February 2008
I love symposia
Posted on February 27, 2008 by Tim
I'm back baby! If you've been wondering why the Madhouse hasn't been updated with it usual machine gun like regularity in the last few days, it's because I was in Washington DC where I attended the first annual (we hope) FM/TLZ Fan Fiction writers symposium. And so, at the risk of cracking your monitor screen and making you lose the last meal you ingested, I present herewith a picture of Red_Line (eg myself), Ramon_51, and Kriebs, taken while we were out playing tourist. As you might guess, it isn't all that warm in DC in late February, but at least it wasn't snowing and they didn't get the predicted ice storm. I wasn't thinking or I'd have unzipped my jacket - I was wearing a Bender shirt. Did I mention it was cold?

We stayed at the luxurious Casa de Ramon, which was very nice except the cleaning staff could have given Hermes lessons in being ... um ... let's just say detail oriented.

We had a great time talking about ideas and reading drafts of stuff we're working on and springing Futurama quotes on each other. Maybe we'll do it again next year, and maybe we'll get some more authors to come. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile, I'm still hacked from five days on the road so we'll get back to real updates next time.
If you can draw Fry, you could become a famous artist
Posted on February 21, 2008 by Tim
at least here on Futurama Madhouse anyway. And we won't charge you anywhere near as much as those fly by night art schools that advertise in match books and those cheezy magazines at the supermarket checkout. So anyway, Sefiro is back with some more of his Fan Art and a how to draw Fry video on his youtube channel.

And over in our "If you can write Fry you could become a famous author" department, here's a new Fan Fiction from first time contributor and author Tornadoboy. Those that are in the know will have already read the early drafts of Astronomical Disaster on our Message Board and will know what happens in the aftermath of another botched pass at Leela and an encounter with a ship smashing asteroid. The rest of you will have to go read it, for which we've very graciously provided, at great expense, this link for your shopping convenience.

A couple of months ago an alert reader brought to our attention a band called Atomic Raygun Attack that had done a Futurama inspired collection of songs. This inspired Courtney M. to take her guitar and computer in hand and make some Futurama inspired music of her own. Well she writes to say that her computer has been giving her fits but she hasn't given up on the music front, but meanwhile, so no one comes after her with torches and pitchforks, she's traded guitar for pencils and made us some Fan Art.

Which also reminds me, I still have an interview I did with Atomic Raygun Attack that I've been meaning to get put up, but since BBS was released, everyone's been keeping me busy with all of their great creations. Maybe I'll wedge that in next.
This'll have you in stitches
Posted on February 18, 2008 by Tim
The e-mail started off saying "First off, of course, love the site!", so I gotta start this update by saying "Thanks. That's what we like to hear". Then Whatever James went on to tell me about this picture he sent in, which we have enshrined in the Fan Photos section. This little bitty thumbnail looks like just another picture of Bender in one of his classic poses, but if you look at the big version you'll see what's different about it. Yup, it's done in cross stitch. James says "I get really bored at work and took up cross-stitching a few years ago and started this back in September 2007. I just finished it last week and since I can't draw thought I would share it for my version of fan art. There are roughly 8,000 stitches in it and it measures 7.5 inches wide and 9.5 high. I am working on the portrait of Emperor Fry The Solid next".

Now in the Fan Art realm, S punk (who was at pains to explain that it's pronounced "S Punk") sent in ten drawings she did with colored pencils. I had to brush up on my Alien 1 to read what it says on the Scary Door one. And that last one looks vaguely reminiscent of the first Star Wars movie poster.

And finally, what would be more fun than tweaking the nose of Futurama's most annoying character, Cubert Farnsworth? Other than setting Leela and Zapp Brannigan up on a blind date, not much. Fortunately for us, and Leela, and probably Zapp as well, Kyle Williams is back with a bunch more answers to Cubert's Rants. Look for his newest ones in 1ACV05, 1ACV06, 1ACV13, 2ACV03, 2ACV05, and 2ACV11.
The rest of the story
Posted on February 16, 2008 by Tim
Not only is ElectricXebra's life-sized Bender going to kill all humans, it looks like he was going to clean out your wallet too, which is actually quite appropriate for Bender. You see, ElectricXebra lives in Las Vegas (or "Lost Wages" as it's sometimes known) and he custom builds things for people with lots of money, and back when someone got the idea that a Futurama slot machine would be a really cool idea (heck, I think it's a really cool idea even now) so they hired him to build the prototype. And from the looks of things, like Bender, it will lighten you wallet of any common denomination bills you might have (doesn't look like it'll take tricky Dick fun bucks though). Unfortunately, the show got canceled and so did the machine.

EX says that Bender is made out of a foam base that is then hard coated at 160F with a plastic fiber sprayed over the foam that turns it into plastic that can be sanded and painted. His eyes light up and he can say 10 phrases from the show with a push of a button. He's working on the Robot Devil and a few other robots from the show and wants to make a Bender that has a CD player in his mouth. Hopefully we'll have some more pics of those when they're done. Did I mention that he's a huge fan of the show? Just to prove it's really life-sized, there's also a picture of ElectricXebra posing with Bender in the Fan's Photos section.

Now, while you're all distracted with that, I'm going to toss in a Fan Fiction. I'd love to tell you that it's a classic Fry and Leela shipper tale. Yes, I'd love to tell you that. Sure would. But I can't, 'cause it isn't. True, it is a Fry and Leela shipper tale, it just takes a different approach. It's called Crazy and it's by Ramon_51 and it picks up where his previous fic, Your Cold, Cold Heart leaves off.
We're boned!
Posted on February 13, 2008 by Graham
If anyone called ElectricXebra comes to your area, I'd advise you to run fast. Your life is in danger! Really, stop standing there not quaking, I said that your life is in DANGER! Behold the weapon of his choice: Bender! Ah, now I see some running... No, that's Dwayne Chambers running to catch the Olympic bus that's attempting to leave him behind. Maybe Bender killing humans could enhance his running. Anyway, ElectricXebra has created a life-sized model of Bender, which you can see to your right. Don't be fooled, though, it's not a model, it's a human killing machine! Its mission is to, "Kill all humans!" So run to the hills, down the sewers or into that space shuttle ready to launch, because Bender's in town. You'll find ElectricXebra's diabolical work in our Fan Photos section, which is a place that I haven't updated about in my life as a webmaster of Futurama Madhouse or its previous incarnation, The Leela Zone. It's a pity that my first update in this section is to announce that all humans are to be killed! Sorry.
We now return to your scheduled Fry+Leela Fan Art, already in progress...
Posted on February 10, 2008 by Leandro
After spending a week or so looking at other... alternative... relationships in the Futurama universe, we now return to more standard 'ships. A new contributor to the Fan Art section who goes by the nick Yume93 has sent us eleven pictures, some of them featuring the whole crew, some featuring best buddies Fry and Bender, and quite a bit of them dedicated to everybody's (yes, I mean everybody's, if you don't agree you aren't part of my definition of "everybody") relationship: Fry and Leela. She has also sent a couple of pictures of Fry and Leela's (possible) future kids, Susan and Evans. If you want to see more of her pictures, you can visit her own art galleries here or here. Enjoy!
Ok, if everyone will put down the torches and pitchforks ...
Posted on February 10, 2008 by Tim
... I promise to stick to plain old boring news updates from now on asterisk. So to lead off we have a coupla new bits of Fan Art from new contributor Mary Anne. This one here is kind of a big file and despite my best efforts to shrink it, it's still 1.5 meg or thereabouts. Graham will yell at me for for doing that so if you have a low speed connection you'll want to go chuck in a DVD and watch a couple of epps while it's downloading. But it's worth the wait and the other one is normal sized.

Over in our Wallpaper department we have this new Wallpaper which is a TV eye view of Fry and Bender in their usual occupation, which is watching TV. It was created by SethSDB.

And in what is something of an unusual situation, there hasn't been any new Fan Fiction sent in recently and even if there was I'd be afraid to put it up even though I said it belonged in Fan Fiction and crouched it in enough waffle words to supply three or four major political campaigns. But that doesn't mean there isn't a whole bunch of new Fan Fiction to be had as there are several new fics playing out now in the Fan Stuff section of our Message Board, so go check it out, along with all the other great stuff.
Leela and Amy do what? Oh, the humanity!
Posted on February 7, 2008 by Graham
Heh, seems that someone here is tempting getting stalked and barbecued by Shippers, with all the stories about a Leela and Amy relationship coming out on DVD. I'll be brave and hide away while the storm subsides or Tim gets his just desserts. Please avoid making a mess, because someone will have to clear it up, and I don't feel like the one to do it. It's also good to see Kenneth back after a long time wandering around in cyber-Limbo. He always seems to turn up when trouble's about... or maybe he is trouble. Hmm... maybe he was the one who shot JR. Then again, all it needs is Graham to turn up with something to update about, and we'd be set. Oh, wait... I'm Graham!

OK, I have something to update about, and it's not about a sixth movie that has Bender and Fry sharing tender moments with Scruffy and Lrrr, or other such things likely to get the Bible Belt all upset and Futurama cancelled again. Mind you, the furore might cause Box to get taken off the air. You win some, you lose some. In the meantime, here is some welcomed sanity. We have a new fan art from a new contributor, who goes under the name of Trickster381. Trickster381 has come up with fifteen hand-drawn pictures of Futurama scenes and characters. Yes, that's right, fifteen. Busy, busy, busy! Now that's a word that I should read up on. If Tim gets caught be angry Shippers, then maybe I will be a bit more busy and Kenneth will do a little less wandering.
Bite My Shiny Metal Ass Effect!
Posted on February 4, 2008 by Kenneth
Hello all. Yes... it's me. That other guy, the lazy one who barely does a thing these days. If it weren't for Tim, this place would gather cobwebs faster than an abandoned spaceship in a science fiction movie.

Anyway, I have a couple of things for you. The first is a piece of Fan Art that's from me actually. As a fan of BioWare's Mass Effect game, I couldn't help put put some of our favourite characters into their shoes (and the rest of their clothes, for that matter), so I drew this featuring Fry as Shepard, Leela as Ashley, Bender as Garrus and Zoidberg as (why favourite character) Wrex. So... yeah... that's about it.

Oh! And our old friend Dr. Zoidberg has answered some more of your questions, so if you want to see what he has to say to your and/or other peoples queries, check out Ask Dr. Zoidberg #4.

That's all from me for now. Later
Confirmations and Confessions
Posted on February 3, 2008 by Tim
It was either here or the Fan Fiction section and here was easier. I'll let him tell it in his own words: "All right, all right, you've revealed us! The graphic novel I sent to you is originally, as you so brilliantly put it, "a trial balloon being floated to test fan reaction". In July 2006 I was contacted by Bill Morrison through a syndication agency. He told me about the job, and since my career had been going down the hill for a while, I seized the opportunity (why they decided to use a Danish artist is beyond my knowledge). The script had already been made by David X. Cohen and Ken Keeler. However, they were afraid that fans might find it too controversial, so they agreed to post the story as a fan-comic on one of the big Futurama fan-sites in order to test the fans' reactions. Luckily, the test surpassed all expectations, and the feature cartoon has recently been put into production and is scheduled to be released on DVD in the winter of 2009.

While making the story, a lot of drawings were made. After all, I had to learn how to draw the characters, the layout for the pages had to be made, and new characters had to be designed. Some of these drawings were originally supposed to be part of the bonus material on the new DVD. But since you've already revealed us, I guess I might as well show them to you right now.

Like I said, first of all I had to learn how to draw the characters. Characterstudies1 is my very first attempt to do that. All three characters were drawn entirely from memory. When I made Characterstudies2, 3 and 4, I hadn't read the script yet. I had only heard bits and pieces about what the story was about from Bill Morrison. However, that didn't stop me from using a few of the drawings in the graphic novel. As you'd expect, the characters are a bit off-model. Especially Amy. Her hairdo was quite difficult to draw correctly. The fact that I didn't have any model sheet to work from only made things worse (It's stupid! Amy is one of the primary main characters in the story, and they didn't even bother to send me a model sheet of her). Characterstudies5 shows the stage where I had finally gotten used to drawing the characters correctly. Once you reach that stage, you can begin to experiment with the character design. Characterstudies6 is an example of that.

A few new characters were designed specifically for this story. That includes the doctorbot who examines Fry, the gay guy who makes passes at Fry, and of course Leela's landlord Mrs. Muggins (which is originally the name of Peter Parker's landlord in "Spider-man - The saga of the alien costume"). All character designs were drawn by Bill Morrison.

Before I could draw the cover and splashpage, I made a few rough layouts. These were later sent to Bill Morrison for approval. Last, but not least, I've included a clean-penciled version of one of my favorite scenes from the story.

Erik Heltner, Cartoonist

P.S: The name "Erik Heltner" is a pseudonym. My real name is known by Bongo comics and Rough Draft Studios."

Erik's concept art is in our Fan Art section.