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Nature's Guard

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"Nature's Guard, Anti-Terrorist Strike Force", is the new, highly marketable, cross media tie in, Cartoon Series featuring animals that have guns and stuff. Oh, and they fight terrorists too!
I was at the 'Official Launch' at Comics2002 in Bristol. And, to be honest, this is just going to be another Saturday morning cartoon. To quote the marketing droid who gave a long speil, "We will be keeping the violence toned down, so as to include in our marketing appeal the smaller children. But we want also want to appeal to teenagers and parents!". So, expect the worst.

I am holding the press/marketing release for the tie-in comic book. I'll quote some of it to give you a feel: "In their bleakest hour a force will rise and carry the torch of freedom, and they shall be known as... NATURE'S GUARD".

The sample art is just as Gung-Ho as the text. Its like someone said 'Do Rambo, but with Cute Furry Animals!'. The background story has an "Evil Empire"; this evil empire funds terrorist groups to disrupt "Nature's Senate". (Can we say Axis of Evil? I knew you could!)

So, we get "Nature's Guard", an elite team to go kick some terrorist butt. And also, according to the aforementioned Marketing Droid, "Educating Children to the Ecological and Social problems of the Issue", but mostly just kicking butt.

You can probably guess by now that I am not impressed. (But, hey, if you know me, you know how much it takes to impress me.) All I can say is if you liked Thundercats, you might like this.

The cartoon series is being produced by LegendsWorks, the comic book by Warpton Comics. Major sales point and fandom connection - will feature the voices of Warwick Davis and Jeremy Bulloch of Star Wars fame.

ps. The bad guys are spiders. Natch.

Comments

Your rating: None

No matter what anyone thinks of it, this marketing strategy is going to succeed.

For the same reason that, after September 11, nearly all the Half-Life servers online switched to Counter-Strike. Everyone wants to blast terrorists.

It's also not necessarily a bad thing that there are people willing to cash in on any tragedy. That's a little thing we call capitalism. The ability to pull economic success for a business--or to start a business--out of any major event, positive or negative.

Smile! The world could use another happy person.

Your rating: None

Spiders and weasels. Man, I hate speciesm. :/ I'd just like a nice show about the Weasel Patrol or something.

Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake

Your rating: None

Or the Rat and Snake Warriors of Light! Honestly, giving in to species stereotypes is just as bad (if not worse) than human racial stereotypes.

Still, there are some that are not certainties but definitely tendencies: example, asking a fox (like yours truly) to stop playing tricks is like asking water to stop being wet. =^.^=

Smile! The world could use another happy person.

Your rating: None

I agree. The animal stereotypes are sometimes annoying... For example - some of my works concenrate on hyenas, and many people think that's sick, even if a present hyenas as most loveable and huggable creatures...

This is really a pain in the ass

White Lion

Your rating: None

Damn all those evil empires who strive for total world domination.... urrrrrrrrrrrrg. No matter how much I tried to like this, I can't. It's too cut and dried. They are evil, we are good. Blah blah blah. *gak* Yeah, I liked Thundercats, but I was... what, four? This doesn't even have the pseudo-mythical-fantastical powers and stuff. It's G.I. Joe... with furries. *harf*

Your rating: None

Lucky for me, I actually have a preview copy of the comic books here thanks to the promotion staff.

Please be aware that this review may contain spoilers for someone very interested in the book.

First, if the animated series is going to be "toned down," it doesn't show in the comic book. The insect group called the "Spidersect" neatly kills four senators and a guardsman in the first two pages. Then, they take a building in Hightree City where our heroes make their first appearance.

And of course our heros are very "toyetic," to steal a phrase from Freakazoid. Baron Engel would be glad to know that his raccoon has been pretty much lifted to create "Boon Raccoon," the polar bear is named "Klondike," the female feline is "Kat Nipp," a bird named "Summit," and "Longtail" is some mysterious feline type character with the tranditional bad-ass scar over his left eye.

Violence continues aplenty when the bad guys take control of a very Star Wars-esque (both in the Ronald Regan and George Lucas) orbiting blaster thingie that kills about, oh, two to three thousand people in one shot. And, they take over chemical factories, and they put our heroes into a big hurt and so on and so forth until next issue.

It is very hard for a writer to come up with new and original ideas. In this case, they didn't. It's Swat Cats meets Ewoks meets GI Joe.

That being said, the artwork is top knotch. Very nice inking, active action sequences, and the lettering is pretty good too (though, the words don't always fit the action very well.) An example is a very excited police commander who is getting his ass handed to him in a bad situation applauding the arrival of our heroes. Jumping up and down in a cheer he says, "The cavalry, son. The calvary." Booya!

Overall, I'm a bit ambivilant about this one. It's a quality book, but we'll have to see how it goes. If nothing else, it's a three part series for the comic, and at $2.50 a book, you can't really go wrong. I can't help but think that the "Anti-Terrorist Strike Force" line was added to the series as a gratuitous attempt to make some cash off of tragity, but overall it's not bad.

(Rabbit Valley will be carrying the book when it is released to the public in September.)

--
Rabbit Valley Customer Service

Rabbit Valley Comics
5130 S Fort Apache
STE 215 PMB 172
Las Vegas, Nevada 89148

Phone: 702-291-8286 (Orders 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST)
Website: http://www.rabbitvalley.com/
Email: customerservice@rabbitvalley.com

Your rating: None

I should have probably mentioned this in my preview, but I forgot to. The Comic Book, and the Cartoon Series apear to share little except setting and characters. Not even similar art.

The Cartoon Series is another cheep bolt together and render 3D CGI work. And I will admit, the Comic book has some cool art. Its just that... It apears strangely disconected from what the dialogue is somehow. Its as if they developed the dialogue and the art in seperate buildings and made sure that they were never seen together untill printing.

Your rating: None

Rabbit Valley, I just wanted to personally thank you for your kind words.

I would also like to thank you for informing the people reading this that your store will be carrying my book.

Once again, a deep, heart felt thank you.

p.s. please contact me personally if you are interested in having a few of your book signed.

Sincerely

Jonathan Bryans

Creator/Writer/Producer of Nature's Guard

Your rating: None

Greeting to Anonymous and the other posters here...

I would first off like to thank you all for taking the time to post here in regards to my book, Nature's Guard. You honesty, I thank you. I am very happy first off that you read the book, that shows you are not just writing down words for the sake of filling a little blank white box. Your thoughts are very much respected by myself and my staff, however, I would like to reply about a few issues that were brought up here.

First, Anonymous, you made a statement that you were at the show in Bristol and you have a press kit. I believe that kit explains that I have been working on this project on and off for the last 13 years. The one thing it does not say, and I honestly wish it did is that the script I had written for issue 1 through 3 of "A Call to Duty", the first mini-series off Nature's Guard was finished in June of 2001. I did not watch the events in New York and Washington in September of last year and think to myself "Oh, that was nice... how can I make money off that?".

I regret you have to think that way of this project. This book was never meant as a shameless ploy to garner money from the event of 9/11. I was deeply sadened by what happened.

Now I know what you are saying; "Sure you did", don't worry, if I was removed from the project like you are, I would most likely be thinking the same thing, justified or not.

I had spoke with Steve, the publisher at Warpton Comics while I was over there and I came to the conclusion that I wanted the "Anti Terrorist Strike Force" line removed from the book. I am aware that my book will be selling in the New York and Washington areas and I believe the kids have gone through enough and I don't want the book pulling all the bad memories out. It's bad enough the book is coming out close to the date of the 1 year mark.

I will not however pull my book. Diamond has gone to print on their previews book, so Nature's Guard will be coming out in September. I have worked very long and hard to get this book out.

Also, being at the show in Bristol, you must have sat in on the panel. Doing so, you must have heard that I will be doing two stories for Nature's Guard. I will be doing the comic book and I will be doing the show. The show will be toned do from the comic as that was the way I always wanted it to be.

The statements you made were a little harsh at some points, but respected none the less.

I will hope you give issue 2 and 3 a chance before you close your mind on Nature's Guard. I believe the story just gets better from here, but don't just take my word on it.

I thank you once again, and I look forward to reading more from you on this topic, Anonymous.

Sincerely

Jonathan Bryans

Creator/Writer/Producer of Nature's Guard.

Your rating: None

Coo. Kudos for having the guts to come here and defend yourself in a professional and calm manner.

Anyhow, I HOPE this show is not as bad as the website makes it out to be. And if it is, I hope the comic book is better than the show. I will be checking it out when it hits the stores, regardless.

It's just.... phrases like "evil force" and statements such as "A civil war, which... has been about one thing for the Spidersect,.. TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION, and the only thing that stands between them and the achievement of their goal is the Militia, who fight, anytime, anywhere for freedom and democracy for all..." are.... ugh. I'm sorry. Even in the modern-day Transformers, there are more complex motives than "we are evil and our goal is total domination!" And all the bad guys being spiders? The apparent reliance upon blatant, two-dimensional stereotypes and lack of stated motivation beyond "we're good" and "we're evil" is a gigantic turn-off.

Is that all there is to it? :/ What's your opinion, o creator?

Your rating: None

Thank you for your reply. It is nice to know that you are not some cryptome.

You have adressed many of my concerns with your project, and I respect that. I will keep an eye on the book and series, and understand how the initial marketing and setting are hard to ballence against story.

Good luck.

- Lamar

ps. I've been posting as Anonymous due to a problem with the registration system.

Your rating: None

Manawolf, thank you for your reply.

I have been working very hard on the story of the series. It will not be just about the good vs. evil as everyone believes. There will be real life situations also. It won't just be flash in the pan stories with no real reprocussions outside of the events within the issue and the episode,.. everything will affect something, or even as far as saying everything.

As to the point of the spiders being the only bad guys, you will soon learn that there are spiders working for our heroes also, and there will be cute (as they put it) characters working with the bad guys - if you visit my web site at www.naturesguard.com and go through the bios you will learn that I am not into stereotyping.

Hope this explains a little more from where I am coming from with this property.

Sincerely

Jonathan Bryans

Your rating: None

Manawolf, thank you for your reply.

I have been working very hard on the story of the series. It will not be just about the good vs. evil as everyone believes. There will be real life situations also. It won't just be flash in the pan stories with no real reprocussions outside of the events within the issue and the episode,.. everything will affect something, or even as far as saying everything.

As to the point of the spiders being the only bad guys, you will soon learn that there are spiders working for our heroes also, and there will be cute (as they put it) characters working with the bad guys - if you visit my web site at www.naturesguard.com and go through the bios you will learn that I am not into stereotyping.

Hope this explains a little more from where I am coming from with this property.

Sincerely

Jonathan Bryans

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