Because I'm a sucker, that's why ...

Posting's been light-to-nonexistent due to the fact that my hands have been seriously killing me for, like, a week now, or something. I'm sure last weekend's Super Mario World marathon didn't help any; those ten or so pages of hand-scrawled notes I had to type out rapid-fire-like for my boss on Monday? Tuesday? I forget ... that wasn't what I'd call helpful either. But y'know, between now and the advent, I've got a crap-ton of work to do, so here I am, back in the saddle.

As Darkwater noted in his weekly roundup, apparently somebody's going to get to see Shadow Chronicles before the end of the year. NYC's Korean Film Festival (Aug. 25-31) will get a screening -- makes sense, much of the work on the film was done in Korea, IIRC. Then the Horror & Science Fiction Film Festival in Phoenix, AZ (Oct. 13-15) gets a screening. And there's doubtless more screenings to come. So if they're setting up all these screenings, my guess is either, A) they've got a distributor locked in, or B) they're reasonably sure they'll have all the necessary paperwork in order before August.

Meanwhile, Hero Factory set up their mechanism for getting ROBOTECH CCG beta decks into the fans' hands. Fifty cards (25 RDF/25 Zentraedi), about $5 including USPS shipping. Click here if you want. I've already ordered two. And why's that?

Look up.

More later.


Oh, and yes, "news" ...

Didja know Shadow Chronicles was at Cannes?

Neither did I.

And HG gave us three new desktop images to celebrate.

Um, woo-hoo?

Yeah, I'm not feeling it, either.


Reflections, And Might I Ask A Favor?

When I was interviewed at Robotech Underground a while back, the subject of how long I've been bouncing around the on-line fandom was approached. And while I haven't been around as long as some, ROBOTECH fandom on-line has been a part of my life for something like eight, maybe nine years now. That just boggles my mind. But at this point I don't venture out much beyond my little hut here, my little on-line kiosk. And the reason why might seem a little silly, but, well ... it's because none of the on-line forums feel like home

This was home.

Okay, that's not a reflection of one of my finest hours -- there I was, flame-baiting the jerk who took down The Robotech Page's RTMB -- but hey, what can I say, I was young and stupid. But the funny thing is, I don't even feel 100% comfortable here, on what is ostensibly my own turf, the way I did back on the old RTMB. I didn't feel that way back in the day with the SDF-5X forum at Bravenet, or the abortive attempt I recently made to start an Emissaries forum.

Okay, yeah, I'm probably just depressed and it's making me all reflective and such. That, and the trip's got me nervous.

"What trip, Jonathan?"

Why, this trip, of course.

Which brings me to a little bit of, how shall we say, abuse of power. Here's where you, the faithful Roboblog reader, get to reduce a bit of my anxiety. You see, I am arriving at LAX on June 30th at a little after 10:00 a.m. I've been having to sell off some nice stuff to make it out there, so I've not a whole lot of cash for the expedition. My good dear friend Evan isn't exactly rolling in dough either. And so I remark to him the other day, when he asks about shuttles from point A, the airport, to point B, the hotel, that it'll run us something like $39-$50 to get from A to B and he seems to find that totally unacceptable. And me, I just sort of shrug and ask, "Hey, whatcha gonna do?" And he makes a suggestion.

Me, I'm taking that suggestion and, with my handy soap box right here, inflating it to massive size. In short, if you are a trustworthy sort and can ferry me and my esteemed companion from LAX to the Cortona Inn & Suites in Anaheim that fine first day of our journey, that would be seriously appreciated. E-mail me or bother me on AIM/iChat (I'll be on much more often over the summer, starting Thursday) if you're feeling so benevolent.

"Ah, but what's in it for me?"

Didn't I say to contact me only if you're feeling benevolent? Geez. Well, I don't know, maybe I'll spot your meal if we go straight to breakfast or something. Heck if I know. But you'll be doing a fellow ROBOTECH fan -- and a very loud one at that -- a super-giant-fantastic favor. And really, isn't that enough?


No, I didn't think so. Trust me, I'll think of something.


Hey, wha? New Shadow Chronicles footage?! OOOH!

A fellow fan who wished to remain anonymous just pointed me towards the Kickstart Productions website, where they've posted a demo reel of productions they've been involved in that includes some never before seen footage from Robotech: The Shadow Chronciles -- at least, nothing that's appeared with this level of quality out on the 'net. Check it out here. Screen grabs of highlights appear in the ROBOTECH opening-style filmstrip on the left-hand side of your screen -- as always, click to enlarge.

I must say, there are some very interesting moments in there. Neat to see the Regess waving her arms and looking utterly pretentous, and the sequence where Marcus grabs a fellow pilot and throws him around is intriguing. Also love the way the bit with Louie and Maia wandering through the dark looks -- the way the sequence is lit gives off a feeling of being both modern and vintage. It's something about the colors and the way the background and foreground elements are highlighted. Seems fitting for Shadow Chronicles, doesn't it?

Kind of a shame, though, that the clip of representative animation from the Voltron remake looks significantly inferior to the Voltron combination sequence from the original TV series, which was animated in 1981. Something really wrong there.


Another Adventure In Tradepaperbackery

Yes, it's more TPB covers for books we'll never see. Hey, I enjoy doing these, and really, as Darkwater's said time and time again, there is no news. Except that bit about Team HG at E3 last week ... hunting for developers for the Shadow Chronicles game perhaps, or just checkin' out all the shiny new toys on display? Who knows?

Oh, and there's some RT fans taking the Anime News Network poll a bit hard and boycotting ANN. Anyone who's read my non-ROBOTECH blog today will see I'm not one of them (for those two don't want to click, I refer to reading something on ANN twice). Evan and I were talking about this today and were jointly rolling our eyes at this ridiculousness. There's far more important issues in the world today than whether or not half a thousand ROBOTECH fans were shaved off an unscientific, privately-run fan poll that asked a totally innocuous question. To anyone still offended by this mess: go outside, take a deep breath, and find yourself a real cause to expend some energy on, okay?

And that's the last I'm saying about that.

Anyway ... one more thing before we move along into faux-TPB-land. If you have any questions for the Tommy Yune follow-up interview, SEND THEM NOW! I think I've gotten, like, two. Don't be shy -- fire 'em into my e-mail ASAP, because I'm thinking either this week or next I'll be hitting him up for it.

Okay, soooo ... yeah, um, Mordecai.

In the comments on Aftermath below, Ginrai made mention of Rikki Simons and Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons's three-issue run on that book that spun off into six issues of Clone (plus a 40 page special illustrated by John Scharmen) and a single issue of Mordecai. I always loved that run myself, largely for the gorgeous art and designs (I'll buy practically any Studio Tavicat book for Tavisha's art, it's always a treat), but also for a lot of the ideas that Rikki threw around the place -- Clone #2 made me smile the first time I read through it because of all the fascinating backstory Rikki unspooled, tying the new alien foes, the Monte Yarrow, to established ROBOTECH lore in a way reminiscent of the threads that run throughout the original TV series.

Bearing the cover of Aftermath #9, this would be an approximately 74-page slim little volume collecting the Aftermath run that introduced Dr. Gilles Vaudell, the Isle of the IHE, and the SDF-M through the point of view of Lancer, Sera, and Annie (she of the titular "threadbare heart"). It could easily be padded out with some of the "data book" material that appeared in the original Threadbare Heart trade paperback collection by Academy Comics and the Clone comic book series -- technical specifications, explanations of the insignias of the Immuno Heredity Enigma, character profiles, and other facets of Mordecai lore. Probably wouldn't make it much more than eighty pages of content, but still, anything to beef up the page count.

Oh, and as for why I'm calling it Mordecai on the cover ... I seem to recall that Rikki once said in an interview that he would have liked to have called the series that from the get-go, so there you go. Also, I credited him and Tavisha the way they're credited on the front of Shutterbox, not the way they're credited in the ROBOTECH books, since those are in print and the ROBOTECH work isn't right now -- less confusing that way, I think.

This has the cover of Clone #4, because it's spiffy looking and was a lot easier to crop than the group shot on Clone #0. With 97 story pages total, this would contain issues #0-4 of Clone, and would include the remainder of the "data book" pages from that run not used in the first volume. That may sound a little low, but a couple of these issues only had eighteen story pages, while issue #9 of Aftermath had, like, twenty-seven story pages.

That would leave only three uncollected Mordecai stories -- Rikki Simons & John Scharmen's 40-page special (only 23 story pages) "Youth Inertia," which is pretty good, and the two illustrated prose stories (the 24 page "Cradlesong" from Clone #5 and the fifteen pages of story from Mordecai #1), which would need some major spiffing up for collection. Heck, if we're operating in happy dream land, I'd go up to Rikki & Tavisha and ask them to redo those stories in sequential art format and keep Mordecai rolling. I have always been curious what was going to be in that delayed-then-cancelled Mordecai #2 ...


Another for the bookshelf ...

If you've listened to my interview with Tommy Yune, you may recall me bringing up Bruce Lewis's Invid War: Aftermath as a title with a distinctly shojo (girls' comics) bent that might sell well to that particular market. Now honestly I think it would behoove the powers that be to try and craft some new ROBOTECH work for that market -- heaven knows I'd buy it, and I think it'd be a good match for a franchise for which romance and the arts (specifically the power of music) are such integral elements. But, repackaging older material is always easier than crafting new work, and in that spirit I present to you another in my sequence of hypothetical trade paperback collection covers.

This book would contain the first six issues of Aftermath (the complete Eternity/Malibu run), plus the Hohsq's Story one-shot that was published by Academy Comics, because it's both relevant to the main story and it's awesome. If I could have gotten away with slapping that book's oh-so-lovely wispy shojo-tastic cover up there in lieu of the cover of Aftermath #6, I totally would have, but it just doesn't sum up the book as a whole like the above cover art does. In the happy alternative universe where these books would actually be published, a new cover could be commissioned -- I've never liked that particular piece of art -- but since I'm slapping together this window into that universe on my PowerBook in Photoshop without the benefit of access to Bruce Lewis and his drawing pen, um, yeah, Aftermath #6's cover will have to do.

Keen-eyed viewers might notice that I changed the color of Lancer's hair back to its proper lavender color -- either Lewis himself or the colorist responsible for the published art on the front of Invid War: Aftermath #6 decided he was a blonde -- and patched over a couple other glaring trouble spots in the coloring job. There are still some weird bits here and there, but nothing else that jumped out and kicked me in the face.

You'll also notice I played with the trade dress. Previously I adhered pretty strongly to the style you see on From The Stars and the four published Macross Saga TPBs. Here I decided to swing in a more shojo direction, with the white bars, pink lines, and a familiar shade of light blue that long-time fans might recognize from the Matchbox toys and the FHE videocassettes. All stereotypically "girly" hues, but they look good together (to me, at least), and hey, it's what you see on the shojo manga, so they seem appropriate as well. The font, of course is the classic typewriter-style font Courier, which appeared in a mangled "banged-up ol' typewriter" form on the covers of the first nine issues of Aftermath. I didn't feel like taking the time to wear away and de-register the letters the way Lewis did -- I've done that before, it's a total pain in the butt -- and besides, legibility is good. Still, the "klackity-klacked" logo type of the first two runs of the series (Lewis's Eternity run and Tavicat's three-issue stint) is one of the things that first comes to mind when I think of Aftermath (right after the lance-wielding Veritech and all the billowing wispy hair), so its use as the primary font for all the cover type was an obvious choice in my book.

The tagline at the top encapsulates the series in a nutshell ... it's all about what happens when war is removed from a generation that's grown up faced with war and its ever-looming threat hanging overhead all their lives, and I think it would pique the curiosity of those browsing the graphic novel shelves. I also think the back cover copy would have to set the book in contrast to The Shadow Chronicles, as an alternative take on the ROBOTECH universe following the departure of the Invid Regess. Casting it in that light, I think, would attract more readers than it would shove away, and would also make the work much more palatable to them as well -- leave them thinking, "Um, well, that was interesting," rather than, "Wait, does this work?" or worse, the old, "How dare he use these characters in this way!"

The one ingredient to the mix I'd especially like to see? A new introduction by series author Bruce Lewis, whose politics have since spun 'round to a more conservative bent. I'd love to see what his take on his old ROBOTECH work is now, especially since it was so supercharged with youthful revolutionary ultraliberalism. Some years back a friend of his posted a link to this interview I archived at Robotech Comic Universe, over a decade old at this point, at a message board he frequented and I believe Lewis referred to his old self as less than human (forgive me if I misquoted, I couldn't find the remark to verify it after, like, an hour of digging 'round the web), so I think any introduction to this work by the Bruce Lewis of today would be interesting reading.

Thoughts? Comments? Angry screeds about Aftermath? What'cha got, gang?


My sentiments exactly.

I'll be writing on this subject myself for the coming issue of Emissaries (out later this month!), but in the meantime ... y'know how all these ROBOTECH fans are sick and tired of waiting for The Shadow Chronicles? Well, former Emissaries editor/publisher Evan "The Cassman" Cass is sick and tired of people being sick and tired.

Okay, so that's a trifle stronger sentiment than he's expressing at his blog ... still, the point remains, it would probably be best for all if we just took a step back and relaxed.


More on the ANN poll ...

So yesterday linked to the Anime News Network poll about what anime introduced readers to the world of anime that I mentioned here. Today, ANN has closed this poll and, well, I think the note on their main page says it all:

The "What title was your introduction to Anime and/or Manga?" poll has been closed. The current results are not final and will be amended after irregularities are removed.

At last tally, ROBOTECH had overtaken Dragon Ball for #2 with 11.4% of the vote. Obviously ANN figured out that this spike was highly unnatural and shut down their poll accordingly. Nice one, gang. I think's staff should have probably waited until after the poll was up before linking to it ... unless, of course, they wanted to add a little bit of irregularity to the poll. What, guys, was Pokemon nipping at your heels a bit too close for comfort?


Your Rubicon Moment of the Day, Episode 4

Well, since Admiral DMC McKeever asked for it, it's time for another installment of fun with Antarctic Press's The Sentinels: Rubicon! And if you don't like it, um, he outranks me, it's all his fault.

Today we look at the next batch of panels over from last time, as the poker game continues.

Let's ignore for the moment the fact that the woman's name is Featherhead. Look at the two long-haired dudes in headbands. One of these men is J.C. The other is Lancer. The art is so vague that not only is it unclear which of these guys is which, there's even a possibility they might be the same guy. After all, the two panels here are no more different than any other two panels on this page and the one previous that feature a long-haired guy with a headband. Every time I think I know who I'm looking at, another piece of evidence points me the other direction. Nothing makes any sense anymore! AAAAARGH!!

Also, Featherhead's breasts appear to be the size of her head.

Oh, and the dialogue's still crap.

What say you, SD Breetai?

I know how you feel. I was dumbstruck the first time I read it, too. It is just that bad.

What do YOU, the viewers at home, think?

Oh, and guys ...

I'll probably be bludgeoning Tommy Yune with a pile of further questions on the future of ROBOTECH sometime within a week or so. So if you've got any burning questions (that don't involve the big distribution/release date question, natch), fire 'em into my e-mail: captainjls [AT] animejanai [DOT] com.

Don't be shy. Anything on your mind, send it my way. I've got a few in mind, but I'd like to have more than a few on hand in case my brain goes *pffft*.

So Far, So Interesting

There's a poll on Anime News Network right now about what site readers' first anime ever was. As of this writing, Sailor Moon is #1 with 15.5%, Dragon Ball Z is #2 with 11.6%, and ...


... Robotech is #3 with 5.3%!

Sure, that's quite a big percentage gap between #2 and #3, and Pokemon is hot on its heels at #4 with 4.7%, but still, not a bad showing, methinks.