Majin Mebs - Original Webmaster of Majin Planet
Majin: The logo worn by Majin Buu, the final and greatest villain of my favorite brand of all time, Dragon Ball Z.
Mebs: A childhood nickname – derived from my last name.
I've had this avatar for so many years – its origin reveals my fandom for DBZ and early explorations of, art, design, and imagination. Lessons of DBZ include: Evil Must be Fought, Redemption is Possible, Mercy is a Virtue, & Execution is Everything.
FORGET THE BACKSTORY,
SHOW ME THOSE SWEET GAMING MOVES
My First Website
In 1999, I, Majin Mebs, founded Majin Planet. What I didn't realize at the time is that I was taking my first step into the design world – and at just 16, was about to start a domino effect of design firsts.
The original URL (majinplanet.8m.com) was founded while the internet was still in its infancy (Google is one year old). The site boasted a large number of images of DBZ characters, reviews of the movies & episodes (which at that time were unavailable in the USA both translated or untranslated), fan fictions, fan drawings, and most notably: DBZ music videos. If you're wondering what that is... well, it's a supercut of DBZ set to whatever music inspired you or you felt appropriate with the clips you chose. More on this later...
Majin Planet also made my AOL instant messenger name (Majin Mebs) public. I met like-minded allies, formed a small group of people to assist me in creating content (usually music videos), and maintained and updated the site daily. I made friends in the DBZ website world too, exchanging design suggestions, and "prescreening" our upcoming videos with one another for feedback. Finding a steady host for the website was always a challenge (hosting was far more limited and expensive), but at its peak, I recall the site getting approximately 60k hits daily with 6k of those being unique visitors.
However, as I became more serious about graphic design as a career, I ultimately handed over full ownership of Majin Planet to my trusted allies. Ultimately, they and the people that have come after them have kept the site alive all these years – and while its focus has shifted away from DBZ into more general geek fandom, it's surprisingly satisfying to see the site alive and well. Interestingly, the phrase "Am I evil, yes I am!" is still used as the site's motto. A phrase I thought worthy of Majin Buu himself and which comes directly from a Metallica song of the same name.
Early Video Editing
Cell's Time • Han Zimmer (Gladiator: The Battle)
Majin Planet also allowed me the opportunity to get my first taste of video editing. These videos aren't perfect, but they don't have to be. Playful creations like these simply opened my world to new mediums and challenged what I thought I could do. This video (posted to YouTube by a loyal fan) was probably my most beloved video by the MP community – and was downloaded from Majin Planet well over 200,000 times.
Frieza vs SS Goku • Crystal Method (Hope)
The music selection was part of the joy of creating these videos. So much DBZ footage exists and its tone varies so much, that a creative mind could edit videos of all kinds. You could aim to achieve a specific tone, do a supercut of DBZ action, or do a character study set to an appropriate song. In total, I completed around 20 of these, and with each execution, my confidence grew and I edged closer to finding the passion that would ultimately define who I am.
MAJIN PLANET • 2003
This printout of the website (which I used as a piece to get into design school) from 2003 might be the oldest record of the site. I may have a few CDs with the old designs on them, but as I recall – they were beginning to degrade. The resolution is good enough you can even read my posts and see that I'm battling trying to find a stable host.
Majin Planet today >>> http://www.majinplanet.com Interesting that they mention Majin Mebs right on the first page!
My First Logo, The Majin Planet Wordmark • This image is taken From the Majin Planet Overview Page and is a pretty in-depth account of the site's legacy. I designed those first two logos - another design first made possible by creating Majin Planet. The site's design in the early days was dark and violent in tone, just like a Majin.
The Majin Vegeta vs Son Goku fight is the stuff of legend - a glorious unfilmable montage of violence, blood, and explosions.
A close second in favorite moments is when Majin Buu manifests in his final form and without saying a word, destroys the earth.
A BRIEF, TOTALLY BIASED WORD ABOUT DRAGON BALL Z
Of all the superhero fictions – DBZ reigns supreme.
If you don’t know what DBZ is, it's essentially Japan’s version of Superman – existing in 2 mediums: manga (comics) & animation. Every execution may not always be perfect, but when it’s doing its thing, there is truly nothing like it.
What’s my favorite moment of the entire DBZ series? When Majin Vegeta destroys the World Martial Arts Tournament arena to goad Goku into fighting him. There are so many layers to that moment – I’ve never seen anything like it before or since.
LESSONS OF DBZ INCLUDE:
Evil Must be Fought
Redemption is Possible
Mercy is a Virtue
Execution is Everything
My First Digital Design
This piece is sacred to me, not just because it's one of a kind, but because this digital illustration of Prince Vegeta is my first piece of graphic design.
I completed this before founding Majin Planet, at the age of 14 – in MS Paint (running Windows95), painstakingly placing each pixel, desperate to reproduce the Dragon Ball tone. Like the DBZ music videos it isn't perfect, but that isn't the point. Completing this piece demystified the idea of creating art on a computer. It made the transition into Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop less scary and by 16 I was already comfortable with both programs – editing vector shapes and familiarizing myself with the basics of layers, layer opacities, and photo-retouching.
When I look at this now I see the early makings of the graphic designer I would become.
AN EXPERIENCE I'LL NEVER FORGET AND WILL FOREVER BE GRATEFUL FOR
Honestly, I feel like I owe DBZ a lot. It inspired me, challenged what I thought fiction and animation could be, and opened my mind to the multi-disciplined world of design.
Without Dragon Ball Z (and subsequently Majin Planet) I might never have taken that first step into web design, graphic design, video editing, logo design, and more. I wouldn't have had the advantage (and confidence) of all those years of self-taught experience as I applied to the design program at Oregon State, and who knows, may not have even been accepted.
The experience of designing and managing Majin Planet was ultimately the first story of the graphic designer I am today. My humble thanks to all those who visited and contributed to the site during those early years.
Majin Mebs Plays
With DragonBall FighterZ (in my view, the best thing the brand has ever produced), I can finally do what I've always wanted to do... turn people who annoy me into cookies and eat them. IF you want to challenge me to a battle, you can find me on Xbox live under the gamer tag: Majin Mebs. Beyond sharing my love of gaming, this channel also serves as my final (just for fun) expression of fandom for DBZ.
MEET THE DESIGNER
Explore the career of artist, designer, & creative problem solver Aaron Mebesius.
Meet the Designer
Majin Planet: Origin of a Designer
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