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July 1, 2013
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Colony DropVulneBot by VulnePro Colony DropVulneBot by VulnePro
>>> Transmission start: Something different, something familiar... aye, still a bot.

Here's a little something I did for the cats from the infamous Colony Drop blog. I was invited by them to do a piece for their second anime zine and here's what I came up with. I like that they have been actually talking about, and supporting, a lot of older classic anime most of the current fandom seems to have forgotten or ignore. Frankly, the creatively bolder visual bravura that those classic works had are what inspired older guys like me to produce this kind of work as well. While there're still certainly good shows or films, here and there, much of the more modern anime utterly lacks the fearless creativity and boldness the classic films and show from the 80s and 90s had. I found Colony Drop producing an actual printed zine, in this time of web and digital, appealing to me so the piece is very much my homage to those old 80s underground dojin (hell I did contribute to some in the 90s for Studio Revolution). I'm old... so I suppose it follows.

DOWNLOAD for a higher resolution image.

You can get the zine here: [link]

Colony Drop blog: [link]

I've been very busy on a lot of damn cool stuff. Stay tuned... >>>
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:iconallanpaz:
AllanPaz Feb 19, 2014  Student Digital Artist
amazing! really nice  design 
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:iconzeonista:
Excellent! I do feel that in recent years mecha anime has been returning to its roots in grand style. Gundam UC, Majestic Prince, Suisei no Gargantia, and (just starting) Buddy Complex are kicking it old school. B-) (Cool) Still need a new transforming motorcycle/car anime that's not aimed at grade schoolers though. =P (Razz)  The old pic is awesome, ansd even has something of the Japanese color palette/pattern to it.
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:iconleseanthomas:
LeSeanThomas Oct 10, 2013  Professional Filmographer
AWESOME!
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:iconmetalformer:
metalformer Sep 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice work you did there. I feel sorry for the doll the mech is crushing (Miku?). And I agree with you: modern anime is tamer compared to the classic works. Seems it has became too mainstream and don't dare to be as gutsy as it used to be. Many moons ago, like around the late 90s I saw the trailer of an anime (which name escaped me) which made me feel the genre didn't have anything good to offer. Thankfully I was wrong and there has been some shows worth watching nowadays but I still miss the late 80s/early 90s shows, specially the OVAs! Those were the best!
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:iconseraphiczero:
Huh. Your robot's a lot smaller than I thought it'd be. Is that the actual size, compared to a PC tower, or is it just like that for this particular illustration?

Pink monochrome. =D
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:iconvulnepro:
VulnePro Aug 4, 2013  Professional Filmographer
That's definitely this illustration. If you mean a FOIL, those would be around 40 to 45 feet or higher in size. There are many smaller guys I do though, called sendai, and they are about 5 feet high or so. It depends on the design.
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:iconrob-cavanna:
:happycry: Gorgeous work, Mike!

Have to agree w/ :iconshinsengumi77: about the state of contemporary anime. Granted I'm not consuming it as feverishly as I used to, but nothing's biting me on the ass, really. On my list are the recent Berserk flicks and the Evangelion remake/s. But, my God, can anything compete w/ the era that produced the likes of Vampire Hunter D, Patlabor, Macross, etc... for sheer volume of brilliance?

I've tried getting into a few modern series but they usually leave me a bit cold and even more nostalgic for the old school stuff.
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:iconvulnepro:
VulnePro Aug 4, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Sorry for the late reply Rob, it's actually been a pretty busy year behind the scenes. 

Yeah, I have to totally agree here, there's just so much that seems lacking in most (not all) modern anime. The modern works you cited I quite dug as well but it's getting harder, and harder to find stuff that wows me anymore, and I want to see inspiring works. Entertainment, in general, is in this weird stunted and creatively empty place right now. When something really cool comes along it REALLY stands out. I imagine the ass economy has continued to have a lot to do with this... and Hollywood continuing to spiral into madness. None the less, there are still cool films, shows, etc every now and then, kinda always is something.

Cheers!
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:iconrob-cavanna:
No worries, Mike. I just moved to new house, so I understand busy just fine. 

Watched one of those Evangelion remakes.... gorgeous, but the ending was baffling as ever. It doesn't really count towards anime, but in terms of animation in general, I was totally blown away by Legend or Korra, and Tron:Uprising. Major major wows. I was like, "OK, so this is where we're at now? Cool!" 

Hollywood may be in a weird stunted place, because the industry has aligned itself towards large budgets and minimal risk, but I can't agree about saying the same for entertainment in general. New fiction (in book form) is still rockin' my socks regularly. And you have to acknowledge this incredible golden age of television. Shows like Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Sherlock, etc... exhibit a level of quality that leaves most modern films in the dust. Like a multi-volume series off books, I dig how much more character development can be achieved in a complete season as opposed to a couple hours of film. 

And don't get me started on video games. IMO, this year's best games balance dramatic performance, narrative, production design, and quality gameplay better than has ever been achieved before. No dearth of creativity and talent in THAT industry! 

All of these other media contrive to mitigate my ambivalence towards the state of modern anime, but I still yearn for the glory days gone by. I feel bad about it. Used to be so into anime, and it was such a constant source of inspiration. I bloody worked it into my college thesis. Now I'm hard pressed to give a damn. Is it just about getting older and more busy? Or do we have higher expectations than we did as kids? I'm certainly less forgiving of Evangelion's flaws, despite the upgraded visuals. It's not OK to make no fuckin' sense anymore. Not in this post Joss Whedon age. 

As for film, I've got high hopes for Elysium. That shit was made for dudes like us. Some of my favorite artists here on DA had a hand in that sweetness. 


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:iconvulnepro:
VulnePro Aug 4, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Just moved eh, I hear you on that. Last time I moved it gobbled up a ton of time.

Yeah, I should have really qualified I was speaking more of theatrical film regarding entertainment (being I was noting Hollywood) overall. Indeed I'm quite aware of the television you cited. I would agree we're seeing a lot more quality work on TV than in film, however those kind of shows still don't ultimately dominate the airwaves in numbers but they DO pull in the viewing numbers which is what matters most. I agree the success of these kind of shows is a promising trend; far more creativity on the TVs  than in theaters without question. Books, I almost always leave out of this because the written word doesn't require the absurdly ridiculous budgets a Hollywood film does or risk, in that sense. Authors face the risk of being rejected by publishers of course but they have more options to self publish now than ever and a book doesn't require a huge budget, just imagination and good storytelling/writing. Books have, generally, always been more adventurous by their nature.

Games, I can't quite find myself feeling the same over though, the game industry is sliding into its own little safe zone as well with much of it's output. I've really kinda had enough FPS games, even when they're good, it's just getting old for me. That's my opinion, certainly, though I'm seeing a lot of game creators and concept artists echo this sentiment. As with Hollywood film, game budgets have been getting more and more massive. It's easier to pump out another Call of Duty style game they know will sell, or force those kind of game play styles into other existing franchises (recent Halo, Gears of War) than take a risk on something a bit bolder. None the less bold and impressive games do still happen. Of course not all games are FPS but much of the West's output (hell Japan to a degree as well) involves shooting something or exploding something (which, sure, can be fun depending on the game), rinse repeat, etc.

To be fair certainly some phenomenal games happen and impress the hell out of me, such as; The Mass Effect series, Typically works by Rockstar (GTA of course), Unique throwback (actual reals cyberpunk) games like Deus Ex Human Revolution (don't dislike all FPS but the genre is pushing it), personally I quite enjoyed the Uncharted games though a lot of people seem to hate the more scripted nature, and Last of Us was just utterly masterful brilliant and one of the best games I've ever played, hands down (that game beyond impressed me and, it's one from this year that I expect is on your list, if not, run, don't walk, buy, and add it to the list). There're many others but, again, I don't see the trends, overall, moving toward an abundance or dominance of these kind of must play brilliant narrative games. There has been far more safe franchise milking and beating tedious gaming cliches to the ground (been feeling like I'm playing the same game types over and over a lot in demos anymore). That said, there's always more junk food than main course in most forms of entertainment which is what makes the good material shine all the more. The cream always rises to the top.

 Though I have played a lot of games I, generally, would rather be creating something of my own than consuming time on someone else's game I.P. (though I certainly have put enough time into the kinds of games I cited). So, ultimately, my view is purely subjective opinion here but it's kinda hard not to notice that Western devs can't seem to stop making them some FPS/shooty themed games (and I'm not at issue with violence in games but, again, it's a trend that's stretching itself a lot now as to creatively approaching it. Very few games pull of the emotional involvement something like Last of Us did) and a lot of Japanese games are sliding into their own cliche zones as well. I suppose, ultimately, my barometer is, just let the game be fun, beyond that brilliance in narrative is a massive cherry on top I don't always expect to get.

Yes, I hope Elysium is good, I think Blomkamp could, potentially, have an incredibly memorable body of work ahead of him. Time will tell but I think the indications are there. Though I hadn't cited it Pacific Rim was just an absurd mountain of fun and another anomaly of an original franchise occurring in a climate where theatrical films have run like hell away from such risk.

I really don't want to come across down on entertainment utterly, I'm not, I can't help but enjoy works that are good (I loooooves me some Game of Thrones, can't tell you enough. If anything TKP was always meant to be more that kinda tone than re-hashing anime mecha troupes). I think what I see is a symptom of a bigger problem the public at large is finally getting a nasty dose of overtly; the horrid state of the global economy due to how absurdly out of control globalist corporate culture has gotten. The insatiable quest for profit has put one hell of a drag on everything. The constant growth model is simply insane and it's going to eventually collapse in a big ugly mess. Ultimately this kind of climate just makes us want to work even harder to remain true to our own creative values and independence.

Often it's independently fierce creators and their works that turn my head most because they come from a sincerely genuine creatively unrestrained place. This can, at times happen in big budget Hollywood productions as well though it's far more rare. Pacific Rim was a massively budgeted Hollywood "blockbuster" and you could just feel the creative sincerity pouring out of every frame of that film. The film wasn't cynical in any way, it was a genuine love letter to the genres Del Toro, and his creative crew, grew up adoring, it was blazing obvious in that sincerity and awesome for it. The film wasn't concerned about forcing entertainment through formula, it just focused on actually genuinely entertaining and giving you a really fun ride. That makes all the difference and it's often missing in modern film, it's what I meant (in my previous reply) by a "creatively empty place" regarding films, shows, games, etc. You can often tell when a film just oozes cynical paint by numbers construction and it drags the whole deck of cards down. If there's anything I can be certain of, I'll never approach the act of creation with cynicism, I endlessly adore the creative impulse and, hope, this comes out in what I do.

Art will always be subjective, as you know, and driven by personal perspective and (hopefully) a sincere quest for growth and understanding through expression. Commerce tends to muck the process up but it can yield some worthwhile dialogue from creator to audience.  It's always a discussion worth having :)

Best!
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