''Blogs are not frogs.''
October 15, 2007
Count 08: T.E.D.D.Y. & Curdles

T.E.D.D.Y. looks familiar.

Do not adjust your monitor colors! today’s first Creepy Freak, T.E.D.D.Y., not only is a repaint of Patches, but also amazingly came broken off of his stand in the exact same manner! What are the odds?! Anyway, I find it sort of difficult to talk about these repaints, as they’re more or less the previous versions in different colors. I do wonder about the reasons for the line’s repaints, though (aside from the obvious cost-saving ones). Given that this is a Pokémon-esque game, are these supposed to be stronger, evolved versions of the previous monsters? Or are they more akin to the palette-swapped ninjas of Mortal Kombat? The scant bit of supporting fiction doesn’t provide much in the way of answers, but an offhand implication that there are more than one toilet-head monster leads me to believe that these characters are supposed to be distinct entities.

(Speaking of Mortal Kombat and ninjas and whatnot, here’s a shout-out to Maximoff — he finished Ninja Syndrome a while ago, so you should go play that if you haven’t already. I still need to get around to doing it, but the graphics look freakin’ sweet! If 2D characters could wear 3D rings, I’d totally propose to Mileena.)

Anyway, I like T.E.D.D.Y.’s colors better than Patches’s — they’re brighter and provide more attractive visual contrast. That part of the body is brown is also kind of neat, as it seems as if part of this guy came from one of the classically colored teddy bears that we all know and love rather than the somewhat less charming neon versions. Also, the artwork on the stickers depicts T.E.D.D.Y. and Patches, but the upper right portion of the character looks like it was stolen from a stuffed rabbit to me — even more so with the beige color.

So considering that he has all of Patches’ virtues and an even more fetching color scheme, T.E.D.D.Y. is a bona-fide creepy freak by all accounts. I just wish I knew what the letters in his name stand for. 🙁

New chocolate milk variety!

It’s time to question the odds once again — and seriously, if you’re mathematically inclined and really, really bored, and care to look up and/or estimate all of the requisite data, do enlighten us — ’cause I somehow managed to draw not just another repaint, but a repaint of the second Creepy Freak that we reviewed yesterday. Amazing. Sour Milk was a quality character, so it’s no surprise that I like Curdles as well. The brown and orange scheme he sports works better than Sour Milk’s blue and orange, but what’s even cooler about it is that it has a purpose. See, unlike the other repaints, Curdles is noteworthy in that his text clearly marks him as being filled with chocolate milk, which helps to make him somewhat more unique than your standard recolored figure. Bravo, Creepy Freaks designers.

The different text in places also hurts him, though. Sour Milk had the brilliant missing persons reference on his back, but on Curdles the text has been replaced with “Got you!” — suggesting that the dude sticking out of his back is some sort of prankster who, for whatever reason, operates from the back of a living carton of chocolate milk. I can understand them wanting to change the text there too in order to further distinguish Curdles from his fellow dairy container, but this “joke” makes little sense and is markedly inferior to Sour Milk’s chief virtue. If they’d simply left that alone, Curdles would have been flawless.

-posted by Wes | 7:03 pm | Comments (2)
October 14, 2007
Count 07: Patches & Sour Milk

Patches is sleepy.

Patches is actually supposed to be standing up, but somehow he broke off of his stand while in the box. Given that he’s some sort of freaky Frankenstein teddy bear thing, I like to think that he actually escaped the box and roamed about a bit, but that’s highly unlikely because he is only a gamepiece and not the actual result of an unholy reanimation experiment involving the tissue of dead baby bears and possibly rabbits. The fact that he retains his cuteness despite his deformities does place him firmly in the creepy and freaky category, though, as he retains his weirdness but doesn’t cross the very thin line into terror. He’s even more nonthreatening when he’s lying down, but a dab of superglue and an hour of drying time had him standing upright and good as new.

Sour Milk is dead clever.

I really like Sour Milk. A lot of the Creepy Freaks draw upon things that we’ve seen before — even Patches reminds me of something, though I’m not sure what (some background character from The Nightmare Before Christmas, maybe?) — but spooky milk cartons are totally new to me. Again, it’s the quirkiness of this character that makes it work, though it’s also kind of cool because it could potentially inspire all kinds of seasonal arts and crafts activities. It’s been ages since I actually drank out of a milk carton, but kids in school use them every single day — and wouldn’t it be cool for them to be able to make the things into little monsters? I could see that activity eventually vying for the crown currently held by the tissue paper ghosts. Or maybe not, but it’d be a close — and far more interesting — second place winner.

''Have you seen me?''

Yep, still talking about Sour Milk! I wouldn’t even have noticed this if I hadn’t tried photographing him at an angle, and the designers could have skipped this part entirely and he’d still be awesome. But no — not content to simply have a spooky milk carton, they went the extra mile and even threw in the missing person deal on the back. Except whereas regular milk cartons just have a photo, Sour Milk has apparently kidnapped some poor green bastard and is making off with him! Not only is Sour Milk himself the cause of the notice on his back, but the kid’s question — “Have you seen me?” — answers itself because THERE HE IS! It’s bloody brill.

-posted by Wes | 8:06 am | Comments (4)
October 13, 2007
Count 06: Zip Zit & Socket

Did I mention that you can find Creepy Freaks booster packs at your local Five Below (assuming you have ’em in your area) for $1 a pop? It’s not a very attractive price for folks looking to buy multiple boxes and attain the whole set, but it’d be a neat little way for you to have a SC souvenir (of sorts) and play along at home. 🙂

Zip Zit is GROSS.

Aaand it’s back to the land of disgust with Zip Zit, a bug-eyed, red-haired, yellow-toothed, same-shade-of-yellow-cap-wearing, pasty-as-fuck, stark naked dude covered from head to toe with ripe bulging pustules. It’s even nastier when you read the comic that comes with Zip Zit. ugh. Also, for no apparent reason, he’s driving a purple clown car. A naked guy in a clown car is admittedly pretty creepy and freaky, but I can hardly appreciate it because the excess of zits keeps me on the verge of tossing my cookies.

Socket does NOT shoot his entire head.

The first repaint that we’ve encountered in the countdown (!!!), Socket is essentially Headley with a more fetching color scheme. I’ve got pretty much the same reaction to him that I had to Headley, so I don’t really have a lot to add here, but I’d like to take a moment to point out the laziness of this recolor. While the Creepy Freaks world is fucked up enough that I’ve got no problem accepting the existence of a whole bunch of skeleton dudes in superhero costumes, I do have a problem with Socket preparing to slingshot his entire head when his specified attack supposedly involves him shooting eyeballs — and only eyeballs — at opponents. Hell, the head on this figurine doesn’t even have eyeballs, as Socket only has empty sockets. I do like this mold, and quite frankly if I had a good skull mask and a superhero outfit or two on hand I’d likely dress as some variant of Headley or Socket every year, but I don’t see why the Creepy Freaks team didn’t just call his attack something more appropriate if they didn’t want to alter the sculpt at all.

Consider this instance of a twenty-something-year-old guy sincerely harping on the design and attack name of an obscure skeleton figurine my contribution to help us meet today’s creepiness and freakishness quota.

-posted by Wes | 10:57 am | Comments (2)
October 12, 2007
Count 05: King Jack & Hamlin

It’s mystery box time (!!!) as Scary-Crayon’s Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown continues. WOO!

King Jack is my kind of Creepy Freak.

Okay, NOW we’re getting somewhere. Not everyone finds clowns to be downright terrifying, but pretty much everyone will grant that they’re some creepy and freaky bastards. As such, King Jack really can’t help but rule. The jack-in-the-box thing even helps to soften the horror to the benefit of these other qualities, as there’s no real danger that his Highness is going to chase you into dark alleyways or creep around the perimeter of your home in the dead of night — the best he can do is bob around on your shelf and look freaky and make creepy shadows and maybe give off an eerie laugh. That’s good enough for me, though!

Hamlin needs a rhinestone glove.

After the greatness of King Jack, Hamlin is kind of a disappointment. The Creepy Freaks designers tried to be a bit too clever in combining the elements of the Pied Piper of Hamelin legend to feature a rat in the role of the piper. I mean, if you think about it even a little bit, you’ll find that a weird musician who skips into town and seduces 130 children is about as creepy and freaky as it gets. Even when he’s got beady red eyes and a hunger for human children (note the sack with a child stuffed in it slung over his shoulder), there is no way that Master Splinter is scarier than Michael Jackson in his wildest fantasies. Michael Jackson gives freaking clowns a run for their money.

Also, I don’t plan on scanning these all that often, but each Creepy Freak (with the exception of the starter pack ones, I think) comes with a couple of stickers — one of which features a more or less amusing comic on the back. Given recent events, Hamlin’s seemed particularly appropriate to share. Would a joke comparing Britney’s figure to Hamlin’s be out of line?

The countdown continues tomorrow!

-posted by Wes | 6:57 am | Comments (2)
October 11, 2007
Count 04: Tulips & Frosty the Snotman

In case you didn’t notice last time, I decided to shrink the images of the Creepy Freaks a bit starting with the second starter set. It’s not a terribly significant change — I think they’re still more than large enough to highlight the details of the figurines — but I just figured I’d mention it. 🙂

Tulips needs a hug.

I feel sorry for Tulips. She’s not really creepy or freaky or even scary — she’s just kind of ugly. What’s worse is that her attack, being called “crush”, potentially requires her to develop an attraction to one of her opponents and likely lay a kiss on him/her. It can’t be all that bad for Tulips, since she willingly participates in the game and doesn’t seem to be offended by the fact that she’s expected to use her warty, oversized green lips to make advances that freak the hell out of other characters (she’s even giving a thumbs up!), but I still think this is pretty cruel. The Creepy Freaks world is a terrible place. 🙁

Frosty the Snotman makes me want to retch.

Creepy? Freaky? More like slam-fucking-nasty. I don’t see what’s so frosty about Frosty the Snotman, but really — a dude composed entirely of snot? I’m not sure what’s worse — the idea that somewhere there is a society of snot monsters having snot sex and giving birth to snot babies, or the more realistic but also vomit-inducing notion that a group of unwell children snuck out of their sickbeds and built a life-sized snotman during an intensive session of sneezing and hacking up globules of mucus. At least he’d never have to worry about Professor Hinkle stalking him to get his hat back, ’cause who’d want a top hat lined with chunky green snot? Even evil magicians would pass on that grossness.

See you next time, when we spotlight… I dunno who. It’s a mystery! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 8:30 am | Comments (2)
October 10, 2007
Count 03: Nate & Worm Breath

Creepy Freaks Starter Set #2!

As you can see, we’re still not into the mystery boxes — we’ve got one more starter set to go before we delve into the contents of those long-buried cardboard enclosures. There’s not much else to be said on that front, so let’s get right to it!

Nate's got a thing for monster chicks.

Like his younger brother Lucas, Nate isn’t technically a Creepy Freak — he’s one of the human team leaders. As such, unless you were bullied by jocks throughout high school and find teens in football jerseys to be particularly unsettling, the only remotely creepy or freaky thing about Nate is his choice of playmates. Then again, several of the female Creepy Freaks are actually quite hot, so it’s quite possible that he’s only playing along in order to get his shot at a sexy Gorgon schoolgirl or a flaming hot (literally) alien supermodel. But if this is true, the fact that Nate’s willing to hang out with all sorts of nasty creatures for this purpose considerably ups his creepy and freaky (not to mention desperate) ratings.

Worm Breath is one creepy, freaky dude.

Worm Breath is probably the creepiest and freakiest of the Creepy Freaks yet. At first glance he appears to be a horrible fish monster — which is more scary than creepy by any account — but a closer look reveals certain vulnerabilities that reduce him to oddball status. Foremost among these is the fact that he’s wearing orange flotation devices on his arms, which suggests that, despite being a fish monster, he can’t swim… which kinda makes him seem less like a bona fide fish monster and more like a creepy deformed kid who just happens to look like a fish monster. And insofar as Worm Breath isn’t really a fish monster, his diet (as implied by his name) also makes him creepy and freaky, since only a legitimate fish monster would be justified in eating worms. Making matters worse, he doesn’t even really eat them — he just sort of lets them sit in his mouth until the time comes for him to reach inside and throw handfuls of them at his opponents during Creepy Freaks games. It’s roughly the equivalent of a kid storing Yu-Gi-Oh cards in his ass, which would be pretty creepy and freaky (and fucking nasty) by all accounts.

Next time: Tulips and Frosty the Snotman!

-posted by Wes | 4:56 am | Comments (4)
October 9, 2007
Count 02: Headley & Spitty Cat

Still not quite ready to get these going on a daily basis (though the last one was yesterday, so we may be getting there…), but here’s the next installment of Scary-Crayon’s Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown! Spotlighted today: Headley and Spitty Cat.

Headley is here to save the day!

Headley is one of those obscure characters who simultaneously manages to be bland and interesting. With his homemade superhero costume and lame slingshot weapon, he’s not the most stylish kid on the block. Yet the fact that he’s also able to remove his own head and launch it at the enemy — complete with leaking brains and eyeballs from the slit in his skull — helps to distinguish him from other more or less forgettable characters quite a bit. Where did Headley come from? How did he gain his incredible powers? What motivates him to fight for the good of his fellow man monster? Do his brains grow back after each attack? Inquiring minds want to know.

Something about Headley just screams of heroism, so he’s not really creepy or freaky in my book — the brain thing is kinda gross, but otherwise he seems incredibly out of place among the Creepy Freaks. Rather, I think Headley would be more at home in some corner of the Marvel or DC universe. He’d never be a major player like Dr. Strange or the Martian Manhunter, but he’d fit in well beside the mostly forgotten but (sometimes not-so-) fondly remembered (if only by a few) characters like the Night Nurse and Brother Power. Excelsior?

Spitty Cat needs a hug.

Spitty Cat is probably the creepiest and freakiest character we’ve seen thus far. Yes, he’s an undead, decomposing cat emerging from a box of kitty litter — which is admittedly more disgusting and horrific than it is creepy or freaky — but keep in mind that Spitty Cat’s not (necessarily) a bad guy. In fact, he was likely a beloved pet until, owing to the forgetfulness of the neighbor who was supposed to feed him while his owners were on vacation, he collapsed in the litter box, died of starvation, and began to rot away.

But Spitty Cat knew that little Timmy would be devastated to find his kitty dead, so by sheer force of will he survived his death and partial decomposition just so he could rub up against Timmy’s leg and purr upon the child’s return from Disneyland. Of course, the general grossness of living dead things prompted the family to get rid of poor Spitty, which eventually led to his arrival in the Creepy Freaks world and naturally soured his once playful disposition. Nevertheless, the tragic elements of his tale and the love still residing in his worm-eaten heart keep him out of the realm of horror and ensconced in the less severe categories of creepy and freaky.

Join us next time in the Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown, when we’ll begin spotlighting the characters from the second starter set! But fret not, reader — we’ll get to the mystery boxes soon enough. 😉

-posted by Wes | 1:00 pm | Comments (0)
October 8, 2007
Count 01: Lucas & Swirly

So here we are with the first installment in the Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown (2007 edition)! I’m not quite ready yet to kick them off on a daily basis, but hopefully this will help to get the steamroller going. I’m planning to add a link directly to the countdown to the sidebar of the content pages, but in the meantime you can access them from the blog since they’re posted there as well.

Creepy Freaks: Starter Set #1!

As I suggested previously, for each installment, I’ll be selecting one box from my towering stack o’ booster packs and commenting on the two Creepy Freaks inside. Those boxes are unopened — or at least were opened and reclosed so long ago that the contents will be a surprise to me as well — but you’ll note that the four Creepy Freaks pictured above come not from the booster packs but from the initial starter set. I’ve decided to start with these because, in addition to the fact that I’ve never really given these characters their moment in the spotlight (outside of their appearances in the cartoon), quite a few of the 56 Creepy Freaks are repaints. Reviewing the eight starter pack inclusions first (there are two different starter packs) will at least give us a reference when we encounter the sixth repaint of Frosty the Snotman.

That said — and I’ll write more about the details of the countdown as I think of and/or implement them — LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN! Spotlighted today: Lucas and Swirly.

Lucas wants to catch 'em all.

So here we have Lucas, one of the two team leaders available in the Creepy Freaks starter packs. He’s more or less the Creepy Freaks version of Ash from Pokémon (he even shares the same basic outfit), only a whole lot less interesting because he doesn’t have the benefit of ten seasons of cartoon episodes to flesh out his character. He’s also a rather unfortunate start to the countdown, as Lucas isn’t particularly creepy or freaky at all — he’s just your standard annoying snot-nosed kid brother who commands living skeletons and giant talking cartons of rancid milk in his spare time. Then again, any kid that willingly hangs out with snot monsters in a nightmare world rife with political unrest and slavery and forced gladiatorial matches and eyeball trees is probably creepier and freakier than simple appearances could ever convey.

Swirly will fucking kill you.

Next up, there’s Swirly — the foremost of several so-called “toilet-head” monsters in the Creepy Freaks lineup. Old fans of Ghostbusters may notice a certain resemblance to Fearsome Flush here, but Swirly improves upon the concept of a demonic toilet thing by incorporating even more toilet and bathroom-related items into his appearance. His right and left arms are respectively composed of a toilet brush and a plunger. Whereas Fearsome Flush had a thick red cow-like tongue protruding from the bowl, Fearsome Flush uses toilet paper to taste his victims.

I’m not sure I’d call any of this creepy or freaky, though. I like the design, but I’d run screaming in terror if I ever encountered Swirly in a public restroom. He’s even more terrifying when you consider that, in the Creepy Freaks cartoon, Swirly actually flushed an opponent down his drain, thereby devouring him whole. Judging from the excess water gushing from the bowl and the tank, Swirly is incredibly backed up with the decomposing corpses of his enemies.

Okay, that was technically two paragraphs about Swirly, but whatever. 😛 See you in the next installment of the Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown, where we’ll be spotlighting Headley and Spitty Cat!

-posted by Wes | 7:20 pm | Comments (0)
October 1, 2007
O’Ryan and her Bombastic Bed!

And if I’ve learned anything today, children, it’s that I’m not going to give specific time estimates for articles anymore. Sorry about the 24-hour delay here — I hope that you weren’t checking the site all day in anticipation of this new piece! Anyway, here’s my review of the Groovy Girls Minis O’Ryan figure and Bombastic Bed accessory. It didn’t end up being quite the laugh riot that I’d originally hoped it would be — partly because the review that I’d originally conceived included a review of Colton’s sister figure and the return of our creepy best friend himself — but I think the piece is still amusing enough. It’s certainly better now than it was after I switched gears and rewrote quite a bit of it, since the original draft included the following passage:

That said, O’Ryan’s use of the term is a bit of a stretch. She’s certainly bendable, but that’s not necessarily the same thing as poseability. Usually, when we praise a figure’s poseability, we’re referring to its ability to maintain diverse upright poses without the aid of a supportive human hand — and while technically a figure only needs to be able to hold two poses to qualify for the term, most bendable figures find it difficult to hold their footing in anything but a standard standing configuration. Furthermore, anyone with any respectable degree of familiarity with bendable figures knows that their poseability is largely dependent upon two other factors: their size and their thickness. A very thin bendable toy with longer limbs — such as the spindly giraffe I had as a child — could hold all kinds of neat poses because the wires responsible for its bendability were lengthy enough to support more dramatic twists and weren’t significantly restricted by an excess of stiff rubbery flesh. (The four legs probably helped with the balancing as well, but still!) On the other hand, my 6″ bendable Homer Simpson toy was so chunky that he could barely raise his arm to wave hello.

Not a terrible passage — I’m mainly posting it here because I didn’t want it to go completely to waste — but a bit too technical for what I wanted to do with this article. Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and do stay tuned for the Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown! No precise dates or exact promises, but I should get that underway… soon.

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about because you miss blog entries that aren’t attached to articles (which is good, since you know nothing about my pitiful failure regarding the scheduled posting of this piece!), you can read about that here. ALSO, I dunno if you noticed the reference to people my age at the beginning of the article, but it bears noting that my birthday is this coming Thursday! Not that that should necessarily mean anything to you, but well-wishes (and presents and/or donations…! :mrgreen: ) are welcome and appreciated. Ja! 🙂

-posted by Wes | 9:28 pm | Comments (10)
September 30, 2007
COMING SOON to Scary-Crayon…!

Hey all — quick post to say that I definitely HAVE NOT forgotten about the site and definitely WILL be posting a new article sometime tonight or early in the AM hours of tomorrow morning. Incidentally, it won’t be the second part of the QC Dinobots review, as I’m still pondering precisely how I want to continue it now that my Dinobot situation has changed. Whereas before I was fairly lacking in the transforming robotic dinosaur department, I’ve since acquired all of the Transformers G1 Dinobots.

Rawr and Ultra Gunk meet Snarl and Sludge!

What this means is that I can now more accurately comment on and compare the differences and similarities between the QC versions and their Hasbro counterparts! And since that might take up a good portion of the text, I’m not sure whether I want to do single reviews for each of the remaining dinos or do them both in one and then compare all of them in another part. I’m leaning towards the former — after maybe playing catchup with Rawr and Ultra Gunk — but we’ll see. In any case, it’s fairly likely that there will be more than two parts to the QC Dinobots review.

The article I have planned for tonight, btw, has nothing to do with QC Dinobots. I feel like I need to write something funny — which isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed our recent articles, but I’ve been on a fairly serious kick for a while — so I’m going to review a couple of dollar store toys. Nothing nearly as amusing as Best Friend Colton, mind you, but he will be making an appearance in a sequel of sorts that looms on the horizon. That’s later, though.

Lots o' Creepy Freaks.

Anyway, the main point of this blog entry — which you can clearly see if you view the post individually, since this is like the “test” — is that we’re going to be having a Halloween countdown of sorts on SC! I recently uncovered 35 (and possibly counting; it was 34 until this morning) Creepy Freaks booster packs in my room. If you’ve forgotten our review of the introductory cartoon DVD from waaaay back when, Creepy Freaks are these little HeroClix-esque trading figure gamepieces. Creepy Freaks didn’t do nearly as well as HeroClix figures, though (incidentally they’re both by the same company), so they ended up heavily discounted, which more or less explains why I have so many now. And given their altogether ooky motif, they’re perfect for a countdown of sorts, no? 🙂

So — until Halloween — I’m going to do something where I open like one box a day and write maybe a paragraph about each of the two figures inside. I may not get started right away (considering that October starts tomorrow, yikes!) and there may be a few skipped days here and there, but that’s the general plan. I’ll have more to say when the countdown starts, natch.

Anyway, see you in a bit with the new article!

-posted by Wes | 5:28 pm | Comments (0)
September 7, 2007
Quick Change Dinobots — Part 1!

The Transformers madness continues on Scary-Crayon with A Crayon Haiku #67 and the first part of our Quick Change Dinobots review. Okay, so the QC dinos aren’t technically Transformers, but still. As noted in the article, I really didn’t anticipate having quite so much to say about them, so Tricera-Bot and Tyranno-Bot (also known as Dregs and Gravelatch!) will be discussed at a later date. Hopefully not too much later, though.

Regarding Universe Triceradon in the haiku — I partially blame him for my current compulsion to buy Transformers on eBay and anywhere else I can find them, because it was his temporary unavailability that pretty much started me checking online toy stores and eBay listings as a matter of routine. Now that I’ve got him, he’s popping up everywhere. Go figure. Action figure, that is!

Feel free to note the cuteness of the newspaper clipping, btw! I don’t know why I felt compelled to black out all of the instances of my name — it’s not like it’d be that difficult to figure out if you really wanted to. 😛

Also, in a comment over at Wesoteric — where I first posted images of Triceradon, since he’s a pretty good representative of my current obsession — De asked whether Slag or Triceradon would win in a fight. Sounds like something worth discussing over here, no? So here are my thoughts: (more…)

-posted by Wes | 6:43 am | Comments (11)
August 26, 2007
Boy Meets World and the greatness of Trini

Okay, I admit it — and I hope it isn’t too obvious — this article completely derailed somewhere in the writing process and only partially resembles my original plan/vision for it. So much so, in fact, that I’m tempted to hold off posting it until I’ve gotten some sleep and had a chance to revise it more fully. Why am I posting it, then? Because, honestly, it reminds me in many ways of the old school Scary-Crayon articles, which more/less wrote themselves. Recent articles have been somewhat more structured and organized due to the way I went about writing them: first I took the photos and/or screencaps for the article, placed the specific images that I wanted to use on the html template, and then wrote the article around the images in accordance with what they depicted. Back in the day, however, I’d collect the images, then write the article off the top of my head — and usually late at night, when I tend to be at my most creative (if a little unhinged) — and finally place the images in accordance with the text. With Boy Meets World and the greatness of Trini, however, I started with no screencaps — save those used as the preview images for the video clips — and sort of (but not really) used them as a rough guide for the article text. As you can see, the piece still kind of got away from me as I penned the latter half of it in the early AM, but I’m okay with that. After all, this is Scary-Crayon, not “Boy Meets World”. Just be glad I spared you the tangent in which I blamed Cory for Trini’s disappearance and potential murder! After all, he was the last person to see her alive…

And yeah, do let me know what you think of the video clips. I saved them at a relatively low quality setting in order to keep the space down. They’re still roughly 4MB apiece, but if you think the quality is too low for them to be enjoyable and would prefer that they be larger, do post a comment to that effect below. I’m not saying that I’ll necessarily follow along, but I do take suggestions and stuff into account. Also, how do you feel about the combination clips — the ones with multiple scenes compiled from a single episode. Do you prefer this format, or would you rather have several shorter clips? And even though you readers of the SC blog have likely already seen it, do comment on the philosophy class clip as well. 🙂

OH! And before I go, I wanted to plug a couple of pages —, which is kind of like an E/N review/commentary blog of sorts, and Warehouse8, a kickass new (well, not that new, really) gaming site. I haven’t included them in the links yet because I’m super anal about those columns on the main page lining up, but yeah. Check ’em out!

Mmm’kay, lates — and apologies for any typos. I’ll correct them when I’m more awake. No extensive editing of the core text, though! 😉

-posted by Wes | 6:31 am | Comments (14)
August 18, 2007
At last — Dusty Plastic HELL #6!

Can you believe that the last “true” episode of Dusty Plastic HELL took place way back in 2005?! That’s insane! So, by almost completely arbitrary decree, here is — at long last — Dusty Plastic HELL #6. Before you go getting excited (or apologies if you already read it with high hopes that were cruelly dashed), it’s not the continuation of the ancient and unfinished Krang saga. As mentioned previously, I’m probably going to end up reshooting that one with real backgrounds, as using the Batcave for this one truly did save me quite a bit of time. Instead, here’s a comic explaining why future Transformers comics will likely take place in the Batcave and the generic abandoned factory that serves as a generic hideout for Batman’s manifold foes. (Unlike many toy lines that required you to buy playsets for both the heroes’ and the villains’ respective headquarters, the Batcave playset actually includes both — along with Wayne Manor to boot. Much appreciated, Kenner!)

This just in: my laptop just rebooted for no apparent reason, but I didn’t lose any of the above paragraph because WordPress had apparently autosaved my draft. Once again, WordPress gets my recommendation and appreciation for sparing me a great deal of frustration. Accept no imitation(s). Hurray for initially unintentional and then drawn-out rhyming. (more…)

-posted by Wes | 2:22 pm | Comments (5)
August 11, 2007
A Crayon Haiku #66!

Yep — just a quick little something to tide y’all over until the next update. 🙂 Contrary to what I wrote last time, though, the next update (which may go up as soon as tomorrow or Monday) will likely not be an article, as I’ve gone back to experimenting with some of the more ancient toy comic techniques that I used to employ on the site. See, during one particular break when I worked at the bookstore, I picked up a Batcave playset at Toys ‘R’ Us on clearance for $13 in the hopes of someday using it as a backdrop for Scary-Crayon toy comics, and now — after I spent a couple of hours the other night assembling the blasted thing — that time is almost upon us! Granted, using “real” backdrops isn’t as technically impressive or attractive as the screencap backgrounds I’ve inserted more recently, but doing comics this way should save me quite a bit of time with them… which means I should be able to post more of them! These next two will pretty much be test runs, but then after that it might be time for Krang to finally make his long-awaited return to the site. I actually already photographed that comic with a standard white background, but since then I’ve gotten better with that so I’m not even sure I’d want to keep those shots if I wanted to do it the other way. Anyway, WE SHALL SEE!

Regarding today’s haiku, feel free to post your guesses in the comments — though I don’t imagine anyone will have a hard time with this one. It’s so obvious, especially if you’ve seen the live action film! I really do like the sculpt on this guy… I may have to go back to Dollar Tree and pick up a few more of them for potential painting projects. Speaking of which, do y’all have any action figure customizing and/or painting tips for me? I’ve found information regarding the basics — I’m mostly interested in how cheap I can make things. Frex, I’ve heard that Testors and Tamiya acrylic paints are excellent, but they’re $2.50 per small bottle. Not backbreakingly expensive, mind you, but Michaels own acrylic paints are $0.50 for a bottle two times the size of the smaller ones. So if I could get by with the cheaper stuff, I’d definitely use it! Considering that the T-Rex guys are only a buck each, I may get at least one more of them and some of the Michaels paints and test them out on it. Yeah, I’d be blowing $1.50 (I’d only need like three colors) if it doesn’t work out, but if it turns out okay I can use the same paints on my more involved knockoff Transformers painting projects. 🙂

All for now, then — ’till next time, minna-san! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 8:40 pm | Comments (5)
August 7, 2007
Face Flippin’ Chris Benoit!

I know, I know, I always say this — but again, apologies for the lengthy period in between Scary-Crayon updates. I always say this too, but I do have a bunch of planned content for the site, so hopefully I’ll have more content up here in the near future! I still want to get the Shanghai article done at some point, but I’ve also got a planned featurette on “Boy Meets World”, a retrospective concerning this year’s Otakon anime convention, and tons of reviews of knockoff Transformers toys. Seriously on that last one — I went insane last week and spent nearly $80 on the things — so the only way I can even remotely justify that is by using them as review fodder for the site. In fact, although I’ll probably lump multiple figures into the subsequent pieces, the very next SC article will probably focus exclusively on bootleg Megatron. But more about that when the time comes.

Today’s feature is another toy review — this one of Face Flippin’ Fighters Chris Benoit. I hope that it doesn’t net me a bevy of hate mail and angry comments, as I genuinely did enjoy Chris Benoit’s matches and respect him as a performer. I was genuinely (if only momentarily) saddened when I heard the news about his death. But I admit that I was also genuinely amused once I recalled that, in addition to being a gifted wrestler in real life, he was also a psychotic and brutal bastard on television. So let’s not pretend that I’m super sick for some of the comments that I make in this article — if Anthony Hopkins murdered his wife and ate her liver, you know damned well you’d have something sarcastic to say as well. 😛

All for now then, minna-san. See you next time — which will hopefully be sooner than later! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 12:14 am | Comments (9)
July 11, 2007
Michael Bay’s Transformers reviewed!

So after an unintentional Scary-Crayon hiatus (sorry!), here’s our review of Transformers. I went to see the film on opening day and started writing the middle paragraphs on the fourth, but then I took a break from it and when I came back I just didn’t really feel like saying a whole lot more about this crappy film even though I could’ve gone on for at least four or five more paragraphs. I honestly don’t see how people are going back to see it second and third times (well, aside from the lowered expectations and/or idiots explanation), because the more I think about it the less sense it makes and the angrier it makes me. This really is one of those films that you’d have to turn off your brain (or just not have one) to enjoy, but since I’m pretty much incapable of that I despised it thoroughly.

I suppose the movie fares a little better if one doesn’t think of it as a Transformers film or doesn’t approach it from that angle, as it’s probably a little less offensive if you think of it as a mindless summer action flick. But I came to see Autobots and Decepticons and Optimus Prime and Megatron, goddamnit, and the little of them that I got was just insulting. I wasn’t really bothered by their movie appearances — though I naturally prefer the G1 (or even Armada and Energon, in certain cases) designs — it was more the bullshit “story” that didn’t even focus on the Transformers that irked me. Certain scenes felt like they were written purely for the sake of working in some puerile UPN-quality joke (“You eyein’ my piece, 50-cent?!”) that wouldn’t be funny even with canned laughter playing along with it. But I’ve said enough about that.

Humans need not be sitcom rejects.

Anyway, after I finished watching the movie I picked up the Shockblast Unleashed volume of Transformers: Energon from the Walmart $5 bin in order to get something resembling a Transformers fix from the day’s events. It’s potentially even more confusing and less interesting than the movie itself — it’s basically Autobots and Decepticons running around corners and throwing out an endless progression of technobabble while combining with each other ad nauseam as events become increasingly more complex — but it does prioritize the Transformers’ exploits above any largely unrelated crap happening on Earth. It’s no G1, though.

Suck on this, Megatron!

So if there’s anything positive to be said about the movie, it’s that it’s (yes, both of those are grammatically correct) ushered in an influx of new Transformers merchandise and the reemergence of products related to the older franchises. I found this at Dollar Tree the other day — and while it’s arguably a bit overpriced for a single Chupa-Chups lollipop (I imagine you can get a whole bag of ’em for like $2), at least now I can clip Megatron to one of my belt loops or something for bonus points at various conventions. I haven’t been quite as interested in the actual movie merch, but the upcoming Target-exclusive G1 redecos of the movie figures may warrant a look. The Fast Action Battlers seem like huge wastes of shelf space, though — unless you were buying for like 2-year-olds who probably shouldn’t have watched Bay’s Transformers anyway, it just doesn’t make sense to get them when the cooler deluxe versions cost the same price. I guess I could see one going with them over the characters that only have voyager counterparts, though.

Seeya next time, minna-san. 🙂

P.S. Don’t miss the Prime/Megatron CSS rollover in the article!

-posted by Wes | 7:39 pm | Comments (22)
June 21, 2007
Toys from Shanghai!

Gashapon figurines rule.

It took me a while, but the discussion and review of the toys that I picked up while in Shanghai is finally online. Enjoy! And if you know anything more about any of the products or series mentioned in the article (frex, if you’re familiar with “Air Gear”, know where to find cheap Kamen Rider figures online, watched tons of Ultraman in your youth, etc.), do feel free to share. Also feel free to share any camera techniques you have! I tried a little something different for this one — shooting against a white felt background and upping the camera’s exposure to +1.7 EV (bright!) — so let me know if you’re experienced with shooting figures for toy comics or eBay auctions and have any helpful suggestions.

I think I more/less said everything that I wanted to say in the article, but I didn’t go into great detail concerning the prices of toys in Shanghai compared to those in the United States. You can do some comparisons for yourself by looking at the included Toys ‘R’ Us advertisement, but note that (for example) the 20th anniversary Optimus Prime is ¥698 after the Star Card discount. Normally it’s ¥828, making the toy roughly $90 on sale and $110 at regular price. Compare that to here, where even on you can get Optimus for $69.99 — and you can find him for significantly less than that on eBay. Just pointing out that, in many cases, I didn’t find the assumption that everything is cheaper in China to be true. Yes, bootleg shit was cheaper — much cheaper — but bootleg shit is pretty cheap everywhere. As far as the real deal stuff goes, though, products in China were largely more expensive.

All for now — hopefully I’ll have another feature for you (which may or may not be the lengthier discussion of my experiences in Shanghai; we’ll see) before we’re too far into July. Given my present rate of posting, though, I’d be shocked if I got something up before the end of June. 🙁 Anyway, ja!

-posted by Wes | 9:12 pm | Comments (9)
June 5, 2007
The 100th Hot Flash!

Indeed — with today’s Hot Flash, the official number of Hot Flashes finally comes to 100. For those of you who’ve been wondering what happened to me these past couple of weeks, I was away on a short trip overseas to Shanghai, China, which will likely be the focus of several Scary-Crayon features in the coming weeks. Today’s comic provides a sampling of my adventures on Nanjing Road, which I read was the definitive place to visit for shopping in Shanghai. I had no idea how far “shopping” went, however, as — in addition to the numerous people trying to sell me bootleg Rolex watches, Louis Vuitton handbags, Nike sneakers, and pirated DVDs — I was approached by roughly fifty people (you read that right, 5-0) trying to entice me into hidden massage parlors/brothels. I have the surprised “wtf” thought here because that was my reaction to the first encounter (and all such subsequent encounters, really, but still), but the “little hole” dude was actually the very last guy I met on Nanjing Road. In fact, when I angrily informed him that I was in the process of trying to hail a cab and get the hell away from that street, he showed me the proper place to stand in order to attract their attention and wished me a good night. Weird.

Anyway, the sex merchants all followed more or less the same script: first they’d offer a massage and, failing that, they’d proceed to push sex. They didn’t lower their voices or imply that their offer was anything but on the up-and-up in the least. When I met the “little hole” man, I was standing on a street corner with a pedestrian woman standing directly to my left (the merchant was on the right), and I looked right over at her when he said it and jerked a thumb in his direction as if to say, “Can you believe this dude?!” Seeing as how she just kind of smiled and nodded, I don’t think she understood him at all, which could be why the brothel spokespeople don’t feel the need to whisper when soliciting foreigners. You can say whatever you want when nobody understands what you’re saying!

What was even more amazing than the frankness and sheer number of the people who approached me, though, was their persistence. Sharpie Wes and the brothel merchant look pretty stationary because I’m lazy with the comics, but keep in mind that we were moving the entire time — these people would pretty much run up to me and walk with me until I finally convinced them that I had no interest in entering their hidden dens of corruption through my consistent and repeated refusals. But should it really have been so difficult for them to believe that a person would be uninterested in having sex with some random woman in a hidden location in a country where said person can’t even order a soda at McDonald’s because he can’t freaking read the menu?

I mean, all of the merchants seemed to be under the impression that foreigners will buy anything if the price is low enough, whether they want it or not (and admittedly I did buy several things I did not want while on Nanjing Road, though less because of the low prices than because in some cases buying something seemed like the only way to get people to LEAVE ME THE BLOODY HELL ALONE), but buying sex just isn’t the same buying as a bootleg Spider-Man 3 DVD. And while I can’t imagine ever buying sex ever, let alone under the circumstances of Nanjing Road, I suppose that they wouldn’t have been so bloody persistent and attacked in such hordes if all travelers were as unreceptive as myself. That thought both frightens and disgusts me.

Anyway, all for now — see you next time. 🙂

P.S. Is there anything about the trip that you’d be particularly interested in reading about in article format? Perhaps a more thorough discussion of my day on Nanjing Road? A roundup of all of the toys that I was able to procure? Or something else? Do let us know.

-posted by Wes | 10:58 am | Comments (12)
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