Friday, February 22, 2019

LET'S CONTINUE OUR ROBOTECH NOVELS JOURNEY....WITH A CLASSIC INTERVIEW!

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 know...my 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!

John
robotechnovels@gmail.com

***********

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 flick.com 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 Flickr.com site. Just type in, davidschleinkofer, and it should come up or google my name and click on the flickr.com photo stream website. Or they can reach me at, artist20@verizon.net

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

IT'S ABOUT THE JOURNEY...

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

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

LET'S ENJOY THE SHOW BABY!!!!




EPISODE #5 "END OF THE CIRCLE"

.. 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 Novelist...one 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
robotechnovels@gmail.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!





Download this episode (right click and save)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

SCOTT BERNARD'S STARTING POINT...

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

RN - INVID INVASION

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;

MAP CREDIT: http://www.karridian.net/robotech_sc_southamerica.html
REAL NICE WEBSITE!
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
robotechnovels@gmail.com

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NOT SEEN ON ROBOTECH TV: ROLF EMERSON



When Carl gave the mission for Brian and Jim to take the Robotech story to the realm of science fiction literature, I'd like to think that there were moments where they ran into secondary characters and said..."We gotta expand on him/her! Maybe not the whole backstory, but enough to make them an essential piece to the Robotech narrative.

Case in point;

"Major General Emerson, Chief of Staff, Ministry of Terrestrial Defense"...Army of the Southern Cross.

In the RNU...this was the result of BLACKMAIL!

Excerpt;

Leonard tilted his big head to regard Emerson. "And on your end?"

"I want my own rank reinstated."

"Only if you agree to serve the Army of the Southern Cross."

Emerson nodded, as if having anticipated the counterdemand. "But in return I'll expect to be granted absolute authority over Space Station Liberty."

"Granted, Major General Emerson."

That particular story though.....is for another day.

But there's more to his backstory;

..." this was Rolf Emerson, hero of a dozen pivotal battles in the Global Civil War, the Robotech War, and the Disorders that followed them."

One of those "There has to be more to this!"

With so much else covered in the Novels that's important to the RNU,  Jim Luceno does give us this and regardless of its brevity, DOES bridge things;

"Hell, back in Australia, before the Visitor, I fought against the Neasians when they tried to march into Melbourne. Then, five years later, I fought with them when the Exclusionists had a go at the place...

...I was fifteen when Macross Island became the center of the world. Me and a couple of friends sailed there all the way from New Zealand, just to get a look at the ship, but the supercarrier Kenosha had the place blockaded. Like nearly every other sixteen-year-old, I enlisted in the RDF in the hope of getting posted to Macross, but that never happened. Instead, I was stationed right in Sydney and assigned to cleaning up the mess the Exclusionists had left behind."

It's not everything...but it's miles better than "just something".

Nicely done guys.

- John

JOIN US UN FACEBOOK!

EXCERPTS: RN - Southern Cross, The Masters Gambit, Zentraedi Rebellion

IMAGE: Robotech : TAS, False Start

P.S.

I hate having to refer to the "franchise".....been there, done that., and it's become irrelevant. But these Novels as originally written by Brian Daley and Jim Luceno....NOT the "Shadow rewrites"...have, with all their ambitious concepts and contradictions, stood the test of time and will always be a superior story to anything that the Tommy "Yuniverse" has EVER produced for Robotech. 

robotechnovels@gmail.com 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A CERTAIN QUASI-CANINE CREATURE NATIVE TO OPTERA...

One huge thing I give credit to they guys is the way they"connect the dots" in the Robotech story. Taking what in the series is a minor or insignificant moment and make an integral part of the Robotech Novels Universe.

Did it always work? Hmmmm......no. (i.e. Zand and Edwards)

But it really worked with the concept of "Polly";




"There was a sudden whimper and the hollow bounce of an empty can nearby. She was on her feet, reflexively ready for a fight. But there was no enemy there. It was, instead, a quite special acquaintance.

"Polly!" 

She stopped to gather the little creature up, a thing that looked like a mophead, its tongue hanging out. It might have passed for a terrestrial dog until one took a closer look. It had small knob-ended horns, eyes that were hidden beneath its sheepdoglike forelock-but that were definitely not the eyes of an Earth lifeform-and feet resembling soft muffins. 

From a brief scene with with Polly on screen; In the RNU we learn how Dana Sterling becomes associated t the to the main conflict in Robotech by way of her late Zentraedi "godfathers";

It's a pollinator, Bron had told her gently the first time she was introduced to it. That's how she had given the thing its name, even though she had no idea whether Polly was male or female.

She never found out just. how the ex-spies had come across the affectionate little beast; they had promised to tell her in the "someday" that had never come.

Jack continues on Polly's powers;

"But she had learned that Polly was a magical creature indeed.

"For instance, Polly came and went as it pleased, no matter if you locked it in or tied it up. You would look around, and Polly would just be gone, maybe for a little while or maybe for a long time. It reminded her a little of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and later, another old-time book title she came across, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.

The pollinator was her first adult-style secret, since her godfathers told her she must never mention it to anybody, and she had kept that secret all her life. Apparently, Polly was part of some miraculous thing, but she never found out what. Polly had managed to find her for brief visits four or five times since the death of Konda, Bron, and Rico."

"Polly" and others like it  would have several appearances/references throughout the rest of the RNU, including the Sentinels and End of the Circle. (and what an end for Polly!)

Although this did not come up in my conversations with Jim, I'm going to say that the concept of the Pollinators was not a McKinney original as they do show up in Carl Macek's  canceled animated series, Robotech II: The Sentinels.

Despite that, Brian and Jim made the most of Polly...including one of the biggest plot twists in the RNU...if not the biggest;


"The organisms on the plant's planet of origin did not seem to be exploiting the plant's
potential, and so Haydon transplanted the entire species to Optera leaving none behind. 

Why are Terrestrials so surprised there was no fossil evidence or other indication of the Flower's origin left behind on Earth or the Pollinators' either? Hasn't it penetrated yet that
we are talking about Haydon?

Cabell, Zor and the Great Transition

Now THAT's a backstory worthy of McKinney! The possibilities...all that could be discovered! 

Ok...I'm dizzy now.

- John

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK! (CLICK HERE!)

EXCERPTS:
Robotech Novels: Southern Cross, End of The Circle

IMAGES:
Comico Comics
Robotech: TAS, False Start


JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!

Hi all!

While I still will do posts here on the blog; the majority of the material originates from our Facebook Page.




The Novels Excerpt videos I produce can also be viewed better as well.

Look forward to seeing you! We have some real nice things coming up!

- John