MUNNY Made while Mourning If you haven't noticed by now, I haven't updated this site for quite some time. I've been slacking on the updates with good reason, not because I don't have anything to post, but because of recent events that have temporarily put a stop to the blogging. On June the 18th 2008, my brother suddenly passed away. It was the darkest, most uncertain day in my life, as I had lost my big brother in a situation that could have been prevented, which until now still feels very unreal. I still can't believe he's gone, and I'm writing about my brother under these circumstances.
For the past two weeks I was out of town mourning with family, and friends. The support of a large extended family was invaluable and needed in this time of tragedy. It came as a complete shock to everyone who knew him. How could someone so healthy and full of life just leave this world so abruptly?
I was in the middle of painting my Kidrobot custom MUNNY for the "Show Us Your MUNNY Vol.2" toy show with deadline looming, when I received a call from my sister, who got a call from my dad regarding my brother who collapsed while training for a marathon. Amid all the chaos, and confusion of that day I pushed on to finish the toy within a few hours all the while keeping my brother in mind. It was very difficult to concentrate on producing quality work knowing that my brother had just died, I wish I had more time to work on the custom toy titled "Mutant Monkey!" but I had to make due with the time I had left before I flew out of town.
My brother who was only 28 years old, left this world with a positive impression on those who knew him. His friends, coworkers, and loved ones remember him as a well mannered, hardworking, young man with an interest in taking care of others rather than himself. He supported numerous charities, volunteered his time and energy to helping others, and genuinely cared about the environment. He had a knack for political discussion, business, technology and the latest gadgets from videogames to Skype phone, to iphone. He loved good food, friends, and fun times.
He was a competitive person in everything he did (hence his participation in Marathons, and extreme training). He pushed himself a lot whether at work or at play. My brother and I would always get fired up when playing videogames, most notably Virtua Fighter (1, 2, 3, 3tb, 4, 4 evo, and 5). A week or so before his untimely passing he sent me a link to "Virtua Fighter 5 R" on youtube. We were both excited for this upcoming version of Sega's fighting game series. We were even planning a trip to Tokyo for the Tokyo Game Show. Though we would fight in games, he'd always share his strategies, give me tips and advice, so that I would improve as a player to take on the competition, as a big brother should. Not only have I lost my big brother, but I've lost my sparring partner as well. I'll never look at Virtua Fighter, or videogames in general the same way again without thinking of him.
Yes, videogames were a huge part of his life, ever since he got his first NES back in the 80's. When he wasn't working, studying, or training, he would be buying, collecting, or playing videogames. His games collection consists of mainly Sega, Nintendo, 360, PSP, and Atari Jaguar stuff including rare Japanese import titles for each of these systems (excluding the Jaguar and 360). He was an adopter of early online gaming on his Sega Saturn, and later on his Sega Dreamcast. He really got into the experience, getting all the peripherals (keyboard, mouse, VGA adapters, broadband adapter, twin arcade sticks, etc.) for the ideal online/network experience on the home console. He was really into the Atari Jaguar as well and purchased many games, including those for the Jaguar CD. He purposely skipped out on the Sony PS1, and PS2, generation because he felt that his current consoles and PC were enough and offered more of a multiplayer/online experience which was important to him since his siblings (my sister and I moved away) several years ago. He later gave in to Microsoft and their 360 rather than to Sony, after the Dreamcast had faded away.
His massive gaming collection, is topped off by his DVD collection, which together can fill up a corner in a store like Blockbuster Video. While family members were telling me to sell his stuff for money, I felt it was necessary to keep everything he's collected either to use, or preserve. He would want me and my sister to keep the collection he worked so hard to earn in his short life. A gamer's collection should be passed on, and I've inherited quite the collection of stuff.
My brother was also a big influence in my choice to go into animation as a career. We used to always joke about making our own videogame when we were younger with me being the lead artist/animator, my sister the programmer, and my brother the mastermind producer. He definitely helped fuel my imagination, and interest in videogames, animation, and even hip hop music. He is also the reason that I started blogging. He introduced me to 1UP.com back in 2005 where I first started blogging. His online alias "Ryo Hazuki", from the hero of the same name from the game "Shenmue", and "idorkas", a play on Apples "iphone/pod", and character from "Virtua On", became titles to both his blogs http://ryohazuki.1up.com, and http://idorkas.blogspot.com
I will definitely miss my bro. Though he is physically gone, he was such a big part of my life and the lives of others that everything we do reminds us of him.
Making of Mutant Monkey from Space!
For the show I decided to go with a character design that for once wasn't based on a videogame. I promised I'd do an original design, so with "Mutant Monkey!" or "Mutant Monkey from Space!" I wanted to go for a character with an extreme expression, attitude and with a style that lends itself to animation. The character is cartoony, with a pretty basic color scheme. The Gun prop, and can were included accessories in this MUNNY series.
After I got the toy to a point where I could say it was finished, I dropped it off at Voltage so they could get it ready for the toy show on June 26th. I unfortunately was unable to attend the show because I was in LA for the funeral, but I hear it was quite the party.
I think this is my 5th custom toy, so by now I'd like to think have the process down to a T. Using Super Sculpey for the Feet, and Shackle I boiled it to cure it, then painted it. The entire figure was painted with acrylic paint. The stage I created using an 8x8 wood panel which I primed, then painted.
I made this MUNNY with an adjustable tail in mind. I drilled a hole in the tail part of the MUNNY, then inserted a wire which I had molded and cured super sculpey to. The tail can be rotated and posed, but NOT bended.
Personally I think the toy looks good for a rush job. I just wish my brother were around to see the finished product.
This toy is listed for sale on voltageland.