As promised, first up for the new year is a special Addendum on a book that meant a lot to me as a child; Battle Beneath the Ice!
Also, over at Transformers Archive, the series of write ups that have run all through the last year counting down to the anniversary has ended with Cliffjumper, the very man I inherited the comics collection I use for this site, looking at the end of Time Wars and can be read HERE.
The final bit of business to deal with is the Christmas Quiz. This wasn't a huge success with only two entries (though thankfully the winner was a high scorer), James Roberts joked on twitter they were the Hardest Questions Ever which may be where it went wrong, but either way it's unlikely to be something I do again next year. Still, nothing ventured nothing gained. [If you're reading this without having seen the questions go HERE to test yourself before reading the answers below). Congratulations to long time reader and contributor Ryan F for getting 10 out of 12 though, and thanks to Simon Hall who got a respectable 8 out of 12 with a bonus point thrown in.
Thanks to everyone who has read in the last year, I think I've found a good groove with this blog now and when I egotistically check the number of visitors I get after an update the increasing size of the bump really does make the work put into this worthwhile, as does the contributions from those of you who have been kind enough to take the time to comment, especially as there's been all sorts of extra interesting information that's come up in what people have thrown into the ring. I don't always have time to reply in the depth I'd like but I do read everything.
Christmas Quiz 2013 Answers.
Question 1: Which long standing contributor to the UK comic turns out to run his own engineering company in the Ladybird book Laserbeak’s Fury?
Answer: The engineer was called Lewis Stringer.
Question 2: What was significant about the name of Matt’s little robot friend in Matt and the Cat?
Answer: His name, Olia-Cym, was the real first name of Matt and the Cat writer Mike [Mycailo] Kazybird spelt backwards.
Question 3: During the period I’ve covered this year Geoff Senior art technically made its first appearance within an American created story, how and where?
Answer: A panel of art featuring an establishing shot of the Ark from Crisis of Command Part 1 was used in the reprint of the first American issue included in The Complete Works Part 1 at the top of the "Meet the Autobots" page, replacing a panel that had presumably been destroyed when that spread was turned into a poster for it's use in issue 2.
Question 4: Rocket Raccoon has a spaceship with a name that almost certainly influenced something in Target: 2006, what was it?
Answer: Rack'N'Ruin [The spelling on this changed from issue to issue, but it's variable for the Transformer as well]
Question 5: Which real life band was playing in Portland the week after Rock and Roll Out!?
Answer: The Bangles.
Question 6: According to Grimlock, which popular hit of 1986 did Soundwave contribute vocals to?
Answer: Amityville (The House on the Hill) by Lovebug Starski.
Question 7: For how many days straight had Bomber Bill been in the saddle for when he had his truck stolen by Constructicons?
Answer: 8 days straight.
Question 8: Which Marvel characters can be seen in I, Robot Master! (but not the IDW version)?
Answer: The Hulk and Captain America.
Question 9: Which two Autobots definitely have wall plaques alongside Optimus Prime in the Resistance Autobase in The Smelting Pool! (bonus points if you can convince me of the identities of the two further away along the back wall)?
Answer: Bumblebee and Wheeljack. A bonus point to reader Simon Hall for his suggestion of Mirage as one of the others.
Question 10: Of the four locations the Autobots went hunting for Dinbots in Dinobot Hunt!, which was the only one to be a real world location?
Answer: Black Rock desert, Nevada. Ironically the one that most sounds like a made up Transformers name.
Question 11: Which two Autobots lose their heads to Shockwave in Buster’s first dream in Second Generation?
Answer: Jazz and Ratchet.
Question 12: What do The Icarus Theory, In the National Interest, Target: 2006 (though not some of the individual issues) and The Gift all have in common that none of the other main comic stories in 1986 do?
Answer: They're the only story titles not to end with an exclamation mark! Though some of the subtitles for Target: 2006 do.