Thursday, March 31, 2011

MEGAvoltronian CONversations!

The 26th seal of the Roboplastic Apocalypse bursts into a mighty explosion of flames and burnt pepperoni like a 5 dollar pizza being sliced by Voltron's blazing sword! It's a Voltronian MegaConocalypse as the Nostrodomatron descends upon Orlando, Florida during MegaCon 2011 to record interviews with artists Jayson Kretzer, Juan Antonio Fontanez Jr., Danielle Soloud and Luis Diaz! They all had art in either the Voltron sketch card set or the Voltron: United and Drawn book released last year by 5finity Productions. Be amazed by how much you have in common with these Voltronian artist people! Did you ever think the Voltron Force pilots should carpool? If you could draw would you let people pay you in toy robots? Did you feel Power Rangers was really just Voltron with dinosaurs? Does seeing Voltron combine make you worry about your prostate? If the answer to any of these was yes then you're gonna love this IT'S ALL FUN AND GAMES UNTIL BLACK LION TRIES TO PUT HIS LEG UP YOUR BUTT edition of the Podcastalypse!

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Jayson Kretzer of the webcomic WannbeHeroes did a couple Voltron cards where Voltron was spewing fire out of his lion hands, which if you think about it is the only imagery even more terrifying than a giant robot with lion hands in the first place. Did Voltron ever really do that anywhere other than in the nightmares of marshmallow robeasts? I had to ask him about it! He's also the only artist I've met this long after the Voltron card set's release that still had one of his Voltron cards for sale right there on his table. Dang I should have bought it. In the meantime I can always check out his DeviantArt for examples of his other Voltron cards and the piece he did for Voltron United and Drawn.


Juan Antonio Fontanez Jr. knows the horrors of toy robot addiction and he is happy to let you be his supplier. I was happy to buy Voltron United and Drawn from him and get a great shot of him working alongside Optimus Prime. You can see the blazing sword card we talked about over on his Deviant Art page. Also over there are the rough pencils and finished version of the initial submission he did that got him hired on the Voltron card set. He told me to come back after I got my other interviews and he'd do a sketch in my book, but before I knew it the con was over. I will definitely hit him up again when he comes down south this July for Florida Supercon.


Danielle Soloud's got a webcomic called Life with Death and one of the characters is an undead dog named Rotty who has a detached eyeball hanging out of his skull. I have a feeling if I asked her to draw Rotty chasing one of the Voltron mice she would totally do it. I will totally get the chance when she comes down to Miami this Fourth of July weekend for Florida Supercon! Until then, check out her DeviantArt page for that great rendering she did of Princess Allura on a really REALLY familiar blue rug. Did I mention she's fluent in sarcasm?


Luis Diaz! The name strikes fear into the hearts of Cabbage Patch Kid lovers everywhere. It also kinda makes the yellow lion a bit uncomfortable, too! Better blogs than mine have interviewed Luis before on subjects ranging from his work on the Terminator Salvation cards to his run on Garbage Pail Kids but I think the Roboplastic Podcastalypse is the only place he's ever talked about his art being inspired by prostate exams. Check him out at and also on his Facebook.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Mile High Hero!

I'm back from Megacon 2011 and I had an awesome time. I got to do a ton of stuff during the two days I went. I interviewed four more artists who worked on the 5finity Voltron project, I saw Stan Lee speak, I took a few pics with some people in insane costumes, bought myself another Mazinger-Z and also I met this really cool pottery collector from Colorado with an assload of tattoos. Holy hell I met Chuck Rosanski! Chuck is a legend in comics retailing and president & CEO of Mile High Comics. He's also one of the greatest blogger/columnists I've ever read. Although I'm not much of a comics buyer I do subscribe to the Mile High Comics e-mail newsletter because his weekly messages are some of the most interesting and well written blog style journal entries ever. And the column he used to do for Comic Buyer's Guide called Tales from the Database was some of the most profound thought on the comic industry (and collecting pottery) I've ever read. I saw him walking around MegaCon and I couldn't believe it so I chased him down to tell him how much I loved his e-mails and we talked and he was as funny and interesting as his writing. What an awesome and unexpected experience. Remember when he had West Nile virus and made a discount code called WESTNILE for 20% off all comics at his site? That's why I love Chuck Rosanski.

Expect Roboplastic Podcastalypse #26 with the Voltron artist interviews and a wrap up of MegaCon 2011 later this week!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dynatherms Connected, Infracells Up-MEGACON ARE GO!

Okay so if you live in Florida the big bad granddaddy of all sci-fi comic conventions is MegaCon and it's happening this weekend March 25-27th up in Orlando. I promised myself that while I lived down here I'd check it out and this is going to be my shot! The big guests are Stan Lee and William Shatner but what's really awesome are some of the other people that'll be there of most extreme roboplasticological importance! In addition to getting to meet some more artists who worked on 5finity's Voltron sketch card set, I'll have a chance to see Dennis O'Neil! He's a comic book writer and editor who is probably best known as the first guy to really take Batman seriously and bring that character out of the pop culture joke status it had after the late 60s. But the reason Dennis O'Neil is really a big deal is that according to legend, he's the guy who named Optimus Prime! He's bound to have some awesome stories to tell! So stay tuned and maybe if I ever get out from under this avalanche of school work and I make it to MegaCon I'll have one heck of a con report sometime next week!

This one's for all the GoDeeKunEEkists!

Thanks to fellow Macrocranian Colin of for creating and sending this in. This robot talking to himself in a deserted city is the perfect metaphor for being an obscure toy robots archaeologist podcaster on the internet. He also kind of looks like me and has the same mannerisms and delivery. (I especially love it when he holds his arms up as he says "TechspecTesticles".) Our horrible mispronunciations of Voltronian proportions are about the same, too. The only difference between this video and my life is the robot gets applause when he's done and when I'm done I get me a Happy Meal.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'll fight for freedom wherever there's robots!

The big GI Joe Convention is coming up at the end of the month in Orlando and I'm really thinking about going. I'm not smart about GI Joe but much of that franchise's lineage is entwined with that of the Transformers. Consequently there's much roboplastical archaeology potential waiting to be mined amongst the Joelebrities that will be attending. I'm talking specifically about special guest Bob Prupis, the man who was the Vice President of Boys Toys at Hasbro when the Transformers were launched in '84. I was lucky enough to attend his panel at Botcon 2004 and have always hoped to get to talk to him. I've spent so much time looking at and blogging about old toy robots marketing that he alone would be worth the price of admission to me. He's an actual living G.I. Joe / Transformers crossover! Unfortunately, the JoeCon people told me they don't have their guests do live interviews with non-media attendees like myself. So even if I do go, Mr. Prupis won't be making an appearance on the Roboplastic Podcastalypse. It's kind of a letdown but it's not the end of the world. I should probably still go because with my luck if I stay home the G.I. Joe fans at his panels will ask nothing but questions about Transformers appearances in 25 year old grocery store ads.

Federated 20 October 1985

Speaking of getting G.I. Joe in your Transformers, the other day I found this ad in the October 20, 1985 Sunday comics section. It was technically from the retail electronics chain Federated but it heavily promoted the Family Home Entertainment home video releases of G.I. Joe and the Transformers. It features Duke telling Optimus Prime "C'MON PRIME! ONLY THE AUTOBOTS AND THE G.I. JOES TOGETHER CAN SAVE THE DAY!" For a second it almost feels like this is an ad for some sort of G.I. Joe / Transformers cartoon crossover since he uses the word "together". But then on the far right there's a clarification that it's talking about 5 new releases for each series. The graphic with both characters is still pretty cool, though. Considering that Marvel's G.I. Joe and the Transformers comic didn't happen until late 1986, this may be the first (albeit unintentional) G.I. Joe / Transformer crossover ever!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Storytelling with Michael Golden

IT'S THE 25TH PODCASTALYPSE! And it's more exciting than being on an airplane flown by a velociraptor without a pilot's license because Michael Golden's here and he's got some stories to tell. It's a Prometheus Pit full of fun as the King of the Acroyears recounts what it's like being a respected superhero artist while also being known as that guy who worked on all those licensed toy books. It's one of the most experienced storytellers of our time discussing the difference between art and craft and what happens when commercialism usurps artistic integrity. Are the Star Wars prequels as bad as the critics say? Was Star Wars #38 about being obsessed with Star Wars? And what REALLY happened to those Micronaut and GI Joe action figure "production samples" they gave him? Find out all that and more in this "I KEPT THE JET!" edition of the podcastalypse!

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Humongous thanks to Michael Golden for allowing me this interview during WizardWorld Miami 2011 and making my 25th episode something really special. Definitely go check out his panels on storytelling during the WizardWorld Convention Tour-the one in Miami was a highlight of the show for me. You can keep up with Michael at his Facebook and stay on top of his upcoming convention appearances at His next convention is Wizard World Toronto March 18-20th then it's back to Florida for MegaCon March 25-27th!


Monday, March 07, 2011

Giant robot Foxation! (I have seen the future and it is rubbery)

When I went to Target the other day I was greeted in the menswear section by a display with a male model wearing Poindexter glasses and a Voltron shirt. Obviously my attempts to rewind the world back to 1985 by uploading thousands of old Voltron and GoBots newspaper ads to the internet were proving successful. Then I remembered that Megan Fox was seen late last year wearing a t-shirt of Voltron that she borrowed from her stepson. I suppose instead of my old grocery store ad induced time travel explanation it is possible Target is just staying on top of all the hip and trendy fashions currently en vogue with young movie star crossdressers. Or given that she was fired from Transformers, it is also possible Megan Fox is actually working at my local Target menswear department.


There are other possible explanations. Maybe there's an anti-Transformer backlash welling up and people just want to vote against Transformers by voting for Voltron with their t-shirt buying dollars. Odd as that may sound, it is the nature of fame that once the mainstream public gets their fill of anything super popular they end up hating it after a while. Just ask Barry Manilow. He wasn't always adored universally as he is now. After his super popularity wore off in the 70s there was a long period where the only time you'd hear about him was in the punchline of Murphy Brown jokes. This is not unlike how Chris Hardwick said "Gobots were shitty, poorly animated knock-offs. They were rubbery." You don't have to be a Nostrodomatron to know this same rubbery fate awaits the Transformers. I have seen the future and it's all over Megan Fox's chest and it's in the lyric of every Barry Manilow song you know by heart but don't ever sing out loud when you hear it in the distance while you're shopping for cartoon robot t-shirts at Target. It's been a great ride Transformer fans, but this franchise's popularity has been expanding for a long time now and it's gotta deflate sometime. I'm saying somewhere out there is a multicolored robot monster with five lion heads, the face of a fox and a really big blazing sword about to bust the balloon of Transformer popularity. So if you like the Michael Bay movies then live it up while you can because here comes the big rubbery future. (I will be over here in the corner making Cy-Kill t-shirts and gently weeping while I sing Mandy as I have done every weekend since they canceled Challenge of the GoBots.)

Sunday, March 06, 2011


The 24th seal of the Roboplastic Apocalypse is pulverized instantly like a Tyrannosaurus getting kicked in the face by Jackie Chan when special guest Renee Witterstaetter demolishes the Kingdom Roboplastico! Join me my fellow Macrocranians as I talk to this prolific writer, author, colorist and editor about her career spanning multiple artistic disciplines and numerous roles within and beyond the comic book industry. Thrill to stories from behind the scenes at Topps Comics during the production of the ill-fated ExoSquad book and other fascinating tales like why the powers that be at Marvel weren't interested in doing a Jurassic Park movie adaptation. It's all here and more in this THE ONLY CELEBRATION OF EXOSQUAD'S 18TH ANNIVERSARY WE'RE GONNA GET edition of the Podcastalypse!

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Here in part 2 of the RoboMiami ComiConCastalypse I sit down with Renee Witterstaetter at WizardWorld Miami 2011 and we talk about her past work in comics and the tons of things she's doing currently in the fields of writing, editing, publishing and being an agent for other artists. It's a conversation about believing in yourself, believing in your ideas and being afraid to take chances (but then taking them anyway). It's also a little about dinosaurs and fighting an outer space civil war with giant robot battle armor. You can keep up with Renee at her blog and stay on top of upcoming convention appearances by her and all the Eva Ink artists at Their next convention is Wizard World Toronto March 18-20th then it's back to Florida for MegaCon March 25-27th!


Saturday, March 05, 2011

When a long time ago was not so far, far away

Jim Henson
Back in 1987 Star Wars was a distant memory to me and a lot of people. I was 13 and I thought Star Wars was a stale dead franchise with its best years behind it. At the time I was too busy obsessing over another stale dead franchise with its best years behind it-the Transformers. Even if I had known entertainment industry magazine Variety was doing a 10th anniversary Star Wars celebration in the pages of its June 3, 1987 issue I probably would not have cared much. But boy am I glad they did it now. I was looking through a copy of it on microfilm at the library and that issue is chock full of awesome Star Wars retrospective articles. There's some great quotes in one article from a tenth anniversary Star Wars convention appearance by Charles Lippincott, the man George Lucas hired to be the very first marketing director for Star Wars. Charles explained how it was tough convincing Marvel that a 5 issue movie adaptation comic was a good idea. He went on to explain how it was tough convincing anybody that Star Wars merchandise was a good idea!

What's also fun about this issue is that many Hollywood film companies and other organizations in the entertainment industry got in on the act by taking out giant ads congratulating George Lucas on his milestone. So in between the pages of articles chronicling Star Wars' commercial success were some great ads from some very famous people and places. Here's a couple of what I thought were the nicer ones.

Paramount Studios
Marvel Comics
Del Rey

Thursday, March 03, 2011


The 23rd seal of the Roboplastic Podcastalypse rips apart like a rare and valuable Voltron trading card that you tore in half because you weren't careful opening up the pack! Taste the blazing sword of anticipation as I deliver live interviews from Miami ComiCon 2011 with two of the artists who worked on 5finity's Voltron sketch card set-Michael "Locoduck" Duron and Rhiannon Owens! (But first I go on for half an hour about why you should accept Mister Rogers as your personal George Lucas and savior.) Once I get down to business, though, it's tons of talk about art, sketch cards, Voltron, Star Wars and how to cram really big robots onto really little pieces of paper. If your brother is a Robeast he'll love this LET'S TALK ABOUT SKETCH, BAYBEE edition of the Podcastalypse!

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Tyler Durden wasn't really big on collecting stuff but that's because he never saw the Voltron trading cards released by 5finity Productions in 2010. Every single card was an original work of art, unique as a snowflake except if snowflakes had space lions and robeasts on them. Yeah you'd be beating yourself up too if you missed out on these, but never fear my fellow Macrocranians! I have for you interviews with two artists who are cool as a pair of Voltron sketch cards (and only slightly less rare)! And if you can't get enough of these two, check out 5finity Productions' Voltron webpage for more examples of their Voltron sketch card set, Michael's site is at, Rhiannon's DeviantArt is, and they'll both be at MegaCon in Orlando March 25-27!



SW Galaxy 5




Rhiannon Owens

Acroyear by Michael Duron
  • Convention artists and their reluctance to mention they worked on robot franchises
  • Your dad was probably Darth Vader
  • I am dumb about sketch cards (and everything else that came out after 1985)
  • How Star Wars 12 backs destroyed the self esteem of preschoolers in 1978
  • Things I learned about collecting from Mr. Rogers (like keep the illegal stuff in the kitchen)
  • Why sketch cards are the best terrible thing to happen to collecting
  • Interview with Michael Duron
  • One set to start them all-breaking in with LotR Evolution
  • The LocoDuck fan blog
  • Donald is not the only duck at Disney
  • The Voltron United and Drawn coffeetable book
  • Getting a base card in SW Galaxy 6
  • See more of Michael's work at
  • Interview with Rhiannon Owens
  • The challenges and pressures of working on Voltron and Star Wars
  • The upcoming Betty Page sketch card set
  • The twisted ethic of trying new things harder for how they will help you do old things easier
  • This Darth Vader card is pretty awesome!
  • So is this AT-AT!
  • See more of Rhiannon's work at
  • Propel, propel, propel your craft!

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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.