Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Pointblank's Transform (and Farscape continues)

Welcome, faithful readers, to another edition of The Ark Addendum.  I've been endeavoring, with long-time reader Martin's help, to finish off some gaps in my previous postings.  With that in mind, here's the Transformation for Pointech, AKA Pointblank.

My favorite part of this drawing is the underside of the car, in step 2A.  It seems very Back to the Future somehow.

And while we're on the subject of other Sci-Fi, let's examine some Farscape, shall we, as my Geekwatch continues.

We're up to the mid-season three-parter, Look At The Princess, S02E10 - S02E12.  The story kind of dragged, truth be told.  Originally this was a two-part episode that got expanded.  I think they would have been better off keeping it tight.  The Scorpius stuff is great, and we get our first look at the Scarrans, but the local politics winds up tedious.

Lots of great genre references, though.  When D'Argo leaps through the air to catch a plummeting Chiana and knock her away from boiling acid, John's reaction is an earnest "how Batman was that?"  As John contemplates the downside of 80 years spent as a sentient statue, he lists out all the people who will be dead when he's revived, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  John also likens a floating probe to the one used by Obi-Wan in Star Wars. Prince Valiant is namechecked. Finally, when Crichton finds out that he is to wed the princess, because only he is genetically compatible for siring children, he calls himself the reverse King Arthur.  "I'm the one who can put the sword INTO the stone!"  Cute.  (Non genre references include Blazing Saddles ["Get back, or the white boy gets it. Oh, man, don't let 'em kill me!"], Apocalypse Now, and John Wayne Bobbit.)

S02E13, My Three Crichtons is much stronger.  Crichton gets hit with a probe and a prehistoric and highly evolved version extrapolated.  Two good sci-fi references here.  John refers to the probe which duplicates him as a 'body snatcher', a nice nod to the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Perhaps more fun is a confused Crichton stating that he's "in Bill and Ted land here," referring to the amusing time travel parody Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.   Other pop culture references include The $64,000 Question and My Three Sons

S02E14, Beware of Dog, is a fun little story about parasites on the ship and the Vorc the gang buys to try to help deal with them.  Hardly profound, but an enjoyable outing.  Good genre references abound.  Crichton calls the parasites body snatchers (a better use of the term, though a bit repetitive.)  He refers to the Vorc as an "Ewok gone bad" (because it's cuddly and cute) and as "The Incredible Vorc" (due to its ability to Hulk out).  John also employs the Riddler's catch phrase, "riddle me this."  Non-sci-fi references include Lassie ("Look, Lassie here is trying to communicate with us,") and some dialog paraphrased from Caddyshack.

I'll end with S02E15, Won't Get Fooled Again.  This is a terrific episode, where John wakes up seemingly on Earth.  Since they played this beat last season, the audience isn't buying it and neither is John.  It turns out that the scenario isn't designed to fool him, just to drive him bonkers.  I love John opening the door to a woman's room and seeing... a woman's room.  It's also clear the production team had a ton of fun putting the gang in unusual costumes and situations.  Crais as a police officer in red high-heeled shoes? Priceless.  Getting the girls to dress up in fetish outfits is fun too.

Reference-wise, there are a TON of Wizard of Oz references.  (Let's see... John thinks he's got it all figured out, and it's a plot to "show you how I create the giant blue twister that sucks me down to Oz." Crais as a police officer calls a dog Toto.  John calls the Scorpius neuro-clone, which manifests itself for the first time here, "the man behind the curtain."  John says he feels like he's been hit by a house.  And John's rhyme, "Come out, come out, wherever you are, and see the young man who fell from the star" echoes a similar rhyme from the Good Witch.  Other references include Hamlet, Dirty Harry, The Beatles, and The Who (the eponymous song, naturally.) I find it amusing that it's between two Jimmy Stewart movies that Crichton picks the Scorpius Clone's name from.  Harvey is an invisible rabbit from the film of the same name, Clarence is the invisible angel from It's a Wonderful Life.

Farscape: The Complete Series is available for purchase on Amazon, and everyone should watch it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

TFCon Reminder!

Hey, guys, remember that I'll be at TFCON this weekend.  Look for the fool in the Fez and say hi to me if you're there.  My panel on Legacy runs at 11 AM on Sunday.  Look for a surprise guest or two!  I'll show off some Legacy work, then answer any questions you may have about whatever.  Hope to see you there!  Now, I've got a flight to catch.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Diver's Transform (and Farscape's Geekwatch marches on!)

Filling in the gaps in previous series continues with Diver, the last Pretender I'm missing from Masterforce.  (Martin, who am I still missing now?)

I think my favorite bit from the Diver model isn't represented here.  It's the tattoo on his human form that reads "perked up anchor."  Oh, Japan!

Farscape Geekwatch!  S02E06: Picture if You Will features the return of Maldis.  We won't see him again (though, without looking it up, he seems like a sure bet for a comic appearance) but he'll be mentioned a few more times.  I hated the character the first time through, seemed too mystical for my taste, though really in retrospect he's not much different than Q or Trellain or any other energy being.  The geekiest bit in the episode is when Crichton criticizes Maldis for not reading the supervillain's handbook.  Not specific, but geeky none-the-less.  (specific non-geek references include The Price Is Right, The Sound of Music, and Magical Mystery Tour.)

S02E07: The Way We Weren't is an episode largely motivated around a series of flashbacks to the days of Crais and Aeryn as Peacekeepers.  Man, if they'd made Crais this badass in S1 they might not have had to replace him!  Nothing too geeky here, though John saying that "I don't think Pilot's in a 'Leviathan for Dummies' kinda mood right now" almost counts.

S02E08: Home on the Remains (ugh!) is another weaker episode, again with a Chiana focus.  Good geek cred, though, with John shouting "shazam!" (Captain Marvel, natch.  From memory, Soloman, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury. Yeah, I like my Captain Marvel.)  John also tells the bad guy "No more Captain Kirk chitchat." Other references include Dominoes pizza, Jenny Craig's weight loss ads, and the Donner party.

I'll end with S02E09: Out of their Minds, a hilarious episode with body swapping all around.  No geek references here, I'm afraid.  No real references of any kind that I noticed, outside from Crichton calling Rygel (in his own body none-the-less) Einstein and referring to his body smacking his ego (residing in Aeryn's body) as a Three Stooges routine.  I'll forgive much, though, since John goes ahead and takes advantage of his time in Aeryn's body to feel up her boobs, then dance around with her shirt open. 

Farscape: The Complete Series is available for purchase on Amazon, and unless you're homeless you should own it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

TFCON! (Plus, you know, Farscape Geekwatch)

Hola, amigos! It's official... I'll be one of the many guests at TFCON in a couple of weeks (July 27-29 in Ontario, Canada.)  If you're planning to attend, drop by and say hi.  If you're on the fence and in the area, I urge you to attend.  I've been to the one in 2006 (I think) and had a blast.  I look forward to showing off some cool Legacy artwork and answering any questions you might have.

Also, my Farscape Geekfest continues!  First up, S02E01: Re:Union.  Note, this was NOT the first episode to air in S2, they moved up Mind the Baby since it's more of a conventional premier. I love that the writers took the b-team and lead off with them, though I can see why the network balked at this approach.  Since Crichton only exists in Zhaan's mind in this episode, not much in the way of Crichtonisms.  He says that the past few days haven't been a trip to Disneyland, and that's about it.  Nothing too geeky there.  Nothing much in S02E02 either, though it's an excellent story which sets up the S2 status quo. Crais seems to work MUCH better as a fugitive than as the main villain of the series.

S02E03: Vitas Mortis is a strong D'Argo character study. Crichtonism of the week is "so, if she wants to rip out your liver, snack on it with a chianti, she can do that?" a nice Hannibal Lecter reference.

S02E04: Taking the Stone is a weaker episode, a Chiana character study.  Nothing geeky, but plenty of Crichtonisms.  Not only does John do a Curly (from the Three Stooges), but he references Cool Hand Luke ("are we having a failure to communicate here"), wonders if his Excedrin headache was worth it, and calls one of the hippies Bob Marley.

S02E05: Crackers Don't Matter is one of my favorite stand-alone episodes. Since the whole crew is going crazy, lots of rambling here.  One quite geek-worthy is when John says of T'raltixx, "give Brainiac a fluffy doll."  While it's true that the word brainiac has entered the lexicon, I still like to think of this as a Man of Steel reference.  The Shining gets a few nods, with a Scorpius hallucination (oh, they'll have fun with those) stating that "all work and no play makes John a dull boy" and John himself entering a room saying "Heeeeeeres Johnny!" John also hums Rite of the Valkyries, references Humpty Dumpty, Hawaii Five-O, Star Wars ("the Yoda factor"), Greek mythology (calling D'Argo Medusa) and Gilligan's Island.  Oh, and he inverts the Wheeties slogan when he asks if the gang is enjoying the "breakfast of loser." 

I love how fearless this production company is.  Not many shows would intentionally make their male lead look THIS silly. (Check out the scene below)

Farscape: The Complete Series is available for purchase on Amazon, and it's one of the best three tv space operas of all time.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Gilmer's Transform (plus Farscape Geekwatch)

OK, starting to resume a more normal posting schedule despite the move.

First up, let's hit this week's Ark Addendum.  From good old Masterforce comes another transform... Gilmers!  That finishes off the Destron Pretenders.  (Right now I'm engaging in Operation: Make Martin Happy).

This is a great transform, no doubt.  I love how step three just runs right off the page.

I'll also finish of season one of my Farscape Geekwatch.  S01E21: Bone to Be Wild.  First off, as puns go... ugh!  Really?  SO painful.  (It's about a bone-eating carnivore, played by Ben Browder's wife.  She'll return in each subsequent season... as a different alien each time.  Fun stuff!)

Two good Geek references here:  "One, two, three, four to beam down, Pilot," quips John, in a beautiful Trek reference.  (Though next episode has it beat.)  John also remarks, of the botanist of the episode, "Swamp Thing here ain't the Mr. Rogers scientist we thought he was."  Nice DC Comics shout-out, and juxtaposed with Fred Rogers no less.  Fun!

(Stark is nowhere to be seen.  Somewhere a line of dialog about him taking a Transport Pod out into the asteroid belt got lost.  Boo!  We also meet Lieutenant Braca, though he isn't named yet.  I like Braca.)

S02E22: Family Ties, finishes off the season, and finishes it off strong.  Rygel tries to sell out the crew, only to find that Scorpius isn't interested.  Crais uses it as an opportunity to jump ship and eventually absconds with Talyn, Moya's offspring.  John and D'Argo manage to outmaneuver Scorpius and blow up his base, though they're left floating in space with Aeryn unable to rescue them due to heavy Prowler patrols.

Only one geekwatch here, but it's a goodie.  As Crichton and D'Argo prepare for their spacewalk, he refers to them as Kirk and Spock, then as Abbot and Costello.  It's a great moment.

(M'Lee, the bone eater, is acknowledged as having gone off somewhere in a Marauder.  Scorpius wondered where the security officer assigned to her had gotten to.) 

Thus ends Farscape, season one.  Slow to start, but really gets there in the end.  Crais never worked as the main villain of the series, but as a wildcard with family ties to Moya, he seems right at home.  Scorpius is magnificent as the big bad of the series.  Ben seems to have found his Crichton, with a bit more madness thanks to the Aurora chair and looking kinda bad-ass in his Peacekeeper Command get-up.  (He'll stick with that, with a few minor alterations, for the rest of the series.) 

Farscape: The Complete Series is available for purchase on Amazon, and I just love it.  It was slow at first, but now it's kicking ass.

Monday, July 16, 2012

SDCC brings you -- Farscape Geekwatch!

Enjoying SDCC, meeting old friends, meeting new friends.  SDCC is always exhausting, always productive.  I thought I'd give myself a little internet break.

What could be more relaxing than Farscape Geekwatch? S01E20: The Hidden Memory,  continues the plotline set up in Nerve. What strikes me as interesting about this episode is how many of the guest stars go on to become main characters.  Lani Tupu, Gigi Edgley, Wayne Pygram, and Paul Goddard all join the cast as title characters.  Gigi as of next episode, the rest as of season three.

In therms of the Geekwatch proper, not so much.  Scorpius' female assistant is called Peacekeeper Barbie, which probably wouldn't have registered at all if I hadn't spent so much time at the Mattel booth.  Melrose Place also gets namechecked.

SDCC was fun and productive.  I did a lot of networking, checked in on some existing projects and tried to generate a few new ones.  Two look quite promising, we'll see.  To me, the highlight of the con was being on line for the Ben Ten panel (with Derrick J. Wyatt as the art director of the new series, Ben Ten Omniverse).  There was a nine year old boy dressed up as Ben, complete with jacket and Omnitrix, with a Fringe hat and a Mass Effect sword, enjoying his first convention ever.  He was hyperactive and nuts, attacking me and my phone and my laptop and foiling my evil schemes and throwing out trash for his dad "Operation: Garbage Scow.  Pew pew pew!" I asked Derrick to hook him up with a poster or something, and he assured me that he would.  It reminded me of my first convention, I-Con 7 in NY.  I got to meet Gary Gygax, and was so nervous, but the man was super cool to me.  I was glad to be able to give a little bit of that back.

Farscape: The Complete Series is available for purchase on Amazon, and by this point in the series, things are looking up.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Farscape: Geekwatch Ep 16-19

OK, the Farscape Geekwatch continues!  Still light, this season, but some good ones in there.

S01E16: A Human Reaction is a classic.  Crichton finds a wormhole back to Earth... or does he?  A solid episode, and it introduces (we found out a bit later) a very important element to the series.  Nothing solidly genre-related here, but John does a quick version of the classic Abbot & Costello Who's On First routine.

S01E17: Through the Looking Glass (the title itself a reference to Louis Carroll that pops up in the episode) is a fun tale of Moya getting split into four different dimensions. Of note, John informing Pilot and Zhaan that they can't see the missing crew members "Because you don't have X-ray vision...do you," a Superman nod. I also like his "Dis-a-Elvis-has-left-the-building-peared" line.

S01E18: A Bug's Life (the title itself a reference to the Pixar film) features no sci-fi nods, but I appreciated John calling the Peacekeeper scientist Hot Lips, after M.A.S.H. This episode sets up the next four to end the season.  Having John pretend to be a PK Captain is a great idea.

S01E19: Nerve features John's attempt to infiltrate a Peacekeeper Gammak base and introduces us to the amazing Scorpius and (the as yet unnamed) Stark.  It also reintroduces us to Gilina, from PK Tech Girl, and is an all-around great episode.

It's also chock-a-block with genre references.  There's a nice James Bond quote, when Scorpius introduces himself to John.  "I'm Scorpius." "But of course you are." John also calls Scorpy "Nosferatu."

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!  There's this little line: "Danger, danger, Will Robinson," the classic phrase from Lost in Space.

And, finally, when he's sent off to the Aurora Chair to have his mind stripped, John quotes good old Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition sketch, "Fetch the comfy chair."

All right, this is where it's at!  Farscape: The Complete Series is for sale on Amazon.com, and by now it's starting to look up. We'll see how the rest of the season goes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Highbrow's Transform (& Farscape Geekwatch)

Howdy, y'all!  Sorry that it's been a while since I've posted here.  I'm in the process of moving my wife and I to Albuquerque, from New Haven and Los Angeles, respectively. This includes the purchase of a new home, which has taken up much time and energy.  Between that and ComicCon this weekend, I've been swamped.

However, I didn't want to neglect you, my loyal readers, so I checked Martin's wish list and found Highbrow's transformation.  Here it is!  It's one of the more elaborate ones.  Note how, though there are only six frames, three of them have insets. My favorite detail has to be the inset of his gun, popping into his hand, in step 6.

A funny sidenote: Gort got his own transform, which I'll try to clean up and post next week.  Most of the Master guys didn't, or got a very very simple one.  His is fully detailed.  I wonder why.

I've also been neglecting my of Farscape Geekwatch.  We've watched a few more.  There's kind of a dearth of genre references, though, so I can reasonably do this quickly.

S01E11: Till the Blood Runs Clear.  No real sci-fi references to speak of, though Crichton references Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, as well as Disney's Pluto.  This episode introduces Furlough, the hefty mechanic, who will play an important role in season 3. 

S01E12: Raphsody in Blue. An important Zhaan episode, wherein she gives up her frock.  Again, no genre references.  Could my memory be failing?  Perhaps later seasons will pick it up a lot more.  Looney Toons gets name-checked, at least. 

S01E13: The Flax.  We're introduced to a new tech, the Flax, an invisible web that will play a role in the S2 three part season ender.  AGAIN, no sci-fi or fantasy references, though Top Gun is mentioned.

S01E14: Jeremiah Crichton. A fun episode where Crichton attempts to go native. Yet again, no solid genre nods, though there's a Lion King reference. John to the native's Masata, or wise man: "Well, hakuna matata, Masata."

S01E15: Durka Returns. A solid Rygel episode, where his old nemesis returns as an apparently brainwashed ward of a new race, the Nebari.  Chiana, a Nebari prisoner who really just wants to live a little away from her stifling culture, is a welcome new addition to the crew.  Not quite genre, but worth mentioning.  John: "Durka's gone Hannibal Lecter on us." To her credit, Chiana calls John on his incomprehensible (to anyone on that side of the galaxy) speech.

Farscape: The Complete Series is is for sale on Amazon.com, and I'll get through a few more before ComicCon if I can.