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|FROM THE GALLERIES|
1987 Catalog - Side B
I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I got a shit-ton of cool stuff, especially lots of great books. Transformers-wise, Dollface got me a set of unopened vintage Transformers View-Master reels. Of course, this leaves me with the quandary of whether or not to de-virginize and enjoy this set or leave it in its pristine state. (Hint: toys are made to be opened, no matter how long the wait.) I also got this awesome Decepticon-loving shirt:
One fun aspect of being a Transformers fan over the years is that many friends and acquaintances have given me their old childhood Transformers and Transformers-related items because they know that my adult self will appreciate them tremendously more than their adult selves do. From Skywarp to Ramjet, from Skids to Wheeljack, from lunchboxes to freakin' Piranacon, I have gladly received these tokens of their childhood, each now imbued with a little story of their acquisition, and each containing an insight into what type of young Transformers fan that person was. Did they add the stickers, and if so, were they done correctly and well? Were they compelled to gnaw on swords and antennas? Did they manage to keep all the guns and accessories? Or did they just smash them to bits?
Sadly, the number of friends who still have old TFs to part with only diminishes with time. Furthermore, as my G1 collection has reached voluminous proportions, the odds of acquiring something I don't already have are slim. Which brings me to Howie!
I love new art of our site mascot, Botch the Decepticon Cassette-Crab. I've had some of these for a while and have been remiss in promptly posting them. I'm happy to finally share them with you!
First up is a sketch of Botch that I commissioned from Matt Kuphaldt, a TF fan who is actually responsible for some official Transformers artwork, including some Dreamwave "More Than Meets The Eye" profiles. Matt was doing sketches and selling prints at CybCon this year and I introduced myself and requested this Botch sketch:
There's no question I've been horribly delinquent in updating this blog. I've been really focused on my band, social obligations, house stuff, etc. Still, I'm averaging less than one posting per month for 2013, and I should really do better than that. I have things to talk about, both Transformers-related and personal! I just haven't been in the mindset to talk about them.
In the interim, to tide you over, let me present this video by Romain Revert that features box art from this site. It is short but sweet. Other people have created montages of the box art, but somehow for me those montages always served to reinforce the unavoidably static nature of the images: individually they seem dynamic, but grouped they inexplicably seem frozen in time. This video doesn't suffer from that. Enjoy:
Isn't it amazing how much personal technology has advanced in just the last 10 years?
For example, back in January 2005 when I hit my head on the sharp corner of a low-hanging aluminum awning while walking down the street on my way to work, this is the best picture we could get using our digital camera of the two staples the emergency room doctor put in my scalp:
Imagine, if you will, finding a band that you quickly realize is your favorite band of all time... and that they had made their last album 12 years earlier. Their body of work was finite. Yes, I could listen to these albums over and over my entire life... but they would never change. No more surprises. Like an ancient holy tome, you could try finding some previously unnoticed nuance or detail, but The End had already been written and there would be no sequel. As a 16-year-old Sabbath neophyte, I remember gradually acquiring the 8 albums of the original line-up and eagerly popping each one into the cassette player for that irreproducible first listen. Those sirens of "War Pigs" that begin Paranoid; the coughing that abruptly starts "Sweet Leaf" and Master of Reality; the rain, thunder and tolling bells of "Black Sabbath", their signature song that opens their first album... That was 20 years ago. I would never have that "first listen" feeling again.
It's time to post scans from another "Find Your Fate" book! This time it's Battle Drive, which involves some plot by the Decepticons to starve America by destroying all its farmland. Or maybe that's just a ruse to draw out and kill some Autobots. Or maybe they're trying to capture Sparkplug Witwicky, who has somehow "discovered what he thinks is a fatal flaw in the Decepticon circuitry." Which is it? Well, that's the beauty of a choose-your-own-adventure book: it changes each time.
This book is fairly odd for the medium. There's an ending where the whole story is a dream that you, the reader, wake up from. There's a page that encourages you to actually write in the book in the hopes that Optimus Prime will see your warning before they're caught in a Decepticon trap.
That's the poster I got recently. It's a near-complete print of the 1986 back-of-the-box battle scene, omitting only some of the landscape at the very bottom. It measures 20" x 17" and it is AWESOME. That photograph doesn't do it justice, mostly because photographing anything that's behind a reflective surface is a maddening struggle against glare and reflection.
After our aborted attempt to buy a house back in 2009, Dollface and I settled very comfortably back into enjoying our fabulous apartment. Spacious, stylish, comfortable and centrally located in one of the coolest sections of Portland, there was very little not to love about the place. However, after several years of rent increases, I was becoming increasingly aware that renting builds no equity and is essentially throwing money away. Additionally we were fed up with having a landlord and upstairs/downstairs neighbors to consider. It was time to start searching again.
Turns out that on our first and only day of touring various available houses, after about ten unsuitable locations we happened to find a house that felt about as close to perfect as we were going to get. To make a long story short, in a whirlwind 2 months we negotiated, inspected, repaired, bought the place, painted and moved in. It's now six weeks later and, having finally resolved all the top home-making priorities and settled in, I feel I can now break my blogging and social media silence to reflect on the whole experience.
Remember those "Find Your Fate" Transformers books from the '80s? You know, the "Choose Your Own Adventure" knock-offs that featured our favorite robots in disguise? Well, I have a complete set, and wouldn't you know that the penciled art heavily borrows from the Transformers box art, oftentimes reproducing the line art exactly. The Transformers art that isn't directly lifted from the box art is, like the box art itself, extremely faithful to the actual toys. I LOVE IT.