Questions destroyed with answers!
. . . Can you survive it?
Please note: This FAQ page is currently under major construction, as many new questions and subsequent answers are being generated! Keep checking back - or nag me with e-mails!
Q: Who are you, and what is this website?
A: I am Julius von Brunk, the only pop-icon and living folk hero to come out of Lancaster Pennsylvania, and this is my Website of Justice! I'm an eccentric artist, actor, inventor, entrepreneur and animator. In recent times, I've gained quite a bit of notoriety for my custom LEGO models (that are obviously flaunted amongst this site), and chances are you found me via the viral spread of my Game Boy Transformer or the Super Mario 3 airship -- either way, welcome to my website of justice. . . Now grease up your eyeballs and plunge into the world of Brunk! Look around; you might just learn something!
As for me, I'm a 27-year old fella from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and currently living in Queens, New York and working in the city as a graphic designer and product developer for a small electronics brand. I build cities out of LEGO bricks and eat lots of tacos. I also speak incredibly fast, stutter, and unintentionally sound like Hunter S. Thompson.
Q: Alright, I remember you now. So like, in all the many past incarnations of this website, weren't you all gung-ho about being in Lancaster, PA? In fact, you had everything decorated with and referencing Amish culture (and wasn't your logo an Amish guy?)-- why do you live in New York City now, of all places?
A: Good question, kemosabe. At some point in 2009, I was in between sporadic freelance jobs and realized there were little or no graphic design or Flash animation related careers in my quaint little town. I came to the conclusion that it was my ultimate destiny to migrate to a large city to begin a successful career as an artist. As much as I'd like to eventually live in Manhattan, I can't quite afford to at this point in time, therefore I had no choice but to live somewhere very close to New York City, but with a cheaper cost of living -- I.E. Jersey City. Plus, at the time I moved, I was an associate at a major retailer, and they were one of the few companies that would easily transfer non-salaried employees to other stores. I had to pick a location that was both close to Manhattan and had a store seeking work in my department, and in the end all signs pointed to Jersey City.
Flash forward to right now-now: I lived in Jersey City for about two months, and in early March 2010, I promptly found a job as a graphic designer in midtown Manhattan on Madison Avenue. Then, as of April 1st 2010, I settled into Bushwick, Brooklyn where I dwelled for three months. I personally was dissatisfied with everything in Brooklyn, therefore I finally did the nasty and broke lease. Henceforth, I live in Koreatown -- Flushing, Queens!
Eventually within my immortal lifespan, I'd like to either have a luxury condo in midtown Manhattan or a private death fortress of doom in a secluded spot in Long Island. Both of these habitats will be funded by the obvious wealth I'll accrue from being a famous TV celebrity (which is bound to happen someday. Admit it). Oh, by the way, I now have a newer version of the Amish man logo -- look to the very top to see the LEGO minifig of the Amish cowboy with his scythe!
A: Glad you asked! I currently have 10.5 tattoos -- all LEGO or Legend of Zelda themed, except for the tiny Romani Gypsy flag on my upper right bicep. I say "10.5" tattoos, as my LEGO spaceman minifig is one set, but broken up into two unconnected images, which isn't quite a separate tattoo -- hence 10.5! Here's the scoop on my ink (as copied from my old FAQ page):
"Done by the ever-so-talented Kristen Fristed of New York, here's my legendary LEGO Futuron spaceman minifig tattoo! As some of you folks know already, the red Futuron astronaut from the mid-late 1980s Space sets is my all-time favorite minifigure. As a young child, I wanted that one figure more than anything, but alas could not, as it was rare and came in more expensive sets (my family was poor)! The most abundant astronauts were the blue and yellow ones, which came in most models. In the summer of 2010, I visited Kristen in Brooklyn to get an original tattoo piece done on my right forearm. The way I see it, the red spaceman was the one toy I always wanted, and now with the magic of permanent inking, I have one forever! The tattoo base was drawn by me in Adobe Illustrator (in vector form) using an actual instruction booklet scan, then Kristen did her thing. . ."
Please note: The above pictures were taken during and immediately after my session, before my skin fully healed.
In late September 2011, Kristen bestowed upon me a larger minifig tattoo -- a Castle Forestman!
A few days later, after the initial scabbing began:
Below are the first two pictures of my Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time tattoos also done by Kristen. The first is the Lens of Truth, which can surely guide me through the Shadow Temple, and next is Biggoron's Sword, which was a pain in the ass to get: I went on a wild goose chase to round up chickens and deliver eyedrops to some weird rock monster in a volcano!
Lens of Truth (left) & Biggoron's Sword (right)
10/9/11 - The rupees have arrived, and their current Hylian value is 75!
November 2011: More Rupees, and the activated Bombchu at last!
Q: Is von Brunk your real last name, and is "Baron von Brunk" some lame fratboy name you made up?
A: My drivers' license can validate your first question. Don't worry, it's out of state, expired, and I haven't lived at that address over three years years. Yes, my real last name is Brunk, which is a German variant to the name "Bruno", and in various Germanic nations, you'll see other versions of my name such as Bruun, Brunck, Bronk and even Brunswick (the latter is the British-English version of my name). My great, great grandfather was a mid-19th century German immigrant who arrived in our country from Mecklenburg-Schwerin and had the last name von Brunk before he anglicized it to Brunk. When my father's father explained this to me as I was a child, I then began spelling my name as von Brunk, but never legally changed it yet. Also, my German ancestors were noble Junkers, to whom actually possessed the title of "baron" in the classical era, therefore I opted to adopt the same noble title myself. In 2002 when I began creating online personas and launching websites, I needed a clever title; things like Dr. von Brunk or Captain von Brunk never had a good ring to it, therefore I went ahead with "Baron", and since then it stuck!
In the days that used to be, I was a popular forum poster on the now defunct G4TV forums (in the 2002-2005 years), way back when the website was strictly video game themed, and integrated with the TV show -- integrated in the sense that forum postings and chat conversations would be reflected on the various TV shows. Those days have long since passed, as I don't consider myself an avid video game player anymore (despite my Legend of Zelda tattoos, which are more of a monument of my teenage years), nor is G4 anything of the least bit an innovative, interactive television network. However, I owe a lot of my career to my hours wasted on the G4 forums arguing over Gamecube and Xbox games: Because, whilst posting on the forums and getting knee-deep in pointless quarrels about gaming, I'd use image macros to express my opinions and sometimes come off as trolling. The time spent getting better and better with Photoshop gave me a skill and experience with graphic design, to the point of gradually landing freelance gigs based on my slowly-accrued artwork. As of now, I'm a professional designer of multimedia and working in a nice office in Manhattan, and I owe it all to the days of my late teenage years when I thought it was funny to superimpose my face on cereal boxes. Now I create entire product lines and correspond with overseas factories; I've certainly grown up.
Q: OK -- another thing: "Of Justice" -- what the hell's that all about?
A: Well, it's about time I'll shed some light onto this quirky mannerism of mine, in which you'll see quite often here. For starters, let me state for the record that I'm not a real big fan of comic books, nor am I in the least bit a fan of superheroes (in fact, I hate every new CGI superhero flick that comes out from X-Men to Thor). Albeit, I do read some comics and graphic novels (e.g. Judge Dredd, Dick Tracy, The Transformers), as well as owning a handful of rare comics -- but as for the latter of those, only for special things -- like vintage DC comics I bought for the sole purpose of their sexual innuendo on the front covers that I found hilarious. Otherwise, the "-of Justice" label is not a reference to The Justice League nor the Superfriends. I did enjoy The Watchmen movie, though, I guess because it's a comic book movie for people who aren't comic book fans. I had to watch it twice because during the first time, the girl I was dating back then got horny and started making out with me and we eventually passed out nekkid. I think Dr. Manhattan's glowing blue dong turned us on. Whoops, sidetracked again. . .
Anyway, let's journey back to the year 1999. I was 14 years old and in the 8th grade. I'll make a long story short and reveal that towards the end of my 8th grade year in middle school, I was given out-of-school suspension for a (hilarious) crime I didn't actually commit. But unlike Hannibal, B.A. and Faceman, I didn't flee to the Los Angeles underground and survive as a soldier of fortune. Instead, I had a head-start on my summer vacation, and turned to a wide array of hobbies to keep me occupied whilst my sisters were at school and the parents were at work. First, I'd listen to the Howard Stern Show everyday on my radio, then I'd play Nintendo 64 a lot and mess around in the kitchen. I taught myself how to cook, and then to fend off the boredom much longer, I bought a ton of craft supplies from A.C. Moore and spent many hours with clay sculpting. Yes, clay sculpting. No, I didn't turn to pottery or that bricebrac, but rather, violent incarnations of a certain clay cartoon character!
So there I was, playing with multicolored Sculpey Clay, with the occasional pack of googley eyes or toothpicks to make my little clay people appear silly. Like most decent Americans, I of course made several Gumby replicas out of clay (it's kind of mandatory). But then, my sick and twisted (but eccentric) brand of humor took a new path, as I created multiple evil Gumby clones, each known as Gumby's demonic alter-egos. Gumby's dark, murderous incarnation was an orange figure named Leviathan, who I believed wore a pirate patch on his eye. I took a fork and butter knife from the kitchen, gave them to Leviathan, and used them as his weapons to battle Gumby to the death! Playing with my clay Gumbies like action figures, I made Leviathan thrust out his fork into regular Gumby's torso and shout out, "I slay thee with my fork of justice!", which was a random nonsensical phrase I blurted out. The name stuck, and as a personal inside joke, I'd refer to each fork I used at the dinner table my "fork of justice." The next year in school, I began writing "[item] of Justice" on everything of mine, such as my bookbag, binder, pencils, erasers, CD player, and even my plastic blue ocarina. A friend would ask, "Hey Julius, can I use your pen real quick?", to which I'd reply, "My what?", "Ugh. Can I use your 'Pen of Justice' real quick, damn it?"
Since then, I've been personally branding all of my possessions, websites, and creations to having the name "-of Justice" after its product name. It's honestly nothing more than a meaningless personal quirk that I maintain for the sheer hell of it. By the way, the minor obsessive compulsive behavior in me causes anger and frustration when people misquote my items as "Justice Pencil" or "Justice Fork" as opposed to their proper titles of using the word of before justice.
Q: Are you single, dating, married, a swinger, celibate, a polygamist, into animals or what? I read that disastrous dating rut blog you wrote in October 2010 -- and although I can't find it online anymore, I'm concerned with your well-being.
A: Funny question.
No, it really is.
[anything I say about my romantic situation can and will be used against me in a court of law]
Q: What's your favorite color?
Q: That's not a color.
A: And that's not a question.
Q: Alright, seriously though; why do you talk "TV" -- you know? The whole "stay tuned, kids" thing?
A: . . . We'll be right back after these messages.
Q: How long have you had this website?
A: The actual domain Baronvonbrunk.com was launched in late March 2005, and simply redirected to a free site hosted on 95mb.com. My old site looked absolutely nothing like the layout of today (sans the blue color scheme); the original layout was decorated with clouds, World War 1 airplane paintings and pictures of Snoopy -- yes, seriously. The purpose of the old BVB dot com was more or less a pointless playground where I posted image macros and nonsensical images from my various YTMND sites, and around the same time, I was gradually becoming a Flash animator for Newgrounds.com, ergo a huge function of my site was to post my original cartoons -- many of which were crude video game parodies. In addition to those ventures, I had a sort of blog where I ranted (incoherently) about things that bothered me at the time. I was 20 in 2005 when this site was first launched, so you can only imagine the sort of pointless bullshrapnel I'd ramble about!
Months later, I bought web space and made this into a fully-operational site with domain, e-mails, databases and all. I even added a now-defunct message board via PHBbb, and a custom Wikipedia (that's also gone). Throughout 2005-2007, Baronvonbrunk.com evolved and flip-flopped from being a pointless image site with flash to a slightly more serious cartoon site, with a strict emphasis on animation. Around 2008-2009, I took a break from making cartoons and instead focused on art and design -- and in early 2010, I moved to New York City and began a successful career as a graphic artist, which means I've now focused on that tangent almost entirely -- with LEGO models being my primary hobby now.
Q: Did you make everything here yourself?
A: Yes! I do everything here with little or no help from friends (no offense, guys). I have experience through internships, freelance gigs and the likewise, but essentially I'm all self-taught. The reason being: Many years back when I was a rebellious teenager, I used to maintain cheap Geocities sites to show off my Photoshopped pictures of my face superimposed on cereal boxes. I wanted to get a real website, but nobody could lend a hand, so I ended up teaching myself HTML until I got the gist of it. Then I wanted to have Flash animations all around, but again, I couldn't find anyone to assist me with that feat. Next thing you know, I was an expert with Flash, HTML and Photoshop, for the sole purpose of becoming a one man self-contained internet entity! The phrase, "If you want something done, you got to do it yourself" was the best way to describe my reasoning for becoming self-sufficient. Based on this savvy, I eventually landed a job out of it by designing package art for electronic accessories in Midtown Manhattan, and now I create concept art and packages for a different electronics company in the same town.
Q: You are a very talented and unique fellow! Your work is so sweet like Domino Sugar. I enjoy you more than Nestle's Quik. Can you work for our design/marketing team on a freelance basis as an outsourced designer?
A: Yes, I do freelance graphic design on the side -- often times totally pro-bono for indie bands and startup organizations that have small budgets, and I'm always for hire to help out with any tasks you need! Contact me for more details.
Q: Are any of your creations made by other people, or do you make everything yourself?
A: Every single LEGO creation ever put on this site has been made by me, hands down, with absolutely no reblogging or reposting of other peoples' work. My Tumblr page, my Facebook and Instructables profiles are only specifically for the purpose of displaying my talent. The only times I show off other peoples' LEGO creations is occasionally via Twitter, in which I'll specify it's someone else's project -- or I'll simply retweet someone else's tweet in regards to their work.
Q: I loved that Game Boy / Transformers mashup! Can you give me instructions and a parts list?
A: Certainly! View it on my Instructables page to get the lowdown. Warning: this is NOT an easy project to build nor obtain parts to, which means I only recommend experienced LEGO builders to take a stab at it! You can also substitute it with any parts you desire to swap the colors and make clones. You can also support this project on CUUSOO, whereupon if I get 10,000 supporters, the employers of LEGO Group will actually discuss having this mass-marketed as a real toy! Supporting doesn't mean donating money -- simply login and vote!
Q: How long have you been a fan of LEGO?
A: The word "LEGO" was actually one of the first words I could write when I was a wee lad. I think my first sets were given to me at age 2 or 3 (screw the choking hazard warnings!), and since then (the mid-1980s) I've been a LEGO Maniac! As evidenced by my current two minifigure tattoos, my two oldest favorite themes were space and castle, notably the Futuron astronauts and the castle Forestmen.
Q: Where do you buy all of your pieces?
A: I rarely ever purchase new sets -- let alone follow the instructions and assemble them -- which means I buy almost all of my parts specifically "on demand" from www.bricklink.com, or once in a blue yonder I'll dodge the obnoxious tourists at Rockefeller Plaza and get a cup or two of the Pick-a-Bricks.
Q: For the love of Zeus, what in Hades' name happened to your cartoons page!? Holy shrapnel, that was my main draw to your site many years ago! I loved your hilarious Mario and Sephiroth parodies on Newgrounds -- please bring them back!
A: As much as I hate to say it, the cartoons page is no longer here, and shall never be brought back in its original form. The reason being, is that many (all) of those toons were simple parodies that I created for fun at the time, and had little foresight as to potentially taking myself seriously. My first animations were created with limited quality and poor animation, that I merely threw together in spare time back when I was only 20 years old in 2005. Times have changed, and although my general quirky attitude is the same (quirkier, actually), I've lately focused on other ventures to make a name for myself by -- e.g. LEGO, graphic arts and such. In other words, the old cartoons were never made with the intention of earning a living nor gaining popularity, unlike the graphics I do that pay the bills, or the LEGO models I build which earn me multiple interviews in major magazines. As you'll read about below, I do however have plans to make more detailed animations with better plots and original characters, and ultimately use them for short film festivals. In the meantime, my cartoons are available on Newgrounds.com -- and I must warn some of you newer people that my old cartoons from 2005-2009 are a little, um, strange, and not safe for work in a lot of respects. They're almost comprised of limited animation and personal inside jokes from high school, which a lot of you won't get. Otherwise, they're worth a chuckle or two. Or ten. Safety not guaranteed.
Q: When do you plan on finishing the last episode of Julius Saves the Mushroom Kingdom (JSTMK)?
A: Alright, I'm not going to lie by telling you I don't get asked this question a lot --- quite a bit. In fact, this question often irritates me. For those of you just tuning in, I have a Flash cartoon series involving a character based on me fighting Bowser Koopa in a 16-bit Nintendo world. I created the first 7 out of 8 episodes during 2005-2006, but never so much as even began to work on the 8th episode since then. I broke ground for an 8th episode a while back, but became swarmed with other various projects and jobs, that I eventually put it on the back burner and never even thought about working on it again. This was five years ago. With the dramatic changes in my life, I repeatedly altered the planned script for the final chapter, and now I can't even settle on a coherent idea! Every time I come up with a concept for the last episode, the proposed plan always seems to exceed the timeline limit in Macromedia Flash, which is exactly 16 minutes. The most recent episode, "Pipeline Labyrinth" was actually almost 18 minutes long in the original cut, but was condensed in order to be published. With my current planned episode synopsis for part 8, I would probably have to break it up into a two-part episode, or I'd have to streamline it to the point of the plot losing the key elements. I'll finish it -- eventually.
Update 8/14/2011: I'm slowly learning 3-D software/animation, and I'm considering making all seven JSTMK episodes (plus the phantom 8th episode) combined into one hour-long 3-D CGI movie, with slightly updated and modified scenarios. Stay tuned, kids!
Q: How come you used to make new Flash cartoons like once or twice a month, and as of 2007, you've only been making them like once or twice a year!?
A: I like creating cartoons, but adulthood really eats into my free time. Also, my early works were generally low-brow with copyrighted characters/scenarios. Now I want to focus my abilities on more serious stuff with original concepts and more refined quality. I recently received a graphics tablet as a gift from my comrade Skot Shaub, and hopefully soon I'll start churning out well-drawn short films for festivals and potential pitch pilots for major television networks. In late 2010, I wrote the synopsis for a short animation with the intention of entering the festival circuit, now hopefully my idea won't be too eccentric for the discriminating tastes of the potential pretentious judges. I'll give a clue: My cartoon short involves blood, guts and baloney sandwiches. Stay tuned, kids!
Update 5/1/2012: I recently teamed up with my pal Nate to create a short film collaboration of toons, with the intention of making a pitch-pilot for full animated series!
Baron von Brunk: Too badass for Lancaster!™
©2005-2012 Situs Julius, Baron von Brunk. All contents are property of Julius von Brunk (unless specified).
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Official website of "The Baron" Julius von Brunk, a native Pennsylvanian and current New York City resident! The original Amish cowboy, the tattooed LEGO maniac, and the metalhead with mutton chops! Featured in Nintendo Power, CNN Geekout, and recognized as the creator of the massive LEGO Super Mario 3 airship model!