Surfing the Sea

Established 1995

Seattle vs. Vancouver (2010) — Mar 26, 2017

Seattle vs. Vancouver (2010)

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Seattle and Vancouver in the Sky

The story that started it all.

After my chance encounter with Canada via a certain film, I grew increasingly attracted to it, until one day it would take over my previous romance with America completely. At this point, however, I was still working on the American Boys series, as I’d planned the (then) new Canadian Boys series to commence that coming January.

From that tiny seed, a tree of an idea began to sprout and grow. The first leaf grew with the creation of a new character for the new series by the name of Vancouver Burnaby. I chose Vancouver as the starting point because it is the closest major city directly across the border from Seattle, which was then my most favorite place not just in America, but the world. (My favorite places change all the time! 😁)

I had this preconception that Seattle and the newly-created Vancouver would have a rivalry, so this formed the backbone of an idea for a short story, appropriately named Seattle vs. Vancouver. Conceived during a work placement at a film studio in north London, this provided me with the perfect opportunity to begin honing my scriptwriting skills; today, the original script, as well as other production items such as paper puppets, are still with me even seven years later! (A digitized version of the script can be viewed on my personal Google Drive.)

A rundown of the story:

  1. Seattle bumps into Vancouver at the park, wondering why he’s here in the city of America.
  2. Vancouver introduces himself to Seattle.
  3. Seattle and Vancouver have a bit of a banter about their similarities and differences.
  4. Seattle infuriates Vancouver by calling him “lazy”, who retaliates by calling Seattle “stupid”.
  5. Seattle and Vancouver trade insults about both their countries, with Vancouver mentioning the Canadian hockey team defeating the Americans in the then-recent Winter Olympics (which, incidentally, happened to be in Vancouver).
  6. Seattle puts this down to Canada being in perpetual winter, while Vancouver reminds him that he’s the Rainy City. Seattle says he’s not THAT rainy, and Vancouver remembers he’s just as rainy, giving his scalp a good, relieving scratch.
  7. Seattle remarks that this seems all “America-and-Canada” to him, piquing Vancouver’s burning desire to fight and see who’s the better of the two of them.

SPOILER:

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London is Always Open — Mar 22, 2017

London is Always Open

In the wake of an attack in Westminster which has killed four people, I just want to remind everybody – whether they read and/or follow my blog or not – that London is open.

We are not afraid.

βœŠπŸ»βœŠπŸΌβœŠπŸ½βœŠπŸΎβœŠπŸΏπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

 

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Rainbow Baltimores (2010) — Mar 19, 2017

Rainbow Baltimores (2010)

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Who is Baltimore? He’s a secondary villain in the American Boys series, second only to Detroit. (See his full character bio here.)

Although Baltimore plays second fiddle (or banjo) to Detroit, he unexpectedly became the star in this little doodle I drew of him – and a few more ‘alternative’ forms, all dressed up in the colors of the rainbow.

The idea for this doodle came to me after I came across a picture of the Japanese robot singing star, Hatsune Miku, whom my sister Melissa was greatly into back when she was going through her (what I call) ‘Japan phase’. In the picture, she was adorned in the colors of the rainbow, together with a fruit or flower of that color. The ‘real’ Miku (in turquoise) seemed confused as to how she cloned herself, let alone in different colors!

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Rainbow Miku
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Rainbow Miku Pixels
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Rainbow Baltimores

With the poses in mind, I drew Baltimore in rainbow outfits, using the Miku version as a reference. I drew a pink version to add to the rainbow, even though pink isn’t technically a color of the rainbow, and the ‘red’ in Miku’s version is more akin to pink due to being based on cherry blossom, or sakura in Japan. For the blue, I split it into the lighter ‘blue’ used in the rainbow, and a darker blue to stand in for indigo. I made both of the blue-shaded Baltimores rather laid back-looking, since blue is traditionally considered a ‘cool’ and ‘relaxing’ color. (You can see below some meanings and connotations of color.)

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Color meanings chart

As with the original Miku version, the ‘real’ Baltimore (in purple) is confused at his differently-colored doppelgangers. Unlike Miku, this is rightly so; he’s a villain, and so it seems his ‘army of clones’ plan… hasn’t exactly turned out as he expected. πŸ˜†

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St. Patrick’s Day 2017 — Mar 17, 2017
The American Boys Super Heroes Squad (2010) — Mar 12, 2017

The American Boys Super Heroes Squad (2010)

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The American people are very well-known for their love of heroes – especially superheroes. They’ve been the creators of so many famous names in the comic book world as Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and of course Captain America. (Although Superman was in fact created with the collaboration of an American and a Canadian, so he’s technically a North American… or he just has dual American/Canadian nationality. 😁)

With this in mind, I decided to make some heroes out of some of the American Boys characters, calling them… the American Boys Super Heroes Squad. (Not very creative, I know… πŸ˜…) Incidentally, they were inspired by the Marvel Super Heroes Squad Show, an annual of which I had at the time. I still have it, but it’s buried deep in a pile of wheelie boxes…

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The Marvel Super Hero Squad Show, the inspiration for the American Boys Super Heroes Squad
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The American Boys Super Heroes Squad Show – Cast (Version 1)

I randomly chose the members of the American Boys Super Heroes Squad from the first 18 characters of the ‘main’ series, who all just happened to be boys. (There are only three girls within the first 18, being Atlanta, Nashville and Philadelphia.) Considering I’d redesigned Detroit for the new year with a grey superhero outfit, despite being a villain, this would fit him perfectly.

Our heroes:

  • Dallas

He aspires to make the city of America a more beautiful place. His powers are based on fire, grass and earth.

 

  • Detroit

Although he was formerly the city’s most wanted, Detroit realized his villainy was doing a lot more harm than good to himself, so he decided to reform and become a superhero for his and everyone’s good. His powers are based on metal – both the steel and musical kind.

  • Houston

Mayor by day, superhero by night, his ultimate wish is to see the city a crime-free, all-American urban utopia. His powers are based on fire, steel, earth, and water.

  • New Orleans

A jazz music lover who is also a secret immortal, since he’s impervious to otherwise fatal injuries. His powers mostly focus on the occult (i.e. psychic, ghost and dark), but grass, fire and water are also used.

  • Seattle

A disgruntled librarian who, tired of the daily grind, wished to become a superhero. Against all common logic, his wish came true. His powers greatly concentrate on water, but grass, ice and even electric is also used.

Together, they are the American Boys Super Heroes Squad, who work hard to help make the city of America great. (Not a reference to a certain President.) πŸ˜€πŸŠ

And the theme tune – lyrics written at the bottom – was meant to evoke Ghostbusters, although ironically New Orleans could be considered a ghost due to his occultist powers and apparent immortality.

There’s also a version drawn by my sister Melissa, where Houston and New Orleans look mysteriously angrier than in my own version:

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The American Boys Super Heroes Squad Show – Cast (Version 2)

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