Howdy, guys! I'm going to be moving soon, to sunny Albuquerque so that my wife can practice surgery there. Exciting, no? I'm looking forward to a lot more space in our new home.
That said, I'm taking advantage of the move to do some housekeeping, and that means I've got some auctions going. Some are of pretty general interest, like my BotCon 2007 set (boxed and loose). You can see the complete list here.
There is something kind of unique I'm selling off, though. I found some of the original pitch documents that Bill and I used to present the concept to Hasbro and to IDW Publishing. These were printed by us and spiral bound, to give a nice sense as to what The Ark might look like. It's pretty close to the final disposition, no? Anyway, I threw one up for $40, if you're interested I think it'd be nice for it to find a home.
Another couple of episodes of Farscape are under our belt. The show is still running a bit slow, but getting deeper into the characters and the story arc.
S01E09, DNA Mad Scientist, gives some wonderful character moments. When a crazy scientists / evolved lab rat offeres D'Argo, Rygel, and Zhaan the chance for one of them to go home, they quickly turn on Pilot, then each other. The scene with them severing his arm is particularly brutal. No real geekwatch references here, though the talk about Mengele (and Namtar, the villain, hailing him as a visionary) was certainly striking.
S01E10, They've Got a Secret, introduces the arc of Moya's pregnancy. This feels very Farscape. It's one thing to have a living ship, it's another to give it a baby. In many ways, taking sci-fi notions to their logical extremes is what Farscape is all about. It was also interesting to peer into D'Argo's back story. The big geek reference here was John asking if there is "some kind of 'What to Expect When You're Expecting a Baby Leviathan' book by Dr. Spock. Mr. Spock." Fun play off of the Trek and, of course, Dr. Spock's classic parenthood text, 'What to Expect When You're Expecting.'
Farscape: The Complete Series is for sale on Amazon.com, and I suppose there's not too much to recommend the series yet. Still, it gets better, I promise.
After a few weeks of Madman's Paradise, I thought we should head back to the anime. This week, I finish off the Destron targetmaster transformation sequences.
This is a pretty nice one. I especially like the fact that the start and end points are new models, as opposed to recycled the standard bot or jet mode.
In other news, I just sent in the final version of the
The G.I. Joe Field Manual: Volume 1 (preorder it today) to IDW. Volume One should be excellent, and I've already started Volume Two. Transformers Legacy, meanwhile, is in the final phases of content acquisition. I'm still hunting, so if you've got pieces I'm missing, definitely drop me a line.
It's been a long, twilight struggle, but we've made it through Madman's Paradise! We come to the final batch of models, the Golden One's loyalists.
Here you can see one of the tricks I sometimes employ. Treant the second and treant the first are obviously very similar models. To keep them from looking TOO much alike, at least on a subconscious level, I reversed the second one. It also makes the page flow better. Note that I didn't do that with the second Birdman model, because I believe it's just the same guy carrying some explosives.
And, since I'm at it, the Farscape Geekwatch for today is episode S01E08: That Old Black Magic. Sadly, no real stand-out genre references today. The closest we get is this, from John to Rigel: "Oh, it's not Kansas. And you're way too homely to be Auntie Em. But...come here, Toto." The Wizard of Oz is fantasy, more or less, right? Ok, ok, it's a reach, but it's the best I got.
Do you know B.O.T.? Final episode of season 2 of the Transformers? If you do know it, you know how gutcrunchingly bad it is. If not, well, perhaps you should check it out and enjoy it the same way you might enjoy a train wreck trying to mate with pandemic.
ALTERNATIVELY, you can... NOT watch it, and spare yourself the agony. Perhaps you can allow these funny men and muppets to watch it for you. M Sipher, Vangelus, Derrick J. Wyatt, and Trent Troop put together a review that's well worth a gander. Look for my cameo.
Also, another Farscape Geekwatch. This is another classic episode, S01E07: PK Tech Girl. Not too much in the way of sci-fi references, though John opens the episode by wondering why they aren't heading away at "warp a thousand." He's mentioned tractor beams before, but in a much more serious way, so I didn't count them, but this feels like a real in-universe Trek reference so I'll list it.
Since people have been doing their own color-corrections of the Marvel UK mini-posters based on the ones I did, I thought it'd be a good idea to put up the original versions of my scans. Maybe they'll be easier to work with - I think I ended up making Skywarp's face in the Megatron image too dark when I did mine. Apologies for not getting these up sooner!
Fresh from 1984 - and imported over the Atlantic, besides - have a trio
of promotional mini-posters featuring Soundwave, the Decepticon jets,
and Megatron, made using stills from the earliest Transformers comic and toy commercials. These ridiculously high-resolution scans were made, respectively, from Marvel UK's Transformers #4, #5 and #6.
I actually scanned these some time ago, but at
the time wrote them off as being useless because, due to the terrible color
reproduction involved, they were incredibly red-tinged. However, I recently learned about Photoshop's
"Variations" tool (which is kind of embarrassing, given how long I've
had the program), and my new stab at fixing them up produced much better
results. Megatron is still terribly yellowish, though.
in these scans, Starscream is the one with the grey chest and white/red
wings! These early ads seem to have been the source of his first Marvel Comics color scheme, which appears to have switched the grey to blue because of comics' limited color palette at the time.
There were also mini-posters featuring Optimus Prime and
the Autobot cars, but their animation designs didn't change as
drastically, so I didn't scan them at the time. Might go back and do them
Madman's Paradise continues! This week, it's monsters working for The Red Wizard and some cool siege gear. Four down, one to go!
The Farscape Geekwatch continues! A juicy one in S01E06: Thank God it's Friday... Again.
"Oh, yeah, I think I've seen this one. Mel Gibson, Tina Turner...cage match."
This is a nice Mad Max reference, even if it is to Thunderdome. (John even mocks it, saying that no one saw the third one.)
Work on Transformers Legacy continues! I've been in touch with two more of the original artists, who have agreed to share their perspectives. I've closed many gaps in my holding. At this point, I'm missing fewer than 25 pieces to complete the US G1 lineup. (Most of the gaps are Action Masters.) I aim to get a few more this week too.
Work with the Transformers Collectors' Club continues! I just submitted a one-page article featuring... well, you'll just have to see. It'll be cool.
Two more episodes of Farscape, watched by us recently.
Episode 4, Throne for a Loss, featured a juicy one. Crichton compares the TavloidTavlex gauntlet weapon to a well-known DC superhero: "Willpower. Like the Green Lantern's ring."
Honorable mention to his Wile E. Coyote nod. It's not genre, but it's cute. Oddly, these dudes will show up again.
Episode 5 featured no overt Crichton geekisms, though the title itself is a sci-fi nod: Back and Back and Back to the Future. This episode DOES hold the distinction of being the first legitimately good episode of the series.