Mittwoch, 11. Juli 2012

Extra Credits episode 99 chatter

I had the great pleasure of working for the Web Series Extra Credits again. This is so much joy, because it is more about the concepts and fitting imagery than about elaborate drawing. I like jobs, where I have to think. I figured out that my style is not working as well for this as the general style developed by the series makers Dan and Allison. Also its waaaaaay too slow to draw anatomically somewhat probable figurines.

My full pop culture nerd senses tingled, when the topic was announced: The Heros Journey and illustrated by the beautiful Game Journey by thatgamecompany. I obsessively watched playthroughs, especially enjoying this one: Video Part 1. That narrator sounds so awed and sympathetic : )

The Hero's Journey explores the stages a hero walks through in the straightforward “epic” path in many hero-centered narrations. Therefore I had an excuse to single out tons of great epic stories and use them to illustrate James’ text and Dan’s narration thereof. Watch the Video here.

Let my start with an assemblage from some drawings from the Episode. Be very invited to read the more obscure reference links below.

I started out by planning the episode. This way i have an overview on how many images are needed, the pacing and how much non-drawn material and how much dan-standing-and-talking is involved. I strive for balance:

The Faces of THE DAN. Uhhh, so much joy : D

And the Journey drawings... which are not doing justice to the amazing game. But i enjoyed doing them very much.

Some of the references during the episode are a bit obscure. Not too obscure hopefully. I was lucky to have been introduced to them. If you do not know these, maybe it's worth a try : )
Most of the drawings are not by me.

The Monk and the Fish by Dudok de Wit 
He won an Academy Award with another Short story (Father and Daughter) which is such a loving, simple and deep narrative, that it brings me to tears every time. The Monk and the fish is probably the greatest metaphor I know for diving into knowledge without forcing it. Like letting go of the fear to do wrong with anatomy and simply starting to draw people… But this is more about faith, of course.
(referenced) Monk and the Fish:
Father and Daughter:

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: 
Focused strongly on action and insane mechas, it also features great drawings for the commercial break and an surprisingly epic story. It actually asked the question: What IF you actually rescued the world and are responsible for it now and all you know is how to fight? Entertaining.

Besides Zim my most favorite Cartoon-show. It did not work well in Germany, because the narrator sounds bored. It shines a very cynical light on highschools and role stereotypes. I feel smarter just watching this ; ) Amazingly well written. I fangirl about this a bit much, so I cannot really say this with a straight face.

(Brendan and) The Secret of Kells
a stunning animation feature set in the 9th century. The visual style and the soundtrack are beautiful, the characters endearing. It’s quite a risk to use such a different visual style and I am so glad they did. I promise you, after THIS song, you will love the character Aisling and want to know more.

Superjail. Um… this is not a NICE show. Its very wrong. Veeery wrong, but in such a creative way…

Kenshin. Tthis picture really got me into Anime. I wanted to know the story behind it. Kenshin is a fictional story set in the middle of the 19th century. He is one of the last great assassins but vowed not to kill anymore, even though this is basically the only thing he ever learned. I personally enjoyed the OVAs a lot more than the Mangas and the Series, but the Series is way more funny and has episodic stories, semi-bosses, full bosses and so on ; )

The Design of “The player’s character” is from Schmendrick from the Last Unicorn. I wanted to go a different way with this image series, but then my idea did not really work out. So it’s just… Schmendrick doing some reeeeal magic.

The Design of the Ratpiper of Hameln is taken from Violinist of Hamelin. Since that Manga/Anime is not well known, i took away his violin and gave him the pipe. I apologize to all fans. A gigantonormous Violin would have raised more questions than illustrating the point of an usefull "magical" item.

Harald and Maude. Maude has some great life insight. For the point of "romantic love" i also did not just want to show pretty, young people.

When searching for a good image for the epic charger "Leeroy Jenkins" I stumbled upon the original trading card-design. Up until now i did not know that they actually made a card out of this character. Greatness! And A great design for an epic over-confident paladin in full charge-mode ; )

I thank the extra credits crew very much for their support, their amazing ideas and Missus M. M. for the help with all the points where my brain leaked emptiness.

My respect for Allison doing this every week besides regular work deepened even more.


  1. Hey! Nice work on the show - this post makes me realise how much effort went into it, and I'm looking forward to checking out some of you references! Thanks for posting them :)

  2. Ich guck gerade im anderen Fenster die Episode.
    Sind sehr gute Grafiken. Journey kann ich dir sehr empfehlen, wenn du noch nicht zuviel durch Youtube-Videos gesehen hast. Wobei ich finde das auch Bastion das Konzept aus der Extra Credits Serie gut abbildet.

  3. I got so excited when I saw Hamel pop up :D VoH is my favourite but it's so obscure nobody's heard of it! Seeing a reference to it out of nowhere like that really brightened my day.

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