Saturday, January 18, 2020

BEFORE MACROSS , THERE WAS SARA.

***PLEASE NOTE. THE FOLLOWING POST IS BASED OFF THE ROBOTECH NOVELS UNIVERSE AKA THE R.N.U. THE STORIES TOLD ABOUT MARS SARA BASE IN THE COMIC SERIES "INVASION" ARE  NOT PART OF THIS DISCUSSION NOR TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION.*** 



Another one of the many stories that can spring up from words of Jack McKinney;

"The destruction of Sara Base on Mars was in some ways typical of the setbacks experienced by the newly formed World Unification Alliance, the unfortunate result of suspicion, misinformation, and manipulation by an unnamed collective of separatist factions. That the Northeast Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere could be so easily duped into believing the base a military installation was all the more cause for concern. But more than that, the attack upon the base marked the first instance that humankind had taken warfare off the planet and brought it to the stars. "

Malachi Cain,  Prelude to Doomsday: A History of the Global Civil War 

RN - Battle Cry
****

This brings up a lot that can be discussed;

Mars was colonized before SDF-1's arrival?

From the Novels timeline

2002 - Destruction of Mars Base Sara. Lisa Hayes's fiance, Karl Riber, is killed. Lisa turns 17. (RN - End of the Circle)

That gives to believe that the space exploration and technology had taken a giant leap BEFORE the introduction of  Robotechnology. YAY SCIENCE!!!

But there is also the fact that the place ran on Reflex power, described as; 

"...one of Robotechnology's first by-products-back in more peaceful times."  (RN - Battle Cry)

The assumption is within those two years before it was destroyed, the base went through a major power upgrade.

Why was it destroyed?

Really no full story there. We have what the above Epigraph says; it was separatist factions. Holdovers from the Global Civil War. Lisa Hayes gave us a nugget more of information when remembering her deceased fiance, Carl/Karl Riber;

"He had volunteered for a nonmilitary position at Base Sara during the protracted conclusion of the Global Civil War. And died there during an unannounced and senseless raid; a misunderstanding of the worst sort."

RN - The Sentinels:Rubicon
*****

They must of been one seriously pissed off group of factions to take the combat all the way to Mars. It is possible that with the "Visitor" now uniting governments and military, the separatists were finding it harder score victories on Earth.

More questions come up of how was the attack executed. Did they completely wipe out the personnel there? Was it a Kamikaze run by the enemy. Did anybody make it back to Earth?

What we do know is that base was destroyed when the Reflex furnaces were overloaded to release Khyron's gravity mines that held the SDF-1 down on Mars's surface.

But...it doesn't end there for the history of Mars Base!

Its reconstruction would become part of the United Earth's Government so called "Moran Plan"; 

"...which called for the immediate refurbishment of Sara (base)" (RN - Zentraedi Rebellion)

And this new base's ultimate fate?...

Yes...Jack covered it!

"Mars base had had its ups and downs over the decades. Founded just after the turn of the century, Sara Base—as it was then known—was already in ruins by 2010, when the RDF engaged the forces of Khyron's Botoru Battalion on the Martian surface. Rebuilt in 2016, during the readying of the SDF-3, the base was abandoned in 2022, only to be resurrected two years later, deriving most of its funding from a conglomerate of Asian concerns. It has been suggested that its closing, in 2030, was the direct result of the Shimada Family's advanced knowledge of the imminent arrival of the Masters; for, shortly thereafter, the upper management of each of those Asian concerns relocated to subterranean Tokyo." 

From the introduction to Shi Ling's  Sometimes Even a Yakuza Needs a Place to Hide 

RN - Before the Invid Storm
*****

From just one location...all the stories and discussion that are born from it.

But please dear reader, add your own thoughts possibilities.

MAN I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!!

VIVA MCKINNEY! ✌

Much love and kick ass!

John
robotechnovels@gmail.com

Sunday, December 22, 2019

RICK HUNTER: I'M NOT WHINY-.....UHH I MEAN WORTHY!!!!

I JUST FOUND LOVE...AND NOW THIS? - RICK HUNTER
If one conclusion I've come to about Rick Hunter in the Robotech Novels, it's that the "failure" with Lynn Minmei lingers with him throughout the saga.

I don't doubt that he was happy with his choice of Lisa for his wife...but the vibe I get is that there is a lot of remorse on the road getting there. He wanted Minmei for so long and then Lisa  threatened that dream. And when they finally have time together, he realizes that Minmei threatens his duty to service. And then in the literal heat of battle (and Lisa's confession FINALLY), he realizes where he belongs.

The residual from all that comes in the form of a lot of self doubt after the destruction of Macross. Specifically about his future military life;

*****
The hand of fate seemed to be steering him along with forceful claps on the back. He was grateful for the shove that had landed him in Lisa's life, but he wanted to evade any jostling that might mean added responsibilities. He was comfortable with his captain's rank, and he knew that he was an able team leader. No need to overextend himself or allow anyone else to. He simply didn't have what it took to command from a desk or from behind the shielded partition of some tech-heavy balcony in a war room. 

RN - Zentraedi Rebellion
*****

I can say the beginning of this is from the moment of his promotion to Admiral, )although he thought at first it was colonel); Not even his accomplishments made him feel worthy;

*****
"Captain Hunter," Milburn said, rising from his chair when Rick had stepped onto the low platform that had been erected for the ceremony. "In recognition of countless acts of bravery performed in the service of the Defense Force, and in heartfelt appreciation of your contributions to the civilian cause throughout this difficult period of reconstruction, and lastly in acknowledgment of your donations to the design of the Expeditionary mission—notably in the aftermath of the destruction of Macross—we, members of the council and the RDF, wish at this time to confer on you a much-deserved and perhaps long-overdue promotion in rank."  

RN - Zentraedi Rebellion
*****
And his initial response to promotion?;

*****
"Sirs, Council Members," he said, "may I first say how honored I am. But I would be, uh, remiss if I didn't address some of my concerns about this promotion. I'm proud of what I've been able to contribute as a captain, leader of the Skull Veritechs, but I feel that a promotion to full-bird colonel—"  

"Captain Hunter," Milburn said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but you misunderstand."  

Rick's left brow arched. "Huh? Well, of course I meant to say lieutenant colonel. But that doesn't change my feelings any. Sirs, I mean, it's—"  

"Mr. Hunter." It was Reinhardt now, wearing a look of mild bemusement. "We're going to have to keep interrupting if you persist in making mistakes."  
All along the table, secret looks of amusement were exchanged.  "Not lieutenant colonel?" Rick said. "Then, sirs, I'm afraid I'm at a loss . . ."  

Milburn cleared his throat with meaning. "No reason to be, Vice Admiral Hunter."

RN - Zentraedi Rebellion 
*****

And even when all is etched in stone; we get this;

*****
"Begging your pardon, sir," Rick managed at last, his voice cracking, "but I'm only twenty-three years old!" Everyone but Lisa laughed.  

"Age isn't a factor in these crucial times," Milburn said. "It's all about being able to lead, Admiral. To shoulder responsibility. To do the job that needs doing. And all of us in this room are confident you can do just that."  


RN - Zentraedi Rebellion 

*****

Perhaps Rick's internal monologue is "It takes me forever to decide which woman I love and NOW you want me to make decisions that will affect the entire Tirol mission??? ARE YOU PEOPLE NUTS???"

And in an ironic twist, the person that basically puts him in this spot is none other that the woman he CHOSE, Lisa Hayes.

Love...aint' it a bitch! LMAO!

I have said in the past that 'Sentinels" Rick is a bit of a whiner at times and I stick by it. But as with all behaviors there will be always something behind it. In the example above; one can look at it two ways (at least);

A) He honestly feels he is not deserving.
B) After the Minmei debacle...he wants no more complications in his life.

We all know how it turns out. 😉

I'm sure there are many more angles you guys can come up with...do please share them in the comments here or on Facbebook!

Looking forward to finishing strong with a few more posts in 2019 and bringing tons of McKinney Magic for 2020!

Much love and kick ass!

John
robotechnovels@gmail.com

Sunday, November 3, 2019

THE CRAZY EIGHT SQUADRON....

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

THE REAL ROBOTECH RIGHT HERE!



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

I WANT TO POST HERE MORE....


...I mean it IS robotechnovels.com ,,,,, 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.


EPIGRAPH
*****
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!

John
robotechnovels@gmail.com


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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.

***********