Artist conjures awesome original superheroes (pictures)
Here's just a small sampling of the sometimes-hilarious superheroes created by Everett Downing, a Pixar artist with an extraordinary imagination.
Riddle me this, riddle me that. Who's your favorite superhero?
It's hard to say which one Pixar story artist Everett Downing likes best since he's spent the last several years creating more than 300 of them and has quite a few he favors. Currently on a quest to draw 365 superheroes, he hosts a fantastic blog that showcases his creations.
Blue Diamond, the first character ever to appear on the 365 Supers blog, features a hardened exterior and a simplistic spandex getup.
Check out Giga-bite, whom Downing describes as "a super computing nano-colony constructed from junk." Maybe Downing's days as a "Wall-E" animator served as inspiration?
Downing has worked on films such as "Brave," "Up," "Wall-E," and other Pixar masterpieces. He counts superheroes as his hobby and said he started the project to counteract a creative rut.
"I felt that my artwork was stagnating and my ideas weren't exciting or interesting," he told Crave. "The idea was that of I spent a half an hour to an hour a day creating supers I'd eventually be forced to loosen up and start thinking creatively again. Now at 315 supers I honestly feel like 'mission accomplished.'"
Emoticon, another of Everett Downing's superheroes, labors as public-works employee who controls a city's network by day, and by night, controls just about everything since he's secretly a superhacker. "I don't see him speaking much," Downing said. "He just taps in replies on his face screen."
The Undertaker possesses the power to grant life -- or take it away, which Downing considers an "awesome ability." However, Downing notes on his related blog post that the character is "a complete prick."
Over the course of completing hundreds of superheroes, Downing enlisted the help of friends and fans of the series to help draw or inspire characters. When asked about his inspirations, Downing said, "It all comes from my head, but my collective unconscious is pretty powerful. I'm sure there are influences from just about everywhere... I like the experience to be as spontaneous as possible. I like being surprised by what I draw."
The Nutcracker, drawn by a friend named Munchanka, gained powers after being bit by a genetically enhanced acorn. His abilities include "a tough outer shell and causing severe irritation to those with nut allergies," and his foes amusingly include "all nuts, seeds, and legumes." The Nutcracker fights to deliver justice to the mutated acorn that "made him into the nut he is today," says the related blog post.
Despite an abundance of male characters, Downing loves to draw female superheroes as well. One of his latest works, Pop Rockette, delivers mayhem with a sense of style. Keep an eye out for her rocket launcher and big bubbles.
Miss Direction, a teleporting mutant, can get herself out of most trouble through wit and magician props.
Asked whether he'd consider going past 365 superheroes, especially considering the sudden uptick in popularity in his series over the last six months, Downing said: "Definitely stopping at 365. It's been an awesome exercise, but I think I've created quite enough supers for the time being."
Don't expect all of his hard work to exist solely on the Internet, however. "I'm looking at getting a book published," he said. "I've also been tossing around a few ideas. Nothing definite yet, but there are things I'd definitely like to return to when I reach 365. We'll see what happens when I get there."