- So as a child of the . . . well let’s just say a previous decade I have always had a fond remembrance of the giant robot animated series like Voltron or comic books series such as the Shogun Warriors and so when I heard about the web comic Robot God Akamatsu by Frankie B Washington and James Biggies I had to check it out. The creators were nice enough to take a moment out of the world of Mech’s to chat with us about their project.
FBW) The story of RGA is actually one that is continuously evolving even as James and I build upon the universe. The story that James is laying out now revolves around the relationship of Ken Akamatsu (The scientist who discovers the RGA mech as well as Atlantian technology associated with it) and his twenty-something college drop out son Jin. Who is chosen thru fate to be the Harrada ( leader of the remote operators who operate RGA). The story as it continues to build will showcase other characters who help layer the saga. James as the writer will offer a much better insight into the machinations that will drive this series.
Q) So what material did you guys draw on to inspire this project?
FBW) I personally am a fan of the works of Go Nagai : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_Nagai - The father of Mazinger Z, Getter Robo (Starvengers), Grendizer, Gaiking, Devil Man and a score of other amazing concepts. It is the idea of a human(s) piloting a giant mech against the forces of evil and guided by a clandestine organization that really appealed to me. I’ve often used the analogy of “Clark Kent climbing into the head of Superman to fight against Lex Luthor”. A symbolic view of Kouji Kabuto climbing into his Hover Pileder to dock in the crown of Mazinger Z and do battle against the machine beasts of Doctor Hell. Another inspiration was Marvel Comics twenty issue run of the popular Mattel action figures the Shogun Warriors. Written by Doug Moench : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Moench and art by Herb Trimpe : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herb_Trimpe this series was a stable of my childhood. I loved how this team brought the japanese mech to America and made it a Marvel Comic, they weren’t trying to do it as manga. The stories and characters were dynamic, colorful and fun, the ingredients that I definitely want Robot God Akamatsu to have.
FBW) The concept actually evolved from a challenge that I posed to James after he’d given me a Batman script he’d written. In my humble opinion my partner is a hardcore Transformer fan and even though I like them myself – He really puts me to shame. My question to him was that I didn’t understand how a person who loved mechs was writing about Batman… and i suggested maybe telling a story about a robotic version of the Justice League – LOL Yes, a crazy idea yet it was the seeds that began to sprout the concept. The icing on the cake came when James sent the name of Robot God Akamatsu to me. The name alone helped me to really flesh out how this mech would look and define it’s presence in the world we were shaping.
Q) Do you have any other people helping out on the series?
FBW) Yes. We are so fortunate through the relationship that James had with Josh Van Reyk who is the force behind Choose Wisely Productions : http://www.facebook.com/ChooseWiselyProductions to have his skills assist with lettering and editing of the pages.
FBW) Ideally, I would like to follow the same plan that many mangas undergo in Japan. First the web series or graphic novel is released and a fan base is developed for the property. Second due to an interest in the IP, a studio licenses the rights to do an animated series or film. Three, because the anime has been received positively then the IP can begin to evolve and begin the trek of multimedia licensing. Overall we’ll both be tickled pink if Bandai or some other toy manufacturer develops a die cast chogokin of RGA. That would signify that concept has reached the place it needed to be at.
Q) if people want more info about Robot God Akamatsu where should the go?
FBW) Well we have a few areas on the web for info about RGA : Web Series - http://robotgodakamatsu.blogspot.com/
Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/RGAkamatsu T-Shirts - http://worldofstrange.com/robot-god-akamatsu-art-16.html
Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
FBW) Preferably with my beautiful muse – Crystal, Family, Friends and our three cats in a caravan with a bunch of survivors as we head far north into the wilderness- To jump start humanity.
Q) Jedi, Ninja, vampire, were-wolf, pirate, fairy or Spartan?
FBW) Were-Wolf and preferably the Howling 1 (movie) kind of wolf where I can control my changes and still have sex.
Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
FBW) I went to Rome way back in 2001 and went to Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo is the most amazing piece of artwork i’ve ever seen.
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
FBW) I’m really, really obsessed with kittens and go gaga anytime I see one in a video or in person. They are so cute yet inquisitive, the survival instinct is strong in them.