Thursday, August 13, 2009

Q & Ages 25 & Up #8

Previous Q&ANext Q&A

Once again, Monkeywrench and the gang from the forums had some questions on their minds. Here's this month's Q&A session!

Question #1 - Foolproof asks:
So it’s been a year and 50 issues. How do you feel about how far you’ve come? Do you feel like you’ve grown as a writer and a photographer?

As a photographer, definitely. I studied photography and film in college and worked a photographer before university. Despite that, I was still able to mess up.

When I first started the comic, it wasn't a regular thing at all. It was just something fun I would do one in a while for my friends over at the Mandalorian Guilds [then the Customizers' Universe]. I was aiming for speed, so I didn't really care about framing, composition, lighting, etc. You know, important stuff like that!

Just take a look at File #01, "The Update Gambit." It's overexposed as hell, the camera angle is awful, and it's clearly shot on a desktop. You can see my mouse in the last panel, and the packaging from my Masterpiece Starscream [who would later be featured in the Plastic Gear Solid arc] is visible in a few panels. And I didn't even bother to white balance File #04 "In the Clutches of Death"! I didn't think about colour-correcting it in Photoshop, either. Crap like that wouldn't fly now.

In terms of writing, well, writing's hard. My main trouble is getting to the point! I usually just write too much and have to cut a lot, or change dialogue to be more concise. Stuff like Plastic Gear is especially guilty. I hard a hard time walking the line between source-material accuracy and comedy, and some issues would drag on and on with dialogue... Sorry about that!

Question #2 - Foolproof asks:
Do you plan on using any Rise of Cobra figures in future comics? They’re pretty nifty and well-articulated!

You bet! A few of them might show up from time to time. I'm not crazy about this toy line and most of the figures that I do have are for customizing as they look so incredibly generic, but there are some gems, like Shipwreck. Sweet Poseidon, that guy is made of win, once you get rid of the gimmick-launcher and the hideous rifle.

He holds his knife in his left hand, and the grooves on the hilt match up with his fingers when the knife is held upside-down. And his firearm? A Desert Eagle, one of the most badass handguns in existence. I assumed he'd use a Glock or another sidearm that can fire underwater, but a Deagle? That's how badass The Ship is - he can use a Desert Eagle UNDERWATER. Plus, his flippers and mask strap on rather realistically, the backpack looks great, and Polly's been painted even better than her 5-pack version. I think Shipwreck's shortpacked, so if you see him, GET HIM!

I also reviewed the Cobra Party Van with Motor Viper the other day, and I like to think of the Motor Viper as Rezzy-T's cousin from Detroit. He'll find his way into the comic somehow.

Question #3 - Poptart13 asks:
Will the Space Channel 5 figures be making a reappearance? Ulala for the win!

Up, down, up, down, chu-chu-chu! Ulala's had a few appearances so far. She was in the crowd during Destro's Silent Auction. We learned in File #24 that she works for CUNL News along with Dick Wanker, though they might be more than colleagues. File #33 revealed her relationship with Clutch, Pudding, and Evila. When we last saw her in File #42, Shipwreck was trying to sweep her off her feet in a bar.

She gets around, it seems, and to answer your question, we will see her again! Pudding and Evila will probably show up again, too.

Question #4 - Nekoman asks:
Personally, how do you feel about the differences between the vintage o-ring construction and the 25th? Are there ever moments when you slightly miss the o-rings?

Vintage? 12" Joes had o-rings?

Just messing with you.

Do I ever miss the o-rings? Oh, heck no. What a terrible design flaw that is, to make the most crucial structural element of the product out of a malleable, easily breakable material which sags and/or breaks over time.

I had a lot of fun with them as a kid, though: twisting legs around for Hurricane Kicks and whatnot. But snapped o-rings ruined many a figure in my day, and even now, I'll go through my bins of Joes and Cobras, looking for a character for a comic and I'll find someone in half, dried-up elastic protruding from a hole in their torsos.

From a purely structural point of view, no, I don't miss the o-ring. From a nostalgia-goggles point of view, maybe a bit, but negligibly so. They were fun for Spinning Bird Kicks, but even as a kid, I was annoyed that the elastic joint couldn't keep a pose.

What I do miss is the backpack screw. Man, I HATE cracking torsos...

Question #5 - Nekoman asks:
A little idea I’ve had for a while is a comic about Duke. I know you hate him, which is why I think it could be hilarious. Especially what Snake-Eyes might do to him... What are your thoughts?

Speaking of people breaking in half--!

To be perfectly honest, I don't know if I'd be able to write something good with that character. I think it'd just come off as me complaining [as usual!] or it'd be something wrong and/or not funny, like Duke being on trial for trying to do things to Scarlett.

Love his Resolute figure, though!

Question #6 - Monkeywrench asks:
Hawk was last seen as a General. Will you continue to use his General 25th figure or will you continue to use his Original 13 figure?

Hawk wore his General uniform when he appeared on the late-night talk show Up Real F#$%ing Late with Fred XLII because he "felt that green fatigues wouldn't be appropriate for national television."

I think I'll keep using his Original 13 figure for when he's "at work." It has a much better arms! Besides, I haven't painted the General figure's hair blond yet, and the head seems more like Duke than Hawk to me...

Question #7 - Monkeywrench asks:
When can we expect to see Cobra Commander again?

Saturday! He will star in the next comic, which I should probably say has a special guest writer for a good chunk of it.

Question #8 - Monkeywrench asks:
What’s the status on Beard Force? Do they have any adventures lined up? Will they be a continued ongoing arc? Is there a new recruit coming? Perhaps Outback?

As far as we know, Beard Force is still active. We haven't heard about them since their last "scouting operation" and Clutch's mission to retrieve the missing "intel" in two-part "Cards, Knives, & Videotape" story.

I recently got the Vehicle Pack with Outback, so he COULD join the team - if he wanted to! File #32 explains that "[w]hen offered a Beard Force membership, Outback commented, 'you gotta be f&*@ing shitting me,' and flat-out refused." But then again, in File #49, we learn from Hawk just how wimpy Outback seems to have become. Maybe being indefinitely assigned to a team as testosterone-fuelled as Beard Force is just what ol' Stuart needs!

Well, that's it for another Q & Ages. Thanks to everyone who asked questions, and to all of you for reading. New comic goes up Saturday! See you then.

Previous Q&ANext Q&A

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