Roll up Roll up and bear witness to the first Secret Wars Quarter Final. The entire first round has led up to this point. These past four months have been worth the wait, as all the previous battle winners move one step closer to being crowned the Secret Wars Champion of 2006. It is the second time the artists get to step up again in the tournament and they surely had a lot of pressure on their backs. First up was the battle between Gustav Balderdash and Okkle. Gustav had pre-arranged a holiday abroad on the night of December the 16th, so artist Chris stepped in to fill his place. Similar in style, Chris would be a fair opponent for Okkle, who would not have been pleased with a total switch around.
Before the battle began, word was stirring that artist Okkle deserved to win. The fact that he had come right from the beginning of the tournament meant it wasn’t right for a newcomer to jump straight to the quarterfinals. A new twist in the format of the judging meant that each win would be determined by a crowd vote.
Organiser Terry Guy recently purchased a clap meter, which can determine the loudest crowd noise. Instead of having the traditional three member-judging panel, the decision was made to have two people and the clap meter to decide who should win. If the two judges pick a different winner each then the clap meter will have two different attempts at choosing which artists received the loudest cheer. Once battle’s commenced it was immediately apparent that Okkles attention to detail was second to none. His piece consisted of five little chick-type characters adorned in military/ kung fu gear attempting an attack on opponent Chris across the wall. Each character drawn was carrying a particular weapon of choice, one throwing a grenade, and another with a missile in hand.
New artist Chris did not disappoint with a detailed piece similar to that of Okkle. Both artists managed to entertain with their humorous characters. Chris centred his piece around a gnashing pit-bull dog with human headed pigeons surrounding. Along with the gangster pigeon and a chav pigeon, Chris appeared to even make a dig at his opponent by drawing a pigeon with similar facial features and hairstyle as Okkle. Although artistically not a better piece, Chris’s design appealed to the crowd who voted it the winner in the clap meter challenge at the end of the battle. In between the battles, beat boxer Harry was back again for a sequel in his success at the previous Secret Wars back in November.
With a lone set of approximately 8minutes, Harry pumped up the crowds’ energy before the second battle. Even artist Morgazmic stepped up with his own beat boxing style. As ever Harry was a success and we will all undoubtedly see him at following parties.Back for their second time in the tournament artists Mr Shrew and Teck 1 were due to compete against each other for their place in the semi-finals.
Totally different in style and complexity many thought that the battle was not really fair as Teck 1would always have an upper hand, being a more diverse artist. However as everyone saw with the previous battle, anything can happen on the night. Mr Shrew’s piece was very simple in design with a boyish character holding a ghetto blaster and roller paintbrush with the slogan “Lets Party” emblazoned next to it. Not really in keeping with the whole battle theme, Mr Shrew literally got hovered up by Teck 1s piece, which consisted of an exterminator character vacuuming a little Martian character similar to Mr Shrew’s piece from his first battle back in August. Tattooed on the exterminators arm read the words “Shrew Get Slew”.
Without a doubt Teck 1s piece blew everyone away, but the clap meter only affirmed it when the deafening crowd voted Teck the winner. Lets see what Gustav Balderdash and Teck 1 can do against each other in the first semi-final round in February as we get one step closer to the Secret Wars grand Final.
Photography by Dwayne from Sense Magazine