Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grey reads: The Jabberwocky

As promised!

English Version:

Highland Scott Version:

Is an outtake MP3 due? Anyway. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Concepts! The O.Z. Chronicles

The O.Z. Chronicles
(as in, Outer Zone)

Space territory is expanding by leaps and bounds but there is a lot of money to be made mining ores which causes people to take a lot of risks. It’s a hard and dangerous job, with great reward – Dorothy lives with her uncles family and they have been mining for some time, recently expanding a new operation into the very edges of newly mapped space.

Dorothy is an independent, strong willed young woman, brought up with engine grease under her fingernails and is a natural tomboy. She usually pilots the delivery ships, even though it can be a dangerous job, with her determined nature and engineering skills she's the natural choice.

The latest load of rich and rare ores is ready, and she's tasked with taking them to the nearest port base where one of her uncles distributors will pick it up.

Shortly after starting out on her run, marauders after a quick profit target her transport. Normal procedure is to stand down and allow borders, her uncle always said that she was more precious than even their rarest ores. However ToTo, her on-board AI flags up a warning, the signature of the marauders ship matches some known slavers. Dorothy decides to try and evade them, despite the age of her transport vessel. After some nifty moves and attempts at evasive flying, she realizes that she's not going to outrun the pirates and the only way she can get out of this situation is to try and trick them.

She takes the transport into a dense gas belt which ToTo reads as being disruptive to tracking systems. She figures that if she can lead the pirates through it long enough they will eventually give up and she will have given them the slip.

The gas field is larger and more unpredictable than ToTo was able to read through the aging transport vessels sensors, they actually cause the ship to start failing as turbulent forces start to cause damage to the ship. The pirates are left far behind as Dorothy struggles to bring the ship through the gas ribbon – thinking that once through it she can reboot the ship's systems and get back into trafficked space. However the instruments are even more damaged than she realizes and when she eventually manages to limp the ship out of the gas cloud, it's far from known spaceways and deep into the outer zones.

Her ship is so damaged that she has no hope of getting it to make the return journey, especially since the ships nav unit was fried so completely she's not entirely sure what direction they're even traveling in. To add to her problems, the ship is being pulled into the gravitational pull of a planet which thankfully ToTo reads as being habitable and having some orbital traffic at least. Dorothy hopes that they can crash land there, and maybe get some help.

Planet is divided up into territory's which are controlled by various warlords – force is the most common way of holding power. Her ship tears up in entry, and Dorothy crash lands on the planet. Her escape pod kills the consort of the territory she lands in, known as the Wicked Bitch – the Bitch is more angered that a possible rival has fallen from the sky than that her consort was killed, whom she thought was angling to take power from her anyway. The Bitch decides to solve this possible problem by sending her hitman after the newcomer.

Image: The Emerald Sector concept

After assessing the situation she finds herself in, and realizing how the balance of power is held on this planet, Dorothy decides that her most logical way of returning home is to either create a zone of her own to control and wait for possible rescue, or to go to the Emerald Zone and either beg, borrow or steal a ship from the Wizard to get off the planet.


Dorothy: human, independent, strong willed tomboy. Has a strong practical sense and is good at problem solving.

TinMan: Ruthless cyborg hitman for the Wicked Bitch – Gradually augmented himself with tech to make him a more efficient killing machine, now considers himself to be practically inhuman and unable to feel – see's his death-dealing as an artform, something he excels in. When sent after Dorothy he doesn't see it as a mission different than any other, however he's been increasingly dissatisfied with the jobs Wicked Bitch has been giving him, the hits have no meaning, the targets are petty and worthless to his eyes. When he see's Dorothy, he finds he's intrigued, that perhaps he's finally found the hit worthy of his skills. He decides to savor it, to take his time... what better way to know his prey than to befriend it? However over time he finds himself not so heartless as he thought, and that his constant putting off of doing the hit is less to do with wanting to do it perfectly, and more to do with not wanting to do it at all.

Scar3crow: human, drug addled hacker genius – painfully thin and vibrating with energy, Scarecrow is so drug sodden that his intellect is almost completely gone, however it shows up in flashes of almost savant-like genius. He was deliberately addicted to a dangerous drug which keeps him so loosely connected to reality that he is very easily directed and docile – Dorothy finds him in a computer farm, where he was being used to steal deeply encrypted information from various power factions on the planet, that info was then being sold to the highest bidder. His “owner” had addicted him to the drugs to keep him malleable and from absorbing too much of the info he was stealing, so he wouldn't get any ideas about using it for his own gain. Dorothy and the rest of the group find him in a confused and burned out Scar3crow in a computer farm, as they journey towards the Emerald Sector.

Lion: An artificially mutated beast man, created by Wicked Bitch who wanted to engineer a powerful fighting force which would be bigger and stronger than any human, intelligent enough to follow orders, but not smart enough to think for themselves. Lion was a failure, he was big and strong enough, but far too smart. Rather than culling him, Wicked Bitch kept him around for own amusement, till she grew bored of him and sold him to a slaver. The slaver however was unable to sell him because even though he looked fearsome, he was extremely meek and timid, the Slaver simply abandoned him in one of the towns he'd failed to sell the monster in, and Lion - as he's been named by the locals & shopkeepers - now lives basically as a hobo, begging for food and being tormented by daring youngsters. He's often picked on by drunks and yobbos who want to impress their friends or make a name for themselves. Dorothy picks him up when she see's him being robbed by a group of mischievous hudlums of some food he'd been given by the rare kindness of a shopkeeper. She stepped in and fought them off, only to be completely baffled as to why this strange behemoth would not fend for himself... Taking pity on the hulking creature, but seeing the intelligence and gentleness there, she befriends Lion and brings him along - besides, he needs someone to look after him.

ToTo: Dorothy's mobile LAI (learning artificial intelligence), a handy technology which is completely portable and designed to be carried around by it's user and plugged into whatever tech they need it to control. ToTo is specifically programmed to assist with Dorothy's ore transport runs, although as an LAI it is capable of adapting to the situations its user finds itself in. Dorothy called it ToTo because it's number is LAI-Z22-22 : 22

22 = TwoTwo - ToTo

More Character designs coming soon, will edit this post with the new additions as I crank them out.

The 'munchkins': Basically, the villagers that Dorothy liberates from one of the Wicked Bitches, when her transport crash lands on her...

Wizard: The larger than life being who dominates the flow of information, distribution, trade routes & ports, infrastucture, & rule in the Emerald Sector. Wizard is a LARGE man, who is only seen floating around on his golden chariot, a high tech hovering vessel of sorts. A rival of the main Wicked Bitch. Rumor has it, that the Wizard is actually not a man at all, but a puppet... Though none have been brave enough to pry, as Wizard is both feared and respected.

The Wicked Bitch: Also known as 'the Bitch'. Though none would dare call her this to her face. the Wicked Bitch is one of the warlord witches on this small backwater planet. She controls various territories, and is feared for her dark technology, as well as the sorcery many claim she's a master of. She is constantly vying for control of the O.Z. It is also said that she is behind all the pirate activity in the O.Z., as it helps her attain funds and valuable resources for the research that she oversees... From experiments & development in genetics (see Lion), robotics, mutations, cybernetics (see TinMan), to computing and gadgets (see Scar3crow), She is constantly driving her empire to stay one step ahead and dominant. Though there are other witches - rumor has it they are actually sisters - in other corners of the land, they still compete indirectly with one another, though not through open warfare. That kind of force is implemented to keep the inhabitants under control, in check, and in fear.

And of course...

The Flying Monkeys: Need I say more? Some of the more perfected results of the Witch's genetic research. The Flying Monkeys are excellent hunters, retrievers & seekers. They gather information, and will quickly swoop in to make people disappear if directed. The biological tools they have at their disposal are quite impressive... from their sense of smell, sight (especially their night vision), and hearing. They can be a bit impish at times, but the Bitch makes sure she keeps them well in check.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Updated Demo Reel Whatchamawhosit

Just a quick showcase of my 'stuff' :)

Though I highly recommend you watch it properly on youtube, in HD!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nosferatu Graphic Novel released, and more updates.

Hey there.

How've you been?

I know, I know. I've been gone for so long now, neglecting my DA page for... well, a long time! It's not you. No, no, It's me. Really. Ok, no stop, you don't have to start breaking things and yanking your hair like that. Let me explain.

Well, what's been keeping me busy:

Nosferatu - a Graphic Novel 88 years in the making! Written by Christopher H. Wolf -http://www.doompuppet.com, Lineart by Justin Wayne - http://mydyingrose.deviantart.com , and Color & Paint ups by yours truly - Sal aka 'thedarkcloak' - www.thedarkcloak.com .

So far, the reviews have been extremely positive!

You can find out more about the book here - www.bookofvampires.com
Also, amuse yourself and your friends by spreading the non-glittery vampire

You can order the book directly from me ($10 + S&H, roughly $4-6 additional, depending on where you live), just email me.

OR, you can also order the book directly from Amazon.com -http://www.amazon.com/Nosferatu-Christopher-Wolf/dp/0982711778

It is being distributed by Diamond Direct, also... so you can also order it through your local comic shop. In fact, go bother them right now, and ask them to get it in stock!

Here's a slew of reviews, and an interview, so you have an idea what you're getting yourself into:

The Pullbox - Interview with the Vampire - or at least the creative team behind the vampire? -http://thepullbox.com/2010/10/30/an-interview-with-a-vampire-or-at-least-a-creative-team-behind-a-vampire/

As for other stuff that has kept me busy... well, did a couple of big audio/sound design/music composition projects for a live show with my good friend Hanakia. We're hoping to put it all to video and make the show available through youtube in the coming months. Been getting my head back into the music vibe, and that's been really good. Looking forward to doing more.

I've also been doing some serious studying and going through a creative growth spurt of sorts for the last couple of months. I was given some great advice by my buddy, Chris, who said I should flesh out my portfolio with some more actual concept work, so I've been doing something fun with that. I'll be posting all of that stuff shortly!

Got some video projects lined up, as well as some more Intergalactic Kung Fu Zombies content which will be coming soon. Trying out & experimenting with additional tools & techniques for when I start doing the web ani-comic episodes!

Anyway... here's a sample page of the Nosferatu book, Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 2010 - just an update

Well, it's been a while!

What's new with me... well, worked mainly as the painter/colorist on the upcoming Nosferatu 112 page graphic novel from Viper Comics, due out in November! - http://vipercomics.com/2010/03/31/nosferatu-colored-pages-are-in/
I'm hoping I can have some at my booth up at Crypticon, also in November (a November to Dismember!)

That was TONS of work, but do let me know what you think of the results when you get your copy!

Have also created some artwork for the films of Christopher R. Mihm! - http://www.sainteuphoria.com/ - Did a 'Monsters of the Mihmiverse' t-shirt design, as well as the poster/ cover for his latest movie - Destination: Outer Space! Check out his classic inspired movies sometime.

Also been composing music again, which is great! Working on an audio experience with Hanakia Zedek, kind of a combination of soundscape, radio drama, soundtrack/score, sound design & more. We did our first 45 minute show at Convergence, and it went over REALLY well. Looking forward to doing more, and we'll be building additional content/ shows/ themes in the coming weeks/ months.

Been working on a few other projects, and mostly catching up on other things before I get another rush!

Also, speaking of catching up on stuff - Just watched Predators last night... and I approve! Really good flick, and you can tell they had loads of fun putting it together. It was very entertaining, all the way through, had appropriate nods to the original without aping it or trying to 'improve' on it, the pacing was great, and the way it was shot was really nice, too. Very much recreating the atmosphere from the first movie in lots of ways. These guys cared about what they were delivering, and it really shows. Bonus points for the music, also. Keeping the classic Predator themes (and even using some of Silvestri's original scores) throughout the scoring of it.

Hope they do more.

I wonder how they would handle AVP (especially if they try to do a faithful adaptation of the novel/ original 5 issue series!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Intergalactic Kung Fu Zombies - Ep1a Animation!



It is the 23rd Century...

Earth has long since been abandoned after the inevitable zombie apocalypse, and is now not much more than a backwater post apocalyptic wasteland. However, Dead Earth is still inhabited by the unfortunate masses of peoples trying to survive after the wealthy and powerful were evacuated during the Zombie Uprising. Day by day, they attempt to make a normal life amidst the crumbled remains of what were once great cities and nations - whilst fighting off the thriving undead that roam it's surface.

Humanity has spread across the stars, and the cross cultural frontiers & explorations have begun anew, as more and more interstellar civilizations are encountered. History does indeed have a way of repeating itself, does it not? Because of this, the Interstellar Embassy was created. It's existence enables a more or less amenable co-existence between the various races and species - keeping enough order to discourage an eruption into complete chaos and war.

Enter the Intergalactic Kung Fu Zombies.

They have no memory of who they once were in their mortal lives.
They are not like other zombies, such as those from Dead Earth.

They are in fact, much more than that...

They awoke aboard their BattleCruiser - the Coffin - 1, with but a brief greeting by the G.H.O.S.T - a mysterious Artificial Intelligence whose only purpose seems to be the vigilance of the cosmos, though it's location is completely unknown. It keeps their old identities a secret, and they are not even sure if the digital persona even really knows what their days amongst the living entailed. Regardless of the situation, the G.H.O.S.T. always pays them handsomely for their efforts, which enables them to upkeep the Coffin-1 BattleCruiser and expand their arsenal. A question remains however, since their zombification is likely sourced by the same mutagen or virus that spawned the Zombie Uprising back on Dead Earth long ago...

Sheena: She is a weapons expert, and also the leader & strategist of the group.
Adventurous, no nonsense, efficient and thorough, Sheena brings a level headed perspective to the team. Once given a mission, she won't waste any time, only targets. Incredibly driven, stubborn and determined to see every mission through without losing any of her crew, she will often go the extra mile to take on the biggest threats head on - to ensure that everyone makes it through.
She may be a deceased beauty, but don't let her looks deceive you... or else!

Tork: A cybernetically enhanced and sustained powerhouse. Tork is skilled with machinery, combat, strategy and various war tactics and intelligence. Though he rarely shows a willingness to take lead of the group, he will at times commandeer the trio - as his ways with war have proven to be full of an ageless yet quiet wisdom. He has often pulled the group through some tough situations.
His grim countenance reveals very little, especially when coupled with his sheer brute force. It is believed his cybernetic & mechanical anatomy is a result of severe physical trauma perhaps experienced during his death... prior to his revival as he is known today.

Gash: He is the infiltration and demolitions expert, and his combat preferences lie in small arms and his trusty blade. Yet another enigmatic reanimated mercenary, Gash seems to always be scowling, as his not knowing who he was prior to his 'awakening' aboard the Coffin-1 has made him a bit bitter and angry. For the most part, he is mistrustful of the G.H.O.S.T. but sees that the missions the IKFZ are given by it are always for a greater benefit, not to mention the hefty sums of Kredits that come with the job.

Together they are a trio of hardened undead mercenary warriors.

They are...


Ep1a - Dr. Oculus & the Thermo Hadronic Canon

SPECIAL THANKS TO ANDREW @ www.songstowearpantsto.com for the IKFZ theme song!

This cartoon was an ENORMOUS amount of work to put together, done mainly by one person, with another lending a hand for rigging characters and taking on this insurmountable task! Had to learn After Effects 'from scratch', and only had about 3 months to do this in.

If you're interested about the process, commentary, the experience of making this thing, or the background of this project, you can read about it here -

Thanks for checking it out! I hope you enjoyed it and it made you feel like watching those old cartoons again!

Animation Project - IKFZ

They Came from Within the Coffin - Behind the Scenes of the Intergalactic Kung Fu Zombies

The Concept:

Create a spoof/ homage of 80's & 70's cartoons and TV shows. Add a dash of 'grindhouse' flavour.
Especially stuff like 'Spiderman & Friends', Batman (Adam West), Thundercats,Knight Rider, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joe, the A-Team, even stuff like Mission Impossible, and Charlie's Angels (with a twist, of course ;) ).

The Challenge:

After doing quite a bit of research, we decided to just go with what I already have so the first major challenge was learning Adobe After Effects from scratch. Other than that, managing, directing, keeping track of what was where and what needed doing was overwhelming, especially when trying to keep up with the INSANE deadline we just casually came up with (wtf were we thinking?!?!) and executing this whole brain addled project, storyboarding, writing, scoring, animating, etc etc, and try to complete the whole project within 3 months.

The Madness Begins:

At the beginning, I started with concepts and sketches for the characters, as well as brainstorming their iconic vehicle, supporting cast, general synopsis, and their mysterious back stories (which are yet to be revealed). Then Coming up with the character concepts, vehicles, personalities, but more importantly - mixing up all the ingredients that made all those shows so memorable, inspirational and nostalgic for me, but keeping it all wrapped up within an original package. The main thing I kept asking myself throughout this whole process was "Would I watch this? Would I be crazy about a show like this?".

A Traumatic Experience:

This thing went from being a 3 minute short, to 5 minutes, to 7 minutes, to the end result of just over 9 minutes in length. With just two people working on it, that really adds up, and we quickly realized what an insane undertaking we'd just committed to. I created the majority of all the artwork, storyboarding, character pieces, 3d modelling, texturing, creating & arranging the 'sets' in AE's 3d setup, and on and on and on. Mia rigged the majority of the characters, did loads of animating as I burned away to a crisp carcass on creating all the image and art assets.
I couldn't really tell you how many hours went into the making of this thing... but a 16 hour day from morning to dawn was not an uncommon thing on the weekends at all! (My chair is now flat and cushionless... OUCH!)

The Theme:

We decided to hire good ol' Andrew @ www.songstowearpantsto.com - and it has been a really good thing. The theme he came up with for the IKFZ really helped to keep the vision rolling along in our heads as we worked through this cartoon. We gave him a pretty basic overview of what we wanted, as well as what we didn't want it to be too obviously close to. And boy did he deliver!

It's catchy, it's funny, and it really does remind me of those days I'd spend sitting on top of the washing machine, entranced by the array of characters that inspired my imagination and kept me company on afternoon and Saturday morningsalike, armed with a hefty bowl of cereal and some cookies, of course!

Cause I love to Score:

I like making music, and I especially love movie scores and video game music... So this naturally was another opportunity for me to get to do some of that! I play bass, guitar, keyboards, and anything else I can get my claws on, just the way I do my artwork. Mix it all up and get what's crawling around in my head out there! I also have been working on music for a looooong time - again, fueled by my love of video games, movies and cartoons. In fact, those are the types of things I first learned to play (I only play by ear, I cannot for the life of me read music... wish I could though, might help me improve!)

The Whole Undead Enchilada: (delicious!)

It really was an insane and perhaps overly ambitious leap to tackle this thing. But the fact that it allowed me to do all the type of work I enjoy doing - proffessionally, artistically, passionately, creatively - really helped to fuel my being able to get up and crack away on this project, even on those nights that my body complained or that I would have rather been shooting some newbs on the Xbox, or cracking some criminal skull in Batman Arkham Asylum (which is an OMG WOW game, I can't wait to go play it again... haven't touched it in WEEKS!). We both really pushed ourselves to the extreme with this project, and I really want to thank everybody who supported us, cheered us on, and put up with our cave dwelling ways for the last few weeks.

Music, art, film, animation, comics, directing, telling stories, and breathing life into characters & worlds, universes, is what I ultimately enjoy & love doing, on every level I possibly can. And if the opportunity arose for me to somehow, some way, allow the characters and ideas to run off and take on a life of their own, sustain themselves and me creating them, enabling them, I could do this sort of thing full time... I would totally go for it.
All in all - IKFZ is but a taste of all the things I love doing... and it's both an honor and a great pleasure to be able to share this with you all. Give it a shot and a viewing, and if you like it, or know someone else who, like me, grew up with this stuff - kindly pass it along!


Was it worth it? You'll have to let me know... Would I do it again? I think that's unavoidable at this point. Doing this type of stuff is incredibly addicting, and being able to utilize all my skills and push myself into doing many things I would normally not be doing - well, let's just say it's really tough, keeps me on my toes, helps keep me sharp, right?

And you know that old saying... whatever doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger. (a little stubborness goes a long way, too) ;)

Thanks for listening, thanks for watching, and I hope you enjoy yourself and this makes you feel like watching some of those cartoons again.

Sal aka TDC