Sunday, 30 June 2013

M.A.S.K. Comic UK Issue 12

Another issue, another V.E.N.O.M. cover as issue 12 of M.A.S.K. hits the newsagents dated 28th March - 10th April 1987.

Table of Contents -

  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Battle in the Arctic" Part 1 (B&W with Blue Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "Stop The Falls!" Conclusion (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Maelstrom Mayhem" Part 2 (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Slingshot
  • Five Pages - "Project Dinosaur" Part 5 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Single Page - Letters Page
  • Single Page - MASK Art
  • Single Page - Jackrabbit Mask Cut Out
  • Four Pages - "UFO Over Africa" Part 3 (B&W)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
Sly Rax is gloating on the front cover that Miles Mayhem is going to control all of Britain's weather as we see a Tornado hitting London and a North Sea Oil Rig being destroyed.  Meanwhile, on the back cover, Cliff Dagger is asking who Sly Rax is speaking to on the Front cover.  We also see a Hovercraft being stuck in between Icebergs on the English Channel and flood in a town.

You may notice the name "Hastings" written on the back of this issue.  For those of you not in the UK, it is quite common for Newsagents to reserve or deliver comics, newspapers and magazines.  I had bought a second copy of comics from Ebay a while ago and I'm using these copies for my review so that I can keep my originals safe and secure.  I do occasionally use my originals and you'll know them if they have a number "70" on them as this was our box number at the newsagents.

Matt Trakker, Bruce Sato and and Brad Turner are aboard the P.N.A. Ice Patrol Ship Osprey as Part One of "Battle in the Arctic!" opens up this issue.  On the hunt for another ship lost at sea, the Alexander Scott, Matt makes a promise of not abandoning their search until she and are crew are found.

Bruce notices that one of the Icebergs in the flow changes course to intercept them as Miles Mayhem in Switchblade and Floyd Malloy on Vampire exit from the "fake" iceberg and attack.  The bridge and crew of the P.N.A. ship are destroyed as V.E.N.O.M. make their attack.  Matt orders Bruce to use his Lifter Mask to lift some smaller icebergs to act as a shield - whilst Brad Turner's Hocus Pocus Mask generates a hologram of a massive polar bear that causes Vampire to crash into Switchblade as Floyd Malloy attempts to evade it.

Matt and Bruce take off in Thunderhawk as Brad takes to the air in Condor chasing their foes back to the fake iceberg.  Matt Trakker uses Spectrum's "Freefall" capability to enter the closing rooftop doors of the iceberg and comes under heavy fire.  As Floyd tries to take him out using his Buckshot Mask, he accidentally takes out his own men and aids Matt Trakker inadvertently.  However, more V.E.N.O.M. agents are soon on the scene and surround Matt Trakker with they automatic rifles firing; will there be any escape for our M.A.S.K. Leader?

From one disaster to another, as Matt Trakker is falling into the Zambezi River in Africa as we conclude with our colour story "Stop the Falls!"

Dusty Hayes tells Hondo MacLean to pick him up - but Hondo is stricken in Gator's Hydroplane as she has taken some damage.  Miles Mayhem takes the opportunity to attack the rest of the M.A.S.K. team but Dusty uses his Backlash Mask to thwart their plans.  

Matt manages to grab hold of a floating  branch to keep himself above the water but Sly Rax in Piranha's Submarine appears in front of him.  However, Rax is unaware he is quickly approaching the Victoria Falls behind him and can't manage to save himself as he and Piranha are swept over the Falls.  Matt then manages to grab onto a rock stopping him from the same fate as Rax but he's not out of a danger as a tree stump is being swept down the fast moving river towards him...

Brad Turner on Condor comes to Matt's aid but soon come under attack from Miles Mayhem in Switchblade.  Mayhem leaves his attack too late and crashes into the Falls.  As the story closes we see Dagger and Rax climbing a set of stairs in a cavern behind the Falls believing they have lost their Leader - not so.  Mayhem managed to get through the Falls and land Switchblade in the cavern to fight another day.

The Severn Bridge lies destroyed at the beginning of "Maelstrom Mayhem".  There are many people trapped underneath and Matt drops some Magnetic Bombs onto the structure.  As he explodes the bombs, Bruce Sato uses his Lifter Mask to lift the people clear.

 Matt Calls up the team to come and help them out and  we see the assemble team leave from the M.A.S.K. Boulder Hill Headquarters.

The team of Dr Julio Lopez in Firefly, Brad Turner on Condor, Dusty Hayes and Hondo MacLean in Gator and Buddie Hawks and Alex Sector round up the team in Rhino!

Another amazing image that we have become accustomed to in our Fortnightly M.A.S.K. comic.

Miles Mayhem broadcasts on all TV and Radio stations advising the public that unless he is made both King and Prime Minister of Great Britain then he will strike more targets across Britain.

Soon, a freak storm destroys the outer walls of Dartmoor Prison allowing all manner of criminals escape to cause more chaos.  Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato are soon on the scene and manage to deal with the prisoners and round them all up.  As the police arrive we find out that Bruce has used his Lifter Mask on them and the criminals are all hanging from a Steeple Tower - begging to be put back into prison.

As we finish off this issue, Matt asks the question "...but where is Mayhem going to strike next?"...

We then move onto our Centre Page Spread - this weeks Pin Up is Slingshot; piloted by Ace Riker whilst wearing his Ricochet Mask.

Whether you describe it as an RV (recreational vehicle), camper van or caravanette, there is no denying that in action mode, Slingshot is a fearsome fighting machine.  An array of impressive weaponry and a one man jet I always liked Slingshot, however, felt it was a vehicle that should've had a co-pilot to man the RV component whilst Ace took to the air in the Jet.

Described as a Surveillance Unit, this is how it is used in my script.

Matt and his team return to base in "Project Dinosaur" believing they have manage to thwart Mayhem's plans to steal dinosaur eggs.  However, one egg survived and Miles Mayhem in Switchblade, Cliff Dagger in Jackhammer and Sly Rax in Piranaha manage to flee to safety.

Julio Lopez is on patrol on the US Pacific Coastline on the hunt for a V.E.N.O.M. base.  Just as he reports back to base that he can't find anything, Vampire emerges from a hidden bunker and an air battle ensues.

Matt is soon in the air in Thunderhawk to fly to his comrades aid but will it be to late as Miles Mayhem arrives back and has an unsuspecting Julio in his sights...

Following on from a recent post, we have our MASKart page.  There are some interesting images of our M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M. favourites in this issue.  Remember, if you wish to submit your own MASKart for my page, the feel free to e-mail me.  I'm not going to be offer you a fiver, but would be great to see your art and post it on my blog.

Brad Turner on Vampire and Floyd Malloy on Vampire in the midst of a dog fight in "UFO over Africa". Despite using his Hocus Pocus Mask to create numerous images of himself to confuse his opponent - Floyd isn't perturbed by this as he uses Vampires "Boomerang Atom Blaster" to seek out the real Condor.  The strike hits Condors rotor causing her to fall from the sky.

Bruno Sheppard in Stinger, Cliff Dagger in Jackhammer and Sly Rax in Piranha continue their attack on a truck carrying Diamonds now that the air threat from Condor has gone.

As Dagger and Rax return to there vehicles with their haul of diamonds, they can't find their vehicles and Dagger remarks that they have been stolen.  Rax advises him that there seems to be some "Hocus Pocus" as their vehicles were left in the middle of the road where there are now bushes.

Bruno Sheppard goes after Brad Turner in Stinger but instead of finding one - he finds multiple versions of Brad Turner.  Like Floyd before, Bruno doesn't let this confuse him as he simply uses his Magnabeam Mask to attract the real Brad then grabs a hold of him with Stingers rear claw.

By the time the rest of the M.A.S.K. team arrive, Brad has been bundled into Piranha's Sidecar and our M.A.S.K. team can't stop them from leaving for fear of killing their comrade.

I have to apologise for the length of time it has taken me to complete this review as it's been over two months since my last review.  I hope that you have enjoyed it and the posts that I've made in between this one and my last review.

I've been trying to give you all some different material to read and a few things have come up that I thought I'd share with you all.  I'll try and not leave it too long until the next one!

I still have some images sent to be by Bill to sort through and create a post about.

I had mentioned that I was nearing the 10k view mark and today is the last day of the month, so I guess I'm not going to hit that Landmark this month but I would like to take the time to ask you all to share and repost my blog and spread the word about it amongst the M.A.S.K. community.

Remember my Facebook Page as well.

Thank you,

Saturday, 29 June 2013

M.A.S.K. Cartoon Revamp!

I used to watch the M.A.S.K. cartoons on Saturday Mornings; bought some videos back in the day and now have the complete collection on DVD (Pity the UK release didn't have the great image to the left as it's packaging).

Hard to believe that I used to pay around £8 ago for a video with just a couple of episodes and recently bought the complete set on DVD for £7.99!

Anyway, I digress - so what I was thinking, as much as I loved the cartoons, I'd like to see a modern CGI version of my favourite heroes and villains.

Not necessarily a reboot, but a revamp of the originals - using the original soundtrack recordings against an updated CGI version of cartoon.

Outlaw was always one of my favourite vehicles and I was disappointed that it never quite lived up to the toy or how it was portrayed in the UK Comic.  The same can be said for some of the other vehicles, Masks and characters.

Perhaps one day someone will invest in such a project!

M.A.S.K. Movie V's M.A.S.K. lore

My last post was interview with the very talented and I thought I'd follow on from that post regarding some points raised by Michael as I think that we both have a similar thoughts.

During the interview, Michael mentioned that as much as he likes the toys and cartoons, the comics are where the real back story starts and then continues to develop and grow through time - I agree.  If you are  a regular of my blog then you'll know that I collected the UK M.A.S.K. comics and then later on collected the US version.  Of course, I also watched the cartoons and although not a real collector of the toys, I do have a few in my collection.

From the comics, we have the back story of Matt Trakker and his brother working with Miles Mayhem to develop the vehicles and Masks and then the eventual betrayal.  We also have far more stories than the TV series covered.

Ok, many of the stories were in black and white, but the Artwork brought the characters and their vehicles to life.

When I was writing my script, I didn't want to use just the lore established in the cartoon; to do so would be very naive.  Yes, every M.A.S.K. fan will have seen and enjoyed most, if not all, of the cartoons but the cartoons are flawed in many respects.

Firstly, there is no connection between Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem as there is in the free comics with the toys and the origin story from the UK comic.  Apart, that is, for one episode from the racing series where Matt suggests to Miles that they should work together like old times - this doesn't fit in with the lore of the cartoons.

This changes the dynamic of the story lines - significantly.  The betrayal in the comics sets out the tone and ethos; the conflict for the rest of the run of the comics.  I'm not saying that there isn't conflict in the cartoons, but it's more defined in the comics and this shows in each and every image and piece of dialogue.

There are also no hard and fast rules regarding the weapons or Masks.  According to the theme tune, "Spectrum's got such Supervision".   Err...  No it doesn't!  At least, not according to the toy packaging.  Nor does it have lasers, freefall capabilities, etc., etc.

The writers of the cartoon, and in some respects the comics also, felt the need to create functions for Masks or Weapons on the vehicles that simply weren't part of the description on the toy. 

In one episode we see our adventurous M.A.S.K. team stuck on one side of a ravine and they need to be on the other.  This is fine for Thunderhawk and Condor as they can fly, but what of the rest of the vehicles?

To my dismay, they used Rhino's Gravity Cannons!   What Gravity Cannons you ask...  I asked the same question as the cartoon showed Rhino's "Smokestack Cannons" being used as the aforementioned Gravity Cannons - lifting and propelling all of the vehicles across the ravine.  It then turned the cannons backwards to lift itself across.

A function that was used for the first time in this episode and never to be seen again in a Knight Rider-esque "let's introduce a new weapon or function for this storyline and we'll then never use it again" scenario.

How might our team have managed across then, I hear you ask?  Simple - Bruce Sato uses his Lifter Mask to lift the vehicles and M.A.S.K. agents one-by-one over the ravine then Alex Sector uses Jackrabbit to lift himself and Bruce across.  Simple! 

For me, Kenner put a lot of time and effort into creating this fabulous world of M.A.S.K. and I think that the cartoons and comics should have worked with what they were given and not tried to rewrite the great work done by Kenner.

As I've mentioned before, in my script I have used the weapons and Mask functions as set down by the toys as my bible.  Each Mask only has one function and no "Swiss Army Knife-style" multifunction tool Masks as Spectrum was made out to be in the cartoon.

I know that there are some random weapons out there in the M.A.S.K. world - such as concrete cannons on Wildcat.  But then, consider this - Buddie Hawks' Ditcher Mask can dig trenches so to have a "weapon", if you can call it a weapon, that can counteract his Mask I think is a great idea.

With the comics, comes the infamous centre-page posters.  The wealth of knowledge that this provides is invaluable if you are a M.A.S.K. fan - especially if you wish to resurrect this great "World of Illusion"!

If you only collected the toys or watched the cartoons, you have missed out.  Through my blog I am trying to give you a better insight into the "Complete" M.A.S.K. world.

Through my script, I have brought life back to these incredible characters and their world into this century.  There are or course references to the 1980's, I mean where would Matt Trakker be without his trusty Camaro? 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Interview with Retroblasting

Recently, I came across a couple of interesting videos on Youtube – Part One looking at the cartoons of M.A.S.K. and Part Two delving into the toy line. Both of these videos are expertly produced and I recently featured them on my blog.

I was recently in touch with the gang over at Retroblasting and asked them if they would take part in a Q&A Session for my blog…

Who are you?
RetroBlasting is a video channel we started in 2012 to celebrate, revisit and comment on the entertainment of Gen X.  Michael French and Melinda Mock are the creators of the channel.  We were both born in the late 1970's and spent our childhoods in the glorious 80's.

What first got you into M.A.S.K?
(Michael) - I had always loved cars.  Muscle cars, sports cars, DeLoreans.  Plus, I was a fan of Transformers, GoBots and G.I. Joe.  So when M.A.S.K. came along with the best of all those worlds, it was an instant interest! Had to have some of those toys!

My addiction to M.A.S.K. was with the comics - did you collect the comics growing up? 
Although I was born in the U.S. and lived there during the 1980's when M.A.S.K. was popular, I did not have any of the comics.  Funnily enough, my family moved to the UK in 1990.  We lived in Weybridge, Surrey from 1990 to 1993.  I remember going into a Toys R Us in a nearby town and seeing one aisle with shelves fully stocked with M.A.S.K. toys and Kenner Robocop and the Ultra Police toys.  It was kinda weird, because those toys were already three or more years old, and were already gone from US stores.  I asked my parents to buy me some of those M.A.S.K. vehicles.  They said "No."  At present, I own two issues of the DC Comics series from the US and I'm hoping to get more of them.  I also hope to attain all of the mini-comics.

Do you still have your comic collection and have you added to it?
I still have my comics collection from childhood, which is composed mainly of Marvel G.I. Joe comics, some UK digest issues of Complete Spider-Man and way more Superman than is healthy.  I also have the two issues of M.A.S.K. I mentioned.  I'm hoping to collect all of the mini-comics, the US comics and the UK comics one day.

What was your favourite aspect of the comics?
As a rule in the 1980's, the comics were always the better medium to tell the complete stories of these characters.  In the comics, the story is more sophisticated, there's more dramatic depth and more time to delve into the motivations and personalities of the characters.  That's my favourite aspect: the edgier sophistication of the stories.  Knowing that Mayhem killed Trakker's brother.  Understanding he stole the M.A.S.K. technology for criminal intent.  That's compelling!

How do you think the comic compared with the toys and the cartoon?
I always tell people it is a shame the cartoons are consistently more popular because the comics have the meat of the drama.  The cartoons never both explore origins or backgrounds, which in the case of M.A.S.K. (and G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe) is so essential to truly having a narrative context.  The comics orient the enthusiast far better than any animated show. The toys are wonderful because they largely work for either medium.  Much like G.I. Joe, if you read the comics and played with the toys, you have a richer experience and understanding.  Not that playing with the toys having only seen the cartoon isn't fun, but I don't think you get as deep an appreciation for them.  Same goes with M.A.S.K.

If you collected more than one variant, which is your favourite?
The mini-comics are my favourite because they were the first!  They gave us that initial, hard glimpse into the world of Trakker and his team.  Granted, the glimpse was always a taste compared to the US and UK full format comics, but sometimes, like a good dessert, a taste can be infinitely more satisfying.

How do you think M.A.S.K compared to other comics of the time or now?
In the race to be perceived as "mature," comics have lost that magic.  That whiz-bang feeling of wonderment is all but emptied out of modern comics.  Yes, they're more "realistic" and whatnot, but I don't think they've gained much compared to the stories told in the 1980's M.A.S.K. and G.I. Joe comics.  I also am not a fan of the heavily-digital artwork now.  I miss the cleaner lines of the older art styles and layouts.  Each book was unique, despite the visual structures being familiar. Now, every artist looks the same thanks to all the photoshopping and digital coloring.

You recently produced a couple of Youtube videos on M.A.S.K. – tell us more!
We love watching 1980's cartoons at RetroBlasting!  We make videos about our observations of these cartoons and toys as adults and our recollections of our feelings about them as kids. The first video is about the cartoon, with any relevant information about comics thrown in to give the viewer added context.  In the second part of the videos, we critique the toys (if any) that were tied to the show.  In this instance, we'd just gotten done with a two-parter on Silverhawks and we wanted to move into something else.  Melinda suggested M.A.S.K. because it is an amazing toy line with an interesting show, but it isn't one of the over-mentioned franchises like G.I. Joe or Transformers.  I had purchased the DVD set a while back, so I was ready for a revisit!
Upon doing our research of other discussions about M.A.S.K. and just getting re-familiarized with the toys, we felt the real discussion points that haven't really be explored /critiqued were, 1) The unique format of the MASK cartoon, 2) the scale of the toys compared to other toy lines and 3) the intricate nature of the toy mechanisms and how to repair them.

Tell us more about Retroblasting!
How do I sum this up? HAHA!  Well, the short version is -- everyone tells me I have a weird and unique way of looking at stuff from the 1980's.  I had this rant about Thundercats because I hate them, and always have, and my friends always tried to goad me into that rant with strangers around.  Melinda said I should film it for YouTube.  So we did.  RetroBlasting was born.  Our goal is to "find the funny" while also educating people about nostalgia, but always making sure we are entertaining the audience.  That's the real trick.  Most of the time I will be watching something, a movie or a cartoon or maybe I'm fiddling with an old toy, and even though I've seen that show 100 times or handled that toy 200 times, suddenly I'll make a connection or observation, or recollect something from childhood I did not recall until that moment, and that rapidly becomes a larger concept or learning point.  Then I start scriptwriting so we can make a video!
Also, I should mention, we have an extensive archive of toys and 1980's "stuff" that continues to expand.  Melinda wants to one day open a museum!  Our goal with the toys especially is to preserve them - and we've actually had people give us their childhood toys to protect because they didn't want to sell them off to strangers! It's quite an honor and humbling!  More on that in a moment...

What was your first M.A.S.K toy?
My first MASK toy was the Piranha and Sly Rax!  Mysteriously, while the bike, sidecar, sidecar mount and Stiletto Mask all survived childhood, Sly Rax and the bike windscreen went missing! I've since replaced the missing parts.  I have to mention my second M.A.S.K. toy - Thunderhawk!  Mainly because it is forever my favourite and I recently restored it as well!

How big was/is your collection?
My collection as a child was limited to four vehicles - Piranha, Thunderhawk, Firefly and Raven, along with Scott and T-Bob - all of which I still own.  I did borrow Boulder Hill and Rhino from a friend once.  My next door neighbor had Switchblade, Jackhammer and Vampire.  As an adult, I've purchased Rhino, Switchblade, Jackhammer, Manta and Gator, and the Gloria Baker figure!  I also find myself the caretaker of a big M.A.S.K. collection!  One of our RetroBlasting fans, Chris, needed to make room in his family home and had to get rid of his M.A.S.K. toys - which were his prized possessions as a kid.  Although he'd sold off his other toys, he held onto his M.A.S.K. toys.  He didn't want to see them parted out.  He wanted to know they would stay together and were in a good home.  He sent them to RetroBlasting!  They needed some restoration, new parts and cleaning, but were largely intact with all their pieces!  Inside the box, we discovered a complete core run of vehicles!  He had everything I've already mentioned above, plus Condor, Firecracker, Hurricane, Outlaw, Meteor, Stinger, Slingshot, Goliath, The Collector and Billboard Blast, even Rescue Mission Bruce Sato!
If your readers would like to see RetroBlasting's MASK collection, we have a dedicated photo gallery of part of our MASK collection at our Facebook page, with more photos coming soon.

Quick Fire Questions.
Gloria or Vanessa?
Melinda loves Vanessa.  I like them both equally!  Cool cars and they both know how to DRIVE!

Spectrum or Ultraflash?
Spectrum - hands down.

Hurricane or Firecracker?
Tough one...  Firecracker edges out for me, but just barely!  It's part of the core lineup, there's so much cool engineering on that toy and I like the first Blaster mask far better.  As a sneak preview for your readers, they might like to know that RetroBlasting is preparing another M.A.S.K. video in the near future called "The Trouble with Hondo" that focuses on the Firecracker and Hurricane vehicles.

M.A.S.K, G.I Joe or Transformers?
M.A.S.K. - for sure. G.I. Joe is up there too, but M.A.S.K. had the innovation!  There will never be anything else like it.  Transformers?  Big disappointment.  I've got a two-part video called "Transformers Duped Our Generation" if anyone wants to hear my opinions on that...

Scott Trakker & T-Bob - Love or Hate?
Hate, but only in hindsight.  I also freely admit that no M.A.S.K. collection looks complete without them.  For better or worse, they are an immovable piece of M.A.S.K. canon.

Thunderhawk or Switchblade?
Thunderhawk.  Sports car becomes flying fighter jet! Switchblade?  Flying helicopter becomes flying jet.  Yes, it looks cool, fun toy - but Thunderhawk wins.

You may know that I've written a script, what are your thoughts on a M.A.S.K movie?
I think a M.A.S.K. movie would be great, but the big provision is making sure it stays true to the source in the broad strokes.  That's where the Transformers and GI Joe movies failed badly.  They disregarded the importance of the source material, the real personalities and relationships of the characters.  They threw them out in the trash. If the MASK characters are the same, I'd be fine.

Which characters and vehicles would you like to see?
I think variety would be the best course of action.  In truth, I'd like to see all of the original core vehicles (and the Manta, which I consider core, just late to market) - So, that would be for me - Thunderhawk, Condor, Rhino, Firecracker, Gator, Shark, Switchblade, Piranha, Jackhammer and Manta.

Transformers came under fire for changes to many of the vehicles? What are your thoughts on vehicles for M.A.S.K.?
They can update the vehicles if they want to - provided they aren't wacky different.  Example: Trakker needs a flying sports car (preferably an updated red Camaro).  Turner needs a flying motorcycle.  If they gave Trakker a flying motorcycle, that would tick me off.  The vehicles need to have the same silhouettes as the originals, if that makes sense?  The Rhino needs to be a lorry, but I can see Hollywood turning that into a Humvee or something.  Boulder Hill should be a gas station.  Don't change it into a restaurant or a car dealership.

Thank you Michael and Melinda for taking the time to answer some questions!

Ok, so there you have it.  Retroblasting have their own Webpage, Facebook Page and are on Youtube.  Please take a look and like and share their pages.

Recently on my Facebook Page, I mentioned I was nearing the 10,000 page view mark, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask you all to +1 my blog on Google, Like and Share on Facebook, etc., etc.  Whatever you can do to publicise would be great.

Thank you once again for reading.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

M.A.S.K. Script - help!

Regular readers of my blog will be aware that I've written a script based on everyone's favourite 80's Comic, Cartoon and Toyline - M.A.S.K.

If you are new to my blog and wish to catch up the view my previous blog where I give a Sneak Peek inside my script.

Although I had an initial good response with regards to my script, I've hit something of a dead end again and I'm not sure where to go with it.  Although Hasbro bought over Tonka, and with it Kenner, all of the Trademarks were cancelled at the time of their takeover.

Hasbro have managed to acquire some new Trademarks but many are missing.  I know how they can get them back but getting an "in" to a company as large as Hasbro isn't easy.

Therefore, I'm looking for some help.  I'm hoping that at least one person reading my blog may work for Hasbro or know someone who does.

If you are in a position to help, please E-mail Me!

Thank you for your help!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

MASKart - Rhino by Darren Gregson

Back in April I posted a Q&A session with Darren Gregson.  Darren is a Graphic Designer who recently moved from his home in England to live in the Good Ol' US of A with his wife.

Some of you may already be familiar with Darren's Facebook Page - The Scribble Machine  - and if you are not, feel free to take a look.  I recently re posted one of Darren's Drawings onto my M.A.S.K Comics Facebook Page -

Darren was experimenting and decided to draw an American Tractor Unit/Big Rig.  When this was posted on his page, not only was I taken aback by how good an artist he truly is, but I saw a similarity between his drawing and one of the most iconic vehicles from M.A.S.K. - namely Rhino.

On The Scribble Machine Blog, we then have this evolution -

I contacted Darren and asked if he would mind if I added his drawing as part of MASKart on my blog.  He asked me to hold off on this for a little while so that he could tweak it to fit in on my blog and below is the fantastic image that he has sent over.

It's great to see the progression from an initial sketch to coloured final image.  Darren explains more of the evolution on his blogspot!  I am pleased to say, I now have this as my Desktop Image on my PC at work.  I'm not sure that Darren intended this image to be Rhino when he started drawing it - but perhaps M.A.S.K. runs deep in him and he subconsciously drew this in respect of one of his favourtie childhood comics.

Darren has a great appreciation for the Artists and their work on the UK M.A.S.K. comic and I'm envious of the fact that he has had the opportunity to interact with them over the years.

If you don't mind me suggesting Darren, perhaps a few T-Shirts made up with this image on them would sell well within the M.A.S.K. community?

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you all appreciate Darren's Artwork as much as I do.  Please feel free to make your comments below or over on my Facebook Page.  Remember and visit The Scribble Machine Facebook Page and The Scribble Machine Blog

I'm trying to get some more content up as quickly as I can - with a review of issue 12 of the comic already started and some more material from Bill that I'm working on.

In the meantime, any M.A.S.K news, articles, drawings, videos, etc., please E-mail me.

And remember to Like, Share and Repost - I'm trying to build up a large community of M.A.S.K. fans - not just of the comics but also the toys and cartoons - and dare I say a M.A.S.K. Movie based on my script?  For a preview of my script please see my previous blogpost!

Thank you,


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Trakkin' the Mayhem on Youtube

Recently I came across a couple of cool videos on Youtube.

Trakkin' the Mayhem Part 1 is an interesting look at M.A.S.K. cartoons.  Made by "retroblasting", the team delve into the world of M.A.S.K. - comparing it to other 80's shows and asking the question - should it have been called "H.E.L.M.E.T." instead of M.A.S.K.?  There is,of course, more to the video than that - but I don't wish to spoil it for you.

This is a well presented, well made, slick video that keeps you entertained and engaged all of the way through.

Their take on M.A.S.K. may not be to everyone's liking but I enjoyed it.

One of the best parts of the video for me is the car that is featured - a DeLorean!  Sweet!

The follow up, imaginatively titled Trakkin' the Mayhem Part 2, is all about the toys.  This is another great video and it's great to see the care, detail and attention paid to restoring some great M.A.S.K. toys and has a rare insight into the inner workings of some of them.

This is only a small blog to make you aware of their presence - I'm hoping to do a little interview with the team over at retroblasting on another blog.  Catch more of them on their website -, Facebook Page and also on Youtube.  

If anyone has any more finds on Youtube you wish to share, feel free to E-mail Me.

Remember to make comments below on my blog and over on my Facebook Page.

Monday, 3 June 2013

HA13 Concept Art - M.A.S.K. Movie and Computer Game

A couple of weeks ago, HA13 posted a link to their CG Portfolio Page on my Facebook Page. On their page are some awesome images of their vision of M.A.S.K. in a movie and computer game.

The image above of the new vision of Boulder Hill has such amazing depth and detail.  There are elements that define this as Boulder Hill - there is no mistaking the bunker on the left hand side of the image.

There are clearly changes to the original which may offend some die hard fans but the addition of posters, and Ice Bin, etc. really set this off.

Their new vision of Jackhammer brings it kicking and screaming into this Century.

A new modern and fresh looking Ford Bronco Concept in an almost patent black gloss is complimented with the Neon Blue Instrument Panel on the Dashboard and on the Gunners Chair.

The final Image I have "stolen" from HA13's site is of Condor.

A vibrant green Kawasaki Motorcycle that turns into the familiar Condor Helicopter that was many a fans first M.A.S.K. toy.  Kawasaki is famed for it's green Motorcycles - I believe this was their racing colour.  Many years ago one of my Brother's owned a Kawasaki 250 Scorpion in this colour.

So, I guess a Kawasaki is a great choice for Condor to fit in with the colour scheme to make it more real.

There are many more great images on HA13's Website and I thoroughly recommend that you visit.  You can also get to their Facebook Page via their comment on my Facebook Page.

Remember you can now Follow my page using the link to the right and remember to +1 on Google and share my page with your Circles.

Thank you.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness Versus a M.A.S.K. Movie

On Wednesday night I managed to get round to watching Star Trek Into Darkness.

I guess with any remake, there is always a sense of hope and dread in equal measure.  Will it be as good as the original series?  Will it be better.  Will Kirk and Spock live up to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy?

When the first Star Trek movie came out and I found out J. J. Abrams was Director I was worried - I had watched the first two seasons of Lost and I was, well, lost...  I didn't really get it.

Then when Cloverfield came out I was again disappointed. It felt to me like a remake of Godzilla filmed in some sort of weird Blair Witch Project Style.  My wife could barely watch it and stared at the floor for most if it!  I found myself almost vomiting watching it - but I'd paid for it so I was damn well going to watch it all.

Thankfully, I enjoyed the first Star Trek Movie - in fact it isn't only the best Star Trek Movie, in my opinion, but probably one of the best movies of all time.  Fast forward a few years and we have the sequel and I hoped that it could match the first.

Needless to say, it didn't disappoint.  The Story is great, the acting is great, the soundtrack is great and as I previously mentioned re the original remake on Facebook, The Director of Photography deserves a medal.

I'd say it's a timeless classic.

Ok, so the image above sums up part of the reason why I liked it - but only a small part!

Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal as the main protagonist is one of the best performances I've seen on the big screen.  Famous in the UK for playing the titular character in the BBC reboot of Sherlock, I already knew he was a great actor.  

To see him as a baddie... he was in his element.  I recently watched Batman The Dark Knight Rises and thought the Bane Character was poor - sounded like a demented Kermit the Frog and not in the slightest scary - despite the calibre of the actor playing him.  This is how a baddie should be portrayed and if another Batman is made they should consider Cumberbatch in the role of baddie.

So, why mention this on my blog when it's not M.A.S.K. related?  Well, after watching these two great Star Trek Movies and seeing how J. J. Abrams has reinvented them, I think he would be great to revitalise and revive M.A.S.K. as a big screen movie.

Whether it were based on my script or the boys over at M.A.S.K. Movie I think he would make a great job of it.

Remember to keep up-to-date on my Facebook Page.  You can also follow this blog and comment below.

Thank you.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Miles Mayhem Cameo - From November 2010 GI Joe Collector's Club Magazine

If you have been reading my blog, then it is a good guess to say you are a fan of M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.  

I'm sure we can all agree how great it is and would like to see it return.  I think somewhere in the depths of Hasbro, they also would like to see it's return.  Why do I say this?  In previous posts I've mentioned recent "sightings" or "mentions" of M.A.S.K. or M.A.S.K. characters.  I now have proof of another "sighting"!

Bill, who has posted in my comments under "phideaux1", has sent an image from the November 2010 GI Joe Collector's Club Magazine, that features none other than V.E.N.O.M. leader, Miles Mayhem.

Ok, so he doesn't get mentioned by name, nor does he have any lines, but it's definitely Miles Mayhem on the stage in the last cell.

It's a bit of a fall from grace being the main badass in the M.A.S.K. world to making a cameo.  But does this signal a possible return for Miles Mayhem and the rest of the V.E.N.O.M. team?

As I've previously mentioned, I'd rather that the M.A.S.K. world remain in it's own realm and not as part of Transformers or GI Joe - but at this moment - I'll take what I can get!

If anyone has any more great finds like this - keep them coming.  E-mail me or post on my Facebook Page.

Thank you.