Saturday, November 21, 2009

Q & Ages 25 & Up #11: November 2009

Previous Q&ANext Q&A

It's time for some more questions! Let's see how many I can answer in an honest, meaningful way.

Question #1 - Monkeywrench asks:
When will the Original 13 all appear together in the same comic? I’m a OG13 geek and would personally love to see this happen.

1337W422102 answers:
I'm a massive O13 geek. I wrote a guide on a friend's website about how to assemble your O13 and make them '82 accurate. Granted, I took some liberties with mine, doing what I felt suits the character rather than straight-up being accurate. For example, I gave Steeler a pump-action shotgun, the one that came with Muskrat back in the day, as I felt that the tank driver should have a gun that's sorta like a tank. Slow, but powerful and intimidating. The original Steeler came with an Uzi. I spent 3 years tracking down the O13 members. I started back with the Valor Vs Venom Classic Comic 3-packs. Naturally, I couldn't get them all as they didn't make them all, but I finally managed to get all of the 25th O13, thanks in no small part to my friends Joebern28, Homer, and The David Harris! If I were struck by a car again tomorrow, I'd at least feel like I've accomplished something.

Crap, I'm off-topic. I have an idea about featuring them all in a comic together. I generally don't like the comics to have huge casts as I can't deal with all the characters well enough, but I DO want to make a comic with the O13. Not sure yet just when, but it's on my to-do list!

Question #2 - Monkeywrench asks:
Will there be a Christmas special this year?

1337W422102 answers:
Of course not! Humbug!

Just kidding. Yup, I will make a "Holiday Special" again this year. Let's give ol' Snow Job some screen time!

Question #3 - Monkeywrench asks:
Seeing the 10th Q & A in comic form was a nice treat. How long had you been planning that special issue?

1337W422102 answers:
Since I realized that the Q&A was reaching the double-digits, I thought we should celebrate! I was originally going to have that comic come out in the same week as a regular comic (because I REALLY wanted to have the answers out in November), but it was just too much work...

Question # 4 - thatjimboguy asks:
I’m a huge BattleTech fan as well as a G.I. Joe fan. Are there any more plans to include more BT references in future stories?

1337W422102 answers:
Another fan of the Shattered Sphere? Verily, you have good taste, Trueborn! Kerensky would most certainly approve!

In honour of BattleTech's 25th anniversary, I made the S.N.A.K.E. Eater story arc, which is filled with BTech references, particularly in the character of the S.N.A.K.E. Eater himself, "one of Cobra's most honourable Trueborn warriors," as described by Destro in Part 2 of the arc.

Is there more BattleTech content in scanning range? Let me put it this way, wetnose - Kerensky will return!

Question #5 - TU482 asks:
Any plans to start a moustached group to battle or team up with the Beard Force? Think about it: Bazooka, Recondo, Cutter, Wild Bill, Gung Ho, Roadblock, Stalker and Zap. I noticed this in the '80s and thought it was awesome. Keep up the good work. I look forward to new strips!

1337W422102 answers:
Thanks, TU482! I remember you mentioned the Moustache Marauders a while back and I haven't forgotten about them. Beard Force isn't the ONLY appearance-based Joe subgroup that will show up in the A25Universe. I'm just waiting for the right time and reason to introduce them. And they'd need a good Cobra opponent, too. I'd suggest "Faceless Force," but that would count for at least 95% of Cobra!

Question # 6 - Topside asks:
Would you consider taking the current story international and include Union Jack or Captain Britain? Oktober Guard? Big Ben?

1337W422102 answers:
The only "international" figure I have so far is Union Jack. I don't even have a Guardian from Alpha Flight yet as he hasn't been released in my area yet! Things will remain local, for now anyway. But when I get Guardian, I'll introduce him. He and Union Jack and Captain America are all roommates, living in a building on Embassy Street.

Question #7 - Topside asks:
I know people keep asking about this (because it was so good): when are you going do another serious story? I think you’ve shown that you are more than capable at writing darker stuff.

1337W422102 answers:
I find the funny and/or silly stuff to be easier to write, and frankly a lot more fun to. Serious stuff tends to feel like bad fan fiction when I write it, and I don't want to make you guys read crap you're not going to like. A light-hearted Joe-related strip to start the weekend is what I like to provide.

That being said, I did have a great time with the Black Ops story as it was just so different from what I'm used to. I wrote many scripts during my time as a film student, and I'm thinking of adapting one into a comic. Changing the characters and situation to something Cobra-esque is proving to be a little tricky, though. One of the main characters might have to become Rezzy-T, the street-talkin' Resolute Trooper, but I fear that will greatly detract from the seriousness of the story. Then again, that particular character was the funny one...

I'm thinking about it, and trying to w0rk on it. This particular story would only last for a single issue, but it'd be very different than the other comics I've made so far!

Question #8 - Topside asks:
Do you have a sculpt preference? O-ring, Valor vs Venom, or Modern?

1337W422102 answers:
I'm probably going to take a lot of flak for this, but I really don't like the idea of the O-Ring designs. The articulation and range of motion was fantastic for the time; hell, even today there are figures that aren't that articulated. I mean, a lot of the modern Joes can't bend their arms 90 degrees! And don't get me started on those Mattel and Playmates figures that still use T-crotches!

The figures were held together quite strongly, with 3 screws and... a rubber band? The most important structural element of the figure is a thin piece of malleable rubber? What a terrible idea. Sure, it was fun to spin 'em around have them deliver Hurricane Kicks (Street Fighter FTW), but we all know the bands were prone to breakage, and as a kid, when a band broke, bye-bye figure. Plus, it's not like that joint served any articulation purpose: the O-Ring would return the figure's torso to the default position.

I really enjoy the detail and articulation of the contemporary figures. Elements like ankle and wrist joints are the stuff I've been dreaming of for years. But, I DO miss the backpack screw as cracking the newschool Joes' bodies is NOT a walk in a park, even with fancy methods, boiling water, and wrapped-up socks. I also don't like how the arms can't bend 90 degrees on most figures. I often find myself shaving off little bits of plastic from the lower bicep to improve the elbow joint.

Question #9 - G.I.Eddie asks:
It was nice to see the MOBAT make an appearance… any chance that it will show up again? Or better yet (me being a fan of true 1:18 scale vehicles), could we possibly see some accurate military might for the Joes to ride in style?

1337w422102 answers:
We shall see the Joes' MOBAT tank (and its driver, Steeler) again. I don't have any accurate military vehicles other than a Little Bird I got for Wild Bill and the Black Hawk from the Black Ops story.

Question # 10 - G.I.Eddie asks:
Are there any strips that you can share with us that hit the cutting room floor for whatever reason? Be it not what you were hoping for, too risky, too brutal etc etc.

1337W422102 answers:
Oh yeah. I don't like scrapping stories, but sometime I just have to. I was going to write one about the "Rescue Doc" mail-in promotion, with Clutch getting pissed off at the Cobra Commander's ransom demands. "So we're supposed to hire six pairs of new recruits to get Doc back? Why don't we just hire a new medic for that much?!" A not-so-subtle (nor funny) jab at the costs involved (proof-of-purchases from 6 Comic Packs). But the promotion ended, and I already used Doc in the Clutch Can't Get it Updated story, so I scrapped that.

Another one I was planning was "Ask a Cobra Viper," in which Vipers answer fan mail. Basically, it was to be my response to people bitching about the Viper arms. Take figures like Hauser or Gung Ho, who couldn't even hold their guns, much less bend their damn arms. Then, there's the Viper, whose arms were shaped specifically for him to hold his weapon in a natural-looking aiming stance. And people STILL bitched. The comic was going to have a Viper lose his patience (an analogue for me being angry), followed by some diagrams about how to get your Viper to hold his gun properly, the one thing a Viper would be expected to do. Rotate the right forearm one ratchet notch closer to his body than the default pose, then with a bit of adjusting, he could hold the rifle properly, either cradling the body with his left hand, or using the grenade mag as a grip. Then, there'd be photos of Vipers doing other stuff, like playing guitar, riding a bike, etc. I never got around to doing it, so I just dropped it.
Click to see full size
I was also thinking of making a comic version of my reaction to rickroll that was Resolute, with Hauser being put on trial for disobeying Hawk's orders ("You were just supposed to bring the Flagg to New York for Veteran's Day!"), for sexual harassing Scarlett, for destroying "a nice little town" with some kind of laser weapon, and for general un-Joe-like conduct ("We kill the Cobra Commader." - wait, WHAT?) I decided against it, though.

Other ideas, I shelved rather than canceled. Some require more figures or vehicles I don't have yet, others require me to build sets for put the characters in, others just need more time to think about and flesh out better. One of the stories that got shelved but ended up seeing the light of day was the short story that appeared at the beginning of File # 50, the Ages 25 & Up Yearbook.

Hope the answers were good enough! A big thank-you to Monkeywrench, thatjimboguy, TU482, Topside, and G.I.Eddie for asking me some questions! See you this weekend for more mayhem with Captain America!

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