Posted December 29, 2005 at 4:01 am

I got all three Beast Wars 10th Anniversary (BWX) toys and Alternators Skids while I was home in Indiana. Yay, Valparaiso Wal-Mart!

I haven't seen any comparison photos between the original versions and the anniversary versions, so maybe I'll do some later. For now, have a uselessly tiny one.
Posted December 27, 2005 at 6:29 am
So it's Armageddon Week on the History Channel! After we did the gifts and food thing today, Maggie and I, thinking we were biding our time until Daily Show repeats, watched a special on the Anti-Christ.

It was hilarious. Why? Well, the same reason any History Channel documentary is awesome -- dramatizations. Their Anti-Christ fellow was great. Dark hair, long side burns, clean-shaven, and always wearing a very nice suit. He walked city streets in slow motion. Sometimes the camera would turn around him as he looked up into the heavens, arms outstretched. Other times his eyes would go all white and milky as he grinned evilly into the camera. And my favorite shot is the one of him running at you from a distance (in the same city street) in slow motion, arms outstretched, teeth in a snarl.

These were, of course, punctuated with shots featuring an actor playing Jesus upon his return. A guy in a beard and a white robe stalked some sort of open desert, and would stop only to open wide his arms for an unreciprocated embrace...never directly at the camera, but slightly off to the right, addressing an unseen audience. Was one actually there? Who knows. Jesus might be back already, but he's wandering around New Mexico and nobody's noticed.

Maybe he should have hit the streets like Mr. 666. There were people there. Remember, there's three rules in End-Times Strategy: Location, location, location.
Posted December 25, 2005 at 7:40 pm
Well, here I am at the airport, waiting for my flight to start boarding, so I decided to update Shortpacked! a little early. It's Christmas, after all! And if you don't know what's going on, you didn't watch enough TBN when you grew up. All I'm gonna say is that all those time-travelling kids in the Bible have got to start tripping over each other eventually. They can't all help David defeat Goliath.

My taxi guy was on time, very nice, and got me to the airport swiftly. Big tip for him! And gosh dang, it's rainy today. Rainy and warm and gray. (Well, by now, dark...) Christmas shouldn't be rainy and warm and gray!

I hear it's freezing cold in Chicago.

Man, I gotta pee.
Posted December 24, 2005 at 11:00 pm
Yeah. Probably shouldn't have gotten that Faygo "Chocolate Cream Pie" soda. Yeugh.

Just one or two nights left in this bed of mine. And that's good, because I'm getting worse and worse at sleeping in it. I tried at around 5am, gave up around 6, and then wandered over to the local CVS at around 8 to get some sleeping pills. Still didn't fall asleep until about 10. Yikes.


Hey, here's a lesson for the kiddies. You ever wondered why Hasbro gets a leary of revealing info on toys early? I think I got a textbook case for you. At BotCon in September, we were shown an early test shot of Alternator's Mirage. And, hey, look, lo and behold, guess what went up on Happy Well's website (not Firefox friendly)? Yeah. Their own Ford GT Transformer that's practically the same damn transformation and everything. D'oh. Well, now we know.

(Though, hey, the website says theirs is 1:12 scale. Dude, that's big enough to work with 6-inch figures.)

Everyone in the Columbus area is gone home for Christmas, so I've been holding down the fort myself. It'll be that way until tomorrow afternoon, when I get on a plane to Chicago, where I'll meet up with Maggie and my dad and stepmom. Hoorah!

Today I learned how to order a taxi. Hrm. "Order"? Is that the correct term? Rent, maybe? Hell if I know.
Posted December 23, 2005 at 3:16 pm
What, there's no Laser Magnus fanart yet? Well, I fixed that!

In the UK Transformers comics, Galvatron was an unstoppable tsunami of evil, almost a force of nature. He'd travel back to the 80s from ... well, now, actually, to fuck people up. And always, there'd be Ultra Magnus, throwing himself suicidally at Galvatron in futile attempts to stop him. My drawing is a homage to a panel in one of the issues in Target: 2006, drawn by my childhood hero Geoff Senior. Magnus, in his new body, finally comes out on top, triumphant.

Although Geoff Senior was my favorite artist as a kid, I think I appreciate him even more now. His linework is almost Bruce Timm-ish in its simple dynamism. He uses straight lines, abstract shapes, and an isometric attempt at camera angles to convey raw action. If you compare my art to his, mine is weakened by not being abstract enough. On his, Galvatron has this line of motion running across his shoulders up his lifted arm that I've pretty much destroyed by drawing more of Magnus' actual contours. And look how he gets away with drawing Magnus' right arm from the top down. There's no way that arm can even connect to his torso that way, but look how striking it makes his pose. If it wasn't drawn like that, the effect would be lessened.

I'm 26 and I'm still in awe.

There's a new Shortpacked! today, of course. Next week I'll be out of town, and so we'll be running some stand-alones I've been building up. Which is too bad, actually, since after completing today's strip, I suddenly had an urge to have Amber take Robin home for Christmas. But not only do I not have time to draw that before I leave, but it would further delay the end to this Faz story, and I've already had enough single-day-gag delays along the way.

I'm having a little trouble balancing the story and the strike-of-the-moment gags. By the end of It's Walky!, I'd abandoned single-day gags entirely, devoting myself completely to the service of the ongoing story. But I don't wanna do that here. I like being able to take a break to draw Batman or Aslan or whatever's in fashion. It's freeing. But, at the same time, I also lose a lot of story potential. The fact that I only update 3 times a week contributes to that too, but I don't think I can do full-page color more often than I do already. Damn.

And lastly, have an oldie but a goodie. Don't cry out loud.
Posted December 21, 2005 at 2:33 am


So, yeah, Hasbro released images of Beast Wars 10th Anniversary wave 2 today. Oh damn, my pants are full. This is some hot shit. Tarantulas (though renamed "Predacon Tarantulus" for some reason...) looks beautiful. His head is all painted up purple and gold and green. Now that's the stuff, man. That's vivid. And check out that Rattrap! While they didn't have to change much to make him show accurate, the whiter limbs offer a dazzling value contrast. Mmmm. Too bad about the chrome. And wow, Dinobot. Finally they've painted your legs. It's not exactly show-accurate, but it's the best he's looked for sure. Daaayamn.

Dudes. Order a set. Now.

And since it's a Beast Wars day, have a preview of the first 12 pages of IDW's Beast Wars #1. (Any moment now, I suspect I will hear Derik Smith yeargh in continuity frustration. Possibly.)

And oh yeah, I guess there was a Shortpacked! tonight, which I must have drawn during some hazy point today when I wasn't busy masturbating to these.
Posted December 20, 2005 at 7:25 pm

I got my
Blank Label Comics 2006 calendar in the mail today. It's terrific! It's enabled me to become much more jealous over the art skills of my fellow Blanks. Man, that inkwork blown up to calendar size is amazing. I'm looking at you, Brad Guigar. And at the rest of you, who I can't bother to remember the names of.

I do 2.3333~ pieces of art in this calendar. One each for Shortpacked! and Joyce & Walky!, and I pencilled the collaborative group shot piece for January. (Steve Troop did the inking and Paul Southworth colored the thing.) Not only do you get awesome art from each of us, but you get extra holidays! Now you can take off work for Howard Taylor's birthday and Kris Straub Launches Starship Crisis Day. It's like being Jewish! Even Your Mom's Day is included.

Get one! Seriously. It is mighty.
Posted December 19, 2005 at 12:52 am
Beast Wars 10th Anniversary toys have started showing up in midwestern Wal-Marts, bringing along with them the next wave of Alternators. Skids, Sunstreaker (both new), Tracks (brought back 'cuz he was really scarce), and Prowl (good as new) are in this assortment, so it's a damn good set to buy a case of, if you are so inclined. I will be after Skids like a mo'fo'. Sure, he was barely in the cartoon, but in the comic he got washed by sexy cowgirls, so he didn't come off half bad. (At last year's OTFCC, we asked writer/creator Bob Budiansky if that scene was intended to be as provocative as it appears. It was. Score!)

There's more Kong in this week's free Joyce and Walky!. I realized too late (and was brought to my senses by an anonymous forum poster) that my latest limited print should have been Kong-inspired. I mean, c'mon, I have a giant robot monkey. And a cute blonde, I'm pretty sure. So I'll probably do it as a J&W! members-only wallpaper as a consolation prize.

Today's Shortpacked! was inevitable, considering there's apparently a War on Christmas waging in the battlefields of our retail stores. This month's strips sure have been Jesusy. Must be something about the time of year...
Posted December 16, 2005 at 5:33 pm
eHobby is redecoing their reissue of G2 Laser Optimus Prime as Laser Ultra Magnus. Yes, that's right. Why? Because eHobby is freakin' awesome, that's why. I might have to buy it. He's just a photoshop alteration here, but I predict the final product will be totally spankin'.

(If there's a sticker on the trailer depicting Laser Magnus burning down a forest, it's a guaranteed sale.)

And, hey, check out this Vader statue. I'd never buy it, but I've always been a sucker for that pose. I mean, dude, Head Alien.
Posted December 16, 2005 at 1:19 am

It's true! Beast Wars is 10 years old! Celebrate with some 10th Anniversary figures! I will be getting all of them. Every single one. And I will bathe in them.

And though I do have enough Justice League figures to bathe in by now, I wonder why. As I mentioned Wednesday, I picked up two new three-packs. The first had Copperhead, Lex Luthor, and Mirror Master. I've been jonesing for Copperhead for a long while now. He's awesome. Also, orange. And you know me and orange. Despite that tail of his, he stands better than most normal guys. And speaking of normal guys and my growing JLU-collecting regret, Lex Luthor has a problem. His legs appear to be of DIFFERENT LENGTHS. Perhaps one of them is merely warped, I don't know. But he doesn't stand upright. He's from one of those V8 commercials, apparently. God damn. Mirror Master, amazingly, stands perfectly fine.

God damn, Luthor. Just when I thought I had seen it all...

The other set is three of the Justice Lords, an amoral version of the Justice League from a parallel dimension. Of the three, only Wonder Woman's head is a new part. Everything else is merely repainted, which means that we can see Batman and Superman's molded boot-and-pant lines under their new costumes. D'oh.

Why do I keep buying these? BECAUSE I LOVE JUSTICE LEAGUE.

'Scuse me while I go out and look for the Green Lantern 3-pack, Supergirl, and Steel.