Author Archive: Jason Week

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#30 The Irrational Numbers

| November 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

I guess this is more like characters 30-32, but I really wanted to nail down the design for these three. They’ll be making an appearance in the current storyline for my webcomic, and it’s always easier to design characters ahead of time.

During the occasional cross-club rumble at the Goldberg Institute for the Furtherance of Childhood Genius, the Math League usually does well.  Members of the League are about as competent at fighting as the rest of the academically focused kids at the institute, but they do have their ringers – The Irrational Numbers. Johann, Miranda and Douglas are basically human calculators — in fact, a computer has yet to be invented that can outpace them doing most calculations. Before a rumble, the rest of the league winds them up into a state of frenzy by bombarding them with series after series of nearly impossible problems. Nearly crazed at this point, the Numbers see the world as a string of equations to be solved and probabilities to be judged. You can see how this would help in a fight…

Well, that’s it for me. Check out my stuff if you like – I park my comic at duncepress.com, and it updates every Thursday. If you’re wondering what it’s about, here’s the elevator pitch: A Genre-Bending Goonies with Child Geniuses. Now I feel dirty.

#29 The Damnable Drunkard

| November 29, 2010 | 1 Comment

Daryl Plotzman used to be a devoted family man, a reliable delivery truck driver for a dairy, and an all around classy guy…That is, until he (rather stupidly) drank a can of beer he found in the wreckage of a UFO that crashed in the cornfield behind his house. Now, when he consumes enough alcohol, he becomes The Damnable Drunk – a nigh invulnerable, super-strong tank of a super-hero.

Unfortunately, he’s been called upon to save the world so many times that he’s become a raging alcoholic. He’s alienated his family, friends, co-workers and other super-heroes…and yet — every time he tries to dry out, another alien civilazation invades or super-volcano explodes, forcing him to make yet another trip to the liquor store for the sake of humanity.

# 28 The Zebu of Ominous Tiding

| November 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Caught in a vicious time rift caused by an accident with the Madhava accelerator in Kerala, India in the year 2310, This poor Zebu is now lost in the timestream. He appears wherever there is a significant event nexus, leading all the way back into recorded history (and likely beyond). Because of this, the Zebu itself has become a symbol of change, importance, and of course – ominous tidings, Especially when appearing in out of place situations – such as the Battle of Waterloo, the death of Genghis Khan, and the birth of the greatest U.S. president – Raven Symone.

#27 The Black Obelisk of Zhakat-Ghoraht

| November 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

In the beginning of man’s ascent, he was beset by all nature of otherworldly horrors clinging to existence after the cataclysms that marked the end of the Eldritch Era. None, however, took as huge a toll in lives and souls as this ever shifting and nameless monster of primeval africa. After countless years of sacrifice and death, a jet black obelisk was constructed out of  the skulls of millions of the monsters victims, and cemented with morter of bone-black and human blood. The monster was finally sealed away, and humanity could begin its rise to prominence on earth. But should the now buried monument ever be discovered, should it ever fall…the consequences would indeed be grim…

#26 Brontosymphonus

| November 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Male* Brontosymphonus is one of the largest terrestrial organisms on the planet Silaxes, weighing about the same as a bull African elephant at standard earth gravity, and nearly 5 times that at native gravity. It communicates via the two large vocal sacs located on either side of its head. In the thick atmosphere of Silaxes, these calls can travel for many dozens of miles — allowing a troop of Brontosymphonus males to spread out over an incredibly wide area while foraging for food.

*Brontosymphonus is actually a sexually trimorphic species, and reproduction is not comparable to earth species. Brontosymphonus Males are labeled as such due to size and observed behavior. Classification will most likely change with updated information.

#25 PJ Jones

| November 25, 2010 | 2 Comments

So far this is the only character I’ve created specifically for my webcomic, Billy the Dunce. There may be one more before the challenge is finished, however.

PJ Jones is the student body president of the Goldberg Institute for the Furtherance of Childhood Genius, and generally excels in matters of Politics and History. He has risen to such a high position among an incredibly competitive and gifted student population through his charismatic demeanor and, some would say – manipulative abilities. It’s hard to pin down any specific details about his personality or life, because PJ is a master of the null statement. In other words, he can speak limitlessly without ever saying anything of substance.

PJ will most like grow up to be President, Dictator, or a Celebrity. Maybe all three.

#24 Mandrilonicus Rex

| November 25, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sorcerer Pope of the primate kingdom. Bow before him.

#23 Yabby Claws

| November 24, 2010 | 2 Comments

On Crustaceaous Eve, Yabby Claws visits the dwellings of all good little Crustaceans – both freshwater and saltwater – bearing gifts of toys and rotten meat. In his sea-sleigh drawn by eight glistening oceanic whitetip sharks (thrasher, flenser, flayer, voracious, vomit, cupiditous, donner party, and toothy), Yabby Claws speeds through the black night waters of earth,  delivering his packages as fast as he can. Because, you know, Octopi.

#22 Captain Sleep-O

| November 23, 2010 | 2 Comments

Captain Sleep-O was once the boy sidekick of Mr. Slide (under the name of Narcolepti-Lad) until one day, in his civilian life, he had a narcoleptic episode and fell down a flight of stairs. This led to more and more such incidents (due to his worsening disorder), and within two years he had developed multiple infections followed by severe gangrene. Amputations followed.

Now, with his new Cybernetic limbs and an improved Sleep Crown – he fights crime as Captain Sleep-O! His bionic limbs give him super-human strength along with a liquid electro-steel hand that can grab criminals just as easily as it allows him to swing around downtown Cypress City. And when he falls asleep, the crown takes over for him – its super-AI driving him to ever higher heights in the Superhero hierarchy.

#21 The Many Short-Term Incarnations of Adolf Hitler: First Cat on a Spacewalk

| November 22, 2010 | 0 Comments

The title pretty much says it all.

#20 Back Alley Miracle Man

| November 22, 2010 | 1 Comment

This old man comes from an era where the snake oil salesman could command a crowd — selling enough of his cures to make more money in a day than the average man would make in a month. Sadly, those days are now gone for him. He can only sell his dubious cures to the poor and the desperate, sharing the street with drug dealers and panhandlers. But if he can only save up enough money for a cheap infommercial…

# 19 Penanggalanosaurus

| November 19, 2010 | 2 Comments

Don’t have much of a story for this one – it’s just a dinosaurian variation on a common ghost/vampire archetype from parts of asia. Trying to put a bit of the bite back into dinosaurs, as well. They’ll always be cool, but don’t really frighten very much anymore.

#18 Protest T. Protist

| November 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

Cover Slip Junction was a popular educational children’s program that ran on public television from 1972-1977. Each episode started with an animated intro showing a group of kids clustered around a microscope, and as they looked through the eyepiece the point-of-view would swoop down through the microscope and onto the slide — presumably into the world of Cover Slip Junction.

The cast of characters was comprised of various fancifully designed microscopic organisms, which were portrayed by a mixture of actors in primitive animatronic suits, and puppets.

Protest T. Protest was one of the “Protozoa Pals” – single celled organisms that taught children the alphabet by spelling out words using their letter-shaped organelles. His gimmick was perpetually disagreeing with all the other protozoa, usually in matters regarding spelling and grammar. The image above was taken from the short-lived Marvel comics adaptation from 1980.

#17 Super King Satan

| November 18, 2010 | 2 Comments

Super King Satan is a giant monster hailing from the Zed-ex Beta Nebula. Though he looks terrifying, he’s actually a fierce defender of peace and justice. His persuasive abilities are second to no one in the universe, aided immensely by his two mouths. Unfortunately, due to his size, appearance, and name, Super King Satan rarely gets very far during his missions of peace and enlightenment before accidentally slaughtering untold billions of creatures.

#16 The Sponge Worm

| November 16, 2010 | 1 Comment

Native to the first moon of Abrasax, the Sponge Worm is the ultimate desert survivor. The sponge-like structure at the top of it’s head absorbs any moisture while the worm rests in the early morning and at dusk, while it’s disarmingly goofy appearance allows it to get close enough to its human prey to strike with it skin-flayingly sharp teeth.

This particular worm is at the end of it’s life cycle, shedding the young that have been slowly eating away at it’s insides for the last century.

#15 The Demon Snail

| November 15, 2010 | 2 Comments

Artist’s rendering of a Demon Snail from the fourth moon of the hell-planet, Abrasax. Not exactly the highest ranking member in the arcane caste system that dominates the Abrasax and its moons, they still manage to have a bit of fun decorating their shells with various bits of flair that they loot from the corpses of the many astronauts who meet a grisly end among the hallucinogenic sulphur jets of the fourth moon.

#14 The Pantsless Gadfly

| November 15, 2010 | 1 Comment

Totally coasting on this one — I’ve been doing my characters by choosing descriptive words at random, in this case they were pantsless and gadfly. Take from it what you will. You can tell I’ve been reading Kim Deitch all weekend, though.

#13 Bernerd Carnaby: Psychic Butcher

| November 13, 2010 | 1 Comment

Through his chosen profession as a butcher, Bernerd Carnaby is daily exposed to dozens of animal carcasses ready for production. It is rather unfortunate then, that Bernerd also happens to be psychic. While he cuts, he is constantly hounded by the ectoplasmic, shoggoth-like consciousness that all farmed animals are tied to on the astral plain.

Still, he likes his job, and deals with the shoggoth with the most powerful weapon he possesses – a bilious and vitriolic wit. If he doesn’t make the shoggoth cry at least once a week, he considers himself a failure.

#12 Yai Phet Thi Sam

| November 13, 2010 | 1 Comment

During the superhero boom of the 1980’s, many countries resorted to questionable means in their efforts to build a native team form national defense – Thailand being no exception. Like many nations, they turned to a marginalized population – transvestites and transexuals – hoping to keep the program secret and free from intervention by human rights groups.

Yai Phet Thi Sam is a Class B Strong-Wall super, created by injection with gamma spliced DNA and subsequent controlled internal Alpha Decay immersion. She displays many of the powers traditionally associated with Wall heroes (Super-Strength, Super-Density, Language Entropy) with an added ability to generate and control a deadly radioactive field tethered to her midsection.

Like all of the Thai “ladyboy” heroes, Yai Phet Thi Sam continues to dress and act according to her pre-powered gender identity. Who would stop her, anyway?

note: apologies if I butchered her name, or if it’s completely nonsensical. There isn’t a ton of time to do research for these characters.

#11 Tophat Storkington

| November 12, 2010 | 1 Comment

Coasting a bit on this one – need to charge up my batteries for the second third…

Tophat is just an ordinary stork with a bit of extra verve because of his jaunty little top hat and bow tie.

The other storks put up with his antics okay – he’s a pretty decent tap dancer.

#10 Annie

| November 11, 2010 | 0 Comments

In life, Annie was a devout (as much as is possible) Unitarian Universalist. She was tolerant, kind, and tried her hardest to leave the world a better place than when she entered it.

Well, turns out that the Being running things in this reality is as small-minded, petty and needy as you’d assume from all the ancient stories that Annie herself had interpreted as metaphor. Now she’s forced to do penance in the form of haunting the living who have, as yet, to embrace the true nature of god. When her candle is lit, she takes corporeal form and passes on the information she missed out on while alive.

Of course, she’s none too happy about how things have turned out, and makes her opinions known (loudly) to the god who’s always looking over her shoulder as she does her job.

#9 The Spotted Toad

| November 10, 2010 | 3 Comments

During WWII, Dick Braithwaite was known as The Alpha Combatant – the ultimate American soldier, created by the most advance medical science of the day.

Now, in 2010, the 90 year old Braithwaite is an absurdly senile old man living in a nursing home. That is, until he is outfitted with the Omega Suit by the U.S. Government. The Omega suit feeds off of Braithwaite’s (possibly super enhanced) senility, using it to bend, break, and subvert the laws of physics – limited only by the creativity and will of the wearer. The other up-side? While using the suit, Dick is not only strong and invulnerable, he also loses his dementia.

Aside from its senility-powered abilities, The original Omega Suit is equipped with a titanium filled mitt that when activated can be used as a malleable metal hand.

#8 The Time Tumor

| November 8, 2010 | 2 Comments

Once a fairly normal brain tumor, life began to change for the Time Tumor when it achieved a crude sentience by accidentaly “hacking” into the the brain of it’s victim. This dim awareness manifested itself as a deep malevolance for it’s host, and caused the accelerated death of the young physicist it inhabited.

Unfortunately, this altered the time stream so that the Grand Unified Theory would not be discovered in time for the advances in technology brought on by this achievement to save humanity from self-destruction.

Now, resurrected by the Univeral Consciousness, the Time Tumor is granted full sentience and sent through time to fix the broken time stream by selectively “pruning” historical figures who held back the advances in science and philosophy necessary to discover the Grand Unified Theory.

The Time Tumor hates the penance it’s forced to make, for though it enjoys inhabiting and destroying its hosts — it is still a relentlessly evil entity and has no desire to undo the damage it originally did.

#7 Hosiah the Original Idolater

| November 8, 2010 | 4 Comments

Before showing himself to Moses, Yahweh appeared as burning bush to Hosiah. However, Hosiah had recently uncovered a most pleasing and terrifying idol in the desert. Though the bush cajoled, threatened and pleaded, Hosiah refused to cease his worship of the graven object. In fit of pique, the flaming shrubbery condemned Hosiah to walk the land bearing unspeakably horrible plagues upon all the peoples of the land, though he himself would remain on the earth until the ground was rent asunder in the Final Days.

Hosiah didn’t much care, because he really dug that idol.

#6 Ecce Homo by Titian

| November 7, 2010 | 2 Comments

I’m not going to lie to you — this one is a little weird. The reason for this is that before the challenge started, I pulled a bunch of adjectives and nouns that I liked out of the dictionary and assigned them each a number. Before I do a new character, I use a random number generator to pick the adjective and noun that is going to describe that character. Hence, some of these are a tad absurd. So, moving on:

Criminals of Vienna, Beware! Though by day Ecce Homo by Titian is a simple painting hanging on the walls of a museum, but night he uses his extensive knowledge of painting technique to help the VPD hunt down the vicious serial killers of Northeastern Austria. Though his beautiful brunette police contact is often skeptical of his ability to solve crimes using knowledge of chiaroscuro, impasto, and the like – He always gets his man…or lady.

#5 The Nameless Sadhu

| November 5, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Nameless Sadhu wanders the streets of Mumbai, chattering endlessly. No one can be certain why, as Nameless never engages in conversation – but it can be reasonably assumed that this is his chosen path to Moksha, the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

He has been observed to be chattering even while eating, and more miraculously – while sleeping. In recent years, he has attracted many followers who believe him to be communicating directly with the divine. They record his chattering and attempt to transcribe it and give it meaning.

#4 Mia Glazel

| November 4, 2010 | 1 Comment

Mia Estelle Glazel (1898 – 1984) was a major figure in the early history of newspaper comic strips, best know for her comics Life in America and Politics of the Porcine.

She started her career as an assistant to Bud Fisher on the strip Mutt and Jeff, but was quickly hired away by Randolph Hearst as a slap in the face to Fisher after he moved his strip away from King Features. Hearst was quick to recognize Glazel’s enormous talent, and she soon had a strip of her own – Life in America (1923-1930). Hearst forced her to publish it under a male pseudonym (Montrose Mountebank) so that the work would be taken more seriously. It was a very popular strip among the intelligentsia of the time, as its story of two hobos and their experiences in the impoverished underbelly of affluent 1920’s America was not a viewpoint often explored at the time.

Eventually, she chafed under the anonymity of her male pseudonym, and broke from Hearst to form her own syndicate and publish her magnum opus – Politics of the Porcine (1931-1937). Porcine was a scathing re-telling of human history, only transported to a surreal, planet sized pig-sty and told through a cast of nameless, archetypal pig characters. It was a platform for Glazel’s wicked intelligence and monumental understanding of human nature.

It was a phenomenal success, but after 6 years Mia pulled the plug on the strip, suspecting that the public love-affair with her work had more to do with cute pigs than it did with the content of the strip. Shortly after, she left America for France, where she pursued her voracious appetites for both alcohol and younger men. Although she married 7 times in her life (four times to the same man), in 1984 Mia died alone in her Paris apartment. She herself had been quoted many times saying that the only love she ever gave unconditionally was to her own creations, and after that she had nothing left to give. One would also suspect that her towering intellect kept intimacy far away.

#3 Herbert Yamovich: Wangst Eater

| November 4, 2010 | 2 Comments

Been a long day, so just a portrait (and also just under the wire for the day):

Among those in the know, it’s long been common knowledge that at least 15% of all high school janitors are “wangst eaters” (Vampirus Patheticus). It provides a lifestyle of abundance, and can sustain most Wangst Eaters with little to no effort.

Herbert Yamovich, however, is insatiable. He plants break-up notes in lockers, enables parental alcoholism, and isn’t above stealing the occasional bag of candy. The volatile nature of the American teenager ensures that he remains filled to bloating on negative emotional feedback. His aura is positively obese.

His only enemy is Jimmy Kiddo: the Most Well Adjusted Kid in School™.

#2 Franklin Blibble: Fluidic Bombardier

| November 2, 2010 | 8 Comments

In the year 20xx, American chemists stumbled upon a synthetic fluid that was capable of holding consciousness. These Fluidic beings were soon harnessed to machines that could contain them, and be controlled by their hydraulic abilities. Humankind had finally realized the dream of creating life to use for menial labor. But of course, the Fluidics eventually rebelled against their masters.

200 years later, a continuously raging war has reduced both sides to a primitive twentieth-century level of technology.

Franklin is a bombardier in the Fluidic army who chafes in its role as faceless killer. Having spent its growing years near the border with Mexico, it had had contact with many humans – even having secret friends among the enemy ranks. In his heart he believes that the war is pointless, though to admit it would make him guilty of treason. So, he drops his bombs where they do little damage. Franklin’s squad ridicules it mercilessly, thinking it to be an incompetent fool.

#1 Stacey, the Lightly Distressed Damsel

| November 1, 2010 | 12 Comments

Stacey was an ordinary damsel until she was kidnapped and experimented upon by an evil wizard surgeon. Cut-up, soaked in a magical solution of iodine, and stored in jars on a shelf in the wizard’s study, Stacey slowly became little more than a fine paste. Despite her handicap, Stacey has a rich and fulfilling internal life, spending her days in deep contemplation of the greatest questions of human life (and finding answers to quite a few). In fact, she enjoys herself so much that she has refused rescue by no fewer than 15 knights throughout her centuries of jar-bound existence, even though a simple kiss would restore her to her former beauty.

By the way – Hi, I’m Jason. I was stupidly busy last week, so I didn’t get a chance to do an intro.