David Schleinkofer's cover to the first Jack McKinney ROBOTECH novel, “Genesis.” This image has been imprinted in the back of my eyes for about twenty-seven years now. Positively iconic. Love Roy Fokker’s stern, serious expression overlooking the battle fortress under attack and the entire piece’s cool, almost sterile color palette. This is kind of what the future looked like in the 1980s. Also, I like that space is blue. Don’t know why, but between images like this and animated shows like The Transformers and, later, Macross 7, I have a certain affinity for those moments when media decides that space should be blue.
I wonder, where are those Veritechs coming from? Their placement works well for the composition, approaching from just beyond the image of the pilot who’s almost certainly leading them and, by being so far from the attack, showing the viewer the moment just before the tide likely turns in the RDF’s favor. Still, looking at the image here, isolated from the book’s graphic design and cover copy, I missed them entirely for a bit, and when I did see them, that question was definitely the first thing that popped into my head. I also think the actual book crops the image a little more on that side, leaving the source of their entrance to the viewer’s imagination. The complete image certainly does as well, but a little more to its detriment.
All nitpicking aside, this is still one of my favorite ROBOTECH images, one of the great iconic images of the series, and the fact that all the omnibuses and reprintings and whatnot discard Schleinkofer’s work in favor of the blandest promo art of, with maybe one exception, the series’s mechanized hardware is, to me, one of the top ten crying shames of the franchise’s twenty-nine-year history, alongside such horrors as the rewriting and recutting of Robotech The Movie to include the stupid Southern Cross bits, the lumpy-looking Matchbox action figures, the cancellation of Crystal Dreams, the way Robotech Remastered screwed up the opening title sequence, and the mediocrity of The Shadow Chronicles. (Feel free to put these in your own preferred order of disgust and brainstorm what the other four miserable bits of Robotechnological malpractice might be.)
Also, I turn thirty-three today. Where in the hell is the time going, and if I find out, can I get some of it back?