Always The Quest

The alien world of Mer is being devoured by Dark Water. Only Ren,
a young prince, can stop it, by finding the lost Thirteen Treasures
of Rule. At his side is an unlikely but loyal crew of misfits; at his
back, the evil pirate lord Bloth, who would stop at nothing to get
the Treasures for himself.

It's high adventure with The Pirates of Dark Water!

» News

Pirates of Dark Water is available on DVD!
It's a made-to-order 4-DVD set with episodes 1-21, released by WBShop (Warner Bros's online store). Currently available only in the US.


» Frequently Asked Questions

Right here. Info on the fate/ending of the show, where to find the episodes or merchandise, and more! First-time visitors: your biggest questions should be answered here.


» Archives

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» Categories

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CALL FOR HELP: organizing the site’s content

Do you have a few minutes? I’d love your help with a little activity.

This is an exercise called card sorting. I’ve created separate cards for the individual sections of this site, and I’d like to ask you to sort them in a way that you think makes sense to you.

There are NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS. Repeat: NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS. This is all about your opinion on what’s important and what’s not, and this will help me organize the site’s info in a way that makes sense for you all. If you have thoughts on content that’s not important to you, that’d be helpful, too!

Once again, you can access the card sorting activity right here.

If you have any questions or comments, you can comment here, or email me if you prefer to do so privately.

THANK YOU!

♥,
Smitha

 
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What I’ve been working on…

(Thank goodness for Illustrator’s pencil tool, to let me “sketch” these straight into vectors…so much easier than carving out every little detail with the pen tool!)

screenshot-dwcoins-wip

It feels like these images have held a lot of sway for a number of fans. I’ve seen people reference them in various ways over the years and marvel at the meanings behind the symbols. (These are the background “sigils”/”seals”/”coins” in the end credits of episodes 1-5.) So it seems only right to make vector files of these, so people can use and remix them as they see fit.

I’m definitely working away at a bare-bones redesign of the site (content/layout/interactions first, styles and graphics later), to use as a portfolio piece. My intention is to post the vector files of the logo and these 5 “coin” images there under a Creative Commons license. (SVG should do it, right? Would you all need any other file formats?)

Do you have any other images or symbols you’d like to see vectorized? (The Compass and the Treasures of Rule come to mind, but beyond that I don’t know.) Let me know!

 
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PoDW DVD on sale through Wednesday

Amazon has it listed for $17.99 – at 50% off, this is the lowest price I’ve seen for the set. Go get it – remember that every purchase keeps this show on WB’s radar.

 
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To those of you who’ve emailed/contacted me…

I wanted to apologize, in case any of you happen to see this. My grandmother passed away at the end of May, after two months of attempting to recover from a major stroke. I was driving to her rehab center in Ohio almost every weekend between late March and late May to help take care of her, and it’s taken me a while to recover physically and mentally/emotionally from this whole experience, and to get back on top of things.

This isn’t meant as a pity-party–I just want to apologize and explain, because I’m still very much behind on a lot of my emails, and as some of you know, I tend to let PoDW-related emails pile up for a couple of months before replying to them in bulk. I’m also facing more big events in the months ahead, so it’ll be a while yet (and I seriously doubt there’ll be any site updates for the remainder of the year, beyond these occasional blog posts, unfortunately)…but I’ll at least try to write back soon!

Hugs to you all. Hope life is treating you all well!

 
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That recent screenshot redraw meme

Just sharing a couple of pieces of my own quick, intentionally sketchy art lately–these are redraws of screengrabs from The Game Players of Undaar (such awesome action poses in that episode!). The screenshot’s on top and my art’s on bottom.

Longtime visitors may remember that I used to draw a TON many years ago, all the way through my undergrad years, but somehow fell off the bandwagon (I guess photography while I lived abroad, followed by visual design while in grad school and working, had been my major visual outlets). But I really don’t want to let this slip. This meme was an awesome excuse for me to try my hand at this again, and to try painting the characters in a slightly darker and more detailed light than early-90s American animation allowed.

ARTISTS: you totally should try this yourself! And if you do, send me a link or a copy of your art and I’ll post it to the blog!

Ioz and Tula - The Game Players of Undaar (screengrab redraw)

Ren vs. the Korb - The Game Players of Undaar (screengrab redraw)

:) Thanks for humoring me.

 
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Testing out RedBubble

Check it out! For the moment, there are stickers and smartphone/iPad cases available with the PoDW logo. (As much as I love that dark red background, it’s too bad it won’t let users choose various colors–I’ll upload different cases with different background colors soon. Also, no t-shirts because I’m boycotting American Apparel for their horrendously sexist/exploitative/prejudiced advertising and other questionable business practices. Unfortunately, RedBubble/Zazzle/Society6 all use AA shirts, so…crap. Any suggestions for alternate websites/vendors?)

A note: for some digital illustration practice (and to kill time at my last job), months ago I decided to re-create the PoDW logo in Adobe Illustrator. It’s taken a bit of tweaking every so often, but I’ve finally got it as close as I’m going to get it. In addition, I’ve made greyscale and b&w/outline versions as well, and hope to put up more stickers/merch/etc. with all the logo variations. (EDIT, 2:45PM ET – just put up the greyscale and B&W logos, too! Would love input/suggestions on/for background colors.)

(And shout-out to Brittany and Ian for their other PoDW Redbubble work! Totally not meant to step on Ian’s toes, but now you have both a regular and a pixel version of the logo to choose from.)

And my ultimate goal is to make these vector files of the logo public under a Creative Commons license, so anyone and everyone can use them to create their own wares! As I said on RedBubble, the more PoDW swag there is out there, the happier our generation of geeks will be. (And the more attention the show will get, which may have a positive ripple effect…)

– – – – –

In other news…nothing to report. My grandmother’s having some major health issues, so I’ve started spending my weekends helping her while she’s in a rehab facility (proximity to relatives is one of the numerous reasons I wanted to be in Pittsburgh again), so that’s kind of robbed me of most of my free time. The site redesign’s definitely in the back of my mind, and I’ve been exploring less onerous CMSes to work with as well (WordPress is great, but kind of a beast). Little by little, it’ll get there…!

Hope you’re all doing well. Peace and hugs. :)

 
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World Book character sheets ARE ALL ONLINE. (plus other goodies.)

It’s only taken me…what, 10 years now? But–it’s true–after major fan demand, ALL THE WORLD BOOK CHARACTER SHEETS HAVE BEEN SCANNED AND ARE ONLINE.

They’re up as individual images for the moment. I need to transcribe the last ~45 and will start to…okay, eventually…put the images and text into a document/PDF. (I was going to say that I had done this with the World Book, but the PDF version actually does not have any images in it. Something else to add to the to-do list!)

For those who have been asking me (for YEARS now), I am truly sorry for the delay. Just…you know…life and stuff. I hope that these have been worth the wait!

Well, in other news…hello! Stuff is definitely in the works. It’ll be quite a while yet but a redesign/update of the site is in progress, to finally dust it off, clean it up, and bring it into this decade of web design.

A few things of note, sent in by some awesome people over the months:

Alexandre has captured the Sega Genesis PoDW soundtrack and converted it to mp3s for our listening pleasure. ** will host these files on this site once I update **

Neike has edited and uploaded an incredible collection of screenshots of locations and creatures, the Treasures of Rule, and more.
** will host these files on this site once I update **

Brittany contacted me about a doll she spotted on eBay a while ago. It’s a doll of Ren that I’ve never seen before, and even the original listing has no real information on it beyond “Made in Korea.” Do any of you know know anything about this? See below…

ren-doll-ebay-unknown

Jakub, and possibly some others, have been working on building out a wikia.com wiki for PoDW.

Sony/”Konway” has uploaded a few choice videos: the end credits of Dark Water, the Dishonor cut scene* with Roddy McDowall vs. Frank Welker

Want a hi-res scan of the background image behind episodes 1-13? Doug pointed out that the original painting was up for auction at Heritage Auctions a while back but the image is still there.

And deviantART user DanFelix has been maintaining Dark-Water-Pirates, a collection of fanart from across the website. People have created some really interesting, clever, and fun pieces lately.

*I refer to this as “cut,” though some people were fortunate enough to see the show on TV with this clip included. Different stations made subtly different cuts to the show.

That’s it for all, but hopefully not for long. Cheers! Thank you so much for your support and kind words–I never say it enough, but I deeply appreciate your encouragement and enthusiasm over all these years.

 
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A smattering of this and that

Quick lunch-break post…

Happy 100th(!) birthday to esteemed animator Don Lusk! He worked on PoDW during his tenure at Hanna-Barbera (as well as Captain Planet and others in the late 80s/early 90s), and has an amazing history, having also worked for Disney for nearly 30 years and animated some very memorable scenes for them. (More info at Cartoon Brew, which called PoDW out by name (woo!).)

Also, the PoDW opening made an appearance at the Alamo Drafthouse as part of a pirate-animation-themed montage that aired before viewings of Captain Phillips. (The opening of Peter Pan and the Pirates also aired.) Cheers, William/@whatevercove!

And to answer the questions that some people have left in the comments, I SWEAR that I want to get back to scanning the RPG module’s character pages, as well as my copies of storyboards from The Quest. Maybe I’ll commit to doing 10 pages a day or something…I give you all permission to nag me about this! (I’m also pretty behind on e-mails due to the move–will catch up soon.)

As usual, there’s probably a ton more that I’m forgetting. More soon, I hope! (Life is great. Leaving Boston and moving back to Pittsburgh was absolutely the right choice for me–I am so much happier here already. Currently starting week 4 of my new job–so far so good! Any local/regional PoDW fans, do drop me a line and let me know if you ever want to meet up if you’re in the area!)

Hope you all are doing wonderfully, and I do mean that truly. :)

 
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Personal plug: anime/manga merch on eBay (and some other goodies)

Hi, everyone! Please forgive the non-PoDW content, but I’ve just posted some manga and anime books/animanga to eBay. I’m moving in a month and looking to offload stuff I’ve been meaning to sell for years. Anyway, do take a look and place a bid if you’re interested. :) I really appreciate it!

So, yes, personal update: Boston has been a challenging experience these past 2 years, and a job opportunity has suddenly opened up in Pittsburgh that looks wonderful in every way. So I’m taking a chance (well, not really, as I’d lived there during grad school and love the city) and packing up my life here and moving on. I will definitely miss the people I’ve met here–including a couple of pretty wonderful PoDW fans!–but sometimes you just have to go with the flow to find your happiness.

Okay, here’s a little PoDW content for you, courtesy of Twitter…

Tomasz Rozejowski just tweeted this afternoon to share an impressive Tula figurine he’s created. It’s great to see her finally get some attention, since there was never an official action figure of her! He hopes to do similarly styled figures of Ren and Bloth as well.

Also, Shane has gotten the linework and initial colors for a sexy/sultry Tula tattoo! (If he sees this…I hope it’s not creepy to check out a stranger’s Instagram account–after finding one picture, I peeked to see if there were other WIP images. It looks great, though.)

I’ve also been messing around with re-creating the PoDW logo in Illustrator just to keep my own digital skills sharp. Maybe I’ll post the final product whenever it’s done–it’d be great to make a sticker for my laptop cover or something. :)

Okay, that’s it for now–so much to plan and do in the next 4 weeks. Hope you’re all having a great summer!

 
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A (tongue-in-cheek) creative challenge, and going behind-the-scenes

I recently learned that the following domains are available. I challenge (dare, really!) any of you creative people who see this to create something inspired by the following names…

PiratesOfDarkWaterHeater.*
PiratesOfDarkWaterSports.*
PiratesOfDarkWaterDamage.*
PiratesOfDarkWaterFilter.*

.* = .com, .net, .org, and so on.

;)

No prize or anything–but if you do actually create something, email it to me and I’ll happily post it here!

(It turns out piratesofdarkwater.com is available and going up for auction, but the minimum bidding price is close to $200! Sheesh…let’s just save that for whoever creates a kickass reboot of the show, shall we?)

– – – – –

Also, I may as well note here…I recently heard from Lane Raichert, one of the writers on PoDW episodes 1-5 (not much besides just letting me know that he was redoing his website and the PoDW section was coming down for a while). And that got me thinking…something I have never thought much about doing was to reach out to the people who worked on the show. I’ve always been far more interested in the creativity of this universe, the worldbuilding aspects, and so forth, but it never even occurred to me to actively reach out and contact the behind-the-scenes crew. (Other fans have, though! Mr. Raichert said that he’s frequently contacted about PoDW, which is awesome. Also, conceptual artist Floro Dery is probably the one exception, as far as my contact with the PoDW production team–he has reached out several times with gorgeous examples of his brilliant work from the show.)

This is something I want to do more of, going forward. The show’s over 20 years old now, and some of the creative team were at least halfway into their careers when they worked on it–and some have, sadly enough, already passed away. It’s time to really get moving, to get stories about how it all came to be!

 
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