The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as such!)

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The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as such!)

Postby Space Commander » 22 Jul 2013 19:59

ACTION FORCE; The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project.

To celebrate the release of GI Joe; Retaliation on home formats this week, I would like to share something fun with everyone at bloodforthebaron.com!

A few years ago, before bloodforthebaron.com established that in purchasing Palitoy, Kenner/Hasbro owned all of Palitoy’s Action Force characters, not just the ones that had originated with Kenner/Hasbro in the first place, a few of us here on the website investigated the possibility of securing ownership of Action Force for bloodforthebaron.com.

I won’t name all of us involved in case they’d prefer to keep it quiet, but we formed a small group who would serve as a Production Team just in case we actually succeeded in securing the rights to Action Force. One chap researched the legal ramifications, another investigated some Far Eastern manufacturers who could take our prototypes and mass-produce them, and the rest of us all had our own particular jobs, too.

Our plan was to not only bring back Action Force the way it had been, but to introduce new characters and ideas as well, taking Action Force forward into the 21st Century. Back in the 1980s, some time before the Battle Action Force comic was up-and-running, several of the early AF toys came with a free comic-strip, each one only a single page long, featuring characters and vehicles from the range. These stories also explained how the characters and vehicles related to each other. My job on the Production Team was to write a new series of single paged mini-comics to be included with the new toys and explain how all the characters and vehicles, familiar and unfamiliar, related to each other.

Having had some small experience previously as a professional writer, I loved the idea of writing new stories for Action Force. This wasn’t merely a ‘fan-fic’; if the project had gone ahead, this would have been the official foundation of everything the new Action Force would have been based on.

Hoping to create a product pleasing to we long-term fans, yet hoping to attract a new and younger market as well, (our goal being to see AF back on the shelves of your local toy shop!), my first task was to establish who these characters actually were. Action Force means so many things to so many people, pleasing everyone seemed an impossible task, but I tried my best to satisfy the expectations of everybody by keeping the stories kid-friendly whilst also making them engaging and intelligent enough for adults to enjoy, much as the classic Battle Action Force comic-strips had been.

I found it unlikely that your average 10 year old boy would want to read stories about a group of adventurers now aged around 50, but I also knew older fans would be put-off if they saw the heroes of their own childhoods, characters such as :eagle2: Eagle, :skip: Skip, :levi: Leviathan, :skyraider: Sky Raider, :wheels: Wheels, the originals from 1982 such as :desert: Desert Rat and :arctic: Arctic Assault, and many, many others, all shelved in favour of a group of young upstarts. It would be like asking the question “Who is Batman; Adam West or Christian Bale? Or someone else entirely?” The answer is they’re all Batman, just different versions of him, each one just as legitimate as the next…, so I knew I couldn’t just write off the original interpretations of these classic AF characters, nor could I ignore the need for younger blood to appeal to younger fans.

To solve this problem, I struck upon this idea; the new mini-comics would be set in the present day, yet would still be a direct continuation of the stories established 25 years earlier in those initial mini-comics and the Battle Action Force comic. The original characters would still be those we knew of in the 1980s, but they would now be around 50 years old. They would form the upper echelon of the new Action Force, a team largely populated by younger characters. The new stories would have explained why the original characters had been out-of-the-picture for the past couple of decades, and would have also established why they were no longer using their codenames, but were known by their civilian identities instead. Eagle was now simply Buckingham, Skip was Campbell, Leviathan was Maclaren, and so on.

Their former codenames now fell to the new characters; the new Skip, Leviathan, Sky Raider, and totally new characters such as Marshall and Doc Prof, all of whom would have been led by the young Eagle, a man who was actually the son of the original Eagle, namely Charles R. Buckingham.

That way, if a 37 year old AF fan bought a new Eagle action figure, he could imagine it was still the classic Eagle he had read about all those years ago in the ‘80s…, yet if a 10 year old new fan bought the exact same figure, he could imagine it was the newer, younger Eagle, the son of Buckingham instead.

The other chaps on the Production Team liked this notion, and gave me their blessing, so I began in earnest. One of the first things I did was to make certain that AF’s resident enemy, :baron: Baron Ironblood, was provided with a new explanation all of his own!

Usually, I’d have written my ideas as a series of scripts, but as this was intended to be a sequence of single-paged ‘in-packet-giveaway’ mini-comics, I tried my hand at storyboarding for the first time. The results were very rough, (I’m no artist!), but were a lot of fun to create. Some of the new designs didn’t exist yet, so the old AF-5 vehicle stood-in for the new AF-5000, and there were other such stand-ins, too.

Amongst the new equipment were the :space: Space Force Orbital Balloon Platforms, which were based on a real prototype; the UK's QinetiQ1 Space Balloon, equipped with it's own Zephyr Space-Plane. Even though I'm a huge fan of NASA and her vehicles, I wanted to use something both realistic... and far safer than those poor old tragic space shuttles and rockets.

http://www.orbiterballoon.com/What-s-ne ... tiq-1.aspx


I handed my five pages to a friend of mine who runs his own graphic design studio and he set to work transforming them into what would have been masterpieces, I’m sure. Sadly, partway into the project, his Granddad died, and the project was understandably put on hiatus. By the time he was ready to draw again, the Production Team had finally tracked down the truth; Kenner/Hasbro had bought the lot…, all of the characters and vehicles, ‘lock, stock, and barrel’. Legally, we would have been in serious hot water if we’d continued.

And so, the dream of bloodforthebaron.com owning Action Force for all of the fans was over…, but I’ve still got those storyboards and I’m sharing them with all of you.

Enjoy!

:skyraider:
SPACE COMMANDER

PS. During number 4, you'll notice that an *asterisk was used in place of :fforce: SW-Force's name because at the time we hadn't got actual confirmation yet of what the name would be!


IMAGES TO FOLLOW :mrgreen:
ACTION FORCE; The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project. viewtopic.php?f=62&t=13534
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby The Kraken Wakes » 22 Jul 2013 20:09

Ooooh!
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby The Kraken Wakes » 22 Jul 2013 20:12

Very exciting stuff!! So, to follow when?!?!?
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby Space Commander » 22 Jul 2013 20:18

...Nyargh!... I can't get this cronk to work....

Thankfully, :baron2: The Baron is coming to my rescue! Storyboards soon....

:skyraider:
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ACTION FORCE; The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project. viewtopic.php?f=62&t=13534
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby The Baron » 22 Jul 2013 20:19

AF_1.jpg
AF_1.jpg (970.59 KiB) Viewed 404 times
AF_2.jpg
AF_2.jpg (984.43 KiB) Viewed 404 times
AF_3.jpg
AF_3.jpg (965.94 KiB) Viewed 404 times
AF_4.jpg
AF_4.jpg (949.46 KiB) Viewed 404 times
AF_5.jpg
AF_5.jpg (991.23 KiB) Viewed 404 times
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby Space Commander » 22 Jul 2013 20:25

THANK YOU, :baron: BARON!

:skyraider:
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ACTION FORCE; The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project. viewtopic.php?f=62&t=13534
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby Space Commander » 22 Jul 2013 20:29

It might be of interest to know that I wrote Part 4 on the very night that :bombardier: Bombardier was finally revealed to us, so in effect, I was the first person to provide him with a backstory; as an original member of :af: , it turns out he was British after all!

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ACTION FORCE; The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project. viewtopic.php?f=62&t=13534
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby Space Commander » 22 Jul 2013 20:36

Doc Prof, :skyraider: Sky Raider's young sidekick, was a 'made-up' character that I used to play as back in the 80's as a child, so I had to include him/me. Now then, who was the daredevil driver, Marshall, inspired by...?

Anyway, I hope that they're enjoyed at last. :mrgreen:

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ACTION FORCE; The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project. viewtopic.php?f=62&t=13534
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby The Baron » 22 Jul 2013 21:36

Speaking of... As you've been out of the loop, did you see this?
bombardierWEB.jpg
bombardierWEB.jpg (91.07 KiB) Viewed 398 times
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Re: The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project, (Not FanFic as suc

Postby Space Commander » 22 Jul 2013 21:53

Holy Cow! Does he come with a FactFile? Did they get it right?

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ACTION FORCE; The 21st Century Mini-Comics Project. viewtopic.php?f=62&t=13534

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