A Chief's gotta hang his helmet somewhere!

artwork { heritage }

The Artist

On April 1st, 2002, a concept lovingly crafted for the sake of fun was born. Here's Bungie artist Lorraine McLees' story:

Cortana and 343 Guilty Spark by Lorraine McLeesIve been drawing for as far back as I can remember and was looking through my brothers comics before I could really read. Growing up on Sgt. Rock, the Haunted Tank, Losers, Detective Comics, Superman, Tarzan, Kamandi and a bit of Creepy or Eerie, it wasnt a stretch to get into Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek and have an appreciation for shows like Firepower and Wings on the Discovery Channel, or Nature on PBS. I also grew up watching shows like Mazinger Z or Voltes 5. Little did I know that all that exposure would catapult me into the world of anime and manga. Armed with design skills and desktop publishing knowhow, I served as ADV Films art director, forming a one-person art department in their early years. Three and a half years and a fully-staffed department later, I left to pursue my dream of being a comic book artist, working on Elfquest of which I was a fan of since I was 13. A chance encounter through my website with an old school-mate brought a job opening at Bungie Software to my attention. Although my old friend thought I would be able to fill any of the three openings they had available, I chose to give the freelance opportunity a try as it would let me continue doing comics. The job was to draw anime-style illustrations for Oni. It wasnt until I found myself moving back to Chicago did I look at Bungie more closely as a possible employer rather than a client. Luckily, there was still a position open and it was a natural progression going from Oni illustrator, to part-time graphic designer, then to a full-time art director of marketing.

Sarge and marines by Lorraine McLeesMy position became redundant, however, when Bungie was acquired by Microsoft. I asked to be transferred to one of Bungies then three development teams. It was while I was on the Phoenix team that Matt Soell came up to me about a week or two before April 1 that fateful year with a very nice idea that just turned me into one giant giggle.

I dont recall from where the idea came from exactly. Candyman, Yeroen, Mordia, Achronos and MyModemIsOnFire (Modem for short) had gotten some ideas (solicited or not) from the rest of the studio. There was talk of doing a Warthog done-up like a Power Wheel, and even volunteered his kids to pose for it. But the notion of a Halo Babies animated cartoon was just the right thing. However without any artwork that looked convincing, it would have been meaningless. Matt didnt know what sort of time I had or how it all might work, but I was pretty psyched about the whole thing and thought it would be most fun.

I suggested using in-game screenshots for backgrounds to help speed up the process. Matt and the guys pretty much let me make whatever I wanted. I think they only expected one picture considering the limited time I had. But I was pretty gung ho and wanted to draw up the entire cast of characters doing different things in different scenes. So I thumbnailed out seven ideas, thinking maybe one or two would pass muster. Turned out the guys liked most of it and helped me prioritize the bunch. The encounter on Silent Cartographer with the Chief, a Marine, baby Grunt and an Elite was originally going to be two separate pieces. The Elite was supposed to be chewing out the Grunt for some reason, but once I colored the characters in, they all seemed to fit in the scene together with some slight tweaking. Adding the vibrating sucker-dart on the Grunts head was the crowning addition to the piece. Mordia helped by taking a bunch of screenshots that would work with the thu mbnails. Because of that, I didnt veer much from what I doodled or the shots would be useless. In the meantime, Candyman created the super cute logo. I had just enough time to get three images together before the article launched on April 1. The rest is history.

Halo Babies logo by Dave Candland

The Works

Here is a list of all official Halo Babies material that has been published since the dawn of time:

and the unofficial...

Episode Guide { poena.dare | March 4, 2003 }