August 15th, 2010

The Redemption List is something that I mention from time to time but rarely ever explain. It’s my mental (in more ways than one) list of my pictures that I think should’ve been better. Many of these were drawn when I was on the road back from the Art Constipation era that started in 2002, a year so bad that being in a minor car accident that I can still feel in my back was far from the worst thing that happened. If you know me, you know that I rarely like my own work but some of these pictures are just bad. Sure, they’re important because I was mentally working my way out of a hole but the worst thing about these is that they still show up in Google searches. Part of it was because there weren’t that many people drawing some of these characters back when I did the first pictures. It nags the hell out of me and it makes me feel like a ghost who can’t move on due to unfinished business in the material world. So I either redraw the picture and make improvements based on my gripes with the earlier version or I just redraw the character. Here’s a few that I think I’m done with:

Click to see Baroness pic gallery page

The Baroness: The picture that started the Redemption List wasn’t even a finished picture. It was this computer-colored sketch of the Baroness’ VS. screen portrait from when I was trying to make her for the M.U.G.E.N. fighting game. It was just a crappy test but people started linking to it, hotlinking it on message boards and putting it on their fansites without even bothering to link to my site because fansites are classy like that. I didn’t want that to be my main Baroness picture so I drew a 2004 pic that just didn’t seem to work for me. It wasn’t until 2009 that the pose idea got some redemption.

Click to go to gallery page

This case was mostly because I liked the pose I’d drawn him in this 1999 picture and an attempt to draw it years later was botched from eraser burn and other stuff. This 2009 version is one that I’m completely happy with because I was able to get a more aggressive look to his face. You’ll find a lot more art of Radd these days but it’s usually from the PS3/X-Box 360 revival, the more popular Bionic Commando: Reloaded game or some sort of personal re-imagining from the artist. No offense to anyone else but I just felt like I had to rep the version of Radd that made me a fan of the series in the first place.

Click to go to gallery page

This is a case of feeling that I had an odd responsibility to do a much better job of drawing a character that no one else seems to draw. This is Martha, the final boss from the old Combatribes video game by Technos, the same people who made Double Dragon, River City Ransom and Super Dodgeball. Combatribes is one of their more overlooked games. I needed artwork for her because she was going to be in an event on my ScrollBoss site that would require a character profile and a full body picture. Honestly, that first picture sucked. Everything about it was boring including the lightning. Boring lightning in artwork has to be considered some sort of mindcrime. I put it on the Redemption list and figured I’d get back to it some day. Years later, someone e-mailed me about the pic and that stirred up the need for redemption so I made this pic. The whole plan was to keep the picture from being boring. I changed things up quite a bit and gave her the crazy static hair from the pose she strikes in the arcade game right before fighting you in the game and added a slight bird’s-eye-view (but no upskirt action for you!) to give her the grandiose feeling that you’re looking at a final boss. I think I managed not to screw it up this time and, thankfully, the person who e-mailed me about it liked it too.

Here are a few more where either the gallery page explains it all (especially Batgirl) or the explanation just isn’t worth mentioning:

Batgirl from the 1960's TV series Black Manta, member of the Legion of Doom and nemesis of Aquaman. Linda, the Shadow Warriors' bad girl from Technos' arcade game, Double Dragon. 2010 drawing of a Blacktron I Lego minifig.

I still have a few pictures and I’ll try to sneak a few more of those in this year.

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