Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday Wrap-Up - 3/21/18

I'm finally getting back to making progress on Old School Evil the novel. I am so excited that something's finally coming together. I'm working on the cover at home and writing on the second draft of the sequel at work, so this is probably the most productive week I've had in months.

I think the cover is looking pretty good so far and leagues above the blog title image. I'm thinking I'll make some changes to the paper rip here to show more of the second sheet and possible another top under it to show a third. I worked on upgrading another model, Lead Tentacle, with a higher resolution like I did for SawHorse above, and I could have sworn I saved it on Google Drive but I can't find it. I'll post it tomorrow though.

I have no idea when I'll actually be ready to publish, but I hope it's soon. Anyway, I've got to get back to working on it, I need to do some research before I can get anything in stores.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 11 - Metlar

Today we're looking at the leader of the monstrous Inhumanoids, Metlar.  Trapped at the Earth's core within a magnetic field, this behemoth was busted free by a corrupt politician and set loose on the world once again.

First off, let's talk size - Inhumanoids are all giant creatures, but cartoon scale - especially Sunbow's stuff - varies a ton from episode to episode and sometimes scene to scene.  Metlar often holds a person in his hands just like the image above and because of the humans' size inside the hand, we can estimate he's about 75 feet tall (about 1-12 times larger than whoever he's holding, similar size to me holding a 6" Transformer figure).  But later in that same episode, he catches a jet in that same hand.  The jet looks similar to a Cessna Citation Encore 560, which measures almost 50' in length.  I can't even guess how big that would make Metlar.  It's so inconsistent that I'd decided to gave him a height based one one very specific scene.  After being doused with some kind of love potion, Metlar and his Inhumanoids go after spouses.  Who does Metlar chose?  Why the Statue of Liberty, of course.  From here we can estimate he's about the same height as the Statue of Liberty from foot to crown, which is 111 feet and 6 inches.

Now, to be fair, I forgot to do this for Krulos, so I'm going to go ahead and estimate him and his T Rex's height now.  Modern science has determined that the T Rex's body was held in a horizontal position and was about 12-14 feet tall at the hips.  But back in the day Dino-Riders was made, paleontologists believed T-Rex's walked upright, head in the air and tail dragging on the ground, which meant form head to toe, the T-Rex was about 18 feet tall.  
Here's where Dino-Riders goes totally bonkers.  Krulon is shown in the cartoon to be a pretty big dude, so I'm going to estimate he's a little over 6" tall.  So he's be about a third the height of a T-Rex, right?  Hell no!  Do you see that tiny red guy on top of the T Rex?  That's Krulos!  He's maybe 1/6 the size of that dinosaur, so that would put the T Rex at about 36' tall.  Still, that's only about 1/3 the height of Metlar!  

Anyway, back to the Inhumanoid.  Metlar's right at home in the core of the Earth, capable of swimming in molten magma pools.  Metlar's typical attack is reaching into the fiery lava of his throat, pulling out a massive fireball, and flinging it at his enemies.  That's incredible - not only is he a vessel of molten rock, he can grab handfuls of it to throw.  He's also immensely strong, capable of breaking off giant stalactites and throwing them or crushing tanks or helicopters in his grip.
Metlar's shown to be invulnerable to all of Earth Corps lasers, even reflecting laserfire in his hand back to at his enemies.  Another power introduced early on in the series is having hypnotic eyes capable of putting humans into a trance.  Even if it didn't show up later, it was shown in two episodes in the 5-part premier so I'm leaving it in there - but who knows if it'll work on a frog-faced creature like Krulos.

Metlar does have one glaring weakness though - he's paralyzed by magnetic fields.  Originally he was trapped by two of the Mutores (elemental Inhumanoid fighters), Crygen and Pyre, who could create magnetic fields between them when not merged into Magnokor.  A human that knew of Metlar's weakness was able to build a suit that projected magnetic fields similar to MAgnokor's halves, and was even able to control Metlar by manipulating the field.  Even more than that, when Magnokor's halves boosted their power with galvacite to destroy Metlar, they reversed the polarity of the Earth's entire magnetic field, which changed the Inhumanoids' and Mutore's personalities, making Metlar a good guy, wanting to help save the Earth.

To check out Metlar's specs, click here.  Make sure to check back next Monday to see which prehistoric titan takes the crown.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday Wrap-Up - 3/14/18

So I'm about a month behind my initial plan to publish Old School Evil, but I'm still plugging along and hope that maybe in two weeks I can get it out there. I sketched out a mock up if the cover I'm planning to do and here it is:

As you can see it'll mostly be a rearrangement of assets that are in my blog title image, so nothing new really needs to be made up except for the paper rip in the bottom right corner that is partially revealing another image. I'm also going to be redoing the title image to put in the book cover and a brief description. 

I've also written a little bit more on book two. It's not much and by how slow it's going Old School Evil will be out for ages before the sequel comes out, but in not giving up on it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 11 - Krulos

Today we're looking at Krulos, the leader of the Rulon Empire.  While chasing the peaceful Valorians, he was sucked into a time warp and ended up on prehistoric Earth.  Both sides took to working with dinosaurs to build and defend their bases - while the good guys used telepathy to talk to their dinosaurs and became friends with them, the Rulons used "brain boxes" to mentally enslave their dinosaurs.  The main conflict in the show was Krulos's gang trying to steal the STEP (Space and Time Energy Projector) crystal so he can go back to his own time and rejoin his empire.

As a leader, Krulos is your typical 'yell at your minions as the top of your voice no matter what' kinda guy.  It's no wonder he's voiced by Frank Welker.  He generally relies on his three generals to do a lot and often beats them up when things go wrong.  On one occasion, he picked up one minion in each hand.  As far as his own feats, that's about it.  He got one major weakness as well - the glass dome over his head.  Being some sort of frog alien, he's got to keep himself wet and that bowl on his head is filled with water.  As soon as it's cracked and the water spills out, he starts drying out and is incapacitated. 

Seeing as the show is called Dino-Riders, what kind of dinosaur acts as Krulos's mode of transportation?  Why the most powerful dinosaur there is - the Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Granted, it took him about 3 episodes to actually catch the T Rex, and half the time he rode a Monoclonius instead.  Let's look at the T Rex's loadout.  The Brain Box, installed on the dinosaur's head, has twin blasters.  The biggest piece of armor is on the dinosaur's back and includes two armor-piercing cannons on the side, two rear-facing blasters and a stand for Krulos to command from.  On the front of each leg is a piece of armor that has saw blades on them.  Lastly, there's a tiny breastplate on the T Rex's front that has a pair of "Death Grip Claws" that are controlled by a second pilot half the time, and are automatically controlled the rest of the time.

The blasters are pretty powerful most of the time, blowing up trees and holes in mountains over the course of the series.  The saw blades can cut through a large wooden wall with ease and the claws were strong enough to lift the cut section out and throw it.  And let's not forgot all this is on a T-Rex, which somehow took a lot of laser blasts to the face and torso without any kind of damage.  Not that the armor was so impenetrable - the armor straps and Brain Box were easily blasted or knocked off the dinosaur, rendering it uncontrollable again, usually chasing Krulos away. Another drawback that the T Rex has is that it can be easily knocked over by another dinosaur or a tremor.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wrap-Up Wednesday - 2/28/18

First off, let me say I haven't made any progress on the book's release besides figuring out a pricing strategy and taking a look at formatting the ebook. 

I had originally planned on releasing the ebook and PoD version with some supplemental material in the back - those pesky production bibles.  I've decided now that I'll release the ebook without them and a few months from now, when I've figured out how to format the book for print on demand, I'll include them there.  I don't want to delay the book more than it already is just because I haven't drawn up the different titles and insignias.  So that'll be a bonus for people willing to pay a little extra to have a physical copy of the book.  Sounds decent, right?

Besides that, I've been thinking more about the future of Old School Evil and I started thinking about the different generations of cartoons.  And I think I can really expand on the idea of villains and their legacies from different eras.  I've broken them down into decades - the original Old School Evil story, with Jayce and Max and all the cartoons I've made up for it covers the 80s and into the 90s.  You're looking at teams for colorful heroes and villains fighting against each other - only the 90s had a lot more anthropomorphized characters, like the Ninja Turtles and all of the cartoons that followed in their wake.  Biker Mice from Mars, etc.

So, what villains came before them?  It was pretty obvious - the villains were primarily people that dressed up in stupid costumes and tried scaring people away from treasures. You know, like Old Man Withers.  So I've been looking at the bad guys from Scooby-Doo and all their clones - Speed Buggy, Jabberjaw, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, shows I've come to call Mascot Mysteries.

I've got some ideas floating around my head on how to introduce those costumed crooks into the Old School Evil universe, and I've been spending the last week coming up with all sorts of ideas.  Just like with the cartoons I came up with for the original trilogy, I've been building ideas for shows and I've got a couple really good ones that I think would fit in really well with Scooby and his ilk.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 10 Results

The pulsating brain squealed on the communicator, making Shredder flinch.  “That energy reading is too dangerous, Saki!  I demand you return to the Technodrome!”
“I have to go, you blithering brain – my readings show that this Phaeta Seven matches the mutagen that created the turtles.  If I can combine the two, I could super change the mutagen and create an army of Mega-Mutants!”
“Even if you had a way to contain that substance,” Krang replied after an irritatingly long squelch of his mouth, “choosing to travel to that unstable continent in a tunnel drill is beyond foolish.  You could cause a collapse of the entire landmass if you tunnel through the foundation.”  Another squeal.  “Not to mention those pesky Raiders trying to lay claim to the land.”
“Those fools? Gliding through the air on ribbons?  Did you forget I’m a master ninja?  I can get in and out before either of those groups of morons can find me.”
Krang waved him off with one of his fleshy pink tendrils.  “Fine.  But if you get in trouble, don’t expect me to bail you out.  I’ve got Neutrinos to deal with.”  The communicator shut off and Shredder stuck the device in his belt.
“Fool.  As soon as my Mega-Mutants finish off the turtle, I’ll turn them on you.  Then I’ll have the Foot Clan and Dimension X under my complete control.”  He manned the controls of the tunneler as it navigated across the globe to the Pacific Ocean.

General Plague shot through the sky with his Deception Raider jet pack, speeding along apower cable.  The Sky Commanders had been quite silent lately and he suspected an ambush any moment.  He reached the end of the cable and disconnected, landing on a small crag of rock.  The ocean roiled hundreds of feet below him.  Nothing else could be seen for miles besides dozens of rocky spires jutting toward the sky.  The High Frontier, the world’s most treacherous landscape, would scare away even the biggest of adrenaline junkies and mountain climbers.  
But Lucas Plague felt like home here.  His Raider jetpacks and fliers allowed him to get anywhere in the continent.  If only he could get his hands on the Sky Commanders’ Battle Track tech, he could dominate the entire High Frontier.  Where were those Sky Commanders?  It had been over a week since the Raiders had last seen any of them.  “Raiders, report in.”
“Nothing yet,” Rath said, and Slade confirmed the same in her quadrant.  Kreeg complained of being kept on patrol duty, but Plague silenced the communicator before he could hear much.  When Mordax didn’t check in, Plague repeated his order, threatening his brother-in-law with jail time.  He still received no answer and Plague smiled slightly.  The Sky Commanders had to have captured him.  As much as Plague would have loved to leave the idiot in their custody, he was itching for a fight.  “Raiders, continue your patrols and check in in fifteen-minute intervals.  I’m going to check on Mordax.”
Plague hunched over and fired the power cable from his Deception Raider pack, the energy beam coursing through the air for miles before striking another spire and digging deep.  The bolt solidified into a steel cable, allowing Plague to slide through the air.  He touched a button on his arm-mounted controller activating the Hotwire technology and energizing the cable, shooting him across the High Frontier.
Just a few minutes and two power cable transitions and General Plague found Mordax.  His obese minion lay on his back on a cliffside.  Plague briefly entertained the idea of kicking him over, but pulled him away from the edge.  His Raider pack was missing, along with his arm-mounted control panel.  
“I can tell by your hesitation to help that oaf that you’re the leader here.”
Plague spun around to face the spire, finding a tunnel.  It was too smooth to be a naturally occurring cave – something drilled that hole.  And there was a silhouette standing in the middle of it.  Plague drew a pistol from his hip, but didn’t point it at the individual.  “Whoever you are, you’re right – I am undisputed ruler here.  And you’re trespassing.”
“Am I?” the intruder said, stepping out of the shadow.  He was dressed like a samurai, with bladed pads covering almost all of his body.  Plague vaguely remembered reading about him in New York, fighting mutant reptiles.  
Plague raised the gun.  “Yes, you are.  Shredder, right?”
The intruder bowed.
“You’re wasting your time coming here.  The High Frontier and all of its Phaeta Seven belongs to me.”
He shrugged.  “Then I suppose if I want it, I have to go through you.”  He dashed at Plague, side-stepping the pistol fire.  He leapt into the air and brought his feet down squarely in Plague’s chest.  The impact shoved the Raider off the edge and tumbling down to the ocean.
Plague activated the jets in his backpack, stabilizing his fall so he could fire off another power cable.  The energy beam connected to the cliff he was kicked off and he hotwired back up.  
“That seems to be a careless way to travel,” Shredder said, looking over the edge.  “Someone could easily cut this wire.”
“And someone could easily blow you to bits.  Missile 1, fire!” The rocket blasted from the Deception Raider’s wing, burning through the sky toward Shredder.  
The ninja backflipped from the edge, avoiding the missile by inches before it streaked up and blew the tip of the spire into rubble.
Plague zipped toward the ledge and prepared to flip off the line and onto the cliff.  Just before reaching the end of the power cable, Shredder sliced through it, severing Plague’s lifeline and causing him to plummet once again.
“I guess I’ll have to do this without a power cable,” Plague said outloud, firing up his boosters again and flying all the way up this time.  As he crested the cliff face, he slid both pistols out and fired on his attacker.
Who wasn’t there.  Instead, he found a troop of purple-clad ninjas, prepping handfuls of shuriken.  His shots struck two of the figures, shattering them into scrap.  “Robots?” Plague shouted.  “Are you hiding behind these tin cans?”  Ninja stars spun past him as he twirled through the air, yet his shots hit each of their targets, destroying the robots one-by-one.  “You need to upgrade their targeting computers.  Not that you’ll survive this.”
“Survival won’t be a problem for me.”  The ninja pounced on Plague’s back, bringing it crashing down to the ground.  With a swipe of his hand, his claws slashed through a wing of the Deception Raider and slicing the engine in half.  “Survive this!” he said with another kick to Plague’s chest, again sending him over the edge.
With the Raider pack useless, Plague unhooked himself from it before throwing up his grappler, a hook connected to his arm-mounted control panel.  Far below the cliff he fell from, Plague dangled above the ocean considering his options.  Calling for help was impossible, as the control panel was at the hook end of the grapple line and out of his grasp.  He began climbing the line when a trio of ninja stars sliced through the air toward him.  Two of the stars bounced off his helmet, ringing his ears, but causing no damage.
Before he could gloat, the cord of his grappler was severed by the third shuriken, sending him on one final drop to the ocean, this time striking the water’s surface hard enough to break his skull and crush his torso, the last vision he saw being the silhouette of a ninja far above him.

Click here to see Shredder's respect thread.  Click here to see General Plague's.

While General Plague had the technological advantage, Shredder had ways around all of them.  He could avoid most of Plague's attacks, and the ones he couldn't - like Plague's impressive aim - he had his Foot Clan robots to distract him.  Without his weapons and backpack, Plague's an incredibly bad fighter and easily defeated by someone of Shredder's fighting caliber.

The Winner
To see who Shredder will be facing off in the next tier of Bad Guy Beatdown, click here.  To see the rest of the fighters so far, click here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Top 5 Cartoon Theme Songs

There's something about a kick-ass cartoon theme song that will just get stuck in your head and stay there your whole life.  A few notes is all you need to bring you back to the days you watched those cartoons and you'll catch yourself drumming along to the rhythm or cranking out a line or two.  With that, I present to you my favorites. 

Special thanks to Rediscover the 80s and Banzai Retro Club for the argument on Twitter that inspired this list.  I'm sure they'll have a lot to say about it.

Honorable mention 1 - GI Joe: The Movie
This version of the GI Joe cartoon intro is probably one of the coolest things to ever attack my eardrums.  The "Cobra!  Cobra!" sections are my favorite part - when do the villains of the shows get their own reprise? The only reason this isn't making it on to the list is that it only shows up in the movie (as far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong).  Of course, if it showed up in the series, it would cut too far into the episode, right?

Honorable mention 2 - The Raccoons
I've never watched the Raccoons and judging by the snippets I've seen, I don't think I want to.  But what business it has having a outro theme like Run with Us, I don't know.  This song is great and I think it's my favorite Cybertronic Spree cover - even over The Touch and Dare!

Honorable mention 3 - Disney
There's no way to pick the best Disney cartoon theme - they're all fantastic, and super catchy.  Maybe they put the extra money into making the themes that they saved from recycling animation for the intro from random scene in the show.  It always bugged me that they did that, but there's no denying the songs were great.  So how do you pick a favorite?  You don't, and that's why they're not in the top 5. 

Without further ado - my favorite themes:

Mighty Orbots
Skip that cheesy narration in the beginning and skip straight to that action packed intro music.  It is a bit simplistic with "Go Mighty Orbots" repeated so much, but that music combined with the great animation in the beginning get my blood pumping.

Count Duckula
I know I said skip the narration in the last mention, but don't you dare skip it here.  That Vincent Price-sounding narrator was suitably creepy for the Count part, but I love the disco sounding Duckula half.  "If you're looking for some fun" is totally right.

M-M-M-M.A.S.K!  It starts out slow, but by the time you get to The end of the first verse, it ramps up to some kick-ass levels.  "Working overtime, fighting crime" has to be one of the greatest theme song lyrics.  Too bad I still can't tell what lies behind the... Matt sher rays?

Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors
Lightning strikes!  Okay, it's just fun to shout some of these lines.  I'm glad I don't drive while listening to these tunes or this one would get me a ticket.  It's hard not to get pumped up as the song keeps going.

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
No Gut, No Glory.  This song is right at home in the 80s - you could picture it playing in any action flick of the decade.  There's no wonder why this show was on track to get its own soundtrack album.  I'd have bought it in a microsecond.  And it even gets played by the Rangers in one episode!  Sorry, Banzai, this song totally kicks Bionic Six's ass.