January 25, 2007

A special three-year anniversary action figure review.


On January 25, 2004, Scary-Crayon first opened its HTML doors to the public. Now, three years later, we return to those early days... and to the action figure representations of one of the articles that started it all. Join us.  (1/25/07)

-posted by Wes | 9:47 pm | Comments Off on THE GREAT UNVEILING!!!
A Crayon Haiku #58!

A Crayon Haiku #58!

A Crayon Haiku #58!

As we begin Scary-Crayon's fourth year, we look at how things have changed elsewhere in A Crayon Haiku #58. Sometimes change is good -- but often it is not. Hopefully SC's evolution has been less depressing.  (1/25/07)

-posted by Wes | 7:38 pm | Comments Off on A Crayon Haiku #58!
Happy three-year anniversary, Scary-Crayon!

It's hard to believe, but as of today Scary-Crayon is three years old. I was planning to say a lot more about the site and how it's progressed since 2004, but I guess I'll let these unique visitor graphs speak for me. At any rate, you can see that in 2004 the site received a comparatively humble 129,635 unique visits, 27,416 of which took place in June due to an incredible surge in viewings of the Stupid Internet Ads article. This figure increased significantly in 2005, with SC receiving 213,102 unique visits, and 2006 saw further visitor growth with 380,161. And now, in the first month of 2007, the site is off to a fairly modest start with 26,672 unique visitors. Even if one takes into account the likely fact that over 1,000 of those visits are mine (I assume that the unique visits are tallied per day, and I check the site roughly once a day to make sure that things are up and running smoothly) and removes another several thousand because of people I have personally referred to the site -- and discounts the hits that show up from image theft and whatnot -- I'd estimate that over 700,000 unique visitors have somehow found their way to Scary-Crayon in its three years without any prompting from yours truly. And I know that's extremely low in terms of overall website rankings, but I still think it's sort of neat that so many people have turned out to look at something that I do pretty much by myself and for no other reason than to share things that amuse and entertain me with the masses.

To celebrate -- though admittedly this celebration pales in comparison to our first-year blowout 😐 -- we've got four new pieces for you. First, because the site began with them, here's a new Crayon Haiku that takes a look at how things have changed in my small town. Back in 2004, the local mall was a relatively decent place. It wasn't a mall that you'd come for miles to visit, but it had a KB Toys, a Spencer Gifts, a couple of bookstores, a music store, and even a crappy arcade. In other words, it didn't suck. But now those stores are gone, replaced by empty space or tacky ghetto clothing stores with owners in turbans who shadily encourage you to talk to them if you see anything you like so they can cut you a deal. Not that I'd buy anything out of these places anyway -- unless I were planning to review it in a "who the fuck would wear this crap" capacity before cutting to pics of celebrities in similar attire -- but I find it incredibly frustrating that nothing in them has prices. This isn't the Sunday flea market or a Baghdad bazaar, people -- it's a retail store and I don't want to have to haggle before making purchases. I will say that the South Asian music they generally play in these establishments is pretty catchy, though. If they had low prices clearly displayed on them and I could read Arabic, I might also consider picking up a music CD or two.

Meet Korall Krabba!

Okay, so in addition to that, we've got two new Hot Flash comics -- DPH:HF #94 and DPH:HF #95. #94 is based on actual events -- I didn't actually approach this girl, mind you, but I happened to see her while at IKEA the other week and was bloody stunned because here I was wearing several shirts in addition to my trench coat lining and she's walking around with her fleshy thighs bare for all the world to see and for Jack Frost to caress. The plushie around my neck in the comic also came home with me that night, as I found him to be utterly irresistible. Isn't he cute? Somehow the yellow seems brighter in person. Also, he needs a name -- I don't like Korall Krabba much. Any suggestions?

And then there's DPH:HF #95, which utilizes some of the new techniques from DPH:HF #93. I decided that I didn't mind doing the shadows so much after all -- and that it doesn't matter if I don't get them perfect, because clearly the figures aren't standing in the background anyway -- so I went ahead and put them in this comic as well. Megatron will likely show up in more comics, too, as I find him to be utterly hilarious for a number of reasons. Heck, the profile on the back of his card even explicitly notes that, upon being "mutated" into his current beast form by exposure to the Jungle Planet, he was initially frustrated. When one's hand is replaced by a snapping Tyrannosaur head, it's not hard to see why! 😆

And finally, there's The Great Unveiling, which includes my first look at the Turtle Saint action figure as well as the first appearance of several related Super Turtle-type toys on the site. I say way more about that in the actual article, though, so there's no need to go into that here. But there's also a drawing that I link in the article to which I wanted to call special attention -- this art trade rendering of the Crayon Monster Critter by DeviantArtist Odd13. I don't think she reads the site or had any idea that its anniversary was coming up (aside from my mention of it, anyway), so her timing with this was totally accidental, but SC is pleased that this rendition of its mascot was posted so close to its third birthday. In addition to the new renaming of the creature -- Odd referred to it as a "critter" and I think the word sounds so much better than "monster" when prefaced by "crayon", don't you? -- I think that in all future renditions of it that depict it below the waist (which has only been done once before, by old reader Josh in the first-year anniversary article), the critter will now sport a tail. I may even end up coloring and marking the tail to look like a crayon itself. 🙂

And on that note, I'll end this post and let you get to reading these articles as Scary-Crayon officially begins its fourth year online! Again, thanks for visiting, lending your support and kind words, etc. -- and we hope to see more of you in 2007. Perhaps this year there will even be contests! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 5:42 pm | Comments (11)
Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #95!

''Pizza through tyranny!''

Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #95!

Hurrah for toy comics! In Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #95, Raph and Don find themselves with a hankering for pizza. Will their cravings be satisfied, or will something go horribly wrong? Read on to find out!  (1/25/07)

-posted by Wes | 9:16 am | Comments Off on Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #95!
Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #94!


Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #94!

It snowed today. Yet in Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #94, we see that that doesn't matter to some people! Join us as we commend those who refuse to alter their dress because of the cold winter weather.  (1/25/07)

-posted by Wes | 4:17 am | Comments Off on Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #94!
January 20, 2007
A Crayon Haiku #57!

A Crayon Haiku #57!

A Crayon Haiku #57!

Yes, Mike's taken a beating, but that's hardly the worst part about A Crayon Haiku #57. I mean, isn't Leo supposed to be setting a good example for his brothers? No wonder Raph took his place in the Turtle Power song.  (1/20/07)

-posted by Wes | 7:39 pm | Comments Off on A Crayon Haiku #57!
The first Hot Flash/Haiku combo of 2007!

I was just thinking that the title of this post isn't really saying all that much, since we'll likely be having first somethings of 2007 all the way through December (barring something unfortunate happening to me or the lamentable closing of Scary-Crayon, anyway), but today we've got a double-whammy for you with Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #93 and A Crayon Haiku #57. And both of them feature TURTLE POWER!

The haiku is a relatively simple affair -- I just had the idea while taking screencaps of the backgrounds in TMNT IV: Turtles in Time for potential use in this and subsequent Hot Flashes -- but the comic itself was a pretty time-consuming affair. I know it probably doesn't look it, but I spent so much time extracting the figures and selecting backgrounds and fooling with those stupid shadows (note to self: leave shadows out of future comics) that I considered making this an official Dusty Plastic HELL issue. I think I'm going to set a tentative minimum of seven panels for those, though. Anyway, the issue highlighted in the comic -- action figures not set to scale -- is actually one that kind of bothers me. (Not in the way that social issues, politics, etc., bother me, but still.) I know that most TMNT fans are pretty pleased with the new movie figures, but I'm personally not all that keen on them. In addition to featuring crappy paint jobs and multiple blemishes -- I sorted through a ton of figures before finally deciding on this Raph -- the 6" figures are too tall to really look right next to any of the other TMNT characters from the old or new series.

This latest offense has only furthered my belief that there should be some kind of scale standard among action figures that determines how tall the figure will be based on the fictional character's height, thereby ensuring that interactions between the characters will be more/less visually accurate on the plastic plane. It'd be neat if all action figure companies adhered to the scale guidelines -- it's not cool when the Turtles dwarf Batman -- but companies should at least be consistent within their own licenses. Just once it would be neat to have a Wolverine figure that isn't capable of looking Venom in the eye without having to crane his neck a bit.

Not sure I'll have the next segment of Krang's Big Adventure ready for our three-year anniversary on the 25th, but I should at least have a new TMNT-related Hot Flash to post. Hopefully I'll have another article or two for you as well. Anyway, see you then, minna-san! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 7:18 pm | Comments (2)
Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #93!


Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #93!

In Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #93, Raphael returns to avenge his previous defeat at the hands of the Shredder! But there's something different about him this time... what ever could it be? Read the comic to find out!  (1/20/07)

-posted by Wes | 4:17 am | Comments Off on Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #93!
January 15, 2007
Triple-Team-Up: The Best and Worst of 2006!

Best and worst type articles are admittedly pretty common, but we've never done one here at Scary-Crayon before now -- so I'm especially glad that my pals Greg of Pop Arena and Molly of Alligator Juice were willing to play along and participate in this triple-team-up feature. I'm really pleased with how diverse the lists turned out, too. Greg's article draws upon his experiences as a Target employee, Molly's selections are influenced by her status as a card-carrying televisiophile, and our own contribution is pretty long-winded and all over the place... just like much of the site. 😛

I've also tried to practice some of my new image editing techniques in this one, so hopefully you'll be seeing more of the same in 2007. I'm particularly pleased with the way the Dalek came out -- the pic in the article is a photo of the actual bath and shower gel container. (I used an orange background to make it easier to isolate the dome lights and the discs on the eyestalk; you can sort of see the color reflected on the Dalek's base.) You might be able to get a better deal on eBay (I did), but you can also order your own Dalek bath and shower gel at Who North America. Personally -- although it would hurt me to drop the $50; you can kinda tell how frugal/cheap I am from reading this article -- I'm now leaning towards purchasing this Dalek. This one is also pretty neat, though. And of course there are the micro Daleks. I sure like Daleks. :mrgreen:

All for now, then -- thanks for reading, and do check out Molly and Greg's pieces as well. Again, we wish you all the best in 2007... whatever you are. That's a Count Duckula reference, btw.

P.S. Scary-Crayon's three-year anniversary is just ten days away! I may not have anything fantastic to post on it, but still. Mark your calendars! Donate generous sums of money! Or just keep reading and making the occasional comment that doesn't make my head hurt. No matter which avenue you choose, your support will be greatly appreciated. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 6:30 pm | Comments (11)
The Best and Worst of 2006!!!

The Best and Worst of 2006!!!


In 1/3 of a triple-team-up feature with Alligator Juice and Pop Arena (!!!), Scary-Crayon spotlights its selections for the best and worst of 2006. You won't find any politics, but you will find Doritos, dogs, and Daleks!  (1/15/07)

-posted by Wes | 6:00 pm | Comments (0)
January 10, 2007
Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #92!

Okay, as noted in the blurb on the content pages, Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #92 is more of a test slash intermission -- just a quick one-panel comic I've posted mostly for feedback purposes. Remember Krang's apparently forgotten quest to acquire a body? Well, I never really forgot about it -- and since then I've been trying to think of the best way to resume the story. You might remember the test run I ran a while back in which I planned to do a return to the text-based dialogue and descriptions that accompanied the old files, but my latest innovation regarding the creation of the speech bubbles (lookit, curvy arrow thingies!!!!) and some experimenting with blue screen effects has me all itching and eager to try this updated approach in an ALL NEW Dusty Plastic HELL adventure.

Also, in addition to letting me know what you think of these changes, I'm curious to hear how you respond to the shadows on the overlapping speech bubbles. Yeah, they're left-to-right and generally around the same height anyway, but how would you read them if the positions were changed? Would you still read from left to right, or would you start from the bubble most obviously on top?

Fun times ahead, folks.

-posted by Wes | 7:28 pm | Comments (4)
Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #92!

'''Coming soon to a theme park near you...!''

Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #92!

Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #92 is more of a test run and intermission -- just something to say that we haven't forgotten about Krang's unfinished quest from '04. Expect new techniques when we get around to it!  (1/10/07)

-posted by Wes | 6:00 pm | Comments Off on Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #92!
January 5, 2007
You would not believe…

...how bloody long I spent photographing crayons and fooling with potential background images only to eventually decide upon a new background for 2007 (!!!) that looks more/less the same as the old one. It really is mind-boggling. In other news, the SC blog and Wesoteric are now running WordPress 2.06. Hurrah.

That's pretty much all for this short post, then, but I just wanted to give a couple of shout-outs to Shin-Goji and the Twisted Kaiju Theater crew and Tresob Yr of the Star Wars Action Figure Theater (aka SWAFT). I'd meant to do the former back when I reviewed the Transformatrix Optimus Prime since the inclusion of Bootleg Godzilla in the piece put them in mind, but then I was so burnt out by the time that I finished writing it that I guess I forgot. So yeah, go visit TKT for more kaiju comic-type goodness. And Tresob Yr has Star Wars action figure comics as well as toy reviews, including a review of the Transformatrix Prime! He's even got photos of the overweight Prime and an animated gif that depicts the transformation process, so checking out the article will definitely help to supplement your knowledge of Bootleg Prime. Don't laugh; someday Saint Peter may quiz you on this very information.

Ja ne, minna-san.

-posted by Wes | 11:05 pm | Comments (1)
January 4, 2007
A Crayon Haiku #56!

A Crayon Haiku #56!

A Crayon Haiku #56!

2007 kicks off at Scary-Crayon with A Crayon Haiku #56! Granted, we do buy a lot of DVDs here, but come on -- quit rushing us and telling fibs, Amazon.com. Heck, we didn't even buy any TV DVDs from you in 2006.  (1/4/07)

-posted by Wes | 7:40 pm | Comments Off on A Crayon Haiku #56!
A Crayon Haiku #56!

Seeing as how the site began with haikus, it seems fitting that A Crayon Haiku #56 should be the first offering of the new year. We're not done with 2006 yet, though, as we've got a best/worst of 2006 type article scheduled for the next update! Other articles that I may or may not get to in the near future: dollar store candy that I bought in 2006 but still have not reviewed, dollar store toys that I bought in 2006 but still have not reviewed, and dollar store toys that I bought yesterday that are likely the most exciting dollar store toy finds I have encountered since the late 1980s. STAY TUNED. :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 10:27 am | Comments (1)
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