Thursday, July 19, 2012

Author's Reflections- Comic #100

I definitely wanted to do something big for the landmark #100. Since the last time we had seen Unicron was waaaaaay back in strip #12, I thought it would be perfect to have him show up for the event…but I only wanted him to come in at the very end. I decided for most of the strip it would work to have Optimus and Megatron be the only characters featured trying to work out a truce, then bring in Unicron at the end. I didn’t want to immediately jump into a long story arc again after just finishing the Blue Hole story one strip earlier, but since I enjoy writing, I guess my brain automatically thinks in long-term elaborate storylines. I was very happy with the way strip #100 turned out, even if it’s not the most engaging comic in my vault. I think Unicron’s one line and the huge bugged out cartoon eyes not only on Optimus and Megatron but also Hound, Cliffjumper and Hot Shot turned out really well too.

Author's Reflections- Comic #99


I was never quite satisfied with the way #99 turned out. When I shoved the Partialbot strip in right before it I had to cram a lot of things into ten panels. I think it has some really good elements, such as the return of Melasor (the angle of the photoshopped in head turned out really well to my eyes), and the ending worked out just fine but the Knockoffs exiting through the hole wasn’t that pleasing to me story-wise. Also, I didn’t notice Melasor’s dialogue had some screwy wording until I posted it. I think “…MAKING you watch my religion-based movies…” would have worked better than using the word ‘forcing’ two times in the same sentence. I was pretty nervous about even dropping the word ‘religion’ in the strip at all based on the strict rules on the website, but I did it and it went over alright. I think if I had gone any further with it, it wouldn’t have been ok. The ‘ending’ really did leave a lot open. I had no idea at this point if or when I’d have the Knockoffs return through the Blue Hole or if I would eventually follow through with my idea of Hot Shot jumping in to bring back Sh*twave, but I’m so glad I left the hole unsolved because it came in handy when I moved from my apartment into my house. But of course more on that later! 

Author's Reflections- Comic #98


I realized I hadn’t used the Blue and Grey Knockoffs at all so I threw in this strip at the last minute to give them some screen time since I had no idea at what point, if at all, I’d have them return. The ‘Partialbots’ nickname worked out pretty well since the two toys I had at the time were half of what was supposed to be two combining robots. At this point in time the KB toy outlet I bought the knockoffs at never put the other two out for sale. Since I didn’t have any idea if I’d ever be getting the remaining robots, I just said they had been crushed and left it at that. The half-combiners looked so pathetic and hilarious it worked out so perfectly for what I had in mind. I didn’t use any sort of support to hold them up and I have absolutely no idea how I was able to get them to balance, it was just luck of the draw. “The Partialbots rebuke your pity!” is one of my all-time favorite lines in the history of the comic.

Author's Reflections- Comic #97


I think the thing that went over best about this strip was Hot Shot…pushing out…a brick in response to seeing Inferion and Championizer. Personally I liked the way Championizer seemed so hurt the Autobots didn’t appreciate the Champions’ willingness to help them in whatever they needed. I thought the panel of Megatron and Optimus throwing Astortain and Cliffjumper at the Knockoffs turned out really well, motion lines and all. (Butters makes another accidental appearance here in Panel 3, this time his face instead of his rear end!)

Author's Reflections- Comic #96


A confrontation was inevitable, and I definitely wanted to have the Knockoff toys combine to show that even if they did have annoying personalities and shoddy construction, they could surprisingly be a force to be reckoned with. I think one of my favorite parts of this strip is the fact the Knockoffs using the excuse that they had just signed a six month apartment lease and that’s why they couldn’t go back to their home dimension. The name ‘Inferion’ came pretty easy as it is a twist on the Autobot combiner name Superion, but Championizer (surprisingly) took longer to settle on. When I was still going to give the characters stereotypical Jew personalities, the combined toy’s name was going to be Kosheron Maximus, but along with the characterization I settled on, Championizer works so much better than what I originally came up with, obviously. Optimus channeling Bill Lumberg from Office Space and Cliffjumper making matters worse are pretty funny to me as well.

Author's Reflections- Comics #93-95





I tried to keep Megatron’s character pretty grumpy and indifferent to Optimus and the Autobots during the truces I’ve set forth in the strip. The first panel in #93 is one of the most blatant examples. Like the courtroom scene back in #55-56, the box the trio put all the holes in was a real box I covered up in paint. You can see the reflection in the table. The gigantic Blue Hole was a last minute addition to the script. More on that soon. I think the best part of #94 is Optimus’ cliché foreshadowing comment in panel 2. ‘Moronicons’ was originally just thrown in there as an insult, but eventually I just decided to give them their own Decepticon subgroup (a la ‘Stunticons’, ‘Predicons’, etc;). I can’t help but throw in an Astrotrain mass shifting joke anywhere I can, as seen in #95. There’s a small continuity error in #95 as well, where Grimlock calls the four original Knockoffs ‘Medicorebots’. That was the subgroup name I wanted to go with for them originally but in writing their bios I went with ‘Irritatobots’ instead. They’re the same amount of syllables, it just came down to which one I liked better. Panel #5 is where you can see the signs of my original camera’s demise. The last Panel of #95 is one of my favorite Cliffjumper moments, and Optimus’ comment was the icing on the cake.