Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

Stellarton Starman: Main Cast (2015) — Jan 29, 2018

Stellarton Starman: Main Cast (2015)


I can have many ideas at one time. Some of them develop further, while many remain as seeds that haven’t yet germinated.

One of those ideas was Stellarton Starman. Conceived as a spacey Saturday morning cartoon in the Canadian Boys universe, it was inspired by all those stories set in outer space I loved to illustrate as a younger child, but ‘modernized’ to fit in with my current focus of art.

As with many in-universe Canadian Boys series, much of the characters are based on those which already exist within the metaverse. In this case, the main characters – as seen above – are based on Stellarton, New Glasgow (from A Nova Scotian Way of Life) and Pictou respectively, but they are given differing designs and personalities so as to not come off as copycat clones.

  • Stellarton Starman

The eponymous hero of the show, Stellarton has the energy and power of all the stars in the sky, hence his name. He fights for peace in the galaxy, usually through non-violent methods – but he does have his laser blaster if things get a little out of hand.

  • New Glasgow Nebula

The ‘villain’ of the show. Although he’s not outright evil, his vanity borders on almost self-indulgence and only being concerned about himself. His flamboyant fashions and equally ostentatious behaviours are a source of much amusement to the citizens of the galaxy, who often can’t take him seriously.

  • Pictou Pluto

Stellarton Starman’s teenage son. Just getting started as a space ranger, he often flies along with his father in his spacecraft so he can learn the basics of being a galaxy pilot. He usually spends time with his mother Port Hawkesbury Hubble as his father is usually away saving the galaxy.

As mentioned before, this idea remains just that – an idea. But the show is still within the Canadian Boys universe, where it’s regular Saturday morning viewing by the kids, and a set of action figures is even playable with.

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver: Splashing Fun! (2018) — Jan 22, 2018

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver: Splashing Fun! (2018)

The first multiple exhibition of 2018 might be a little out of place with the cold temperatures and snowy showers, but it’s never too early to start dreaming of warmer climes and sunny days by the sea.

This was actually spurred on by a (sort of) major update to the game I’m currently creating, Freddy for Action. In the original version of the game, bodies of water, such as the sea, could not be swum in – only stepped into. However, I later decided to add the ability to swim to the game, and also had an idea to allow the player to dress the three playable characters in whatever outfits they want to, which includes swimwear.

This would otherwise go unnoticed by my audience, so I got on to designing some promotional artworks to show off the trio of heroes’ new abilities.

Toronto Lester, Montreal Pierre-Elliott Trudeau & Vancouver Burnaby

The first in the set has the threesome simply wearing pairs of swimming trunks, the colours of which correspond to their usual outfits. Montreal’s trunks are the only ones in more than one colour, since they are based on his usual shirt, which is a patriotic piece.

Toronto Lester, Montreal Pierre-Elliott Trudeau & Vancouver Burnaby

The second has the trio wearing swim vest with their trunks, probably for when they’re feeling a little more modest. I coloured Toronto and Vancouver’s vests a different shade of blue and red from the usual for a little variation. Montreal’s outfit may remind one slightly of 1980s fashion…

Toronto Lester, Montreal Pierre-Elliott Trudeau & Vancouver Burnaby

The finishing touch to the set shows the trio actually out in action – running out of the sea onto the golden sandy shores. Had they gone swimming in January without warm wetsuits, they would have most likely succumbed to hypothermia, but this drawing is ‘set’ in the summertime, meaning it’s perfect weather for a day at the beach.

You may have also noticed Toronto’s chiselled abdominal muscles compared to Montreal’s and Vancouver’s. When he’s not singing or writing songs, he does like to keep fit – in both senses of the word… 😉

(A full list of the clothes and accessories in Freddy for Action can be found at this wiki article.)

Coco (2017): My Thoughts — Jan 19, 2018

Coco (2017): My Thoughts


(Slight spoilers if you haven’t seen the film.)

Film Fact File

Name: Coco

Director: Lee Unkrich

Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt (Balthazar in Despicable Me 3)

Genre: Animation/Musical/Comedy

Year of Release: 2017

Country of Production: United States

Plot Summary

12-year-old Mexican boy Miguel Rivera dreams of becoming a famous musician, but a bad event in his family’s past means that any kind of music is banned in his household. Miguel wants to fight this, and he goes on a journey into the world of the afterlife to meet his ancestors and revive the memories of his great-great-grandmother Coco.

My Star Rating

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star-half:

My Thoughts

Pixar’s on to yet another winner with this beautiful masterpiece taking inspiration from Mexico’s Day of the Dead (or Dia del Los Muertos in Spanish). Making a musical may be new uncharted territory for the animated veterans, but the first strike is lucky for them, with some pretty memorable numbers like “Remember Me” and “Poco Loco”, sung by Miguel’s child voice actor Anthony Gonzalez.

Being of Hispanic heritage myself (albeit not Mexican but Colombian), I’d always wanted to see a representation of the Latin ethnicity in animation beyond Speedy Gonzalez. Pixar granted that wish, and I can now say that Coco will be a trailblazer (quite literally) for Latin representation on both the big and small screen.

Fun Facts

  • This is Pixar’s first musical film.
  • To remain authentic, the cast is predominantly Hispanic.
  • At the beginning of the film, balloons of Woody and Buzz Lightyear of Toy Story frame can be seen.
Three Billboards (2018): My Thoughts — Jan 17, 2018

Three Billboards (2018): My Thoughts


(For this year, I’ve devised a new format for future reviews on this blog, starting with today’s. It’s easier to read and allows people to quickly pick up on facts without having to read through many lines of text. Also, slight spoilers ahead if you haven’t yet seen the film, and a trigger warning for rape and racial abuse.)

Film Fact File

Name: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (or simply Three Billboards)

Director: Martin McDonagh

Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell

Genre: Crime/Mystery/Comedy/Drama

Year of Release: 2017

Country of Production: United States Flag of United States of America

Plot Summary

In a small town in rural Missouri, a woman frustrated by the local police department’s incompetence and laziness in solving the cold case of her raped and murdered daughter decides to re-ignite their attention – by advertising it on three large billboards just outside the town.

My Star Rating

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star-half:

My Thoughts

This is the second more ‘mature’ movie I have seen in a cinema after Wind River.

The ‘big crime hitting and shocking a small town in America’ may have been done many times before in the movies, but this Oscar contender sprinkles in a few darkly comedic moments to lighten up the overall rather gloomy mood and put a spin on the formula.

While there’s a few funny moments throughout the film, it touches upon something that has sadly become all too familiar in America, if not around the world; the trivialization of rape by some police forces, police brutality and the torturing of black people for minor matters.

Three Billboards‘ story is somewhat similar to Wind River, as both are concerned with the apparent rape and murder of a young woman, and remaining unsolved; however, in the latter the victim was Native American, while in this film the victim was Caucasian white.

With recent storms brewing in the movie industry, sexual abuse is now at the top of the popular agenda for this year. It’s likely that this will influence many more films for a few good years, but outside of Hollywood, appropriate awareness and prevention is needed for both men and women to prevent another case like the one in this film.

Fun Fact

Ebbing is not a real town in Missouri. I can verify this because I searched for it on Google Maps, but it turned up nothing.

(IAMP) West Meets East (2015) — Jan 15, 2018

(IAMP) West Meets East (2015)


(Continued from last week’s exhibition.)

The city fan characters of the IAmMatthewian Project are a dying breed compared to their newer Project Canada reincarnations. With the exceptions of Calgary, Edmonton and possibly Regina and Saskatoon, many of the characters have had a dramatic makeover in both personality and style.

You could then consider this drawing a sort of last hurrah for the older versions of Victoria and Vancouver before I finally started to draw the newer versions as of 2017. As the title implies, this is a meeting-up of the biggest cities of the western and eastern coast of Canada, and it’s also a great wordplay reversal of the common phrase “East meets West”.

From left to right:

  • Victoria
  • Vancouver
  • Halifax (Henry)
  • Dartmouth (Diana)

(I still drew the older versions of Halifax and Dartmouth as late as 2016, but mostly left the others to the past.)

This drawing is actually a redraw of another artwork I saw online by Misharoyuki on DeviantArt, which is seen below and was obviously re-interpreted into my own artistic style:


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