The official Transformers facebook page
has posted the line art from first five pages of Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #5 along with creative commentary by artist Andrew Griffith. We've mirrored it below for those without facebook access.
PAGE 1- We’ve got a brand new ship heading home, and we continue to see the evolution of Cybertron. Is it continuously challenging to make the planet different from issue to issue as it evolves, and how much leeway are you given on it?
ANDREW GRIFFITH: Well, the first thing a reader will likely notice about this page is how it echoes the first page of issue 1. Only instead of Hipotank and his pals arriving on Cybertron, it’s the lone Sky-Byte. I imagine one of the reasons John wrote it this way was to highlight the changes on Cybertron. There's been a lot of growth on the part of the planet as it goes though its rebirth pangs after it was reset by Vector Sigma in Chaos (see Transformers Vol. 7: Chaos).
I don't know if it's so much a challenge as a chance to just go a little more wild each time we see it
PAGE 2- Splash page of the Autobots at base. Talk us through you’d plan out a page like this. Do they always turn out how you envisioned?
ANDREW GRIFFITH: Actually this one turned out pretty close to how I pictured it. You get to see the Autobots busy in the command center quite a bit in this series, don’t you? In addition to coming up with a different composition each time, I’m always trying to figure out exactly what they’d be doing, and try to put character in here who would make sense being in the command center. I imagine they’re busy monitoring local space for threats, directing air traffic for incoming ships, monitoring the infrastructure Wheeljack and the Constructicons had been building and the like. But mostly, I like to think that one of these guys is really just playing Galaga. Maybe Jazz. Yeah, definitely Jazz.
PAGE 3- Sky-Byte returns to Transformers, after last being seen in the Robots in Disguise cartoon. Did you have to do much to him design wise to bring him into the G1 universe?
ANDREW GRIFFITH: Well, I was given pretty free reign on his design. It was in the script that he’d transform into a flying space shark. So I went from there and used the toy and his RID cartoon look as my main guide for how he'd look in RID, with a few practical changes, mostly as a result of changing his transformation sequence up a bit.
PAGE 4- Prowl and Arcee converse. When you’re drawing the same characters over again for an ongoing series, do you do anything special to kind of keep them fresh every time you draw them?
ANDREW GRIFFITH: Yeah, it’s getting to be a bit of a pattern seeing Prowl and Arcee on the balcony together, isn’t it? The biggest challenge for me is getting each scene to look different from all the others. And that’s just a matter of staging, I guess. But Prowl only has so many places to meet with his secret assassin friend, and Arcee does so like to climb on tall space labs that have crash-landed on Cybertron.
PAGE 5- Sky-Byte meets some of his fellow Cybretronians. On a typical day, how long would this page take to draw and ink and what kind of tools are you using?
ANDREW GRIFFITH: On a typical day? Well I usually can get a page done including pencils and inks in between one and two days. I recall this specific page taking me about a day and a half. I got to play with the shadows a good bit in this one since they’re sitting around a fire. Hopefully it came off alright.
I use your basic Blur Line Pro comic book art boards, though a particular kind that has ruler marks all around the edges and make lining up panel layout soooo much easier. I actually use a mechanical pencil made by Staedtler. I like the precision of it when I’m drawing mechanical things like Transformers, and it seems to stay sharper so much longer for me than a traditional pencil. As far as inks I use a combination of Micron pens, a variety of black markers and brush pens, pretty quick and dirty. I used to use more technical pens like Koh-I-Noor Rapidographs, but I just can’t keep up with deadlines constantly maintaining and cleaning those things.