Only after I completed this comic did I realize that I had forgotten to include Masoch’s robot, Slave-2, who vanished after appearing early in “The Search.” I guess I can rationalize it as Slave-2 being off-panel with Mascoh’s ship somewhere!
Archive for ‘Amarillo’
“Post-Search” was originally the last four comics of “The Search.” I just split them off because I felt like having some fun with Schwartz and the Galanos brothers first. Although I still have one longer script from back when I wrote it four years ago, I’m trying to keep stories to three or four comics if possible. With only one new page a week (and hoping I can keep up that pace), I don’t want to spend too much time in one place. It’s also a challenge to myself to trim some of the fat – keep the better jokes and move the narrative along. I think the days of 22-part video game wrestling sagas and epic adventures with The Smurfs are behind us.
A brick comic maker’s dilemma: Use LEGO for all sets or let your characters mingle among non-brick objects? Aside from the characters, ships, some buildings and occasional other set pieces, I definitely fall in the latter category. I commonly shoot in front of a TV or computer screen (not always successful, but it does add a nice glow). And I really enjoy creating settings out of other household objects, such as my wife’s mermaid blanket and a frisbee in this comic. On one hand, it is a little weird to see brick characters and ships among objects that are from a non-brick-based universe. lol But on the other hand, it does fit the nature of a comic starring toys, and the ways kids play with them around the house – on the kitchen table, on top of a bed, in the backyard, etc. I freely admit that I don’t always take the time to create elaborate sets and instead go for what will allow me to complete the comic in a timely manner. I don’t mind letting expressionism supersede detail or realism. But I’m fond of the look of my pages that ditch the computer/TV screen in favor of a cardboard backdrop of stars and other objects that suggest environment. And of course, the most important thing to me is manipulating the minifigures in ways that convey emotion despite being fairly limited and static. I want it all to feel alive, you know?
AWESOME news this past week! The sequel to “The LEGO Movie” will be a musical… set in SPACE! I of course wonder if LEGO will delve back into Classic Space for the film, seeing as they already introduced Benny and his “SPACESHIP!” in the first installment.
It’s funny when I think back to 2008, when this comic began. My idea was to create a story for the classic LEGO Space sets, which were released in a time when The LEGO Group presented most of their building sets with little context and let kids’ imagination fill in the blanks. This comic was just my (adult) take on it. And when this comic was created, those classic Space sets were pretty much just a nostalgic memory for most people. Today, LEGO has homaged and referred to Classic Space so many times, and possibly will now feature it in a new film, that I feel like I’m creating fan fiction more than ever. But although this comic clearly features classic LEGO sets, I like to think that the characters, stories and humor stand on their own!
So, there have been a couple little LEGO movies during my hiatus from the comic. I was thrilled to see classic Lego Space get some love via Benny and his “SPACESHIP!” Even if it means people reading this comic will now think of Benny whenever they see Ronald Galanos. lol
This is the comic that I previewed in outline format when I was interviewed awhile back on Brick Comic Network.
The miniature model of the Stardefender 2000 that I’m using for distance shots was designed by Legostein, who has mastered building LEGO ships in the miniature scale. He has graciously given me his blessing to use his designs in the comic, and you can see a gallery of his Classic LEGO Space models at this link. Legostein has a unique building style that manages to capture the essence of the original ships with a handful of parts, and I believe the use of his designs will help me in creating an illusion of depth in my photos. Although his Classic Space ships aren’t up there yet, the “Mini Ships” button link at left has more of his designs from other properties like Star Trek, Star Wars and Stargate.
I’ve been on my usual slight summer hiatus, obviously, partially due to being busy and partially due to the complexity of planning and shooting the space scenes in this part of the story. (I’m enjoying the way they’ve come out so far…) Summer is so fleeting, especially when you’re seemingly the lone guy in the region that loves extreme heat and humidity. I’ve been making an effort to walk outside and go swimming as much as possible. I become miserable when the long, long months of cold weather begin, but at least they afford me more time to do comics.
This story has been brewing all the way back to the third comic I did.
This one’s for you, Tim!
Have you ever had a friend that, on paper, you should have nothing in common with? That’s the way it seems with me and my friend Craig. He pretty much lived a rock ‘n roll lifestyle without actually being a musician, and I’ve always been more into nerdy and quitter pursuits, which he gently makes fun of. But we’ve been friends ever since we worked together more than a decade ago, and spend long hours talking on the phone (since he lives in another state) about topics such as music, wrestling, old sitcoms and the nature of the universe. Craig was a big fan of the ribald sitcom Two and a Half Men, which led him to watch Big Bang Theory since it was made by the same creator. But he was really lost by all the Star Trek references, and actually became curious about the topic. He had never seen one second of Star Trek, and asked me for advice on which ones to watch. I was shocked, and also realized my responsibility in steering him toward good selections, and most certainly anything that wasn’t Voyager. He was already a fan of William Shatner from the actor’s various hosting gigs, so I strongly suggested he watch Wrath of Khan. As I had hoped for, Craig thought it was fantastic. He was very surprised that he liked it so much, and quickly began watching the rest of the movies with the original cast (even Star Trek V, which I warned him about and it pretty much shook him with how bad it was). He then began watching The Original Series, which I suspected he wouldn’t like be a big fan of since it’s a bit different than the films, but he ate those up, watching the whole series within weeks and hungering for more. I tried to get him into Next Generation, but he felt the crew just didn’t have the same chemistry as Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the bunch. Even in the worst episodes of the original show, it was fun spending time with those characters, he said. Craig lamented one time during his Trek marathon, “Here we go, babeless in Boca and another Star Trek movie. This is how it begins… noticed there’s a comic store on 441.” So, maybe his life has swung around a bit… He mused how Trek is an excellent escape when things in your life aren’t at their best, and I agreed that a lot of people feel that way about it. He also stated that he now considered Star Trek as one of his favorite shows, so I felt proudly that my mission was accomplished.
One of my fondest memories of Sesame Street is the Martians or Yips Yips, as I’ve seen them alternatively called. There was something both lovable and creepy about these googly-eyed, big-mouthed aliens, just like so much else on Sesame Street. The blue and pink fuzzy Martians would hover into some empty room of a house on their mission of discovery and immediately try to make first contact with some inanimate “Earthling” like a grandfather clock or a radio. Although they mostly talked in strange utterances like “Yip yip” and “Uh huh Uh Huh,” they would usually whip out a guide book in an effort to identify the “creature” they found and speak with it. I think one of the funniest and most surreal moments is when they mistake a house phone for in sequence a cow, a cat and a chicken and then try holding a conversation by respectively mooing, meowing and clucking. These segments of the show usually gave me the unsettling impression that some kid like me had just left the room to grab a popsicle or something before these aliens had suddenly appeared at the window and invaded the living room. If you have no clue as to what I’m yammering about, go check out the Yips Yips HERE and HERE. By the way, the Yip Yips featured in this comic are homemade refrigerator magnets I bought on eBay a couple of years ago. (Unfortunately, they no longer seem to be available as I type this.) That’s how long I’ve had this particular comic in mind.