Monday, April 29, 2013

#15minfanart Roundup - Week 1

We are one week into the #15minfanart challenge and, so far, I have yet to miss a day and (more importantly) I'm still having fun!

As with most things, one of the hardest parts of this challenge was knowing where to start.

I decided to start with Chell, a companion cube, and a turret from Portal  - something fairly straightforward and (I hoped) recognizable.

It was fun adding little details like the bird and the potato, but I wasn't really sure where this project was going...

From the start, it was important that there be some interactivity to this project and suggestions were (and are) more than welcome!

One of the first suggestions was from my pal Z. (@hipsterplease), associate editor for the GeekDad blog, all-around cool guy, and fellow fan of BBC's Being Human and Cartoon Network's Adventure Time.

His suggestion: "BMO & Alex go on a date".

Lesson learned? Crossovers are fun!

Given how much I'd enjoyed drawing the crossover on the previous day, I hadn't planned on going back to "straight" fan art all too soon. However, you can't plan your enthusiasm...and right around starting this project, I got sucked into Bioshock Infinite.

So, of course, I had to draw Elizabeth and the Luteces.

I just had to.

Plus, it seemed like a nice companion/parallel to the Portal doodle from Day 1.

Some days, I knew exactly what I wanted to draw.

For instance, Day 4: Pinky and Pinkie Pie.

This is something I've wanted to draw since Animaniacs became part of the Hub's regular rotation alongside My Little Pony.

I simply could not think of a more perfect friendship waiting to happen.

Other days, inspiration was simply a matter of sheer dumb luck. Stumbling across this tweet...

 ...Led to this.

I am a sucker for meta-fandom.

Somewhere along the way, in dreaming up goofy crossovers, it occurred to me that Snape and Sherlock have a lot in common --  the dark hair, the cello-like voice, the superior attitude and fondness for chemistry... it was fun to imagine how they'd work as lab partners.

...poor Watson.

Having successfully reached Day 7, I wanted something silly and celebratory to close out the week.

For reasons I can't fully explain, Jake's wandering through the Nightosphere with a banana in hand and his earnest inquiries as to "their deal" has been a source of constant entertainment.

Naturally, the Doctor would see it as a sign of a party. "Always bring a banana to a party! Bananas are good!"

A couple of thoughts moving forward:
  • While the challenge was originally set up such that each drawing would take no more than 15 minutes, this is a surprisingly difficult rule to stick to! Some drawings took less time; most took more. Often, I wouldn't notice that time was up - 15 minutes was frequently just enough time to get started! In the spirit of the project, it seems like it should matter less how much time is spent on the drawings, so long as there is a new piece of art each day.
  • Crossovers make this project much more interesting and entertaining for me (and I hope to anyone following it). That said, it also means that I'm burning through fandoms very quickly! A revision to the "no more than twice" rule may be in order... or more suggestions from followers!

Monday, April 22, 2013

15-Minute Fan Art Challenge

Jonathan Coulton recorded a song a week for a year.
Surely I can do a piece of fan art every day for a month...?

The challenge:
  • One new Post-it-sized piece of fan art every day, for 30 days.
  • 15 minutes to draw and ink.
  • No fandom should be represented more than twice.
    (Suggestions for fandoms to include are welcome!)

Follow my day-to-day progress on the Team Stripey Socks twitter or come back here for a weekly round-up and commentary.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Just What the Doctor Ordered

It seems that the Internet and the Bird’s Eye company have declared April 3rd to be “Fish Fingers and Custard Day,” in honor of the 2010 premiere date of the Doctor Who episode “The Eleventh Hour”. What better an opportunity to give it a try?

While there have been lots of great recipes online downplaying the sweet/savory aspect that makes this combination so “weird,” (ex: Alton Brown’s fish fingers and savory custard), for the sake of sheer nerdy authenticity, I wanted to try to get as close as possible to what little Amelia would’ve had in her fridge.

How convenient, then, to have access to a UK-import grocery!

Seeing as how everything was prepackaged, the preparation required was minimal -- Probably all for the best, if you’re trying to feed a newly-regenerated Time Lord who’s just destroyed a kitchen to satisfy an unspecified craving. 

Heat, pour, serve.

And then, taste.

With tea to wash it all down, naturally.



All in all, it wasn’t bad! While definitely an unusual flavor (certainly like nothing else I’ve eaten before), it was actually a pretty satisfying experience in balanced contrast: mild, smooth creamy sweetness against crumbly crispy saltiness. Who knew vanilla and white fish could actually work well together? At the risk of over-analyzing, it makes sense that this was the food of choice while the new regeneration was "still cooking". The flavor was very transitional - the tastes didn't blend together so much as bounce back and forth, highlighting one another. One moment, eggy vanilla; the next, bready, flaky fish, slightly briny with a bit of a metallic tinge...and back again with the next bite.

Unsurprisingly, I could only make my way through about four sticks of fish custard before my stomach began to object. However, I blame the heaviness of the meal more than the combination!

Would I eat it again? Sure, if I had the (unlikely) craving. Or, perhaps, next April 3rd.

Reviews of the Jelly Babies and Jammie Dodgers to come!

Additional Links:
'Fish Fingers and Custard Day' launched with Doctor Who tie-in”:

Birds Eye celebrate National Fish Fingers & Custard Day”:

Facebook: “Official Fish Fingers and Custard Day