The Ballad of Gordon Hardwick.

Once upon a time, I thought I’d really be cute and make fun of the fact that most people who played the Half-Life games for the first time often referred to the protagonist as “Morgan Freeman”:

I liked it at the time, but eventually looked at it later and was nonplussed. The whole process was bad, and even the Lambda was wrong. I knew I could do better.

Meanwhile, I had started listening to the Nerdist podcasts, which often featured folks I really liked, like Tom Hanks and Ron Perlman. It’s run by Chris Hardwick, who I remembered from the MTV show Singled Out, and had seen since on AMC’s The Talking Dead and G4’s Web Soup. The podcasts also featured Matt Mira (from G4’s Attack of the Show) and Jonah Ray (also from Web Soup):

Meanwhile, I had been working on a new and improved “Morgan Freeman”:

Next thing I know, I’m listening to a Nerdist podcast with none other than Gabe Newell of Valve Software, the guys who created the Half-Life universe. During the podcast a “mash-up art contest” is proposed, combining Nerdist and Valve elements. Well, needless to say, I about shat myself. Taking the Hardwick caricature I had already done and stitching it into the Freeman HEV suit, I ended up with this:

I eventually played around with things and added a Combine nemesis, until I came up with the final design, worthy of such an endeavor:

I recently got the confirmation email from Team Nerdist that my submission had arrived, let’s hope things go well =D

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