Saturday, January 28, 2012

Starbolts #144: Sneak Attack!


Hail!

Well, this week has been a long week. I'm not going to go into details as to why. But, I hope that the next few weeks are easier. It should be. Anyway, this week's comic has a bit of a spotlight on Angela and what she can do. There's a reason why I've been spotlighting her. Even in the midst of Jack's story! There's a reason for it and it should become clear in the next arc.

In video news, I hope to have a new vid out sometime soon. I've been preoccupied with some stuff like I said. Things should clear up soon and I can work on a vid. Will it be a review? Will it be an animation? Will it just be a dancing monkey? Hmm...probably not the third. Those are hard to come by. Enjoy the comic!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Famicomen Rider: Trial by Thunder

This is a quick story I did for Justin "JewWario" Carmichel of TGWTG.com He had a stream and asked people to write a fanfic starring his Famicomen Rider. Here it is:
*****************

Colorado Springs, a city nestled in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains has been known far and wide as a place where many can ski in the winter. However, what isn’t widely known is the dark secrets present in the city that go back to a time when the Pueblo tribe lorded over the area. In those days, the shamen often marked specific areas to perform rituals to summon the great spirits of the land to lay waste to their enemies. Today, the area is a bustling metropolis and those ancient shamen are now relegated to myth and even superstition. However, the Springs would soon realize that many myths have their roots in reality.

A man in a dark purple cloak climbed a ledge overlooking the city and arrived at a large cave. Breathing heavy after such an arduous climb, he composed himself as he saw two others standing by the mouth of the cave. They two were wearing cloaks and to their sides were large spear-like weapons. The two motioned the climber to enter the cave and along the enlightened cave walls, he saw several markings that depicted life in the days of the Pueblo tribe. On one such wall, the image of a large black bird appeared to be clawing at images of a settlement below.

“Are we ready?” One of the men in cloaks asked. “These climbs are getting harder in my old age.”

“You’re over five hundred!” Another exclaimed. “Don’t tell me you sat and did nothing in half a milliena.”

“No…” He responded. “Just in the last hundred years. I…wanted to catch up on my stories.”

“Insolent whelp. Master Hyson will not be pleased.”

“Indeed!” a voice boomed and shook the cave.

The three men turned and saw a severe looking man wearing jet black clothes and an insidious scowl. His head was clean shaven and his muscles appeared to be well defined despite being under baggy clothes. His mere presence commanded authority over the three as they bowed in respect to him. It was obvious that this man was not to be trifled with.

“Master Hyson.” A cloak began as he stood up. “I bring news!”

“Proceed.” Hyson replied.

“One of the people below has become the Famicomen Rider.”

“The Famicomen Rider is a MYTH! No one can contain that much power!” Hyson shouted.

“Sir, I know.” He trembled. “But, I saw it with my own eyes. Someone was able to survive the Warion massacre and became the Rider. It’s hard to believe. But, again, I-I saw it!”

“I see…” Hyson’s voice softened. “Looks like we have a change of plans, gentlemen. Let’s get started.

“Yes, my lord!”

***
Finishing up a video was always something Justin Carmichel didn’t mind doing. After all, he had been a staunch member of Channel Awesome’s army of reviewers for a long time. As he spooled the cables, he reflected on his life as a member of Channel Awesome now that he has a belt of immeasurable power. He wore the belt proudly and despite what others might of thought, it was no mere toy. This was the belt of the Famicomen Rider. With the power at his command, he could do anything. ANYTHING!

Justin chuckled. There was no way he could do anything but good in the world. After all, the belt was given to him with the explicit instructions to use it to defend Earth from outside forces wishing to harm innocents. After turning toward one of his game racks, he could hear breathing behind him. Startled, the reviewer turned to see one of his good friends, Lewis “Linkara” Lovhaug. However, this time he looked different. He still wore the “purdy” hat and coat he was known for. Along with that, his image flickered a bit as if it was a transmission.

“The Famicomen Rider…” Linkara smirked a toothy grin. “I’ve gotta say Jdub, red and gold look good on you. Mr. Carmichel, you’ve just become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.”

“Linkara?” Justin cautiously swept his hand through the hologram. “How…?”

“Comicron-1 has a fancy communication setup. Nimue’s still trying to work out the kinks. That’s not why I’m here.”

“Why are you here?”

“Michaud and Holly sent me.” Linkara crossed his arms. “What you may not know is that Channel Awesome’s reviews are a front for something else we do on the side. We protect this planet and its people from all kinds of threats. ”

“Go on.” Justin cautiously sat down on his couch.

“Shortly after Insano came to prominence, I was approached by Michaud to recruit as many people as I could to help fight the good fight. He needed men and women who were capable of great things and being heroes the world has never seen before because threats were looming in the distance. Angry Joe, MarzGurl, and Iron Liz are just some of who I’ve enlisted to help me fight threats like Lord Vyce and Mechakara. Channel Awesome’s brass has allowed me to assemble a team to fight the foes no one could handle by themselves.”

“…You’ve been ready FAR too many comics, my friend.” Justin laughed.

“Don’t laugh. Why do you think we were sent to Molossia? It’s true that NC wanted to rule a micro nation. There was more to it than that. They wanted to test our resolve for the real battle.”

“Real battle? The battle for Malachite’s hand?!”

Linkara solemnly nodded. “You’ve showed initiative in that struggle and we’ve been watching you ever since. Now that you have the Rider powers, you are ready for the next step.”

“Next step?”

“Justin, how much do you know about the Pueblos of Colorado?”

“Only that they are one of the many tribes that ruled the area before the colonists came. Why?”

Linkara sighed and straightened his jacket. “There was a sect of that tribe that didn’t believe in playing nice with anyone. Native or otherwise. They summoned great beasts like the thunderbird to destroy rival tribes and even their own people. We believe their descendants are in the area and are planning to sick a thunderbird on Colorado Springs.”

Jdub quickly put the pieces together. “You need me to take on these shamen with my new abilities?”

“Yes. You’ve already proven yourself to be a great hero. The rest of us would accompany you. Only, we’ve got some problems.”

“Problems? You’ve got a frakking starship! You could blow them all up!”

“It isn’t that easy! With their magic, they could deflect Comicron’s attacks. We need you to sneak in and take them out. Your city needs a hero, Jdub. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?”

“I…wait…what?”

Linkara sighed. “Just go. And good luck, Channel Awesome Operative JewWario.”
“Thanks! I’ll do my best!”

“I know you will. Linkara out.”

With that, the holographic transmission fizzled out of existence and left Justin wondering how exactly he’d find the shamen. Then, he noticed that his 3DS lit up and once he opened it he saw a map to where they were said to be.
“Alright.” Jdub muttered. “No one is going to set a giant bird onto MY town. Time to go!”

***
The cool air in the mountains whipped straight through Justin’s clothes as he climbed toward the cave with fierce determination. Holding the Famicomen Rider belt in hand, he decided to put it on in the event one of the cult members would jump him. Then again, that would draw more attention to him than anything else and he knew that he had to be careful with these men. After coming up on a large boulder, he could see two men in robes walking down the rocky terrain. Cautiously, he watched. “Scouts…” Justin thought. “I have to be careful. I don’t want to…” Justin felt someone tap his shoulder and spun around to see one of the robed men glaring at him. “Get…caught?”

“WHO ARE YOU?!” The man exclaimed right in Justin’s face, causing him to wince.
“Someone who thinks you badly need a tic-tac.”

“Insolence is not tolerated by Master Hyson. YOU will come with me.” The man noticed the belt. “You…you’re the Famicomen Rider?!”

“Guilty as charged. HENSHIN!” Justin pulled out a cartridge, blew in it and slammed it into his belt.

Instantaneously, Justin transformed into a figure wearing red and gold armor with a strange insectoid helmet with glowing green eyes. The man he was facing backed off. Justin knew that once he had been spotted, he needed to transform in order to both protect his identity and keep himself safe from whatever the men had planned for the city. The man from earlier called for help and quickly five robed people arrived on the scene.

Surrounded, the Famicomen Rider decided the only way to deal with this group was to do a spiraling kick as many monks as he could. “These are just minions…” he mused as he punched one man out. “I need to find the head honcho before something happens to-“ Justin heard the echoing boom of thunder coming from a nearby cave and suddenly the sky filled with ominous, dark clouds. Thunder began to roar with increasing volume and lightning soon scorched the earth around him as he fought. “The City!” He cried.

“Yes, Famicomen Rider. THE CITY! A city that my ancestors once called home. A city that the thunderbird will wipe off the map!” A voice echoed. "I am glad you are no mere myth. This makes things all the more sweeter."

Quickly, the minions backed away and Master Hyson appeared wearing a black tunic and a strange bird-like crown on his head. In his hand was a glowing staff with a purple orb atop it that glowed like a ball of fire. Before him, the minions bowed in silence as he approached the Rider. Carefully, Hyson circled Justin and scoffed at what he thought was a garish appearance. Underneath his helmet, Justin’s forehead began to sweat. How was he going to handle someone as powerful as Hyson?

“I expected more from the Famicomen Rider.” Hyson laughed. “You wear the suit and yet you are a man-child playing an adult’s game. That, my friend, is foolish.”

“Isn’t it foolish to lay waste to a city of millions?!” Justin snapped angrily.

“Tsk…” Hyson waved his finger as light bounced off of his bald head. “I only do this to preserve the culture that has been lost to time. My ancestors ruled this land with an iron fist and I only want to bring about a restoration of their glory. If Colorado Springs has to suffer, then so be it.”

“So, you want to bring back your culture? Correct me if I’m wrong, but, weren’t they whackos?”

“Insolent dog!” Hyson smacked Justin’s face with the staff. “You have angered me and you have angered the spirits. Now you will face BOTH! AZAN VALU INTA CARA!!!”

Hyson crouched before Justin and a black tornado enveloped the man. His followers ran in terror as Justin remained fixed on the swirling air mass. Once the tornado subsided, Hyson stood before the Famicomen Rider wearing a jet black outfit and bird-like helmet. Standing up, Hyson swung the staff at the rider, causing him to flip backward onto the nearby mountainside. Approaching him again, Hyson moved to jab the rider again and was met with a swift kick that knocked the staff out of his hand.

“MY STAFF!” Hyson exclaimed.

“Don’t tell me…”Justin laughed as he kicked Hyson in the chest. “That was the source of your power, right?”

“No.” He flipped over Justin and landed on a ledge. Once there, he jumped off and activated a pair of glider wings that came out from under his arms.

Above him, Justin could see the clouds swirling and could sense lightning may strike at any moment. Since Hyson was in the air above him, the Rider knew that he only had one shot in disabling the man before he could harm the city. Hyson’s visor began to glow a brilliant red as it shot lightning bolt after lightning bolt at the rider. Justin ran back and as Hyson approached, the rider charged at him and shouted “RIDER KICK!” Justin flew into the air and delivered a charged kick into the stomach of Hyson. Reeling in pain, Hyson flew into the path of a lightning bolt and screamed in agony.

“This isn’t over, Rider!” Hyson shouted while wincing in pain. “Children of the Flock, retreat so that we may fight another day!”

Quickly, the Famicomen Rider found himself alone on the mountainside as Hyson and his followers vanished as if they were never truly there to begin with.
“That was oddly short.” Justin shook his head. “I wonder if Linkara ever has days like this.”

***
Once the villains were defeated, Justin settled in for the night back at his house. For his second mission out as the Famicomen Rider, it wasn’t that bad he thought. “This actually was a good adventure.” Justin sat back on his couch and glanced at the belt. “I never knew this belt had so much power in it. I’ll have to take good care of it.” Before he could wonder what was going to happen next, there was a brilliant flash of light heralding not just the arrival of Linkara, who was actually in the flesh. With him was Angry Joe who was wearing his trademark leather jacket and MarzGurl who had the staff of “Juno the sorceress”.

“Mang, we could have used MY teleporter!” Joe scolded Linkara.

“For the last time, Joe, MY teleporter is cooler than yours! I actually used the Star Trek sound effect.”

“Guys, what are you doing here?” Justin had an exasperated look on his face, brought on by the shock of seeing his three friends in his basement.

“Well, we wanted to bring you to base in style.” Linkara began. “Rather than simply scooping you up, we thought we’d congratulate you.”

“Me? For what? Saving the city?”

“Nope.” MarzGurl smiled and moved some of her purple hair away from her face. “We’ve thought about it and we’ve come to a decision.”

Linkara watched as Justin stood up. He could see the caution causing his forehead to furrow.

“We want you to accompany us to Joe’s Watchtower. There, you will be sworn in as a member of our league of heroes.” Linkara explained. “We need heroes like you. We need someone people can look up to and be inspired by. Simply put, we need you to be a vital addition to the team. What do you say?”

Justin looked into the faces of his friends he has known for almost five years. Friends whose eyes burned with fierce determination. How could he say no? Standing in front of him were not just people he worked with. They were family. They were heroes. They chose him to help in their fight against people who’d otherwise cause problems worldwide. Smiling wide, he knew he had a firm answer for them.

“Yes.”

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Starbolts #143: Angel of Light



Long comic this week, right? Sorry about that. Haha. I wanted to accomplish a few things this week.

1. Show how crazy Moneybagger is. I think that was accomplished ten thousand fold.

2. Have a character arc with Angela. Why her? Well, this week I made a new outro with her and completely redid her sprites as you can see. She's got a new look and I needed to explain it. What better way to do it than by saying "Yeah, your powers evolved more Ang. You got more control over it."

3. I also needed a bridge between this and next week's comic. Various things will be hitting the fan that day. ALL OF THE THINGS!

I also wanted to show just how close Angela and Kevin are. It'll become important after this arc and especially in the next one when...Sorry. I just got a note from my lawyer. He said to stop talking. Er...typing.

Anyway, enjoy this week's comic!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Starbolts #142: Trial and Error



Here's a moral question for you all. Is D.I.S.C.O.R.D. right in its claim that Whitefox and co are in the wrong for sending the Soldier Six kids to their deaths on some forgotten island? AND that he's been doing that again with the Starbolt program? OR is Whitefox right in that they've been doing all they can to help the children reach their potential? I see this as two sides to the same issue. D.I.S.C.O.R.D. isn't evil for evil's sake. True, they want to destroy order. However, they feel that they have to shape the world to suit their needs. That is what they're about. THAT is why they are still around. People will follow what they feel is right and D.I.S.C.O.R.D. is one of those organizations that would sugarcoat their deeds in the name of their own righteousness. That is what makes them a threat.

And that is Philosophy 101! This is an age old question. It's up to you to decide who is right. These villains aren't evil for the hell of it. They want a new world order!

Anyway, today I introduce two new sprites for Andrea and Stan. I really needed to change them if they were going to be in the focus this week. They needed a change. Speaking of Andrea, did you see her speech? Damn. You do not want to piss her off. To put it mildly, Mrs. Whitefox went to the Mrs. Weasley school of motherhood. She will be everyone's mom. However, if you hurt any of her kids, she will end you.

She's that tough and I hope I conveyed that well. Andrea is the second Lady Liberty and there's a reason for that. It goes far beyond her powers. It comes from the strength of her character and willingness to lead. She's strong and has always been the type of leader to look out for her charges. Yes, Jack is her flesh and blood son. However, every Starbolt they have trained has become more than just a soldier in a fight against evil. They helped to raise them along with their parents.

That about does it for this week. Next time, we'll be checking in on the Whitefoxes other kids. I hope they're up to proving themselves in the face of Soldier Six. The question is...which side will Jack choose?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Starbolts #141: The Six Zillion Dollar Android



Gentlemen, we can make him better than he was. Stronger. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Ahh, the 1970s to 1980s. Your live action science fiction shows were so quirky, funny and quotable. And most importantly they were marketable. VERY marketable. Especially if you're in that coveted 18-30 demographic.

So, what do we have here? We have Norad's nanobots arguing over how to rebuild him. I wish I could have thought up a line for the purple nanobot. I couldn't really think of anything. I did want to show her. If you recall, Norad was a lovely shade of purple a while ago. That was the same arc that gave us Nor-Mad and Blu-Rad. As you can see Blu-Rad is still depressed as ever. After all, he does have a brain the size of a planet.

Next. we have Norad going fps. I tell you...THOSE panels were a trick to do. I had to make his eye cover a sort of 3D plain. It was interesting. I may do it again. I'm not too sure. Initially, Norad was going to be a head on a hand. I didn't like how that looked when I drew the sprite. I just made him be a little crab like. He won't be in that form long. I could have made a super duper gigantic mech. But, that's neither here nor there. I have Nor-Mad for that. I think that's enough for anyone to be honest.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Facebook and other stuff

Hail!

In my haste to put up the 2012 trailer, I neglected to put up the link to the Facebook page I set up for Starbolt Productions. You can check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Starbolt-Productions/109799699073466

There, you can keep up to date on everything as well as posts here. I was thinking of making an official Twitter for this site. I don't think I'll need that to be honest. Instead, just follow me at the usual spot: http://www.twitter.com/cferra1227

You may also notice a new link at the right there. That's BW Media spotlight and it's run by my good friend, ShadowWing Tronix. He's a good guy and has a great site. Check it out here: http://bwmedia.wordpress.com/

I think that's enough linking for now. In the mean time, I hope 2012 will be the best year yet. I've got loads of stuff planned and I hope everyone enjoys it!

Take care and happy new year!

OH! And I forgot to mention that Manta from the Starbolts is in the newest MMO Grinder by ChaosD1. You can check out the action here: http://www.blisteredthumbs.net/2011/12/mmo-grinder-coh/

I had a fun time playing Champions Online. However, it's City of Heroes that really grabbed my attention. It's a fun game and I was able to make Manta look somewhat decent in COH. Check out the review!