The Walking Dead Paper Dolls: Michonne’s Closet

twd07_michonne_thumbWelcome to the kick-off of Fear Friday!

Friday will be reserved for things that make you skin crawl. The current paper doll sets I will be posting are the last two plates of The Walking Dead and then the plates of the spin-off show, Fear the Walking Dead.

Today we have a few outfits for Michonne. Of the three characters I did for this show, Michonne was the hardest to find good costume variations. I finally gave up and reproduced her outfit from the comic book series. It feels a little cheaty, but I was tired of flipping through pictures and I wanted to get this series wrapped up.

On a show full of Mary Sue-ish characters, Michonne strikes me as the most Mary Sue-ish of all. I have yet to feel like she’s a real person at all (and probably never will). She’s still cool, though, and Danai Gurira, who plays her, is awesome.

[Click this link or the image to download a printable .pdf of these costumes]

You can find the plate with Michonne by clicking on her tag below, or click The Walking Dead category link to see all of the plates in this series.

Judy : Vol. 27, 1880 Plate 5


We conclude Volume No. 27 of the Judy series with this pair of December outfits. One of them is sporty, but the other is sorta in the spirit of the holidays now behind us: a little last-minute bling as we bring in the New Year, I guess.

I just finished Volume No. 25 while on holiday and it strikes me as even a little less imaginative than this volume, but hopefully it will still be interesting. It’s fun for me watching Chasemore (the artist) sort of make this minor feature into a thing of its own through the years. I have the advantage of seeing the breadth of the series all in one go, and I continue to be excited about fun things ahead.

But I’m trying to be methodical and not skip around so much, so we’re going to go backwards to pick up Vol. No. 25 over the next five weeks, and in February we’ll boldly go forward into new territory.

[Click on this link or the image to download a printable .pdf of this plate]

Mistress of Mayhem: Harley Quinn’s Closet Plate No. 1

Harley_01_thumbWelcome to Mayhem Monday!

When Paul Dini & Bruce Timm created Harley Quinn in 1992 for Batman: the Animated Series, she was just a one-off sidekick with a tragic story. Fan response to her was so strong, however, that she became a semi-regular on the show and in 1999 made her crossover into the DC Comics canon. Since then she’s had a rocky career between artists and writers who didn’t seem to understand what to do with her. To complicate matters, the Joker had become so evil and so abusive that the team had to be split up, leaving Harley dangling without direction–until 2014 when Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti rescued Harley with a new solo series (Vol. 2).

While I appreciate getting Harley out of a homicidal relationship (she’s no role-model for girls, that’s for sure), I worried she’d be no fun without the Joker. But her new book is wildly popular and a huge step in the right direction: smartly written with a Harley as an antihero who is whole and interesting all by herself. Eventually she’s going to have to deal with the Joker again (they have such history and none of it’s resolved). I originally thought their relationship was unconscionably awful. Now I miss their Punch & Judy antics and wish they were back together. Alas, in this current climate of hyper-sensitive illusions of perfect feminism, it’s not likely ever going to happen (sigh).

But about the doll: just as the Joker has a lot of purple (and green), Harley’s costumes contain more than their share of red and black. There have been a few different variations on her Harlequin outfit (which she no longer wears), but, like with the Joker, I’ll just pick the most divergent styles.

BatmanHarleyQuinn_1999Otherwise, Harley has a good-sized wardrobe to draw from over the last 16 years. She wears a “uniform costume” like other comic book characters, but also sports civilian clothes in a large percentage of her stories.

I’ll be drawing heavily from her current series, but also occasionally dipping into her past in no particular order. Harley is making her big-screen live-action debut in Suicide Squad with Jared Leto’s Joker in 2016 (she’ll be played by Margot Robbie). Let’s just say I am mostly reserving judgment about the design decisions they have made with the movie version. Have to see the film before I know whether I’ll be making costumes from it.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of the paper doll]


Star Wars Paper Dolls (and Why I’m Not Making Any)

Two important things about this post: first, the title is a lie because I am making at least one, but not in the way you might think. Secondly, I am a huge Star Wars geek who has been hibernating for years since the dark time of the hideous “prequels” (which I generally pretend never happened).

But we have a new Star Wars movie with the release of The Force Awakens, and I declare it not only good, but more than a worthy successor to the original trilogy. I haven’t hazarded to write a review because I feel like there’s almost too much to say and the internet is just flooded with commentary about it. Suffice it to say that I am on board 100% with this new direction and I feel like I can finally hold my head up again.

star_wars_paperdolls_2star_wars_paperdolls_1Even so, I’m not making paper dolls for Star Wars. It’s a big universe and there aren’t a lot of costume changes if you think about it (except in the prequels that never happened). Doesn’t mean the costumes aren’t awesome, but we have lots of resources already on the subject, and two paper doll sets were made for Queen Amidala (from those prequels that never happened).

I was six years old when I saw Star Wars: A New Hope in the theater and I still have vivid recollections of not so much the experience of sitting in the theater, but of the profound effect it had on me and my brothers afterwards.

We had a long hall in the house and when we came home, we immediately began to play trash compactor escape in that hallway. When we weren’t play-acting the movie, we drew pictures: vast canvases of TIE-fighter and X-wing dogfights, stormtrooper battles and sandmen (we really loved Tusken Raiders). And yes, we also made paper dolls. Before we could get our hands on the action figures, we drew dozens of cut-outs (all badly rendered since this was long before internet and we only had minimal references to work from). Our stormtrooper helmets looked like skulls, Darth Vader looked like a red-eyed bug, and R2-D2 looked more like a trashcan than ever.

star_wars_costumes_2star_wars_costumes_1Sadly none of these darlings survived our childhood (though for all I know, my mother squirreled them away somewhere and they may yet surface one day). Nevertheless, I sort of feel like it would be trodding old ground with nothing particularly new to offer and limited possibilities. Much as I love these characters, let’s face it: in the new film, Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) is awesome, but she changes her clothes once. Sure, she’s got a handful of interesting accessories, but it’s a lot of work to make a doll this limited. Maybe when the trilogy is done, she’ll have enough of a wardrobe to justify it.

The same can be said for the rest of the cast (and more so!), which is why I’m taking a pass on it.

However, I am making one parody doll.

While on vacation, I was working on Judy, away from all my other projects. After completing a volume, I had extra time, so I started drawing something new. Since Star Wars dominated Christmas this year, I drew a black & white paper doll of a Star Wars character. If you pay attention to social media “news”, you probably can guess who it is.

Wednesday I’ll post an introduction.

Happy New Year, 2016!

new_years_2015The last year has been crazy, but I’m happy to have this blog running and to be back to posting paper dolls. Lots of stuff coming for the New Year and I’ve tried to figure out a schedule that makes sense. If I post three days a week, I’ll burn through my buffer quick, but I have at least four series I want to start sharing soon!

Tentatively starting the second week of January:

Monday Mayhem: comic book-themed paper dolls in full color. Starting with villains Harley Quinn and the Joker (hence the mayhem).

Judy Tuesdays: continuing the black & white series until the volumes run out, which will be a nice long while.

Fear Fridays: zombies and the people who don’t love them. Have two black & white plates of The Walking Dead left to post, then lots of full color Fear the Walking Dead to come. Still a weird set of plates, but I’m following through to the end.

Right now the outlier is Empire, for which I don’t have a catchy day name. I’m also behind on it compared to the others, though I really love how it’s coming out (great material to work from!). Might stall posting it until I can figure out where to put it.

I continue to look for ways to simplify (in my monumental laziness). Painting is a challenge not so much for the labor, but mixing colors has been hard since I’m not making up my own color palettes. I’ll continue to paint the series I’ve already started, but having really enjoyed coloring with markers for the Christmas Bumble and comic book stuff, I might do more of that for some series in the near future. Still have my eye on the X-files (new mini-series starts in January), and I’ve always wanted to go back to Quantum Leap because the costumes are awesome and weird on that show.

I’d really like to do something quick and fun that’s not tied to a specific series and has a more general appeal (my tastes are skewed). And/or at some point in 2016, I’d like to work on historical paper dolls (aside from Judy, and in full color). While I absolutely love working from great source material, I feel like I need some original paper dolls in the mix. I like to cheat by reproducing other people’s designs, but I miss making up my own stuff.