2016-11-20

J-Rock: 20 Years Custom CD Covers Part 1





I have been listening to Japanese rock music for 20 years (for 30 if you count that I was listening to Loudness in 1986, which followed by Kitaro and Anime themes from 1993 on...)
But in 1996... X-Japan (thanks Jeff!) fueled a continued interest in the unique and powerful sounds coming from the land of the rising sun.
And the country that is the second largest music consumer in the world, has dealt us everything from rock, metal, visual kei, surf, alternative, idol, pop, power, neoclassical, and back.
My friends & I have been fortunate enough to see some of my long distance favorites live via conventions, venues, official media, and bootlegs. We have traveled far and wide to show our appreciation for the J-bands who have given us musical enjoyment (this Year I went to Japan & took in as much live muic as I could.)  Many have come and gone, and many are still here or are still to come, I wanted to recognize this musical journey that my friends & I have been a part of for the last 2 decades. Triumphs, defeats, inspiration, and an array of emotions have been carried out by the power of music and melody often in words we don’t understand, and it is through this open mindedness of the my friends & I that we are fans of music from a very unique place.  These custom covers  where created to commemorate our journey. 
(I own nothing & copyright of photos are owned by their respective owners.)

2016-10-30

KAMEN JOSHI: Custom T-Shirt Concepts Part 2

Anybody who knows me in person knows that I LOVE a cool graphic t-shirt, I have been that way all of my life. lol  I did this Original Graphic Design T-Shirt Concept for KAMEN JOSHI.  2 versions, Red for "Anna" & Chartreuse.



2016-09-30

Custom J-Rock T-Shirt Designs: BiSH

Some fun custom J-Rock T-Shirt designs I did based on BiSH's preexisting merch.  =)  Special thanks to Terry Wilkinson for the logos and Idolmetal & Alternative Idol for hosting them. 






2016-08-31

KAMEN JOSHI: Custom T-Shirt Concepts Part 1

Some fun with Kamen Joshi, custom T-Shirt concepts.




2016-07-31

KAMEN JOSHI: Anna Tachibana Custom BD cover art

I was at Kamen Joshi :Anna Tachibana's 5th Anniversary show while in Japan (my favorite!) and the cool staff makes BD & DVD releases of several shows each month and I wanted a copy of one of the shows I was at! Then wrapped it with some fun artwork!  One of the most fun & engaging concerts I have ever been to, simply amazing!  =)

2016-06-30

Trip To Japan June 2016!!


Around a year in the making (& 24 in dreaming) , I finally got to scratch off a long-term "bucket list" item and go to Japan this June for about 11 days with some old friends from college.  All I can say is it was the trip of a lifetime and I am so glad that I went.  The kindness of the Japanese is unparalleled and the culture is amazing. Whether your a Japanese pop culture fanatic like myself or love their history, I highly recommend seeing the land of the Rising Sun yourself.  I did 4 J-Rock concerts (1 was 6 hours long!! XD), 1 Castle, Maid Cafe's, Robot Restaurant, Shinkansen, Gundam Cafe, Hibiya Park, Ikebukuro, Akihabara, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Osaka, Shibuya, and much more... I took in as much music, art, culture, anime, and food as I could and I can't wait to go back, as it's a very special place...  ;-)







2016-05-30

TRANSFORMERS: BURN OUT!!


This art was created as a submission for the Transformers Collectors Club magazine of the Botcon 2015  exclusive character "Burn Out!!" A black Diaclone female homage to the Autobot Skids, (referencing his original box art, complete with homemade G1 box style backing!!)   

Special thanks to my brother Randy Para.  ;-)


2016-04-30

RISE OF THE BEASTS: Red Panda turnarounds

This character study of the Red Panda was made as part of the promotionals for the ROTB Kickstarter for series 2 by Jon Karis, showing the red panda concept in turnaround action figure format (for a potential series 3 or 4), ...some added correct colors for splash (like in the tail) and she looks ready for action!!
Hopefully we will see this drawing in Glyos figure-form someday soon!!  ;-)



2016-03-31

RISE OF THE BEASTS: Red Panda concept

I approached Jon Karis about RISE OF THE BEASTS last year on adding some female figures in the line, the gracious Jon asked me what my thoughts were, & I think to his pleasant surprise came the following concept, a Red Panda martial artist! Inspired by Asian motifs, Thundercats 2011, and my love for character design, I put alot of thought into how "XIAO" would fit into the ROTB Universe. The sword is based of an ancient Chinese sword (as are the Chinese inspired) armor and motifs.  Using what I know about indie production toys I kept the colors to a minimal, affordable palette and both Jon & I love how she came out.  Looking fwd to seeing her appear in the comics written by the one & only Glenn White!I just want to say what a privilege and an honor it has been working with both Johnny & Glenn on ROTB, for both the upcoming comic and being able to create character designs for them.  They have so much amazing stuff planned and I can't thank them enough for the opportunity.  They are both really stand up guys and are a pleasure to work with.  This is just the start of a dream come true for everyone involved and the potential behind the ROTB brand is immeasurable!  =)



2016-03-01

Kabuto Mushi color concepts

2014 color concepts I presented to the Godbeast Marty Hansen for possible colorways consideration for his Kabuto Mushi line. Mechanical Line Art by Pat Bussey. These colors are based on Ronin Warriors (aka Samurai Troopers), Sectaurs, & Terra Formars. Big thanks to Marty for always being awesome when it comes to fan ideas & Pat for the stellar mechanicals.

 






 

2016-02-29

RISE OF THE BEASTS: Kickstarter 2 Promotional Art!!


Promotional comic art I created for the RISE OF THE BEASTS Series 2 Kickstarter! Featuring the 4 new characters: Lion, Ape, Horned Lizard, & Ant to be produced next in the Glyos figure line...
BIG NEWS!! I will also be handling more future comic & character art (for Glyos action figures) for the line!! Working with Johnny & Glenn from Plastic !magination has been a dream come true, and I feel privileged to be able to help expand their already amazing universe!

2016-01-23

RISE OF THE BEASTS: Series 2 Kickstarter!!

Hey Masters Of The Universe, Thundercats, & Battle Beasts fans, a brand new Kickstarter for the 2016 RISE OF THE BEASTS Series 2 line of action figures is here!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...easts-series-2



This terrific, inexpensive, fun, and nostalgic filled line (that is an amalgam of the 80's lines mentioned above) is back for a 2nd series featuring 4 NEW SCULPTED figures and a WEAPONS PACK of 9 Weapons that are fully compatible with Glyos and other 60MM retail figures (Like Avengers: Age Of Ultron or Guardians Of The Galaxy!!)

As a MOTU fan myself I can tell you that there is a lot to enjoy about ROTB!! Creators Jon Karis and Glenn White have helped form a new line filled with endless creative characters and story line possibilities! I have been fortunate enough to have contact with both of these talented individuals and want to share in their passion for this new and innovative line of figures. The high quality PVC production figures are a 60mm scale and work with all Glyos compatible figures (created by Onell Design), as they also contain the Glyos peg & socket system. The figures have 4-5 points of swivel articulation at the pegs, & have hands that can hold most 3mm weapons. There is a full character roster, & as part of the creative team, I can tell you that you are seeing just the tip of the iceberg with Series 2 of what can be achieved!!

If you are interested in RISE OF THE BEASTS be sure to pick up the 1st 2 figures offered already in both Painted & Unpainted options of the Rhinoceros and Scorpion available now from "Little Rubber Guys.Store" and help support this great new line of figures! There is also a cool retro style mail-away incentive batch of figures on the store site to entice you to army build with this terrific line! Take the plunge and get your collecting started as I think you will love this new line as much as I do!

Check out all of the details on RISE OF THE BEASTS Series 2 in the Kickstarter link above!!

2016-01-15

J-ROCK SELECTION 2015 CD Cover



J-Rock played a major part in my entertainment in 2015.  And even though every year is J-Rock filled for me, 2015 really stood out as a year where I discovered a lot of great new bands as well as revisited some old friends.  With the stateside music industry being a bit light for my tastes, I love that I can still find innovative & enjoyable music constantly pumping out of Japan's sound waves. To celebrate that in 2015, I created a 2-CD compilation of some of my favorite songs that I discovered in 2015, as well as put together a cover with some cool online artwork, and text/graphic design by me. 

2015-12-31

GI JOE "Devil's Due NYCC": Colors



I edited an oldskool (2006 is oldskool now lol)  GI Joe exclusive NYCC cover for some color time.  Hot Lines by Jeremy Haun & Cool Colors by Me!

2015-11-29

RISE OF THE BEASTS: Preliminary Art Part 2

Continuing the awesome that will be coming soon from the "RISE OF THE BEASTS" toy line, here is some more preliminary work as a post card/character study of the characters  "CAHRIV" & "GAAMIK!!"


2015-10-30

Mystical Warriors Of The Ring: Page 4 Comic Book Colors



Some more color work for Mark Vasquez's amazing Mystical Warriors Of The Ring mini-figure & Glyos line! Featuring line art by Lee Burbridge and colors by me! This is pg 4 of the comic "Hellish Holidays Exclusive!"

Also a classic M.U.S.C.L.E. flesh-toned color variant version!

2015-09-09

J-Rock Shirt mockups...

Ever get tired of NOT being able to get J-Rock shirts of your favorite Japanese bands...me too... so I started making my own.  ;-)




2015-08-31

RISE OF THE BEASTS: Preliminary Art

Gearing up for something big in the near future with ROTB!!  ;-)




2015-07-26

CD Covers (Acoustic Gorilla for my Father)

Over the last decade, my father Greg Para has been recording demos with his home studio tech.  Recently we uncovered some of those recordings, and he remastered them... from there I recorded them to digital, and was finally able to complete some artwork for his first produced demo acoustic instrumental CD!  The art was inspired by the title, and also the look of anime rock band Fire Bomber's "Acoustic Fire" CD from the 90's.  The CD is a mix of covers with 1 original song, and covering  a few X Japan tracks... as well as surf, folk, traditional, and more.  Something very special I was able to work on with my father so that his music is preserved forever for his family, friends, & fans to enjoy for years to come!

I also put together a "Best Collection" CD for my friends and I of the key music from "Attack On Titan," as we have been recently getting together to enjoy that series on BD. Images from  their respective owners & graphic design by me.  ;-)


2015-06-12

In Print...

Got this sweet print in from my buddy Mark Vasquez of my colors on JB Roe's art for Mystical Warriors Of The Ring, hitting the convention circuit starting with Wizard World in Iowa this weekend!  Awesome!

2015-05-31

Mystical Warriors Of The Ring Comic Book Cover Colors

One of the most exciting new indie toylines on the mini figure market today is none other than my pal Mark Vasquez's nostalgic anthropomorphic wrestlers "Mystical Warriors Of The Ring!" The figures are very reminiscent of the classic M.U.S.C.LE. line of the 80's with a more modern aesthetic and wild flare. The figures are around 2" but have varying shapes and sized dependent upon the character themselves, and have a lot of fun and flex packed right into them (just like back in the day!) Mark has 6 mini figures & 1 deluxe figure available including a female wolf character named "Yvonne" (my personal fave, and a rarity in the mini figure market!)   Another enjoyable aspect of this line is how much media has already been produced for it, including comics, animation, & cards that you can view right on the MWOTR site.  There is even a wrestling ring playset and play mat to add to your battles or dioramas.  Great for both kids and collectors alike you will be seeing even more MWOTR characters in the future, as there is big plans to keep this line expanding.  Proof of great things happening is that we have seen the beginning of the 1st spin-off line of deluxe figures called "Mystcial Warriors Of The Ring Evolution." This new era of MWOTR features poseable figures that have Glyos joints that are compatible with other Glyos figures!  The 1st figure "Goliath" is already available and is an instant hit with the now expanded fan-base. Mash him up with your favorite Kabuto Mushi figure or Glyos Neo Granthan and you have a battle armored Goliath ready to fight outside the ring on worlds unknown! 

Mark recently asked if I would do some colors on his talented friend's JB Roe's line art, and I was more than happy to oblige, the result is what you see above, the cover of volume 4, featuring the plucky twosome"Winged Fury!"  This was a lot of fun for me and I'll be doing some more color work for Mark in the future!  =)

And here's some pics of my own collection, including an extra  special "Manager version" resin figure of Yvonne!

 You can pick up some MWOTR figures of your very own right here at the Ringside Store!

2015-04-19

Recreating a Toyline: BUGMEN OF INSECTA

In 1983, DFC Multi-Toys Corp created a line of insect warriors called the "BUGMEN OF INSECTA."  These 6 figures & 2 vehicles proceeded Coleco's (more popular and remembered insect warriors,) the"Sectaurs," and were released at popular toy outlets like Toys R Us. As a child my Aunt Leta had a way of finding us a variety of toys that my brothers and I weren't currently collecting on our own to help spark and further our adventures with playtime, & imagination. Receiving 1 figure each from her that Christmas, the BUGMEN have always had a fond place in my heart as a durable, fun, and little known figure line from my childhood.  Although the figures had no media and just a brief blurb on the back of their cards, both the figures & packaging resonated with me as a 50's-70's kind of sci-fi throwback tale of giant monstrous bugs reclaiming the Earth.  My brothers & I  had the characters  KING STINGA, CARNIVORA, & WEBSPINNER IV (the other 3, LORD GRASSA, ELEPHAS, & the lone female BLACK WIDOW were equally cool) but as with most little known toy lines of the 80's, these figures moved out of the toy infested aisles as quickly as they arrived, and have been mostly forgotten except by the savviest of today's adult collectors.  Today these are near impossible to come by, as carded samples are so rare, and loose samples usually are very worn, but through the building power of the Glyos system I saw a way within THE GODBEAST'S exciting KABUTO MUSHI figure to rebuild these characters using 95% of what the Kabuto Mushi figure already came with as the aesthetic.  So in a an usual attempt to recapture a small sample of my childhood, I started looking at Glyos in a new way, to homage figures & characters of my past, something the current Kabuto Mushi line is doing right now with slick paint applications. I'm proud to say that in just about a little over a year of it's original release, through the help of Marty Hansen and his investor Kaleb's kindness and inventiveness, through Kabuto Mushi I have been able to complete this project and rebuild a 2015 updated version of the 80's infamous BUGMEN OF INSECTA!





*special thanks  to Onell Design & Spy Monkey Creations for also helping to complete my recreations/reimaginings.