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Punch Pants

A Ghostbot blog.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bashing Good Time

Just in time for the start of the NFL season comes Basher Bowl! It’s the latest and arguably most action packed Esurance spot we’ve done for Phil Robinson at Wildbrain. In this latest adventure, Erin and Erik face off against giant menacing robots in a futuristic football death match.
As stated in previous entries, we’ve had a lot of fun working on some of the more recent fantastical adventures of Esurance. It’s very fun to takes these pop characters and dip them into a brand new surreal world. It’s like creating a whole universe in 1/2 a minute!
Brad, our resident football specialist and shameless Raiders fan, designed the evil robots. Roque designed Erin and Erik in their cool Tron-like outfits. I spent most of my time making sure everything flowed nicely, and occasionally destroying some robots in animation.

We were lucky to have Miss Jenny Hansen help us on this with some great color for the bad guys, and the backgrounds. Our rock solid clean-up lead, Kris Toscanini cut through all the art with a chainsaw this time around. This spot has the most art we’ve ever done on an Esurance and she handled it like a rock star. Also, a special shout out to Mr. L.B. for scoring the extra point.

Check it out!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Super Friends

I have the most inspiring friends.

I've known both of these guys since college and from day one, we've talked comics. We can go on for hours about what-did-you-get-this-week or debate over why the '90s were awesome/sucked, and then still make a trip to the store after we're done talking. So to see the two of them put their non-photo-blue pencils where their mouths are and actually do what we've all dreamed of doing is awesome.

You may recognize Arvin Bautista from our Fellow Ghostbot page. Not only does he own every possible game system on the planet, but he's also a walking encyclopedia of comics and miscellaneous dorky nerdy stuff (he would without question be my lifeline if I was a contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Comic Millionaire"). Well now he's channeled his passion for the medium into his own self-published book. His bold compositions and good-ole-fashion storytelling are influenced by the likes of comic legends like Jack Kirby, Osamu Tezuka, and Shotaro Ishinimori.

Arvin is on a mission to finish his first book in one year, and thanks to a much needed vacation from his day job, he's making a beeline to the finish. Cheer him on at his blog, The Neverending Battle, and stay off the roads. He just got a car.

The other dork in our band of nerds is the previously blogged, Shanth "I Eat Only to Survive" Enjeti. Shanth is no slouch when it comes to comics, pencilling his first professional book at the age of 17, and a then later self-publishing his creator-owned, Springball. If anyone was going to make it in mainstream comics, it would be Shanth. The amount of blood, sweat, and tears that he has poured into his work is enough to motivate (and depress) anyone. If you're looking for gritty, moody, I'm-so-real-I-pay-taxes-on-my-mutant-power comics, then Shanth is not necessarily the artist for you. But if you want to be taken back to the genuine fun and excitement jumping off the page that comics gave us as kids, then keep your eyes peeled for his upcoming work. Shanth is breaking into the industry as we speak, working on a 4-issue Starship Troopers mini-series for Markosia Comics.

Guys, I already have my mylar bags prepped...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Full Metal Glory

Unlike my premonition that Naruto was going to take the U.S. by storm (back in 09/05) I was a total late bloomer for Full Metal Alchemist. This is definitely one of the best anime series I’ve seen in a long time, and reminds me why I’m a fan in the first place.

Anime News Network describes Full Metal Alchemist:

"After losing their mother, Alphonse and Edward Elric attempt to bring her back using the forbidden science of human alchemy. However, alchemy operates on the theory of equivalent trade, and breaking the human alchemy taboo carries a heavy price. Ed loses his leg, and Al loses his body. Ed is able to seal Al’s soul inside of a huge suit of armor, at the cost of his arm. Years later, Ed (now with two mechanical limbs) and Al (still trapped in the armor) leave their childhood home. Their objective is to search for any information on the fabled Philosopher’s Stone, hoping it will allow them to regain their old bodies. All of their hopes rest with this mythical stone, which may not even exist at all. However, the brothers soon learn that they are not the only ones after the powerful stone."

The show effortlessly weaves a complicated fantasy world based on alchemy, with crazy vampire like villains (called homunculus), political military intrigue, and a wide array of interesting supporting characters. It sounds convoluted, but in the end human emotions and human stories are the focal point of each episode and the overall series.

Even though Full Metal Alchemist seems like kiddy fair with two young brothers at center stage, it really isn’t afraid to go to very dark places, and some very surprising plot twists along the way.

The show benefits from only being 51 episodes. It’s short, sweet and leaves you wanting more. And unlike most anime’s that have a tremendous "let down ending", Full Metal Alchemist delivers the goods in a full blown fan service movie that closes out the story with class and some sassy production value.

The movie "Full Metal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa" has already premiered stateside on August 25th, but do yourself a favor and watch the show first so you can appreciate the full metal glory. It's available on DVD or if you hate subtitles, you can check it out on Adult Swim.

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