Saturday, December 29, 2012

Episode 220 - Rebuild of DELTA, part twelve

Episode 220: Rebuild of DELTA, part twelve

Destroy the Angel of Death for everlasting peace!

After all the Invadors, all the beer-drinking, all the pro-wrestling, all the toad elevating, all the buying computer games by long-defunct companies, all the repetition, all the exposition, all the synch tests, all the talking about how special John is, all the filler, all the recording of albums, all the attacks by vengeful schoolmates, all the random duplication of Charles, all the forced dialogue, all the sudden scene changes, all the ordering from restaurant menus, all the nonsense backstory, all the inadvertent homoerotic undertones, all the self-congratulation, all the pointless fights and all the beating up on ex-girlfriends comes... the fight scene.

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Episode 219 - Rebuild of DELTA, part eleven

Episode 219: Rebuild of DELTA, part eleven

I blew up a planet and wiped out an entire sentient species. Given the choice, I would gladly and happily do it again.

So this is it. The chapter we've been dreading since the word go, and with good reason. There's no drinking beer, synch tests or bonking Asuka. This time it's serious business, and there is no business more serious then block exposition. That's right; massive slabs of text one after another, each one more incoherent and nonsensical than the last. Watch as Evangelion is re-written with absolutely no regard to its original content, themes, concepts or anything else in a way that not only contradicts the source material but often contradicts what the fic wrote a page earlier! In the end, you'll be begging for it to stop, but then the record deal comes along and you'll be begging for it to start again!

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Episode 218 - Robotech Defenders #2

Episode 218: Robotech Defenders #2

For advanced Precursor aliens, they really didn’t think this plan through.

Robotech Defenders was cut back from its planned three issues to only two, which speaks volumes about the sort of material we're dealing with here. The result manages to be even more of a mess then the first third, er, half, as more and more plot elements are introduced at a break-neck pace which stops only for more truly stumping block exposition. Somebody dies (and nobody cares) as the eldritch abominations unleash their completely pointless master plan resulting in the robots taking control of the comic and the everyone else wondering if their dead colleague was the lucky one. Plot-holes abound as the story gallops towards the inevitable and horribly rushed conclusion resulting in a mess that nobody would ever speak of or acknowledge again! It's everything you love about the eighties, only not!

Riffers: Rebecca Bartley, Natasha Isavia, Matt Simmons and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Rick R

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Episode 217 - Rebuild of DELTA, part ten

Episode 217: Rebuild of DELTA, part ten

Watch Charles destroy an entire army with a single shot.

With the destruction of planet DELTA, you’d think that there wouldn’t be much left for Delta Invasion to blow up. However, as always the series continues to surprise us by not only having yet another Invador Attack, but going even further! After years of sitting back and doing nothing while Gendo screws up all their plans, SEELE decides to finally take a pro-active response which, in this case, amounts to closing the gate after the horse has bolted, run off cross-country, joined a heard of wild horses and started grazing on federal land. However, they failed to account for the most terrifying weapon in NERV’s arsenal: A lone computer programmer on a holiday. All this plus pro-wrestling!

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still alive!

You might have noticed that November was a very, very slow month with only the one MSTing released. Unfortunately, November was a rather hectic month for RL (University exams, job stresses and the like) which meant that we didn’t have much time to work on anything. However, unlike the last time there was a gap between MSTings (seven years) there is still progress being made.

Episode 217 has passed through its first draft of riffing and is in the process of compilation and editing with the host segments already planned. The objective is to have it up within a week, before moving on to our next MSTings.

In the medium to long term, we’ve planned up to episode 227; some quick maths should point out that this is well more then the amount of episodes needed to finish the Rebuild of DELTA series. Three of those episodes are B-Team ones, and a good chunk of those episodes are all-new material.

So again, apologies for the delays.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Episode 216 - Bubblegum Crisis Next Generation Aftermath

 Episode 216:  Bubblegum Crisis Next Generation Aftermath

Who’s Raven and why are they our hero?

Years after Sylia’s death in a not suspicious at all accident, the mutant offspring of the Knight Sabers as well as a minor supporting Dragonball character are forced to form a new team to combat a new threat. What is this menace? Well, we’re not sure as they don’t so much fight it as they stand around endlessly repeating the same facts about their backstories at each other. None the less, our alleged hero, Raven McNichol and his fellow… things stand ready to one day possibly maybe face the marginal threat posed by Victor Van Weenie and his very small arsenal of obsolete technology. So sit back, have a nice cool glass of Product Placement and enjoy the show!

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rebuilding Elmer Studios - Matt

As noted in an earlier ramble, the rebuilding of the B-Team and somewhat whittled down its numbers. Two of them were seen as redundant, while another was seen as largely incompatible with the new continuity, to the point where rebuilding them would make them into a completely different character. However, the new B-Team plan called for a one-to-one replacement for ‘main’ characters, but now faced a distinct numbers shortfall.

The solution? Create a new character.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Episode 215 - Robotech Defenders #1

Episode 215: Robotech Defenders #1

Pointless exposition must be some sort of bizarre, ingrained, solar system-wide cultural trait. They have to exposit whenever an opportunity presents itself, regardless of the appropriateness of the situation.

Buried in the depths of licensed comics hell, lost to the mists of pre-Crisis DC comes Robotech Defenders, the part of the franchise that has nothing at all to do with the rest of the franchise and will never be mentioned ever again. Instead, what it is amounts to a festival of eighties sci-fi clichés as a team of one-dimensional token aliens search for giant robots left behind by the Precursors to fight a race of Space Kobolds who have the power to telekinetically explode your head. And if that actually does manage to make sense, well, you’re doing better then me and I own the damn comic. Still, it has a Pterodactyl, and that makes everything better.

Riffers: Rebecca Bartley, Natasha Isavia, Matt Simmons and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Rick R

Friday, October 19, 2012

Episode 214 - Rebuild of DELTA, part nine

Episode 214: Rebuild of DELTA, part nine

Considering that NERV seems to consist of four staff, four pilots, two rooms and no weapons, an eight-man ship makes perfect sense.

The pilot's barking mad and the emergency systems are fitted rectally, but what's there to worry about? So what if the ship's completely untested and we're all untrained? And so what if our pilot doesn't know what he's doing or our flight path takes us through the sun? So what if the fate of all humanity is resting on this insane mission that has been organized and run with less oversight than your average school fete while heading to a previously unknown world, travelling out far further than any prior human experience? Tom made some cheap jokes about his arse, so it’s all fine.

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Episode 213 - The Starwatcher Legacy

Episode 213: The Starwatcher Legacy

Hooray, it’s quest dialogue! Come to save us from the ambiguous characters and their poorly defined relationships!

For Some fanfics, Original characters are what's really important. And for this Star Wars: The Old Republic fanfic all you really need is to drop some OCs in and let it go. Oh, sure if you're the indulgent type you could introduce or define them, and if you really must you could give them something to actually do besides run through quest dialogue and repeat each other's lines, and yes if you're one of those crazy types who wants readers to get something out of a story you could make a piece about their relationships actually include relationships. But really, all you need is a half dozen identical characters, the city of Seattle, random wandering Sith, one million Colicoids, Doc, Quinn, the laughing monkey and Jedi Master Freddie

Riffers: Dan, Maya Gold, Celena Harte and Tsuneo Tateo
Written by: Zogster

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Episode 212 - Rebuild of DELTA, part eight

Episode 212: Rebuild of DELTA, part eight

Gendo really is a jerk. However, he’s a jerk on a much higher level than any other jerk you can think of. He’s operating on such a level of supreme jerkiness that it becomes existential.

If you love Delta Invasion, then you must like it's most important content: Filler. Every chapter is overflowing with it, but chapter eight goes one step further. While there's the usual suspects; Tom buys computer games, Ritsuko performs synch tests, NERV's staff reiterate things that we allready knew and everyone talks about how John is Special, this one provides something new and fresh for us. That's right, its an all-filler Invador fight! Thrill as the one battle is not only drawn-out ad infinitum, but also is repeated no less then five times for your reading pleasure(?). The appearance of a brand new never-mentioned-before and never-to-be-seen-again plot device is just an added bonus. Plus, the introduction of the most interesting character in all of Delta Invasion! Both of him!

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rebuilding Elmer Studios - Delta Invasion

So far, the majority of the Postmadern Era of Elmer Studios has been in the form of “rebuild” MSTings, ones that are re-workings of older material, specifically Delta Invasion. As has been mentioned before, “rebuilding” Delta was a substantial motivation for getting this whole project started, and, in many ways, it formed a style guide for everything that was to come.

However, there was one big problem with the Rebuild of Delta concept. Simply put, there were no “raw”, un-MSTed copies of the fanfic known to exist anywhere on the Interwebs (Wheather this was a bad thing was another matter, of course). The original was hosted on a Geocities page, which wasn’t a good start. Added to that, the fic was pulled from that site sometime over a decade ago because it no longer met the author’s “vision for Evangelion” (That it had become an internet laughing stock because it sucked might have also factored into that). No traces of it could be found in Web Archives, and even the most intense Googling turned up blanks. In short, our old MSTings were the only copies of Delta Invasion left out there.

However, we would not be deterred.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Episode 211 - Fur and Metal

Episode 211: Fur and Metal

Clearly upon landing on a hostile, unknown, alien world, the best thing to do is to run around with a heavily armed force, picking fights with opponents who’s capabilities are not understood while taking contracts from people you don’t know

When writing Alternate Universe fanfic, there comes a point where you're so Alternate Universe that you might as well be writing something entirely original and be done with it. This fic doesn't so much pass that point as it leaps straight over it and keeps on going. A Furry Alternate Universe Battletech/Alternate Universe Zoids crossover (And you thought you'd never see anyone type that), this fic manages to catapult from dumb to dumber with each block of unnecessary exposition, and boy are there a lot of those go go around. It's blatantly unfinished, and yet it's still far too long for this MSTer!

Riffers: Rebecca Bartley, Natasha Isavia, Matt Simmons and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Rick R

Friday, September 7, 2012

Episode 210 - Rebuild of DELTA, part seven

Episode 210: Rebuild of DELTA, part seven

And out on the battlefield, abandoned and trapped inside his powered down entry plug, John cries himself to sleep.

When writing an unknowable and alien enemy, there will inevitably come a time where the plot will require their motivations to be made known. When that does occur, it is a hard thing to pull off, and needs to be handled with care and delicacy in order to be done well. In other words, not like this. That's right, we get to discover the true secret of the Invadors, and trust me, it's even dumber then expected, and that's in a chapter where different elements are fighting for Dumb. In fact, about the only good thing I can say about this chapter is that it's not an Italian restaurant that the kids go to.

Also: John Barren is special. Just keep telling yourself that.

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Elmer Studios, episode 152 and beyond

As I noted when I started this blog, Episode 150 (and, for that matter, Episode 151) were not intended to be the end of Elmer Studios. The original plan was to continue MSTings for some time to come, but real life said otherwise. However, there were plans for what was to come, and in some ways, the “Rebuild” of Elmer Studios reflects some of those ideas.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Episode 209 - The Dark Spiner

Episode 209: The Dark Spiner

Because letting a total stranger just walk into the team after he beat the rest of you up for no real reason is such a good idea

Know, oh prince, that in the years between the fall of the New American Release, and the rise of the Kotobukiya HMM Zoids, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining franchises lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars… Hither came Kevin, the Dark Spiner, brown-haired, sullen-eyed, Zoid at hand, a godboy, a self-insert, an egotistical power-trip, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the canon under his plastic dinosaur feet.

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Looking For Badfic in all the wrong places

While the Rebuild of Delta is a lot of laughs, going over old material is not the full extent of what we’d like to do here. We’ve already put down a “new” badfic and have several more lined up or underway and more the a few potentials in reserve. Furthermore, we’re also out and searching for new fic fodder, looking to broaden our horizons and let loose with whatever “quality” material the interwebs have to offer us.

To go with this, I’m extending an invitation for those who have fic “recommendations” of their own that they’d like to see riffed here. Be it from series/franchises/whatever that we’ve already covered or if it’s all new crap that has sprung up in the last decade or so, we’re interested in seeing what else is out there. You can either post here or e-mail us at elmerstudios00 (at) with a title, synopsis and any other helpful notes that you may have. Also, please no NC-17 material; I like my brane where it is, thank you.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fanfic Retrospective – Fate of the Children

Fate of the Children wasn’t an early fic for us (Episode 38, so it’s not like we’re green at this point) but was one of those “big deals”. It helped cement our reputation with Evangelion Mary Sue fic, as well as presenting us with a whole mess of situations that would keep reoccurring. Besides, that, there’s no two words about it: FotC was just plain bad. It had an unbearable, over-powered, omnipotent, always-right Mary Sue, one who was never once called on their BS by the others around them. It replaced a canon character with a horrible and inane OC just so that the Sue could sleep with another character. And not just did it crap all over Evangelion’s canon, themes and concepts, but it marginalized the canon to the degree of making them redundant, save for serving as shallow love interests.

It’s also a fic that will not only never see a Rebuild, but I do actually regret MSTing. This might sound odd, but there are a number of genuinely good reasons for this.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Episode 208 – Rebuild of DELTA, part six

Episode 208: Rebuild of DELTA, part six

Why is John special? Why is special John?

Meet John Barren. He’s Special. How is he special? Well, we’re not actually sure, and it’s not like DELTA Invasion makes it clear in any way shape or form. Is he special in that he’s markedly inferior to everyone else in the fic? Is he special in that his backstory changes and contradicts itself within the same chapter? Is he special in that he has previously undiscovered musical talents that perfectly fit Tom’s needs? Or is he special in that his character development consists of other people talking about him? Not much will be revealed in this thrilling, edge of your seat chapter, but if you’re here, you might as well read it anyway!

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tateo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R.

Rebuilding Elmer Studios – Natasha

Natasha was considered to be the “leader” of the B-Team in-world. Why is unclear, but it probably was simply because she was the first to appear, and had a degree of popularity. While she only appeared in five episodes, those five do seem to have left a lasting impression, although that could simply be because she was the first on-scene.

However, Natasha was in a unique situation amongst the B-Team. She’d already been re-tooled not once but twice before the Rebuild of Elmer, which meant that in an interesting way, she required the least amount of work of any character. At the same time, she is the most and least changed.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Episode 207 - Rebuild of DELTA, part five

Episode 207: Rebuild of DELTA, part five

I angry at God I shout!

While gratuitously committing illegal (and arguably treasonous) acts, Tom discovers that NERV has located the 7th Children. Armed with this vital information, he sets about a course of action to make the best use of it: Planning a surprise birthday party for Asuka. Other highlights of this chapter include Tom discovering that his friends have previously unknown musical talents, Tom forming a new band, Tom playing at a high school dance and Tom shouting obscenities into space. That’s right, it’s another of those oddly missable chapters where nothing happens, other than make you think that the author was struggling against an imaginary word and/or chapter count.

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tataeo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rebuilding Elmer Studios - The B-Team

The B-Team were born from the initial casting call for the Elmer Studios MSTers. At the time, the pair of us had a reasonably sized crop of characters who we could use for our ‘main’ cast. From that pool, we slimmed it down somewhat to four characters who we decided would be out main cast, but that left us with a not inconsiderable shortlist of ‘also rans’. And while initially we were happy with the main cast, the idea came up to alternate between guest characters on occasion.

Starting from our third (!) episode, we began substituting in characters for others as guest stars. These small-scale substitutions continued for a while, with one of the regulars (Read: Rick) being replaced by whoever we chose to pull out from the character pool that day. Eventually, we developed a small cast of regulars, who became the so-called “B-Team”. For the record, I have no idea when we began using the term, but it clearly fit.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Episode 206 - The Tale of Yurei and Lance

Episode 206: The Tale of Yurei and Lance

If you’re trying to avoid attention then maybe, just maybe, walking around in all black with a sword on your back, a wolf at your side and sitting in the dark corner of a bar while talking to said wolf is not the way to do it.

The first all-new Elmer Studios MSTing! And what better way to celebrate such a momentous occasion then with an incomplete fic based of a long-dead Fandom?

Yeah, I thought so too. Regardless, the Tale of Yurei and Lance is an action-packed tale of stuff! Thrill as our heroes check off RPG clichés as they try to out-enigmatic each other! Laugh as two idiots negotiate! Eat popcorn as the dark secret of Lance Fu-Fu Cuddlypoops’ past might be revealed! Gasp in terror as you realise that not only does the fic have a telepathic wolf, but that it’s also the smartest and most interesting character in the fic! It’s a roller-coaster ride that will leave you hurling!

Riffers: Rebecca Bartley, Natasha Isavia, Matt Simmons and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Rick R

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Random Delta Invasion Episode Generator

After years of running on an "image", the Random Delta Invasion Episode Generator is back! Updated with a copy of the original source, it is now fully functional and ready for some hot random action. And who knows, it may yet be updated...

At Misato's apartment, Tom and his homies are sleeping. John, Charles and that guy from RaXephon with the bad Kamille Vidan discuss the past and fruit. Meanwhile, at NERV, Kaji and The Baroness are discussing how awesome Tom is. Tom and the gang go out playing Girlfriend of Steel when suddenly the Invador Alert sounds! Thieteen with options for another season Invadors will arrive in drag so the Children arrive in Gendo's Shagin' Wagon. Nerv deploys no EVAs. Tom immediately seeks out the most powerful Invador which has the body of a PIF Donkey, the head of an Ewok, the arms of Boris Yeltsin, the legs of the Abraham Lincon Memorial and lots of tatoos. The Invador attacks Tom with wrestling slashfics. Tom is almost defeated but then he jerks off and destroys the Invador by mashing its pinky. Then he goes and rescues Auska. After the battle, the kids go to have a short holiday in Pyongyang where they discuss how hard the battle was and spend all their yens. At NERV, Ritsuko discovers  Borjarnons burined in a mine.
Up next, Takeshi's Castle!

Rebuilding Elmer Studios – Rebecca

Rebecca was in many ways the “flagship” character of the Elmer Studios MSTings. She appeared in the most episodes (Missing only a few “special event” casting moments) as well as being present for various crossover episodes as the Elmer representative.

Unfortunately, looking back in retrospect, she also needed the most work.

What worked?
At her core, there were a lot of things about Rebecca’s character that worked well. Her ‘I’m smarter then you’ attitude was a great foundation, allowing us to throw in some rather clever riffs at times. She was a great excuse to do things that were obscure and often morel iterate then the usual material we’d use (the “farewell to arms” joke in one episode comes to mind). It made for a fun contrast, especially to Rick and Dan.

As noted before, her history with Dan and their shared antagonisim was great stuff that provided us with a lot of material; the pair of them bickering and playing off each other worked fantastically. Likewise, the sense of menace inherent in her was great stuff, causing a degree of tension and allowing her to get away with a lot more then she should have, though the latter was helped by her position as the ‘token girl’.

Episode 205 - Rebuild of DELTA, part four

Episode 205: Rebuild of DELTA, part four

I swore on my father’s grave that I would not rest until I had won an entirely unrelated fighting tournament.

A dark shadow from Tom’s generic tragic past looms incredibly large over the cast! He’s Jeff Garyn, he’s your worst nightmare (Not mine, by the way, but maybe yours) and he wants No Witnesses! Years ago, he killed Tom’s Uncle and now he’s back to finish the job. How will Tom deal with this new threat? He does what any man would do – enter a martial arts tournament and effortlessly crush one-line generic jobbers (It’s what any man would do). Will Tom win? Will Jeff have No Witnesses? Will we care? Oh, and there’s also something about enigmatic alien Invadors. Maybe. It's hard to tell and sure as heck I'm not bothering to check.

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tataeo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rebuilding Elmer Studios – Tsuneo

In some ways, Tsuneo was the least problematic of the main cast. He had a well-defined role, he had a well-defined personality and he definitely had provided us with a lot of good material. In many ways, he would be the least changed of them, but still required some work.

What worked?
Tsuneo at heart was a fanboy, albeit a smart one. He was the one who liked a series for its themes and concepts and bigger ideas, not because it was full of, say, giant robots blowing stuff up. He also had a nice thing going where he would be a fan of the obscure, the off-beat and the alternative, stuff that might not be easily recongised and, as such, provided an opportunity to do some jokes that wouldn’t work otherwise; his love of Brain Powerd being a very good example.

Likewise, his tendency to get easily riled worked well for us, with Tsuneo’s rants becoming the stuff of legend and running gags. Many times he would explode outright, which lead to extreme measures to get him under control. Other time, he would be the opposite, acting as the voice of reason and the mature one (despite being the second youngest of the cast), helping reign in the others when they went nuts or were veering wildly off-course. “Don’t go there” was as much a catchphrase as many others.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Episode 204 - Rebuild of DELTA, part three

Episode 204: Rebuild of DELTA, part three

Once again, the girls are rendered useless while Tom gets to do all the awesome cool stuff.

There is an inherent dichotomy to DELTA Invasion, one that becomes no more apparent then in the third chapter. This chapter features not one but two of the series acclaimed battle sequences, both of them loopy and incoherent messes that read more like pro-wrestling bouts interspersed with explosions and ludicrous gibs that exist mainly to make Tom look good. They’re nonsensical, defying all laws of time, space and reality and make for such terrible reads that you wish they were over. But then you get to the attempts at characterisation, which are not only shallow and stilted, but also are largely nonsense that exits only to make Tom look good. They’re so drawn-out and pointless, that you wish that the fic would get to a fight scene. See?

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tataeo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R

Rebuilding Elmer Studios – Dan

Much like Rick, Dan represented a challenge for us. However, in his case it was a different one. Whereas Rick had struggled with connection and relevance, Dan had, by comparison, had problems with definition and role.

Dan was the “youngest” of the cast at launch, his game having only just ended shortly before the first MSTings began.

What Worked?
At his core, Dan was a bit of a loudmouth, a bit of a jerk, a bit of an idiot and a lot of a horny letch. That much had worked well for us, giving him a strong personality profile and a good base to work from, albeit one that was not being properly used. Likewise, he had a strong background, maybe the strongest of the team, although again it was not being well utilized in our MSTings. His evil twin sister also provided us with some good material, and not just from doing one guest spot. All up, Dan had some great ideas and background.

The other one that had worked fantastically was his prior relationship with Rebecca and their shared mutual antagonism. The pair of them playing off each other, taking shots back and forth and trying to get whatever advantage they could had proven to be a goldmine that we used throughout the entire run. The intensity of this hatred waxed and waned – on a couple of occasions, Dan even tried being nice to her – but never let up.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Trolled by Imperial Order

From Hero Games Book of the Empress, we have what is either a hillarious coincidence or some brilliant trolling:

There you have it. Invadors come from another dimension!

Episode 203 - Transformers: Prime Directive #1

Episode 203: Transformers: Prime Directive #1

When a comic is called Transformers, features Transformers on the cover and half of the dialogue is variations on the word “transform”, then not actually featuring any Transformers doesn’t make it clever. It makes you look stupid. And certainly after slogging through six thousand pages of Mr Lazarus spouting Anime Villain Clichés, you’ll feel stupid as well. A professionally written and published comic book, this still feels like somebody’s bad fanfic gone rouge. Features a last page twist that isn’t even a twist!

This MSTing was actually begun as a “classic” Elmer Studios MSTing, then abandoned. That’s right; it’s taken ten years to get here, and yet that’s still a better workrate then Pat Lee manages

Riffers: Rebecca Bartley, Natasha Isavia, Matt Simmons and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Rick R

Rebuilding Elmer Studios - Rick

When we began the “Rebuild” process, we took a look at each character to decide what worked, what didn’t work, what needed to be changed and what could be improved. As much as we wanted to modernize, clean up and improve, we also wanted to keep the fundamentals of what made the characters themselves intact. The result became something of a balancing act between the old and the new.

And in many ways, Rick represented the biggest challenge.

What worked?
Rick was the “oldest” of the three, having made his debut in 1994-1995 or something. In many ways, he was older then that, as I’d been using the name “Rick R. Mortis” or variations thereof for years before that. The initial premise was that he would be the “everyman” of the team, one that would be the most ‘normal’ and relatable of them. He became something of an anchor between Dan’s idiot slackerness, Rebecca’s trigger-happy menace and Tsuneo’s all too easy fanboy rages.

Instead, he would sit back, relax, take it easy, not get too worked up over things and generally have fun at laughing at the fic. He was the voice of reason, the sane one, the guy who could say “it’s just a bad fanfic, not like it’s the end of the world or the like” while everyone was about to have their heads explode. It was those traits that made him useful, especially in the particularly nonsense or bad fics.

Finally, Rick’s “struggling comic book writer/artist” thing gave us a lot of material to work with; its something that got stronger over time as we used it more and more often.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Episode 202 - Rebuild of DELTA, part two

Episode 202: Rebuild of DELTA, part two

I think they’re the product of a five-year-old describing things to his comic artist brother

What could be more exciting then Tom Dyron cooking breakfast? How about Tom Dyron cheating on a maths test? Or Tom Dyron ordering at an Italian restaurant? Or Tom Dyron talking about his motorcycles? Or Tom Dyron playing basketball? Oh, all right, if you insist we’ll have an attack by enigmatic alien creatures and the revelation of their unusual nature, but really, that’s not why I read Evangelion fanfic. I read it for the gripping menu-reading action. You should too.

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tataeo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rebuilding Elmer Studios

So, why the rebuild?

There are a number of reasons, but the core of it came down to this: DELTA Invasion is my favourite bad fanfic, a fact that you’re probably aware of if you’ve been reading this Blog (Or have known me for the last decade or so). Our MSTings of DELTA Invasion were considered classics and some of our best material. Hell, the thing got its own damn TV Tropes page.

However, for all that, the MSTigns have not aged well. In general, it came down to three things – 1) References that, while contemporary and/or witty at the time now were meaningless or cringingly backwards. 2) Stuff that I thought was funny over a decade ago but now was cringe-inducingly bad and 3) References to other Fanfics and MSTings, both Elmer Studios ones and others that made no sense out of context. This last one was particularly difficult as it relied upon communities or individuals that were no longer in existence or had vanished from the face of the interweb.

This was the seed of the “Rebuild” of DELTA. To take the best of the old and rebuild it with new stuff that a) Hopefully wouldn’t age as badly b) wouldn’t be as crap and c) wouldn’t rely on assumed knowledge. However, to do this, one very big step had to be taken.

Rick R's fiction blog

After Rick quit making fun of bad fanfic, he began writing his own bad fanfic. Go figure.

Anyways, I'm putting together an archive of my stuff, as well as some general ramblings and bumf. Go take a look if you're interested

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Episode 201 - Rebuild of DELTA, part one

Episode 201: Rebuild of DELTA, part one

How bad can it be?

In a moment that is both alien and strangely familiar, previous continuity is disregarded in favour of going running of wildly in some nonsensical direction. Instead of a bunch of intellectual themes and concepts and such that the source material was all about, we instead get a fic that is centered on two things. The first is the need for gratuitous over the top violence (and more explosions then Michael Bay on speed), and the second is, of course, the presence of an omnipotent self-insertion character to stomp all over the cast and be the center of the universe. Features Instant Parental Angst and special guest dialogue by Tommy Weisau!

Riffers: Dan, Rebecca Bartley, Tsuneo Tataeo and Rick R. Mortis
Written by: Zogster and Rick R

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rick R's "bottom six" best worst fics

I’ve read a lot of badfic. Gord alone knows how much, but… lots. But even amongst all that crap, there’s a few that stick out and have strange soft spots in my heart. So here are my top (or bottom) “best worst” fics. All of them are available at the Elmer Studios Archive for your “pleasure”.

(dis)Honourable Mention: The Dark Spiner
Had Elmer Studios still been in the MSTing business c2003, then this one would have been in the lineup. It’s your basic idiotic, horribly over-powered, centre of the universe Gary Stu (Who shares their name with the author, no less!) in a loopy, incoherent fic that isn’t so much read as it’s shouted at you by your monitor. Added to that, it somehow became the sort of fanon that gets mistaken for canon by idiots, which only increases the suck.

(dis)Honourable Mention: Robotech Sentinels Rubicon
Sentinels Rubicon isn’t a fanfic, but rather it’s a professionally published comic. Yet, it manages to reach levels of stupid and crap that makes some of the worst fanfic you’ve ever read seem professional by comparison. It manages to be bad on every level; bad art, bad writing, bad chracterisation, bad plot, bad inking, bad toning, bad lettering and even bad staples. And then when you go behind the scenes and realize the sheer levels of BS that went into the creation of the comic, it gets even worse.

On the other hand, it gave me the White Light Of EEEEE, so I can’t fully hate it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Old Conflicts Renewed

Bonus Continuity Theater: Old Conflicts Renewed

At least I have a life outside this fic. You were created to be spanked.

What’s like an Elmer Studios MSTing, but isn’t? How about a MSTing by the former Elmer Studios crew in the style of Elmer Studios using many of the running gags from Elmer Studios in the format for Elmer Studios. Something like that?

Written for a now-defunct Zoids fanfic bitching community c2005, Old Conflicts Renewed was an MSTing of an infamously bad Zoid fic (Well, infamously bad within that Fandom, for what it's worth) that had managed to somehow become fanon within the fandom – specifically, the vile sort of fanon that is mistaken for canon by idiots and, as such, leads to a generation of self-replicating errors within subsequent generations of badfics. Yeah, that sort. That it’s about an unbearable god-boy who walks all over the canon cast while demonstrating no knowledge of grammar, structure, punctuation, dialogue, spelling, descriptive prose or, even, the English language makes it just that much more awful. Sound familiar?

I will admit straight up that the MSTing is rather in-jokey, not only to the Zoids fandom but, specifically, the community for which it was written. However, at the same time, there’s still plenty of good stuff to be had here. And, if you look very carefully (well, not really), you’ll find an old reference or two. Or seventy.

Riffers: Sandra Blackmore (Not the one you're thinking of), Tasch Storemer, Christina McCade, Tara Squamanta
Written by: Zogster and Rick R; guest riffs by Koobine

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Wandering Star Saga, Part Two

Episode 151: The Wandering Star Saga, Part Two (incomplete)

Just to reiterate the point, Krokojam is also an idiot.

And now, from the very depths of Rick R’s mail archives comes the lost Episode 151. Unfortunately, what was originally intended to be either a grand finale or an epic re-launch (the jury was still out on that) got way-laid by real life and other such minor inconveniences. Consequently, it was never completed beyond an initial run of riffs and some fragmentary host segments before all work was

However, all was not lost. The draft would shuffle between different e-mail accounts for several years before being rediscovered and, for the first time ever, released to the public. And, while it is rather painfully incomplete, there’s still certainly some good stuff to be had here. So sit back and enjoy the missing episode 151. Who knows, there may still be more to come.

Riffers: Lightspeed, Sel Magyari, Alistair Woof Growl-Yip, Rick R. Morris
Written by: Zogster and Rick R

The return of Elmer Studios

Back in the wild, heady days of the 1990s, one of the "Big Things" was MSTings. A cultural phenomena of the early days of the internets, MSTings of fanfic and other material, inspired by Mystery Science Theater 3000, was a big thing. In short order, zillions of MSTers were leaping at the burgeoning fanfic "industry" providing laughs and "alternative criticism" based not only on the original MST3K cast of Mike/Joel and the Bots, but also using their own original characters, settings and situations.

Elmer Studios was one of those groups. And I'm one of the people from Elmer Studios. Hi! I'm the "Rick R." half of it, who had a hand in 150 151 MSTings as well as a wealth of other material and side stories.

For a while, it was a hell of a lot of fun. Relentless mockery and laughs at some of the epic badness out there was amusing. The combination of community and entertainment was driving and encouraging, as well as the never-ending "I cannot believe something could be this bad" level of bile fascination that sent us looking for more. Along the way we made friends, created running gags, discovered some epic badness and maybe, just maybe, launched an internet legend or two. Fun times.

But then, real life happened.

For the Elmer Studios team, it became a hard truth. Jobs, changing schedules, lack of free time and other such matters took their toll. The riffers were struggling to find time and energy to work, which resulted in a slowdown and eventually a halt. Projects were abandoned and left unfinished by the roadside, vanishing into the depths of e-mail archives and dead hard disks. With the imminent demise of Geocities, it seemed like Elmer Studios would simply vanish into internet history.

It didn’t. One thoroughly awesome guy took it upon himself to archive the entire content of the site, preserving it for all time. Likewise, the memories of certain fanfics would never dim.

And then, inspired by these things as well as a particularly silly conversation, a pair of MSTers decided “let’s get back into the game”. What became a single idle thought quickly snowballed into a whole new MSTing, with plans for a lot, lot more.

This Blog will be used to post new MSTings as well as host other information and the occasional ramblings of one (or both) of the writers. It's also a handy place if you have comments, questions, feedback or general jeffs. You can also e-mail us at elmerstudios00 (at) as well.

It's good to be back.