We had a great time at I-Con this year! Thanks to all the people that stopped by the FBH booth, bought comics and commissioned sketches. Pictured here are most of the sketches I drew on Saturday.
1. The Minions!
2. Formal Llama
3. Mr. J
4. The 10th Doctor
5. Floating BunnyHead himself
7. A Griffon
8. Mr. J in person!
9. Me drawing with my face way too close to the paper.
10. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. truck
The following is an account of the digital scavenger hunt chain of riddles I sent my brother, Alex, for his 23rd birthday. I was inspired by Numbers Stations, various ARGs and methods for hiding secret messages in different file types. I wanted the scavenger hunt to be fun, mysterious, and at least a little challenging.
In the mail, my brother receives a heroclix figure of The Riddler. On the bottom of the figure is a sticker with a QR code which points him to a shared Google Drive folder containing RIDDLES.ZIP and a readme file. The sticker also instructs him to download RIDDLES.ZIP to his laptop and supplies him with the password to unzip that file. The password is “mcmxc” which is the roman numeral for 1990, the year Alex was born. My original idea was to affix a micro SD card to the base of the figure but I could not be certain that he would be able to read the card.
Within RIDDLES.ZIP is a trail of files gated by password protected zip files.
Get the Magritte reference? The first file has a QR code which sends him to a secret page on my website. That page contains the clue to unlock 2.PDF’s password protection. “The number one song in America on August 16, 1990 was ______ by Mariah Carey.”
2.PDF has three questions about Alex’s birth date. Answering those gives him the password for 3.ZIP.
3.ZIP contains 4.JPG, 5.ZIP, 6.WAV (1:50 of strange high-pitched noise), and a program called PicSecret.
4.JPG is a magic eye image that I made using easystereogrambuilder.com. There’s text hidden in that image. This was the biggest snag in the sequence. The hidden image is really hard to see and I had to mess with it for hours to even get it that legible. The hidden message is “jordan 23”. 4.JPG contains a second secret message. The program PicSecret is one of many ways to hide text inside an image file. This method is known as JPG Steganography. Running 4.JPG through PicSecret with the password gets Alex the password for 5.ZIP, “bukowski”. Charles Bukowski was writer born on August 16th in 1920, 70 years before Alex.
5.ZIP contains a program called MultiMode Cocoa and instructions on how to use it to convert 6.WAV into an image. Slow Scan Television (SSTV) is a method of sending an image over radio waves as audio used mainly by HAM radio operators. It’s a lot like sending a fax. After waiting for the program to play out the 1 minute and 50 seconds of horrible screeching, Alex receives the following image:
Turning the Heroclix dial on the Riddler figure to the right position gives Alex the password to run 1.JPG through PicSecret. The secret JSTEG message hidden in that image is a code for $25 at Amazon. I really like the idea of giving him the pieces to solve the final puzzle right in the beginning (the Riddler figure and 1.JPG) but the knowledge to unlock it at the end.
Alex Sent me a text that said “Wooooooo! Thanks Jon!” attached to the following image:
I had a lot of fun concocting this scavenger hunt and I know Alex had fun solving it and I hope it made him feel a little bit like Batman.
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Jonnie 5 Apparel
Here are some of the recent designs I’ve done for Jonnie 5 Apparel.
Great River Brewery Oktoberfest, Ronald McDonald House Charity Shoot, FilmScene - Make a Scene, Joe Rogan Experience, & Coralville Charity Bags Tourney.
I’ll be designing a lot more for J5. You can follow us here.
I designed this shirt for FilmScene's Indiegogo campaign. Film Scene is a new nonprofit movie theater in downtown Iowa City that promises to bring lots of independent and international films to the region. You can help fund them here: http://igg.me/at/filmscene
I’ve been drawing a lot of shirts for Jonnie 5 these days. I’ll be posting more of those here soon.