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#488: Toy Story

July 9, 2010

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #140: The One About Shrek the Third; #268: Old School, Part One

Tomorrow is officially the 5th anniversary of Multiplex, so there will be a few guest strips in celebration of that little milestone!

I know some of you don't like guest strips, but don't worry — I'll still be putting up my regular updates. There will just be a few extra ones by other cartoonists, like T.J. Tague, whose guest strip from Wednesday is now up in the Guest Strips section.

Here's a short Book 1 update for everybody: the proofing stage for Book 1 is winding down (the couple of passes were relatively mistake-free, finally), and I've finally arrived at a universally well-liked cover design, so I just need to put the finishing touches on the illustration and I'll be good to send it to the printer by the end of next week. Then it'll be time for… printer proofs! Joy.

About this strip, it's not really important to mention, but if you wanted to go out and buy an action figure of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon… you pretty much can't. There are "Night Fury" action figures with a healthy tail, but none actually of Toothless, with the missing fin and Hiccup's saddle & rig. And the moveable wings on the 7" deluxe Night Fury figure seems to have a habit of falling out, if the Amazon reviews are any indication.

I have a hunch that the whole "Night Fury" thing is because they added the whole bit about Toothless's tail late in the game, and the toy manufacturer was forced to just change the name on the packaging or redo the mold. (I don't have any reason to believe this, other than a couple of early stills of the movie featuring Toothless with an unmistakably whole tail.)  As a reader in the toy business pointed out to me, it takes 6–8 months to get a toy from the concept to the shelves, so some significant, late story changes could have left the manufacturer without the time to redo the figure. 

While that sort of change would be excusable, what's not excusable is not having an Astrid action figure. While I'm reluctant to take guesses as to why (because she's a girl), when two of your three main characters don't even have figures, something's not right.

Hopefully by the time the sequel comes out, someone will put out a more complete action figure line for How to Train Your Dragon, because I totally want some. I just want to actually have Toothless, not a stand-in.

And yes, I feel a bit like David Willis right now.

Also, Mr. Mister was awesome:


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Mae Volume One is now available… and I have a comic in it!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Heads up, completists. I have a three page story in the new Mae Volume One TPB from Dark Horse Comics. This is the same one I co-wrote (with Mae creator Gene Ha) and as a thank-you for backers of its original Kickstarter edition — and Dark Horse’s editors decided to include the story in the back matter of this new collection, along with a bunch of other short stories by other great creators.

BUT… I have a story in a Dark Horse-published book! That’s cool!

If you’re not familiar with Mae, it’s an all-ages adventure comic by Gene Ha (Top Ten and a billion other comics). Here’s the official Dark Horse synopsis:

When she was just a girl, Abbie discovered a portal to a fantasy world and has since had great adventures there: defeating horrible monsters, power-mad scientists, and evil nobles. But when she turned twenty-one it all came apart and she decided to return home. Her sister, Mae, had no idea what happened to Abbie all this time, and Abbie’s tales are too hard to believe—that is, until the monsters and other terrible creatures start to cross over to our world . . . Collects issues #1–#6.

I highly recommend it. It is a lot of fun. You can learn more about Mae Volume One on Amazon.

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