Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vintage Micro Minis

    Reminiscent of the little metal "pedal cars" I happily scooted around the sidewalks of my youth, vintage micro cars retain their unique charm even if their utility (and, let's be honest, safety) can sometimes be questionable. What they may lack in speed, luxury and roominess, these little (mostly Post-World War II European-made) contraptions certainly make up for it in "take me home I'm yours" cuteness. Much like Disney's ole Herbie, the Love Bug, micro cars (sometimes known as Kei Cars, or keijidōsha, in Japan) have abundant personality most larger mass assembly vehicles are unfortunately deficient in. These little submarine-like minis are marvels of micro-engineering as well as style and form. And yet they just beg for a hug. Can you imagine a race of all micro minis? Like a Hanna-Barbera "wacky race" come to life.

So let's steal a glance in our rear view mirror shall we, at the micro minis of yesteryear. 
Trusted with our lives. These were the things that moved us.
And they can still move us today, even if they themselves remain motionless.  
Photos courtesy of Darin Schnabel / RM Auctions

And what happened when the mini grew up?
General Motor's Chevy badge worked with Segway, Inc. (and later SAIC Motors in China) to develop these electric autonomous operation bubble cars for urban markets in China and Europe:

"Looks like this R2 Unit has a bad motivator"

For those interested in learning more about these and other unique vehicles,  you can visit the fine folks at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. They have the largest collection in the United States and would be happy to see ya. Happy motoring!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Revelations" - 10th Anniversary Retrospective

Tens years have passed. 
But where does time actually go when it passes us by?

This year marks the tenth anniversary of an epic comic book project called "REVELATIONS". The dream child of artist Matt Kresge, with a little of my assistance. We keep threatening to work together again after several years of letting life get in the way. Well, to be honest he's been busy drawing, falling in love, getting married and chasing video game design jobs around North America, such is life inside the industry.   

I lent Matt a hand with the cover design, literally... that's my hand.
Matt is now killing it as Lead Character Artist over at Warner Brothers Games Montreal. Over the years, he has lent his considerable talents to several hugely popular video game titles from Pandemic, Ubisoft and Volition (THQ) as well as even roll-playing games.

But digging through a closet of various old artwork and half-finished projects, I recently rediscovered "Revelations" and was again impressed by the level of creativity and artistic talent on display. Obviously it meant a great deal to Matt to put so much effort into the book. It was created as a proposal for a six-issue series but was never picked up by a publisher. In fact I'm not sure how many publishers even got to see it. At the time we did not have any comic industry or publishing contacts and weren't really sure what to do with it. Perhaps it was ahead of it's time. Maybe it's worth revisiting with a fresh set of more mature eyes. It's time may be yet to come.

So to celebrate the tenth anniversary, I'll take this opportunity to showcase some of Matt's unique character designs from 2003. Even though he's matured as a character designer and grown as a draftsman, his earlier work still illustrates a vibrant imagination at play. It's worth checking out. 

Enter, if you dare, a future world ravaged by centuries of brutal war, where feudal cities now float high above the destruction and the Six Kingdoms battle over a dwindling fuel supply.

Here's a sneak peek at some of Matt's more recent work. And some links to more of his work. Enjoy!