Plop Blopin'est Games of 2012

My favorite video games of 2012 in no particular order: 

Hotline Miami - Maybe my favorite game of the year.  It oozes energy and the kind of creative outburst that can only come from a team of two people making something they love.  I described the game earlier as the possible output of Suda 51 if he was living in Miami in the 1980s, doing boat loads of cocaine, and his roommate was a psychopathic killer.  It's a beautiful balance of repetitive yet satisfying gameplay and stunning audio/visual presentation.

X-Com:  Enemy Unknown - This is the only other game that gave the short Hotline Miami a run for its money this year.  X-com is an addicting tactics/strategy/resource management game that just begs you to continue playing it.  Not surprising coming from the developers of the Civilization series.  I loved naming and customizing my X-com soldiers to be friends, co-workers, and family members, and then watching them rise through the ranks to be powerful super-soldiers, or die horrible deaths at the hands of alien invaders.

Dishonored - An incredibly fun first-person action/stealth game set in a well realized steampunk world of whale oil and magic.  The graphics also have a great 19th century caricature/cartoon vibe that is very subtle, but gives the game a distinct look, and I love that you can kill every character in the freaking game, or play the entire game without killing anyone.

Dust:  An Elysian Tale - This game was made by one dude.  It's a 2-D action game with RPG elements, crafting, and a Metroid/Castlevania-style map.  It's really good.  It was made by one dude!

Spelunky - Another game made by one dude.  Way to go dudes!  A rogue-like action/platformer with randomly generated levels and items.  Incredibly tough but just as rewarding.  I was very addicted to this game for a time, and will probably go back to it soon.  Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

Trials Evolution - Physics-based, 2-D motorcycle puzzle/racing game.  It's really hard, but so damn fun.  It's also hilarious.

Dungeon Looters of the Year:

Diablo III - I'm not going to say much about this game.  It was ultimately disappointing and Blizzard made some really bad decisions, in my opinion, outside of the actual gameplay, but it was still a really fun game that I sunk hours and hours into.  Based on gameplay alone, this game succeeds.

Torchlight II  - Made by the folks that created Diablo and Diablo II, Torchlight II is like Diablo III's more likeable older brother.  Less flashy, more down to earth, and after getting to know it, more fun and more complex.



Here's a drawing of Charles Laughton and Robert Mitchum on the set of The Night of the Hunter.


The Runza of the Beast

"...and lo, the seventh seal will be broken, and the fallen angel will rise from the lake of fire.  The Unholy One will present unto men a bun filled with the flesh of slain four-legged beasts and the heads of the foulest, gaseous flora.  Rings of weeping vegetation fried in the oils of the Earth and covered in jagged sharp minerals will be given unto men along with the demonic sustenance to tempt the weak among God's children."

This receipt I got from Runza yesterday made my day.  Apocalyptic fast food!



I have to be honest.  I don't really know what I'm doing.

Input:  Dishonored on PS3, Beauty is Embarrassing documentary, Freaks and Geeks television program, Dopesmoker album by the band Sleep, and various promotional material for the upcoming Xbox blockbuster Halo 4.  Sprinkle in some presidential election fear/anger/apathy/interest.

Output:  The above image, which I'm not really that proud of.  My creative output is kind of in the toilet right now.


TV Ate the Radio Star

This is a very primitive concept sketch I did of an enemy for a video game some dudes I know are working on.  It was fun to do.


The Master

Here's a sketch I did of Amy Adams in the P.T. Anderson film The Master.  I initially didn't know how I felt about the movie, but as more time passes since I watched it, the more I like it.  It's sort of been growing in my mind.  It has to gestate in the brain for awhile.  I definitely recommend it.




I dug this image out of my computer the other day and drew it.  It's a ceremonial mask from a tribe in the Pacific Northwest.  I'm not sure which one because I lost the link.   That's all.


Random Procedure Drawing #3: Thor Heyerdahl

This time I got the famed adventurer Thor Heyerdahl.  Check it out.  I tried something a little different.  I went for just two or three values in the drawing.  It looks okay, but I felt like I had to add some rainbow-ass effects to make it more interesting.  I'm not sure I really like this drawing, but it was fun to do anyways.


Random Procedure Drawing #2: Lute

The second random subject that I came upon using "The Procedure" was "lute."  I was a bit disheartened at first because I didn't see many interesting images when I first Googled it, but a few pages in, my eyes landed on a screenshot of Spock playing the Vulcan lute.  Bingo bango!  It's not a great drawing, but I had fun doing it.

Check out the dirty space hippies.


Random Procedure Drawing #1: Guinea Fowl

The first subject I came upon by using my random procedure outlined in my previous post was "guinea fowl."

Here's my drawing.  Here's the wikipedia post if you're interested.  Can you handle the anticipation of what the next random drawing will be?  Can you?  CAN YOU?

Until next time.

"not sent or guided in a particular direction"

Often, the hardest thing for me when beginning a drawing is figuring out just what the hell to draw.  This morning, I devised a plan to defeat this enemy from the realm of endless possibility.

From now on, whenever I can't decide what I should make, I'm going to go here, a random number generator, find a number between 1 and 948, find the corresponding page in my dictionary, locate the first noun on that page, and then Google search images using that word.  The first image I like, I'll use as the basis for a drawing.

Yes, another way for me to shirk responsibility.  Algorithms will decide my artistic fate.  May the Gods of Mathematics have mercy on us all.


Frankenstein's Eyelid

I couldn't figure out what to draw the other day so I spent an hour or so messing around on Retronaut looking at vintage photos.  There's some pretty cool stuf on there.  I found some pictures from the set of the original Frankenstein movie, and decided to draw this one of Boris Karloff getting his Franken-eyelids put on.


Teenage Lobotomy

This is a drawing of an Incan skull.  The individual had some sort of brain surgery performed on them before they died.  I've been thinking with my brain about my brain a lot lately.  I'm pretty happy with this drawing.  The end.



I went and saw Andrey Zvyagintsev's Elena at the Mary Riepma Ross Theater yesterday.  It was really good.  It's a slow, beautiful, minimalist kind of murder story.  I really liked Zvyagintsev's movie The Return, too.  Here's my drawing of the lead actress in Elena, Nadezhda Markina.

I've had a lot of trouble drawing recently.  I don't know what it is, but everything I do turns out shit.  Just gotta keep plugging I guess.



The best masked rapper around.  I love MF DOOM.  He sounds like no one else and explodes with creativity. 


Big Black Wizard Final

Well, I finished it finally.  It wasn't that it took a long time, it was just difficult to get motivated to crawl around on the floor with ink, and glitter, and an eraser.  But that's all behind me now, for now my creation LIVES!

Overall, I'm happy with it.  It was created with probably the wrong materials in sub-par conditions, but I think it's pretty fun.  I was going to paint the eyes a bright yellow, but was then inspired by my wonderful wife and her love of glitter, as well as old-timey 3-D glasses.  That's right folks, the eyes are pink and blue glitter.

Now the big question, what the hell do I do with it?


Clown Contamination

Here's an experiment with ink on my Russian-Cement-Man Paper.  I found an absolutely terrifying picture of Ronnie McD and quickly sketched it up.  The real question is, are the pink specks going out, or coming in?


Big Black Wiz, Part 2

Finished the basic outline today.  I'm still unsure of how I'm going to fill it in.  Right now, I'm thinking India ink and maybe some acrylic paint.


Life-size Black Wiz Part 1

So, I've decided to create a close-to-life-size version of my portrait of the Black Wizard cos-player I drew a while back.  This might be a total disaster, but, as Tom Cruise says in Risky Business, "What the hell?" 

This is the first baby step.  I've measured and gridded off some brown paper left behind by some Russian concrete men (no, really), hoping to blow-up a 4 or 5 inch image to about 5 or 6 feet tall.  The plan is to sketch it following the grid, and then probably paint it in using India inks.  We'll see how it goes.



I drew this image after watching Werner Herzog's documentary Into the Abyss.  It's a really good film about the death penalty.  I was looking up images of different execution methods, and I realized that the more humane the techniques become, the more obscene they feel.

Here's another version I created:


Evil Ed

This is a drawing of actor Stephen Geoffreys from the 1985 movie Fright Night.  I watched this last night, and there are some great performances in it.  Geoffreys plays a character named Evil Ed, and I'm not sure that his performance is "great," but it's certainly unforgettable.  Mrs. Plop Blop found this tidbit about him in his imdb bio:  " In a startling and unexpected career move, Geoffreys wound up acting in numerous gay hardcore porno pictures under the pseudonyms Sam Ritter and Stephan Bordeaux."  Seems like an interesting guy.


Plane Smash

I used to have a recurring dream, many nights, that involved a plane crashing near me.  I was never on the plane, just always close to the crash, sometimes running toward it and sometimes running away from it.  Sometimes, I was even helping pull out the victims.  It was usually in a field or in a residential area with lots of suburban houses.  I don't have the dream anymore.  I'm going to take that as a good sign.


Jack Rabbit Slim

I finished reading The Plague and started reading the last book in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, Cities on the Plain.  I really liked the previous two books, All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing.  I drew this here jack rabbit after reading this passage:

"The Oldsmobile had this big ovalshaped grille in the front of it was like a big scoop and when I got around to the front of the car it was just packed completely full of jackrabbit heads.  I mean there was a hundred of em jammed in there and the front of the car the bumper and all just covered with blood and rabbit guts and them rabbits I reckon they'd sort of turned their heads away just at the impact cause they was all lookin out, eyes all crazy lookin.  Teeth sideways.  Grinnin.  I cant tell you what it looked like.  I come damn near hollerin myself."


Check Out the Big Brain On Bert!

Here's my quick, weirdo portrait of Albert Camus.  I've been reading his novel The Plague and really enjoying it.  Last year, I read The Fall and it's become one of my favorite books, for now, I think.  Anyway, if you haven't read him, I would recommend both of those books.


Mortality, Final Fantasy, Drinking Hennessy

This is from an image of a Final Fantasy cos-player.  He (or she) is dressed up as the Black Mage character that appears in several final fantasy games.  I was inspired by playing Final Fantasy IX again, which I haven't played since it was released way back in the terrifyingly numbered year 2000. 

In this particular Final Fantasy the Black Mage characters are artificially created, mindless, magical soldiers programmed to kill and destroy who or what ever their master wishes them to.  The crazy thing is that, at one point in the game, you discover a village of Black Mages who have become self-aware and have run away from the war.  One of the mages has discovered that after one year of awareness their kind dies.  The other mages don't really understand death and have buried their dead companions under the ground only because they've seen humans do the same thing.  In one conversation, a mage plans on cleaning up his dead friend in the pond when he "wakes up" from his sleep, while another asks whether you think that it is "warm or cold" living under the ground.  The mage that knows about the lifespan stuggles with depression and finding meaning in his life knowing that he and all of his companions will soon die. 

Pretty heady stuff for a PS1 RPG that looks like an anime for children.  I was really impressed with this section of the game, and I can't believe that I didn't remember it from my first play-through.  So, in honor of FFIX, I dub this picture "Is It Warm or Is It Cold (Under the Ground)."

P.S.  I don't think I've ever drank Hennessy before.


Diablo 3: Electric Boogalee

Sorry for the lack of posts, but those bastards at Blizzard finally released Diablo III.  It's swung into my life like a demonic wrecking ball, pushing everything to the sides of its beautiful, spiky goodness. Diablo II was one of the first PC games that I ever really got into, and it's still one of my favorite games ever, so you can imagine my excitement for the decade-in-the-making sequel.  The game does not disappoint.  Once my addiction to the game plateaus, I'll be back with more drawings.

May the Lords of Hell always drop rare loot for you.


Frozen, Dead Commander

The dead, frozen officer from the sci-fi/comedy Dark Star, one of my favorite movies.


Death by Unicorn

This is drawn from a still from The Abominable Dr. Phibes.  This was a film I checked out because of this recommendation.  It has some really great imagery in it, really gorgeous stuff.  The gentleman above has been killed by a statue of a golden unicorn hurled at him from a catapult.  Pretty cool.


Where's Mom?

So, back in the olden, moldy, golden days, you had to stand still for a long time to get a good photo, and mothers used to sometimes hide under blankets to hold their children still for the process.  I guess nobody realized that it looks creepier than goddamned hell.



I've been listening to a lot of the Melvins lately.  This is a kind of weird looking drawing of original member Roger "Buzz" Osborne, aka King Buzzo.


Self Portrait

I've never done a self-portrait that really looks like me.  This one is okay, but I think I always make myself look better than I really do, subconsciously handsomizing myself. I definitely smell better in this portrait than I really do.

Check it out.  I broke a wine glass while doing the dishes and cut up my finger pretty bad.  I'm always fascinated by gross stuff like this.  Wine glass: 1, Me:  0.


Turkish Swayze

My sister and a friend of hers once met a Turkish man in a bar who idolized Patrick Swayze.  They almost convinced him to get a tattoo of "The Swayze" riding a surf board and carrying the Turkish flag.



This is a drawing of W. Somerset Maugham.  I just finished his novel Of Human Bondage, and it really got to me.  Parts of it drag a little, and get repetitive, but every time I started to get bored, Maugham drops an idea that hits like a sledge hammer.  I finished it a week or two ago, and I'm still thinking about it.


Bilial's Revenge

This is from the movie Basket Case.  It's a great horror film about a dude and his psychotic conjoined twin who lives in a basket, has a psychic connection to his brother, and gets really mad when the bro gets a boner.  I recommend it.


The Only Superman You'll Ever Need.

This is my drawing of a Superman cos-player.  I honestly think this guy is awesome.  I'll take this Superman over any and all others.


Shuffling Wet Cards

A few weeks ago, I watched The Navigator starring Buster Keaton.  It was an okay silent film comedy, but there was one scene that stuck with me for days.  It was only about a minute long, if that, in which Keaton pulls a soaking wet deck of cards (he just came in from a rain storm) out of his pocket and begins shuffling them.  As you can imagine, this doesn't work too well, but the great thing about the scene is that he just keeps shuffling them anyway, just shuffling wet cards. 


Chinese Death Mask

This is a drawing of a jade funeral mask of a Chinese princess from the first century B.C.  Her name was Tou Wan.  I was just flipping through a book on early Chinese culture and this image grabbed me.  Apparently the jade squares cover her whole body, and the wire holding everything together is wrapped in silk and strands of gold.  Pretty amazing stuff.


Exit Sign

Another blast from the past, this is another old drawing that I still like.  It's a sign to put over a door, very Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.


Old Buster

I found this drawing in an old sketch book from about six years ago.  It's one of the few old drawings I have that I still really like.  It's of an elderly Buster Keaton.  He had one of the most beautiful faces ever.