Spread The F Word

F Minus is the daily comic strip by Tony Carrillo
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Mar 20, 2013

Michael Keaton Sparky

There's a major controversy boiling over at my alma mater, Arizona State University. A contemporary redesign by Disney of our beloved mascot Sparky has received outrage from students and alumni alike, prompting a re-redesign.

 From left to right: Disgruntled old Sparky, cocky new Sparky

Since the university is now asking for input from the public, I felt obligated to offer a design concept. And since I got my Fine Arts degree from ASU, if they don't like it, they have no one to blame but themselves.

First of all, I don't totally hate the new Sparky the way most people seem to. Yes, he looks like something you might pull out of the claw game at a bowling alley. Yes, he looks like he just got back from the optometrist for an eye dilation. But some aspects of the new design are pretty cool.

We may not be ready for this futuristic Sparky, but let's not forget to turn a critical eye to the old Sparky. We can all agree that Christian Bale's Batman is miles ahead of Adam West, but we still needed Michael Keaton to get us there. (This will not be my last Batman reference) So what I did is take a little bit of old Sparky, mixed in some new Sparky, and set it at a low broil for about eight hours.

I present to you, Michael Keaton Sparky:
Let me take you through this.

Something Old: I think everyone likes Sparky's face. He's a devil, and he's up to some mischief, but he's got a twinkle in his eye that says stabbing you was all in good fun. However, the old face does have some weird elements.
The leeches on my face are medicinal.

Those maroon slugs are meant to represent eyebrows, mustache, dimples, and whatever is going on with his chin. It creeps me out. The eyebrows and mustache are important to his character, but I think we can play down the dimples a little, and let the chin beard just add a subtle point to his heart-shaped face. Also, coloring the facial hair maroon suggests his horns are just a wolverine-style hairdo. Let's go with black.
Come on! Let's get nuts!

Old Sparky's teeth look like they are about to slide open horizontally like Star Trek doors. With one line I suggest the hint of a second row, giving Sparky a gnashing grin.

Something New: I think new Sparky's costume is pretty cool. For too long he's been trotting around in those warm-up sweats. Now it looks like he's in the game. From a practical standpoint, those shoulder pads are important. If Wilbur the Wildcat comes sneaking around our water coolers, Sparky just might have to take him out. The last thing we need is for Sparky to struggle through dozens of push-ups with a dislocated shoulder.

Also, I like the gauntlets. Batman has gauntlets. Besides, at some point he's going to need to throw them down. Yes, there is a chance they might take out a cheerleader's eye, but that's the risk you take when you dance with the devil.

There was some talk of a tail. Now listen, I spent some time as a costumed character in my college days, and tails are non-stop trouble. The tail is out. Let's just say he tucks it down a pant leg.

Something Borrowed: Bear with me on this. Several years ago I got to see James Brown perform live. At some point during the concert he looked like he just couldn't go on, and his MC draped a cape over his shoulders and led him away. Suddenly, he turned and threw the cape away and BAM! Sex machine. The crowd went wild. I think Sparky should employ this at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Keep in mind, he would not wear the cape most of the time. He needs freedom to move. But he could enter the stadium wearing it like Rocky Balboa. The outside of the cape should be golden like the nuclear fires of the sun from which Sparky was born.

Batman wears a cape. 

CLICK HERE FOR CAPE-FREE OPTION

Nothing Blue: Because that wouldn't make sense.
So there you have it. My contribution to the Arizona State legacy. Since F Minus got its start there, and is still published in the student newspaper, The State Press, I'm hoping it will get some consideration. And because of our history, if they want to use it, I will only charge half of whatever they paid Disney.

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7 comments:

Bainbridge said...

Fantastic!

Leslie said...

As an alumni, I'd vote for it! Great thoughts, Tony!

Stacy, a far less successful State Press cartoonist said...

Capes get sucked into jet engines!

F Minus said...

Stacy, I've seen The Incredibles too! That's why I explicitly stated that the cape would only be worn for theatrical effects, or during his entrance. (Obviously, if his entrance involves a jet engine, he would forgo the cape)

Anonymous said...

They did not pay anything... maybe that was the problem...

Anonymous said...

The only thing I don't like about your version of Sparky is the absence of his Goatee. Otherise, I do like your version. I would however like to see an alternative option with more black on Sparky's head and no cape. Sparky isn't a member of the band Queen!

Anonymous said...

Looks latino