Friday, September 08, 2006

The Armory Wars Sketchbook Review

Finally it came! Its soooo shiny, however its not many pages for $12 USD... I count 2 covers, 2 intro pages, 9 pages of front story, 9 pages of full color character sketches, including Coheed, Cambria, Claudio, Newo, Jesse, Mariah, Paranoia, Wilhelm and Mayo. I like the new designs by Gus, my favorite is Jesse. The sketches for newo and mariah are kind of on the lame side, I prefer the Bag On-line Mariah, but that is ok. After the middle pages for the character sketches, there is 3 or somore pages of backstory on how Claudio (the character) began life, its pretty abbreviated, but offers somethings not even I knew about.

I have uploaded 3 HUGE scans, each 300dpi. I have the front cover, the back cover, and the page depicting Jesse. Just click on the smaller pictures to open the huge pictures in a new tab/window.

If you LOVE artbooks and the like, this is a good pickup, but if you need the 12 dollars for something more urgent, maybe you havent even read the Bag On-line comic books yet, then Id say pass this up for the time being.

One last update, a new acquaintence of mine has hooked me up with 2 more Shabutie songs, 'Bloody Brit Song' and 'Sarah Lawrence' - this Sarah Lawrence version is allegedly part of a trilogy fo songs, containing Sarah Lawrence, Sarah Lawrence Strikes Back, and 'Triquel'.

So now, out of known Shabutie songs, I am missing 'Zut', 'Jonas Holio', 'Skittles', 'Stop', 'Triquel', 'Eggplant Wizard', 'Sweet Child O' Mine', 'Ambassador Johnson', and 'A New One Conspirator'


Anonymous said...

Hey, I've tried to check out the full scans of the sketchbook, but it won't load them on your page. Can you check out the problem and try to get it fixed? Greatly appreciated!

9:36 AM  
Matt said...

Due to all the myspace assholes hotlinking my HIGH RESOLUTION scans, and using them as the background for their myspace pages, I have had to restrict access to the amory wars scans. Sorry for the inconvenience.

4:17 PM  

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Alright, where can I begin but with the band itself, Coheed and Cambria is a Progressive Rock band who now have 3 LPs to date. The Second Stage Turbine Blade, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, and their newest, Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. But I am jumping ahead of myself. The band is comprised of 4 members; Claudio Sanchez (vocals/guitar), Travis Stevens (guitar), Michael Todd (bass), and Josh Eppard (drums).

Coheed and Cambria was not always known as such, however. They had their start as a band named Shabutie, and during that, Claudio made a side project named Coheed and Cambria. Shabutie did release one EP, which does lend a bit to the story line. With songs like Elf Tower, NM; Cassiopeia; Kinderwhore; Godfather's Lollipop; Nauraushaun; Camouflage; and Shameless. However, the Official EP only contained only Shameless, Camouflage, Kinderwhore, Godfather's Lollipop, and Cassiopeia.

Shabutie did quite well, but Claudio liked the name and theme behind the band Coheed and Cambria so much, that it was decided that the band would stick with the Co & Ca project.

Now, if it is not apparent to you by now, the albums of Coheed and Cambria have one higher purpose, they tell an intricate story. Lyrics convey the details of the story and you can feel it each of their songs. This art form is commonly referred to as 'a concept band'. Few know of a band that has done this art as well. They are named Sage, and they are a Canadian group that dispersed 'chapters' of a science-fiction concept story across 4 albums. Coincidentally, Sage used a moth and/or butterfly symbol similar to the dragonfly that is commonly associated with The Second Stage Turbine Blade.

Anyways, onto my Co & Ca history...
After The Second Stage Turbine released and set the stage for the story, the band was not very well-known. Finally, about 2 years after the release of that album, and almost one full year after the release of In Keeping Secrets, they hit some popularity. Now, as for my personal Coheed experience, I heard them on a random CD burnt by a friend. That CD piqued my interest in Coheed about a year and a half ago. Little did I know at the time that they already had 2 albums out, and were about to join the Warped Tour. So I went, saw my first Coheed live set ever, and was amazed. From that point on I knew these guys were the real deal.

This is about the time when the posers come out from all corners declaring their love to Coheed... I've heard some amazingly stupid things...
One fellow I overheard talking about Coheed knew only one song, and he called it ''The Sniper Song'' -- Now I was pretty sure this means A Favor House Atlantic. Since that song was overly marketed, and played on MTV (see also, ''the scourge of all music'') it gained popularity very rapidly since the song is very catchy and quite good, as well. The story got lost in translation a bit here and there, but now the fourth album aims to fix that, I hope.

Ah yes, the amazing storyline behind Coheed and Cambria. I might as well start at the very beginning there as well. Coheed and Cambria are husband and wife. They were technically created the insane Doctor Honenberger, along with Coheed's ''brother'' Jesse, The Inferno. These 3 creations were labeled the KBI. This acronym stands for 'The Knowledge, The Beast, and The Inferno'. If you cannot figure out which is which, then there is little hope for you... But anyways, the story goes on, and the world that Coheed and Cambria live in is one of immense proportions. The technology for the most part is very futuristic. However, the cars look as if they are pulled from the 1970's, and Paris is the Capital of Earth. (Scary, huh?) Now, Earth is in a semi-man-made star system called The Fence. The Fence exists because of the Keywork, which is an elaborate interplanetary system of star transformers that power the planets that make up The Fence, as well as keep all the planets in perfect alignment and orbit.

Now, Coheed and Cambria live on Earth. References are made to New Jersey and New Mexico, but I'm sure they live in or near Jersey. Anyways, that is pretty irrelevant as you shall soon see. Coheed and Cambria have 4 offspring; Maria, the youngest daughter, Matthew, the youngest son, Josephine, and Claudio (the even numbered nephew.) Before you ask, yes Claudio did write himself into his own story, but that is ok. Moving right along, now... Maria, my star, Matthew goodnight... Ah yes, the first 2 to go. Coheed poisons the children because of a direct order given to him by the President of Earth, Mayo Deftinwolf. The other orders are to also kill Josephine and Claudio. Slaying the children will prevent the spread of the Sinstar Virus. Now, Coheed and Cambria have been infected with the Monstar virus, and for this virus to spread, Coheed and Cambria must go to Paris Earth, at the seventh turning hour, and Coheed must look into the eyes of the trigger (Cambria) -- Now this bit is purely speculation on my part, since this is just what I have gathered from listening to all the songs for countless hours, and pouring over the lyrics. I have also read both comics, just in case you are wondering.

Now, this is where it gets tricky, you may or may not have to read this all a few times to fully get it. The Sinstar virus is a much different occurrence than its Monstar counterpart. All 4 of the children are rumored to have it (says Deftinwolf) and that is why they all must die. For, at each child's twenty-fourth birthday, the virus will mature and spread rapidly, quickly enveloping the entire planet. Josephine is 23, and fast approaching her 24th birthday now. She is out with Patrick, and they stumble into New Jersey, apparently. The gang, The New Jersey Devils, break into Patrick's car, pulling Josephine and Patrick form the vehicle, and they proceed to rape Josephine. Josephine returns home that same night to find her parents in the kitchen. Coheed, much to his regret must kill Josephine, as per Deftinwolf's orders. And he does. And it is quite graphic if you have seen the comic. Patrick does play witness to this slaughter, the slaughter of his loved one. Now this is where I’m pretty sure that Patrick begins to become a main character of this story. Anyways, Claudio at this point is still out with Newo Ikkin. (My dear Newo Ikkin, how has Apollo been treating you?) His parents asked him to be home before 1am, and he was not. So Deftinwolf has already learned about this from the High Mage and is on his way to the Killgannon residence.

Now I have just noticed that I left out a few important details, since I am a poor story teller.
Coheed's last name is Killgannon; thusly they are the Killgannon family.
Second, Mayo Deftinwolf, the President of Earth reports to Tri-Mage Wilhelm Ryan, who is currently in charge of overseeing man. -- However Mariah, a young Mage that resides in Paris, Earth, proves to be a threat to Wilhelm's tyranny. So, in defense, Wilhelm hopes to use the Monstar virus. When activated, the Monstar endows its host with the ability to destroy star transformers and separate planets from the Keywork's unifying energy beam, resulting in an apocalypse for the inhabitants of the separated planets as they smash into other astronomical bodies. Mayo plans to activate the Monstar and send Coheed and his wife, Cambria, to Paris Earth, in hopes that the Monstar will destroy the star transformer at Paris Earth, thus causing Earth to break free of the Fence, ridding Wilhelm of Mariah.
There is a rumored prophecy that states 'Man shall live, while the Mages watch over man, and the Prise watch over the Mages. And if man defies the word of God then I shall take away all I have given to thee' -- now that is paraphrased since I don’t remember where I heard and or read that, so I cannot cite it directly, but it conveys the main points well enough for now.
Mariah Antillarea, the Mage vying for control over Man, will supposedly bring peace and balance, while the current High Mage seeks only to kill the Killgannons and ultimately destroy the Keywork, thus defying the word of God. One last thing I forgot to mention, The Knowledge, the Beast, and the Inferno are all robots (created by Honenberger as I said before), they are technically named 'IRO-bots' (hence IRO-bot will never die...)

Now, the Prise are a faerie-like race that have their own mysterious agenda, and will soon reveal all they have planned. 'The Crowing' has told of how the Prise need to watch over Claudio and that Ambellina (a Prise) is the specific one. Maybe Ambellina leads the Prise. There are many speculations over this subject, but a definite middle ground has yet to be found.
Back to the story... Deftinwolf has entered the Killgannon residence with his squad of men and is ready to take down The Beast. Finally we learn that Coheed's metronome left arm stick shift is actually how he got those scars, as blades somehow come from within his left arm and kill things.('Does it bleed from the left arm?') After a bit of a fight, a few deaths(woo!), Coheed is subdued, he and Cambria are ready to be delivered to Paris. Beyond this point in the story, all is purely speculation now, so I don’t want a shit load of hate mail saying that I am an idiot and that I am lying and that I have made up the story... This is just my interpretation of the story line from here, and I will also cite theories of my close friends.

Anyways, from what I can piece together, on the seventh turning hour (07:00 AM) Coheed and Cambria will touch down on Paris and the Dragonflies will also make their arrival, and who knows exactly what kind of insane atrocities will ensue. The broad idea I have is that Paris does go up in flames and the Keywork is somehow damaged or destroyed in the chaos, which sends the planets (atleast planet Earth, Star 4) that reside(s) within The Fence to go spinning out into outer space, or end up crashing in to each other causing interplanetary destruction, and yes, you guessed it, more chaos.

Somewhere through all of this, Claudio loses Newo or some such event, and he seeks out Al The Killer (who pilots the ship, 'The Velorium Camper') In the first couple of tracks on IKSSE:3 it tells of Claudio finding Al The Killer and The Velorium Camper, and how he enters the ship and beats Al (possibly while he has 'turned' due to the Sinstar virus) and Al lays beaten and bloody on the floor.
Also, the song 21:13 makes mention of that time (9:13 pm) -- so one can only assume that something imperative to the story line happens at 21:13... (and the clock reads 21:13...) Coheed also has a preminition in the comic about this time, it is very unclear however

A few more short theories...

In the song, In Keeping Secrets, it is said that Claudio is preparing to charge into battle, and is envisioning all the murders he is about to commit. Also, he thinks back on the loves lost, his parents whom he thinks have been killed in the fire in his old house. He is seemingly seeking the approval of his parents.

More speculations ->
Mayo and Ryan plan to release thousands of dragonflies on Paris Earth, each with the ability to inject a specific serum called the Ciache into humans. If Coheed is injected with the serum, the Monstar will be activated the second he makes eye contact with Cambria and Paris Earth will be knocked from the Keywork. The Prise discover Mayo's plan and vow to stop it by stopping the dragonflies, as their duty is to protect Heaven's Fence.

I have just read this and it seems to make perfect sense -- 'Claudio, destroyed thinking that his parents died, decides to kill himself but changes his mind(point your gun in another direction, now that you've cried yourself to sleep; here in there after the fire) but he fakes it so everybody, including Newo, thinks he's dead. He does this to gain the upper hand over Wilhelm (she waits for me outside near a hole in the ground in the one way thinking you might get the upper hand, dear Newo Ikkin how's Apollo been treating you? Has he been a good boy since the day I left? Give him my love and a sweet kiss for his head ‘cause I won't be coming home, when you get this I'll be dead.) "She" is Newo, "a hole in the ground" is Claudio's grave, "in the one way thinking you might get the upper hand" is Clauido's plan, and "dear Newo Ikkin how's Apollo been treating you? has he been a good boy since the day I left? give him my love and a sweet kiss for his head ‘cause I won't be coming home, when you get this I'll be dead" is Claudio's suicide note. (this info is taken from the music and [from] Claudio himself)' That was taken from, and they seem to know what they are talking about... I hope.

A few more things I have noticed while researching a bit more...
Coheed and Cambria make it to Paris Earth and the Monstar is activated in Coheed.
Paris Earth is separated from the Keywork, and this separation is central to the storyline.
Both Coheed and Cambria are dead at the end of the first album.
Claudio falls asleep at the end of the first album and dreams the events of the first few tracks on the second album.
The second album centers mostly on Claudio and Chase, a young robot boy created by Jesse.
Al the Killer is the psychopathic, racist pilot of the space ship The Velorium Camper. Al is important to the main story, and oddly enough likes to kill white girls. (he hates white girls for some unknown reason)

Ambellina is one of the Prise, as mentioned in "The Crowing", supposedly sent to become more human-like ("burn your wings and learn their letters") in order to help Claudio save Paris Earth and "watch over" him.
(Side note not exactly pertaining to the storyline: 'The Crowing' has been performed in with altered lyrics and a slight alteration in musical accompaniment by Coheed and Cambria, and rename 'Watch Over Me' in some instances, it also has been performed acoustic a few times, they are eseentially the same song but acoustic 'Watch Over Me' is more badass.)

It is often debated over whether Al's spaceship is called The Velourium Camper or The Camper Velourium because of information on the CD, and in the lyrics. According to the track listing for In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, as well as the listing on, Al's ship is called The Velorium Camper. In Claudio's post on the official message board, however, it is referred to as The Camper Velourium.

© 2006 by Matt with tremendous help from Laurels ©
All words contained herein are property of Matt (unless expressed or quoted otherwise), and may or may not be intellectual. This 'intellectual' property may or may not be fact, and will contain errors. For that, I am sorry ^.^b