I recently stumbled upon and bought a program called "HeroMachine", a clever Shockwave Flash application that you can run in your favorite browser or under Quicktime. HeroMachine lets you build characters for most Role Playing Game genres, though it is a tad more geared to Superhero and fantasy games.

My son Brendan and some friends were building South Park character portraits of each other and the members of Ian's band, Sidpa Bardo, so I figured I should have a try at doing myself (seen to the right), and then because I never was a fan of South Park, decided to see if I could find an alternative to the two character generators they were using. I quickly stumbled upon HeroMachine and created a quick self portrait. After several hours playing with the free on-line version. I bought the full application and refined a few of the details of my original portrait.

HeroMachine created good enough looking images that I decided to incorporate them into my Web page design. I've used the same photo of me (to the left) in the corner for more than a decade, so it's probably about time for a change. Since I started using CSS a while back and added multiple selectable page styles to my main pages, I figure I should use different pictures with each style. After playing a few CSS games to get a variable icon, here's what I came up with...

Self Portrait
This one is my shot at a self-portrait drawn with HeroMachine. I've been wearing capes and ropers (the sort of low heeled round toed boots worn by many real cowboys as opposed to the garish cockroach stompers "cowboy boot" has come to imply) all my adult life and a cowboy hat and home-made shirts much of it.

I use it for the earth toned default "Gradient" page style.


Brons Strange
& Selma of Rann
Since I use the "Midnight" black page style largely for my outer-space related pages, such as StarGen and the Random Planet Generator, I figured I needed a futuristic icon on to set against the black background.

My first favorite spaceman hero (from when I was 7) was Adam Strange from DC's Showcase and Mystery in Space comic books. (Space Ranger and the Space Cabby didn't have the pizzazz.) So, here I am in Adam Strange's costume with a borrowed Star Trek communicator. And where would Adam be without his beautiful wife?

Space Ranger
The "Blues" page style is one I tend to use for my genealogical web pages, in part because my great-great-grandmother was Iona Blue and I have been fairly active in Blue genealogy and the National Blue Family Association.

So, for the blue background I donned a couple of antique bits and pieces from the HeroMachine's closet. Selma, nee Brown, joins me dressed in brown, of course.

La Maupin
Though I haven't used her yet (who could beat Garbo?), I also put together a La Maupin icon. I think she looks better than I do in the leg o' mutton sleeves.
Comic Books
So far, I've used my "Comix" style only as the default for my Comic Books page, since I really haven't done much with any of the comics sub-pages since I started working with multiple page styles and the HeroMachine icons. The coloring of the costume is based on and old overseas version of Superman.