Friday, May 30, 2014

Author's Reflections- Comic #230

Although the next handful of comics started as a continuation of the previous short storyline, I wanted something else to come in and knock things off course. I had been wanting to use the Ungas again and found my perfect inspiration as I was going through some of my other toys that were in storage. I also didn’t want the Matrix to be in limbo for TOO long and the story I had in mind would kill two birds with one stone.

Author's Reflections- Comic #229

I felt a follow up was needed for Megatron to have the opportunity to yell at the troops for following his lead. I remember the first visual I had was Bugbite tied up standing by Megatron, which made me laugh. Skywarp seemed like the obvious choice not only to be the one who initiated the retreat but also be stupid enough to realize Megatron was being chased offscreen but not think twice about it. I also like Thundercracker’s line in the first panel: “Well…isn’t that the usual code?” The Decepticons retreating at the drop of a hat will always be a go-to gag for me, and it never seems to get old. But I try not to do it constantly which is a good thing.
I thought it might be amusing for the Shortround to actually come after his computer that Hot Shot ‘borrowed’…it also acted as a good mini ‘B’ plot for this individual comic.

Author's Reflections- Comic #228

In keeping with the silliness of the comic, and the archetype of the G1 cartoon, I wanted the Decepticons to have the upper hand, then get served with a humiliating defeat. Having them thrown into confusion at the sight of Megatron running from Bugbite seemed like something that would happen.
It seems like Hot Shot is surfing some…adult…websites there in the commentary panel.


Author's Reflections- Comic #227

I wanted to establish Bugbite’s personality as being flat-out creepy from the get go so I was pretty happy with the way the exchange between Megatron and Bugbite turned out. Its simple comics like this I usually end up feeling better about in the long run…I should have tried to remember that more often! It was never a small feat getting the Classics Megatron toy to balance on one foot like that...

Author's Reflections- Comic #226

This comic introduces one of the most notorious characters…Bugbite. It was another toy included in the 2007 Botcon box set and while I was waiting for the set to arrive I went back and forth several times on whether or not to even include Bugbite in the comic. After I got the package and admired the toys for awhile, I read the comic book that is packed in with the Botcon sets. I wasn’t all that impressed with Bugbite’s portrayal, being little more than a throwaway character from an alternate universe (even if it was a fairly big nod to rival transforming toyline Gobots). Now of course its not like I haven’t pulled the alternate universe card MANY times over the years in this comic but in an official ‘serious’ publication I guess I expected more. I was determined to come up with a better back story for him, so I came up with the idea of giving him schizophrenia…the appearance and niceness of Bumblebee coupled with a large dose of Megatron’s unpleasant demeanor. To achieve this, I gave a small nod to Scourge’s creation in the Robot’s in Disguise cartoon in which he scanned both Optimus Prime and a tanker truck. Having the neutral Protoform scan both Bumblebee and Megatron made it extremely easy to explain.
The first thing that comes to mind when I look at the pictures for this comic is how pleased I was about the ‘scanning’ panels turning out the way they did. I turned out all the lights and pointed a bright LED flashlight at the Protoform. I didn’t know if the picture would have ended up blurry or not but when I downloaded the pictures I definitely breathed a sigh of relief.
What’s on the computer is hard to make out in the Peanut Gallery panel, it’s a screen shot of the Beast Wars episode ‘The Spark’ which introduced Airazor. Hot Shot, Hound and Cliffjumper are still doing research on what exactly a ‘Protoform’ is (although to be fair, Hot Shot should already know since Protoforms were mentioned by name in the Armada cartoon, mental capacity notwithstanding).

Author's Reflections- Comic #225



I really could have combined #225 and #226 into a single comic but I felt like I should have the moment with Bumblebee talking to the audience about suspending belief with the movie protoform. I didn’t want anyone taking things too literally. I was sure that most of the people who read my comic knew what protoforms were, but just in case I had any new fans that weren’t familiar with the Beast Wars cartoon drop in to read the comic I thought it would be a good idea to have the Peanut Gallery do some research as a way to explain exactly what they were. It worked out great anyway since there were no protoforms in the G1 cartoon, Hound and Cliffjumper would need the education themselves anyway. I still like the idea that rather than borrow a computer from an Autobot, Hot Shot felt like he had to steal one from Shortround.