About Me

Rob Pincombe is a prolific television writer, recovering comedian and sometime comic artist/storyboard artist who just wasn't satisfied with a single blog. He writes about sci-fi and fandom at rebelalert.com, Canadian comics at comicanuck.com, and shares thoughts and insights on writing at starkravingadventure.com

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 007 - Chewie And Han

Welcome to the rebellion. Here is the latest Sunday Comic from the Imperial News: Chewie and Han.

With thanks and apologies to Calvin And Hobbes creator, Bill Watterson, who is a complete comic God. So far I have only come up with one or two potential gags that seem to fit his precise comedic style. The first three Calvin and Hobbes pastiches I have done are his gags.

This star Wars comic thing came about as a favour to a friend but it is amazing to learn how these varied artist's work toward solving the process of creating humouir out of four, tiny daily panels and Sunday pages. All have much to teach me but I am noticing there are some I can whip off once I "get" the approach (adding my own twisted point of view) but there are some that are so subtle and sophisticated I can only copy and use what is already there.

Bill Watterson is one of those. He's just impossible to top and so creative about his approach to those boxes. He fills every frame and his entire comic with life. His figures seem to be in constant motion and brimming with confidence.

For more Imperial News comics click here. For some of Bill's rarer material, click here.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 006 - Dengar The Horrible

Welcome to the rebellion. As the countdown ticks down to moving out of my apartment and then shuttling my fantastic wife up from Coruscant System to join me for actual in-person, cohabitational, long overdue, matrimonial bliss at last, I find myself failing to transmit at regular intervals a second consecutive week.

Take heart, though postings over the next few weeks will be more sporadic, I am still a rebel at heart. So just imagine I am completing my Jedi training with that freaky, little green fellow on the swamp planet, Degobah. I shall return in time join the Rebellion for their climactic battle armed with my trusty lightsaber, keyboard and Jedi wit.

In the meantime, here is the latest Sunday Comic from the Imperial News: Dengar the Horrible.

With thanks and apologies to Hagar The Horrible creators, Dik and Chris Browne. For more Imperial News comics click here. For Chris Browne's Blog, click here.

As we create more Star Wars Sunday Comics, I'll blog a little bit about what I'm learning from these hilarious cartoonists. It's amazing how much there is to discover within even the toons I didn't normally read before.

May the Force be with you.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fan Expo Toronto - Top 10

Welcome to the rebellion. The Toronto Fan Expo Sci-Fi /Horror/Anime/Gaming and Comicon started yesterday. Here are few things that stood out to me:

10. The 501st Canadian Legion.

The Canadian garrison of the
self-proclaimed "world's premier Imperial Star Wars costuming fan club", made their presence felt with a table right outside the entrance to the hall. You may or may not know that the 501st Legion is comprised of people who make and ear their own stormtrooper and related Star Wars costumes and uniforms. They do appearances, help raise money for charity and share their passion for cos-play with each other.

For those who aren't sure what cosplay is, good old Winkepedia defines it as follows: "Cosplay... short for "costume play", is a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves, with often elaborate costumes and accessories, as a specific character."

Members of the 501st roamed the convention posing for pictures and spreading the Star Wars love but I do wish the people at the table were more enthusiastic. When I checked them out they seemed tired already and it was only a couple of hours into the day. It's possible they're just shy. It's much easier to interact with strangers from behind a helmet.

Rather than chat me up while he had me in person, the out of uniform "Commanding Officer" handed me his card and suggested I check out the website. And this is right after I told him I had seen the website and was curious about them. If this ass-backwards approach is a common denominator in all stormtrooper business, then it goes pretty far in helping me realize why stormtroopers are such bad blaster shots.

9. Hardcore Nerdity.com.

A new social networking site for science fiction and fantasy geeks with one of the best names ever. It looks like Jonathan Lire, formerly of Space: The Imagination Station in Canada, is one of the people behind the idea. They were just inside the main entrance offering a chance to win a Smart Car for joining... IF they happen to get 10, 000 new members to sign over the course of the Fan Expo weekend.

Sure the odds of that car coming into play aren't good, but rather than declare the promotion a bait and switch, they prefer to think of it as optimistic. It';s good encouragement for people to join and to invite others to give it a try. Why not try out a site where you know in advance people won't thumb their noses at your geek credentials?

I took the invite from my friend Casey, who was proudly earing her home-made Battlestar Galactica jacket. Casey is an actress as well as a stunt fight performer. I started to calculate the odds of the car contest getting activated, but then realized you simply don't quote the numbers to a woman who can kick your ass! :)

I wish www.hardcorenerdity.com all the best for it's beta launch.

8. Rue Morgue's dead body.

Rue Morgue the awesome Canadian horror magazine, placed a realistic murder victim on the floor outside their booth and many a passerby were laying down next it to pose for those hard to get "suicide pact" shots that really make your vacation slide shows sing.

7. Rob Walton's gorgeous prints aping Marvel Comic's Secret Invasion Skrull covers.

Cartoonist Walton whipped up a Betty and Veronica cover featuring them as Skrull teens discussing subjugating the boys and a terrific Skrullified version of Mary Jane Watson's first appearance as drawn by John Romita. "Face it tiger, you've hit the jackpot!" Check out more of this brilliant under-used talent at his blog.

Do yourself a favour and check out Rob's collected Ragmop trade paperback. You can find details here.

6. Henry Winkler is super-friendly, focused guy.

With a hilarious run in Arrested Development,very down to earth advice given to Scott Baio over the phone in Scott Baio is Thirty-Nine and Single, and all the excitement over the Bronze Fonz unveiled in Milwaukie, where not a single frame of Happy Days was shot to my recollection). Henry Winkler's popularity has been on a much-deserved upswing.

Rather than stand behind his table, The former Fonz greeted people with a warm, two-handed handshake and walked them to his table. He's big on eye contact and often kept holding their hand or put a hand on their arm as people shared how welcome he was in their home over the years. But his line moved extremely fast. Winkler had given each person some one-on-one time without wasting a minute down to a science. Everyone walked away with a special moment... except me of course.

I was next to shake his hand but then realized two things; I didn't have money for a copy of one of his kid's books or a picture and signature, and I was late for the Hoverboy panel! So I smiled at him, pretending I was with the Father and Son he 'd just greeted and slinked away!

In retrospect, the only thing that would have made his table complete would have been a shark for people to jump over as they approached.

Check out Mr. Winkler's series of Hank Zipper books, about the world's greatest, dyslexic underachiever.

5. Artists' Alley.

I got a bunch of great sketches from this year's bad ass crop of comic scribblers and I hate to say it but the young bucks kicked the older artist's asses this time around. They really went all out and once you get one really hot sketch in your sketchbook, the next guy's got to top it!

The secret? Try to group your sketches each year around artists who know each other. They'll instantly get competitive. At another recent convention, I got a super sketch from Kalman Andrasofszky because he got to draw a tuxedo! It was a character Kalman had never done before and it turns he just plain digs drawing tuxedos!

When I pitched another bizarre character, Kalman laughed and basically dared me to get Butternut Squash, Kukuburi and DC artist Ramon PĂ©rez to draw it. "He loves that crazy stuff!" How could Ramon say no to that? And his sketch kicked so much ass that everyone after him had to bring their "A" game! Seriously, it dripped so much manly machismo I had to shake the sketchbook before letting anyone draw in it again. And damned if Deadend 56 artist Andy Belanger didn't top it! (Don't worry, I'll post sketches online sometime in the next few months)

The one drag? Some of the artists I had hoped to get sketches from weren't drawing this time out. Adam Hughes injured his hand, Stuart Immonen stopped drawing at conventions a while ago and even published a book collecting his webcomic about it,
50 Reasons to Stop Sketching at Conventions. But Stuart and Kathryn were terrific to talk to and had lots of stuff for sale. And I got to pass on a hello a mutual friend asked me to send about four years ago!

Check out their weekly webcomic, Moving Pictures.

It was also great to run into talented artists like Agnes Garbowska and the way cool Laurie Breitkreuz, who bring girl power and serious magic with their flashing pens. They also bring the entertaining bonus of watching fanboys develop little crushes on them as they chatted.

So for now the number one thing at Fan Expo?

4. Super Moms.

I ran into a few uber-cool Moms taking their kids to the convention. They also actually speak to people as they wait in line.

I wish I remembered the name of the delightful mother in line with me to meet Brent Spiner (Yeah, I said it... in line to meet Commander Data. Wanna make something of it?). She has embraced her teenage interests and believe me, that family take that convention with a carefully orchestrated and timed plan of attack!

She gave me the straight goods on Jeremy Bulloch (charming, full of stories and appeared in no less than three Bond films), Henry Winkler (she's the one who convinced me to line up for him) and Kate Mulgrew (Too many restrictions and not very available).

Her sons recoiled when she threatened to wear a costume if she could decide who to be next year. I suggested Wilma Dearing as portrayed by Erin Grey in the Buck Rogers TV series. After several people in line around us agreed that Erin Gray was the reason spandex was invented, I think she's delighted enough with the idea to do it!

3. Sushi. Seriously.

The food court lines for the pizza kiosk and hot dog vendor were endless. Not so for the sushi. People were wary of trusting it I guess. I stuck to the vegetarian wraps and sandwiches they offered and was fed and out of there before people who arrived at the same time even got to the pizza counter.

2. Carpeting.

After walking on concrete for several hours I found myself at a game demo I was uninterested in simply so I could stand on their cushy swatch of carpeting. i Is it too much to ask for carpeted aisles? Yes, I suppose it is.

1. Drumroll please. Our number one thing about Fan Expo this year is...


Yup, Hoverboy is number one with a bucket!

Not only is Hoverboy the greatest comic super-hero of all time (who didn't grow up wanting to wear a bucket on their head and float several inches off the kitchen floor to get to that hard to reach cookie cupboard?), he's also the worst super-hero of all time, all rolled into one! Marcus Moore's obsession has never failed to inspire others to jump on his bucket bandwagon. The premiere, one-shot issue of Mr. Comic's Hoverboy is garnering terrific fan reaction.

I got into Hoverboy through my sister, Stephanie, who starred in the Hoverboy musical for kids, "I Will Not Pail" at her school. She would play that album over and over as she danced in her Hoverboy flammable jammies and made hovershawls on her Hoverboy Loom set.

The day she got her hair caught in the loom may have been a dark one for her follicles but not for her little brub brub. After losing all her hair she gave me her entire Hoverboy collection and punked out. Score!

Anyhow, creator Marcus Moore, along with Ty Templeton and Rick Green (Of Prisoners of Gravity fame) are having a blast rebuilding the franchise. You can spend an afternoon looking through the extensive Hoverboy site here. (It's almost as good as my own Imperial News! (Okay, okay. It's better. The bastards.)

Do yourself a favour and check out the Hoverboy cartoons that started this madness. They truly rock.

It's the greatest in-joke comic of all because it's not an in-joke at all. Check out their wonderful site and buy a copy of the comic. You'll be glad you joined the bucket brigade.

"It's time for fists!"


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 005 - Dennis The Phantom Menace

Welcome to the rebellion. I tend to do the Imperial News' Star Wars Sunday Comics in batches. That way I can immerse myself in a specific creator's approach and get a few comics written and drawn while I'm in the right head space. So for the next few Sundays we'll be seeing some familiar faces. Enjoy.

With thanks and apologies to Dennis The Menace creator, Hank Ketcham. For more Imperial News comics
click here.


Friday, August 15, 2008

That's No Moon!

Welcome to the rebellion. Darryl Gold, the peerless creator of Death Star Repairmen, the film and website that inspired all this Imperial News and Rebel Alert madness, is working on yet another edition of Darryl's Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival.

While that horrified-yet-slightly-intrigued look crosses your face, I should tell you it's a comedy film festival with a theme of sex and porn. You won't find a lot of real porn there.. mainly because the real stuff is boring (Which is why I can only watch about 17 hours of real porn in one sitting).

So, in addition to working on a couple of shorts for his festival and consolidating the two-country lives of my wife and myself down to one country at last, I will am expecting some interruptions in your regular Rebel Alert feed for the next month.

But Darryl has come through again with a solution; several great Star Wars links. That means I'm going to let other people do my work for me while I double-back in my X-wing for a run at the Death Star's exhaust port trench... and deal with movers.

Today, we have a brilliant video from Mike Horn at Current.com, "Death Star Over San Francisco".

The real key to all this is the regular sound Mike kept with the footage. People talking about their mundane stuff or demonstrating heatedly over China's human rights records really completes the subtle "sell". It also confirms my long-held suspicion that China has indeed become a puppet nation under Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious.

A meeting was held aboard the lead Star Destroyer between Admiral Piett, Lord Darth Vader and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in which Mr. Schwarzenegger ripped off his shirt, drew his ancient sword and assured the invaders that "By Crom," he would "crush his enemies, see them driven before him and hear the lamentations of their women."

A sweep of Vader's lightsaber solved the "riddle" of the governor's steel. The Sith Lord then held out his fist as the governor wondered "what the hell he was". Upon his release from Vader's Force-powered grip, California's fearless leader, rubbed his swollen neck, assuring everyone it was "not a tumour".

The Imperial commanders dictated their terms for California's surrender but it ended in a stalemate. After beating up and stealing the clothes from an Imperial lackey, the governor donned sunglasses and countered Vader's Jedi Mind Tricks by analyzing, synthesizing and duplicating Piett's voice. As Schwarzenegger was escorted out, his computer eyes sized up the defenses of the Piett's Star Destroyer and he defiantly vowed over his shoulder that he would "be back."

Moments later the governor drove a Ford Bronco through the wall of Piett's office. Unfortunately, the spectacular stunt also damaged the Bronco's brakes, causing the bodybuilder turned action hero turned governor turned action hero to drive through the port window and plummet into the San Francisco Bay.

Reportedly, the Admiral's only response was, "Hasta la vista, bantha."

Eyewitnesses later spotted the governor walking calmly out of the water at nearby Baker Beach, a single eye glowing with a menacing red light red.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 004 - Dengar The Horrible

Welcome to the rebellion.

Word has reached our deep-space listening posts that Lord Darth Vader has summoned mercenaries from across the galaxy to help him capture Han Solo, thereby luring Luke Skywalker into a deadly confrontation. Six of the fiercest bounty hunters were assembled:
Dengar, 4-LOM, Zuckass, Bossk, IG-88, and the legendary Boba Fett.

But before the stalking and corralling of rebel scum begins. Here is the latest Sunday Comic from the Imperial News: Dengar the Horrible.

Oh, that Dengar.

With thanks and apologies to Hagar The Horrible creators, Dik and Chris Browne. For more Imperial News comics click here. For Chris Browne's Blog, click here.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Intercept: Death Star TV Listings - Red Channel

Welcome to the rebellion. For your weekend viewing pleasure we have hacked into Imperial databases and retrieved this weekend's Pay-Per-Holo movie schedule. Enjoy.

RED CHANNEL: Home Box Holo


Wag The Dianoga

Pretty Wookie

8:30pm Team Empire: Space Police

Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sithhood


The Neverending Sequels

1:30am Rancor Dundee II

Pee Wee’s Big Empire

That Darn Sarlacc

Womprats In Paris

101 Dianogas

My Cousin Dengar

Droid Story

Imperial Pie III

Peggy Sue Got Vaporized

It’s A Wonderful Force

Memoirs Of A Jedi

Dennis The Phantom Menace

Finding Wattoo

Nightmare On Coruscant: Jek Porkin’s Revenge


Dial “M” For Mynock

Bend It Like Boba

Lando And Hardy: Silent Holo Classics

4:45am Anakin Scorsese’s Age Of Imperialism

Fat Akbar

A Hard Day’s Flight

Meet The Sperm Donors

Howard The Duck

Spacey Movie III

1:30pm Good Wattoo Hunting

Miracle In 34th Quadrant

Imperial Psycho

Naboo Hill

The Incredible Hutt

Star Trek: Try, Try Again


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Today's Star Wars Lotto Number

Welcome to the rebellion. We've officially reached Hothgust, our second month of transmitting this rebel signal. There is little evidence our voice is being heard but we trust in the Force to get the word out.

Since we struggle to finance the resistance any way we can, we've pooled our resources to buy up Imperial Lottery tickets.

Today's Imperial Lotto Number is: 01011001001100111000111011001001010010101010100010101000101010100101001110100

Drok! So close.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 003 - Dennis The Phantom Menace

Welcome to the rebellion. The slave boy from the dome next door was in my Funnel Flower bushes again. I laid in wait with our hose to give him a good dunking but he squeezed the hose to keep it from splashing him until I foolishly looked in the end to see if something was blocking it. Then he let go and splash! I was one soaked Moisture Farmer.

Sigh. How does that brat keep getting away with his mischief?

Here's his latest misadventure from this week's
Imperial News Sunday Comic: Dennis the Phantom Menace. Enjoy.

With thanks and apologies to Dennis The Menace creator, Hank Ketcham. For more Imperial News comics click here.