Happy Halloween – The Matt Hazard Comic Strip FOUND!!!

October 31, 2008

Long Lost “BOOM COUNTY” Strip Unveiled !!!

Well, as promised, I did some more digging into that box of stuff in the basement.  And I found GOLD — one of the original Sunday editions of Boom County, a sponsored comic strip based on Matt Hazard!

Boom County was a marketing initiative from the early 80s — I hired a comic strip artist to create a hilarious series based on Matt Hazard and then placed the strip into daily newspapers across the country. Boom County was a smash hit and ran for a marvelous three months before it was discontinued by editors who felt it was “marketing” and not a real comic strip.  I wrote the script myself, and, I must say, it’s STILL HILARIOUS!  Note the timely jab at the “Where’s the Beef?” commercials!!!  HAHAHAHA!!!

To clarify, the Dinosaur friend in Boom County is a character I created for the strip — when Hazard travels to the time travel zone of Xenon 5 in The Adventures of Matt in Hazardland, he saves this Dinosaur, “Opie,” from annihilation during his epic battle against Neutronov’s Mega-Nuclear Robo TyranoToxic-a-Saurus. Opie comes back to our world timeline to live with Matt in Boom County.  Genius!!

A Rare Copy of a Sunday Edition of "Boom County"

A Rare Copy of a Sunday Edition of "Boom County"

We had planned a spin-off Saturday morning cartoon series, a video game for kids based on the strip, and plushie dolls based on Opie, but the newspaper cancellations halted all work on those projects.

– R. Tokey


IGN Blog Introduces Eat Lead Dev Team

October 30, 2008

Vicious Cycle-ers Promote Themselves Shamelessly

The “official” IGN Blog for the Eat Lead game has been updated introducing a couple people from the development team at Vicious Cycle.

Go here to check it out:  http://blogs.ign.com/MattHazard/2008/10/29/104838/

It should be noted that there are more people in this article than were on the ENTIRE original Matt Hazard development team.  Do I remember their names?  No, of course not, because they faded back into the darkened recesses of nerd obscurity where hired programmers belong.

Where’s my profile, Mr. IGN Blog?

– R. Tokey


General Neutronov Revealed!

October 29, 2008

A Profile in Bad Guyology – With EXCLUSIVE NEW ART FROM EAT LEAD!!

EXCLUSIVE Neutronov Character Art from Eat Lead!

EXCLUSIVE Neutronov Character Art from Eat Lead!

As promised, today I am going to take a look at one of Matt Hazard’s most malevolent adversaries (the man you might remember recently calling Matt a capitalist pig but a worthy adversary on national TV), the dreaded General Neutronov.  Pay attention, kiddies.  The things you learn here could save your life in the next game…

Don’t ask how I managed to get art from the new game — I have sources and they cannot be compromised!

GENESIS

Back when we were early in development on The Adventures of Matt in Hazardland,  we were having trouble finding exactly the right foe to cast against the most ultimate of badasses, Matt Hazard.

We knew we wanted a character that would fear-monger with the threat of nuclear war.  We knew we wanted to use the “evil Soviets” as a backdrop — I mean, it WAS the 80s!  We just couldn’t put our finger on a character name or history.  All our writers came up with was SUPER COMMIE ATOM BOMB KILLER FASCIST and “SCABKF” didn’t spell anything.  We were totally stumped.

Then we got lucky.  One of our designers sons, Billy Edson, was just a dumb, dumb boy.  He was so stupid, this kid, that instead of answering questions on his science quiz, he drew the following doodle and turned it in:

6th Grader Billy Edson Doodled The Future of Video Games

6th Grader Billy Edson Doodled The Future of Video Games

His draconian teacher, Mr. Brown, took off 5 points, giving Billy a quiz score of -5. What really cheeses me off is that the TEACHER misspells “unnecessary.”  WTF!

Anyway, the school sent the quiz home to be signed and Billy’s Dad, Dave, knew immediately he had stumbled upon the answer to our prayers.  We were blown away.  We liked the concept so much, we immediately secured copyrights, fired Billy’s Dad, and created what is now known as the baddest video game bad guy of all time, General Neutronov.

Man, that whole family was just so dumb!

SO, WHO IS GENERAL NEUTRONOV??

The Return of Matt Hazard!

EXCLUSIVE First Reveal of the New General Neutronov from Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard!

FULL NAME: General Alexei Plutoniovich Neutronov

NATIONALITY: Soviet Union

BELIEFS:

– Superiority of the Soviet Union

– Nuclear Proliferation to Mad Generals is Solid Foreign Policy

– Inevitability of Matt Hazard’s Demise

– Matt Hazard and the Other Money-Hungry Americans Can’t Stop Any of His Plans, Ever, No Matter What

– Fur Lined Coats are Both Cozy and “Evil”

– Undershirts are for wussies; crossing leather straps over exposed chest say “Militant Debonair”

FAVORITE WEAPONS (in past titles):

– Ranged Combat: Grenade Launcher

– Hand to Hand: Nuclear-Tipped Soviet Bear Tooth

– Fixed: Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles Tipped with Multiple Nuclear Warheads

HOME: “Korblanskivich Missile Silo Farm,” Siberia, Soviet Union

FIRST MH GAME APPEARANCE: The Adventures of Matt in Hazardland

KNOWN ASSOCIATES: Lord OctoSurgeon, Mightus Conjunctivitus

The Background:

General Alexei Plutoniovich Neutronov was a highly-decorated Red Army officer who served with distinction for the USSR prior to the end of the Cold War.

Neutronov made an appearance as the nuke-toting villain in the budget title Doctor Nyet!, a groundbreaking side-scrolling techno-spy game that set sales on fire upon its release.  He was such a popular villain that Marathon executives decided to create a whole series of espionage-inspired titles.  In conjunction with this, the marketing department created Neutronov Halloween costumes, lunchboxes and even sponsored a professional wrestler to represent the General’s Soviet inclinations!

Thunder Eye hit the shelves in early 1992.  Despite missing the Christmas season, sales were through the roof.  Fans and critics alike raved over the ending in which Matt, having dispatched all of Neutronov’s Soviet separatists, lures the General to a grisly end that involves two AK-47s; a red, a blue, and a green keycard; and the engine intake of a Soviet MiG-25.

What transpired was coolly described in a review as “WICKED AWESOME — 11/10!!”

The game was so popular that a sequel was immediately greenlit.  Neutronov was brought back to life through a convoluted plot twist and went on to reprise his role as a villain in the aptly-titled You Only Live 1,317 Times-in which he met a similarly uncomfortable end.

General Neutronov always longs for the glorious days when the Soviet Union was just one step from almost getting ready to start thinking about having the resources to prepare to plan to approve a strategy to initiate consdierations of taking over the world.

To this day, General Neutronov still has only one goal in mind:  to someday defeat his number one enemy, Matt Hazard.

– R. Tokey


IGN Takes a First Look at Eat Lead

October 28, 2008

First Showing by D3 Revealed on IGN!

TROMH Screen

One of IGN's New EL:TROMH Screens

This is pretty exciting — it seems that D3 has started showing the new Matt Hazard game, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, to press.

They even have video!

While the writer is woefully uninformed about the history of the franchise and Matt Hazard in general, and clearly has not read a lick of this blog for gathering background info, he at least has some new artwork and starts talking a bit about the concept.  Seems like D3 must have their hands full if the characters are breaking free of the game world… Neutronov always dreamed of such a thing… hmmm…

Be sure to head over and check it out:  http://ps3.ign.com/articles/923/923928p1.html

– R. Tokey


A “The Real Matt Hazard”: Reader Q n’ A

October 23, 2008

An Exclusive Chat With Video Game Icon, Ralph Tokey

Photo of Ralph Tokey from the 1985 Marathon Company Report

Ralph Tokey, circa 1985, Marathon Company Report

Did you know that in the short month or so that I’ve been writing this blog, The Real Matt Hazard has had WELL OVER 5,000 visitors?  Ya.  Amazing.  Thanks for being part of it and caring about the history of video games.

As a thank you, I just wanted to answer some of the questions that have been emailed to me on the past 2 weeks or so.  I’ll continue the blog very soon – the next update will be a character profile of one of Matt Hazard’s most feared foes!

On with the Exclusive Ralph Tokey Interview!!

What the hell is this Matt Hazard thing?

To put it simply — Matt Hazard is the baddest-ass, gunnest-toting, America-Firstest, Red-white-and-blue-bleedingest, change that we needest, hero-who-gets-the-girl-and-leaves-her-heartbroken-after-two-weeks-of-playing-in-the-sun-stroked-beaches-of-the-Caribbean, video game character of all time.

Read the rest of this entry »


Upcoming Updates

October 20, 2008

Greetings Again, Fellow Hazardites…

It’s been awful quiet lately… I haven’t heard a peep about this new game from D3 Publisher.  Nothing on the video game web sites or in the magazines… and certainly no replies to my daily email inquiries about the game.

Some genius over there in the marketing department probably figured they could just announce the game and then do nothing until it ships.  Kids are lazy.

Anyway — I won’t let you down — here’s what’s upcoming this week and next on The Real Matt Hazard:

  • Reader Q n’ A: I’ll answer some of the top questions that I have received in my inbox since I posted my email in a previous post.
  • Character Profile: I’m going to take a look at one of Matt Hazard’s most fearsome foes.  You can get to know him BEFORE D3 spills the beans.
  • Special Treat: I found another box in my basement — I think it has some long lost artwork.  I haven’t gotten to opening it yet because there is a mouse nest on top and I’m scared of all kinds of rodents.  Mrs. Tokey will be taking care of it this week

Bottom line — stay tuned.  There’s a lot more coming.  And those guys at the big sites have NO info on this game.

– R. Tokey


More Classic Matt Hazard Screens

October 10, 2008

“NEW” CLASSIC MATT HAZARD SCREEN SHOTS UNEARTHED

As promised, I’ve gone digging through the archives that I keep stored here in my basement.  Now that those people at D3 have announced “Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard,” it’s pretty exciting for me that RIGHT HERE is the ONLY place to get RARE AND EXCLUSIVE screen shots and STORIES behind the Real Matt Hazard!!!

Last night, I finally found my old floppies (floppies are what were used before compact discs, kids).  Unfortunately, most of my floppies were destroyed in 1999 when a bulk-sized container of laundry detergent fell off the washer and into my old work boxes.  Mrs. Tokey is to blame for that.  I’ve told her. Read the rest of this entry »