A random thing from long ago

I’ve been meaning to scan these things I dug up a while ago.

Back when I was in, oh, eighth grade or so (ohgodthatwastwentyyearsagodon’tthinkaboutit), I had a mad idea to create a bunch of collector’s cards, creatively entitled “Mutants.” This was in 1988 or ’89, so one might think this was somehow inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — and indeed, a few ninja turtles did make their way into the collection — but in fact, that’s not the case. Rather, they were inspired by my favorite game at that particular moment, Blaster Master, whose underground corridors were teeming with mutants. Why not make my own, I figured? And so I did.

Yes, even at this young age, my love of irritating puns and dishwater-flat jokes was in clear evidence. From left: Jason (goalie for the Detroid Un-dead-things), Sir Dentifrice of the Dinner Table (battling what appears to be a Cavity Creep with a toothbrush and a shield emblazoned with his motto, “For Sooth For Tooth”), and Rambozo. Who for some reason looks rather more like Ronald McDonald, but give young me a break. He was only 13.

if you’ve ever wondered where the downward spiral of my existence began, it may well have been here! Anyway, I have about 50 of these. I’ll probably scan them in from time to time. You know, when I feel the need to embarrass myself.

Meanwhile, the latest episode of Retronauts is live. I would say it’s very exciting, but you’ve heard my voice; I’m as sleepy and not-particularly-sonorous as ever. Also, there’s ninja erotica (fortunately of the non-turtle variety) over on my 1UP blog. I get paid for this stuff, guys.

33 thoughts on “A random thing from long ago

  1. Yes and yes. I was pretty decent at a young age because I drew a lot. I’m sure I’d be excellent by now if I drew as much as I did back then.

  2. I love Rambozo. I keep thinking that his arrows are tipped with clown noses that squeak when they hit their mark. And then explode.

  3. those are pretty neat. i used to draw baseball cards when i was in middle school. my friend and i had a plan to start a company selling handmade baseball cards with my illustrations on the front and stats he collected on the back. we made them to order. business wasn’t that great though. i can vaguely remember a ken griffey jr. and maybe a roger clemens. i think we made all of 10 bucks, not accounting for labor costs :P

  4. Sleep and non-sonorous? I think you sound like a sleepy penguin on the air. Maybe that’s because your omnipresent coat and scarf makes me think of a penguin. A fussy penguin. :)

  5. Of course, my first thought is Mutant League Hockey. Oh, for the golden days of sports games.

  6. Is Rambozo holding some sort of machine gun flashlight amalgamation? And to think I thought my alarm clock flashlight AM/FM radio was cool way back when.

    I’m a fan.

  7. No, it’s just supposed to be a normal M-16. I understood the trigger/handle/butt/cartridge aspects of guns but was kind of nebulous on what the actual body and barrel should look like. Also, squeaky Nerf arrows would be funny, but I think I like the idea of him being equipped with real gear. The only thing that could be scarier than a clown is an armed clown.

    “A fussy penguin.”


  8. Nice! That looks like something I would have done in my younger days – ambitious, sincere, and slightly embarrassing to look back upon. Except mine would have lacked anything anybody could see as ‘potential.’ Unlike yours.

  9. Derailment but what’s the music selection spliced into Retronauts this week? Some of it was really, really good.

  10. At least you can take some entertainment value from these now. If anyone had preserved the fanfiction I attempted to write around that age I would have to end myself in shame.

  11. You know, most of my graph paper ended up looking quite similar. Perhaps that’s why I work as an artist and not a mathematician.

    Sir Dentifrice is my new hero.

  12. Well that’s good, new Retronauts being up and all, now I can go to the gym and do the whole delicious irony thing. Delicious. And someone should have submitted to the Nintendo Power Mega Man character contest.

  13. “For Sooth, For Tooth!”
    Man, that just might possibly be even more awesome than Toastipher.
    As a fellow lingua-nerd, I must applaud you once again.

  14. Are those McDonald’s logos on Rambozo? Those are awesome though. I can’t wait to see more. They remind me a lot of the character drawings that my brother did as a teenager in the late 80s for his game idea Skater Harry’s Punch Out! Picture Hulk Hogan on a skateboard with the haircut that all the skaters had back then and you have a pretty good idea of the drawing of the title character. Sadly, the only other characters I can remember are Ethiopia Jim(an adult version of South Park’s Starvin Marvin basically) and George Lucas.

  15. I think I used graph paper because I started drawing these in math class. I guess that could explain why I suck at math now.

    The music in Retronauts came from a variety of Taito games — G Darius, Elevator Action Returns, and of course the Lufia overworld theme right at Shane’s mention of it.

  16. I like how Jason – with his weeping bullet hole in the head – still tends goal, by God.

    Josh, I like how your brother was able to continue Punch Out’s use of horrible stereotypes. Beautiful.

  17. Did you ever own any Garbage Pail Kids?

    Regarding your art: I found that Adobo Abobo again on my old computer. You were telling me about some drawing idea you had with those that I thought was totally insane — but you should still do it. Those projects make life better, even if initially they make no sense. (see also: my recordings which hint at music)

  18. Sir Dentricle is actually fighting cavities at the dinner table!! I just recognized that big black guy as a cavity! You have been (good) crazy for a long time.

  19. Are you sure Jason was inspired by Blaster Master and not Ninja Gaiden?

    Also, it means a lot to me you didn’t use the name “Ronald” because that wuold be copywrite infringement, but he’s emblazoned with M’s.

  20. I think Jason was based on a movie, or something? It’s been a while.

    And yes, my 13-year-old self was very concerned about copyright issues, especially those involving hand-drawn playing cards created as a way to kill time in math class.

  21. hey jeremy were you a dead kennedys fan by any chance? “gi joe in the cereal bowl, grey shrapnel flavored chewing gum, mass-murder ain’t just painless now we’ve made it cute!”

  22. those of course being lyrics from “rambozo the clown” from bedtime for democracy

  23. “hey jeremy were you a dead kennedys fan by any chance?” Greatest mental image ever.

  24. “I think I used graph paper because I started drawing these in math class. I guess that could explain why I suck at math now.” I never drew in math class. That probably explains why I’m a computer programmer now.

  25. I drew a Resident Evil/ResEdit hybrid in math class. cicns leaping through windows and stuff. That probably explains something.

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