I’ve not drawn any Lego for a while. I still have a few Lego sets I’ve not build yet; finding the time (sorry, I mean finding the shelf-space) has been an issue, plus my increasingly bad eyesight means I can’t find those little bits of Lego I drop under the couch until one of my cats spits it out (they’ve never actually done that, funnily enough, though they have done the ‘push a massive Lego set off the shelf’ act). This was one I drew back in September, on the brown envelopes, this is the Lego ‘Iron Monger’. That was the main villain in the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Iron Man. The MCU has got pretty big since then, which I’ve been a big fan of. Like the Marvel comic universe itself it is basically a massive soap opera. I have loved the series, the most ambitious movie project of all time, culminating nicely in Endgame which I thought was a nice stopping point for the Avengers era. Then came the various Disney Plus series of Phase 4, coming just in time for the pandemic when cinemas would be closed and we were all at home streaming telly anyway. While I’ve enjoyed many of the series (Wandavision and Loki were especially fun) some of it all has tailed off a bit. The movies have been less re-watchable than the first three phases, though I enjoyed the most recent Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, everything else has been ok to hmm, yeah. Maybe it’s the lack of Robert Downey Junior. Nevertheless I am interested to see where it goes, since it is heading to Secret Wars (the original was one of the first Marvel comics I read back in the mid-80s, and I really loved the 2015 massive crossover special). But I just watched Quantumania, and while it was largely fun, it was a bit middling. I know a lot of people are very meh about the super-hero/comic-book movies anyway, but I loved Marvel comics and these ones did a really good job (unlike for example the recent DC films which have been fairly atrocious; don’t get me started on Dawn of Justice). I think it’s because while the first three MCU ‘phases’ were all new and “are they actually going to do that? Oh they really are”, they had a through-line and a clear focus, especially being tent-poled around the Avengers series, and as they started introducing new characters and ideas to the mix it was done organically and brought together in the most comic-book-crossover structured movie of all, Infinity War. I could watch those over and over and over, like Star Wars, or the Dark Crystal, or Father Ted. Now with films like Eternals, which felt like it went on for an eternally long time, it feels like the series is not sure where it’s really going. The Multiverse Saga, right, Kang the Conqueror, Secret Wars – but it’s not clear how they are going to get there, or if they will bring us all along with it. Still, I loved Iron Man, and I still love all the Lego. I haven’t made a Lego animation in a while (since the Dr Strange one I made a few years ago), but it’s really fun to draw.
This here is my Lego “A Christmas Carol”, which I got as a Christmas present to my delight. In the run-up to Christmas this year we sat down each evening in the living room and read A Christmas Carol, which we’d never actually done before, aloud with hot chocolate and cookies and mince pies. I found it hard to read aloud with my mouth full of mince pie but I gave it a go, it’s what Dickens would have wanted. Dickens really stuck faithfully to the original Muppets version which was nice to see. While reading Scrooge’s voice I managed somehow to avoid doing a Michael Caine voice, and instead did something more along the lines of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse’s Old Gits. We always watch the Muppets version on Christmas Eve, for us it’s the best one, and of course the Blackadder Christmas Carol. I like the Albert Finney one too. This Lego set then was a really nice surprise and I made it straight away to put on the shelf. I drew this (deciding not to add the colour) on January 6th, traditional last day of Christmas, after finally turning off the endless news of the bloody awful events at the Capitol. I still can’t really gather my thoughts on that as it feels like we don’t really know where this is going, but it’s so depressing. At times like this, getting the sketchbook out and furiously scribbling away feels like the best way to get through it. I have Lego to build though. I did start making a Christmas themed Lego animation but I was struggling to find the time to work on it (despite hardly ever leaving the house, it’s finding the ‘mental’ time) and now I’m putting the Christmas Lego sets away. But here is one final festive image for you, Han Solo on a tauntaun.
thanos the spoiler
SPOILER ALERT!! I loved Avengers [SPOILER]! It was a great way to [SPOILER] [SPOILER] years of Marvel [SPOILER]. When [SPOILER] flew in and [SPOILER] [SPOILER] in like the first ten minutes I was like, WT[SPOILER]! And what about [SPOILER] going all [SPOILER], eh, didn’t see that coming. I loved the [SPOILER] bit too. I can’t keep this up. At some point I will [SPOILER] [OK shut it now Pete] do an actual spoiler-filled post about Avengers, using the power of Lego to illustrate my points, and then maybe one about Star Wars, I’ve been meaning to Talk About That for a long time. Maybe I need to do a Playmobil-knight illustrated discussion of Game of Thrones. Did you watch that last episode, the penultimate one, the [SPOILER] one where [SPOILER] goes [SPOILER]? I think Danaerys Targaryan should have been told, it doesn’t matter, Manchester City beat Brighton anyway. Oh sorry, SPOILER for anyone who hasn’t seen the end of the 18-19 Premier League season yet. Anyway, here is a non-spoilery Lego Brickheadz figure of Thanos what I drew. I might go and see Endgame again tonight. I loved it the first time, quickest three hours I’ve ever spent in a cinema, and I loved it even more the second time.
on and on across the universe
More Lego sketches! These are the mid-prequel-era Jedi star-fighters of Obi-Wan Kenobi (above) and Anakin Skywalker (below). The Obi-Wang ship actually comes with a huge ‘hyperspace ring’ (because one-man fighters this small don’t have space for an internal hyperdrive). I like the simple, sleek design, like a paper airplane, or a teeny-tiny Star Destroyer. The droid, R4 (or ‘Arfour’ as in ‘Arthur Daily’) liked to deal in dodgy motors and go for a drink down the Winchester. One thing always bugged me though. In Attack of the Clones, when Obi-Wan flies one of these to Kamino, Mace Windu orders him to apprehend Jango Fett and bring him back to Coruscant for questioning by the Jedi. But look at that ship! How’s he meant to do that? It’s not like there’s tons of room. Is he going to sit on Obi-Wan’s lap? Think, McFly, think!
Anakin’s Delta 7B fighter is a similar but not identical design (Obi-Wan’s is technically a Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptor). The R2 unit sits in front of the cockpit. That must be awkward as you can see, because he’s always looking sideways. He’s going to be very uncomfortable like that. This ship didn’t appear in the movies but turned up in some of the animated media. I wish Lego had designed a more pointed nose but I suppose they didn’t want to take kids’ eyes out.
Flashback to last year…I drew their later versions, the ones flown in the opening sequence of Revenge of the Sith (which were trashed on Grievous’s starship). First up is Obi-Wan’s red and white (or grey here in Lego), Eta-2 Actis-class interceptor. Yeah I never knew it was called that, I looked it up. Later in the movie, when he flew to Utapau, he had a cool looking blue and white one, but he had to ditch that one too after Order 66. I love this design though, kind of like a B-Wing cockpit and a tie-fighter mixed with a speeder. If I lived in the Star Wars universe, this would be my vehicle of choice, you can keep your Falcons and Slave Ones and X-Wings. Well maybe I’d have this for space and a Snowspeeder for when I’m on-planet.
And then there is Anakin’s one. He later flew a dark green and grey one, once he started turning to the Dark Side, abandoning his previous love of yellow vehicles. Later on, he only flew in black (or sometimes very very dark grey). You can see how this design could mould into the classic Vader TIE-fighter. I wonder what that would look like in yellow? I bet the Emperor told him he wasn’t allowed to paint it yellow, he’d ruin the Empire’s whole aesthetic.
hamilton the champion of the world
farewell to the festive season…
Since yesterday (January 6th) is the traditional ‘take-down-decorations’ day I wanted to make sure I posted it by then, as it is technically still in the Christmas period. Then I got flu. I evidently still have it too (I can’t taste anything!), well I suppose starving a fever is probably all for the best given how much I ate over Christmas. Not gonna lie, it was a lot of chocolate. And I haven’t even opened my Terry’s Chocolate Orange yet, I’m saving that for when I can taste things again. So this! This is a Christmassy Lego set that was a lovely addition to our festive get-up this year. I want to add a little bit of festive Lego each year. The train set and village station sets look cool. So, this was my last sketch of 2017. Don’t worry, I still have more in the backlog to post (Hawaii!). I didn’t get out to do any urban sketching on New Year’s Eve (I also had a cold, different from this current flu; come on winter, give me a break!). Speaking of colds, can we stop saying “bless you” after someone sneezes? I stopped a while ago. It feels odd, it’s a knee-jerk reaction and you feel rude for not acknowledging someone having sneezed by randomly blessing them like you are some sort of authority on the matter, but it is odd. Ok the real reason is that I have seasonal allergies, and from the period of about March to May I will sneeze a lot, uncontrollably, again and again and again. If we ever have the Spring Olympics I could represent Great Britain in the consecutive sneezing event. When someone gets to the third “bless-you” you really want them to stop, your magical blessing is clearly having no effect. Beyond that, it’s like, if you must, can you do it at the end like a package of blessings? And what exactly are you blessing me for? I remember being at a baseball game and I had a sneezing fit. People all around were blessing me, and frankly it was embarrassing. After sneeze five they were all laughing like someone sneezing in April is really hilarious (to be fair, it was probably more entertaining than the baseball). And again, and again, and again. I couldn’t get out to the garlic fries stand quickly enough. Yeah being laughed at by a crowd of strangers just for having allergies is so enjoyable. The blessings don’t work guys, just stop it okay!
This is a fun Lego set. I used it for a brief stop-motion animation which I played at our holiday party at work, I think people enjoyed it. I am still making those, I have a lot of ideas but little time to play with them. I may be overdoing the Lego in fact, but it’s so much fun. Goodbye, festive season. Until next year.
inktober 2017, told in Lego
Yeah, I know. I haven’t called, I haven’t written, to be fair I haven’t sketched that much either, but this is the longest I’ve neglected my regular sketchblog since I started doing it. A mixture of being super busy (which was stressful) and being super in Hawaii (which was nice). And suddenly it is December! And I have drawn my son’s 2017 advent calendar (pictures soon). I’ve also watched and enjoyed Thor Ragnarok and, yes, even Justice League. And it is appropriate then that the first entry in this very long series of sketches you are about to see is of the Flash, who for me was a lot better than I expected him to be. Here he is.
Oh right, I should explain. This is a series of drawings I did for “Inktober” 2017. What is that? Inktober is a series of prompts given out at the start of October to encourage people to draw one thing every day based on the prompt, but in ink. For 2017 they were: Swift, Divided, Poison, Underwater, and loads more. You can see the list at http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober/. Or just keep on reading and looking….
Number 2 is “Divided”, and it’s pretty obvious what is going on here. Iron Man has dropped Cap’s shield while he figures out a way to divide his collection of mugs between those suitable for tea and those for coffee.
Number 3 is “Poison”. Now technically Venom isn’t poison, but when you are writhing in agony after a rattlesnake bites you the last thing you want it some eejit coming along correcting your grammar.
Number 4 is “Underwater”. The Little Mermaid tends to live underwater, except for that time when she was banished for being Unworthy and couldn’t lift her mighty jewel.
Perhaps I should explain all of these. So my theme for my Inktober sketches was Lego minifigures, of which I have quite a few, mostly Marvel and Star Wars, and I love to sketch them, animate them, hide them from felines. Also, I decided that while this was all about ink drawings, I would nevertheless colour them in with some watercolour paint as well because “whatever, I do what I want”. This one is Falcon, who has very long wings.
Ninjago had to get in here, huh. This is Lloyd, number 6, and yes he actually has two swords. I know the one he is holding behind his back looks a bit odd but that was the pose, get over it. Ninjas gotta ninja.
Seven is ‘Shy’. Now I think Mr Lego Movie man is just a few days shy of his birthday and is freaking out about it. I did include the Palm Tree because of that whole thing with coconuts and shy, but it was, look I don’t know how coconuts work. The barrel seemed important.
I love this minifigure. He’s a dandy highwayman, without the dandy. Crooked as a barrel of snakes. I couldn’t use that because I didn’t want to repeat the barrel theme.
The rat is behind him and we are looking down at a slight elevation. He isn’t floating at his waist. The banana is bendy which will please the brexit lot. This is a pirate though who was probably pretending it was a pistol. He is screeching by the way because One Direction are on TV and he is excited as fuck. His vest was made by the same tailor that clothes Dennis the Menace (the British one from the Beano, who had the dog Gnasher, not the American one, who isn’t really a menace, Mr Wilson just needs to chill out a bit) (fun fact! I was in the official Dennis the Menace fan club) (fun fact! Darth Maul, who is also sometimes called Dennis the Phantom Menace, painted his face red and black in honour of Dennis the Menace’s famous jumper. He couldn’t do the hair because of the horns, but he did always refer to Naboo as Gnaboo, a reference only he understood) (he also used to call the Jedi “softies” and his secret nickname for Qui-Gon Jinn was “Walter”)
Number 10. “Gigantic”. Thanos would win this, wouldn’t he. Wouldn’t he? Well no, according to Deadpool vs Thanos by Tim Seeley, Deadpool definitely outdeaths the big purple chinned one. By the way, that trailer released this week, yes I am a little bit excited. I just hope Thanos finds his hat! He’s probably looking for it, that’s the plot of the film.
Number 11 is “Run” and who better than Batman running to represent “Run”? It just needs Rodney to run alongside him now, like in that really old tv show. Thing is why is he running away from the batlight? Maybe he was just there and is off on his mission now, that is it. “So Batman,” coughs Commissioner Gordon. “Two-Face’s bank robbery is at the other end of the city. How are you going to get there? Batwing? Batmobile? Batcycle? Batportation?” “Ok, first of all,” growls Batman, “it’s ‘The Bat Man’ now, or just ‘Bat of Gotham’, right. Got that? And you are now Co-Missioner Gordon, because you are my co-person on my missions now, not The Rob-In. Secondly, I am going to run, because that is what Bats do.”
I’m so looking forward to the Last Jedi, aren’t you? Not long now. Kylo Ren likes to smash things up. Afterwards he feels totally shattered. I get it. I always feel tired whenever I have to talk to people as well. I’m sure his mask doesn’t help, having to repeat himself all the time.
Speaking of evil, here is Ultron. Don’t tell him that his name would be a good name for a washing powder. Danny Baker doing the adverts, “choose Ultron Prime, gets your metals greyer than grey”. This is teeming by the way not because they are teaming up (I can spell you know, occasionally) but because they are teeming, like insects, but in this case they are murder-bots. “This place is teeming with murder-bots, let’s go to Wetherspoons instead.” (By the way, I’d take a city falling from the sky teeming with murderous robots over an evening in a Wetherspoons any day)
Not sure about the red and white saltire, I think it was supposed to be X-Men related. This is the Wolverine, also known as the Logan. He is definitely fierce. He is also the best there is at what he does and what he does isn’t very nice. My wife pointed out though that he really isn’t the best there is at what he does, because if he were, he wouldn’t keep getting stabbed and shot. That actually makes him pretty rubbish at what he does. I’m like, fair point, but look at his claws. They are cool, even if they aren’t how claws work.
Fifteen is the Master of the Mystic Arts himself, Doctor Stephen Strange. In this picture is is singing Peter Andre’s hit song Mysterious Girl. That stuff behind him was added in afterwards, he was singing in front of a green screen. Those things on his hands are Magic.
Yeah, Comic Book Guy has a bit of a weight thing going on, I know. Sure, this is a cheap shot, I added the hot dog and soda and donut pieces (all real Lego pieces I do have), for all you know that is a low-calory Linda McCartney sausage, he could be drinking water and that donut could just be a small plate, the comic could be a book of encouragement, and that belly is drawn onto his shirt. So why this for ‘fat’, then? Because you can’t spell ‘fate’ without ‘fat’ and he is saying no, I reject my fate, I am not there yet, so ‘fat’ is just ‘fate’ but incomplete because he rejects it. That makes sense to me, because it is 1:30am after a busy week, and I am eating Pop Tarts.
Am I going to do this for every one? I’ve started now so I will, as Magnus Magnusson used to say, Finnish (pretty sure he was Icelandic actually). Black Panther is pretty graceful. I can’t wait for his movie, and he was great in Civil War. WAKANDAAAAA!!!! Actually I decided against the Pop Tarts. I am not accepting my fat.
One from the Lego Death Star (which by the way I have, and it is awesome). This is when they fall down the garbage chute and into the trash compactor. Hey have you heard of Palette Swap Ninja? It’s this thing on Youtube where someone has taken Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and put it against the original Star Wars film, and it totally works. Different words of course (it’s called “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans”), and the one from this scene is Lovely Rita Meter Maid, renamed as “Dianoga Sewer Snake”. Love it!
Number 19 was Cloud so we had to go to our favourite floating city in the sky, the imaginatively named Cloud City. I laugh at that but other cities have names that are also obvious, in their original (often lost) languages. London for example may have come from an old British term meaning the Hill by the Pool, Canada comes from a word meaning ‘village’, and Venice comes from the words ‘Very Nice’. That London one is disputed by the way, but that’s what I used to tell people in my old bus tour guide days as one possible explanation referring to Tower Hill, by the section of Thames called the Pool of London. I wonder if Boba Fett, when he dropped off the frozen Solo at Jabba’s palace, was all cracking up, saying “and then he goes, “I know“! Hahahaha! I’m totally using that one!” Jabba and Bib and that horrible little monkey thing are all rolling about laughing, they can’t even pick up the carbonite because they are laughing so much.
20 is another Ninjago one, this is Sensei Wu, who as all masters do, says deep stuff. I can totally relate.
21, this is Nick Angry from the Avengers movies. He has a flying car, like any badass should.
22 is “trail”, so here is a man with a map looking a bit lost. Reminds me of 17 year old Pete in the Outward Bound excursion in Cumbria, that was an experience. I was not a great navigator but I quite enjoyed being out in the wilderness. Well, the countryside, it was Cumbria, not the Canadian Rockies. Cumbria can be pretty rugged though, and the midges are about a foot long biting chunks out of your arm when you’re trying to sleep.
The connection here was juice as in petrol/gas, that’s the best I could do. I love the Formula 1 Lego, and F1 itself too. Glad Hamilton won the title this year, but hope Ferrari give them a juicy old run next year.
Han Solo again, this time coming out of the carbonite and unable to see, and about to be thrown into the Sarlacc, except wait! That’s Lando in disguise! Mr Cloud City himself. Tatooine just means ‘Sand World’. Luke just means ‘farm boy future jedi’. Lando on the other hand is a nickname because he actually hates the land, it’s ironic, that’s why he liked living in the clouds. It’s 2:10am and I wish I had had those pop tarts now.
Come on, this is the only ship that matters. But what’s this? Captain Hook has stolen the Millennium Falcon! He stole it from Unkar Plutt, who stole it from the Irving Boys, who stole it from Ducain, who stole it from Han Solo. “Would you get going, you pirate!”
Squeak, well here are two of our favourite mice ever, unfortunately I drew them looking totally spaced out. Why Mickey is shirtless I didn’t ask.
Spider-man! Or ‘Spider of Queens’! I LOVED ‘Homecoming’. Here he is climbing Avengers Tower. Little does he know, there is an elevator. Phil Coulson uses it in the first Avengers movie, eagle-eyed viewers will remember.
“With style” yes, yes that’s the reference. That’s what I say, “oh it’s not Winter, it’s just Fall with Style”
Awww. They are back together. I always imagine them singing like Annie and Daddy Warbucks at the end of that film, I forget what it’s called, Orphan with Dog or something. “Together at last, together for-ev-errr”. Get this man a shield.
“Found”. “Just lying in the desert”. “Fell of the back of a spaceship”. “Ben Kenobi said I could have it, m’lud”.
And finally, #31. Mask. Because Luke tries to mask his obvious displeasure at seeing his father is all bald, he is thinking, oh man when I’m his age I’m probably going to be all bald too. Little did he know the opposite would be true, he’s totally hairy, stuck out on that island. Just two weeks until The Last Jedi! But for now it is 2:30am and I hope you have enjoyed this little pictorial story of a month.
Two of my favourite things rolled into one: Lego and Formula 1. This is the Ferrari SF-16H (new Lego toy but last season’s car, which wasn’t as fast as this year’s but didn’t have that big shark’s fin). I was so excited for this F1 season to begin, and now it has I’m even more excited. I can see it being a properly epic season, hopefully with battles between teams rather than the old 1-2 finishes from the fastest team’s drivers. Hamilton vs Vettel! Verstappen! Ricciardo! Watching the podium after the Chinese Grand Prix, they just all looked so happy. Much better than the tantrums and hat-throwing. I don’t know, I just want to see great competition, and watch the cars and hear the roar of the engines. I have a few other F1 Lego cars, and I might even draw them too. GO GO GO!
More Star Wars Lego (and this ain’t the last of it). This is the AT-ST, otherwise known as the Scout Walker. Not Scott Walker as my autocorrect would say. “the Twin Suns Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More”. This is the one from Rogue One, seen briefly unless you were looking at your popcorn or literally blinking. It’s the same as the ones seen in Return of the Jedi, the ones famously useless at dealing with rolling logs. This vehicle will always remind me of getting run over at age 7 by a van outside my house.
I was playing with my friends Natasha and Simon in our narrow street, my Star Wars figures all over the doorstep. We crossed over the street to see if our friends Robert and Victoria wanted to come out and play. They couldn’t; they had family visiting. Ok we said and turned to dash back over to our side of the street. My street was narrow, but cars parked on one side meant it was hard to see oncoming traffic. I was first, so I stepped into the street and woke up on the couch, covered in blood with crying and panic all around. I vaguely remember the impact knocking me out, seeing a big white blur. I think the van was white. It was probably going too fast, but it hit me head first so I have no idea. I was lucky. I spent the night in hospital, and all I had was a big beaten-up face and a black eye. But I got a new Star Wars toy as a present, which was the old Kenner AT-ST Scout Walker – Return of the Jedi had come out a few months before and was pretty much my favourite thing in the world. I remember my older sister playing with it with me, creating a terrain on the carpet by putting a blanket over several other items to create hills. There was a button on the back to make it walk. I did have an Ewok with a little glider that dropped boulders on it, as well as the Biker Scout on the Speeder Bike (which would ‘explode’ by pressing a little button on the back). My tortoises had a little brick ‘hut’ in the back garden I would pretend was the Imperial Bunker (the tortoises didn’t mind at all, I think they enjoyed being part of the story). All of this, I think of when I see the AT-ST! Hardly a trauma. I remember people asking for a couple of months afterwards, “who hit you?” It was a van, don’t worry about it. My school photos from 1983 showed a lot of scabbing and a redness in my eye. I did miss a couple of days of school. Ironically, one of my best friends in class, Wayne, also got run over on the exact same day in a separate incident. (Conspiracy theorists of 1983, get on that!). I think he was hit by a taxi. He was out of school for longer than me though, because he had broken his leg. I remember Wayne, we used to play chess and talk about animals and politics; he loved running and was good at football, he supported Everton, we both liked Sampdoria. His family were Jamaican and when he went over to Jamaica when we were 9 or 10 he brought me back this thing called a ‘Jamaican Yo-Yo’ and incredibly I STILL have it. I should find it and sketch it sometime.
This was a fun set to build, and comes with (among others) Baze Malbus, the dude with the massive blaster in Rogue One who is friends with Chirrut Imwe. Those two were cool.
walk on by
I still have a lot of Star Wars Lego sketches to show you, but here is one of my favourites so far, of the beloved Lego AT-AT. My son used to call these the “Garbage Trucks” when he was smaller, which makes sense given the sounds they make. It’s a remarkably solid construction (except the head, that tends to fall apart more easily than I’d like, I may have to reinforce it a bit) and filled with snowtroopers, who are probably my favourite stormtroopers. I’ve actually framed this and put it on the wall, in case it’s not clear I like Star Wars and Lego. Drawing objects like this are a good lesson in perspective. Drawn on Stillman and Birn ‘Alpha’ paper with brown-black uni-ball signo um-151 pen and coloured with watercolour paint.