6 Pieces of Fan Art That Are Better Than the Original
If 37 percent of the Internet is porn, then the other 63 percent must be people complaining about stuff. A movie that disappointed; a game that's taking too long to come out; George Lucas.
Well, sometimes the companies or creators will actually address their fans and say, "You think you could do better than us?" And sometimes the fans will answer back, "Um, actually, yeah."
Star Wars Fan Remaster Looks Better Than the Real Thing
Unless you still have a working VCR, the only way to watch the original, theatrical versions of Star Wars is buying the out-of-print 2006 DVD box set, which insultingly comes with the original movies as mere bonus features on a separate disk (meaning, you had to pay for the Special Editions to get them). Also, they are in unremastered, shitty-picture-quality form, as part of George Lucas' punishment to fans for asking for them.
But what else are fans supposed to do? Edit their own trilogy?
How the Fans Made It Better:
A fan from the U.K. named Adywan did that and much more. He spent years painstakingly restoring and enhancing every frame of the first Star Wars movie, doing what fans wanted Lucas to do in the first place: clean up and restore the film without adding a bunch of blinking Ewoks. He's currently doing the same to The Empire Strikes Back.
The result is called Star Wars Revisited, and not only does it revert many of the changes made by the Special Editions, but also its picture quality puts the official DVDs and even the Blu-rays to shame.
Hmm. Good, but it could use 30 or 40 useless dancing robots.
Adywan's website lists over 250 changes to the first movie alone, including fixing mistakes that Lucas apparently didn't notice, like making sure the opening titles actually synch up with John Williams' music ...
... making the lasers hit the right places ...
George Lucas is an even worse shot than those stormtroopers.
We'd always assumed that guy dropped from a heart attack.
... or simply correcting minor continuity errors nobody else could have noticed.
This makes our vintage Tatooine Bush action figure irrelevant.
There are probably five novels about that arm.
He also performed some much needed extermination of the irritating CGI rats and whizzing droids that were added to Mos Eisley in the Special Edition:
From a toy maker's standpoint, Adywan's version is an awful idea.
Some changes actually reference the loathed prequels, like giving Tatooine a third moon as in those movies or playing an Episode III theme during Vader and Obi-Wan's rematch at the Death Star (there's a "purist" version without most of those changes), but that's because he actually plans to tackle the entire six-movie saga: Adywan has already announced that he's "hoping to make those movies almost unrecognizable."
And yes, we're aware that a lot of his changes would make the Internet just as mad as Lucas' if they had come from him, but for our money, this is still better than any Special Edition for three simple reasons: Han shoots first, Boba Fett once again sounds like Boba Fett and, perhaps most importantly, Chewbacca finally gets a freaking medal.
R2 and 3PO can suck it, though.
Fans Make Better Movie Posters Than the Studios
It took Hollywood about 60 years to start making consistently good and entertaining superhero movies, and it looks like it's going to take them 60 more to start making good posters for those movies. With X-Men: First Class, for example, they decided to communicate the kitschy, '60s-inspired tone of the movie (since, you know, that's when it takes place) by creating the most bland posters 15 minutes on Photoshop can produce:
How the Fans Made Them Better:
Now take a gander at some of the countless posters fans made for X-Men: First Class. Many of them draw heavily from the posters of '60s artists like Saul Bass to, you know, actually acknowledge the era the movie is set in.
There are many more, and even the weakest of those is better than what Fox went with. Actually, this may be just a clever bit of viral marketing -- make the shittiest poster imaginable and convince the Internet that they can do better, then they'll promote your movie for you.
Not that fans stopped with the X-Men franchise. Check out this awesome Batman poster a fan created a few years ago when it was rumored that the Riddler would be the next villain:
The best part is that there's no way those are Jim Carrey's hands.
Or this fan-made poster for Captain America: The First Avenger that seriously looks like something they could use if the film was reissued after being nominated for Best Picture:
Or if it was directed by Clint Eastwood.
That's classy as shit. Captain America looks like he's picking up right where Saving Private Ryan left off, getting ready to storm Omaha Beach alongside WWII-era Wolverine. Meanwhile, these fan-made posters for Iron Man 2 used for special screenings play up the comic book influence while still looking professional:
They also play up the "He's constantly intoxicated" theme.
The Avengers inspired some pretty cool ones, too:
They both look kinda like screencaps from The Venture Bros.
We'd put these posters up against the official posters for comparison, but the fact that you don't remember the Hollywood versions at all is kind of the point. (Hint: They mostly involve the cast all standing together and gazing vacantly into the distance.)
Come on, Hollywood, why is it up to us to do this? You'd think that with literally hundreds of comic book covers to use as reference, and an art budget of infinity, they'd borrow an idea or two from the source material to make these posters a little more dynamic. But, no, Hollywood's determination to make every poster look the same trumps that.
And we mean exactly the same.
Gamers Create the GoldenEye 007 Remake Game Companies Can't Bring You
GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64 is one of the most revolutionary video games of all time, setting a golden standard that every FPS on every console is indebted to. Its level design is masterful; every inch of it, right down to its elevator music, is worshiped; and the damage its multiplayer mode has done to the American school system will never, ever be repaired.
Also, did you know there's apparently a movie of the same name?
However, for all its successes, GoldenEye 007 nevertheless remains one of the most impossible games to play on modern consoles -- even franchises such as Perfect Dark and TimeSplitters owe most of their success to the fact that they are the closest things on the market to modern versions of this game. There have been various attempts to make sequels or "reimaginings," but a straight remake has so far proved impossible and, since the rights are currently tied up between competing companies, will likely never happen.
How the Fans Made It Better:
Some fans, however, don't let a little thing like intellectual property get in the way of making a good game. Using the engine from Half-Life 2, a team of professional and amateur developers set out to remake GoldenEye 007 from the ground up as a modern FPS game. The result, GoldenEye: Source, is the closest James Bond will ever come to returning like he promised Sean Bean in the movie (the only one where he dies twice).
Whoops, Sean Bean just spontaneously combusted.
For one, just look at it. The game's visuals follow the film closer than any other use of the James Bond license in video games to date, and this time it's rendered in more than just N64 polygons.
We don't remember our childhood homes as well as the floor plan of this level.
It's such a realistic Bond simulation that if you play the game for too long, you contract several STDs.
You may also notice that the characters actually look like the ones in the original game/movie, whereas every other game with "GoldenEye" in the title has been forced to awkwardly replace the actors with Daniel Craig era versions, since actor likenesses are off-limits.
Don't tell Mr. Bean.
But what really makes the game complete is the multiplayer mode: GoldenEye: Source is online rather than local, allows way more players than the N64 did, has added blood and rag-doll physics and features many single-player maps that were previously unplayable. Oh, and as for how all this actually plays, check out this footage of a nine-way deathmatch -- it's like classic GoldenEye on steroids.
If this had existed 15 years ago, an entire generation would have flunked college.
The Fan-Made Cloverfield Monsters Were Better Than the Real Thing
When the first teaser trailer for Cloverfield was released, showing a bunch of New Yorkers escaping from some sort of massive unseen creature, it immediately captured the imaginations of Internetters everywhere: What the hell was that thing? Godzilla? Voltron? The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? All three? At the time, the movie didn't even have a name, so it could have been conceivably anything. Even one of the Szalinski kids.
The time was right for a gritty reboot.
Cloverfield practically achieved cult status before it was even released -- but then it was released, and we saw that the monster was just some stupid-looking CG bug and moved on with our lives.
To get the full experience, shake your monitor for 90 minutes.
In the end, the movie was a victim of its own hype: It probably wouldn't have been panned if they'd just shown us that thing up front so we didn't get our hopes up.
How the Fans Made It Better:
... or if they'd borrowed some of the purely speculative designs created by fans before the movie came out. This abomination, for example, was based on the whale-like scream that was heard in the trailer and could definitely wipe the floor with the puny-ass monster that's in the film. In fact, it looks like it already ate it.
Now it's gonna use the Statue of Liberty to floss.
Many sites reported this design as real, and even Cloverfield's director called it "fantastic," but it was actually put together by a fan for a contest to win movie merchandise. Think about it: A thing some guy put together in 30 minutes was better than what the multimillion dollar movie achieved.
Then there's "Mister Grumpy Pants," created by a DeviantArt user just for the heck of it, whose nickname alone makes him better than "Clover" ...
The Eye of Sauron is shown for scale.
... and the inevitable love child of the two we just mentioned:
It's the slippery black wang of the apocalypse.
This one looks like something that could have actually crawled from the forgotten depths of the ocean, whereas the real thing just looks like it was floating in the East River. On that note, we don't even know where to start with the following one:
It's like Cthulhu and the Kraken had an abortion.
Imagine that thing rendered in state of the art CG, looming over Manhattan. This design was also created for a contest, which makes us think that maybe J.J. Abrams would have gotten better results if he'd paid his designers in Slusho T-shirts.
King's Quest Fans Remake and Improve Games With Company Permission
The King's Quest series of games by Sierra Online is responsible for kicking off the adventure game genre, but it's perhaps even better remembered for introducing the children of the '80s to several thousand of the most contrived ways to die.
"Whoops, the cat deleted all your saves! Restore - Restart - Quit"
As influential as King's Quest was, the years haven't been kind to the earliest games in the series, and not just because the graphics look like crap. Since this was before the computer mouse became a thing, the game play for these games was extremely frustrating: Back then, you had to type in written commands to do anything and try to guess the exact verbs and nouns necessary to advance in the game -- if you didn't own a thesaurus and have a lot of patience, you were screwed.
How the Fans Made It Better:
In the early '90s, Sierra canceled a project to remake the first three King's Quest games using updated technology. Ten years later, a group of fans said "Screw that" and decided to remake the games themselves, going as far as to expand and deepen the story of the second one (since the original was little more than King's Quest I: The New Levels).
The cover art, however, remains lovingly terrible.
The result was King's Quest II: Romancing the Stones, which is free to download from the fan company's site and is one of the biggest labors of nerdy love ever accomplished. In addition to replacing the tedious command system with a point-and-click game engine and giving the graphics a complete visual overhaul ...
The game no longer looks like it was "programmed" with construction paper.
... the developers somehow managed to track down the original voice actor for the heroic, death-prone protagonist from the CD-ROM games to reprise his role, which is like getting Michael J. Fox to appear in your homemade Back to the Future sequel. Also, true to form, the game had no shortage of creative ways to die, ranging from getting stabbed through the crotch to being used for target practice by a dwarf.
... and stabbed in the crotch.
The best part, however, is that they did such an awesome job that the current owners of the franchise actually gave them a fan license to release their game without suing their leotards off -- unlike Sega, who shut down an equally impressive fan remake of their classic Streets of Rage series that took eight freaking years to complete. We believe that was less "We're protecting our copyright" and more "You're making us look bad, dude," since the fans even went in and added material that was advertised but had never made it into the official products.
Twice the enemies, twice the inappropriate spooning.
Garfield Minus Garfield Creator Makes the Strip Better by Removing the Main Character
When's the last time you laughed at a Garfield strip? In fact, when's the last time you had any reaction to it? We're talking about the comic here: The cartoon did have some funny moments, and the movies probably made your soul hurt, but the strip is so purposefully inoffensive that it's hard to even get mad at it.
A joke about Garfield being fat? It must be a day other than Monday.
That's because Garfield's only objective is to inspire plush toys and coffee mugs and make Jim Davis as ungodly rich as possible -- it was never meant to be funny. The strip intentionally stays away from anything that could cause kids to ask awkward questions or offend parents and thereby put them off buying the merch. It's like the anti-Calvin and Hobbes.
How the Fans Made It Better:
Garfield may be completely devoid of humor, but his owner Jon is a different story: As demonstrated by Dan Walsh's website Garfield Minus Garfield, the strip can be hilarious or even thought provoking if you simply remove any trace of the useless title character (or anyone but Jon), making it seem like he's talking to himself.
He was never the same after Lyman's death.
The New York Times described Jon's tragic observations in Garfield Minus Garfield as teetering between "existential crisis and deep despair," which makes the comic not only darker but also significantly deeper and more intelligent. Sometimes the Garfield-less strips show us a man in the process of losing his mind:
But most of the time he just seems dangerously depressed:
All of this is making us wonder what would happen if they removed Billy from Family Circus.
While researching this article, we found that Garfield Minus Garfield can be taken even further by stitching Jon's lonely observations together into full narratives ...
Pictured: The invention of masturbation.
Even Jim Davis himself practically conceded that Walsh's remixes were superior to his own creation, allowing Garfield Minus Garfield to be published as an official Garfield book. Or maybe he just thought it would be a good excuse to reprint a bunch of old strips and get some easy royalty money, whichever.
For more ways fans got it right, check out 6 Insane Fan Theories That Actually Make Great Movies Better and 5 Movie Fan Theories That Make More Sense Than the Movie.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The Deleted Scene That Would Have Ruined 'Shawshank Redemption'
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover the best way to shoot fireworks from one's butt.
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