I keep calling them “Pie Star”

I know this wasn’t a major news story (even within the realm of the internet), but I found it very funny that a whole company, Psystar,  sprung up to legitimately sell “hackintosh” computers, The Open Mac/Computer, when the act of doing so violates Apple’s terms of service and is basically illegal. (note: making your own hackintosh isn’t really illegal. Selling them mostly is.)

Engadget has been chronicling the sadness of Psystar (psadness?), even going as far as to call the owner of Psystar to personally understand the shadiness there in.

The reason Steve won’t let other companies develop hardware for OS X to run on, is he wants to control every aspect of the Mac experience. He wants to know that while you are looking at OS X, you are looking at it on a Steve-approved LCD, and typing on Steve-approved keys, etc etc. The existence of the Mac Mini would seem to negate this theory, but I know that’s how he thinks. He at least wants the box housing the motherboard to have Steve-approved prettiness.

What does any of this have to do with 4th grade super hero creations? Nothing. The name “Psystar” just sounds like something me and my best friend in 4th grade, John Kienhoff, would have come up with.

Here are a few other of our grade 4 creations:

  • Jack Thunder – Spectral detective with a trench coat, giant hat and a Colt .45. Pretty sure he was a ghost.
  • The Cyber Knights – Knights that were also cyborgs. We couldn’t figure of they were from the future or the past, but they were fun to draw.
  • Sage – He knew everything… and was also your basic super hero with strength and flight and such.
  • Stab – A guy that only used knives. I never got around to drawing him, but I always liked the idea. The villain has a huge gun and he takes him down with just knives. Kick ass.
  • I also made a parody comic called “The Z-Men.” The team included “Cry-Clops,” “Collopsided,” “Night Faller” and “Wormerine.” I’ll let your imagination do the legwork.

Any super hero that a 10 year old dreams up has basically unlimited power, no weaknesses and an impossible anatomy that would make Rob Liefeld look like Michelangelo. Oh, and a cape. Always a cape. I should dig up those drawings (I have them all) and put them in the back of the first HE book.

Any Fancy Bastards out there create equally shitty comic book super heroes as a child?

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91 Comments

  1. Back in 1990 my friends and I started up a comic book company. Well we trademarked a name anyway. Mirage Comics. We had a universe of characters and made a few "ash cans" or rough draft comics. We never did a damn thing after that. It's too bad.
    I can hardly remember the characters but there was this team of good guys that included a chick named Gate that could basically create portals from anywhere to anywhere (no need for a jet).
    Then there was a guy who could create blades of energy around his fists that he could fight with or shoot at people like Guile from Street Fighter. Also if he smashed his fists together it would create an energy shield around him.
    And a superhero that could control air pressure. I always loved (still do) the possibilities of that power. Creating vacuums, shock waves, sonic booms, even flight or space travel.
    There was a bad guy named Genesis (no Phil Collins jokes) who was super smart and could control people telepathically on an almost global level. The problem he had was that he was stuck on Earth in the future when nuclear war turned the planet into a giant radioactive shithole. And it was being used as a galactic prison planet (ala Australia). I was probably going to make him really L. Ron Hubbard-ish. Uh oh. Someone's knocking. Gotta go…

  2. I remember creating a comic book based on an amalgam of the Pirates of Dark Water (one of the best cartoons ever) and the X-Men. One of my characters actually said, "I have claws like Wolverine!" lol. Wish I still had an imagination.

  3. Also, my brother and I used to pretend we were X-Men (among other things, like pro wrestlers). I was Wolverine, he was Cyclops. (Read: I kicked his ass a lot.) It was fun to pretend to be those types of people any time, but it was especially fun in a pool since the water let us "fly" a bit more.

  4. I didn't draw a lot myself, never people really cause they were too hard. When I doodled it usually was some variation of jets and hovercrafts fighting, cause they were both real easy to draw from the side.

  5. I wonder how many that were sent into Nintendo Power actually made it into the game. I "designed" a game on notebook paper based on the comic book "Dark Hawk" and sent it to them. I think Josh did the same.

  6. me and my friends would do jam comics in school. you know, draw a frame, pass it on.

    a couple of friends ended up making some characters that became their "thing" from then on. A guy named Bob with a ponytail, who I'm pretty sure was a homosexual. But not in a bad way. I distinctly remember him being open to the same ridicule and deaths that all our characters were subjected to. The blobbish creature "Homogenous Mixture", that we made out of Crayola clay. We were little kids, and this is the type of stuff we came up with.

    also, it was the last time I ever felt the urge or satisfaction of drawing. shame.

  7. I can't draw, but the "first" thing I wrote was a couple paragraphs of some Saab 37 Viggens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_37_Viggen), which had been refitted with lasers, basically doing a Death Star trench run. I was in either 2nd or 4th grade; I think 2nd, but I had the same teacher both years so it blurs a bit. Definitely in 4th grade I wrote a ripped-off mish-mash of Top Gun and Final Countdown. We won't talk about the first novel I wrote. *gah*

  8. I made up a lot of super heroes. I started to write one where some kid found a ring in a treasure chest in an alley that turned him into a super hero. I realize now that there were several problems with that whole scenario: (1) Why the hell did he try on that one ring? Why not take the entire fucking chest and pawn that shit? (2) WTF was an open treasure chest doing in an alley? (3) That ring was probably stolen, and now he's fucked legally. That's what I get for falling asleep while my dad tried to read me old Avengers comics as a kid.

    I also made my own action figures out of pipe cleaners and tin foil. Not that this saved my parents money; they still bought me an ass-ton of action figures. Sometimes I liked playing in my own Universe without all that messy continuity.

    "Any super hero that a 10 year old dreams up has basically unlimited power, no weaknesses and an impossible anatomy that would make Jim Lee look like Michelangelo."

    Yes. I can safely say that my drawings were Rob Liefeld-esque when I was a kid, so your description works.

  9. Me and my friends in elementary school used to make up Mega Man bosses and design levels for them. The funny thing is that I think just about every boss idea we came up with eventually got used in the series.

  10. Oh I did a few…

    When I first saw star wars I drew about 40 beefed up space-ships with unbeatable stats etc… I remember doing them and thinking 'Why do the people who made the ones in star wars not make them like this? Why wouldn't they want them to be unbeatable? Idiots…'

    I've always drawn super-heroes, a few stand out…

    – There was 'Spastic-elf', who was an elf from the north pole who had ADHD and was always chugging pills and fighting evil with various, Christmas themed weapons. His side-kick was a rapping, anthropomorphic bear (named 'BEAR' [capitals a must]) who was always giving the finger, smoking a cigar and carrying a Desert Eagle and about half his weight in 'bling' and baggy jeans.
    – PsyLock, basically a male form of the X-MAN 'Psylocke' except with every superpower I could think of at the time and a cape, oh and two belts worn around his torso that crossed to make an 'X' on his chest… You gotta' have those…
    – 'Hobo the magic Bum', a comic I made for a 7th grade assignment about a super-bum best described as a teenage version of 'Pig-Pen' from 'Peanuts' with Linus' blanket around his neck as a cape who cruised around town in a trolley with a V8 engine. The comic involved him fighting terrorists to save the world's supply of bananas…

  11. As a kid and I got more into writing, I came up with 2 really crappy ones. One, whose name I can't even remember, was basically just floating eyes and claws. I primarily created him that way because I was bad at drawing everything else. The other was Cave Dude, a man who found a trunk in his attic in which was a loincloth and a giant club that inexplicably talked.

  12. Oh man, seems so long ago but I remember the super heroes I came up with my older brother and a neighbor kid were all related to some type of insect… and then some TV show about Bug Beetle Superheroes came on and we were all WTF for about 2 seconds until we became HUGE fans of the show. I think it was closely similar to Power Rangers only they were much younger, kids even, and transformed to adult sized beetle themed ninja warriors.

  13. In fourth grade I drew a group of superheroes called "Spedys" (pronounced "speedies"). I think "SPEDYS" was made up of the first letter of each's name. One of them was basically Flash. The one I remember most vividly was a guy who could transform his legs below his knees into a rocket-powered hoverboard (like in Back to the Future 2 (well not the leg-morphing part)). Like his shins/feet would become liquid then reform as the hoverboard or something. He had things around his wrists that could shoot lazers too.

    I think one of them could make plants attack people, basically a ripoff of one of the Darkwing Duck villains. One of the bad guys was called "Lamina" (that's "animal" backwards). He could turn into any animal at will. I'm having trouble remembering any others.

    Oh and they all wore something like a single-colored unitard (I guess kinda like the power rangers?). And capes of course.

  14. Jack Thunder is a really cool name. If you ever wanted to do a superheroey spinoff of HE, you should totally throw that in.

    When I was around that age, Star Wars had just come out, and we were surrounded by that, Galactica, Buck Rogers, and Star Blazers, so those informed the stuff we came up with more than superheroes.

    "This is my spaceship, and up here is where I sit to drive it, and here are the lasers, and here are the more lasers, and down here is the ultra-super-destructo cannon, with a couple of lasers on it, and here's where the missiles come out. The laser missiles."

    I did find a fake comic-book cover I drew in 5th grade, called "Insanity! comics" It was apparently an anthology featuring the Insaniteers, who were these little fry-guys with curly mustaches and Napoleon hats, and the adventures of SCHIZOPHRENIA, who was just a guy in a straitjacket who thought everyone was out to get him.

    I should tell my therapist about that one.

  15. I had a gothy friend with a fetish for the Hellraiser movies, who would always be drawing new Cenobites. He'd blindside me with "I created this Cenobite today, right?" and go on to describe all the hooks and scars in the guy's flesh.

  16. My friends and I used to play a RPG called Champions. It was like D&D but with superheros/villains. I had an entire 3-ring binder full of characters. I think making the villains was actually more fun though. When you're getting pounded everyday by the resident football-hero it's fun to dream up fantastical ways destroy him.

  17. I was in third grade when Star Wars came out and just like everyone else at that time i went nuts for it, My Mom bought me an 8-Track tape that contained the entire audio track from the movie. Everything, from the opening credits to the medal ceremony. It was awesome. Anyway, my friends and I used to put the tape on and act out the entire movie. We had this black vinyl recliner that we used for the gun turrets in the Millennium Falcon. One of us would sit in it and recline it all the way back while someone else would get behind it and spin it around. That's the reason I spent the entire summer between 3rd and 4th grade grounded. My friend got a little to enthusiastic with his spinning. While coming around my feet slammed into the table next to the chair and i knocked it across the room along with the antique oil lamp that came over on the boat from Ireland with my great-grandmother. Oh, and the footrest on the recliner ripped off of the chair.

    Good times!

  18. I made a comic when I was little, it was "Garbage Man." He had garbage can legs and lived in the sewer and fought rats and had a garbage can lid for a shield and shot garbage at his foes out of his garbage gun. Yeah… Good times…

  19. Had a teeming mass of creatures called Allieans, aliens that pretty much were tiny copies of my friend Allie mixed with leprechauns. It was their sole object in life to torment math teachers. We didn't DRAW them so much as work THROUGH them.

    Dunno. The only friend I had who could draw was really into ponies.

  20. Never really made a psuperhero, except for a few characters in D&D that were pretty effed up. I had a Dwarf who only pspoke in 1337psp33k named Beefy McLargeHuge.

    What the pshit? I can't pstop adding p's to all of my s words.

    AGH, HELP!

  21. When I was in 4th Grade I drew a picture of someone that basically looked like a starcraft marine (a very crappy drawing) but with an assault rifle in one hand and a flame thrower in another-burning something that probably was supposed to be a zerg.

  22. When I was a kid, somewhere in third grade, me and my best friend came up with super alter-egos for ourselves. I was Stuper Geek and he was Idiotman. Stuper Geek (the comic relief) got his powers from eating a magical powdered doughnut, he got a power boost from Joke Books and his kryptonite was bad science films. He could also divert all of his energy into one action, such as punching or flying. Unfortunately he had to be careful, because he could accidentally divert energy away from thing such a breathing or heartbeats. Idiotman was the straight man, his power was that he was able to in any direction by saying [direction]-ward. (Upward, downward, etc…).

    Instead of drawing or writing stuff down, we would act these out at recess. Pretty much every recess for four years. We came up with colorful villains for us to fight, and used the various bits of playground equipment and building features as our lair, or battleground, or etc. We would come up with cliffhangers whenever summer came around and figure out ways to resolve them at the start of the next school year.

    In hindsight, I wish we had been writing this stuff down, or drawing it, or something. My friend, who was a bit more artistically talented than me, did draw up some trading cards once. The fun thing about the trading cards is that the everyday objects we used to as the items made their way into the cards. (The brick wall that became the computer, the jungle-gym that became the fighting arena)

    *sigh* Those were better times.

  23. Me and John has super hero alter egos as well (Which I had forgotten about until reading this). We got our power from our jackets. Dont remember what the powers were or what our names were either. Though we did do a COMPLETE rip off of Ren and Stimpy called "Hal and Chinchilla."

  24. I actually meant Liefeld (changed it in the post). He's still known for ridiculous anatomy.

    I was so anal as a kid I wouldnt let Ninja turtles play with GI Joes. it just seemed wrong. Plus the scale was off.

  25. I like how this comic starts with talking about Mac Clones and then inexplicably turns into a discussion about 4th grade superhero ideas.

    That being said, one of the ideas I had for a superhero sometime around 4th grade was basically a cross between Predator, and Guyver. That is, most of the capabilities of the Predator, but provided by a Bioarmor like the Guyver, plus the ability to crawl across damn near anything like an Alien. Kind of weak by 4th grade superhero standards, but invisibility confers certain advantages that seemed to negate the need for other powers.

  26. "kinda weak"?

    Kinda EXACTLY like everything I came up with then too. Basically all we could do was cross characters. "He's like Spawn but with all of Punisher's guns and spaceship that can time travel."

  27. In retrospect, most of what I drew then (and now?) was therapist-grade crazy. My friend John got suspended once for drawing perfect charicatures of all the principals in our highschool sodomizing each other.

  28. I agree. The viallans of the notebook paper comics I made were often based on the bullies that tortured me.

    One guy that relentlessly picked on me and always called me "fag" ended up being a transexual gay-goth in highschool. I always wondered if he saw the irony in that.

  29. My buddies and I always had go to's. Be it Xmen or ninja turtles we were always the same ones. I was Leonardo and Cyclops. My friend cody was Rapheal and Wolverine. Rob was Donatello… not sure which Xman. Maybe Collosus.

  30. I think the propensity for geeks to draw comes from an escapist mindset. Often we are picked on or dont get the things, girls, or boys we want. So theres a need to imagine and escape and empower ourselves. Drawing and writing are two of the most accessible ways to do that I suppose.

  31. NOW there is something I did. Remember those crappy stop motion commercials that nickelodeon did? Well, me and a buddy of mine used my grandma’s 80 something video camera to film pipe cleaner dudes in creation and then walking across the coffee table. It took like three days, and you had to be super quick on the button. In the end we never sent the tape.

    Its amazing the level of determination you have as a child. If I told that same buddy today, that we are gonna spend three days to make pipe cleaners walk, he would reply: “OR, We can go get drunk as hell and try to find our way home… again.”

    And then we would.

  32. Well that’s it, now if they ever do a live action Darkwing Duck, they have to get Samuel L. Motherfuckin Jackson to play him.

    “I am the terror that flaps in the night. I am the fingernail that scrapes the blackboard of your soul. I am… SAY WHAT AGAIN MOTHERFUCKER, SAY WHAT AGAIN!”

  33. I loved to create comic book characters. The Spoon (later plagiarized by The Tick). The Equalizer (later plagiarized by Edward Woodward, Batman, and the Punisher, don't judge me!). But the most fun I had was in the super-villains. The Bandito, (later plagiarized by Mexico. I feel you judging!) was a rollicking racist romp!

  34. Most definitely… On another note, I'll probably be done with the first season of BSG tonight… Its so good! I loved the episode with Zereg and the Prison ship. So intense! The episode about the fuel is great too. This show is amazing. Roslin '08 indeed!

  35. Yeah, most likely, at least a trip to the councilor's office. I remember I always used to tried to copy actual characters and failed miserably, stupid 10-year-old hands, there'd be balls of paper everywhere…

  36. Nice memory – I did have an odd affinity for Colossus. Which considering my stature and non-Russianness, was kind of odd.

    And going back to a previous topic, I vividly remember going over to your place and just watching you play lazer tag with your robot.

  37. You were a pretty good artist even back in your soft and innocent years, Joel.

    My best friend and I would draw the Super Mario Bros. characters and make up our own stories.

    Then, somehow from there we progressed to fighting characters (I think we were influenced by Street Fighter II back then). We made up what would almost be 100 fighting style characters. Each time, there would be the Ryu/Ken invoking Main Characters with the hot girlfriend of one of the two being the primary girl character.

    It was freakin' awesome back then. We were so pimp. *Sheds a nostalgic tear*

  38. In case you haven't done so yet, I recommend the three of you singing the themes to childhood cartoons/shows for a future video post or podcast. That would be retro sweet!

  39. I hated Leonardo, he was kind of a goody-goody douche. I used to like Michaelangelo back then, but I think now my sarcastic ilk is more attuned to Raphael (which, historically, should be noted that he became a hell of a lot more surly in the live-action movies).

    As for X-Men, Gambit was totally my guy. Who doesn't love being able to charge everything you touch and throw it as a bomb? And don't even get me started on the accent…

  40. "The reason Steve won’t let other companies develop hardware for OS X to run on, is he wants to control every aspect of the Mac experience. He wants to know that while you are looking at OS X, you are looking at it on a Steve-approved LCD, and typing on Steve-approved keys, etc etc."

    Umm, I'm sorry, but that's entirely wrong. The reason Steve doesn't want other companies making hardware for OS X is because APPLE IS A HARDWARE COMPANY and always has been. Apple doesn't make money off of OS X, they make money off of what OS X runs on. It'd be psychotic for them to let it run on other hardware types because they can't compete on a purely hardware level with other companies.

    Imagine, for example, that you go to a restaurant renowned for their soup. To get the soup, however, you have to order the dinner special, which costs more than the sum of its parts. Since you can't get the soup by just ordering it with what you want, you order the special because you really like the soup, and just think of the extra price as a sort of premium for being able to eat it. Now, this is not to say the rest of the food in the special is bad, and in fact, the meal complements itself rather well, but you're still paying much more for what you could, minus the soup, order separately.

    The soup is OS X. That's their bait, so to speak, to get people to run Apple hardware, which is in fact where their money really comes from. And don't get me wrong, it's NOT BAD hardware, but it's more than the sum of its parts so to speak, and one way or another, you're still limited.

    It's all a matter of personal preference really, but that's not why Apple dislikes hackintoshes. They hate them because it costs them money. Didn't you ever wonder why OS X is almost half the price of Vista? (not that I think you can even compare them as products, as Vista is garbage, but it's not like the development of OS X cost Apple so much less)

  41. Speaking of therapist-grade crazy, I drew lots of stick-man wars throughout middle school. Including one picture where the principal was killed in a drive-by. Fortunately, my drawings were never confiscated.

    I scanned several of them and put them on my blog last summer. There were five posts, the first one can be found here: http://www.vacant-nebula.com/blog/2007/8/27/viole

    The other four can be found by using the "newer post" links at the top/bottom of the pages.

    There's probably a lot more written there than anyone cares to read, but if you click the thumbnails they go to larger scans of the drawings.

  42. Long time reader, first time poster here.

    Had to post in here about the creations of the 4th grade mind:

    I remember I came up with a group called the Y-Corps. The only members I can think of was some guy with a weather related name, who had no legs (he was a parapalegic) but could get around by the use of a tornado in place of his legs (Think of the Tazmanian Devil). There were others, but the only one I can remember in vivid detail is War.

    War was a character who was in all black, except for the white shoulder/chest pads and some sort of weird white thigh pads. He wore a helmet shaped like Dr. Fate, but it was done up like a skull. He had what looked like wolverine claws, but instead of claws they were guns (I even drew up a schematic that showed how he shot out his hand). He was basically every dark 90's grim and gritty superhero

    And I just remembered Chamelon, but he was just a guy in a red ninja suit who could blend in with everything.

  43. You can look at OSX as a loss leader for Apple hardware. Regardless of their primary income streams, Steve has always been very protective of "the experience" of using an apple product. He's hands in in both UI design and hardware. He personally redesigned the layout of the itunes store dozens of times before he approved it.

    You make some good points, but Apple real bread and butter is being so subversive that no one realizes how subversive they are. Apple is not a computer hardware company. They are a "brand for things people use." Music, movies, the internet, etc. They are making the "computer" fade aways into intelligent devices that everyone needs to get their productivity on.

  44. HEY! Long time, no…whatever.

    Despite the fact that I wasnt very good at sharing as a child, having a toy that I couldnt share made it even worse. "Do you want to shoot the robot now?" (fail).

    Speaking of vivid memories. I could draw your childhood room(s) probably to perfect scale with nearly all items in tact. I know basically what was on every shelf and every surface to this day. Thats a weird one.

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