I dunno, what do YOU think?

This is the new Shadow Chronicles DVD cover that popped up at Right Stuf oh-so-recently. With the movie in mind, I think it's a interesting, only slightly inaccurate cover -- honestly, Vince Grant, hidden behind his Cyclone armor helmet next to a decidedly off-model Scott Bernard (it's New Gen Scott Bernard's head with Shadow Chronicles Scott Bernard's hairdo), felt more like the main character of The Shadow Chronicles than practically anyone else in the movie -- Vince's story is the most compelling, and he's got a ton of screen time. Bernard is plenty key, though, moreso than any of the new characters; he earns his spot here, but I think he should be a little bit smaller. There should be more of an ensemble thing going on, not a "starring Scott Bernard" thing.

Despite all quibbles with the cast lineup, I do really like the layout of the piece. I'd personally move the logo up a smidge higher, more evenly between Janice's eyes and the top of Bernard's head, but otherwise I certainly wouldn't mind seeing this image every time I pulled out Shadow Chronicles to give it a spin in the ol' DVD player.

What do YOU guys think? Good? Bad? Ugly?


Michael Bradley updates us on the new CD

... only to tell us that, in his words, "it's just sitting there." However, he's going to try and get his website reconfigured so that he can at least get one tune out as a $0.99 download -- "Underground," from Robotech: The Movie. Why that one? Click the link, read the explanation -- it's interesting, and more than a little frustrating to hear (certainly more than that from his perspective, poor guy).

The bottom line: it'll probably be 2007 before we see the CD.

For those coming in late -- Michael Bradley, the singer/songwriter who wrote and performed the Yellow Dancer songs from Robotech: The New Generation and wrote the songs for the rarely seen Robotech: The Movie, has cut a new CD of rearrangements and new recordings of those songs -- Bradley and Khristy Moser, who performed with him at the Robocon 20 concert last year, doing a mix of songs from throughout the ROBOTECH saga. Unfortunately, Harmony Gold's legal department A) only offered the ROBOTECH trademark to him at a prohibitively high price, and B) wouldn't license him the songs themselves, either. So right now he's waiting to be able to license the songs from a third party so he can go forward with releasing the CD.

I've said words to this effect before, and I'll say it again -- if the CD is as good as the live performance last year was, it should be super awesome. Which is why the waiting (it was informally announced almost a year and a half ago now) is such a pain. >_<


This is the story of my life.

I finish taking a picture of my friends underneath the Shadow Chronicles poster outside the Tivoli in St. Louis, hand the camera to Levi to get one of me under it, and then who magically materializes but ...

On the one hand, it makes for a better picture. On the other, we definitely could have used him a little bit earlier so I could have been with them in the earlier shot. Maybe he realized this -- after all, which four people do you think were always hanging around whenever he whipped out his own camera?

But I'm sure you want to know something about what I thought of The Shadow Chronicles ... well, a larger review will come later, but as I told Evan via text message last night:

B+. Largely solid with some holes here and there that can certainly be ignored as you let the movie carry you away.

That's all I've got for now; more when I've had a little more time to reflect and digest.


"SDF-2! SDF-2! Come in, SDF-2!"

From Robotech: The Macross Saga #36. Artwork by Mike Leeke & Mike Chen. Colors by Trishie Schutz.

This is the best shot of the SDF-2 from the final issue of Comico's comic book adaptation of The Macross Saga -- matching the description from the McKinney novels (this is dated February 1989, a full twenty months after the date of the first printing of McKinney's ROBOTECH #6, Doomsday) as well as the implied flow of the final episode of the Macross Saga episodes of ROBOTECH, "To The Stars," that the first shot Khyron fires strikes the SDF-2 instead of the SDF-1 and the two ships, as Carl Macek himself stated, are back-to-back.

The thing I find interesting, even moreso than the ARMD carriers on the arms (which just makes sense) is the shape of the bridge. Check this out.

Hell, even more subtly, look at the shape of the long shoulder laser cannons in the panel from the comic adaptation, and all those little lines across the ship's "waist." It's clear that Mike Leeke actually tried his darnedest to adapt the original unused SDF-2 Megaroad design from the Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series into the SDF-1's humanoid configuration for this shot. Impressive.

As I've said, I'm heading up to St. Louis on Saturday to feast mine eyes on The Shadow Chronicles. I was hoping to have something cool and interesting up here on the site for you all to enjoy this weekend, but that would have taken a wee bit too long to prepare given the fact that I've been sick today (yeah, in the lead up to the big day I come down with a cold -- how about that) and consequently spent the better part of the afternoon in bed, and I'll be having company over all tomorrow night (some people need to brush up on their ROBOTECH before we head out). So I guess that's delayed 'til next week, maybe the middle of the week given the sheer load of work I've got ahead of me. Be watching this space. This is gonna be a good one.

Anyhoo, hope to see some of you in St. Louis! You should be able to spot me; I'll be wearing my hat. ^_^


Stray marks.

Something I sketched while bored at work a couple of weeks ago.

And before you ask, yes, even the coloring. I do work at an elementary school after all -- it's not hard to come across colored pencils there.

"With our special guest star ..."

Last night I joined Justy and Chris "Robotech Master" Meadows for the recording of this week's episode of the RDF Underground podcast. Not that I contributed much, since it was kind of a last minute thing (kind of, "Hey, you doing anything? C'mon, join us!"), but I think it went OK.

Click here to scroll through the show notes and download the episode.

A's to Q's.

From Breetai's Missing Eye:

Just tonight I was wondering whatever happened to Sean Gibson, artist on Return to Macross, the good issues of Academy Blues, and the super-dimensional-fulous Boobytrap special. Letter pages from that era claim he was a Disney animator, but I've searched and found no such person. Closest is "Shawn Gibson"(sic), who did animation for Dreamworks and Fox Studio bombs like Anatasia and Titan AE. You expressed a liking of his work on your comics' site (I've been finally reading my collection of RT comics I've had backlogged since long before Shadow Chronicles was announced, can ya tell?), so I was wondering if you knew whatever happened to him. Why he never returned to comics, or Robotech even.

First, I think you're crossing together the names of Return to Macross and Academy Blues artist Sean Bishop and occasional Return to Macross and Academy Blues writer Robert W. Gibson.

Sean Bishop, as I understand it, has in fact spent the past decade in the animation field, and currently does work for Dreamworks Animation. If I'm not mistaken, he left Academy simply because all his time for comics work dried up. While he's expressed an interest in returning to the world of ROBOTECH in comics, the first time he did so on-line was during that dead period following Antarctic Press's loss of the license. Unfortunately, with the license currently residing at WildStorm/DC, I don't think he'd be a very good fit for the style and vision that they and Harmony Gold have for the ROBOTECH franchise in comics. Take that as you will.

Secondly, I've a friend (not Breetai's Good Eye) who claimed some of the footage on the Robotech II: The Sentinels VHS is different from what ended up on the Legacy set DVD. Like the timing or editing was changed between them (he'd thought it may've been alternate takes, but I told him, "Foolish mortal who lacks Art 3! No provision for retakes!"). Is he nuts or is this remotely right?

He's nuts -- or rather, just has a fuzzy memory. I've watched the original Streamline Pictures tape and the disc in the third Legacy Collection box. Both contain the same footage. You are correct, sir.

Third, what do you think the SDF-2 really looked like? Aside from invisible?

The general assumption I've seen over the years is that the SDF-2 in the context of ROBOTECH is identical to the SDF-1 save the addition of two Armor-class carriers for arms, along the lines of the docking maneuver that the SDF-1 attempted during "Space Fold" and failed to carry out due to the Zentraedi assault. This is the way the ship was depicted in the final issue of the Comico The Macross Saga adaptation, and is the way I usually imagine it.

And lastly, Return to Macross #29... I'm getting you started on it. What was worse, the backstory contradictions or the artwork?

The artwork, by far. Bill Spangler and messy continuity are old, good friends, and by that point in the long-running series I can forgive it; he probably didn't have a copy of "A Rainy Night" on hand to check his story against, or he figured that he'd twisted and turned so much that it didn't matter anymore. However, top views that wouldn't look out of place in a late 1980's Nintendo game and coffee being poured at a 45 degree angle are unforgivable even against such a backdrop. Also, everybody looked slightly chunky, with shoulders up to their ears. Nina Lang under Wes Abbott's ink pen was an extremely attractive woman. In RtM #29, though, homely and squat, with an eerie dead look in her eyes. Bad news, man. Bad news.

From Kev (not McKeever):

Going to the film fest in St.Louis for the Shadow Chronicles?

As you can hear for yourself in this week's RDF Underground podcast (see above), the answer to this question is an enthusiastic "YES!"

From Chryko:

Maybe I have questions. Is that true the movie will followed the same path that the novel "End of the circle”?

While it's true that there are a lot of surface similarities between the setup of The Shadow Chronicles and the opening of The End of the Circle (the presence of Vince & Jean Grant, Louie Nichols, Scott Bernard, and Ariel, for starters), I have it on good authority that the new animation is not going to be following the storyline of the last book of McKinney's ROBOTECH cycle. The two stories are functionally different; The End of the Circle sought to bring the ROBOTECH saga to a close, while The Shadow Chronicles exists to give the ROBOTECH saga a shot in the arm and start the stories rolling along anew. Obviously if you're trying to build the franchise up, you're not going to adapt a story that closes everything down, right?

Do you think that Tommy Yune team had already create a post Shadow Chronicle story line or they will wait for another decade to do it ?

You know, I keep asking people this, and the answer I keep getting is that it's too early to talk about it. My understanding of the situation is that there are definitely a number of story ideas currently on the table for the sequel, and whether or not it's another one-shot video or a TV series, it will be another animated production. However, I think it's safe to assume we won't see it until something like 2009 at the earliest, barring a rapid Sentinels-like production schedule.

Anything else?


IT'S OFFICIAL!! The new Shadow Chronicles DVD date is ...

From Right Stuf via Anime On DVD:
Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Movie - N/A minutes - $29.98 - 02/06/2007

Mark your calendars again, and cross your fingers and pray you don't have to do it a third time ...

Send me some mail!

I'm kind of hard up for content with Harmony Gold operating on the down-low since the Shadow Chronicles DVD was delayed and with my own journey to see the completed film not 'til Saturday of next week (after which I assume you won't be able to shut me and my big spoiler-filled mouth up for weeks to come), so I've decided to open the floor to questions.

Fire me an e-mail with any question at all -- ROBOTECH-related of course -- before the wee a.m. hours of Saturday morning (12 a.m. 11/4/06) and I'll answer as many as I can in a big long post that afternoon. Too lazy to Google up an answer to a question about some bit of minutiae? Curious what I think of some segment of the saga? Want me to try and read Tommy Yune's mind for you? Toss an e-mail towards the address right there on the sidebar. I can't guarantee I'll use every question, but as long as it doesn't involve any jackassery, I'll try and cover as many as I can.

I hope to see my in-box flooded by the time I get home from work. If not ... you're all on notice. ^_-