help support my site, cartoons and artworks, news to come soon about that. So I hope for those who read this, fellow Malaysians and those around the world, please give that site a go so that I can keep doing what I’m doing and keep coming up with cartoons and artworks for your weekly pleasure.

Cheerios and see you soon, London!

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Review of Hans Zimmer’s Interstellar Soundtrack

After a long hiatus from movie soundtrack reviews, I’m back! And I don’t come back just for any Tom, Dick & Harry soundtrack. It’s gonna take something special to bring me back, taking time away from my regular cartoons & illustration posts, and no other than Hans Zimmer, like a …. who could pull me out of retirement.

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Interstellar, by Hans Zimmer

And what a soundtrack this is! Epic is too over-used a word, and over-used a genre if you’re familiar with the dime-in-a-dozen trailer music composers that have popped up in recent years. But it takes the Godfather Hans himself who started this whole trend in the first place, of grand electronic synths and sweeping score, reminiscent of huge space battles, wide vistas, and great armies colliding who deserves a spot on my webpage for this soundtrack review.

Before I get ahead of myself, as in the usual trend, I’ll do a track by track review of the album, and give my summary at the end. A brief introduction to the film.

Interstellar (2014), is directed by the masterful Christopher Nolan and stars Matthew McConaughey, MacKenzie Foy, Michael Caine, Ann Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Casey Affleck, among others, about an astronaut going into space to save mankind along with that and most of all, his daughter too.

So let the journey begin!

Continue reading Review of Hans Zimmer’s Interstellar Soundtrack

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Bubble Tum Tums

Not a whole lot today, sitting at home, braving the sub-zero Berlin winter. Heck it does really get much colder here away from the ocean. And I thought Iceland, Scotland & Baltimore were cold. It gets rrreeaaaaal cold in Berlin! -3°C with a windchill of -8°C! Went to the Spandau Christmas Market last night and the Glühwein was really comforting thing to have and to hold when your fingers are freezing.

So, I’m taking a quick break to highlight of one of my past projects while in Malaysia called Bubble Tum-Tums. The Bubble Tum-Tums team features a group of misfit monsters in a Bubble Universe exploring new places and discovering new powers with various bubble-themed powers.

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Buntings featuring each character of the Bubble Tum-Tums series

I started doing character design work for Bubble Tum-Tums, a concept for a series of kindergarten-level educational TV series & interactive games with 9Lives Digital with fine folk (high 5 to fellow colleagues Sherry, Lina, Wai Keat, Jerica & co) spearheading character & world development before heading off for my globe trekking  trip.

Bubble Tum Tums Characters rendered in 3D
Bubble Tum Tums Characters rendered in 3D from my character design sketches

 

I wished I could stay with this project as I saw a huge potential in it, but behind-the-scenes, didn’t really come to an agreement to my role in this project so I left and go on this trip to find some inspiration, new ideas & perhaps even a career where I’ll feel more involved and challenged. But I’m still proud of what I created here, and hopefully, I can work on something else like this in the future, with a bit more influence and a sense of partnership with the team instead as an employee.

There’s a interactive game already up and you can check it out at the iTunes store for free!

 

 

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Cartoon Daydreams at Ernst KaffeeRöster

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Oh, all the ümlauts! I do love ’em.

So here it is, the 2nd edition of my Travel Daydreams cartoon features Ernst KaffeeRöster, located at Bonner Straße 56, Cologne/Köln. If you do come around these parts, go for their specialty coffees here as they’re one of the best in town. Not to mention, it’s perfect for my digital nomad needs, with wifi & power outlet. So, for the students or other digital professionals out there, definitely check this place out.

Scene at Kernst KaffeeRöster
Scene at Ernst KaffeeRöster

What’s this cartoon about? (including the one before at Café Feynsinn earlier) It’s half cartoon, half art, half daydreaming random silliness, free association, subliminal messages, and little stories inside the piece that almost makes some sense. For this piece, there’s some personal & inside information. For one, I’d played this German board game called “Activity” (in the style of Taboo & Cranium for Englischsprechers) with roommates Alex & Inka, and one of the answers was “Air Defense System” in German. So there’s the inside gag there, fighting the coming winter as the art was done in early October. Also, to join forces, is the music playing in the café (London Grammar was playing at the time), warming the hearts, battling the incoming cold frost coming from outside. I’m also a fan of Game of Thrones so there you go, Winter is Coming! See if you can spot other inside gags & hidden stories in the cartoon.

This one’s a month late since I left this wonderful city about a month ago. Art does take a while to finish! Maybe I can try to find a way to be more timely in my cartoons.

Where am I now as I upload this artwork? I’m at this atmospherically artsy Berlin bar located in Kreuzberg called Café Jenseits, having coffee & glühwein and this looks like another perfect place for me to do a Travel Daydream Cartoon.

In the past month, I’d:

  • joined a critical mass bike ride in Hamburg
  • seen the Welcome to Night Vale live show
  • visited Sofia & Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria with pal Marc from England
  • attended the Mauerfall 25th Anniversary celebration, the fall of the Berlin Wall
  • staying up to watch the Rosetta/Philae comet landing
  • took a short trip to Poland at a town called Slubice
  • and hung out with my fellow Gooners at Blarney watching Arsenal’s win over Borussia Dortmund

Thus I think it’s been a pretty productive month so far even though a lot of it is a lot of sitting around in cafés and lazing at my friend Marc’s place (top mate, bearing with my month-long presence) and soon, on to London, UK!

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Frau Möller Cartoon Daydreams (A Quickie)

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I’ve yet to finish my Travel Daydreams cartoon for Ernst Kaffeeröster featuring good pal, Sabrina, but I wanted to post one quick one out first here, one I quickly drew up in Hamburg for a couple of Couchsurfing friends. Carolin introduced me to the beautifully melancholic works of Dylan Thomas, in particular, “Under Milk Wood” after I told her about going to see “Welcome to Night Vale”. And I must say, I can see where the inspiration comes from.

Also, right after that, I went to see that almost amazing film Interstellar and to my surprise, a famous Dylan Thomas line was used as a mantra in the film. “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night”. To quote Siobhan Thomas from Anglophenia who is hilarious, (by the way, you should check out her videos, in particular, this one!)…

“I Love You Dylan Thomas!”

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Pink Floyd & A Memorial to Cats

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Here’s a piece I did a few weeks back after visiting Ksenia’s place in Zurich for a week. Spent a lot of time at home entertaining Tigra & Leo, her lovely Norwegian Forest Cats.

Okay, here’s something funny. Both Ksenia & I love, and I mean, luuurrrv Pink Floyd, (Shine On You Crazy Diamond our absolute faves!) and when their album cover of Endless Came out, I swear to you I didn’t see it before I did this piece, reminds me a whole lot of the colour scheme of this illustration.

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Pink Floyd’s Endless River

What’s this sorcery? Or is it serendipity. Hmmm…

Perhaps it flows through the subconscious, the mindset that Pink Floyd bring to their followers  with their dreamy tunes & meandering rivulets of melodies brings to mind the gentle colour scheme of sky blue, cloud grey and sunset orange.

And with this, I just took a listen to Endless River and by jolly, how I enjoyed it! It feels more like an ambient album than the rock anthem style of days gone by but it still really works its way into my brain, typical Pink Floyd. How I’m going to miss them. But then again, they have spawned many other bands to come after them, and inspired by them. Speaking of which, I’ve just discovered Archive after seeing the trailer for Cyberpunk 2077, with their song “Bullets” found in their album, Controlling Crowds. Bloody awesome! They remind me of a cross between Radiohead, Pink Floyd & Muse, and that can only mean great things. Go check them out! Also their song, “Chaos”, bloody great!

Anyway, that’s it for now. I think this blog may have an identity problem! I started out with an illustration and I end up talking about music. That’s how my mind goes, one place to another, blending elements, one starkly different to the other, kind of like a Pink Floyd record.

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Doctor Who, Adventure Time & A.I.

Here’s a quick quiz. Choose 3 pop culture references that best reflect who you are as a person. Not your favourite, not the best, but your sentimental favourites. If we’re judging based on IMDB style ratings, Inception would be at the top of the list and for TV, Game of Thrones, of course!

But for this test, what I’m choosing are those which aren’t perfect but affects you in a more emotional and visceral sense that you keep going back to again and again. More likely, we’re talking about something that describes your deep dark soul and not how you want to project to other people, when you feel the most vulnerable, these 3 pop culture references could be that soft blanket that can keep you warm whenever things get cold… emotionally, mostly speaking. Perhaps, a psychiatrist could ask this question and in an instant understand much better the person than a whole long list of Q & A’s.

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So what’s mine? Hands down, it’d be Steven Spielberg’s A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), Doctor Who, and Adventure Time… aaand a little bit of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind sprinkled in. I also feel compelled to combine Adventure Time & Doctor Who as they appear to overlap in terms of its whimsy & joy of curiosity and adventure.

Nevertheless, here’s a quick rundown why I chose these three. Why A.I.? Because of the sense of not belonging, but still yearning to be loved. Why Eternal Sunshine? Because of the strong sense of nostalgia and lost loves. And why Adventure Time/Doctor Who? Because behind all that, there’s a sense of pure unadulterated joy of discovery, randomness and love for the world.

Whenever I get really melancholic, the emotion that I seem to identify with the most is that of David in A.I. I mean, poor kid. Misguided and on a fool’s quest for the impossible. Like a young Don Quixote. Seeking love in the wrong place, or perhaps just trying too hard, all he needs is a little bit of that adventure. And I fantasise David & Teddy going on adventures with the Doctor, Jake and Finn, finding himself instead of finding love from others. That’s what he needs. That’s what we all need, even real people, right? To find our own adventures and along the way, discover new people who could perhaps you can grow to love.

And maybe, that’s one of the core meaning of love, to find someone with whom you could go on an adventure.

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