These were created by Magnum. The cast pics attempted to give all the prominent forumers faces and then throw them together, graduation picture–style. A lot of other people had similar ideas for similar projects, but Magnum was the only one who finished anything, so screw those other people.
They generally increased in quality from year-to-year. The 2002 edition featured a cleaner, more consistent style and demonstrated a sophisticated, comfortable command over the intricacies of the human form. The 2003 edition more-or-less did the same for monkeys.
There were also some guide pictures made to identify the players.
Work began on a 2004 edition, but deadlines were missed as apparently lives were gotten and voices were passive. Some completed portions:
The series remains in limbo until, one day, a new Magnum takes up the torch.
Some loser named Mangum or something did a write-up of the first cast pic in October 2003:
Sweet merciful crap on a chicken biscuit. Does that first cast picture look like a 17-year-old drew it? Possibly, if it was with that 17-year-old's feet and box of Crayolas. Not to diminish from disabled people who draw with their feet, mind you, I'm talking like, if my feet themselves were paralyzed, and I was using them to draw. I mean, really. Here follows some basic criticism.
- What was I using to outline, a chunk of obsidian?
- That paper has aged well, hasn't it?. Actually, I think it was that shade of puke beige to begin with. The crease down the middle accentuates the whole composition nicely.
- Did I have any concept of anatomy whatsoever? Check out Codebreaker, or that guy with the huge freakin' sword in the middle. Somewhere, somehow, Da Vinci weeps.
- I've seen my six-year-old cousin make more complex color compositions with ketchup and a plate of spaghetti.
- I obviously had no sense of gravity, or weight. Either that or Flare (lower left hand corner) should enter his wrists in the Mr. Olympia competition.
- Highlighting key areas with a 256-color palette in MSPaint really helped give it that air of class.
- I like how I turned out. Kinda like Butch Patrick grows up and joins the Gay Air Force.
You have to admit, though, Thrillias looks like a Rastafarian Badass High Templar Extraordinaire. Maybe he and Commandante Styles are about to fire up a doobie in the back of the Thanatos once I'm done sketching their portraits.
I guess the shining moment of the first cast picture (other than that it only took me a week, as compared to eight months for #2) is Qjuad's diminuitiveness. I had just arrived as a regular at the forum and didn't know that Qjuad was, in fact, the size of a small planet, or a large moon. The fact that Lucainan looks like he just crossed the Rio Grande at night being chased by border patrol officers in full space battle gear just makes it all the more amusing.
See also Magnum's Art Dump.