Thursday, March 06, 2008

I Have Just Discovered . . .

the coolest website ever! If you like comic books and superheroes, that is. HeroMachine 2.5 is a website which allows you to design your own superheroes from the ground up, even if you can't draw to save your life (I can't). You choose the body type, gender, and other characteristics of your superhero from a menu of preset options and watch your creation take shape on the screen before your very eyes. You design the costume, choose the weapons, select a backdrop, and name your newest super with a just a few mouse clicks and keystrokes. Think of it as a Mr. Potato Head for the electronic age, only cooler. Want your super-heroine to be a tall willowy redhead? No problem. Or maybe you're a gentleman who prefers blondes. We can do that, too. And what's a superhero without super-villains to fight? Any super worth his salt needs a good rogues gallery. In just a few hours (too many) I created a superhero (The Gryphon), and a super-heroine (Celtica), inspired by my love of all things Irish and by seeing one too many episodes of "Wonder Woman" and "Xena, Warrior Princess." Somebody help me, I'm such a geek! I also created Draxon, an armor clad, ray gun-wielding baddie, Big Tony, a musclebound machine gun-toting thug, and Dr. Frost, a nerdy scientist type who can go either way. Story ideas are already percolating.

My one regret (and it's a big one) is that as a Mac user I cannot save my brilliant creations as JPEG or GIF files. Windows users, however, can save their heroes and villains (It's discrimination, I tell ya!) The best I can do is save the parameters for my characters as lines of code, go back to the website, paste them in, reload the characters into the HeroMachine, and print out hard copies. (Sigh). I've posted a comment on the creator's blog calling attention to this grievous error. I suspect I'm not the only Mac user to complain.

Until next time, superfriends!

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