Remember how I was complaining on my birthday about all the reprints of the ROBOTECH novels ditching David Schleinkofer's work in favor of stock mecha art? Well, for at least the upcoming ebook editions of the post-TV series novels, that ain’t happening. Behold, the vibrant oh-so-80s imagery of the first Robotech II: The Sentinels novel, The Devil’s Hand with the modern ROBOTECH trade dress laid overtop. Not bad looking, although it does appear to have been Photoshop-smoothed a bit much.
Other anomalies: the cover of Death Dance, the third SENTINELS novel, has been altered to depict Breetai in his Sentinels helmet and Dr. Lang’s hair color has been changed to an animation-accurate brown. Interestingly, this is the version that appears in Schleinkofer’s Flickr account. Curious if that was just the best copy of the art HG/Del Rey had to work with or if this is part of the continuing effort to distance Sentinels product from Macross iconography. (I suspect the former, but given the reedits from the A&E box set, you just can’t rule out the latter.) The powers that be have also settled on a new, more appropriate piece of stock Macross art for The Zentraedi Rebellion's cover, which I’m glad to see. Before The Invid Storm's current lack of cover art probably means someone at either Harmony Gold or Del Rey is probably hitting up that novel's cover artist, Ken Steacy, to see if he’s still got a good copy of that piece laying around somewhere. I hope he does; I always liked that piece, and thought it was a shame that the poor graphic design on that cover cropped it so tightly.
The ebook editions of ROBOTECH books 13-19 and 21 will be available April 30 from Amazon, Apple’s iBooks bookstore, and other ebook retailers. (Book 20, The Masters’ Gambit, has not been cleared for a reissue. I suspect the fact that McKinney used a version of EVE that’s kinda sorta like the one in Megazone 23/The Untold Story is the reason for the omission.)
Hat tip to John Thomas of The McKinney Project podcast for the heads up. Visit the podcast website here.

Remember how I was complaining on my birthday about all the reprints of the ROBOTECH novels ditching David Schleinkofer's work in favor of stock mecha art? Well, for at least the upcoming ebook editions of the post-TV series novels, that ain’t happening. Behold, the vibrant oh-so-80s imagery of the first Robotech II: The Sentinels novel, The Devil’s Hand with the modern ROBOTECH trade dress laid overtop. Not bad looking, although it does appear to have been Photoshop-smoothed a bit much.

Other anomalies: the cover of Death Dance, the third SENTINELS novel, has been altered to depict Breetai in his Sentinels helmet and Dr. Lang’s hair color has been changed to an animation-accurate brown. Interestingly, this is the version that appears in Schleinkofer’s Flickr account. Curious if that was just the best copy of the art HG/Del Rey had to work with or if this is part of the continuing effort to distance Sentinels product from Macross iconography. (I suspect the former, but given the reedits from the A&E box set, you just can’t rule out the latter.) The powers that be have also settled on a new, more appropriate piece of stock Macross art for The Zentraedi Rebellion's cover, which I’m glad to see. Before The Invid Storm's current lack of cover art probably means someone at either Harmony Gold or Del Rey is probably hitting up that novel's cover artist, Ken Steacy, to see if he’s still got a good copy of that piece laying around somewhere. I hope he does; I always liked that piece, and thought it was a shame that the poor graphic design on that cover cropped it so tightly.

The ebook editions of ROBOTECH books 13-19 and 21 will be available April 30 from Amazon, Apple’s iBooks bookstore, and other ebook retailers. (Book 20, The Masters’ Gambit, has not been cleared for a reissue. I suspect the fact that McKinney used a version of EVE that’s kinda sorta like the one in Megazone 23/The Untold Story is the reason for the omission.)

Hat tip to John Thomas of The McKinney Project podcast for the heads up. Visit the podcast website here.

Twenty years ago this month Eternity Comics/Malibu Graphics published their final comic written by Bill Spangler, their final issue of Return to Macross, with art by William Jang. The premise of this series was that it covered the years between the crash of the SDF-1 into Macross Island and the launch of the rebuilt ship in 2009 during the initial Zentraedi attack. It flipped back and forth between Breetai's quest to find the ship and Roy Fokker's misadventures serving as the test pilot for the Veritech Fighter and as a general purpose troubleshooter for the Robotech Defense Force.

In this issue, as Breetai escapes from a virtual reality trap set by Khyron, Fokker escapes from the submarine flagship of a group of techno-pirate mercenaries called the Lemurians, who have been set up by T.R. Edwards. Edwards delivered them two Veritech Fighters to help them in an attack on Alaska Base to seize some of the alien tech going into the Grand Cannon. Then he let the RDF know the Lemurians were coming. While the defense forces handily manage to take down most of the Lemurians’ craft, Fokker takes on the last of them, one of the stolen Veritechs, using one of the Lemurians’ own fighter jets. Afterwards he confronts Edwards about what he’s done, but of course he can’t prove any of it. I do like how Spangler’s take on Edwards mirrors the way he was being depicted in the Sentinels issues that were contemporary with this title, bargaining with the Invid Regent while twisting the REF to his own ends. Other than that, it’s lesser Spangler ROBOTECH, but still fun.

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?

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?

Model sheet and bio for B.D. Edwards Andrews from Robotech The Movie: The Untold Story. Again, as with the Mark Harris Landry bio I posted a few months ago, you’ve got the bio from the original cut of the movie, back when it was going to take place at the same time as the early “return to Earth” arc of The Macross Saga, struck through, rewritten a bit, then struck through again and rewritten to match the final, pre-Robotech Masters cut of the movie.

Model sheet and bio for B.D. Edwards Andrews from Robotech The Movie: The Untold Story. Again, as with the Mark Harris Landry bio I posted a few months ago, you’ve got the bio from the original cut of the movie, back when it was going to take place at the same time as the early “return to Earth” arc of The Macross Saga, struck through, rewritten a bit, then struck through again and rewritten to match the final, pre-Robotech Masters cut of the movie.

It’s that time again! The June solicitations are up, so we’ve got a look at the cover of ROBOTECH/VOLTRON #4. No complaints about kitbashed Voltron’s appearance, but while I get that “The Long Wait” thru “Blitzkrieg” didn’t happen, does that mean that the SDF-1 has to necessarily look like it escaped from an underpriced eBay auction? It’s kind of embarrassing when the battle fortress looks like a mistransformed toy, even if the plot can kind of explain it away.

Speaking of the plot, here’s the solicitation text. The book comes out June 25.

* * *

The mighty Super Dimension Fortress One has become the target of not just Khyron, but also King Lotor. Captain Gloval now finds the SDF-1 and its crew trapped in the conflict between the conquered world of Arus and the dark powers of the Drule Empire. Back on Earth, Commander Keith Kogane and the partially reassembled Voltron Force must venture away from the relative safety of Macross Island to search for their lost teammate Allura. A clue left by her late father Alfor may be the missing key to find their way back home.

It’s that time again! The June solicitations are up, so we’ve got a look at the cover of ROBOTECH/VOLTRON #4. No complaints about kitbashed Voltron’s appearance, but while I get that “The Long Wait” thru “Blitzkrieg” didn’t happen, does that mean that the SDF-1 has to necessarily look like it escaped from an underpriced eBay auction? It’s kind of embarrassing when the battle fortress looks like a mistransformed toy, even if the plot can kind of explain it away.

Speaking of the plot, here’s the solicitation text. The book comes out June 25.

* * *

The mighty Super Dimension Fortress One has become the target of not just Khyron, but also King Lotor. Captain Gloval now finds the SDF-1 and its crew trapped in the conflict between the conquered world of Arus and the dark powers of the Drule Empire. Back on Earth, Commander Keith Kogane and the partially reassembled Voltron Force must venture away from the relative safety of Macross Island to search for their lost teammate Allura. A clue left by her late father Alfor may be the missing key to find their way back home.