It is with great sadness that we are forced to announce a change to the advertised Auto Assembly 2012 attendee goodie bags. This change will affect every attendee who is eligible to receive a goodie bag, so it would be most appreciated if we could please have your attention for just a moment.
It had been our intention to include a free IDW Transformers comic within every goodie bag this year. This comic was to be an exclusive variant cover of Regeneration One Issue 81. The comic was going to be limited to a print run of just 1,000 copies and only made available at Auto Assembly and Auto Assembly Europe. (Long term fans will remember that we also had exclusive IDW comics in 2009 and 2010).
The cover was going to use 1980's style artwork, drawn by marvel Transformers artist Jeff Anderson, with colours by Kris Carter and was intended to be a tribute to the Marvel UK run featuring a special "corner box" with art by Nick Roche. As an homage to the Marvel UK series, which culminated in issue 332, our plan was to use dual numbers on the front of the comic, meaning it would have been both issue 81 and issue 333. A true exclusive for our attendees.
Martin Fisher from the Auto Assembly team worked very hard to make the comic a reality, as did IDW; we therefore wish to extend our sincere thanks both to Martin and to IDW editor John Barber, who took time out of his busy schedule to try and make the exclusive comic a success for our attendees. John's work is massively appreciated and it should be noted that he and IDW did everything in their power to bring issue 333 to life. We are truly grateful for their support.
Sadly, the comic was not to be. At the 11th hour, with our artists poised to start work on the new cover, the issue was vetoed, seemingly without any explanation by the license holders, Hasbro US.
Obviously this has come as a great disappointment to ourselves and no doubt, will be to our attendees as well. We would like to explain why the decision was taken but sadly, no explanation has been given to us other than that Hasbro US do not at this time wish for IDW to produce another Auto Assembly comic. Sadly, it is our understanding that IDW themselves have not been presented with a firm reason either.
On behalf of the entire Auto Assembly committee, we are truly sorry that we are not able to provide you, our attendees, with the exclusive IDW comic which you had been promised. However, we are sure our attendees will appreciate that sadly, this issue is completely beyond the control of both Auto Assembly and IDW, who worked together in good faith before the plans were stopped. We are sure there is probably a very simple reason for the decision made by Hasbro US and if we receive further explanation from them we will of course share it with you.
So, the question now is, were does this leave your goodie bags? Well, as sad as we are, we absolutely refuse to leave our attendees disappointed - we promised you a comic and we are still going to deliver on that promise!
Obviously we are not able to produce an official comic for the reasons outlined above, but that gives us a great deal of flexibility. So rather than simply giving you an exclusive cover, we are going to give you a completely new full colour comic! This will be included in all eligible goodie bags, free of charge.
Jeff Anderson will still be providing the cover artwork for this new comic and Kris Carter too is adamant that attendees should receive a first class product and so, as well as providing cover colours, Kris has begun writing an exclusive 6 page comic script for us. But that's not all you will receive in this issue. Our current plan, ambitious as it may be so close to our print deadline, is to give you an issue which includes at least three different comic stories, created by collaborations between professional comic creative talent and fans alike. The response we have had from our artists is both fantastic and humbling; they are truly lighting our darkest hour by putting the "Assembly" into Auto Assembly!
In addition to this comic, goodie bags will also include a copy of our full colour convention exclusive fanzine, The Cybertronian Times (which in previous years had been an additional £7 purchase). And of course, you will still receive the usual array of convention exclusive merchandise, including Auto Assembly postcards which might just have some artwork you could have signed by our guests of honour!
And to really show you just how much we appreciate your understanding and support, we are planning to include one or two surprise goodie bag items; of course, we're not going to give everything away just yet, so you'll just have to check your goodie bags for those!
Furthermore, whilst the issue with the IDW comic is sadly out of our hands, we cannot simply stand by and watch our attendees being short changed. We do very much believe that the goodie bag on offer is great value for money, but Auto Assembly only comes by once a year and we want our attendees to be able to take home with them something extra special to remind them of the show.
Therefore, after much consideration we have decided to increase production of our convention exclusive lithograph. Previously only available to attendees who had booked rooms in the Hilton at our convention rate, we are instead going to provide a copy of the lithograph – free of charge – to each and every attendee who should have received the exclusive comic in their goodie bags. This is going to be a large scale, full colour print, produced by a professional artist, which will be available exclusively at Auto Assembly events this year.
Finally, as a special treat for everybody who has taken the time to read this statement, we thought we'd give you a heads up that a major comic guest is going to cross the ocean to attend Auto Assembly 2012 - and we will be announcing that person sometime in the next 14 days! And we will also be announcing the artist for our lithograph as well so keep your eyes peeled!
Sadness and disappointment aside, we are determined to provide you with the best ever Auto Assembly goodie bag this year. We wish to thank you for your continued support of the convention and, once again, we wish to offer our sincere thanks to IDW. Now let's make Auto Assembly 2012 the best convention ever!
For more details on Auto Assembly 2012 which is taking place over the weekend of 3rd - 5th August 2012 in Birmingham, England or to book your tickets or find out information about booking dealers tables, visit the website at www.autoassembly.org.uk
and for all the latest news on Auto Assembly Europe, visit www.autoassemblyeurope.eu
The Auto Assembly Team