Monday, September 12, 2011


The 33rd seal of the Roboplastic Apocalypse lay burnt and broken, as if mauled by great flocks of dragons and other vast predatory birds! Yes it 's the DragonCon 2011 edition of the Roboplastic Podcastalypse and this time the Nostrodomatron finds himself in Atlanta, Georgia amidst all manner of madmen, machines and mad machine men in a quest to find some dudes to talk some robots with. Have you ever wondered what inspired the look of the Transformers Generation 2 comic? Is our government working hard to keep us entertained? What size diaper did Darth Vader wear when he was a baby? Find out all this and more in this HERE THERE BE DRAGONCONONIANS edition of the podcastalypse!

Or download it directly


Okay let's get this out of the way first. No recollection of DragonCon would be complete without pictures of lots out of shape Darth Vaders and hot chicks in slutty cartoon costumes. I expected people to show up wearing (or barely wearing) stuff that was not at all appropriate in public or even appropriate at other weirdo conventions where people usually show up dressed like space hoochies and obese Darth Vaders. This was DragonCon-the most extreme, vile, wretched, scummy hive of vile wretched scummy hives and it did not disappoint. These people really kicked it up a notch and took it to eleven. This wasn't just sexy, obscene, bizarre and disgusting, this was DragonCon brand sexy, obscene, bizarre and disgusting and that meant nothing was sacred. Everything from sci-fi to PBS kids' cartoons to Nickelodeon game shows was fair game to be cosplayed and fetishized. It was awesome and beyond my ability to record all the wonderful debauchery so I highly recommend checking out rhysfunk's DragonCon 2011 photo collection on Flickr.

The unlikely combination of Pokemon and hookers. My deepest most heartfelt thanks to all the convention hoochies that make that possible.


I came to DragonCon with a single goal in mind-to hit artists' alley and meet as many people who have worked on licensed robot properties as I could. There were supposed to be a few there who worked on either Voltron or Transformers books and comics and I wanted to meet them all. I descended into the complicated labyrinth that was the deepest bowels of the Hyatt and found lots of incredible artists and writers from within and beyond the world of robots like Peter David and Bob Burdenall. It was overwhelming. Just the Artists Alley alone was enough of a convention to eat up all my time and it pretty much did. I want to thank the anonymous guy who took this picture of me outside the entrance because he really did a great job.


This is Mark Brooks, an artist who has done lots of robot work including drawing a ton of profiles for Dreamwave's More Than Meets the Eye Transformer character encyclopedia. He also did covers for Image's G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers and the Devil's Due Voltron from 2003. He was sort of a last minute addition to the show so I was unprepared to ask him for an interview but I got this great shot and he signed a couple comics. Check out his DeviantArt where he goes by Diablo2003.


I'd be lying if I said I wasn't there just to meet Derek Yaniger. Getting to talk to and interview the man who established the gritty, gory look of The Transformers Generation 2 comic was the entire reason I flew out from Miami all the way to Atlanta. I will always remember how he was just one of the nicest, most patient people I have ever met. I can't thank him enough for agreeing to talk with me a few minutes for the Podcastalypse. I can't believe every artist I've ever asked has agreed to talk to me in the first place and then for them to be so cordial and gracious throughout always makes me feel like the luckiest obscure toy robots blogging guy in the universe. You can check Derek out at his site and he's also got the DerekArt Facebook fan page (that I also happen to be a member of).


One thing that really strikes me about Derek's booth at conventions is that you'll be hard pressed to find licensed characters of any sort throughout his displays. Were it not for the DragonCon 2010 prints he was selling I don't think he'd have any material that wasn't 100% totally original. He's really unique in this regard. A lot of other artists will have tons of established licensed characters dominating their tables but here's Derek doing his own thing and in a really wild way. That sign with his name was so gigantic it could be seen from nearly every part of the convention floor!


This is why I loved Derek Yaniger on Generation 2. Every cover was a hellacious vision of robot armageddon. It was Transformers from hell and it was awesome. As you can tell by the signatures I love me them scribbles. Here's my G2 #1 and #7 signed by both Derek and Simon Furman. Talk about great convention memories.

Here's my Derek haul. I had to get the "Peepshow" print he made of the art he created for the DragonCon 2011 official hotel keycards and program covers, especially since my program got messed up and I didn't stay at the official hotels. I also wanted that "Throttlejockeys" poster for my wall and his book Wildsville: The Art of Derek Yaniger is something you can just stare at for hours.

Shawn Robare and me

Thank you, your government!

  • Everyone at DragonCon is looking at me!
  • The allure of things DragonCononian
  • Derek Yaniger bringing an extreme edge to Transformers comics in '93
  • This line is really dragon!
  • Even the cars and trucks are cosplaying
  • RedNeckNoks
  • DragonConfusing
  • Dommo no got no Mister Roboto
  • Thanks for the Pokemammaries
  • It's like R-rated halloween for kids
  • Break-Madame Kamay's Filipino Palace
  • Pocket program protection problem
  • Derek Yaniger's great taste in t-shirts
  • Optimus Prime cosplayer avoiding me
  • Break-DragonCon Commercial
  • Vintage Space Toast Tour Atlanta!
  • The 40 minute search for 40 year old Lionel Playworld ads
  • Awesome 8 year old artist alley table hijacker
  • Losing my DragonPass at DragonBreakfast
  • The relative rarity of Estebans in Atlanta
  • Almost losing my Voltron virginity in the DragonCon dealer room
  • Kabillion dollar animation cells and other stuff in the dealer room
  • Not a M.A.S.K. collector, a M.A.S.K. rememberer
  • Interview with Derek Yaniger
  • Where the Transformers Generation 2 style came from
  • The influence of Simon Bisley's ABC warriors art
  • Where Derek's original G2 art is now
  • Derek's progression through comics, animation and then in the retro scene
  • The DerekArt Facebook fan page
  • Early art influences in Derek's life
  • Derek's art in the Nickelodeon cartoon Good Vibes
  • Whatever flips your switches!
  • Closing thanks (including baby Darth Vader and Bender)
  • Don't Rocket Punch Your Friends!

Also check out my Not Enough Pictures from DragonCon album over at Flickr!

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