Drawing for myself – Miles Mayhem

November 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Stole a half hour today to draw something for myself. Asked around on Twitter for suggestions on what 80s cartoon property to sketch, and Justin Stewart mentioned M.A.S.K.

This was a show/toy line that seemed to burn brightly for about a year, then seemed to fizzle right out. I’m sure there are tons of hardcore M.A.S.K. fans who would argue that point with me. I’m only reporting on my own recollections about when it came out. I loved the toy line and the premise, and they had one of the best theme songs of all 80s cartoons:

But for some reason it just didn’t take hold with kids the way franchises like Transformers, G.I. Joe, and later Power Rangers did. It’s a shame, really. There was a lot of potential for that show.

A couple of years ago I made a comic with Mark Rudolph called Switch Runners, which shares a lot of DNA with M.A.S.K. Maybe grafted with some DNA from shows like Silverhawks as well. The creative exercise was to write a comic for kids around the words “vehicle adventure”. Of course I thought of the neat way M.A.S.K. introduced transformation to their vehicles and tried to come up with a different spin on the idea.

In Switch Runners, the vehicles have a “transport” mode and a “battle” mode. In battle mode most of the vehicles lose their mobility, so they have to use their offensive capabilities judiciously. Borrowing more from the product tier structure that most toy lines used, we introduced larger vehicles that could combine into a super vehicle. The smaller vehicles could then link up with the big one to become a giant mobile battle station. Again, this wasn’t a terribly new idea–G.I. Joe’s Battle Force 2000 played with this concept a bit. But it was fun to create a story that played within the limitations that faced cartoon writers building a universe around a toy line.

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