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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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Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I was never a huge Star Trek fan, exactly. I love some of the early episodes, and I think Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time. I enjoyed Star Trek III and IV, too, for what they were. I read a bunch of the DC Comics Star Trek stuff at that time, because my brother bought them. And I watched a bit of the Next Generation and then fell off the wagon. Kirk and Spock were my Star Trek, and the Star Trek 2–4 “era” was its peak for me, warts and all, because that’s the “era” that really hooked me. And really, for me, it was all about Wrath of Khan.

In addition to playing Mr. Spock, of course, Leonard Nimoy did a lot of other things. He was on Mission: Impossible. He directed a few movies (Three Men and a Baby!). He was a photographer. He was the voice of Civilization IV. But one thing I really loved of his was Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, on Nickelodeon from 1982–1987, which provided a behind the scenes look at movies like Star Trek III, Return of the Jedi, 2010, and more. Nimoy hosted and occasionally interviewed guests like George Lucas. As a budding film nerd in the pre-Internet Dark Ages, behind the scenes specials like Standby: Lights, Camera, Action were hard to come by. I ate that show up.

Anyway, as you’re undoubtedly aware by now, Leonard Nimoy passed away on the 27th. As cartoonists do when they’re sad about these kinds of things, I drew a picture:

Leonard_Nimoy

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