The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

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The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Kooshmeister » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:49 pm

Unsure how detailed this'll be. It isn't that I don't have a lot to say about the story, but that I'm not entirely sure how to say it. So I guess, for the most part, I'll just do it stream-of-consciousness, and answer any questions people might have about it or whatever, heh. In other words, it won't be as detailed or well put together as Mr. Goodkat's own little retrospective.

Existing as both a regular story (which is still ongoing) and a fan script (which is finished), The End of the SWAT Kats! is a mixture of both my cynicism about the show and my optimism. In some ways it's very much about me and my journey as a fan considering the roller coaster of ups and downs I often go on and the love-hate relationship I have with it, often criticizing it harshly but still managing to love it and appreciate all that it has done for me. In a way, this ended up being the view I gave to Feral and many other characters with anti-SWAT Kat viewpoints in the story, which I hope to touch on a little more later on.

It was a regular fanfic before becoming a script. The script has been through so many different changes and revisions since it began that I can't remember when it first started getting written, but I am reasonably sure the story itself was thought up in 2003. That's the publishing date of the first chapter on Fanfiction.net, anyway. The genesis was simple: what if someone found the SWAT Kats' hangar while they were away? Yes, this had been done in Metal Urgency, but I specifically mean someone who wasn't a villain. I'm sure this has been done, but I'm still reasonably certain nobody had done it the way I had; that is, most "so-and-so finds the hangar" setups had been done as a way to introduce a new member of the team, as opposed to someone who had more to gain from exposing their secret and telling Feral about it (but, again, still wasn't a villain).

I settled on Burke and Murray. It's always been my feeling that they got written out of the show because they were too much of a liability; as dumb as they were, that they could regularly visit the salvage yard and interact with Chance and Jake and never notice anything amiss with their inconsistent schedule strained credulity, especially considering they were explicitly stated to be there to keep an eye on them. I got the feeling from how quietly they were dropped that the writers realized they'd effectively written themselves into a very unfortunate corner with these two characters. Likewise, less emphasis on Chance and Jake's garage business in the second season made me wonder if that got dropped for similar reasons: it was too unbelievable that nobody who was a regular customer would notice their frequent absences and not put two and two together, especially Callie.

And, mind you, this was long before any of us read the Succubus! script and discovered that Glenn Leopold, at least, very much intended to have some garage scenes in season two. Which would've made Succubus! a throwback to season one in that sense.

Obviously, characters' myopia regarding heroes' dual identities is nothing new or unique to SWAT Kats, but I decided to turn the danger of discovery into a storytelling asset rather than treat it as a hindrance (as the show writers seemed to do) or ignore it entirely (as many other writers tend to do), but in a unique way. But how best to use it as an asset? Well, as noted, I wouldn't be the first to do so; many writers might do it to add a third SWAT Kat or something, or go the Metal Urgency route; have someone find out but solve the problem in a manner preserving the status quo. To be different as well as create a legitimate dilemma for our heroes, it was my notion to have it be done by characters who they were always adversarial towards, who would, of course, run and tell Feral, which is why I chose Burke and Murray.

So the first couple of chapters involving Burke and Murray's encounter with the old lady, and them telling Feral, were written very quickly and very enthusiastically. But after reaching a certain point, I was left stumped about how to continue. Okay, I thought; Burke and Murray found the hangar and went and tattled on them to Feral, and they've been found out; now what? I was honestly at a loss. It sat unfinished for a long time. Should I go the same route as Metal Urgency and undo it? Treat it like a regular episode of the series and restore the status quo somehow at the end? Maybe Feral is somehow tricked into believing that it was a hoax or something, or Chance and Jake convince him they aren't the SWAT Kats and had no idea about the hangar. This would preserve the status quo to the extent that their true identities remain secret, with them simply forced to have a new base somewhere else. Or, what if I stuck to my guns and took it to the logical extreme and made the story a game-changer with a public exposure and trial? Wouldn't that be interesting? Or I could leave it an unfinished what-if scenario and just end it with them being nabbed.

So there I was, unsure of how to proceed. Months went by. A year or two. Maybe more. The precise timeline is a little iffy, but looking at comment dates on Fanfiction.net, it seems that I effectively let it sit unfinished until at least '06-'07. Regardless of when I finally started it up again, I do know that while it sat unfinished, comment after comment came in begging me to continue it. Many people watched it. I began to feel pressured into continuing it, which increased my anxiety and made me grow to resent the story idea I'd once been proud of...

Next up: The "fake chapter" and what I learned from writing Burke and Murray, and the genesis of the script version!
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Mr. Goodkat » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:33 pm

A copykat! ... just kidding. :lol:
It's actually good to see that you've decided to start writing a retrospective too, especially since mine is almost complete. ;)

Kooshmeister wrote:In other words, it won't be as detailed or well put together as Mr. Goodkat's own little retrospective.

You are too modest, Koosh. This "little" retrospective of mine has grown way larger than I had originally intended (like most of my projects seem to do). :lol:

Kooshmeister wrote:So there I was, unsure of how to proceed. Months went by. A year or two. Maybe more. The precise timeline is a little iffy, but looking at comment dates on Fanfiction.net, it seems that I effectively let it sit unfinished until at least '07-'08. Regardless of when I finally started it up again, I do know that while it sat unfinished, comment after comment came in begging me to continue it. Many people watched it. I began to feel pressured into continuing it, which increased my anxiety and made me grow to resent the story idea I'd once been proud of...

This experience is interesting for me to read as this is something I couldn't have experienced myself with my story, because I've released it when it was already complete. As I had the feeling that too few people care about it, I experienced a pressure that was kind of inverse to yours.

As your story went through several iterations over quite some time this is a completely different approach compared to mine and I'm curious how your retrospection continues. I have the feeling that this will create an interesting contrast when reading both.
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Kooshmeister » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:16 pm

Thanks for such an encouraging response. :D

Mr. Goodkat wrote:This experience is interesting for me to read as this is something I couldn't have experienced myself with my story, because I've released it when it was already complete.


Alas, I tend to release things as I write them, in bursts, due to impatience...
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Kooshmeister » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:51 pm

The incident with the "fake chapter" came about as a result of me feeling pressured into continuing the story. I forget exactly when I did it, but it was definitely sometime between 2003 and 2008, before I began the story again in earnest. The comments asking for more got on my nerves and I didn't feel like writing, so I posted a third (?) chapter that consisted of just me explaining why I was unlikely to continue the story. As you can imagine, this didn't go over very well, and made me seem extremely passive-aggressive. Probably because, well, I was being pretty passive-aggressive. But eventually I felt guilty and deleted that chapter. Rather than take a broom to my footprints, so to speak, I've tried to be honest about what I'd done, to the point of referencing it in the very beginning of the real third chapter. This chapter just consisted of a chase sequence following Feral catching T-Bone and Razor in the hangar, and was, again, for a while, about all I had; it is, though, when I added the story's first O.C.s, Jablonsky and Lyman.

Jablonsky and Lyman originated in my prequel script, which was initially published under the extraordinarily stupid-sounding title "The Way We Was," before being given a nearly complete overhaul and retitled The Radical Beginning (and in many places, particularly the ending, I'm still not satisfied with it). I guess I ought to discuss them a bit? Firstly, their names; "Jablonsky" and "Lyman" were names I'd used for two (literally) disposable jerk jock characters in an, um, well, let's say adult story, titled A Nice Workout (the less said about its content here, the better). At one point in The Radical Beginning when it was still titled The Way We Was, I needed Chance to have to a confrontation with two jerkish Enforcer officers. Originally I don't think they were going to have names (outside of Chance's line, "Get bent, Lyman!") but as their role in the story grew, particularly when it was revamped into The Radical Beginning, I decided to name the duo after the guys from A Nice Workout. Their inclusion in The End of the SWAT Kats! was done mostly on a whim. As was their, uh, conversation about Felina and her underwear preferences, a scene which has stubbornly persisted throughout all versions of this story, because it makes me laugh, even though I'm aware that, if, God willing, my dream ever came true and it was animated as a canon episode, that scene (along with many others) would need to go.

One of the main things I found, writing the early portions of the story, was that I really enjoyed the characters of Burke and Murray. I'm aware most people don't like them, for a variety of reasons. Since they were phased out relatively early, they often seem like they don't quite belong, tonally or appearance-wise: they're obviously very early character designs and if they appeared unchanged alongside the later season two characters, it'd be a little disconcerting and they'd stand out quite a bit (much like Dr. Zyme in The Origin of Dr. Viper), while their roles as Chance and Jake's "sitcom archenemies" means they don't quite fit in with some of the show's more serious elements, since, as SWAT Kats soldiered on, it gradually seemed to try and limit that style of humor if not drop it altogether. Also, they're huge jerks, and many people dislike how they're mean to Chance and Jake for pretty much no reason.

That being said, and with all of that in mind, having had the chance to write them, both in The End of the SWAT Kats! and in The Way We Was/The Radical Beginning, where they make a cameo, I found they make me chuckle. They were both entertaining to write, as well as easy to write, since I had fun thinking up dialogue for them and envisioning them saying it in the unique voices Mark Hamill and Charlie Adler gave them. I also tried to make them seem a little more realistic, in terms of their personalities, by introducing some contradictions. Real people are often made up of contradictions, so I thought it'd be interesting if, for example, they hated Chance and Jake's guts, but were fans of the SWAT Kats (Murray is introduced watching them on TV). And of course my favorite scene with them in it to write was their encounter with the old lady. :lol:

So, the SWAT Kats had been arrested; now what? This would, as noted, become the prevailing cause for my writer's block throughout the entirety of writing the story and, eventually, the script. "Now what?" I'd decided I wanted to see it through, so of course they were going to be unmasked and go to jail. But I figured nobody wanted to read about a trial and I certainly didn't wanna write it, unless something interesting happened. I considered something like Ghostbusters II wherein the Scoleri Brothers' ghosts attack the courtroom just as the Ghostbusters are being pronounced guilty. I considered having Creeplings or something basically fill in for the ghosts, but, again, I'd have to write the trial which preceded it. I got as far as introducing a district attorney character into the story to serve as a prosecutor for the hypothetical impending trial before I decided it'd be better if the Creeplings broke into jail to try and kill them before the trial, saving me the trouble, although if I had it to do over, I may want to do it differently and go the Ghostbusters II route after all. But, as it is, the scene is fine and moves the story along and provides a pretty brutal action scene to boot (more on this later).

So, obviously, Creeplings meant Dark Kat. But what was Big D up to? That stumped me for a long time. Ultimately, though, a variety of different things inspired me to create the giant flying volcano-like ship, which I named the Fear Ship in honor of (what I thought at the time was) the fan name for Dark Kat's ship/jet he uses in the flashback in The Wrath of Dark Kat. As it turns out, though, this name was apparently canon, since it's used in Lance Falk's Blowout! script. But whatever. So I gave Dark Kat a big flying volcano thing, and, to help crew it, rather than just use Creeplings, I gave him some kat technicians who could actually respond in intelligible English and have conversations with him, naming them after three of the four "Dark Trooper" generals I created for one of the old RPGs I was in ages upon ages ago. Felony, in particular, ought to recognize them, heh. In hindsight, I guess I could've just reused the ninjas/commandos from Razor's Edge, since they served similar functions in that episode (without the talking part), but, eh, whatever.

I'll talk more about them and some of the other O.C.s I introduced in the story next time, but now it's time to discuss the script. Scripts have generally proven easier for me to write than prose stories. I became interested in scripts as blueprints for film and television after my sister and I purchased the script for the 1980s fantasy film Legend. However, I never really seriously tried my hand at writing anything in script format until I did fan rewrites of The Giant Bacteria and Chaos in Crystal. Despite the latter remaining unfinished to this day (and, Lucas-like, I consistently return to both and tweak them), writing them gave me enough confidence to begin my first (mostly) original script, which was The Way We Was/The Radical Beginning. So at some point I decided to do a script version of it. On the plus side, it meant I could refine certain things that felt a little dated or clunky, and also add new elements (including a different beginning).

Next time: writing the script, the various O.C.s, and the fact I started paying more attention to the script than the prose version, heh.
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Kooshmeister » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:03 am

So, where we we? Ah, yes. The script. On the face of it, the script was easy enough; just convert the prose version into screenplay (or is that teleplay?) format. But it wasn't as easy as it seems, even though I've often mentioned writing in script format is easier. One issue was that various characters' inner monologues had to be turned into spoken dialogue. So far so good. Another issue, though, was the beginning. The prose version begins with Murray in the salvage yard lazily watching TV, and being called away by Burke. I was concerned that this would be kind of an awkward way to begin a script; after all, scripts are designed to be turned into an episode or a movie, being effectively blueprints for a visual medium. If The End of the SWAT Kats! were to be animated, would the story still work if it simply began with Murray watching TV like the story did? I suppose it might, but, well, this being SWAT Kats, it occurred to me that I wanted a slightly stronger beginning, particularly one involving the title characters.

I thought about having a beginning where Hard Drive breaks into the power plant and wreaks havoc, and then the SWAT Kats show up and fight him, and then the scene shifts to Murray watching it on the news. Ultimately, though, I ended up expanding the SWAT Kats/Hard Drive confrontation not at all, really, because my laziness reared its ugly head; I had an orphaned action sequence of sorts. I'd written a scene in script format where the SWAT Kats capture some bank robbers. It was based on the one trailer for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, where Spider-Man captures some robbers in a huge web spun between the Twin Towers. The more I thought about it, the more I liked structuring a hero introduction scene by never revealing the hero until the very end of the scene in a surprise, following the villains exclusively up until that moment, thus showing the appearance of the hero from their perspective. So I wrote a bank robbery scene with the intent of having the SWAT Kats whoosh in and stop the bad guys cold. Obviously, T-Bine and Razor can't spin webs, so some other means of grabbing the getaway helicopter had to be employed.

Fortunately, it was a quick fix; just have them use Bolo Missiles to jam the rotor blades and grab the tail with the Sky Claw or the Shark Missile or something similar, and voila. Although I was happy with the scene, for the longest time, it had no story to go with. Prior to deciding to convert The End of the SWAT Kats! into a script, my intention was to turn the scene into prose and include it as the finale of the story (something I may still do), using it as a means of showing our heroes' triumphant return as opposed to their introduction. But when the decision to do the story as a script came along, I realized that with some minor dialogue tweaks, the robbery sequence could be used as the beginning of the script version. So, now, the script begins with the robbery and the crooks' subsequent capture by the SWAT Kats before shifting to Burke and Murray's big scene. As noted, the battle with Hard Drive still occurs mostly offscreen, at least the bit at the power plant. I suppose, again, I could've expanded this, and maybe some day I will, but, as noted, I was lazy.

Initially, neither version of the story had many O.C.s in them. The people in the robbery sequence, including the robbers, were glorified extras, and Jablonsky and Lyman's cameo didn't amount to much, and for the most part, I was determined to stick to canon characters, but then I realized the show itself often introduced new characters both big and small almost every episode. And with the prospect of a trial for our heroes looming, I needed to at least write in a district attorney character. This led to the creation of Mills, who I originally intended to be an obnoxious Walter Peck or Jack Hardemeyer-like character before deciding against it. Some traces of this original characterization remain in his early scenes and in the fact he is described as having a pinched, nasally voice, which was intended as shorthand for "annoying." But as the story wore on, I started seeing him as more and more sympathetic, and consequently transferred all his negative qualities over to Manx (more on that later!), and in the end he's simply doing his job and my idea was that Callie would realize this which is why she gives him a ride to Enforcer Headquarters after Manx elopes with his golf bag and abandons them. That and once I decided there wasn't going to be an actual trial depicted, there was no further need for Mills to be a jerk.

The next group of important (more or less) O.C.s, are Dark Kat's technicians. I confess that the story didn't need these characters at all. But I was concerned with Dark Kat talking to himself and wanted to give him someone to play off of it, some characters on his side who he could hold actual conversations with. That, and I've always considered Creeplings to be lousy minions, an opinion which led both to the inclusion of the technicians as well as the introduction of the (in theory) more impressive Stalkers. That, and I'd recently watched the second Jonny Quest TV movie, Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects, and was simultaneously appalled and amused at how Dr. Zin kept killing off his minions. I've never been a big fan of villains flippantly killing their minions, and that movie provided possibly the most egregious example because Zin literally keeps doing it until he has none left and starts having to personally handle mundane tasks his minions could've performed for him. Before the final guy gets iced (literally), though, what I'd assumed was going to happen was that he was going to realize how screwed he was and end up becoming an ally to the heroes, but, alas, he's just unceremoniously killed off like his predecessors, a potentially interesting plot development wasted.

Thus, I decided to have Dark Kat kill off his technicians for various stupid reasons both to show the villain's gradual mental decline (Dark Kat is meant to be at his wit's end in the story, having been defeated and humiliated by his enemies so many times), and to provide Felina and later the SWAT Kats with an ally in Zeckis, the last remaining technician. As a consequence I made the deaths of Blim and Marlow especially shocking and violent to emphasize Zeckis' hopeless situation and what fate is surely in store for him if he doesn't do something and fast. Thus we get a villainous moral about not mistreating your minions; they'll eventually realize they stand to gain nothing for working for you and turn against you. Another thing I needed to do to make Zeckis' turn a little more believable was depict him as the least evil of the technicians, hence scenes where he is shown sympathizing with the captured Felina.

The character of Enita Ignimbrite has an interesting history. Originally she was named Ana Ignimbrite, and she was originally a very minor character who was written awkwardly into an early version of the story. "Ignimbrite" by the way is a type of volcanic rock. At one point, when I posted the prose version to some forum or other (maybe Swatkats.us?), it had a different beginning than the one posted to Fanfiction.net, and she actually died attempting to do the flyover of the volcanic crater when her helicopter collided with a forcefield surrounding the Fear Ship. To date, though, that sequence doesn't exist in the prose version except on that one forum, and she never even appears in the version posted to Fanfiction.net (where Felina goes to the volcano to investigate herself rather than babysit geologists). In writing the script, though, I changed the scientist's name from Ana to Enita to avoid confusion with Ann Gora (although I later had two Chucks in Bad Vibrations!), and gave her some support staff. It never felt right for Enforcers to investigate a volcanic disturbance so for the script I came up with the Megakat Geological Society team, and worked Felina in because they need an Enforcer escort for protection and Feral assigns her to it so she won't be in town for the trial, his way of trying to be helpful to his niece, effectively giving her some mundane escort duties to take her mind off of things.

So this meant that unless I wanted to be super-gratuitous, I couldn't kill off Enita and her team, or the two Enforcer pilots who arrive with Felina, so I just had them get captured and locked away somewhere because Dark Kat doesn't care much about them. This provided extra incentive for the SWAT Kats as it meant more people to rescue besides just Felina (who, as T-Bone himself notes, basically rescues herself, anyway). Besides this, though, Enita and her team don't contribute much to the story. However introducing Enita here meant I could reuse her in Bad Vibrations, and she and Felina are already acquainted, making her reintroduction easier. (I might have to tweak it if Bad Vibrations is ever converted into prose, since Enita, as noted, doesn't appear in the original version of The End of the SWAT Kats!, and I treat the prose and script versions of my stories as two distinct universes.)

There are other O.C.s, of course (the Army in particular), but we'll get to them next time, as now I'd like to finish up by talking briefly about the fact I effectively left the prose version unfinished and put all my effort into the script. As noted, the script was in its own way easier to write, and as I went, I wasn't merely converting prose into script, I was adding, subtracting or otherwise altering things I hadn't been too happy with, which meant that, in some ways, the script was shaping up to become what I considered the ideal version of the story. This made me enjoy writing it more than the prose version, which I began to see as a defunct original draft. Starting around the introduction of the Army characters, I put all my effort into the script version and the script version only, to the point where it started getting ahead of its own source material, and now I'm no longer adapting the prose into script format, but the other way around, making the still unfinished story on Fanfiction.net effectively half a novelization of the script!

Next time: The Army, the wider world outside Megakat City, and what I turned Mayor Manx into a colossal jerkweed. :lol:
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Kooshmeister » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:35 pm

Okay, I think this post'll be a bit short, since I don't have too much to say about these elements, but first, the Kat Army. I figured the Enforcers were just hyper-militarized police as opposed to actual military, and just sort of came up with this idea of what if the stakes got so high that the state sent the real military in? Hence General Boggs and his men. I added friction between the Army and the Enforcers because I figured the Army would see the Enforcers as just podunk local cops, while the Enforcers wouldn't like the Army coming in on what they saw as their turf. At the same time, I tried to give Boggs some good points despite his being a huge jerk, such as his coldly pragmatic decision to destroy the Fear Ship as soon as most of the hostages were safely off it, making the (to me) cruel but good point that the three lives of T-Bone, Razor and Felina aren't worth the millions who'll die if he doesn't destroy the Fear Ship. I wanted this to be a little peek into Boggs' mindset to show that, like Feral, despite his obvious attitude problem, he is not an evil man, just a callously pragmatic one who thinks of the bigger picture as opposed to the little details. And he even has it in him to salute the SWAT Kats at the end, impressed with how they handled Dark Kat.

The Kat Army's outfits are based on those of the British Army, specifically U.N.I.T. from the classic Dr. Who series. I figured since even though Megakat City is what amounts to "kat America," their military's uniforms could resemble anything I wanted, and so I went with the 1960s-1970s era British uniform. In particular, when I drew him, I based Boggs off of John Bennett as General Finch in the Third Doctor serial Invasion of the Dinosaurs, especially the matching mustache and eyebrows. :lol:

I made their symbol a "K" for "Kat," but had an unfortunate problem when I drew the regular soldier. The officers had a K on either bicep, but an eagle symbol on their hats. The soldiers also were given a K on the bicep, but I put a K on their beret too. So rather unfortunately they have three Ks on their uniforms and we all know what that might unfortunately imply. If I ever redraw the soldier, he'll have an eagle on his beret just like the officers. :lol:

One more thing. Boggs' second in command Captain Pomeroy was originally named Captain Montmorency. I'm unsure why I changed it. Or where either name came from. :?

As for the wider world outside Megakat City, I still avoid naming the state or country, but I did finally reveal Manx answers to someone, and that Megakat City's state does have a governor, who was initially just "the Governor," but who I eventually named Clawstone. Although I've doodled him, he still hasn't actually appeared in any of my stories or scripts. I've drawn him twice. The first time, I made him a big, brawny, balding guy with a menacing-looking beard because it is my intention he sort of end up being a bad guy, and I based his look kind of off of Michael Ironside. But I ended up scrapping that idea because I was afraid making him a big guy would be too similar to Claude Balcus in The Radical Beginning. In the end, when I drew him a second time, I based him off of Eric Bogosian as Senator Larson Crockett from Witch Hunt. Through him, in future stories, I am hoping to explore a little bit more of the world beyond Megakat City, but not too much, mind you. ;)
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Mr. Goodkat » Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:03 am

I finally had some time to catch up reading this retrospective...

Kooshmeister wrote:Scripts have generally proven easier for me to write than prose stories. I became interested in scripts as blueprints for film and television after my sister and I purchased the script for the 1980s fantasy film Legend. However, I never really seriously tried my hand at writing anything in script format until I did fan rewrites of The Giant Bacteria and Chaos in Crystal. Despite the latter remaining unfinished to this day (and, Lucas-like, I consistently return to both and tweak them), writing them gave me enough confidence to begin my first (mostly) original script, which was The Way We Was/The Radical Beginning. So at some point I decided to do a script version of it. On the plus side, it meant I could refine certain things that felt a little dated or clunky, and also add new elements (including a different beginning).

I have to admit that reading the story as a script was something I needed to get used to when I started reading it, but it didn't bother me anymore after the first few pages. I think writing a story as a script has become kind of a signature feature of your works and I think it can be a good thing doing things a little different than others in order to create something which hasn't being done this way before (in my case adding illustrations to my story) or hasn't been done before at all (like the game I've recently released). The only situation I had a really hard time reading was when T-Bone and Razor had their first encounter with the stalkers ("Which one of them fell through the hole again?", "Which one got his jaw cut off?" and so on).

Kooshmeister wrote:And with the prospect of a trial for our heroes looming, I needed to at least write in a district attorney character. This led to the creation of Mills, who I originally intended to be an obnoxious Walter Peck or Jack Hardemeyer-like character before deciding against it. Some traces of this original characterization remain in his early scenes and in the fact he is described as having a pinched, nasally voice, which was intended as shorthand for "annoying." But as the story wore on, I started seeing him as more and more sympathetic, and consequently transferred all his negative qualities over to Manx (more on that later!), and in the end he's simply doing his job and my idea was that Callie would realize this which is why she gives him a ride to Enforcer Headquarters after Manx elopes with his golf bag and abandons them. That and once I decided there wasn't going to be an actual trial depicted, there was no further need for Mills to be a jerk.

I think that Mills is one of the most interesting characters in your story as his attitude is changing during the plot and thus his character is evolving. IIRC at the beginning he's just an impersonal district attorney who just wants to get over with that trial, but later tries to support the SWAT Kats, Callie and the Enforcers as much as he can in his position.

Kooshmeister wrote:The Kat Army's outfits are based on those of the British Army, specifically U.N.I.T. from the classic Dr. Who series. I figured since even though Megakat City is what amounts to "kat America," their military's uniforms could resemble anything I wanted, and so I went with the 1960s-1970s era British uniform. In particular, when I drew him, I based Boggs off of John Bennett as General Finch in the Third Doctor serial Invasion of the Dinosaurs, especially the matching mustache and eyebrows. :lol:

This is something that confused me a little when I looked at the drawings of yours as these uniforms look rather old fashioned compared to the ones the Enforcers are wearing which seems to contradict their supremecy ("Step aside, Enforcers! The big guys are gonna handle this situation."). But now that I think about this again, it kind of resembles the situation between the SWAT Kats and the Enforcers with the Enforcers being on the opposite side this time.
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Kooshmeister » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:38 pm

Mr. Goodkat wrote:IThe only situation I had a really hard time reading was when T-Bone and Razor had their first encounter with the stalkers ("Which one of them fell through the hole again?", "Which one got his jaw cut off?" and so on).


Heh, I confess that situation was a little confusing, heh... :lol:

Mr. Goodkat wrote:I think that Mills is one of the most interesting characters in your story as his attitude is changing during the plot and thus his character is evolving. IIRC at the beginning he's just an impersonal district attorney who just wants to get over with that trial, but later tries to support the SWAT Kats, Callie and the Enforcers as much as he can in his position.


Thanks, I'm glad you caught on to that. I the end, Mills is on the same team as the others, with Megakat City's best interests in mind.

Mr. Goodkat wrote:This is something that confused me a little when I looked at the drawings of yours as these uniforms look rather old fashioned compared to the ones the Enforcers are wearing which seems to contradict their supremecy ("Step aside, Enforcers! The big guys are gonna handle this situation."). But now that I think about this again, it kind of resembles the situation between the SWAT Kats and the Enforcers with the Enforcers being on the opposite side this time.


Well, I supposed I wanted them to have an old-fashioned look so they'd seem old-fashioned in their world outlook and tactics.
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby MoDaD » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:59 am

Kooshmeister wrote:Through him, in future stories, I am hoping to explore a little bit more of the world beyond Megakat City, but not too much, mind you. ;)
I think you've touched on an obstacle that many writers who partake in SWAT Kats fan fiction typically find themselves running into, and that obstacle is what does one do when they reach the limits of the world as established in canon and they want to bring in story elements that require the "world beyond?" A lot of times this obstacle can appear unexpectedly, as even simple concepts lack canon examples and a lot of inference and world building may be required from the writer on even the most innocuous of things. One example that comes to mind is from Ty-Chou's Masks story where even a simple concept such as Purson Heights, a neighboring sort of subburb to Megakat City and how its local law enforcement and criminals operate needed more exposition than your typical story that would have a setting in the "real world" so to speak. She pulled it off nicely, but I do wonder if authors find that to be a frustrating hurdle to have to jump everytime they try to write a SWAT Kats story, and I also wonder if it leads to a greater reliance on one's own already established "fanon" elements if only to act as a time saver.
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Re: The End of the SWAT Kats! Retrospective

Postby Kooshmeister » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:27 pm

I didn't touch too much on it because I just needed the Army to come in and figured it'd add a nice wrinkle. World-building is fine just not at the expense of the narrative.
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