Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pumpkin Man Sub-Saga Recap: Part 2

The Return of The Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man was the second installment in our Pumpkin Man Sub-Saga (which from here out I will refer to simply as "Return". This story featured the return of not only the Pumpkin Man, but a throw away joke character from Issue 3, The Badger. The Badger was intended to be an obvious parody of Wolverine and we loved him so much that we decided to bring him back as a reoccurring character. Since we had previously established that our heroes should keep a good distance from Regular Man, this story gave us a good opportunity to feature The Badger and take a look into his origin.

Anyone who saw The Hatman Clause Part 3 will notice that the voice and characterization of The Badger has changed since this comic. In that story we chose to ignore it, but I will state now that the official cannon explanation is that soon after the events of "Return" The Badger reclaimed his former life and over time his previous personality returned as well. The forgetful Badger, while heroic, had been a broken man, afraid of the unknown and chose his words carefully. As his memory returned, so did his confidence, and the wavering higher pitched voice full of fear was replaced with his natural bass tone. (That being said, the truth is, we just got a different voice actor and he decided to take the character in a different place. We were intrigued with this new take on the character and changed him slightly to reflect this.)

Back to the recap of "Return." The story opens sometime after the events of the first Pumpkin story. Regular Man and Farmer Bill (quickly joined by The Badger) barricade the door of Farmer Bill's barn because it houses the infamous pumpkin. Keeping him locked away from the farmer should ensure that the pumpkin will not regain his full power. Farmer Bill grows forgetful and confused, so the Badger and Regular Man encourage him to go inside while they finish up. A newscast explains that the Terrible Trio are engaged in some sort of crime, so Regular Man and The Badger decide to take care of it. Before they can, the barn bursts open knocking Regular Man unconscious. The Badger, weak minded at this point in his life, is drawn in by the power of the pumpkin. The effects wear off soon and The Badger leaves to get help. Farmer Bill hearing the commotion finds his son lying on the lawn and through suggestion of the Pumpkin, thinks the pumpkin power will give him the strength to save his son. He approaches the barn and becomes the fully formed Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man once again.

The Badger flees to Hatman & Indigo's to warn them of their returned villain but his forgetfulness strikes and he can't remember why he came. Indigo wishes that the Badger's memory problems would be over and we are treated to a flashback of The Badger's origin at the hands of some aliens. After the flashback, Pumpkin Man breaks in and kidnaps Indigo.

Happy to be excluded from a kidnapping this time, Blonde joins Hatman and The Badger to help defeat Pumpkin Man and free Indigo. Because the Pumpkin has telepathic power of suggestion over narrators, he can control Hatman and Indigo (who both filled in for the Narrator while on vacation in the previous Pumpkin story). We also learn that the Pumpkin not only has the power to levitate things but can control the growth of pumpkin vines as he captures all the heroes one by one, mummifying them with vines, with the exception of Regular Man whom he decides to ship away in a wooden crate. Blonde is left to face the orange menace alone, which she does heroically, by spraying him with a heavy dose of the farmer's pest poison. This causes him to melt into a pile of goo as the vines recede and our heroes are freed. Hatman frees Regular Man as the group discovers that the toxin did not defeat the pumpkin, but mutate him. He now no longer needs Farmer Bill as a host body (he's formed a body of vines and his gooey head resembles it's former shape) and Regular Man's power doesn't defeat him. The Badger does however destroy him with the help of Indigo creating the "field goal" our homage to the "fastball special" featured in X-Men comics when Colossus throws Wolverine. Hatman wishes the defeated goo to be trapped in an inescapable box and all is well.

As with the first installment, while I re-watched this story, I thought that it was a step up from the first. Steve's art had noticeably improved (with the exception of his take on Blonde for part 1) and the storytelling was tighter. The addition of a few more panels and some extra Narrator duologue would have helped, but all in all, it is entertaining. As with many of our stories, this could be a lot funnier. The funny is more in concept than in blatant jokes, and this is something we struggle with constantly, trying to find a good level of both action and comedy.

What will happen next? Well, you only have to wait a few more hours! Issue 44, part one of the third installment (confusing, I know) in the Pumpkin sub-saga will post at Midnight Eastern Time tonight!


Pumpkin Man Sub-Saga Recap: Part 1

Yesterday I touched on the history of our Pumpkin Man Halloween Special sub-saga. Before the new issue posts tomorrow, I'd like to recap the previous installments in this saga.

The first appearance of the infamous Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man was in Issue 9 (the cover says 5, because it was the 5th story and we were numbering them by story, not issues back then). This is one of the first stories Steve Surine drew for us. He actually worked on this story the same time he drew Ion Bunny issue 1. In writing this story, Andy decided to try something a little different, start with a flash back, and giving the other characters a chance to play "narrator." I personally love doing the voices of Farmer Bill (my impression of late character actor, Pat Buttram) and The Pumpkin (a generic gravely cockney voice) and this gave me a good chance to use them both a lot. I actually had the idea to use these two voices because of the character of King Stanely I voiced in our "Ode To Mother's Day" video we had made several years prior.

The story took place soon after the formation of the Terrible Trio and featured them prominently. After fighting over who should lead their bad guy gang, Super Cold Frozen Man used his ray gun on a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch in hopes to create a new villain to help him prove he should be in charge. This pumpkin grew into a giant jack-o-lantern as it lodged itself on the head of Farmer Bill (a previously unseen character in the Hatman Universe). The Pumpkin Head was imbued with telepathic and telekinetic powers but was symbiotically linked to the farmer, if the farmer could get him off his head, he would reduce to a normal pumpkin and be innocuous. After reading Super Cold Frozen Man's mind, the Pumpkin Head flew off to kidnap Blonde by levitating a normal pumpkin and riding it. He also telepathically convinced the Narrator that he should go on vacation. By the end of the story, Hatman, Indigo and Blonde were all tied up and the Pumpkin revealed that Super Cold Frozen Man was his "father." As the Terrible Trio gloated at their success, Farmer Bill's son, Billy Boy, walked in the barn (where our heroes were being kept). Startled, Super Cold Frozen Man shot Billy with the ray gun. The power of the ray gun aged Billy to a full grown man, gave him a green costume and the power of "regular." As Regular Man, Billy could negate Hatman's powers as well as those of anything that had indirectly come about as a result of Hatman. Thus Regular Man saved the Day by powering down the villains and rescuing his father and the heroes.

After re-watching it in preparation for this recap, I noticed that we really have come a long way. There should be a lot more told by the narrator(s) and the art, while good for Steve's first Hatman book, doesn't always tell the story properly. More panels could have helped greatly. The sound effects and editing (my job) felt forced and "acty" and the ending was abrupt.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Revenge of the Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man

So, in two short days Hatman will be back on! If you've followed our posts with any regularity, you are probably aware that the soon to post issue has been in the works for quite some time!

The image I'm posting (top right) is a sneak peak at the first page of this exciting Halloween special.

This issue was drawn by Scott Matteson, the same artist who drew Issue 32: Amazing Aquatic Kid. The colorist is Tilian Wagner who picked up the second and third installments of this story.

I really want to discuss how this story came about, but I can't go into too many details yet. However, I can discuss the title and our thought process for the Halloween specials.

Way back in 2004 when Andy and I were drafting ideas for what we thought then would be a Hatman & Indigo cartoon, we started thinking about possible characters and character names. Andy had thought of Super Cold Frozen Man thinking the long name thing was funny, we continued that with Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man. We really didn't have any idea what he would be beyond that. That is until Steve drew the first concept drawing (bottom right) and we had an idea that maybe the pumpkin was separate from the man. Andy wrote the script for the first story and we loved the character so much we decided that every year we would feature a continuation. A kid-friendly horror story, if you will. Back then, we came up with several titles for the "Pumpkin Man" sub-saga. To make this easier to read, I will now refer to "Pumpkin Man" as BGPHM. Some of the titles we came up with were: Return of The BGPHM, Revenge of The BGPHM, Son of The BGPHM and so on (that last one is a teaser for the next installment after Revenge).

The idea of the various titles is an homage to classic sequels like Son of the Fly, and the original Pink Panther series. Hopefully the stories will be entertaining enough that the long titles will remain funny and not become stale.

Tomorrow, I will blog a recap of the first 2 Halloween specials. But if you'd like to watch them here are the links to the part 1's: The Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man & Return of the Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New KudeeCast!

Today I finished editing KudeeCast 3: BirFday Special, a podcast Steve, Andy and I recorded on our (Andy and me) 30th Birthday, July 20. It took a while for Steve to get me the audio file, and then I had some school to wade through before I could tackle it, but it is done and Andy should have it online either tonight or tomorrow! So, be sure to check it out! We mainly discuss our thoughts on Pixar movies.

Also, Andy is very close to finishing part one of the Halloween comic so, look for that to post October 1st!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

More news on some new stuff

I've been a fan of online TV and movie reviews for a while now, so I'm finally going to start doing a couple. To be a little different than the masses I've decided to focus not only on the content but also the boxes and special features as well. I personally own all of the available seasons of The Simpsons, Frasier, and Futurama, so I might start with doing episode by episode reviews of those in addition to some of my favorite movies. I'm going to attempt to be a kinder critic than most out there, talking about stuff I like, instead of stuff I don't.

I know these blogs keep saying "on the horizon" but I do have good news that the horizon is approaching fast! October first you can expect part one of our Halloween special (two years in the making!)

I can't wait for that one to come out! I was the script writer on it and I think it's one of my best scripts so far. Afterward, I'll be sure to do a post on how I came about it.


P.S. Chicaco Comicon was a bust this year due to illness, so sorry I don't have anything to report there.