Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Author's Reflections- Comic #59


I never was happy with Megatron’s line in the first panel here. I remember I had thought up the joke when I was on my way home from work, and the TV show I thought would be funny escaped me when I finally wrote the script (and it STILL escapes me today). I decided that the Decepticon numbers were way too small and featured primarily leader-type characters so I thought I’d broaden the ranks a bit. Robots in Disguise Scourge is one of my all time favorite Transformer toys in my collection so I decided to throw him in the mix. At first I thought I wanted to point out that he and “Dewey” (the Megatron from that series) knew each other but never talked because they really didn’t like each other, but it fell to the wayside. Instead I went with the flipside to the standard ‘bad guy who is an evil version of a good guy’ route and make him a bad guy who’s actually nice. I came out strong with that plot, but it got pushed aside as I introduced other characters and situations. Every now and then I came out with a joke that showed his nice side but it was only recently that I really came out and had the characters in the strip comment on his niceness. Since I already had G1 Scourge in the strip I wanted to use a joke that had to do with the characters having the same name. More on that subject in the next commentary. Hot Shot’s Minicon Jolt really does have an unfortunate placement on the toy…

Author's Reflections- Comic #58


At this point I decided to start featuring the neglected Decepticon side of the picture. This strip is the first appearance of Scourge, Skywarp and Ramjet. I borrowed another longstanding joke and argument from Transformers fans here. In the original 1986 cartoon movie, when Unicron upgraded the injured Decepticons into new forms it was never shown for certain which old character was turned into which new one thanks to everyong being given a silver coloring during the reformat period. Although it was shown that Skywarp, Thundercracker and Bombshell (an insecticon) were turned into Cyclonus, Scourge and the ‘Sweeps’, later on during Starscream’s coronation scene both Skywarp and Thundercracker are seen standing among the other Decepticons, and in the Saturday morning cartoon series after the movie all three Insecticons are seen alive and well. I think Scourge and Skywarp arguing about their identity worked out pretty well, and of course I had to throw in the ever present mass changing conundrum of Astrotrain being able to fit all the Decepticons inside of him in the cartoon movie. The peanut gallery is one of my favorites of the series. It may be construed as negative but it was my roundabout way of seeing every Transformers series as equal, plot holes and stupidity included. I can’t bring myself to take things TOO seriously.

Author's Reflections- Comic #57


After the Nightbeat dialogue during the missing Hot Shot storyline, I decided to actually put him into the strip. Since I didn't have Nightbeat I got the headshot off of a resource website, TFU.info. I was originally going to do the same thing I did in the coutroom strips by stacking up boxes to make Teletraan-1 (the Autobot’s computer in the original series) but decided to finally just go for it and try to alter the entire background again. After my lackluster results in strips 43 & 44 I was determined to do a better job. I’m not saying its perfect here, but I was much happier with the results here than I was with those comics. It’s a pretty basic script but I like it. When I posted it on TFW2005, I left a lot of space in between the two peanut gallery panels to play with the readers a bit…I don’t know if it particularly made them think for a moment Hot Shot went missing again but I had to try!

Author's Reflections- Comics #55 & 56



#55 & 56
I had no intention of doing a standard court trial. I wanted it to be completely insane with everyone breaking laws left and right, but I knew I had to add in a little courtroom dialogue so the other stuff would be funnier. In the end I decided to not go as far out with it, but the end result turned out pretty good. Honestly when I took Introduction to Law Enforcement in high school I totally choked when we did a mock courtroom scenario and I had to be the lawyer. This strip turned out better than I performed back then! This was another of my forays into trying to add in things in paint—particularly the benches and courtroom items. As you can tell from the reflections in the table, I used small boxes of household items and went over them in paint using the polygon tool. I remember I spent a LONG time doing that and I was fairly pleased with the results. Of course it doesn’t look real or anything, but at least it wasn’t just aspirin and contact lens boxes stacked up. I particularly like Hot Shot’s ‘Rhinox Farts’ line, Hound and the Drones for the jury, and the GI Joe tagline in #56. I assume Manatee excrement would be one of the worst in the world, so it makes a pretty darn good insult. G1 Jetfire’s “It’s damaging to my case!” is straight up Lionel Hutz from the Simpsons. RIP Phil Hartman!

Author's Reflections- Comic #54


Surprisingly this ranks high on my list of all time favorite strips. I realized that with the exception of Menasor, I hadn’t included the Decepticons for a long time and just thought I’d give some insight on what they were doing while all this stuff was going on with the Autobots. I tried to give it some humorous pacing with the dialogue-less panels. I thought a Sh*twave joke and a dig at hippies would be a good ender. It’s not gut-busting funny but the pacing and idea is my personal idea of something very funny. Good old Hound was doomed to have jury duty from the very beginning.

Author's Reflections- Comic #53


It probably would have been more logical overall to save the strip with the two Jetfires meeting until now but waiting really made it seem like G1 Jetfire had been stewing over it the past few strips. I like the ‘love letter’ Classics Jetfire gets. Nothing else notable, just some back and forth between the two Jetfires. Some people didn’t get the Dick Wolf reference in the Peanut Gallery Panel. Dick Wolf is the man behind the Law & Order television series and it’s many spin offs. Naturally I had to include Hot Shot as the Defense Attorney.