I haven't had time to read the amazing-looking novel yet, but I've read through the rest several times. It's superb. I keep spotting new things, new details. The quality, and creativeness, is utterly stunning. I cannot fault it. A wealth of ideas. Mostly light-hearted, but with some quite thoughtful darker stuff in there. I can't believe it's not 'professionally' made.
I was the one who let you know, I was your sorry ever after, '84, '85. Give me new toys and I'll decide, but I'm really only after, '84, '85.
wadapan TFN 2019 ollie outie @thewadapan · what's in a name? How do the identities of those around us influence our own? Is it possible to choose how others see us, to choose our own values, our friends, our enemies, to make choices in general in a world where so much is decided by the bigger bots? Like, holy heck · by the time the anti-SJW gamer girl almost bites it, you're hoping she won't, nor the rest of these weirdos. It's a riotous anti-war advocate for the little guys; Catch 22 told with the ass-end of an old kids' toyline (ok, not as good, but catering more uniquely to my interests) · like Micromasters - the toys, the characters - it's initially unassuming, but you'll find yourself wanting loads more of it. I seriously hope this gets a digital release. Little Victories is a misnomer - this novel is a huge triumph
Sent in the money for pre/post orders for the zine stuff to Mary's Meals. The at-show take is with Nick (had to pay what hit my bank account separately to keep HMRC happy). How much just for pre/post orders?
Good stuff! Make sure to let me know if you want to be involved in next year's stuff that I'm working on if you've not yet.
I'm continually amazed by the care and professionalism Blueshift puts into editing the TFN zines he produces. Having edited zines myself in the past, I know what it's like to chase contributors, worry about page counts, arrange content to fit pages and find the time to get everything looking good enough to feel it's ready to let out of your own hands. That can only be made worse with a zine this size - another 42 page bumper edition hot on the heels of the truly fantastic Little Book of Masterforce. It helps that there are so many talented artists among the contributors, visually the whole package is incredibly appealing.
Every page is a highlight, but there are some really special moments in this. Blue's opening strips always very cleverly pack a big idea into a few pages, supported by superb art. They're like bricks that fill holes in the bigger wall of narratives we know and love, in this case being a pivotal moment we didn't know was essential to the UK story until it was right there. The approach is one that shows inside out knowledge of the source material, as is the case with Martin's Deleted Scenes and Karl's Universe entries. It's authoritative and reassuring, but makes you feel like it's okay to sit at the back and nod as if you really do understand every reference. When you come to pieces like Roadhandler's autobiography and the other comic strips, you can see the creativity that builds on that same deep understanding.
Zines are always at their best when the reader comes away feeling they've learned something - a strong point of last year's Masterforce effort. In this case, Gavin frames scientific theory with a clever narrative in No Idea Too Small, and the media guides are enough to give an overview of the use of Micromasters in fiction. It was among these articles that I was hoping to find a well thought out overview of the toy range - something that explained the heirarchy of figures and the way they fit together (particularly the Japanese expansion of the line). Alas, perhaps this is too big a task and would need a zine in itself. Then you have the observational pieces like Phil's reminiscences and Stuart's commentary on Bob Budianski's use of the characters, opinion that feels like a cosy pub conversation.
Of course all this is contrasted with the wealth of humorous articles the zine offers. Always funny and always showing devotion for the characters and toys, there is a wide spread of different styles and approaches here that entertains throughout.
It's another zine that I'm proud to add to my collection and keep as a memento not only of TFN 2019, but of the creativity that TMUK oozes from every pore. The fact that Blue devotes so much of his free time to make these, and then puts it out for free as part of the Toy Fu experience is amazing. All of the zines have been great snapshots of the contributors' reactions to the topic and the discussions that have led to them on the forums. They capture the mood and interest of the months preceding the con and as such are becoming essential milestones marking the history of the group.
I was back and forth on doing a toy guide piece. I ended up not as to avoid it being a big block of text and be useful it would need lots of photos which aren't great in b/w. At a point in the future I'd like to pivot the model to colour but that would cost a lot more and take a lot more work and time and I'm not quite sure we're at that point yet!
The more I think about that, the more I think it would need to be some kind of family tree type diagram as a large A2 poster to show how the different parts connect.
But yes, the only thing I would have loved to see other than what was there, was a bit that found a simple way to correlate all the Japanese Micromaster bases - anything really that was Micromaster scaled, but outside the two main 89/90 lines. That goes back to that question I had about whether Overlord is a Micromaster base. I'm never quite sure of the extent things went or whether stuff that may not have started out in the MM line actually works with it.