Saturday, May 26, 2007


The Ringling Senior thesis show was overall very impressive. My contribution, which I've been posting bits of here, seemed to be well-received, although I felt that it was not as polished as I wanted it to be. This past year has just been a hectic mess for me, and everything I did seemed to be terribly frustrating, requiring much more effort and stress than it should have. I think the lack of sleep and constant creative overdrive causing me to neglect any sort of social or family life over the past couple years just built up to the point where I needed to stop and rest, but I couldn't pause until the deed was done. Henceforth, my COLLIDE-O-SCOPE senior thesis project had to be birthed a bit prematurely -- I wanted to do so much more with it, but time and the forces of the universe would not allow it. I plan to continue to fine tune this showdog and actually produce illustrated stories and some assorted merchandise featuring these characters and concepts. I put a lot of effort into creating an actual cohesive storyline for the concept and solid backgrounds for the characters and how they interact, which took time away from actual visual artwork, but it was necessary if I wanted to round this thing out.

Anyway, here's the first part of my Senior thesis presentation, starting with the band members themselves. First up: ATOM ALLEGRO, lead guitarist/ vocals for COLLIDE-O-SCOPE!

Before I get to Atom's background, here's the pitch for the concept of the whole COLLIDE-O-SCOPE mess:


Welcome to Roca Lago, the musical mecca of the world and home to the highest population of musicians, the largest number of bands and the most recording studios in the world! Due to a mystical underground spring which supplies Roca Lago with its drinking water, the entire population has been gifted with at least a moderate level of musical talent and hundreds have become masters of the craft -- some of the animals have even started to display some musical talent! In a city full of proficient musicians, what kind of band could capture the hearts and minds of an overwhelming majority of the population, becoming the greatest band on Earth, and several other planets?! Why, it’s COLLIDE-O-SCOPE, silly!!
Look out! From their not-so-secret mountainside headquarters carved into the interior of Anchor Rock Mountain, COLLIDE-O-SCOPE divides their precious time between crafting and performing the most complex and mind-blowing hard-rockin’ songs known to man, exploring the arcane limits of science and the unknown with PROFESSOR SYD “SQUIDHEAD” FLEETWOOD, and protecting the world from the forces of evil and sinister dipstick chumpwads who would seek to enslave/ destroy/ devour mankind or who generally have a stick up their asses about the whole music scene and/or humanity in general. Their success and mass popularity has spawned COLLIDE-O-SCOPE action figures, comic books, breakfast cereals, jammies, video games, hygiene products, etc., but they don’t let that get in the way of their musical integrity and hardworking can-do attitudes.
More on the band in a bit, but hey what’s the deal with that crazy underground spring? That sure sounds like a load of crickets, huh? Not so! In fact there’s a very good explanation why something as simple as an underground spring would bestow such musical prowess upon those who would drink from it. There are many legends and tall-tales to explain the nature of the spring’s magical properties, ranging from the spilled blood from the warring gods Apollo and Athena seeping into the spring to a tale of the Aztec god of hell seeking to drown Quetzalcoatl in an underground lake, extinguishing creativity in mankind. Though science has yet to discover the real answer, you can blame it on Satan! The truth is that the spring runs up through the exact spot where Lucifer and his choir of rebellious angels crashed to earth upon being expelled from heaven. Their descent was sudden and forceful, and the heavenly instruments of the fallen angelic musicians became embedded deep in the earth. Dazed and dumbfounded, Lucifer and the ex-angels emerged from the earth and wandered about for a while in a senseless stupor. When they regained their composure, they discovered they were without the instruments they could have used to sway humanity easily and immediately to their side. Due to their previous state of confusion and bewilderment, they were unable to remember exactly where their fall landed them, and Lucifer has been on a desperate search to discover this hidden cache of powerful heavenly tools. Recently, however, odd occurrences in the southwestern town of Roca Lago have begun to provide Lucifer with clues as to where his missing musical instruments might be.

When Roca Lago was founded, the citizens had no inkling of the angelic stash buried far beneath them. Years later, they tapped into the spring as their primary source of drinking water. Though it took several generations of buildup and genetic mutation, the population soon began experiencing unexplained musical proficiency, until, just a few generations later, the offspring of those lifelong residents became truly and unarguably gifted. Once this odd effect was discovered and attributed to “something in the water”, musical hopefuls flocked to the area, gorging themselves on Roca Lago’s strange water. They were disappointed to discover, however, that there were no instant magical effects and that the abilities of the residents were only the result of long-standing local genetic lines all drinking the water -- there was no “instant magical musical drink” to be found flowing from the faucets of Roca Lago.
Not everyone in the city of Roca Lago is a professional musician, but all of them play an instrument or two as a hobby, or in an informal garage jam band. Music shops are ubiquitous, there’s a street band on practically every corner, and certain sections of the city are even devoted ghettoized in line with certain styles of music (i.e. the Country/Western Boroughs, Rockabilly Road, Disco Heights, Zydeco Alley, etc.). Every year, on the town’s birthday, the entire population gathers together downtown and sets the world record for the world’s largest group musical performance, all playing a single composition in unison which can be heard for miles around. It may seem fairly obvious, but Lucifer will figure it out sooner or later, and come to Roca Lago looking for his instruments... and COLLIDE-O-SCOPE will be there to stop him!


Atom Allegro -- Lead Guitar/ Rhythm/ Vocals
Atom (yes, that’s his real name) comes from a long line of lead guitarists, each better and faster than the last. Growing up, Atom’s father, Alex, was his best friend. The elder Allegro taught his son everything he knew about rock guitar, even allowing Atom to join Alex’s band when their rhythm guitarist fell ill and had to quit. Atom soon surpassed his father in musical prowess, however, which pleased Alex and was a source of great pride. Disaster soon struck, as the lead guitarist of a rival band executed a scheme to cause an evil underspirit from the dark dimension to possess and ruin Alex Allegro. The scheme worked, and Alex became unnaturally jealous towards his son, sabotaging his performances and eventually threatening Atom with physical violence. Atom discovered the source of his father’s drastic change in demeanor with the help of Professor Syd Fleetwood, but not before Alex, under the demon’s influence, had laid a fatal and irreversible trap for Atom and the rest of the band. Alex was able to overcome the demon’s influence through his willpower and love for his son at the last minute, however, saving the lives of Atom and his fellow bandmates by sacrificing himself to the catastrophic snare. As his mother had passed away years ago, Atom soon found himself with no family, and no will to continue with the band. Professor Fleetwood took Atom in as his adopted son and nursed him through the grieving process, teaching him about science and allowing Atom to accompany him on his various expeditions and experiments. Soon, the desire to take up the guitar once more returned to Atom, if only to honor his father. Atom began seeking out new bandmates to start up a brand new super-group, gradually gathering together the members of the greatest band on the planet: COLLIDE-O-SCOPE! Residing with Professor Fleetwood in their mountainside mega-complex, COLLIDE-O-SCOPE divides their time between touring the world with their kick-ass concerts, exploring the mysteries of the planet (and beyond), and combatting the forces of evil and ennui that would seek to bring harm and disharmony to mankind!

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