Saturday, December 8, 2018

Interview with Trey Moore

Trey Moore is a writer for Boom Comics and has co-written "Only the Strong" in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 annual and "The Trial of Astronema" from "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Anniversary Special #1." 

Did you do any books before Power Rangers? 
The story in the Power Rangers Annual 2016 was my first published work. 

How familiar are you with the franchise? 
I'm very familiar with the franchise! I watched the series premiere back in '93 when it first aired. I followed the series on and off, right up until the beginning of Turbo. After that, I dropped off for a few years and came back to it when I was in college. I got nostalgic for the show and went back to rewatch it, which led to me checking out the (then) current series - Wild Force. I loved all the new stuff they were doing and went back to catch up on everything I had missed. I've kept up with the series ever since, right up to this year with Super Ninja Steel. I've also added Super Sentai and Kamen Rider to my viewing list in recent years. 

How did you get the job?   
My father got into the industry 25 years ago and I would go to conventions with him; even giving away my own homemade comics at San Diego Comic Con back in the mid/late 90's. In college, I majored in English with a specialty in Creative Writing, and tried to break into the industry a few times with little success. Shortly after Boom got the Power Rangers license, they reached out to my father to do a short story in their upcoming annual. They suggested we do a story together - a father/son thing. That was my first opportunity and I gave it my best shot, hoping that I could deliver something good enough that they would ask me back for more work. Luckily, the fans have always responded very well to my work and Boom has continued to offer me great new opportunities to tell more stories.

How is it writing for Boom?
Boom has been fantastic to me. They have been so open and encouraging of my ideas. I've worked with different editors on different stories, and they've all been very accessible and eager to talk through anything I want. I wouldn't expect that type of communication with a guy like me who's writing a few pages in one of their books. I'm very grateful to them for that! 

You mentioned your dad, how is working with your dad? Have you always had a good relationship?
I have a very good relationship with my dad. We're very similar in a lot of ways. Working with him was no different than working with any other artist. One thing I did enjoy was that there was a little more room for collaboration. With these short annual stories, I don't get much direct communication with the artist. With my dad, he could call me up and suggest ideas. For example, in my original Goldar script, Lord Zedd is the one who kills Silverback. However, it was my dad who called me up and said "I'm working on the pages and I noticed that this is Goldar's story, but he's not an active participant in it - he's just observing events and reacting. Let's get him involved. Maybe he can be the one forced to kill his brother." It was a great idea and I rewrote the scene to reflect that. I think strong communication between the writer and artist is key to a comic's success.    

You mentioned the story of Goldar’s brother that story resonated With me the most. I like how it tied in alien Rangers, Master vile and Lord zedd’s origins with the zeo Crystal. Before focusing on silverback, did you guys know Goldar was based on a Griffin in Zyuranger? And that he didn’t originally speak until a spell was cast? Also, in the first MMPR movie, Morton the pig was to be his cousin. 
Yeah, I'm well aware of the Sentai elements. I try to do nods to the original Japanese version where I can, but always focus more on the elements presented in the American version. 

What is your favorite season of Power Rangers other than MMPR? 
I have a couple of favorite seasons, but I think Time Force is the winner. I think that season did the best job of delivering both a complete story and character arcs. The tone was consistent throughout the season and all the characters were very likable (IMO). RPM is fantastic, but I think it's slightly held back by duplicating In Space's brother/sister story. In Space is brilliant, but given the job of wrapping up 6 years worth of storylines, I feel like there were some unanswered questions and lingering character threads. 

Who is your favorite ranger?
I'd probably give you a different answer every time I was asked. The obvious and cliche answer is Tommy. He's essentially Optimus Prime - the face of the franchise. I'm a huge fan of Jason/MMPR Red & Zeo Gold. Jen/TF Pink. Doggie/Shadow. Those are the big ones for me.   

Which character do you feel you found a “voice” for? 
I feel very comfortable with Karone/Astronema. I can put that character in pretty much any situation and know how she'll react to it. I also feel like I found a voice for Finster, though it sounds very different than the voice on the show. In my head, it's the same character, but we're seeing his dark side come out more when he's alone - as opposed to be surrounded by other monsters and Rita. '

Who is your favorite character, villain, ally or ranger? 
I think Astronema/Karone is one of the most well developed characters in the franchise. She may be my favorite. Her arc from the beginning of Space to the end of LG was so well done. 

 Are you working on any future stuff?
There's nothing to announce right now, but I'll be sure to let you know when there is. 

 How is fan response to your work?
The fans have been awesome to me! Every time a new story comes out, people always have wonderfully kind things to say about it. Their positive comments have helped me to feel more comfortable with what I'm producing - that I'm on the right track. Occasionally, I'll see criticism and if it's constructive, I take it to heart and try to avoid that pitfall in the future. For all the fans who have been enjoying my work, I want to do my best to live up to their expectations. 

What other sci-fi, fantasy and any other written work inspires you?
I try to take things from every type of storytelling I can find. I pull from movies, TV shows, cartoons, video games, music, books, comics, pro wrestling, etc. Growing up, I loved things like Star Wars, Final Fantasy, and heavier anime like Evangelion. I'm always drawn to stories that focus on characters above all else. I want to feel emotionally connected to a character. Make me cheer; make me cry! Take me on a journey. I try to do that with my stories. Even if they're only 8 pages long, I want the reader to feel something about that character by the end - good or bad. 

Who are your favorite writers in general? Not only comics. 
I really like Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, and Alan Moore. The show runners on modern Doctor Who - Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat. Joss Whedon. Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman are a great screenwriting duo. Those are the big ones that come to mind.   

What comics did you like as a child? Have you re-read them as an adult? Has your perspective changed?
I grew up on the big ones - Batman, X-Men, Spider-Man. I've re-read most of them as an adult. The charm and nostalgia keep them enjoyable to me, but I see a lot of problems that I didn't notice as a child. Things go by too fast, there are odd logic jumps. There's a lot of big shock moments, but no time to stop and take it all in. However, they were made for a different era that wanted different things, so I always keep that in mind when looking at things from the past. 

like that what you said about the comics and pacing. I read about manga artists and they say they rely on the reader to be judgment on time and taking breaks but I see art as fluid, you need a page of space to let you know you need to take a break. 
Yeah, every writer has their own philosophy! I approach storytelling more like a director - envisioning the flow of the story to push the reader towards the experience I want them to have. 

What PR character you wish you. Hold write for that you haven’t had the chance? 
There's quite a few that I would love to write for. I'd love to do a Jason/Tommy story. It'd be fun to do something with the Alien Rangers. Wes & Jen from Time Force. I have a big soft spot for the Ninja Storm cast. And, of course, Doggie Cruger. 

Any advice for aspiring writers?
Stay connected with the world - listen to the way people talk, how they think, and how they respond. If you want to be a writer, you need to be writing every day. Even if you don't have a job, be honing your craft. Whether you want to write comics or novels or screenplays, be doing it now. Get your rookie mistakes out of the way when no one's paying attention. If I wanted to be a musician, the first time I try to play guitar should not be in a recording studio. Same with writing; your first ever script should not be the one you publish. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Ryuusouger pics

Temp info from Dukemon:
KishiRyuuOh (Red T-Rex), Triken (Blue Triceratops) and Ankyloze (Pink Ankylosaurus), TigerLance (Green Sabertooth) MilNeedle (Black Stegosaur?)

The RyuuSouls seem to be "knight spirits". They are definitely like RangerKeys, and install in the mecha.  

-The RyuuSou Join ports on KishiRyuuOh are new, and lego-like

-Triceratops should be "TriKen" as it's a sword. Still not sure what kind of weapon Akyloze is. 

-The three initial mechs combine to form KishiRyuuOh 3 Knights. It's one part gattai, and one part armament

-TigerLance combines with 3 Knights to form KishiRyuuOh TigerLance. This 4-combo seems to actually have a new head. 

-MilNeedle (seemingly a stegosaur) combines with 3 Knights to form KishiRyuuOh MilNeedle. 

-The Henshin Sound for the RyuusouChanger is "Ryuusou Cool!" (RyuusouChanger comes with another RedRyuuSoul. 

-The RyuuSouKen comes with another Soul. 

-Can't make out the names of the other Souls, but like the ZyuDenChi and KyuTama, they definitely give mini power-boosts/attacks. (One says MukiMuki, like Muscular.)

-The RyuuSouBuckle comes with another Soul, and can store 3 souls, as well as holding the RyuuSouKen

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Speculation: Power Rangers Girls Doll Line

The following is not official at this point at November 28th, 2018. If you are seeing this some months after this date, this has probably come true. 
Hasbro Dolls
Since Hasbro got the Disney rights, they have upped their game with the Disney Princess dolls. Now they have Star Wars Forces of Destiny and Marvel Rising. First of all, it is great Hasbro is doing dolls for girls and boys and collectors focusing on the female characters. With Star Wars, they are focusing on the females for a mostly male dominated toy franchise. I found Star Wars Forces of Destiny interesting but unfortunately a lot of the dolls have been warming shelves and found on clearance. Marvel Rising just started and I don't have the estimates on sales. With this being said, if the dolls will be successful or not, I think Hasbro should try with the large wealth of Power Rangers characters to choose from.

 Bandai Dolls 1994-1995
Bandai America tried making dolls of the female Rangers back in the day. They had civilian clothes, Ranger suits, doll hair and helmets. They made them of Aisha as well. They did plan dolls for Kat, Tanya and Tommy for Zeo in 196 but they were never released. Only prototypes. They were not successful that they stopped making them. 

Bandai doll-like figures 2002-2007
Bandai America made action figures that were like dolls at 11 or 12 inches tall. They had the suits, armor, accessories and helmets. They no civilian clothes. Some had the actor faces like Wild Force, Ninja Storm and Dino Thunder. They had human faces in SPD but with wrong skin colors and covering most of the face and did not resemble the actors. For Mystic Force and Operation Overdrive, they no longer had human faces and the helmets were not removable. Some parts of the suits were still removable. By the time of Jungle FUry, they stop making them. 

Power Rangers
In my dream doll line, female rangers would be prominent but there should be a few male characters as well. Of course, I see the first dolls would be Kimberly the Mighty Morphin Pink Ranger and Trini the Mighty Morphin Yellow Ranger. Also see focus on 1995 Movie suits, 2017 Movie suits, and Ninja Rangers. Also focus on female characters that have not gotten action figures like Nova Ranger, Kat Ranger, White Mystic Force Ranger (Udonna), Dr. K, Hayley (Dino Thunder), Ms, Fairweather (Lightspeed Rescue), and others. I see including significant others like Tommy the Green/White Ranger, Andros the Red Ranger, Dillon the Black Ranger, etc. Now I know female Legacy Rangers didn't sell well but I think dolls might do better. There are also adult collectors for dolls. One fan on Twitter said it would be cool to have Billy in his original overalls. 

If they do decide to make a doll line, the biggest focus I think should be villainesses like Rita (show and movie 2017), Scorpina, Divatox, Astronema, Psycho Pink, Psycho Yellow, Trakeena, Nadira, Toxica, Marah, Kapri, Elsa, Morgana, Necrolai, Camile, Tenaya 7, Madame Odius, and Poisandra. Only a few villainesses have gotten figures: Poisondra, Madame Odius, Camile, and Rita. It would be cool if they were two dolls for Astronema: cyborg Astronema with red wig and regular Astronema with different wigs. I think villainesses that had rubber monster forms should get dolls too: Necrolai, Queen Machina, Archerina, Metal Alice, etc. 

I'm adding a poll to the blog once again, which I used to do long ago. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Beast Morpher toy listings speculations

Power Ranger Talk found these listings on Amazon a week ago. 

 Joining the Lightning Collection:
White Ranger - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 
Pink Ranger - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 
Lord Zedd - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 
Magna Defender - Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
Shadow Ranger - Power Rangers S.P.D. 
Red Ranger - Power Rangers Beast Morphers 
Gold Ranger - Power Rangers Beast Morphers 
Red Ranger - Power Rangers Dino Charge

Playskool Heroes
I guess Imaginext is over because Hasbro has now coming  up Playskool Heroes. The figures are smaller than the Imaginext ones. No descriptions so it is unknown what series Rinozord and Wolf zords are from. 
Feature T-Rex Zords 
Mega Mighties Mighty Morphin Red Ranger 
Blind Bags 
2 Pack Figures 
Morphin Rinozord 
Morphin Zords 
Feature Wolf Zords 
Feature Zords Morphin Pterazord 
2 Pack Tri-Cycle 
Mighty Morphin Black Ranger

 Beast Morphers
Here is the gold nugget, recently found. 
Jack Beast Bot 
Red Ranger
Blue Ranger
Yellow Ranger
Silver Ranger
Gold Ranger
Tronic (could be the minions)
Drilltron (Monster?)
Evox (main villain)
Beastbot figures Assorted
Lord Zedd (size unknown)
Zord action figures 

12 inch figures:
Blue Ranger
Blaze V Ranger
Red Ranger

Beast X Megazord
Beast Racer Zord
Smash Blue Beastbot
Cruise Red Beastbot

Cheetah Claw
Blue Ranger Mask
Cheetah Beast Blaster
Reactive Kata Sword
Beast X Morpher

Micro Morphers Blind Bag Assorted
Mirco Morpher Zords

Adam (@liladam87) says "Drilltron" could be Drilloid from Go-Busters.

I don't know the Blaze Ranger has 'v.' People are curious how the Evok figure will look like. I like the Beastbots are getting various figures and also Roxy, confirming that is the name of the villainess. It looks like they are continuing the monsters like Bandai was doing. Also interesting they are releasing Gold and Silver in the first wave, probably because the toys will be released in April, when the series on hiatus.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Power Rangers Ultimate Visual History Review

I know this is a few weeks late but I was busy with work and Rangerstop, here is my review. Written by Jody Revenson and Ramin Zahed, for Insight Editions which have done "Ultimate Visual Historys" for Ninja Turtles and Back to the Future and Revenson has done Harry Potter volumes. It has a touching foreword by Amy Jo Johnson. It is a behind the scenes book from the inception of Power Rangers (Saban in a hotel room) to the series humble beginnings to the juggernaut it became to getting a bit more mature (In Space to Time Force) to being acquired by Disney (Ninja Storm to RPM) to Saban Brands (Samurai to Super Ninja Steel) to now (Beast Morphers). Even a diehard fan such as myself didn't know Saban sang all Sentai songs from Goranger to Jetman, Alpha 5 being based on 50's robot toys and named after an obscure French film Alpha 60 and the literal taping of random hardware to become a new invention for Billy.

The book is thorough in explaining the plot of each season, the characters, villains, zords and the producers and writers. It shows stunning visuals, some we already know and some never before seen such as concept drawings for various things from command center, juice bar, Ninjetti table, Wild Force Animarium and Samurai wardrobe. It is inconsistent in its content of pictures, say, compared to the Super Sentai encyclopedia books as the content is not consistent (for example, Megaforce villains get a two pages but Super Megaforce villains do not). I am not being nitpicky but it gets a little glaring for someone that has ADHD or OCD which I believe (going to conventions) which is probably half of the fandom. (not a criticism but an observation)

The book is guilty of indulging a lot in the earlier seasons and movies than the later seasons but probably for the reader, who probably is guessed to be over twenty years old and probably not as intrigued to have 14 pages on Megaforce. The 2017 movie gets 14 pages. Each Saban Brands season gets 12 pages except Dino Charge gets 10. Disney seasons gets 8 pages except SPD and Operation Overdrive that get 6 each. Each Saban Entertainment season gets from 6 pages to 10. Migthy Motphin, because its 3 seasons and the movie, it gets 58. Zeo and Turbo series gets 6 pages each, Turbo movie, Lost Galaxy, and Wild Force gets 10, Space gets 12 and Lightspeed and Time Force gets 8. It probably had to do with what they had to explain and the amounts of photos. 

I found intriguing reasoning of the writers such as a lower episode count in Mystic Force made producers and writers happy they could use less of the sentai footage and focus on their own. With MMPR season 1, they had to use ALL the footage. Then in other seasons that had so little budget they had no choice but to use mostly footage. Supposedly the less original footage they had to make the more high quality they could had done with it. But unfortunately with Megaforce, it looks like who is in charge is what dictates what 'high quality' is. In the case of RPM, the book claims Disney says it was just the scheduling why they fired Eddie Guzelian but Ari Boyland at Rangerstop 2016 claims it was because Guzelian didn't use all the monster suits they were ordered.

The book doesn't make the usual mistakes other Saban Brands publications do with misnaming things and only trusting fan information. They do quote and site a lot of fan websites (even mine) but mostly with interviews with actors. They used two of my interviews, one with Davi Santos and another with Ryan Carter. Unfortunately I did see one mistake. They have little pamphlets inside and one covered toys and one claimed you had to scan Power Cards" that came with the Ranger Keys which is incorrect. The cards came in the first season of Power Rangers Megaforce and the keys in Super Megaforce. All in all, a great book but if you can't cough up $50, its understandable. With most books it can just collect dust. But for me, this is a book I'll be revisiting. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Davi Santos Interview at Pride Pop Culture Expo in Orlando

Exclusive interview I did with Davi Santos (Sir Ivan of Zandar) at the Pride Pop Culture Expo October 13, 2018.

And the panel hosted by Harris Cosplay