Thursday, June 25, 2015

Author's Reflections- Comic #385

I was hoping to come up with something better for Astrotrain and Octane but I went with the obvious mass shifting joke instead. It works out for what it is, but sometimes I look back and wish I hadn’t taken the easy road.

Author's Reflections- Comic #384

I wanted to use Bluestreak much more in the comics but I didn’t quite know how to incorporate his trademark motormouth into the stories without having a massive wall of dialogue or him coming off as flat out annoying. I didn’t worry about that so much in a comic dedicated directly to him. I might have gone overboard with the dialogue in some of the panels but I felt like his rambling dialogue captured his personality fairly well. I was also extremely excited to only have to worry about using one single toy for the comic (aside from the commentary trio of course) rather than a giant group of them, which had been the norm for the big stories I’d been doing up to this point. Random behind the scenes fact: In the original script I didn’t have the character on the phone say “I’m ok” after the second gunshot at the end of the main comic. When I got done putting the dialogue in I felt that it might be too dark for the mood I had set up to I added in “I’m ok” to appease my conscience.
For those that don’t know, the joke in the commentary trio panel was about both Cliffjumper and Bluestreak being voiced by the great Casey Kasem in the Generation 1 cartoon.

Author's Reflections- Comic #383

Not only could I feature my favorite characters and create mosaic stories with the spotlights, I could use characters that hadn’t gotten much exposure in the grand scheme of things. Grapeaid had been seen in spurts but Litebrite hadn’t been featured much at all. I didn’t feel there was enough about Litebrite to warrant a solo comic all to himself but featuring these two as friends seemed to be the perfect compromise. Obviously Grapeaid steals the show here but I actually like the dynamic between the two of them here much more than the jokes. You can tell that the two of them are actually very good friends, and Grapeaid recognizes that but his own personality prevents him from really acknowledging that fact. This comic may not be the most popular but looking at it from the character-driven writing standpoint I really think I’d mark this one among my best work. “Ass Well That Ends Well” was probably the best title in this set of spotlights as well.

Author's Reflections- Comic #382

Something else I knew the spotlight comics would be good for was creating a mosaic, where things that impacted the standard storyline-driven comics could be fleshed out or have things leading up to the next story be seen in little bits and pieces. This was the perfect opportunity to revisit the Cannonball/ Fracture/ Shortround love triangle, something that seemed like a great idea at the time but even though it was never prominently featured it just seemed too hokey to me, even by this comic’s standards. Shortround and Cannonball’s dialogue was always fun to write for, though I had trouble coming up with many good lines for Fracture. She would always fall back into this caricature of a dumb blonde female, something that was fine for some jokes but it just got really old really fast. This comic absolutely suffered from Fracture’s poor characterization but it was somewhat salvaged by some great stuff coming from Cannonball and Shortround, especially the latter. The title of this comic was very lazily taken from a Motley Crue song (with some misspellings).

Author's Reflections- Comic #381

After writing a long storyline I wanted to do something as laid back and, above all else, as easy as I possibly could. The idea to do spotlight comics featuring certain characters actually started with this first one right here. Prowl was my first Generation One Transformer, bought for me when I was three years old because my grandfather was a police officer, and he has always been one of my favorite Autobots so it seemed fitting that he would be the first character to get a spotlight. The content was inspired by watching the TV show COPS one evening, and I recall being incredibly amused by a call the officers went on in which a hysterical person was babbling about their neighbor who attacked them with a boat oar. It was incredible ludicrous and I originally thought to just use that verbatim in the comic, but as I started writing it I decided to just keep it as simple as possible. Since I had done it once before way back in comic #145 I thought this could be the start of a running gag of the various Prowl toys coming in and administering some brutality every once in awhile but it never went any further than this. The shot of Mirage being dragged away (in poorly photoshopped handcuffs), complete with Wheelie’s face blurred out like they do in the COPS show turned out great. Of all the spotlight comics I’ve done, this one remains one of my absolute favorites.