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Today, I read the Mecha-Nation trade paperback. I really liked the first issue when I had read it and now that I've read the whole thing I like it even more. Which strikes me as a good sign.
I think what I like the most about it is that it feels like a Saturday morning cartoon in the best sense of the term. The whole thing is really fun to read, and the distinct art only makes it an even bigger treat. But as much as you have a great reputation for writing villains, it's often your heroes that really endear me. And the heroes of Mecha-Nation are all very fun and engaging. I could very easily see them carrying a series.
-Professor Gear is probably one of my favorite characters you've ever written. For no other reason than I giggled every time he said anything. I found him really amusing way back when and that didn't change at all when I got the full story. Part of me wants a full Mecha-Nation series (whether comic or cartoon) just because Professor Gear would be there.
-On the subject of teachers, the mental voice I gave Mr. Caron was your voice due to your association with Snapper Carr. This made the latter two issues amazing.
-I want to take a moment and praise the art again. I would love to see this design style on TV (though more comics would be nice too).
-I'll admit that I saw the twist of who the ultimate villain of the piece was coming by the time the second issue kicked up, but I didn't really mind because the book's still really fun.
I described Mecha-Nation to a friend of mine as, "Much like Bad Guys, it's a fun comic book that makes a good series pilot." And I think that sums it up well. It provided a fun afternoon read and I came out enjoying it very much. I'd really like to see more of it someday.
Wow. Thanks. Me too.
I have to admit, it never occurred to me to cast myself as Caron. But, heck, if that's what the fans demand...
SIGNING ON FCBD
This Saturday, May 5th, 2012 is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. (It's also the premiere of YOUNG JUSTICE: INVASION's second episode, "Earthlings", on Cartoon Network.) Victor Cook and I will be signing copies of issue #1 of MECHA-NATION (and whatever else gets stuck in front of us) at MELTDOWN COMICS from 12 noon to 2 pm.
7522 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90046
So if you're in the neighborhood of Los Angeles, come on down. Check out the Mecha-Nation. We've completely finished the final issues of the mini-series, which will see print in time for ComicCon this summer in San Diego. (Mecha-Nation was created by Vic, developed by Vic, Greg Guler and myself, written by me, illustrated by Antonio Campo and published by Ape/Kizoic.) We're very excited to finally get this great project out to everyone. So stop by and take a peek. You can harass me about the time-skip (but please keep the language clean). Or you can just say hi. Plus, hey, Vic Cook!! The SpecSpidey partners together again!
Hope to see you there!
Anyone out there remember MECHA-NATION, the three-issue comic book mini-series created by Victor Cook, developed by Vic, Greg Guler & myself, written by me and drawn by Antonio Campo?
Cuz we FINALLY finished it!
The MARCH PREVIEWS will be out on FEBRUARY 29th and will contain order information for MECHA-NATION #1-3!!!
(That's right, if you missed the first issue, you'll now have the opportunity to get all three (the complete story) at once!!)
Make sure you friends and fans know about PRE-ORDERING as that will be important for us in getting the word and the book out to stores everywhere!
The book itself will be out in May.
It's a really fun story, and Antonio did a great job illustrating it! Check it out!!
Do you have an estimate as to when Mecha-Nation issue 2 will come out?
It's done, but there was a decision not to release issue 2 until issue 3 was done and we could be 100% confident that there would be no more delays between issues.
I really enjoyed these first preview episodes of Young Justice. And perhaps even moreso than that i enjoyed to hear Crispin Freeman to return back to your services: i think he made fantastic work as both Speedy and Guardian, and eventhough you can still hear a bit that it is the same actor, he made it possible for those two characters to be divided and personified from one and another.
He was excellent as Electro, and i was fan of him before that(i came hooked sometimes around i first saw first few episodes of Wolf,s Rain).
From what i,ve been able to gather, he seems to be not only true professional, but also smart, intelligent guy with great thoughts, coupled with sharp and delightful sense of humor. I have seem him to appear in many of Gatherings(often paired with good old Thom Lexington Adcox), and i,ve heard that he was fan long before your paths crossed, often discussing with his fans about serie,s themes.
If it isnt too much trouble, could you give little bit of greenlight how you two met, and how your cooperation began?
Hopes for better to your work from fan from far-off-land Finland: maybe there arent too many Finnish Gargfans, but i am one of them.
PidÃ¤ lippu korkealla!/Keep your spirits high!
I met him through the Gathering, actually. 2001 in Los Angeles, I believe. He was a guest of the convention, giving his mythology seminar. We first worked together on a pitch for Mecha-Nation, i.e. he did us a favor and recorded a bit of dialogue for us. The first paying job I could offer him was on the very last episode of W.I.T.C.H.
Sorry if this question has already been asked before, but is there any chance of a Mecha-Nation collected edition in the foreseeable future? I've held off from buying any of the individual issues because I thought a collected book was all but a sure thing. Have you, Victor Cook, Greg Guler and the fine fellows at Ape Entertainment simply not given much thought to a collected edition, or are you waiting until more issues or stories come out before we'll see a collection?
Still waiting for issue #2 to come out.
I had a little look around the archives to see if I could find a recent response to this question. Guess I didn't, here goes.
I only recently heard about the comic Mecha Nation and the demo pages posted on KiZoic seemed interesting. The site itself displays the comics available, but the store doesn't seem to offer them. Is the comic out of print, or is there another site to purchase it?
It should be available from Ape Entertainment.
I originally posted this in the comment room a few weeks ago when I finally got the chance to buy the first issue of Mecha-Nation from my local comic shop. Bad timing had the Ask Greg question queue already closed. Nevertheless, I thought I'd post my review and comments here, as I've been genuinely excited and eager for some Greg Weisman/Vic Cook/Greg Gular material all summer (I blame the lack of a complete second season DVD of SpecSpidey . . . I reckon I'll just buy the last four volumes after a few more paychecks come in *sigh*).
The first issue starts 'in media res' with First Wave fighting . . . well, our heroes with a to-be-determined team name.
Team-themes aside, the Mecha-teens go by Stealth, Blast! Tank, Charge, and Fahrenheit. First Wave on the other hand consists of Flood, Grunt, Crane, Velocity and Pulse. As you probably can tell, each individual's name relates to their particularly unique power (like Fahrenheit able to wield fire and Stealth being able to be camouflaged in his surroundings).
They're still shopping for team names mid-battle as a matter of fact (well, at least Blast! is), which rightly leads to some standard obligatory banter . . . which is SO a rule, according to Blast (his profile at the end of the issue lists Dragonball and X-Men as favorites of his, though I wonder and hope if he's seen Spectacular Spidey, hehe).
The battle ultimately cuts short and just as Charge calls it out for what must be an entirely pointless battle, First Wave tells our new heroes that in coming out to fight nearby a Glass Lake Senior High Bowlathon so quickly, they've quite possibly just slipped their hand and given away their non-Mecha-identities. Cue a few Dun Dun Duns.
The story moves on to the next day with Kevin (Stealth), Marcus (Blast!), Zahra (Charge), Ray (Tank), and Fahrenheit (Susie) making their way to school, still somewhat shaken from last night's events. Determined not to out themselves as Mecha-Sapiens, they promise not to 'Metal-out' for any reason to varying successes. We're soon treated to a funny side effect when maintaining one's human form for too long ('the itches' . . . I can only imagine).
While the five try to hide in their metal shells, we get some fun social interactions at Glass Lake Senior High, where Susie is very much a popular and can never-be-seen by the "freaks and geek." Zehra, a 'freak,' meanwhile has connections at the school she would prefer to ignore, given her (and her teammates) current troubles.
The rest of the issue has some fun introductions with the science teacher (who's got a particularly annoying verbal tic) and the school principal, all the while with the blooming mysteries of who the First Wave folk are (and have we already seen them at school?) and what "The Factory" is (evidently First Wave's . . . employers?) Clearly the questions are rhetorical; no doubt I'll get a better sense of the answers in the next two issues . . . <Heh Heh> d:
Tangent -- One issue in, and already with the Shakespeare references? Granted, its Romeo and Juliet which seems to be the typical standard selection for all high schools these days (in my own case, I read it in Eighth Grade and thus begged my freshman English teacher if we could do another tragedy -- Macbeth, I wonder why I recommended that? haha -- instead of his initial selection of Romeo and Juliet). Still, as a long time fan of your work, this brief mention made me chuckle. :)
Overall, a fun first issue that makes me want to see more very soon.
Glad you liked it. We're really proud of Mecha-Nation and hope it catches on...
ACT ONE: FIRST BELL
WORD UP: There be spoilers in this review. So everyone should read with caution. Also, go buy Mecha Nation.
SUMMARY: After a superheroic battle that didn't go too great, the identity of the "Second Wave", five teens with superpowered robotic forms, seems closer to being compromised. As the kids try to live out their high school lives as normal, they're more than a little worried about the new teacher who seems a little...alien.
REVIEW: So, I'll admit upfront that this was pretty goddamn rad. I'm actually kind of upset that this property has had to sit dormant for so long because even this one issue shows what kind of potential this really has. It's a LOT of fun.
I'm not gonna give a play by play of what happened in the story. Rather, I'm just going to explain how much I liked a bunch of out of context things that will make people buy this so they know what I'm talking about.
So I'll do that.
OUT OF CONTEXT THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME AND WILL MAKE PEOPLE BUY THIS COMIC:
-I adore The Factory. I don't care if we've barely seen them; I sincerely believe they're among the better villains you've written (and you've written numerous characters who hold honorable titles as great villains, most notably David Xanatos and Demona but more personally my all time favorite Thailog). So this is saying something. But The Factory accomplishes two villainous extremes in the span of one comic book issue and does so with an inner genius. We start with a battle atop the bowling alley that ends in a First Wave Tag that could compromise the identities of the Second Wave with little effort. And then we see the "mysterious" Professor Gear, who is more than a little blatantly not human. But that, in of itself, is kind of genius: the public doesn't know about Mecha Sapiens, so at most the students are just going to mock Gear outside of class. The few people who'd actually take this weirdo seriously and not joke about him are probably the Second Wave. The Factory used Saturday morning 80's villainy as a PROACTIVE STEALTH MECHANISM. THAT IS WONDERFUL AND I LOVE YOU.
-I like that Marcus is pretty upfront about his geek pride. I always thought that was a tad more realistic than the shy nerd. I know I never hid my sexynerdiness.
-I love that Ray isn't the Broadway homage I idiotically assumed he would be; the little we see of him show he's pretty different from the big lug.
-My favorite character, so far (besides Professor Gear, who is a God among men) has to be Susie/Fahrenheit. She'll fight crime with the rest of the Second Wave, but she doesn't really seem to actually SPEND TIME with them. Don't answer this question, but how exactly does she go about getting grouped into fighting with the rest? WHY would she? There's a lot about her I want to know.
-The chalk drawings are cute.
-As is Kevin's lab partner. She's nerdydorable. I bet she's a robot.
-A nerdydorable robot.
-Sexuality plays a big part in this story, and I like that you're fairly classy with it. It ranges from the admittedly blatant but fun (a buncha kids pent up for not "metalling out" in days...WHAT COULD THIS MEAN?!) to the much more subtle (Using Romeo and Juliet as part of a free will/fate discussion-I LOVE Romeo and Juliet, largely because it is essentially a story of two impulsive, hormonal teenagers doing things and making stuff go nuts as a result. It's a very classy, subtle allusion that both sets up what I assume is a main, existential plight of a Mecha-Sapien but also very concisely serves as a push/foreshadow for the most sexual undercurrent of the story's theme). It's an element of teenage sexuality that manages to actually serve a point and not just be there for the sake of being there. Stuff like this is one of many reasons why you're my favorite writer. Well done.
-On the opposite side of the spectrum, I adore the art. Campo and de Payevsky did a great job. Looks like it'd really lend well to animation.
-Zehra's family life should prove pretty interesting. I immediately liked it because it'd seem like the opposite of what you'd expect, but with a bit of reflection I realized I liked it because it actually makes perfect sense even in theory.
-I'm amused that the character profiles mention that Marcus is a fan of Dragonball. X-Men and Star Trek make sense as mainstays of their genre, but I would've expected Dragonball to be replaced by something either a little more current (Bleach, Naruto) or something a bit more franchise-y and bluntly sci fi (Gundam). I'm not really a fan of Dragonball (or any of those other shows I rattled off, though Gundam's alright), but I liked this little detail. It has a fascinating nuance.
-I like the normal guy (the blond kid who was bowling) and his significance or lack there of intrigues me.
OVERALL OPINION: This was a really cool start, and I like this comic a lot. I wish this property a lot of prosperity in the future and I sure as hell know I'm going to count myself in as a fan. Thank you for this.
SOME QUESTIONS, IF YOU DON'T MIND:
1. So the title intrigues me. "Androidology-First Bell." Spectacular Spider-Man, also run by you and Mr. Cook, used similar academic titles for both arc names and individual story names. But, as I understand it, that evolved out of the marching orders that required arc based storytelling. My question: was the academic title scheme something that evolved out of the Mecha-Nation development and was fitted onto Spectacular Spider-Man when you saw that it seemed to fit, or was Mecha Nation's faux-academic titles borrowed from Spectacular Spider-Man?
2. Does...Kizoic have any kind of standards and practices department? I mean, the themes regarding sexuality are subtle enough that I could see that not being a big deal. But I thought Kizoic was an all ages line and...there're a few damns in here. Not to mention the blond kid's reference to certain substances.
Thanks again for a great comic and I look forward to it continuing!
1. I know this may sound ... astounding... but I didn't connect "Androidology" up with what we did on Spider-Man until your post. We developed this story AGES ago. The title was slightly different, but basically set. Androidology is the title of the entire three-issue mini-series. Then each issue has a subtitle. Since everything's set in and around a high school, the titles are all school related. That's coming from a slightly different place than the thematic titles of Spider-Man, but the end result, I guess, isn't that different.
2. Well, this book was written before Kizoic existed. But I'm my own standards and practices guy. Working in kids programming as long as I have, I try to do what I think is right for a general audience that's kid safe but fun for adults too.
I'm glad you liked Mecha-Nation! Thanks for buying it!!
I'm finally all caught up on the ASK GREG queue. Gonna take a short break, but we'll open the queue again on September 27th, 2010 in preparation for the release of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse which also contains the DC Showcase Green Arrow short that I wrote.
As always, I urge you guys NOT to flood ASK GREG with questions. Check the archives. Check the FAQs. Ask questions of the loyal fans in the Station 8 comment room.
AND, please, THINK BEFORE YOU POST. I am NOT, for example, going to SPOIL "Young Justice" before it airs. I'm not going to SPOIL "Gargoyles" either since I still have hopes of bringing that back. I'm not even going to "SPOIL" Spectacular Spider-Man, because I don't see any real point in revealing future plans and ideas independent of their execution.
Happy to talk process. Happy to talk about what's ALREADY aired or been published. Happy to talk about Mecha-Nation and many other things. But. NOT. GONNA. SPOIL.