Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Return of M.A.S.K. Comics - IDW - Mike Quackenbush

A week past Friday was an interesting day for me.  I was on my way into work and had new ideas for my script.  I was excited.

As you know, I recently posted my Script on my Blog for everyone to read; this was the first draft and with no real hope in sight of if being made, I wanted others to enjoy it.  Although there is little chance of it being made into a movie, it doesn't stop me thinking about it.

By the time I reached work, my mind was full of ideas for improving the script and taking it in a different direction.  A similar thing happened with the first script I wrote - based around Students on their first day arriving at university, I rewrote it a couple of years after the first draft and made it so much better.

That Friday then got more interesting.  Far MORE interesting.

I logged onto Agents of M.A.S.K. - I'd made a comment on their blog a few days earlier, and was looking to see if they had replied.  Surprisingly, they had a new MASKast - so quickly after their last. 

Very Unexpected.

I'd already heard the rumours that IDW Comics had the rights to make a M.A.S.K. Comic - good news for me and my blog!

Jason and Wyatt were speaking with former Pro Wrestler, Mike Quackenbush.  Mike, like many of us, is a lifelong M.A.S.K. fan.  So much so, that he called one of his Wrestling Tournaments "Chikara - High Noon" - a reference to the M.A.S.K.  2nd season episode - High Noon.

Mike was explaining that he'd started a #MASKcrusade to catch the attention of IDW Publishing to pitch his idea for a M.A.S.K. comic. He has a story for a three issue comic - set 30 years after the last of the M.A.S.K. stories that we have come to know and love.

A continuation of where the cartoons and comics left off.  I'm not sure if he is referring only to the US comics or is including the UK comics in - as they already continued LONG after the cartoons and US Comics had ended.

As someone already in the public eye, Mike Quackenbush already has an established following of people to help support him in his endeavours.  With respect of my script, and Wyatt and Jason's, we've had to build our support up from the ground up.

Part of his process has involved getting one of his friends to create images to support his quest in getting his comic noticed.  He recently sent some of these images to Agents of M.A.S.K. who have been sharing these great images.

Firstly we have a sketch in blue pen -

Three people - we assume at this point are M.A.S.K. Agents - are caught in Switchblade's downdraft with guns pointing right at them.

From here we have a black ink image with more detail - 

We can now easily make out Matt Trakker and Brad Turner.  We're also guessing that the other agent is Hondo MacLean.  This is an extremely striking image.

The third and final image gets the full colour treatment.

The finished Image is truly inspiring.  Over the years I've seen a lot of M.A.S.K. Art on the internet in one form or another.  To know that someone is pitching this as part of a comic - makes it all the more special.

There are a few discussion points, though.  Switchblade is shown with a Gatling Gun on its nose that she's never had before.  Hondo's Jacket is in Buddie's Colour.  I would loved to have seen Miles Mayhem through the cockpit glass to make even more special.

I far prefer this art to anything I've seen in the US DC Comics version of M.A.S.K. from the 80's.  This feels more "real" than comic like.

The images have created such a hype on the internet that we even have a photo of toys mimicking this image.

Even if Mike doesn't succeed in his venture, he has at least brought more M.A.S.K. fans closer together.

During his conversation with Wyatt and Jason, he mentioned that he is friends with Stan Bush - many of whom will know from the soundtrack from the 1986 "The Transformers: The Movie".  "Dare" and "The Touch" were by far the best tracks from that movie - no disrespect to all of the other great tracks and artists.

A few years later, I'd pick up a cassette (yes, a cassette.  Do yo remember those bad boys?) of a soundtrack to a movie called "The Wraith".

I think it was the image on the cover more than anything that struck me first about it.

Did the image perhaps remind me in some way of M.A.S.K.?  The blacked out figure with a cool helmet?

When I read the track listing and saw "Stan Bush - Heart Vs Head" i knew that I had to buy it.  Another great song by Stan Bush - and a brilliant Soundtrack in General.

A few years later I'd buy the DVD of the movie - a good movie featuring a great looking car - a Dodge MS4 Turbo Concept Pace Car for the Indy Series.

I found out that Stan Bush had released an album entitled "Stan Bush & Barrage" but it wasn't released in the UK.

This meant I'd have to get it as an import.  It would be a good few years before I happened upon a copy of this Album in HMV in Glasgow.

It was double the price of a normal CD of that that time - but it had to be paid.

It is the most expensive CD I've purchased to-date - well worth every penny.

These days with EBay, it is so much simpler to find and purchase normally hard to find CD's and I've managed to purchase a few more of Stan's CD's.

As mentioned before, Mike Quakenbush called one of his Wrestling Tournaments "Chikara - High Noon" in honour of M.A.S.K.

I wrote a piece on my blog about two years ago entitled "Chikara High Noon" in which I discussed a piece of music I'd heard by Stan Bush.  When I heard Mike mention his relationship with Stan Bush, it all clicked together and made so much sense how this all came about.

Stan Bush's "Chikara High Noon" plays homage to M.A.S.K. - his friend's favourite cartoon, comic and toy line - I wish I had friends like Stan Bush!!!  What a Legend!!! 

Anyway, M.A.S.K. Comics Blog and M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page are supporting Mike's hopes to bring back M.A.S.K. Comics.  And if either Mike Quakenbush or Stan Bush are up for an interview???.....

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics
#DIC #MASKcrusade


  1. The recreation is awesome! I know Mike will appreciate that.

    I really need to explore Stan Bush's catalog of music. I LOVE the Transformers songs but never taken the time to pick up the other albums. I'll be doing that soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Stan should team up with Shuki Levy if there ever gonna be a M.A.S.K. cartoon revamp i think Stan and Shuki just might be the perfect team for the job!

    2. Hey Jason,

      Yeah, the recreation is great. I can't for the life of me remember who it was that created this - it was shared on one of the Facebook Pages.

      I think, as you are a big fan of 80's music, that you will love Stan Bush's work. He's amazing!

    3. Hey Vaughn,

      I'm 100% behind you there. I think if there were a cartoon or movie, Stan Bush working on the music score with Shuki Levy would be great. I've thought over the years that having Stan Bush work on the Movie would be a great idea.

  2. I support Mike Quackenbush's #MASKcrusade very much. :) #assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics #DIC