Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Current Project: Victorian Undead - Sherlock Holmes vs. Jekyll-Hyde

Update: This project has been completed! The newly-converted and uploaded comic "Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes vs. Jekyll-Hyde" is available for reading!

I just wanted to let you in on one of the many projects I'm working on at the moment - I'm converting the short comic "Victorian Undead - Speacial - Sherlock Holmes vs. Jekyll/Hyde" into a series of jpg pictures that can be read like a normal comic, rather than only with the CDisplay program.

So you can download the original file from the Comics & Graphic Novel Resource Page and find and download CDisplay from some other site if you like, but if you wait just a while then I'll upload a rar or zip file containing all of it in a format that will be vastly more easy to read.

It'll take me a little while to go through and put everything together, since I had to get screen snapshots of the enlarged pages in two parts, but I'm going to go through the trouble of doing this since this comic isn't too long, and it's got good art and an interesting concept. With zombies!! I think it's definitely worth sharing in an accessible format.

However, if you really don't want to wait or download obscure programs to read this, go buy it, and support its creators!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in "Wishbone: Mixed Breeds"

To many children who grew up in the 90's, the word "Wishbone" is a familiar one. It conjures up memories of a television show in which a cute dog with a wise-cracking voice-over taking on the roles of characters from famous stories and getting dressed up in adorable little doggy costumes. Although I hadn't watched it regularly, I remember some of the episodes fondly, especially the one based on the Hound of the Baskervilles.

So as you can imagine, it delighted me greatly to learn that there was an episode of Wishbone about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I really ought to have known there would be one, since I'd already read books about J&H that featured Wishbone, one called "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Dog" and the other "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Wishbone Classics".

The first one is pretty much the episode in book form, and has Wishbone playing the role of Utterson. The second is a simple abridged version of the book, with the token dog decorating the pages and giving insight into the story without being included as a character, plus some added material to help young readers understand the story. I really wish both of them had featured Wishbone all done up in a suit and a cravat, because it's adorable and I can't get enough of it.

The episode, as is typical with Wishbone, follows two storylines. One is set in the real world following Wishbone's adventures as a normal dog (as normal as a dog with a constant sassy inner monologue and a vast knowledge of classic literature can be) as well as the happenings of the human beings in the world around him. The other one is set in whatever story Wishbone is thinking about, and stars Wishbone as one of the characters. Usually, the plotline set in the real world deals with events and issues that have some resemblance to the story Wishbone imagines.

In the episode of Wishbone about Jekyll and Hyde, called "Mixed Breeds" (which I wished they'd called "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Dog" like the book, to be a bit more clear) Wishbone takes the role of Gabriel Utterson in the plotline based on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This plotline stays pretty faithful to the book- not perfectly, but certainly more than I expected.

For your viewing enjoyment, I have uploaded the full episode and embedded below.

However, if you're only interested in watching the parts involving the re-imagining of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I have edited together a version comprised of just those. Please forgive the clumsiness of some the transitions, my freeware video editing program is great for some things, but not fading to or from black.

I personally was quite surprised by the quality of the Jekyll and Hyde storyline. I like the actor who played Jekyll and Hyde, and the way they chose to have either half of the dual role portrayed in terms of acting and appearance. The sets were surprisingly good for a childrens television show, the secondary actors worked well, Wishbone was adorable.. I could find nothing to really dislike about it. Of course, it had parts that were inaccurate in terms of the original story, such as the scene set in a bar, but it was much less off-the-mark than most video-based adaptations of the original story.

There were also several instances over the course of the episode which made me explode into laughter, which is always a good thing. One specific case was when Hyde exited the laboratory after his transformation via a secret passage behind a bookcase, and when he slams it shut behind him a bunch of books fall off and hit the floor. That kind of thing never happens in non-comedic movies! It just broke the atmosphere of the whole scene for me, and I loved it.

Otherwise, I always get a kick out of a Hyde who tries to act intentionally evil, in a sort of cliched way. I think it amuses me partly because it reminds me of John Hannah's performance in the role. He was hammy as hell, and utterly hilarious for it. So in this episode, I was having enough fun just watching the Wishbone Hyde acting in an overly-dramatic villainous manner, but then when he started trying to laugh evilly I lost it! I just couldn't take it seriously, no matter how much the show seemed to want me to.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Wishbone's take on the story, and the episode as a whole. I hope you, dear scarce readers, did as well.

A bit of a Transformation

As you might have noticed, I've been making some changes around here. You see, ever since I created this blog with the intention of making it to talk about general topics, I've been using a lot of Jekyll & Hyde related material, and subconsciously focusing on that subject. I realized this after a while, and now I'm making it official. This blog will be dedicated primarily to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and everything to do with it.

As for changes, so far I have changed the name and URL of this blog to better reflect my intentions for its purpose. I am unsure about keeping the html address change - I will have to watch and see if at least some of the links that have been made to this site on google will be updated with my new URL, or if they will be forever broken, unless I decide to change it back. I will wait at least a week and see if there are any improvements on that front before I consider going back to obsessimon.blogspot.com. Even if that happens, I don't think I want to, since the old URL didn't communicate what I want this site to be about now.

In the upcoming weeks/months, I will probably experiment with the design and organization of the material on this blog. I want to come up with a logo as well, but we'll have to see how that goes. If I do create one, I want to do more with it than just slap a few already oft-used Jekyll & Hyde-type images together, so I will probably spend quite a bit of time on it.

In any case, thank you for reading this, and for bearing with me in this transitional period! I hope you stick around to see what I have in store.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Saddleback Classics - Illustration Gallery

 I have here some of the illustrations from Dr. the book Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Saddleback Classics) by Janice Greene. The creators of all of the artwork in this book are only listed as "Black Eagle Productions".

I think it's a pity that there aren't any specific artists or designers mentioned for these illustrations. While I find the cover art to be a bit odd - I mean, that face that (I assume Hyde) is pulling is really derpy - I really enjoyed the art inside the book itself, as little as there is.

The aspects I really like about the internal illustrations are their cleanness (something I really appreciate after seeing some really sloppy artwork in other J&H books), the composition of the scenes, the use of hatching and texture and the level of detail in both the figures and the backgrounds. I also really like how much its style makes me think of that of coloring books, since I think it would be fun to have one about Jekyll & Hyde. Since I don't know about the existence of any, these pictures make for a great substitute.

As for problems with them, I personally could do with more variation in line width and contrast, since I often find it hard to focus my eye on any one part of a picture when everything in it is white or very light gray. And in pictures with no coloring and the barest minimum of shading like these, there is very little that works to distinguish background from foreground or lines that define shapes from those that add detail or texture. It would have been helpful if the lines' width and quality were somehow used to make these distinctions clearer.