A lot of people complained about Charizard’s headscuplt, but I don’t really understand why. Apparently it doesn’t look enough like Charizard’s head in the official art, but I just can’t see it. It looks pretty great to me!
What I can understand are the complaints about the paint being sloppily applied in places. Charizard’s got a weird indented defect on the end of his nose, and a dark blob on one of his knees. That kind of thing is apparently endemic to D-Arts figures, at least if fellow nerds on the internet are to be believed. The only other D-Arts I’ve owned was Mewtwo, who I sold pretty quickly, but he had a couple of paint blotches and defects too. Obviously I’d prefer Charizard didn’t have those errors, but compared to Mewtwo, I think I got off light here.
Thing is, it’s kind of a cosmic tradeoff, because the actual paint itself is gorgeous. I mean, just stunning, and that’s coming from me after I’ve been spoiled with all sorts of Japanese goodies (if I’d gotten Charizard back when all I had were Transformers, I think my brain might have exploded). I know some people don’t like how thickly applied the paint feels, and fair enough if that’s your opinion, but I personally love it. It has this thick, slightly rough feel to it which suits a figure of a giant orange dragon monster. The blue inside the wings is what really sells me on the paint, though. The blue runs a soft gradient from dark at the edges to light in the centre, and it makes it look way more like digital artwork than a physical toy. I can’t explain it properly; but just look at it in the photos. Dude.
What put me off Mewtwo so much was the sculpt getting in the way of the articulation. Mewtwo looked great, as long as you left him in one pose (that he couldn’t stand unsupported in) but the instant you moved his legs, you were left with a weird slice taken out the side of his torso where they have to fit. I was a little worried that Charizard would suffer similar problems, but thankfully he doesn’t. The sculpt is just great (yes, even the head) and most of the joints blend in seamlessly, especially his legs. The upper arms are a bit more visibly jointed, but the segmented tail looks surprisingly nice. I’d take segments over a flexible wire tail any day. The undersides of where his wings join his back look a bit weird, but from the top they blend in unexpectedly well. His entire head sits on a giant neck-wide ball joint, which is a lot of fun to play around with.
The sculpt only gets in the way of the articulation with his legs, and even then only slightly. You’re never going to get him to cross his legs or make him do the “I need to pee” dance, so if that’s a selling point for you, you’re out of luck. I’d also prefer it if his wings could fold back further at the shoulder joint, and is his tail could raise up further, but I’m not overly bothered. If I had to pick between having that extra movement at the cost of a clunkier sculpt, I’d go with what we’ve already got. Also, his tongue is on a ball joint. You can provide your own KISS/Miley Cyrus jokes.
Charizard also comes with a fireball effect piece, which goes on the giant pokéball-shaped stand he comes with (Charizard himself is stable enough to stand just fine unsupported in basically whatever pose you want). I had to be so judicious in choosing the photos of it for this review. I don’t know if Gigabeetle has Charizard, but I’m pretty sure the fireball alone would be worth the price of admission.
I’ve wanted super-detailed articulated figures of pokémon since I was in primary school. Now all they need to release is Snorlax and I can die happy.
I’ve told this story already; I think on tumblr? But here feels like a good place to reiterate it.
A little while ago, I made the empty threat to Robert that if I went on strike, who would spin the art to make his precious words into comics then? And he just whispered back, without a moment’s hesitation, “Gigabeetle.”
Me: Robert, you’re not supposed to actually answer that! It’s meant to be a trick question to get you into trouble, like your significant other asking which of your friends’ significant others you’d sleep with if you were all single!
I’ve never actually had that question, but sitcoms assure me it has cultural currency.
Anyway, Gigabeetle does photo comics with Kamen Riders; they are possibly the funniest thing you will see on the internet. He’s drawn guest strips for us before, but this is the first time we’ve gotten a Rider comic. I laughed so hard when I saw this. It’s a pretty safe bet, but I hope you did too.
I tried out a new technique again with the word balloons. One day I’ll figure out how I like them looking.
This is one of those rare comics that’s actually true (apart from the Reichstag fire comic part). Not only are people standing at podiums the most boring things to draw, but I ended up having to draw them all the damn time. I’m not even going to bother linking to some archive comics, just click back and they’ll start assaulting you all on their own. It’s entirely Robert’s fault; of course. He cares only for his disgusting words that cover up my beautiful artwork – and we all know that nobody reads comics for the words. But people at podiums giving press conferences are the easiest way to have a person stand around and spew forth information, and when you satirise the news as an entity, you end up running into this particular set of conditions a lot. It just makes sense. But it’s ungodly dull.
So I put the ultimatum to him: no more podiums, or I walk, and then who’d do the art for the comics? He answered Gigabeetle without hesitating. Man, you’re not supposed to answer that question. That’s like when your significant other asks you which of your friends’ significant others you’d most like to sleep with if you were single. That shit’s toxic.
(That question’s never actually happened to me, incidentally. But pop culture assures me it is most definitely “a thing”.)
I also swore no more auditoriums, not out of any artistic integrity, but just from laziness. Have you seen those things? The Congress setting actually ended up being my own idea, and I didn’t realise what I’d done until I was drawing it. I don’t know the specific type of irony it occupies or the Greek myth it thematically emulates, but I know they’re out there.