Another conversation with Tommy Part 2

MP3 File

A few asides regarding this one ...
  1. Every time I hear anything regarding the Beta Fighter, I kind of frown when the subject of "buying all four" comes up. Didn't Scott Bernard's team only have the one? Do we even see red or green Betas in the TV series? I'm sure there are plenty of ROBOTECH (and Mospeada) fans out there who want four Betas for four Alphas, but that always drives this particular fan nuts when used as a rationale for "dumbing down" the Beta. On the other hand, I suppose that Toynami would be seriously counting on triple- and quadruple-dipping on this particular item to mitigate the costs of tooling this massive mechanized monstrosity ... so, I kind of get what's going on with the Beta, but personally I'd only be buying the one or two due to fidelity to the source material rather than cost. Maybe that's just me.

  2. Tommy's Unicron example is actually pretty appropriate to the matter at hand. If I'm remembering this right, the Unicron he's referring to at first was a convention exclusive statue based on the character's classic appearance in the 1986 Transformers: The Movie and the comic book stories he appeared in subsequently -- very big, kind of expensive, very limited, and geared towards nostalgia-fueled fanboys. The $50 mass market toy came a couple of years later, redesigned to tie in with the current cartoon series. So, in fact, the scenario I brought up mirrors this quite nicely, I think, and might be reason to hope if Shadow Chronicles is a hit!

  3. Michael Bradley posts the latest on the CD that Tommy & I discuss at the end of this clip here.

Oh, and real sorry 'bout the lateness. Busy weekend, lots of second thoughts on the edits, and boy my knees have been hurting (and if you've ever seen my computer chair, you'll know why that's kind of a big deal).


Further delays ...

At about 19 minutes right now on the second segment of the Tommy Yune interview. Had company by the house for a good long stretch this evening; otherwise I think I'd be done with it by now. I'd do some more hacking & slashing on it tonight, but I think the awkward way I was sitting through a half hour interview I conducted last night (more on that at a later date) has wreaked havoc on my poor knees, and sitting on this awkward computer chair is making them hurt worse.

Very sorry about this, gang. I'll try and finish this segment up tomorrow morning. Thanks for your patience.


Delays ...

Right now I'm supposed to be editing the next installment of the Tommy Yune interview, which I believe now will be part 2 of 3. This next bit will either be a survey of the ROBOTECH landscape overall, or will focus on The Shadow Chronicles -- and yes, I did a follow-up today where we discuss the FUNimation announcement, so that'll be all current and awesome and stuff. But honestly, I think I'm in the middle of crashing from a caffiene high -- I told Tommy that chances were very good that I'd fall asleep on the keyboard if I didn't down another Mountain Dew before we started talking, so I dutifully quaffed the Dew and got down to business -- and it would do no one any good if I edited this thing while in this hazy, groggy state, so I'm doing it in the morning.

Here, have another one of Chris Meadows's fantastic posters as a consolation prize. This one is grand ...

... but he sent me a new one today which has to be his crowning achievement in this department. And I'll have that and more of me & Tommy gabbing back and forth here tomorrow afternoon.



Remember that Michael Bradley/Yellow Dancer CD?

So I get an e-mail from one of my fellow fans (one Carlos Boninlla -- thanks for the tip, man!) regarding this post at Michael Bradley (singing voice for Yellow Dancer in Robotech: The New Generation)'s MySpace page. He's been working on this new CD featuring rerecordings of all the songs he wrote for ROBOTECH, and the buzz from fans who've heard bits and pieces is that it sounds awesome. Unfortunately, he's hitting this wall when it comes to getting the rights to use the ROBOTECH name and related imagery on the cover and in advertising and such. Heck, he's even talking about not having it available via's store. I'm flashing back to when Harmony Gold's lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to anime retailers regarding import Macross merchandise some years back -- the Harmony Gold legal team strikes me as a wee bit overzealous, and in this instance, I can't for the life of me figure out why they're acting like this. But then as Darkwater says, "What do we know? We're just dumb fanboys."

Oh, and while you're at Darkwater's blog, read the comments for even more disheartening buzz. Ugh!

So, given all that, Michael Bradley asks us ...

Does anyone think it would matter if I DON'T release this as a "ROBOTECH" project? It would be titled "Lonely Soldier Boy" (as I mentioned in an earlier blog). And it would only have the ROBOTECH songs that I was involved with from the series and the does it really matter if "ROBOTECH" is on the cover or not?

Anyway, if any of you guys out there want to give me your opinion, please send me a message on this site. I'd love to hear from anyone on this subject.

He says he wants input, so if you've got a MySpace account, pop on over and give him your input.

You're going to want to bookmark this for later.

This is the page on Funimation's website where they'll be posting the theaters where their theatrical stuff's going to be showing. In the immediate future it'll be home to a list of theaters and dates, where and when the Fullmetal Alchemist movie is going to be playing, but farther down the road, I think you all know what's going to be here ...

Okay, I'll just say it, we're going to see Shadow Chronicles locations, dates, and times for its theatrical run here. So file this info away, and when plans start coalescing and solidifying on FUNi's end, remember it and give it a look.

An announcement & some Transformersness you might be interested in ...

First off, I've decided at the end of this year I'm deleting my old Robotech Comics Universe website. I've been paying something like $8 a month for years to keep it banner free, and finally just couldn't do it anymore -- I'm so busy with so many other things that I doubt I'll ever get around to updating it the way I want to, and it's basically become me paying a monthly fee to do nothing with it. So now there's ugly banners all over it, and really, I can't stand to see it like that, either. Thus, come January, I'm taking it out behind the shed and putting a bullet in its head. If you have any requests for documents from there you'd like to still see on the 'net for future generations, I'll gladly post them up here and stick them in the "Posts Worth Reading" section for posterity.

Speaking of preserving things for the future, have you heard about the Transformers Classics line coming later this year? Hasbro's taking a lot of their classic Transformers characters, the ones from the first three years of the line (through the 1986 animated classic Transformers: The Movie) and doing up nice modern toys of them without all the ridiculous gimmickry that Transformers toys have kind of suffered from the past few years. No more half-baked homages here, either -- no, they're saying outright that these are supposed to be the exact same characters from 1984-1986. Newly redesigned figures of the real Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Starscream, and so on, rather than the watered-down versions from Transformers Armada and its sequels.

Anyway, one of these characters they're redoing is Jetfire, who if you remember was originally a VF-1S Super Valkyrie toy, licensed to Hasbro by Bandai -- in short, Skull One with a new red & white paint job and Autobot stickers on it. For the cartoon they completely redesigned him and called him Skyfire, but if you looked hard enough you could tell that the design was still strongly influenced by the original Valkyrie design. Today, got a hold of a photo of the new toy. I think you'll find it interesting.

Swing-wings, FAST packs, and head lasers, oh my! Half Valkyrie, half the cartoon Skyfire design, all pretty cool to my ROBOTECH & Transformers-loving eyes.


Appetizers ...

First off, poster #3 of 4 from Chris "Robotech_Master" Meadows ...

Man, these totally beat those whales splashing out the sea and rainbows and stuff.

Next up, if you haven't seen it already, take a look at this very slick bit of Shadow Chronicles-related animation that Darkwater was sent. There's something a little stiff and off-model about it that makes me think this is a very nicely done piece of fan animation, but we'll find out come mid-August when people start being allowed to see the film sans non-disclosure agreements.

And finally for today, I'll probably be posting the next installment of the interview with Tommy on Wednesday. Of course, I say that now and it'll more likely wind up being Friday or something, but pop on over here on Wednesday and if I don't have it up, you can start lumping me in with the always-late Harmony Gold pack. After all, there's my face on -- obviously I've totally sold out, right?


More motivation!

Here's the second of those amusing motivational posters Chris "Robotech_Master" Meadows sent along. Rather like this one.

Ah, so true.

So, yes, Funimation has the rights to distribute The Shadow Chronicles in a whole variety of formats -- DVD, theatrically, and on the TV. (Almost wrote "telly" -- too much Doctor Who for me, I guess.) Fantastic news, and I betcha the reason it wound up leaked through Anime Insider is just a mere case of the publication of the magazine not quite lining up with the convention schedule. Simple and harmless, but annoying for all involved.

Given the level of presentation that Funimation's been bringing to the table lately with releases like Fullmetal Alchemist and Samurai 7 (excellent overall graphic design, premium collectors' goodies, thick full-color booklets), and the fact that they've been really good about getting their high profile stuff into stores (always getting harder, what with so many anime releases coming out week after week), especially the big central spots like Wal-Mart and Target, this sounds like an excellent deal for Harmony Gold and the future of the ROBOTECH franchise. Five years ago I would have been a panic-stricken mess if you told me Funimation was involved in the release of the new ROBOTECH animation, but in the intervening years they've done a dramatic transformation from "the company that screwed up Dragon Ball Z" into one of the premiere anime dubbing and distribution companies in the U.S. So yeah, I'm feeling fired up.

Hey, who wants to guess a release date? I'm still thinking March. How about you guys?


Well, there we go.

FUNi it is.

Another conversation with Tommy Part 1

Tommy looks like a GIANT next to me!
Earlier this week, Tommy Yune took the time out from his busy pre-San Diego Comic-Con schedule to answer more ROBOTECH-related questions. In this first seventeen-minute chunk of audio, he answers questions from listeners of the last interview a few months back, hitting topics such as the ROBOTECH Remastered DVD sets, the ongoing dispute between Tatsunoko Productions & Big West regarding the division of Macross rights, and what he thinks was going on with the SDF-2 in the final episode of ROBOTECH's Macross Saga.

By the way, thanks for the questions, folks -- much appreciated! And apologies in advance if I twisted something around or skipped one you really wanted an answer to; I was operating under the impression that we had a half hour time limit, and wanted to get in questions from everyone who sent them in on top of the questions that you'll hear later this week.

Please be aware that during some stretches of the interview there's a nasty little buzz in the background. Totally my fault, sorry. I hope it isn't too annoying.

MP3 File

Starting the day off right ...

With less than two hours of sleep under my belt, it's time for breakfast. It's also time to start getting some real honest to god content up here, but I don't really feel like doing any work until after I eat. So what you get right now is the first of four fine motivational posters that Chris "Robotech_Master" Meadows sent me earlier this week. Enjoy!

Ah! Don't you feel motivated? I know I do.

Another one of these tomorrow, and more stuff in general later today!


A few quick thoughts ...

My dear pal Ian apparently got to see the new issue of Wizard's Anime Insider magazine today and had this to say about the Funimation announcement within its pages:

It makes everything sound real fuckin' official, and I know it's not.

And the only reason he knows it isn't is because I talked to him about it after I saw it on Darkwater's blog. As Ian was saying, really, that's the danger of print sources (especially ones with as little real journalistic cred to lose as Wizard) trying to compete with the web -- something comes in, to hell with verifying it with other sources, they print it. And of course, unlike the web, you can't have Harmony Gold reps popping in with a reply comment going, "No, that's not true," in a magazine unless someone from the magazine seeks them out.

Wonder what news the San Diego Comic-Con panel will bring tomorrow, if any. Toynami doesn't have any new ROBOTECH or even Macross wares to show off, I've noticed. Wonder if Darkwater's going to have to sit through another damn PowerPoint presentation. If so, I feel really damned sorry for him. What would this be, number eleven?

Been having a lazy, lousy day today, but after I finally get something to eat I'll work on getting a few things up for you tonight, or at least in the early a.m. hours.


Meanwhile ... has posted up the first wave of that mobile phone content from Airborne Entertainment that they've been hyping for a bit right here -- two bucks per sight or sound from the ROBOTECH saga. That shot of Dana on her hovercycle from the opening sequence is awfully tempting, but I think I'll save my two bucks for, I don't know, two thirds of a comic book. As for the sounds, y'know, I personally prefer the way MIDI sequences sound coming from a mobile phone; on the other hand, I could see myself changing my tune (EEK! A PUN!) if they put up an original audio version of the music that's been my primary ringtone for the past year, "Rick Hunter's Theme." Maybe. As for all the dialogue ringtones -- god, I could see those getting really old really fast ...

But hey, maybe that's just me.

The Anime Insider announcement - not the first time for Funimation ...

So yesterday it was discovered that in the August issue of Wizard's Anime Insider magazine, Funimation Productions (best known for releasing Dragon Ball Z and Fullmetal Alchemist in the U.S.) was named as the distributor of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. On the forums, Kevin McKeever of Harmony Gold was quick to note that in reality, no such deal had been signed. Something about this seemed awfully familiar, but it wasn't until I was talking with my pal Ian about the "news" last night that I remembered what it was.

A few years ago, Funimation was in the running to acquire the rights to One Piece, the popular Shonen Jump title about a stretchy-limbed, thick-headed boy who wants to become King of the Pirates and seize the legendary treasure of Gold Rodger, the "One Piece." It's a lot like Dragon Ball Z in that it's kind of shrill, eye-catching, fight-oriented, and really, really long, so obviously this would have been a grand fit for Funimation, a company that was built on a show in that style. However, during an anime convention, someone from Funimation leaked that, oh yeah, they've got the rights to the show. There seemed no reason to doubt the validity of this claim. In fact, they owned the rights to the internet domain name "" and had acquired a U.S. trademark on the series title. However, in early 2003 Funimation announced to the anime news sites that they never really got the license locked down, and that they were merely in the running to acquire the show.

Ultimately, in early 2004, 4Kids Entertainment acquired the rights to the One Piece TV series, and continues to air their watered down version of One Piece on the Fox television network every Saturday.

I've heard that this period of perception that Funimation had acquired the One Piece license ultimately cost them the license; I'm not familiar with the details, but I can think of a handful of ways that could have become a mark against them, or given 4Kids an advantage. In any case, it sounds to me like an instance of the old saying being true: "Loose lips sink ships." I just hope that this Anime Insider news blurb doesn't sink this one.


Tangent - Tim Eldred's Grease Monkey

The Fourth Rail has a review up of Invid War co-creator and Return to Macross artist Tim Eldred's all ages sci-fi saga Grease Monkey. This book has been floating somewhere towards the top of my "to buy" list for a bit now; Eldred's work on ROBOTECH, Captain Harlock, and Votoms back in the 1990's has elevated him towards the top of my personal list of creators whose work I'll seek out without reservation. However, I don't expect you to do the same, so here's the official website for the book, where you can read the first two chapters free of charge, as well as a number of interviews with Eldred and a pile of pulled quotes of praise for the book from accomplished comics professionals and other review publications.

Kind of interesting, at least to me -- the "buy more and save" pairing that suggests is this book with Matt Fraction & Steven Sanders's Five Fists of Science (Image Comics), in which Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla attempt to sell the world on a plan to end all war only to run headlong into a dangerous plot for power by J.P. Morgan and Thomas Edison. An excellent and entertaining read; I sort of understand how the two might wind up lumped together, but it still caused me to scratch my head for a second when I first saw them side by side.

Oh so very frustrating to have so many good comics out there to buy and not enough money to do so ... and by what I've read of it thus far, this would be one of them. *sigh*


More bits ...

  • If you take a gander at, you'll notice the store button on the side bar menu that used to have a green Mars Division mug saying "Drink Me!" on it now has a Shadow Chronicles mug on it speaking that dialogue. So yeah, looks like those are in stock. Mind you, someone failed to notice that inside the store the Mars and Jupiter Division mugs are still being hyped when they appear to be well out of stock and not coming back ...

  • Just finished my 2nd interview with Tommy Yune, which included about half, maybe three quarters of the questions some of you folks so kindly sent in. (And thanks for those, by the way!) As I told him, you all should probably expect that posted up here maybe Thursday or so -- sure, it'll probably get drowned out almost immediately by whatever he and the rest of the Harmony Gold gang spill at Comic-Con, but I really need the distance between me and the audio before I can start editing it without focusing laser-like on what a doof I sound like.

    This one might get served in halves like the previous interview -- it was about twenty minutes shorter than that one, I'd say, once you cut out all the dead air and complaining about the weather. ^_^ On the other hand, it's probably going to need some major editing; we had a few false stops at the end, and there's some pretty interesting stuff in the more conversational bits at the end. I guess we'll see how that goes when I get to hacking & slashing away. Maybe I'll save some of that for an "uncut" transcript for the next issue of Emissaries.

  • Speaking of which, subscription copies of Emissaries Vol. 2 #3 went out in the mail last Friday, for those of you who subscribe and weren't at AX. Should show up at your door any day now, and I can't wait to hear what you think. (And those of you I handed out copies to at AX, I'd like to hear your thoughts as well!)
  • 7.16.2006

    You find the darnedest things on YouTube

    Like, for instance, a commercial for a Macross stamper set. (After watching this, I kind of want it.)

    And a commercial for the old 1/55 scale Valkyrie toys from Takatoku.

    And then, in this century, there's a twenty minute promo for the aforementioned import-only Another Century's Episode 2 video game for the PS2, in which you and a friend can sit down and play out fights between Akito Tenkawa (Nadesico) and Amuro Rei (Mobile Suit Gundam), Roy Fokker (Macross) and Zechs Merquise (Gundam Wing), and so many more that it boggles the mind. If you've got twenty minutes to kill, bask in the glory, then curse the fact that without some major rejiggering of your PS2 console, you'll never get to play this game.


    Bits & Pieces

  • ToonZone has an interview with Robotech: The Macross Saga and Robotech Masters artist Neil Vokes about his stint drawing the cartoon tie-in comic Superman Adventures in the late 1990's.

  • Darkwater lets us know that the Funimation Channel (which he gets locally on over-air HDTV) will be running a special covering Anime Expo this coming Saturday (he thinks) that may include coverage of the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles panel. Check the link for details that may or may not be correct.

  • How many of you remember this show? Produced by Tatsunoko in the immediate wake of the Sentinels collapse, Zillion borrows heavily from the remains of that project, despite being primarily based on a Sega light gun game (think Lazer Tag). Some years later, Carl Macek's Streamline Pictures dubbed and released five of the series' thirty-one episodes on VHS before copping out and releasing the follow-up OVA Burning Night.

    (As an aside, I've always found it funny how in the early to mid-1990's anime companies would always grab the odd follow-up OVA to an anime TV series rather than the series itself -- see also GoShogun: The Time Etranger, Sonic Soldier Borgman: Lover's Rain and The Last Battle, the Yu Yu Hakusho movies, etc. Along with the rather bleh translations of the time, these releases helped foster a sense that all anime was bizarrely impenetrable, when it was actually just the addle-brained decisions of the U.S. distributors that were creating this perception. Thank goodness so many of these shows were so offbeat and/or visually interesting.)

    I mention all of that not because there's some burning news on that front; actually, it's just because I stumbled across the opening theme on YouTube and it got me thinking about it again. Seriously, it's quite obvious from the color palette, landscape design, and mechanical designs (those blue biomechanical beasties bursting from the ground -- look familiar, ROBOTECH fans?) that Zillion was made from leftover Sentinels parts.

    Of course, there's another other ROBOTECH connection on the Zillion front. Malibu's Eternity Comics imprint published four issues of a comic book adaptation of the series, the first three by ROBOTECH veterans Tom Mason (writer, Robotech II: The Sentinels) and Harrison Fong (artist, Robotech Masters). After the fourth issue -- produced by a completely different creative team -- shipped, the Eternity imprint was dissolved, ROBOTECH wound up at Academy, and the rest of the psuedo-manga comics Eternity published either scurried for new homes or, as in the case of licenses such as this and the planned Super Dimension Century Orguss, went "poof."

  • And finally ... I realize that Harmony Gold's gotta send somebody to every convention that comes calling, but really, did Tom Bateman lose a bet or something?
  • 7.07.2006

    Yeah, like you aren't getting tired of AX crap ...

    Let me preface this post by saying that I absolutely hate to draw attention to myself. If you met me at Anime Expo, you'd know this for a fact -- as I was saying to someone via e-mail just the other day, most of the time I was just quietly nodding along with my buddy Evan, standing a step or two behind him, and only ever spoke when spoken to. I don't want to put myself out there -- no sir, no way. Because I know the minute I put myself out there, I'm gonna say just the stupidest thing you've ever heard. (Hey, look, there's a nice example of me doing just that in this comments thread at Darkwater's site, second comment down! Thanks, anonymous -- like I wasn't aware of just what a total doof I was making of myself when I wrote that!)

    Anyway ...

    So I'm talking to Evan on the phone -- I think it was yesterday -- and he tells me that someone's got a convention video up where you can see me and him for a split second at the ROBOTECH booth. Considering that most of Evan's film got irradiated and ruined by airport security, and I just don't like taking pictures (again with the not wanting to put myself forward -- most of the photos on my camera this trip were either taken by Evan or taken after a few drinks), it's nice to see some additional proof that we were there.

    RaZoR X's video of AX can be seen here at his MySpace blog. Yeah, it's a little like thumbing through someone else's vacation photos -- no, hold on, that's exactly what it is -- but it also gives a really good sense of being at the convention, too. Very cool, very well done.

    Here's a screen grab of me and Evan from the video -- that would be us on Sunday, July 2nd, the one day I wasn't wearing a t-shirt with an anime character on it (and the same day I got my Amuro cel signed by the original voice actor) ...

    Tomorrow I'm either going to regale you either with one more shred of AX nonsense or get started on posting Emissaries excerpts for the latest issue. I'm sure both of those prospects fill you with a sense of overwhelming lightness of being and indescribable joy. Hey, it's either this stuff or going back to stupid panels from Rubicon -- you don't want that, do you?

    Oh, and while I'm at it, those of you who got copies of Emissaries at the convention, any thoughts on it? Or am I going to have to deal with more of those damn cricket sounds and tumbleweeds in the feedback department?


    Photographic evidence.

    Me & Darkwater, July 1, 2006

    Not the most flattering photo of either of us, but given the circumstances, there was no way it could be.

    AX '06 Roboswag

    The ROBOTECH booth at AX '06 was host to a smidge of new ROBOTECH crap for fans to blow their convention bucks on. Here's the shiny new stuff they had that I came back with:

    While we may not have news of a distributor or release date yet, we do have the snazzy official Shadow Chronicles mug (coffee not included). At least that's a half-step up from the cheapo Shadow Chronicles pins they keep handing out -- I swear, the one I got last year has nearly fallen apart at least twenty times now. The mug, given that you actually had to pay cash money for it, seems a little sturdier than that. As early artifacts go, items cranked out before the real "merchandising cycle" starts, I'd say this is a nice one. Very eye-catching.

    And then there's the production release of the card game.

    I didn't get a chance to play the game, though they had volunteers at the ready to walk interested fans through it. It's another fifty-card deck, twenty-five RDF versus twenty-five Zentraedi cards. What you see above is the case the production deck comes in next to the previously released beta deck. Unlike the beta deck cards, the production deck cards are on more playing card-like stock, with rounded corners. The text is much more readable due to a change to white text in some cases, while other sections of the card simply have better contrast. Comparing the production deck with the beta is interesting, because in some cases you get cards that are very close to identical:

    In other cases, major tweaks have been made, such as a switch to a much better shot of the mecha, though for all intents and purposes the two cards are supposed to be the same:

    Then you've got the two totally different Rick Hunter cards -- the beta deck had him as a corporal, and the production deck had him as a lieutenant, with boosted stats and additional abilities. I wonder if, when the booster packs become available, we'll see other variations, holographic crap and the like. Not everything from the one set appears again in the other -- there are no Destroids in the production deck I have, and there's a wide variety of slightly different Valkyries. Roy Fokker and the generic palette-swapped Skull Squadron pilot do not appear in the new production deck; instead you get a very gray-colored almost sickly-looking Max Sterling, and the Ben Dixon that appears on the Robotech CCG home page. Hopefully sometime this weekend I'll make the time to really figure the game out and see what's what.

    I was told at one point during the convention that the rules sheet is barely worth the paper it's printed on. If anyone can help out in that department, putting things a bit more clearly, I'm all ears.

    The only other noteworthy thing at the ROBOTECH booth was the bargains that could be had. I loaned Darkwater a twenty to help him snag one of Harmony Gold's reboxed AnimEigo Macross DVD sets for forty bucks -- I guess he just hadn't budgeted for it. Y'know, I clearly recall paying at least four times that when I picked that set up many moons ago. Similar deals could be had on a wide variety of other merchandise from the past few years. Also got to take a look up close and personal at the Yamato Megazone 23 Garland, which is a really sweet-looking toy. I am totally going to have to find a way to work that into my budget somehow ...


    Home now. Stuff later.

    Man, I'm beat.

    Did you see what Darkwater had to say on the panel this weekend? If not, click here to read that.

    I guess while I'm bringing it up ...

    The documentary stuff looked good, though I kept having this feeling of, "Wait, a lot of these guys are here in this room -- why am I watching them on this screen talking when they're standing in the same room?!" On the one hand, I do know why ... on the other hand, I can't help that feeling, y'know? The disc crapped out just when the segment on the characters of Shadow Chronicles started to get good (though some of us got to see the full thing later anyway), which I guess would have been annoying if we all were aware of just how long and how interesting the segment was, and how that segment in particular had all these people in it who weren't in the room ...

    Honestly, to this Kansas boy, Kev's explanation of why we don't have an announcement on the distribution deal -- and the reason why the one last year fell through -- sounded reasonable to my ears. Then again, hey, I know I can be kind of a sucker sometimes. Darkwater's B.S. detector's probably a little better calibrated than mine. His has to be -- he's in the biz. At the very least, though, as Darkwater himself said, Kev's explanation sounded good; it had a satisfying ring of truth to it. It very much smacked of the sorts of nasty games I've long heard that the studios play out there -- Stupid Distribution Tricks, locking a title down to keep it from competing with something they think will make them more money, enough to make it worth their while to spend money to tie the other title up for a bit. Yeah, sure, sounds like the sort of crap I've read about in the entertainment magazines.

    The "market value" thing, though? Darkwater's right; that does sound a little weird. I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for that. Unfortunately, the only one my brain can conjure up (and bear in mind I'm sleepy as I type this) makes some of the folks at HG look kinda like total doofs. Maybe it's complicated and this was the short & sweet version. I dunno.

    This whole extended weekend's been a lot to digest -- and that's not even taking into account the fact that every time I went to sleep, in my dreams the convention just kept on going on.

    Seriously folks, fun is hard.

    Pictures to come ...