Comics and entertainment news site Bleeding Cool
was able to sit down (virtually) and have a chat with the current fan-favourite IDW Transformers writer James Roberts. They touched upon the author's arrival into the franchise as a fan, as well as his development in comics - and you can read about it here
, or some snippets below!
RC: I understand you were a fan long before your own name began appearing in the credit boxes, but was it Transformers specifically that really prompted your efforts to write, or had you gone the traditional route with university and the like?
JR: I was a fan when G1 was out, yes. Bit of a latecomer, though: I was ten in 1986 when I started collecting the toys and buying the UK comic. I wrote stories before I became a TF fan, although inevitably my love for the characters and concepts informed a lot of what I wrote in my formative years. I even edited a fanzine, Transtext, in my mid-teens, wherein I published both my own material and stories submitted by other fans.
I think what my love of Transformers did was encourage me to write science-fiction to the exclusion of all else, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I have since corrected that, but most of the fiction I wrote during my teenage years had a science-fiction bent.
RC: In the first issue of MTMTE Prowl received a message from the future listing all the things the crew of the Lost Light should avoid: don’t open the coffin, don’t let them take Skids, don’t go to Delphi and don’t look in the basement. These stories have all for the most part played out since. How far in advance are you coyly planning your work? And will we get a similar tease for stories yet to come?
JR: MTMTE #1 is mostly setup, as you’d expect. It’s designed as a grand pre-credits sequence in the tradition of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, with the camera sweeping in and shadowing a character or two and then veering off to focus on someone else. By the issue’s end the crew of the Lost Light has been assembled, the ship has taken off, there’s been an accident, and our heroes have been thrown into deep space. With the message from the future at the very end of issue 1, I wanted to show that what you’ve just read is merely the beginning of a huge, sprawling, multiyear quest stuffed full of action, adventure and intrigue – I wanted readers to feel confident that we knew where we was going, that everything was mapped out, and that it was worth them investing their time in this series.
RC: James, it has been a blast talking with you. One last thing though, will we ever find out what is in Brainstorm’s briefcase? Might it be the soul of Marsellus Wallace?
JR: It’s a straight question, it deserves a straight answer. And the answer is “yes”.
I like mysteries, I like slow builds, I like inviting speculation… but I also like answers, concrete and logical and sometimes even face-palm-y. So yes, the mystery of Brainstorm’s briefcase will be revealed. It will be opened, and there will be consequences… big, frightening, quest-defining consequences.