Sunday, November 3, 2019


I am VERY tempted to make this into a patch...


Wednesday, October 2, 2019


...I mean it IS ,,,,, and some of the Facebook posts do get long and I don't like the look of them.

So for this post I wanted to give some time to one of The Sentinels secondary characters;

Harry Penn...

Described as a "designer of exotic mecha" (I'm open to your suggestions)...and one of the branches of Emil Lang's tree of specialists in Robotechnology which included Sheamus Bronson, R. Burke and of course Lazlo Zand.

Is he one of those characters that stands out like some of the others? Hmmm...not so much. He is the oldest member of the Plenipotentiary Council...and...kind of a grouch.

"Toys," Dr. Harry Penn told Lang, an undisguised note of disapproval in his voice. "War toys, when we could be fashioning wonders." He was a large man with a gruff-looking exterior that masked the gentlest of spirits. The thick mustache and beard he had grown to mask the pockmarked, hooked-nose cragginess of his face had only ended up adding to the effect he had hoped to minimize. It was a scholarly, academic image he was after, and as the oldest member of the Plenipotentiary Council and one of Lang's top men he felt he deserved no less.

"There'll be time for that when this mission returns," Lang said evenly. "Until then we have to be sure of our strengths."

Penn made a disgruntled sound. "A peaceful mission, a diplomatic mission...Am I the only one who remembers the meaning of those words?"

RN - Sentinels: The Devil's Hand

But his claim to fame in the Robotech: The Sentinels isn't so much of his mecha designing skills and being the cynic.

He's father to one main character Karen Penn.

Karen, will get her own posts in the future, but it is interesting to see his overly protective nature with her.

Max rogered the transmission; Karen Penn, Harry's only daughter, said, "We're on our way." 

Lang risked a quarter turn and found Penn regarding him with a mixture of surprise and rage. "You're awfully quiet, Harry, is something wrong?" 

"Have you gone mad, Lang! You know I didn't want Karen participating in this test." 

"What was I supposed to do, Harry, refuse her permission? Don't forget, she volunteered, and she's one of our most able young pilots." 

"But I don't want her to get mixed up in this, Emil. Can't you understand that? Science is her future, not warfare." 

RN - The Sentinels: The Devils Hand

And as I have said on the Facebook Page, one of the outstanding themes in the Sentinels story arc is liberation. When it occurs to Karen, that doesn't sit too well with dad.

"Karen, a moment please." "You gonna chew me out now?" 

"Calm down," said Lang. "I'm going to recommend you for assignment to a Veritech team." 
"Just a minute, Emil," Penn said, one hand clasped around Karen's upper arm. "Don't you think you're overstepping your authority?" He had already lost his wife, and Karen's joining the RDF had threatened to destroy what had once been a close relationship. Now Lang seemed bent on trying to scuttle what small joy he had left. 

Lang pried his friend's fingers open and motioned Karen along. "I'm sorry, Harry, but she's old enough to make up her own mind. You can't hold on to her forever. Besides, if this mission should encounter resistance, we're going to need experienced pilots." 

"Resistance," Penn snorted, and began to storm off. But half-a-dozen steps away he swung around. "All the more reason to hold on to her for as long as I can."

RN - The Sentinels: The Devils Hand


Brian and Jim do clue us in on the why of Harry Penn wanting to hold on to his only child.

Here's a peculiar thing: I wasn't the only one at the Academy with something to prove or disprove; I never asked, but it seems to me now that there were a lot of em like me, pushing the envelopes of their own lives the way the test pilots were pushing the envelopes with their aerospacecraft.

My father's Doctor Penn, naturally, and everybody calls him the leading brain on Earth after Emil Long. I like my father, but I think he has the conviction that because I didn't accept that New Rhodes scholarship, and went into the Academy instead, I'm some sort of intellectual failure. Since I'm enjoined to tell you about all the things that pertain, I'll say that my father still holds the death of my mother, in childbirth, against me-unconsciously, of course.

I forgive him-he's a brilliant man. But I don't want him running my life. I have my own agenda.

From REF-selection diagnostic session, cadet-graduate Penn, Karen

RN - Sentinels: Dark Powers


Karen's eventual joining with the Sentinels puts a rift between Lang and Harry which from a Plenipotentiary Council standpoint, and this is guesswork, wold have probably affected his votes concerning T.R. Edwards.

"With Rick and Lisa and all the other men and women who had joined the Sentinels' cause missing and presumed dead, there were precious few people Dr. Lang could trust, let alone seek out for company or old-fashioned good counsel. Things had not been the same between Lang and Harry Penn since Karen left..."

RN - The Sentinels: Death Dance

Harry Penn...a grouch....a designer of exotic mecha...loving father (in a really clumsy way!)...

Then there's Jack Baker...

But that's another story for another day.

Much love and kick ass!



Friday, February 22, 2019


Hi guys and girls!

I've been a little behind on updates, but here I am!

We've do have more activity going on at our Facebook Page. Join us by clicking HERE

Now one of the things that stood out with the Novels at first look was the cover art;

With the exception of the "Lost Generation" Novels, it was one man behind the incredible and unforgettable art; David Schleinkofer.

Whether it was the Novels art of the original story, the Sentinels or End of the Circle; David gave Robotech a fresh look. Characters looking more real and a closer look at some of the iconic mecha and who could forget "Bucket-head" Breetai?

And before Robotech, for us 80s kids, David had a hand on some toy box art from another franchise...

Along With Brian and Jim, David made his mark in the Robotech Legacy.

For this post I have a special surprise for you all. Below is an email-interview I did with David back in 2010 for Robotech's 25th Anniversary on The Protoculture Times...seems so long ago but I remember it like yesterday!

Even after 8 years, I want to thank David for the time he took in answering my questions, He shares about how he got in to the art business, his sci fi interests, of course the Robotech Novels  art, and his thoughts on the "digital age vs. traditional art"

Good times....GREAT times!

Now you guys and girls should interview style back then was all around, not just Robotech and while it may not be heavy on that, David has had an incredible artist career in many well known franchises. 

I'll try to update this more often, I've been more active on the Facebook page as of late but I really want to get things back into full swing.

Much love and kick ass!



Protoculture Times (PCT) :I always like to find out the origins of people's "callings", how did your journey as an artist start?

David Schleinkofer (DS): My journey as an artist started as a kid who was always drawing cars, TV celebrities, World War II airplanes in dog fights, Frankenstein, Wolf man etc. When in grade school, the nuns would have me drawing decorations for the class room for whatever holiday was coming up and I got out of doing a lot of classroom seat work because of it.

PCT: In terms of style, how would you describe yours?

DS: I would describe my illustration style as stylized realism.

PCT: How did the interest into the sci - fi genre come about?

DS: I guess the interest in sci-fi started as a kid watching, the Day The Earth stood Still, War of the Worlds, Frankenstein movies, Fireball XL-5 and the like.

PCT: Any particular science fiction stories or franchises that you are a fan of?

DS: It's difficult to pin down a specific sci-fi story because I liked most of the ones I've read. As far as franchises goes, what set me afire to start painting Sci- Fi art was ,Star Wars. I remember going out and buying my first Badger airbrush. The first thing I painted with it was my own version of a movie poster for Star Wars. I just did it for the practice and to get a sample to show agents in New York because I didn't have one at the time. Aliens series would next, Battlestar Galactica-old version, Batman movies-all of them!

PCT: Now, when you have been commissioned to do a sci-fi painting to accompany a story or a novel do you familiarize yourself with the entire story or just go by a synopsis and get inspired that way?

DS: In the 70's and the early 80's the art directors would have you read the whole story and left it up to you to come up with the cover ideas usually up to 3 different versions. In the later 80's and into the 90's the art directors would give you a short synopsis or an outline of what they wanted to see illustrated on the cover. Although it took longer, I did enjoy reading the entire book to find just the right scene to paint.

PCT: Now, other than the Robotech with what other science fiction franchises or stories has your worked been featured in?

DS: Other Franchises would be, Battlestar Galactica, The Sim City Game covers, The Transformer art that appeared on the back of the toy packaging and used on lunch cans, bed sheets, puzzles etc., Mick Farren sci-fi novels, Juanita Coulson's sci-fi novels, many covers an inside art for Science Digest Magazine and Robotech of course.

PCT: Any particular favorite moments when working on a piece come to mind?

DS: One favorite moment that comes to mind was when I was doing an illustration for an article Isaac Asimov wrote for Science Digest and they wanted me to call him an discuss what he might want to see illustrated. I was a little nervous to talk to him, but I called him, and he just said to me that he is really no good at visualizing what to illustrate and said that I could do whatever I thought best and said goodbye. I found it kind of amazing that an Isaac Asimov had trouble visualizing anything but there you have it.

PCT: Your art was not just featured in the science fiction world, but you also did work in advertisement and video games can you tell us about that?

DS: While I really enjoyed doing the sci-fi artwork I didn't want to get stuck just painting that and I was good at coming up with ideas for advertising so my agent got me plenty of that which kept me very busy for a while until the computer came into its own in the 90's and the work started to dry up. The video games came about because of the sci-fi art that I had done, and I did the Sim City series, and others but some of the covers were not used on the game in favor of a much less exciting digital version which was taken from the game itself.

PCT: Now you have a VERY special connection to the Transformers franchise, specifically, the first line of toys that came out, could you share that with our listeners?

DS: When the Transformers toys first came to America, it needed new packaging and I remember when the art director gave me a couple of the actual toys to take home and use to draw the art. I was on the train heading home from New York and trying to unfold and then fold back up the different toys and finding it a little difficult to do without breaking them. When I got home, I showed my wife these neat toys but said I don't think these are going to catch on with kids because it's too hard to fold them back up and I also didn't see the point to having a car or truck or cassette tape turn into a robot? I couldn't have been more wrong!  The artwork I did for the back of the box was used on all the different characters and also kid's school lunch cans, bed sheets, mugs, tee shirts, puzzles etc.

PCT: What's the average the time you will spend on piece? Are there any rituals involved for motivation?

DS: The time it takes to paint a piece varies on the actual size and the amount of detail needed. I usually was comfortable with a size for book covers around 15"x20" more or less and usually took around 15-20 hours. I used a combination of air brush and very small brushes for detail and on occasion a small piece of sponge for texture on rocks or trees. From the very beginning I've always listened to music to inspire my visions while I painted. Listening to Vangelis, Tomita or other new age music or the sound track to Alien, Star Wars, Star Trek, Superman, well you get the idea. It puts you right there among the stars and planets or in the thick of a battle scene or an alien planet's surface. It really works for me.

PCT: So now we come to the Robotech novels, how did that originate?

DS: My agent at the time, Mendola Artist LTD. got me the Robo covers. I had never heard of the series an was very interested in the challenge the art director had for me to render the characters in a more fleshed out way and less cartoon style. I don't remember the art director's name but the editor at Del Rey was, Riva Kessler. She was responsible for introducing the new line Robo books to America which were translated and rewritten by Brian Daley and James Luceno whose work appear under the pseudonym, Jack McKinney.

PCT: Now besides the novel adaptations of the Original 85 episodes, you also did the covers to the Sentinels novels which included the title the End of The Circle. Since The Sentinels was never completed as a series, what background and research were done in order to come out with the final art?

DS: For rendering End of The Circle, I believe I was given an outline of what they wanted to see on the art and then I put those Ideas together for the finished art.

PCT: Any one cover from the novels that is your personal favorite?

DS: Some of my favorite covers are, Battle Cry#2, The Final Nightmare #9, Invid Invasion #10, and End of The Circle.

PCT: You have all this work in science fiction and in the 90's, you decide to break away from that, what were your reasons for that decision?

DS: I did not leave sci-fi, it left me. As I mentioned before when the computer first came into its own in the 90's, a lot of the art directors wanted to use it for the covers or in advertising, video game covers you name it. Some of the artists I knew took to the so called, new tool, and started to get work using it. At the time it was too confusing for me and I spent so much time learning to paint images my way, old school, I didn't want to do it that way. Today I notice that alot of covers appear to me to still be done by hand and the other half on the computer. I guess what I don't like about work done on the computer is that an individual’s style is lost, and all the work done on a computer looks like it was done by the same person, the computer. I used to be able to recognize different illustrators purely by the look of their brush strokes or the use of color.

PCT: What did you start concentrating your efforts on after that?

DS: After sci-fi and the drying up of advertising work I turned to the Fine Arts arena. I painted local scenes, landscapes, nautical scenes, children’s portraits and on occasion I get a murder mystery paper back cover to do.

PCT: Now rumor has it, you got bit by the sci-fi bug again, could you confirm that with us?

DS: A lot of people who visit my site on have been giving me the itch to try to get back to doing some sci-fi work again. They have been very encouraging with words like awesome, fantastic worlds, futurist painter, and a few have mentioned I should get back to it.

PCT: Away from the art room, what are David Schleinkofer's interests?

DS: Some of my other interest include photography, boating, restoring antiques, doing remolding in my home, and travel.

PCT: What are you up to right now and how can fans get in contact with you and get to see your art?

DS: I just finished remodeling our family room and kitchen from top to bottom. I’m getting ready to do some fine art work of landscapes from our visit to the wine country in the Santa Barbra area of California. People can see my artwork at my site. Just type in, davidschleinkofer, and it should come up or google my name and click on the photo stream website. Or they can reach me at,

PCT: Now in the Robotech fandom, I have been blessed to talk about so many talented people who do fan art and not just Robotech but science fiction in general. What advice would you have for anyone wanting to take a journey similar to your own?

DS: For anyone interested in pursuing a career in illustration You must really love working quickly, being persistent and not giving up, and waiting 30 to 90 days to get paid. I'm not really sure what the field is like anymore with the economy the way it is but it's pretty much difficult everywhere.

PCT: You see the "digital age" replacing so many traditional things. Despite the digital art and all the CGI that is out there, would you agree that the world will always appreciate the artist and his brush?

DS: This question is hard to answer because right now the economy is bad and people just aren't buying art. There are always going to be people who just love the newest craze or electronic gadgets and pursue them no matter what they cost. However, there will always be the ones who like things done by hand are one of a kind and that stand out from the rest and these are the ones who will continue to appreciate the artist brushwork and individual style.

PCT: As I do with all the Robotech celebrities we talk to, I want to give you the final word and any message that you'd like to give out to the Robotech and science fiction fans listening to the show?

DS: Although I may sound a bit sour on the computer, I will be the first to admit you can't beat it for making Sci-Fi movies, they are awesome! I love science fiction and love all the endless possibilities it brings to your mind. Whether your reading the words on the page or in the movie theater sci-fi takes you on an exciting and interesting journey.


Sunday, October 22, 2017


I thought a lot about what I would write for this....

And then I said....nothing else needs to be said except...



.. one more time ! (PLAY/DOWNLOAD BELOW)

After a little Robotech and Robotech Novels 101 from yours truly...

There's no better way to arrive at the End Of The Circle for this podcast than with one of the guys that made the magic of the Robotech Novels happen.

Robotech: The McKinney Project Podcast presents -

NY Times Best Selling Star Wars half of Robotech's Jack McKinney....James Luceno!

Celebrating 30 years of the Roboetch Novels!

Some of what you'll hear;

- Getting the Robotech Novels Gig

- Carl Macek and James Dean?

- The Robotech Novels Process

- Adding the "McKinney Concepts"

- World Building in Robotech

- Jim Luceno's Star Wars Journey (all because of Robotech)

- Were Darth Vader, Tarkin and Palpatine REALLY bad guys?

- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel and the movie reshoots

- Will Jim return to a Galaxy far far away?

- Remembering a good friend....Brian Daley

- Jack McKinney...Nepal....Sherpas...and Star Wars???

- Will Digital replace the good old fashion book?

- Which one is easier to write...Robotech or Star Wars?

- Bringing Robotech's secondary characters to the fore in the Novels

- The character of Anatole Leonard.

- Thinking Caps aren't real a.ka. "The Nitpicking"

- The Harmony Gold "rewrites" of the Robotech Novels

- Will Jack McKinney return to Robotech?

- Trivial Pursuit - Jim Luceno Edition

- This fan's most important Robotech Novels question answered!

- A Final Toast

And to all who have been on this podcast journey with me.....To hopeful endings and new beginnings!

- J.T. ... OUT BABY!

Much love and kick ass!

- John


Download this episode (right click and save)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


In rereading the Novels Story one thing that has had me wondering on many occasions and sometimes for a long while; are the locations on Earth where the story takes place. Some places are named directly. With others we get a general area. But, there will be times where inevitably it comes down to guess work/speculation.

The series itself is great for visuals as shown on this page but shed little to no light on places of action. 

Most of the time I do some online searches regarding the subject and will find "nuggets and tidbits" about a place mentioned and I'll just have to go from there. There is some real good stuff out there by fans, the Palladium RPG books, fan fiction. Really some kick ass thought put into it. As we move along, I will be sure to provide links. 

The info is useful and gives me a few thoughts. In many cases, the overall narrative of those sources deviate from the Novels arc.I am the "pick and choose" type of guy with these sources and what fits for the Novel narrative, I'll fit it in. 

One subject that definitely comes up in the New Generation story is the location of Scott Bernard's landing on Earth and his initial meet up with Rand. 

We have this Epigraph;

Dolza's annihilation bolts had devastated the South American coastal cities and turned much of the vast interior forest into wasteland. Ironically enough, however, repopulation of the area was largely the result of the hundreds of Zentraedi warships that crashed there after the firing of the Grand Cannon. Indeed, even after Khyron's efforts to stage a full-scale rebellion had failed, the region was still largely under Zentraedi domination (the T'sentrati Control Zone, as it was known to the indigenous peoples), up until the Malcontent uprisings of 2013-15 and the subsequent events headed up by Captain Maxmillian Sterling of the Robotech Defense Force. But contrary to popular belief, Brazilas did not become the lawless frontier Scott Bernard traversed until much later, specifically, the two-year period between the fall of Chairman Moran's Council and the Invid invasion. In fact the region had seen extensive changes during the Second Robotech War and surely would have risen to the fore had it not been for the disastrous end to that fifteen-year epoch.

"Southlands,"  History of the Third Robotech War, Vol. XXII


Now this Epigraph is three chapters into the book shortly after Scott's first Earth-bound run in with the Invid. "Brazilas" is not in reference to the country of Brazil but rather a territory. The Robotech Wars eliminated the concept of sovereign nations so to speak. 

Things in South America would probably have been like the following map;

Based on the map and the Epigraph, I'm going to put Scott's landing at the most southern tip of the "Brazilas" territory. (MY CIRCLED STAR) There's a reason for it based on what's to come in the story...

At least now we have a starting point. 

I won't lie to you,  stuff like this makes my head spin. But through this journey into the Novels we (I'm always open to constructive input!) can find pieces that will fit into this big jigsaw puzzle.

But let's not get into dates and years...yet!

A Robotech Novels Universe is hard work, but fun!

- John