Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Micro-Heroes Phenomenon

I don’t know why it took me so long to notice this, but there are cute little icons of comic book and movie/TV characters all over the web. People like to use them for avatars on bulletin boards. When I saw that everyone on one of the boards that I visit was using them, I started to do some research into where all of this came from. As usual, Wikipedia provided the answer (the writing for this entry is surprisingly poor for some reason):

The original versions of these micro-heroes were made by Donar and widely used as graphics for signature files on the message boards at

Originally, they were based on a template from the site of a company marketing an applet which used Java to make similar graphics. Resourceful fans changed the little people that were originally in the animation, and animated them as their favorite super-heroes.

The company, assuming that these creative animators couldn't have made these micro-heroes without their Java program, sent an e-mail to each of the micro-heroes sites threatening them with legal action if the micro-heroes remained on them. The original version of the micro-heroes soon disappeared.

The problems with the company came about, Donar lost interest in making them and moved on to other projects. Before leaving he started the Lilguyz mailing list and Bobster (Robert Bradley) and Torch (Rich Bellacera) came up with a new template.

Now with the inclusion of new creators (of any and every age), the number of micro-heroes created with the new template far exceeds the original version and includes television and film characters, toys and fictional characters, and new micro-heroes sites continue to appear covering many different areas of interest with creators scattered throughout the world.

The images are pretty adorable and they cover many films and comics, but I haven’t seen any Battlestar Galactica ones, which is a surprise.

[Side note: The writing style isn’t always consistent, but why would anyone ever pay for an encyclopedia again now that Wikipedia exists for free? But the danger is that malicious people will hack the shit out of it, put up bad info and kill a good thing.]


Luke Cage said...

You are da WOMAN Michelle. I'm glad that I referenced Wikipedia in my latest post: IT III: The Swing. It truly is a wealth of information, BUT the caveat is anyone can edit and actually put up very bad info. I don't like that part. In fact, I've been playing around WPDA for about a month now, trying to put up my mothership site on there. Stay tuned!

Yeah, these superhero Avatars are fantastic. When I was creating my superhero website about a year or so ago, when I put a search for certain characters, I saw alot of these in my searches. Even though they didn't suit my needs, I was impressed at the lineups of them. I think its just a matter time before someone creates one with the characters from our beloved Battlestar Galactica series!

Michelle Pessoa said...

Maybe you can make the Galactica mirco-heroes, Frank? ;)

BTW, I found one that looks a bit like you!

Michelle Pessoa said...

Oops! check out "Roadblock" on the link above.

Luke Cage said...

LOL!!! Roadblock does look like me.. good looking out Michelle. I'll have to use dude in a post.. :)