Quick Report: Recreating My Spreadsheet

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The report is quick but it took all afternoon and I didn’t get to finish it. Mostly because I’m using my old Microsoft Works program and it’s a bit glitchy with Windows 10 apparently. At any rate when I lost the Vista computer I also lost the spreadsheets I had that I was using to keep track of stuff I’m doing for the other website. The most annoying of the lost sheets was the one for my minicomics that I review for Free Comic Inside (something crossposted here as a “Mini-Comic Report” when I review one I actually own versus one I find online). So this week’s project was to recreate it. (Up there is the old one.)

While there are a few things I need to do, like re-find some of the comics online that I don’t own but want to review for the article series (I also keep track of the ones I own or want to own), this did give me a chance to redo the layout from the bottom up. There were times the old system got confusing because without scrolling back to the top I couldn’t remember which column was to mark something reviewed and which was to mark something I own. I do plan to put that labeling into multiple parts of the sheet so I don’t have to look up, but for now it’s still short enough (possibly due to ones I’ve forgotten why my luck) that it’s not a requirement. Frankly I should have done that with the old chart. I’m not sure what other pack-in promo mini-comics I’ve forgotten but hopefully I’ll remember them soon and I was able to get most of the info I needed for the ones I know I need to review. Preferably I will own them someday because I like these little things…although now I’m wondering if mixing them into the regular comics was a mistake when it comes to finding them…but online and digital downloads are an option I can live with because they’re long out of print and in some cases the product no longer exists anyway and I don’t know if I’ll be able to collect them all. Still, I wish I hadn’t lost my old list. This was a lot of work and some of that information is currently lost to me.

I’ll have to work on the others later. There are still a few other features I really want to take time to play with but since this was an important spreadsheet I really wanted to recreate it. Now I just need the data to finish it.

Mini-Comic Report: Transformers Armada vol. 4

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I know I was going to review my last Alternator this week but I haven’t had a chance to go over it. Next week is going to be hectic but I’m going to try and get it done then. In the meantime I’m crossposting the next Armada minicomic from my other website that hasn’t been posted here yet.

Previously we’ve looked at the first three Transformers Armada minicomics Dreamwave produced for Hasbro, but there’s one more to go. So it’s time to finish this series. Dreamwave also produced minicomics for Energon so we aren’t done yet but we’ll put this series to bed.

At this point the toyline introduced the subline “The Unicron Battles”. This featured the first ever Unicron toy, long desired by those who grew up with the original toyline and Transformers: The Movie. While the toy had been planned twice in the past, once when the movie came out and once by Takara for the Japanese-exclusive line Beast Wars Neo, neither were ever produced. Finally for this line we got our Unicron and it was worth the wait seeing as the other two designs didn’t really capture the essence of the big villain Simon Furman re-imagined into a god of chaos nearly as well. (When it comes to Unicron I’m actually neutral as to which origin is better, cartoon or comic, but I still prefer the Quintesson origin over Primus.)

It was decided to make Unicron the big threat of the subline and tie the version of him in this continuity to the Mini-Cons, and so the “Unicron Battles” began. And this was the comic that introduced the idea to toy buyers who didn’t see the show or read the regular Dreamwave comics. So how does it do? The first two comics were not that great since they had to force three translations of the same dialog into the panel. The third issue was better for only needing one language but still not that great, so what does this series end on?

“Hey Galactus, the rest of us want to see, too. Wanna move to the back seats?”

Transformers Armada volume 4

CREATED BY: Dreamwave for Hasbro


WRITER: Chris Sarracini

PENCILER: James Riaz

COLORISTS: Felipe Smith & David Cheung

Only TWO colorists, Dreamwave? Are you finally realizing you don’t need five colorists on one book, especially a minicomic? Since none of the Energon minicomics have credits we’ll never know.

LETTERING: Dreamer Design



Mini-Comic Report: Transformers Armada Vol. 2

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My Crohn’s (I’m willing to give it up if anyone wants it) was playing with me this week, not a full flare-up but a lot of gas and not as much sleep. Saturday was spent mostly in bed trying to get my strength back, so I still didn’t get any work done. So to keep things active (hopefully everything is fine by next week…I have a big corner mess to clean up and some more new reviews) I’m going back to my other site to mine a mini-comic review. I just finished reviewing a Transformers Armada comic series when I realized I never went back to the mini-comics that came with the toys and there were still three more AND the Energon comics left to go. So I made a dent. Enjoy.


With the Transformers Armada comic coming to an end I thought it was well past time to return to the mini-comics Dreamwave produced for the toys. In our last installment we found a very lackluster story. Whether it was the space needed to include the catalog or the insistence to have all three package languages (English, French, and Spanish as I recall) in the comic taking up much needed dialog space I can’t say. I can say it was lame. Although the same restrictions exist here, maybe this one will be better?

Not really, no.

Transformers Armada V2

“Oh, let the kids play.”

Transformers Armada Vol. 2

Dreamwave/Hasbro (2002)

WRITER: Chris Sarracini
ARTIST: Guido Guidi
COLORISTS: Chris Walker & Matt Kuphaldt
LETTERING: Dreamer Design


Mini-Comic Report: MASK – “Assault On Boulder Hill”

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Previously we have looked at the first and (on my other site since it’s the one I don’t own) second MASK mini-comics. Well, there’s one more and it’s high time I took a look at it. For the forgetful, MASK was a TV show and toyline featuring the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand (because we can’t let a little thing like spelling ruin a perfectly good acronym) as they battled the Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem. The vehicles could convert to battle modes to fight each other and have other talents, like letting the car or bike fly and the helicopter turn into a fighter jet, and they wore masks that had special powers attached to them.

In the first mini-comic we learned Miles Mayhem, VENOM’s leader, stole the plans for weaponized masks and transforming vehicles from Matt Trakker’s (MASK’s leader) little brother, who died during the theft. In the mini-comics and DC’s comics VENOM are well aware who the members of MASK are and where their headquarters was. This makes continuing to disguise it as a gas station a bit odd, but we need a transforming headquarters and “illusion is the ultimate weapon” is the tagline here. In this issue VENOM takes the fight to the Boulder Hill playset I didn’t own headquarters of MASK. Let’s see how the final story went.

MASK Mini #3

At least they didn’t ask for the anti-freeze. I hear those are napalm grenades.

MASK: Assault On Boulder Hill

produced by DC Comics for Kenner (at the time a CPG Production Corp company, now fully absorbed by Hasbro)

again, no credits given. At least Mattel let the Masters Of The Universe comics have credits