Sunday, June 25, 2017
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Bad Guy Beatdown Round 2 has started and next week we'll see who comes out on top. I'm having a lot of fun posting this tournament and watching a lot of the cartoons that I haven't see in decades, if at all. But the big thing is that I've finally started working again on OSE 2. Nothing huge so far, but I'm working on the first chapter again after it got a sound thrashing in my critique group. It's a little smoother now, I think and as soon as I'm done, I'll be submitting to the group again.
I'm in the process of reading the first book in my finisher critique group as well. It's a good story so far and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it. It's a much different task than reading a chapter each a month from the writers in my main critique group. While I'm used to commenting on smaller things like grammar changes to make and questions about specific details, this group wants a focus on the big things like theme and pacing while ignoring the small stuff. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it. I'm hoping to do one or two last passes through OSE 1 before I submit it, but I've got a few months before my novel comes up. Hopefully after that I can work on the cover as well and get this book out on Amazon and wherever else.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Real Weegie Midget Reviews - 5 80s Prime Time Soap Star Ads
80s Reboot - 80s Commercials- Where's Herb? post and Podcast
Rediscover the 80s - Memory Jogger Podcast Special: Saturday Morning Commercials
As a blog that's focusing on cartoons from the 80s, I'm stuck in a quandary; can't the cartoons themselves be considered commercials? One of the reason they only for prominence in the 80s was toy advertising in the form of cartoons was banned by the FCC. Once that ban was lifted, dozen or even hundreds of cartoons flooded the airwaves, each of them jam-packed with images of thousands of toys waiting in the store shelves for kids to snatch up. But even during the commercial breaks in these 30-minute toy ads, we got more ads! For hours a day, kids were bombarded with toys adverts
within toy adverts - the only break we had was cereal commercials and half of those were tie-ins to the cartoons we were watching. What a time to be alive!
As exciting as the cartoons were, the commercials had to be doubly so to get a kid's attention in such a short span of time (you know, in case it wasn't aired in the middle of a cartoon or something). Take a look at the above Transformers commercials - you had brand new animation for the commercials that looks a little better than the show themselves, the toys rolling around through massive sandboxes, a kid with picket-fence teeth and glowing eyes who later transforms himself into a robot - all sorts of awesome stuff. And you have to love the "Does Optimus Prime Die?" promotion for Transformers: The Movie.
Another great thing about these commercials is that the cartoons were limited to what figures and toys they were able to put on screen - there was only so much time and room in the cast list. Though the cartoons were mandated to feature certain toys (leading to characters based on older toys being written out or just disappearing from the show), not everything could be featured. These commercials were the only place you'd see certain characters and accessories. Watch the He-Man commercials above and around the middle of the video, you start seeing a ton of stuff that never made it to the cartoon. And for good reason, because they got freaking weird.
It's amazing how many commercials we got, especially when going through old videos and seeing how many you might have missed as a kid. As much as I loved watching Transformers, I don't really remember any of the commercials they aired. And I'd grown out of some of the cartoons by the time He-Man was introducing the light toys and electric playsets. But what I wouldn't give to have that awesome Eternia toy!
Monday, June 5, 2017
Skeletor's powers are much more well-rounded than the Queen's, being able to shoot explosive blasts from his staff and his fingers and being able to manipulate his surroundings as well. While the Queen was powerful in the Psychocrypt, his powers weren't strong enough to subdue him. The major disadvantage she had is with her Slaver Lords who, while letting her see and hear anywhere they are, have no other discernible strengths. In the end, Skeletor's abundance of powers won out.“Skeletor!” Evil-Lyn shrieked through a mental projection into Snake Mountain’s throne room.The skull-faced evil warrior sat up from his chair where he was spinning a crystal and contemplating his next move against Castle Grayskull. The witch’s face materialized in the glass sphere sitting atop the table in front of him. “What do you want, witch?” he yelled.“I’ve been captured! You must free me!” she cried. The vision the viewer displayed showed her locked in a glass cylinder in the middle of a mechanical red room.“A telepathic call for help?” another voice asked within Evil-Lyn’s proximity. The vision before Skeletor shimmered and was replaced by a purple face wearing a spindly crown. “Is this the master you spoke of betraying?”“Who are you?” Skeletor shouted, leaning into the image.“I am the Queen of the Crown!” she returned with the same incredulous tone he had used. “Monarch of the Crown Empire and your new ruler!”“What?!” Skeletor stood up and shook his hands in the air. “Skeletor has no ruler!”“Once I steal the magic-infused life-force of your traitorous minion here, I’ll raise an army of Slaver Lords to take over your measly planet before moving on to the rest of the galaxy.” The image reverted to Evil-Lyn, still stuck inside the transparent tube but now the mechanical implements at the top had come to life with electric sparks.“Skeletor, you must save me!”“And why should I, Evil-Lyn? What was this I heard about betrayal?”“I sensed the queen as she approached Eternia and made contact with her, hoping to expand our reach beyond our planet. Of course, I would have negotiated you a place high in her empire, Lord Skeletor. I --”The device in Evil-Lyn’s tube surged with electricity and coursed through the witch’s body, sending a scream through Skeletor’s crystal ball loud enough to crack its surface.“I should let the Queen do whatever she wants to you for turning against me again, fool. But no one threatens to take over Eternia but me!” He held his Havoc Staff over his head and disappeared in a flash.Within the lab on board her starship, the blue-skinned man shimmered into existence directly before the Queen.“That’s his real face?” one of her guards said as he materialized.“And I thought Killbane was ugly.”“Silence, fools!” the Queen said. The two agents snapped to attention.“Release Evil-Lyn now,” Skeletor demanded, pointing his staff at the glass tube still cascading electricity through her. The ram’s head glowed in white light.“How dare you come to my ship and order me around!” the Queen screamed. She relented and a sly smile curled her lips. “Feel free to take her once I’ve extracted her life-force, though. I’ll even let you leave this ship with it. But know this: When I’ve created a super Slaver Lord with her psychocrystal, I’ll be sending it after you first.”“No one threatens me!” Skeletor shouted, blasting a white beam of energy at Evil-Lyn’s prison and shattering the glass holding her. Evil-Lyn collapsed out of it and with another flash of light from the staff’s head, Skeletor teleported her off the ship into Snake Mountain.“No!” the Queen screamed, pointing at the console to her left. “I hadn’t drained enough life-force from her to even power an ordinary Slaver Lord!” She turned her attention to Skeletor who even without the flesh on his face, she knew was grinning at thwarting her. “Crown agents, seize him! If I cannot steal the witch’s life-force, I will steal this monster’s!” The two agents at her side aimed their rifles at him.Skeletor’s head craned back with a hearty laugh. He pointed his staff at the two guards and a spray of green gas erupted towards them. In just a moment the two agents collapsed to the floor in a deep sleep. He turned the staff towards the Queen. “I expected more from you!” he said with another deep laugh.“Oh, I have better!” She swiped her hand toward the evil warrior and a wave of pink telekinetic energy surged outward.Skeletor held up his hand to the attack, reflecting the energy from his palm and sending it above her. She lunged to the right just in time to avoid the falling debris. “Let me show you true power!” He pointed his staff to the throne behind her and blasted it, destroying the chair in a cloud of smoke.Shielding herself from the rubble, she cried out. Suddenly the white robed figures stationed around the room jumped to life, surrounding Skeletor. One grabbed the middle of his staff and attempted to rest it from his hands. Over the blank face of the figure, the holographic image of the Queen appeared with a wicked smile. While the others grasped at Skeletor and struggled to take him down, the Queen-faced figure cackled, “You’ll make a fine addition to my Slaver Lords!”“No!” Skeletor screamed, shooting a beam of light from one of his fingers into the Slaver-Lord’s face, obscuring the illusion floating above it. He slammed the end of the staff to the ground and a shining blast exploded, blinding the Slaver Lords around him and causing the Queen, who had been seeing through each of them, to cry out in pain. The figures surrounding Skeletor collapsed to the ground.“A neat trick,” Skeletor gloated, “I could use some minions like those instead of the bumbling boob you captured.”As the Queen struggled to get to her feet, she concentrated what was left of her mental powers on the blue-skinned foe. She reached out telepathically, sending out a wave of maddening energy deep within his mind.Skeletor clutched at his skull and fell to his knees, the Havoc Staff clamouring on the ground beside him. Images of the Queen danced in his burning consciousness.She advanced on him, holding her fingers to her temples. “You were a fool for coming here, Skeletor. My mental powers are at their strongest within this ship.”Leaning on his staff, he shakily got to his feet, resisting the Queen’s psionic assault. “Then I shall turn the ship against you.” He fired a blast at her feet. The floor rumbled before the metal sheeting ripped up and curled into a cage around her and pulling her hands down to her waist. “You have impressive power,” he said in a low voice, “I cannot deny that.” He snatched the glowing red jewel from the chest on one of the Slaver Lords lying at his feet. “Power that will help me finally defeat He-Man and rule Eternia.”He crushed the gem in his hand. The psionic feedback flooded the Queen’s mind and she cried out in pain. Skeletor destroyed two more before the Queen was rendered unconscious. With each psychocrystal destroyed, the Slaver Lord it was attached to had shimmered from existence. He shattered the gem from the final Slaver Lord for good measure.With all his enemies in the Psychocrypt defeated, Skeletor took the glowing crystal from the machine that syphoned Evil-Lyn’s life force and affixed it to his Havoc Staff between the ram’s horns. A new midnight blue Slaver Lord materialized before him with a glowing skull floating over its hooded head. Skeletor roared with laughter as the Queen lay comatose at his feet.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Secret of nihm is my favorite Don Bluth movie. While a number of his films cater exclusively to the youngest of kids, which I suppose cartoons probably should, secret of nihm is at times definitely not for children.
Secret of NIHM follows the adventures of Mrs. Brisby, the recently widowed mouse taking care of her sick child. Because her late husband, Jonathan, died a hero, Mrs Brisby is destined to save the field from an unknown danger. While many of the creatures in the field, the land surrounding a farmer's house, lead simple lives, the rats are far from ordinary rodents. Living within the farmer's rose bush, the rats have mastered electricity and even some form of magic. All thanks to NIHM.
The National Institute of Mental Health has a vested interest in the rats, calling throughout the movie and asking about their abilities. Abilities the received after they were captured on the streets and injected with untested chemical formulas. A number of rats and mice we subjected to the trials and found they were learning to read and figure their way out of their cages.
They escaped and while most of the mice were lost in an air duct (a character points out they absolutely died, just one of the dark tones of the movie), two survived, one being Jonathan Brisby, who earned the rats' eternal gratitude by opening the final hate to their freedom.
NIHM wants to clear out the rats for whatever reason and they know it, preparing for a move to a safer place. Before they can go, they pledge to help move Brisby's home from the party of the farmer's plow. She can't move her family because her son is sick with pneumonia, being treated by the other surviving mouse from NIHM, Mr. Ages, wise intelligence manifested in medical knowledge.
Secret of NIHM is an incredible movie, early one of the best to come out of the 80s. And like many others of this age, it had it's fair share of villains. Though NIHM is treated as the big looking evil threatening all of the rats, there's a traitor on their midst with Jenner. He wants to take control of leadership by killing Nicodemus, the eldest and wisest among them. He uses Brisby's relocation as the best opportunity, cutting the ropes holding the cinder block home aloft and crushing the old rat under it.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Old School Evil hasn't made much progress, but I'm joining a Finishers critique group so I'm hoping to have the first book polished and ready to publish soon. I'm not sure when I'll publish it though, there are a few more things I want to have ready before I put it out there. I'm kinda wondering if I should set up a deadline, like the new year or something... In the meantime, I'm still researching how to do it, with the covers, the formats, and everything else.
Monday, May 22, 2017
I decided the only way to really find out is a tournament. Thirty-two villains step into the ring, two-by-two and fight it out. I created a bracket and randomized the entries. A few of the villains I've covered in my series won't be admitted here - Emperor Dark for not doing anything for his whole series, Dr. Claw for being mostly hidden through his series, and Baron Greenback for being a tiny toad. Unicron and Cobra-La are also out since they both kind top the charts. But the rest of the contenders can be seen here:
For each fight, I'm going with Death Battle rules - I'll be watching each show and take notes of each villain's powers and abilities. I'm limiting myself first 13 episodes of each show to be fair to those shows that didn't make it that far. Each round will be made in two posts - the first week will cover the villains' abilities through the episodes, and the following week will have the results, told in a short story since I'm not about to try to animate this. I wish I had some way to show it better, but I'm hoping to at least draw some picture of the winner triumphant.
Of course, I welcome everyone's comments on who they think should win, and I'm looking forward to hearing any disagreements, but please realize, this isn't going to be a popularity contest. If it was, I'd automatically make Megatron the winner. But I'm curious who really kicks the most ass here and I want to be as impartial as possible.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Was this ever in question? There are good reasons why he's always been my favorite villain. He's extremely powerful, intelligent, and intimidating. Frank Welker lends him a threatening voice and one of the best maniacal laughs in cartoons. People may give him crap for transforming into a pistol that needs to be shot by someone else, but I have no problem with it. Makes more sense to me than a camera at least.
I've got to give this guy credit - he took over almost the entire country, turning half of it into his Spiral Zone and reducing its citizens to mindless zombies. He sees the Zone Riders's plans from a mile away, often times turning their tricks against them. It's not often you see a villain so capable and creating such a threat against half the population.
I understand why they made named Saw Boss like they did, but wouldn't it have made more sense to give him a different name since most of the time he doesn't have a saw? It's not like he turns into the bladed vehicle all that often, instead sitting on a chair, telepathically commanding his troops. Saw Boss is also in the odd situation as the villain hunting the good guys down in every episode, instead of them stopping the Monster Minds from some criminal act, so you'd think he'd have an easier time completing his goals, but no, he can't even catch them either.
I absolutely hate this guy. He's so incredibly bland! He's a mob boss, so let's make him fat and talk in a stereotypical mafia accent and give him a pet to stroke. But he's in the future so let's give him a metal hand and do the same thing to his pet. He fills the role of the villain who barely does anything, instead barking orders to others and yelling at them when they fail even though he did nothing to help out. Such a complete loser of a bad guy.
What do you think of the lists? Do you disagree? Maybe you think Big Boss kicks ass and Megatron sucks eggs. Leave a comment and let me know. And if I left anyone off the list, make sure to check out the Villain Retrospects page to see what other villains I've covered.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
I'm also working on a graphic for the Bad Guy Beatdown coming up this month and a few infographics for next week's post as well. Still trying to hammer out some art style to use for the combatants along with more Flashback Friday characters. It's an art-centric week!
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
I have no idea how I missed Dino-Riders as a kid. This show would have been so up my alley my head would have exploded. It takes all the dinosaur action from Dinosaucers and amps it up to 11 with people riding fully-armed terrible lizards! Up until this point, my life has been a lie, but now I finally see what's been missing this whole time.
The cartoon is incredibly well animated for its initial episode, including a lot of special effects and great 80s dinosaur anatomy (the Godzilla-like T-Rex stance). It looks amazing and is a fantastic way to start the show. While the following episodes have a bit of a drop in quality, I would say it still is a little higher than its peers - I didn't spot any animation errors or recycled animation.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
The decision has been made to self-publish Old School Evil. The agent search, though short, has been extremely disheartening. I haven't come to this decision lightly, but I want to have creative control over the project, including cover and other art assets and I feel this is the best way to go. It'll still be a while before I'm ready to publish though - I've decided I want to go through another draft or two to clean things up and add some stuff in. I think in the end, the book will be that much better for it. I'm also hoping to get into a critique group that covers finished novels so I can make sure it's totally ready.
Because of the changes to the plan for Old School Evil, a few things have been cut as well. As I originally envisioned making a toyline and a webcomic that used the toys, I realized that was way too much work at this time and have put it on the backburner. I would still love to make the toys someday, but I think I'd prefer to wait and see if I receive any amount of success with the book before I try it. Maybe I'll do some Heroclix-type figures before stepping up to full-sized action figures, but that's still going to be a while.
I'm still planning to finish the show's various titles and logo images, but I think it'll be a little while before I finish any more of them. I need to rework a number of the logos I've already shared here. And probably redo that terrible Flashback page.
Friday, April 28, 2017
You can guess which one is better remembered.