Robotech® viewings & readings, creative dreamings, and fandom sharings ~ EhC
And here’s my third Robotech AMV, set to Lita Ford's “War of the Angels” — Dana Sterling, “Wars’ Daughter.”
I’m really proud of this one. Synthesizes the reflective quality of "Rook et Rose" w/ the emotional verve of "Macross: Reconstruction" (at least, that’s the intent). Dana’s my favorite Rt character, and Lita’s BLACK album is an overlooked roots-metal-glam potpourri.
Enjoy ~ EhC
Dash Shaw screened the “very best episode” of Robotech as part of Comic Arts Brooklyn's November 2013 programming. I was intrigued by the cartoonist-animator's promo art for his evening of limited animation and curious about what Robotech episode he selected & why. Since no other news source (that I'm aware of) wrote about the event's specifics, I reached out to Shaw for an interview. He generously answered a few questions and, in the process, enlightened me to a possible reframing of Robotech's original production — as collage.
EhC: How do you define “limited animation”?
DASH SHAW: Animation that “limits” the number of drawings, usually because it’s a low-budget project. It’s the art of communicating a lot, through a little.
What Robotech episode did you screen at CAB? Why that episode?
Episode 17, “Phantasm.” I love the fast pace and delirious energy of the episode. It’s a long dream. It’s basically the most avant-garde episode, and it’s also completely fun. I’ve watched it many times. It has that great thing that film can do, which is someone imposing their sense of time on you. It reminds me of the Guy Maddin short "The Heart of the World" and the episode recaps that appear before shows like Lost, but this Robotech episode is 25 minutes long and is a total joyride the whole way through.
How did you discover Robotech? What attracted you then and what attracts you now?
I just rented it at some point. I’ve liked comics and cartoons my whole life. I never took any breaks from it. So the kinds of things I like now are very similar to the things I watched as a kid. But I don’t think I have any nostalgia for it in particular. I genuinely love the characters, the moral complexities of the story, and — as it’s presented in this program — it’s technical qualities, such as pace and movement. Mostly showing it in the context at CAB was about the technical aspects, especially the frantic, delirious pace of this particular episode. I played it right after an episode of a very fast-moving series I did for IFC called "The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century AD."
Collage is a technique you utilize in your work. The original 85-episode Robotech cartoon rearranges and draws connections between three separate series to create a unique multi-generational one. Is Robotech collage?
I hadn’t thought of that before. Usually I think of collage in comics and animation in a spatial sense. By arranging things on a page or a screen you’re drawing connections between things, or suggesting possibilities that might not have been apparent immediately. Like layering sound over an image creates a third thing. But that’s also true in stories. Interesting point.
You’ve been given eight pages in a Robotech comix anthology to tell any story in any way. What do you do?
I’m not interested. I want to tell stories about my own characters.
I’m in the midst of a Battlestar Galactica v2 rewatch (the best Robotech live-action series never made) and realized…
The Logan can be cool after all(!).
(Ten years on, and I’m just now noticing the Raptor-Logan similarity… Duh, me.)
This was supposed to be just one panel in a 2 page comic for Captain JLS’ Roboblog comic contest, but considering how long this one panel took… An Invid scout flies high above a crashed Zentradi ship (one of thousands that still litter the surface of the Earth) surrounded by humble farms.
A couple years ago, I pursued this license; I was excited about the potential, the holders couldn’t understand why. CaptainJLS & I had fun brainstorming a comix-series bible. The idea: If we could make Starriors smart & cool — hey, HG, how about giving us a crack at the Robotech comix…?
It was an interesting learning experience. After some discussion, we both (re)realized that doing our own things is a much better use of our creative energies.
Prodded by Cap’s novel-art thoughts, here’s my favorite Rt novel/cover — Before the Invid Storm. Purchased from a mall Waldenbooks in Wausau WI in 1996. The last original Rt novel in the series w dynamic new art commission. (Cap has or used to have the orginal lineart/rough for the piece; jealous.)
Besides being an enjoyable read w associated fannish memories, I appreciate that it, as a pop-cultural artifact, is — as I said in a tweet last year — “of and the end of an era.”
Say hello to the VF-7 Sylphide, a Veritech Fighter design inspired by the non-transformable Southern Cross fighter of the same name that, at one point in the Robotech Masters episodes of the TV series is referred to as a Veritech — hence this long-standing notion that it must actually be a Veritech, culminating in this art commission by ROBOTECH comic book artist Greg Lane. This is, in fact, the Battloid that appears in the Robotech Visions piece that inspired this tour. […]
Very cool. One in a series of fetishistic transforming-Robotech-plane design exercises the Cap’s been sharing. Here are a couple others, with JLS’s always solid commentary - Delta Fighter & Gamma Fighter