A quick aside about Rick Hunter in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles ...

I was just thumbing through an old issue of Robotech II: The Sentinels while working on the Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles notes -- oh, I thought I'd be clever, doing them before midnight and going, "See, it's still the day after I said I'd do them!" -- and one particular panel caught my eye. Something about the expression I noticed ...

Ignoring the size of Rick's chin in this panel from Sentinels -- it ballooned to almost comical proportions during Book II, for some reason -- I can totally see Rick in the first panel growing into Rick in the second panel, from the Waltrips' next to last page of art in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles. Omar Dogan's Rick has a broader and more angular face -- probably closer to the animation model from the Shadow Chronicles film, mind you -- while as their pages of Prelude progress the Waltrips seem to slowly add a little bit from memory to their rendering of the former Skull Leader, touches of the way they used to draw him all those years ago. It seemed to take until their final pages for the Waltrips to finally grow comfortable in their return to ROBOTECH. In their penultimate shot of Admiral Hunter, the relaxed expression and sarcastic remark give off a comforting feeling, that at long last the Waltrips are back up to speed; as the long time fan turns the page and sees Omar Dogan return to the art, the feeling washes away. While the rest of the issue certainly reads like the classic work of the Waltrip brothers, the art loses that clean, streamlined, almost animation-style feel. Dogan is a more than competent artist, and he does a fabulous job with the mechanical designs, but while his American-anime hybrid style character art passed muster with me prior to the Waltrips' arrival on art, and even seemed preferable during their first few pages in issue #4, following their final page of #5 it just left me cold, and wondering what Jason & John would have done with the pages leading up to the upcoming animated feature.

Great, now I'm torn -- I'd love to see Takeshi Miyazawa do some more ROBOTECH, but even moreso I want to see another project with the Waltrips on art all the way through. I guess we just need more ROBOTECH comic projects. Hey, Tommy ...

(Oh, and this delays the posting of the Issue #4 & 5 notes another day -- family obligations kept me away from the computer for too long tonight. Sorry.)


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