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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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The First 18 American Boys (2010) — Mar 5, 2017

The First 18 American Boys (2010)

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My first creative work of the year 2010 on this blog! πŸ™†πŸ½

Following up from last week’s exhibition, here’s a newer drawing of the first 18 characters from the American Boys series. (I say ‘newer’, even though it’s now seven years old, and it hasn’t been updated since, due to my deep involvement in another series…)

While most of the characters look the same as before, some have had a little bit of a makeover for the new year. Most prominent is Detroit, who previously had only worn a white buttoned shirt and seemingly no pants. This time, however, he’s finally gathered up some decency and decided to wear a superhero costume in shades of gray. (No, that’s not a reference to a certain book which has been turned into two films by far…) Though why he is wearing a superhero costume when he’s the villain is one of those little imaginative quirks I have, which can’t really be explained.

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New York’s outfit, which was previously monochrome, has had a bit of color variety added to it. He now wears light blue trousers and a pair of navy-blue shoes with his brick-red shirt. He still remains as testy as ever, though.

Miami, New Orleans and Philadelphia have also had a change of outfits. In Miami and New Orleans’ case, the colors on their outfits have been swapped around – (navy) blue, lime green and sunshine yellow instead of lime green, sunshine yellow and (azure) blue. I chose to darken the blue for their new outfits, since I didn’t think a lighter blue would go well with those shades of green and yellow when the color palette is rearranged.

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Philadelphia’s azure-blue outfit comprised of a shirt and pants has now turned into what appears to be a navy-blue jumpsuit with short legs. Her “angel wings” stay the same.

The unusual way in which I drew Seattle, Olympia and Las Vegas was due to the very little white space left as I got towards the end of the sequence. Instead of leaving them out (which would only make this the first 15), I decided to draw them making bendy yoga-like poses. With Olympia, this makes a little bit of sense, since he is a health and sport enthusiast. (His name isn’t Olympia for nothing.) Las Vegas, however, is trying not to let his jar of precious rare coins fall and smash into a thousand pieces, which is why he has himself in a rather awkward position…

For a more visual guide to the changes made, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the 2009 and 2010 versions of the gang:

As before, all the profiles for these characters are located at these posts.

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The First 18 American Boys (2009) — Feb 26, 2017

The First 18 American Boys (2009)

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Although I’ve covered much of the creative work I drew/wrote during 2009, there’s still a few works from that year which I overlooked.

One of those works is this drawing of the first 18 characters from the American Boys series, drawn not long after the incident I described here. The rather interesting thing about this drawing was that it was inspired by a drawing made by my sister Melissa of the gang from the Read with Biff & Chip series (then called The Magic Key – see what exactly it is at this post). I obviously updated it with my own characters, my own art style, more colors, and a slightly different layout. I would later reuse this layout in another drawing which fits my current passions more… (You’ll find out soon enough.)

From left to right:

Top row:

  • Washington

Second row:

  • Dallas
  • Chicago
  • Atlanta
  • Detroit
  • New York

Third row:

  • Memphis
  • Houston
  • Nashville
  • Des Moines
  • Miami
  • Boston

Bottom row:

  • Philadelphia
  • New Orleans
  • Denver
  • Seattle
  • Olympia
  • Las Vegas

(Character profiles for all these characters can be found at these posts.)

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American Boys: The 2nd Generation (2009) — Oct 9, 2016

American Boys: The 2nd Generation (2009)

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Last week, I showed off the first ‘generation’ of American Boys characters, including Washington, Dallas and Chicago from the previous exhibition before that one. Towards the end, I talked a little about Nashville and Des Moines, Washington’s assistants on House of America, but as they were barely visible, I decided to leave going through them in detail to this week’s exhibition.

  • Nashville

Washington’s first helper. Resembling a sea admiral in her outfit, she helps him get dressed up smartly to present the show, touching him up and spritzing him with perfume. She is a very imaginative type, and she loves to adapt the cartoons seen on House of America into comic books of her own creation, or acting out her favorite scenes.

  • Des Moines

Washington’s second helper. He usually helps with setting up the stage and props for House of America, but when he doesn’t have a job to do, he likes to annoy and frighten Nashville by blasting his music out loud, pouncing on her, hitting her with Washington’s cane, or pelting her with marbles. He likes to perform tricks to amaze his onlookers and audiences.

  • Miami

A swimming enthusiast. His favorite hangouts are the leisure center or hot springs in winter, and the water amusement park or the beach in summer. He practices techniques such as the butterfly and synchronized swimming, but he will also ride the water flume and go surfing or drive a speedboat. He carries a water pistol to spray people who anger him.

  • Boston

A man with a penchant for dressing formally. He is in fact mentally ill, and he experiences slight body tremors whenever he sits down or stands up. He has a tendency to lose his mind in public places, and he also suffers from an allergy to pollen, sniffing flowers to make him sneeze and make his eyes water. He harbors a craving for sugar, frequently making him sick.

  • Philadelphia

A teenage girl who believes she can fly. She wears a pair of fluffy ‘angel wings’ and she often tries to flap her arms as hard as she can to raise herself into the air, but she usually ends up crashing and crying at being unable to fulfill her dream. She rides on fairground attractions like rollercoasters and flying plane carousels to simulate the feeling of flying in the sky for a short time. She loves to watch birds, imagining that she is a bird herself.

  • New Orleans

A dreamy young adolescent who wishes to commit suicide, but cannot do so as he seems to be an otherworldly being who is immune to death. He has a tiny ‘buddy’ named Denver, who is also some sort of magical entity, and he tries (unsuccessfully) to kill himself in myriad ways, such as falling asleep in the swimming pool so to drown, stepping out into the road in front of a car to get knocked down, or throwing himself down stairs. Despite all this, he never seems to feel any kind of pain or discomfort, for which he attracts criticism.

  • Denver

New Orleans’ little ‘buddy’. He was born out of hatching from a magic egg which New Orleans carried around with him in his pocket. He is so small he can fit inside a teacup or in the palm of a person’s hand. He frequently causes minor accidents like bumping into things, knocking down a tower of bricks or relieving himself in his pants. At night, he sleeps inside his egg by New Orleans’ pillow.

  • Seattle

A librarian. His job involves organizing books by subject into numbered aisles and scanning in book barcodes for borrowers and returns. Easily irritated, he is particularly inflamed by people chattering or laughing out loud in the library, and he deals with these annoyances by squirting the offender or offenders with a good spray of cold tea.

  • Olympia

A park regular. He usually spends time playing about in the children’s playground or splashing about in the fountains, but sometimes he simply relaxes on a bench and watches the world go by. He plays a wide range of sports, like basketball, tennis and swimming in the summer months. He practices a healthy diet.

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