There must be something in the water because I've been getting a ton of requests from different people lately to use this image in various ways:
This was one of the first "one of everything" pieces I did for Wizard Magazine. In fact I think it's THE very first one I did for them. It was for an article on the massive revival wave of 80's era pop culture properties that were happening at the time (2004 or so). I've had it on my website for a long while, and now it seems everybody and their sister wants to use it for their party, or their softball team or dvd project or whatever - seriously, I'm getting a new request every 2 days or so. It's getting really annoying quite frankly, and I'm thinking of just telling everyone NO from here on out or even going so far as to obliterate the damn thing from my various websites just to spare myself the hassle.
I've also been getting questions about THIS character in particular, since a lot of people can't identify him:
He's Kodiak from The Bearriors - a group of eco-themed animal warriors, it was an obscure Coleco toy line and short-lived cartoon that ran in syndication in early 1988, and was kind of a cross between Captain Planet and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In 2004 they were even all set for a comeback (in the wake of similar revivals for GI Joe, Transformers, He-Man, etc) courtesy of start-up company Topp Hatt Toyz.
Wait - you've never heard of the Bearriors?!
That's because they don't actually exist!
The Bearriors were an elaborate hoax that the ToyFare editors came up with, and I was in on it from the beginning, creating pretty much all of the artwork for the fake line. The idea was to make up this fake 80's kids property that was "coming back" and drive the collectors bananas trying to remember or find info on a toy line and cartoon that never existed, similar to what Marvel Comics did with The Sentry some years back.
It all kicked off with a two page article featuring some custom made action figures that they commissioned (I'll try to dig up some picture of those - I didn't make them) and I drew some concept art of the "All-New" Bearriors:
Kodiak, the leader, had a sword:
Polaar, the muscle - wielded an axe:
Koalus, he was supposed to be some kind of a commando/mechanic with boomerang shaped sixguns:
Pandor, the silent ninja type - he had a katana sword:
Cinnamon, the token girl bear who was an archer:
Old "splinter" like grizzly bear mentor, I forget what his name was:
Ruckus, the raccoon sidekick/comic relief:
The ToyFare design staff made a nifty retro-chrome logo:
I did a few more:
I also did a bunch of designs and graphics that the magazine "leaked" every few months or so.
And of course I slipped one fo the characters into the 80's article illustration seen at the top of this post. Bottom line, the hoax worked - if the nerd message boards are to be believed. ToyFare eventually came clean about it in issue #122, four years after it started. Now since this 80's disco image is making the rounds lately, I'm getting slammed with emails from people simply dying to know who the hell the bear is - maybe I'll edit him out and replace with Rainbow Brite or something so people stop getting confused.
But seriously people, try not to worry about this stuff so much.