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Transformers: Age of Extinction Opens in Japan - Interview with Bay, Wahlberg and More

Transformers News: Transformers: Age of Extinction Opens in Japan - Interview with Bay, Wahlberg and More
Date: Thursday, August 7th 2014 11:57pm CDT
Categories: Interviews, Movie News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): The Japan Times

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Views: 26,029

Coinciding with the release of Transformers: Lost Age in Japan this week, the Japan Times has posted a fairly lengthy article with interviews with the main cast and crew. Featuring comments by director Michael Bay, leading cast members Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer, and Nicola Peltz, the article, posted here, looks at various aspects of the movie, its production and different people's take on it - check out some sections below!

His latest, “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” promises more of the action and explosions Bay is known for, but the director reportedly almost didn’t take the job this time around. He’s not saying why, but he admits he was “prevailed upon. Expertly.” Coming back on board for a fourth time, he decided to make a few changes to the franchise. In particular, he didn’t want the robots to look too much like toys.

“I understand the need to draw an audience of kids and the global considerations, but I wanted to be involved with something that had a longer-lasting, even cerebral appeal. And I don’t want to be tied — artistically or in people’s minds — to ‘Transformers’ after ‘Transformers,’ ” he says, perhaps alluding to the series’ planned fifth installment.

While the Japanese roots of “Transformers” may be apparent in the design of the robotic heroes and villains of the film, the “global considerations” Bay refers to come mainly from the newly important Chinese market.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” was partly financed by Chinese backers, has Chinese product placement and co-stars Li Bingbing as the owner of a factory manufacturing Transformers for a U.S. outfit named KSI. Bay says that cooperation between China and the United States for future filmmaking ventures will be important. The tendency of Hollywood to cast the citizens of foreign nations in villainous roles might be coming to an end if that’s the case, I suggest, to which Bay replies, “I don’t think the Chinese see themselves as villains. They do want to be admired.”

[...]

Grammer, who played the titular role in the popular U.S. sitcom “Frasier” (1993-2004) takes on the role of Harold Attinger, the paranoid head of an elite CIA unit.

“His name’s Harold — isn’t that a perfect, anal-retentive, paranoiac name?” Grammer says with a grin. “Then you have Cade, pretty much an average Joe, and his daughter Tessa (Peltz) — these wonderful names! Stanley Tucci is this arrogant technocrat (head of KSI) who wants to make and control his own Transformers, and his name is Joshua Joyce. It’s a bit comic-bookey, but it really works on screen.”

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” has succeeded in drawing in a large audience despite replacing its cast, and Grammar believes this is because the film brings back the real draw — familiar robotic characters.

Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!
Date: Monday, May 19th 2014 9:55am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Josh Perez, Va'al

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We're back here at Seibertron.com with another full-length chat with one of the minds behind the hands behind the Transformers comics offered by IDW Publishing - and it's time to go full colour: ladynuts and gentlebolts, please welcome colourist extraordinaire Josh Perez!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


Va'al - Josh, it's a pleasure to be able to talk to you at last. We've all seen your amazing work on Robots in Disguise, and then the magnificence that was your power-through with the whole of Dark Cybertron, it's only fair we find out more about you! So, to begin from the beginning: when did the Transformers enter your life? What's your first memory?

Josh - Pleasure is all mine, buddy! Transformers was kinda always there when I was a kid; mostly in the background of a toy visit or seeing some kid playing with "a cool robot that turns into a gun, or a car, or a jet, or a...", and so on. I can't say what my first TF memory was, but I remember when I was about 5, we were sent the TF movie on VHS, and I spent the whole time worrying Bumblebee would die. I mean, the other Autobot deaths, Prime included, were major deals, but once I knew Bee was okay, I was a happy burrito.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


Va'al - I have to say, that's not a feeling we're used to hearing in the fandom these days! Would you say Bumblebee is still your favourite character? Are there version of him that stand out, or that are not worth remembering?

Josh - He most certainly is still my favorite character! I'm always going to be partial to the G1 Gilvezan Bee, but the Pretender and Action Master Bumblebees are nostalgic favorites. I have the Action Master Bee as a kid, and he was, surprisingly, my only Bee toy from the G1 era. A friend of mine had the Pretender Bee, and the Marvel TF stories made me really like him as a character. Transformers Animated Bee is the only recent Bee I've found myself excited to see. His design is great!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


As for forgettable Bees, I think that his movie incarnation hasn't done much to justify the shelf space he tends to take up. I like his design, but you could make him any other Autobot and nothing would really change. I felt the same way about Transformers Prime Bumblebee for a while. He was just a background character (which, honestly, he kinda needed to be after how much the movies shoved him in everyone's faces), but towards the end of Prime he became interesting and I felt his presence was necessary outside of being the guy that beepbooped.

Va'al - Aha, so the kid appeal character appealed to you as a kid, when that was its intention - I'm sure someone at Hasbro was very happy about that! You mentioned the Marvel Transformers comics just now, were they a regular appointment for you, an avid reader, or were you not that invested in them?

Josh - I started reading the Marvel comics late in the game - around Matrix Quest. Before I left Germany, I remember seeing Wildman's cover for "The Price of Life", and maaan that cover messed with me head! It was so twisted and different and gorgeous. If it wasn't for that cover, the Marvel books would have just faded out for me when we came to the States.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


I remember getting a trade of the first four issues that I would read over and over again at school, and then my dad would take me to a now-out-of-business-but-amazing-at-the-time bookstore called "Keep On Bookin' " where I'd buy back issues and read them through most of my elementary/middle school existence. I also bought issues of G2, but I lent the ones I had to a friend and never got them back..! I was pretty invested in the Marvel stories when I got to the States since we had local comic places all over.

Va'al - That is quite the unsettling cover, isn't it? And something we almost saw again, relatively recently. But how long did it take you from readingthe comics to making your own doodles and scribbles? Did you start drawing and colouring *on* comics before moving *into* comics?

Josh - Oh man! I would never have dreamed of defacing those books. I tried to make several Transformer comics as a kid in elementary school; around 4th grade was when I realized I really wanted to be in either comics or animation. In early high school I got to play with Photoshop 5.5 and I started to focus more on learning how to use the program to color artwork.

Va'al - I see it as interactive enjoyment rather than defacing! So was colouring your first venture into the world of comics creation, or were you into the writing, drawing, inking and such?

Josh - I was drawing/inking little comics I'd irritate my friends with before I ventured into coloring- and I remember a friend had a short lived/now deleted webcomic that I drew/lettered/storied a few pages of - but luckily those are gone forever because they're prime examples of how to not do anything art, color, letter, or story related to comics, haha! Oh, those days of high school and early college... Professionally speaking, though, coloring was definitely where I began input in comic creation.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


Va'al - I'm sure there was something salvageable in those early ventures, too! (And I'm even more sure that some collector out there would love to get their hands on them.) So we're up to your actual debut as a comics creator: was it with IDW Publishing directly, or did you work with and for others first? How did you rise to technicolour stardom?

Josh - Back in 2003 my name was suggested to Dreamwave Productions when they needed help coloring their More Than Meets The Eye profile book; I got to color Wheeljack and the Terrorcons/Abominus in issue seven; work started coming in after that!

Va'al - Yet another Dreamwave-induced artist! Can you remember your first full-length gig in a comic? Anything you are particularly proud of from the earlier stages of your professional career?

Josh - My first full length comic was after Dreamwave shut down on a comic called "100 Girls" by Adam Gallardo and Todd Demong; another Dreamwave colorist and friend, Cil Chueng, was leaving as colorist because of college or something (sorry, Cil! I forget!) and offered the gig to me.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


I can't say I'm too fond of anything I've done back in the Dreamwave days- my contrast was bland and my value colors lacked punch. BUT I have a sweet spot for the profile book pieces I've done for the G1 and Armada MtMtE books; and Energon issue #26 was when I first started working with Alex Milne on actual comic issues, even if they're not my best work, I'm happy with them.

Va'al - Dreamwave had its peaks, that is definitely true. But we also do have to admit loving your current work on IDW Publishing titles! How did you get into those? How does it feel to be recognised by fans and on the front cover of monthly comics?

Josh - Alex [Milne] and I had formed a kind of duo after Dreamwave, and when he got work, I got work; I think our first IDW piece was a cover for Spotlight: Kup (I also got Nick's cover for Spotlight: Kup as well); it was a lot of cover work, but then came Megatron: Origin and the Movie Adaptation and stuff.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


And now, when people open their RiD books or when they buy the right MtMtE cover, there I am, ruining their experience! ah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah. But honestly, it's weird- especially now that IDW has been putting colorist credit on their covers... or when really awesome fans tell me they like my work in the books. Never gonna get used to it!

Va'al - I can assure you that no one's day, experience or comic is ruined with your colours! Not even when you repaint *everyone* to look like Bumblebee. (We have proof, do not deny it.) Before you leave us to return to slave away on art tasks, is there anything we can expect in the future of the Perez verse? Convention appearances, different titles, pencil or ink work, writing?

Josh - Well, I'll be doing BotCon this year, as well as TFCon- assuming nothing goes wrong, of course, so stop by and say hi!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


Aside from Transformers, I've colored a few new Matt Frank Godzilla covers that look pretty snazzy (more on his part, less on mine, haha!), and the team I worked with on ShiftyLook's/ Namco-Bandai's Bravoman Webcomic (Matt Moylan and Dax Gordine) are in the planning/design phase for a new, creator-owned book called "Avian Odyssey". You can check out updates at AvianOdyssey.com; right now it's design stuff, videos on characters being drawn; very neat!

Va'al - It sounds like you're ridiculously busy, as usual, so even further thanks for taking the time to chat with us! I think we should let readers know how they can follow your work if they want to, too - wouldn't you agree?

Josh - But of course! I post a lot of artwork over on deviantART and Tumblr, Twitter - all under "Dyemooch"!

Thanks very much for the chat!


You've heard the man! Make sure to check out Josh's work, including that amazing Starscream print we posted above, chat to him on social media, and until next time, we've been your usual comics creator fix here at Seibertron.com.

IDW Transformers: Regeneration One #100 - Andrew Wildman Comments

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Regeneration One #100 - Andrew Wildman Comments
Date: Tuesday, April 1st 2014 10:55am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Andrew Wildman

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We have seen a couple of words by various comics creators once IDW Publishing's Transformers: ReGeneration One #100 hit a couple of weeks ago - but here is another, by artist Andrew Wildman on his personal blog. Read on below!

So there we are. The end. The End? They always said ‘It Never Ends’ and for Transformers that seems to be true. But for the Original Transformers storyline/continuity it very definitely has. Issue 100 of that seminal book final hit the stands on Wednesday 19th March. A very significant day for all those legions of people who, over the last thirty years, have enjoyed the ups and downs of the world of Autobots and Decepticons. After the hiatus of some twenty years it was a privilege to be involved in the continuation of The Transformers (not sure when the The was dropped) With the IDW book, Transformers Regeneration One. When it all finally ended I thought it would be great to write a piece about what it has been like for me to be involved in the book. After all, for many it is who I am. But rather than write one final farewell – which I did for issue 100 – I thought I would get some thoughts down as and when they occur. This is the first of those;

For me it started out as just another comics gig. A book that I knew nothing about and that only felt like a stepping stone onto other books. I wanted to draw Superheroes. This is something that I have mentioned in many interviews and Q&As. I was happy to be working for Marvel Comics but I didn’t want to do toy books. I wanted to draw Spider-Man and all the other characters that I had grown up with. At that time I guess I had been reading comics for, say, 20 years. When I consider that that was about 26 years ago it really does create context. Transformers have been a part of my life for longer than Marvel had at that point. Transformers has been there for all but a couple of years of my professional life as a comic artist. Its fair to say that without Transformers I would probably be yet another casualty of the big comics crash in the mid nineties. Many of us working in the comics industry back then were hanging on by our fingernails as we saw title after title get cancelled. Same happened to me. My final book for Marvel was the final issue of Force Works. I felt like it was unfinished business at Marvel but it was time to get out as the empire crumbled around us all. That is when I moved – sideways I guess – into Computer Game design and TV concept work and storyboarding. Things have been great for me in those areas but it is as a result of working on Transformers for Marvel and more recently for IDW that has enabled me to have a presence at some amazing conventions and that is great. So Transformers, it was very definitely time to move on. Time to draw a line under that work. But I salute you. Without you I wonder what life would look like now.

Transformers: Rescue Bots Season 3 Recording, Due Fall 2014

Transformers News: Transformers: Rescue Bots Season 3 Recording, Due Fall 2014
Date: Friday, February 28th 2014 4:57am CST
Categories: Cartoon News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): DC Douglas

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Views: 24,278

Thanks yet again to voice actor DC Douglas, we now know that the third season, confirmed by Hasbro at Toy Fair 2014 to feature the new dinosaur modes for the main cast, including Optimus Primal, is currently recording - and Levar Burton is part of it! Check out the Vine here. The season should air towards the end of 2014, still according to Hasbro.



#TFRescueBots revelation with @LevarBurton

Hasbro Transformers Team Jerry Jivoin and Joshua Lamb Interview

Transformers News: Hasbro Transformers Team Jerry Jivoin and Joshua Lamb Interview
Date: Tuesday, February 18th 2014 9:17pm CST
Categories: Event News, Movie News, People News, Toy News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): BWTF

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Views: 35,376

BWTF was lucky enough to score an interview with Hasbro's Jerry Jivoin and Joshua Lamb over the weekend during Toy Fair. They discuss their current trend of providing simplified figures for the younger audience while retaining a more complex line for collectors, bringing the iconic Dinobots into the movie franchise, and they also touch on the recent rumor that the Transformers Generations Legends figures, which includes Cosmos, Swerve, and Tailgate, would not see a domestic retail release. The full interview can be found by clicking here.


Spinning off that question, because I don't think my readers will forgive me if I don't ask this, Swerve, Cosmos, Tailgate, Skrapnel - we're getting that right? My understanding is that they were underordered originally but more are being made...

JJ: They were underordered, we're going to make sure there are more releases. We've already informed our U.S. Sales team about that. As we do more orders, we'll make sure the waves that come out...that the mix within the case pack will include those characters along with the new characters in the waves three and four so that all those characters get out there in a healthy supply.

The Loyal Subjects Party in NYC

Transformers News: The Loyal Subjects Party in NYC
Date: Monday, February 10th 2014 4:03am CST
Categories: Collectables, Company News, Event News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): The Loyal Subjects

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Views: 16,766

We've just received news from the people over at The Loyal Subjects, producers of licensed vinyl Transformers replicas, that they are planning quite the bash over the Toy Fair night, at an off-site location. If you're in the area next weekend, head over to Toy Tokyo for a chance to meet some of the best artists, customisers and designers, incuding from Hasbro - check out the flyer and more information below!

Transformers News: The Loyal Subjects Party in NYC

Transformers News: The Loyal Subjects Party in NYC


Next Saturday, we're having a party at Toy Tokyo in NYC to kick off all the new and great Transformers releases that are coming from TLS this year, and it's during Toy Fair. We're having a big party featuring 30 of today's best customizers and artists taking their hand at customizing the 8" Optimus Prime DIY figure from The Loyal Subjects. Each Custom piece also is accompanied by an original piece of art (painting, illustration, sculpture, etc). All things Transformers, celebrating the 30 Year Anniversary and the big year that is 2014 for Transformers.

We're also releasing an exclusive Transformers Hoodie (Zip Up Shockwave Hoodie) and Tee (Slag). Only 24 pieces avail on site. We're also debuting the 3" Ultra Magnus, blister carded - an edition of 500. Only 48 pieces available on site, along with the Cybertron 2 pack set and the Rainmakers Set (again only 48 of each set available at the show).

Some serious Hasbro heavy hitters are included in the show and definitely the super stars that work on Transformers - most notably John Warden, Joshua Lamb and Mark Maher.

This is going to be a great night so everyone should come out and have an amazing time. Beverages (including the ones we love) and snack will be on hand as well as a few surprises.

Let's do this!

Hasbro Confirms New Look and Simplified Design for 'Age of Extinction' Toys

Transformers News: Hasbro Confirms New Look and Simplified Design for 'Age of Extinction' Toys
Date: Sunday, January 19th 2014 7:21pm CST
Categories: Interviews, Movie News, People News, Toy News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): New York Times

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Views: 44,645

In an article on the New York Times, Hasbro's chief executive Brian D. Goldner discusses how the complexity of the transformation process in previous toys (think ROTF Leader Optimus Prime) may have detracted from the enjoyment of its intended target audience, and confirms that the new toy lines will feature streamlined, simplified designs (though not all of them, as they keep adult collectors in mind) in both figures and branding. The new products will be hitting the shelves in May, a couple of weeks before Age of Extinction will be released in cinemas - read some relevant quotes below, and the full article here!

Transformers News: Hasbro Confirms New Look and Simplified Design for 'Age of Extinction' Toys


But as the brand evolved over the years, the toys became more complex, some involving dozens of steps to complete a single transformation. In the eyes of Brian D. Goldner, Hasbro’s chief executive, they had lost their magic.

“We’ve made incredibly sophisticated robots,” he said, “but it can be like a 1,000-piece puzzle.”

Enthralled by the special effects in three big-budget “Transformers” movies that enabled the robots to convert in a matter of seconds, Mr. Goldner decided the toys needed to return to their roots. So he challenged his design team to reconceive them. Now, on the 30th anniversary of the brand, Hasbro is revealing a new look for the toys, including simple maneuvers that will complete a transformation with the push of a button or flick of the wrist.

The remake of the line, which includes new branding and packaging, is meant to coincide with Paramount Pictures’ release of the fourth movie in the franchise, “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” Retailers will get their first look at the line in London this week at Toy Fair, an annual industry trade show.

“Our retail partners, they are getting very excited,” said Joshua Lamb, the senior design director for the toy line. “This rethinking of the brand is setting the stage long-term.”

The toys are expected to land on retail shelves in May, a few weeks before the release of the movie. Hasbro says it will build on the promotion for the movie with a marketing campaign of its own that will include ads on television and in theaters as well as on digital platforms, like mobile and social media.
[...]

Hasbro will continue to make complex Transformers for adult fans who have collected the toys since their inception 30 years ago. But the new design is intended to re-engage parents and children, who found the transformations too challenging.

Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott
Date: Monday, September 30th 2013 9:41am CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Comic Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Mairghread Scott, Va'al

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Views: 53,610

With the animated series of Prime: Beast Hunters now behind us, and Predacons Rising almost here, we are very happy to welcome show and comics writer Mairghread Scott for another interview with the minds and hands behind IDW!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - Thank you for agreeing to do this, Mairghread - you have the honour if being our first writer! My first question, before we jump into your work, is about origins: How did you first become a fan of Transformers?

Mairghread - I actually grew up on Beast Wars, which makes me a bit odd because I never really saw Optimus turn into a truck (although I knew he did) until the Michael Bay films. But in some way, I think Beast Wars really was the best place to start when I worked on Prime. The idea of being outmatched and outnumbered, the shifting alliances; these are all important elements of both shows. Plus, even though our CG technology has come a long way, we still face a lot of the same challenges in terms of characters and sets.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - At last, someone else who grew up in the Beast era! I thought I was the only one, by now. How involved were you with the franchise back then? Did you collect the toys as well as watch the show, or branch out into other aspects of the Transformers like comics or other cartoons?

Mairghread - Neither. Comic books and action figures were 'boy things' and as a little girl I just sort of knew (and I'm sure my friends re-enforced) that I wasn't supposed to have either. I remember I looked for Airrazor a few times, but I could never find her on the shelf. On the bright side, it meant I got to play Beast Wars a lot with just my sister. I was an Osprey (until Jurassic Park, then I was a 'raptor for a while). I upgraded to puma-osprey with rocket launcher wings when everyone went all Fuzor/Transmetal. I feel like my sister was an orca because she was really into whales and I was always harrassing her about how she couldn't do anything in Beast-mode then. I wasn't the best sister.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - At least you played with her, though! I have to ask - were you ever able to track down an Airrazor figure later on in life? A lot of Transformer fans have their personal 'holy grail' toy, or so I'm told; would you say that was, or still is, yours? Or did you just outgrow the toy stage, and never really bothered?

Mairghread - No, although I would take one if I came across it. I tend to collect characters I've written for, so my Holy Grail is a modified Rip Claw made to look like Ser-ket. I just picked up a G1 Sludge at BotCon and would love to give him a sister to play with.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - You heard that, customisers. Be ready to be inundated by offers now! Speaking of writing characters - you're a writer for essentially two parallel stories, one told in the animated series, one in the comics. How do you juggle the different approaches, if they are different? Are there similar challenges in the two media? Do you have a preference between the two?

Mairghread - Well it does help that we have two different casts in each book and that they are both tailored to their medium. The Dinobots aren't nearly as talkative as, say, Optimus, and that works much better when you have the ultra-limited space of a comic. Since the Dinos don't do well in close-up or just talking, I try to think of the comics almost as an 80ish panel haiku instead of a TV script. I'm trying to pick out the best possible moments to suggest the movement, drama and staging that make Prime what it is instead of just transcribing an episode onto the page. When it comes to which I like more, I think I'd have to say comics, if only because I get to really interact with the fans in a way I never could if I just wrote TV. Talking to people who are passionate and nerdy about what you're passionate and nerdy about...it's the best.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - Communities of fans like the one for Transformers are indeed a gathering of multiple backgrounds and views with an extremely passionate dedication to the common interest! You're obviously welcome to join us on Seibertron any time, I know you write on other fansites at the moment. Speaking of fandoms, I was wondering about something. You've always been pretty determined and vocal about the female presence among the Transformers fans, but there are only a few named women creators in your position (alongside colourists Priscilla Tramontano and Joana Lafuente) - do you think the franchise is still a bit of a boys' club, or is that a misperception? Have you ever received criticism, from fans or peer creators, which was more about you as a woman than your work?

Mairghread - It's funny, I used to be really worried about the role my gender played when it came to my writing and how others saw it. So much so that once I was brought in on a non-TF show to write an episode that had a lot of female characters in it and I actually asked point-blank if they'd picked me because I'm a woman. The response was they'd seen Hurt and they picked me because I could write revenge. So 'no' I've never felt that people see my gender as anything other than another aspect of who I am.

That said, Transformers is still thought of by the public, the media and the industry at large as being a male-oriented brand. It's not surprising: the industry category for Prime is called 'boys action,' the toys for Transformers are in the blue-colored section at toy stores and in several TF comic books there are no female characters at all. This obviously makes it harder for women to feel like we want them to be involved in our brand and I want to change that. Everyone should feel allowed to like Transformers. If seeing my name on a comic makes a woman in the store give it a try, that's great. If writing Firestar means someone's daughter will read his Beast Hunter's issue with him -- awesome! But most importantly, if some little girl out there wants an Arcee as badly as I wanted an Airazor toy, I want her to know that she's not weird, or silly, or alone and if my work does that for her, that's the best thing of all.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - That's a great goal, and I agree wholeheartedly with your mission. It's also nice to read that the industry is changing its attitude towards pre-existing ideas, even if slowly. This is a franchise that, as you said, starts by being aimed at a young male audience, even though, in fact, there is a fairly big adult reception already - showing how there is also a good female reception should be next! You mentioned Firestar, a character who for now only shows up in a couple of issues of Beast Hunters - was that entirely your idea (with Mike Johnson), or was it suggested by IDW/Hasbro? How did she come about? And for that matter, how was Zoom introduced too?

Mairghread - Bringing back Firestar was my idea. As soon as we got picked up I decided to start adding female characters until someone told me to stop (and, actually, a lot of the background characters are also female, even though it's not obvious). So far, Mike, IDW and Hasbro have all been fine with it, so I press onward. I'd love to bring back all the pre-existing TF ladies, but we'll see how many I can squeeze in before the end.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Zoom is Mike's creation and another good example of IDW and Hasbro giving us a fairly free hand. I'm sure if we tried to remake the book as the Firestar/Zoom show, they'd say something, but when it comes to adding more minor characters, we get a lot of control.

Va'al - I did notice some of the remains in Last Spark were mentioned as being female, actually, yes. You don't seem to have been told to stop bringing in characters so far! Are we to expect any other ones before the series ends? I realise we're only half-way through, and that leaves us with two story-arcs worth of potential new faces.

Mairghread - Well, we just got preview images from Issue 5 and, I don't know if anyone's picked up on it, but they reveal Chromia, the blue Autobot next to Grimlock telling everyone to get under their beds (for protection in an earthquake). But don't worry, she does a lot more than that, but it's been fun to see her sneak into the sneak peek.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - Yes, I did spot Chromia, and I mentioned her (and Scrounge) in the review for issue 5. And speaking of issue 5, we now have the announced point of contact between the animated series and the comics, and we're very close in its placement with the end of the TV series. Will the comics cross-over or spill into the upcoming Predacons Rising epilogue?

Mairghread - While the two lines will merge in 7 and 8, the timeline between TV and comics means that we are following the show and not the other way around. That said, I've very excited at what Mike's cooking up, so you'll have to wait and see.

Va'al - Really not letting anything out of the bag, huh? Well, I think that moment of suspense is actually a good place to stop this time round. Mairghread, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, thanks again for doing this! Do you have any last words for the readers on Seibertron.com?

Mairghread - Only to thank them for the chance to play with characters they know and love. Hopefully, we can bring more fans to planet Cybertron. And if anyone has any more burning questions, you can reach me on Twitter at @MairghreadScott or Tumblr at mscottwrites.tumblr.com.

You heard her, readers - head over to the social media to ask your questions, or post them along with your comments in this thread! Stay tuned for another interview soon, we have some really interesting guests coming up.

Aligned Optimus Prime Truck Mode Concept Art

Transformers News: Aligned Optimus Prime Truck Mode Concept Art
Date: Wednesday, May 15th 2013 8:18am CDT
Category: People News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Ken Christiansen

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Views: 20,402

Our friend Ken Christiansen dropped by to let us know Hasbro has given him permission to share and discuss some of his concept work for the Aligned Continuity. First up, we have his design for Optimus Prime's alt mode, which was featured in Transformers Vault: The Complete Transformers Universe. His main goal for this piece was to maintain the conventional cab style truck mode as seen in the live action movies.

Click here to visit Ken's blog, Bad Flip Productions, to read more. Ken can also be found on facebook at: Bad Flip Productions

Last but not least, don't forget to visit Ken at this year's BotCon Artist Alley!


Ken Christiansen wrote:The request was to keep him a long nose, as he now appears in the film series, and if I remember right, that was just about it. Of course I ventured the question. "I don't have to put those flames on him, do I?" But I did keep in line with the movie logic of the long nose, giving him more mass to work with in robot mode, and we added in a roof fairing over the extended cab to build it out even more.


Aligned Optimus Prime Truck Mode Concept Art

John Barber Transformers: Robots in Disguise Interview

Transformers News: John Barber Transformers: Robots in Disguise Interview
Date: Wednesday, November 21st 2012 11:34pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News, People News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Transformers facebook page

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Views: 37,011

The official Transformers facebook page has posted an interview with Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing writer and IDW Senior Editor John Barber. We've mirrored the interview below for those without facebook access:

Q: Hi John. Robots in Disguise is almost a year old now. Has everything panned out as smoothly as you had hoped in the story you are telling?

JOHN BARBER: Hi! Well, we’ve stuck pretty close to the original ideas. New things have definitely cropped up, new ideas pop in all the time, but the essential story Andrew Griffith and I set out to tell over the first year or so has gone according to plan. Along the way there’ve been some nice synchronicities, some characters have asserted themselves in ways that either made them bigger characters or that changed the way the story unfolded, but overall, yeah.


Q: You’ve been trying to make sense of some continuity issues that have cropped up. Is this something you really wanted to try in fix from past TF comics?

JOHN BARBER: It’s not really that I set out to fix things as much as sometimes little continuity things suggest interesting stories or directions. Like, with Metalhawk—when More Than Meets The Eye writer James Roberts and I were working on The Death of Optimus Prime, James had come up with the notion of having a character be the de facto leader of the neutral Cybertronians who were returning home. I thought it’d be cool to use an existing Transformers character that we hadn’t seen yet—somebody that would have resonance with some fans, but it wouldn’t be essential that anybody know who he is.
We bounced some ideas between us and Andy Schmidt, who was the editor then, and to Michael Kelly at Hasbro. Eventually, James suggested Metalhawk. A quick internet search showed that Metalhawk had appeared in one panel in the Drift limited series. Or, anyway, somebody that looked an awful lot like Metalhawk was there. Alex Milne had drawn him in as, basically, a random ’bot. Nobody called him Metalhawk, he didn’t do anything particularly important. And it would have been pretty easy to just ignore that. And, honestly—and I know some fans vehemently disagree with what I’m about to say—I think it would have been fair to just write that off as “somebody that looks like Metalhawk” if it got in the way of the story.
But it got me thinking, and I thought it could be kind of cool if that were Metalhawk, and even though he’s only got that one panel in the Drift comic, that battle had actually been a key part of Metalhawk’s life. And that created an opportunity to bring Turmoil (who I think is an awesome character who deserved more of an on-panel life) back and have it mean something personal to somebody that Turmoil was around. So that panel just suggested some depth to the then-just-being-developed-in-current-continuity Metalhawk.
Hopefully, in practice, it doesn’t matter to the RID reader if they ever see that panel, but I think it’s fun that that panel is there. It creates a wider, more coherent tapestry of stories, without being obtrusive or stopping us from moving forward.


Q: After seeing all of the previous TF work, how hard did you find it get into the characters heads and come up with their voices and point of views?

JOHN BARBER: Well, over my life I’ve spent a fair amount of time with these characters—reading the comics, watching the cartoons and movies, playing with the toys when I was young—so I had some thoughts about the characters. There were some that, over the years, had been portrayed in ways that didn’t exactly match up all the way, which is just the reality of what happens when you have an ongoing comic book universe with different writers and artists playing in the same sandbox.
But, again, that was an opportunity. Real people do contradictory things, real people change their approaches over the years. We react differently to different situations. So I tried to use those different reactions and figure out what might make these particular iterations of these guys tick.
I tried to give the characters distinct points of view and voices based on what we’d seen them do over the course of all the IDW-published comics, and also what the sort-of “classic” versions of the characters are. I like using the big characters, and some of them have developed really interesting backstories, but that’s mostly how I view the previous stories, in practical storytelling terms. I mean, not that my stories are better, I just mean that as a writer, you have to focus on the story you’re telling, not a previous story. As a reader, you shouldn’t need to know the details of the character’s lives to follow what they’re doing now, or to enjoy them as characters… but if you do want to know about their life stories—a lot of it’s been published!


Q: Can you say much about your grand plan when you started writing RID? Did you have this time of peace on the re-born Cybertron well plotted out?

JOHN BARBER: Yeah, the big arc of the first year or so, definitely. It’s really about 16 issues that will get you a big climax to the story begun in issue 1. But not an end to the RID saga, I should add. That definitely keeps going!
Like I said, some of it changed a little, but the broad strokes are the same.
There were certain stories I wanted to hit—RID was never meant to be only about the political struggle. I wanted to have a story about somebody coming home trying to fit in on this world; a wilderness story; a story about the city surviving the changed environment of the planet. I feel like we did pretty well hitting those stories and still moving forward with a big, macro story about the power struggle in Iacon.


Q: Have you had to change or adapt how you write the stories, maybe based on something you’ve seen coming up in maybe an issue of More Than Meets the Eye (RID’s sister title)?

JOHN BARBER: We toss ideas back and forth all the time, James and I. So yeah, we’re constantly affecting what each other are doing. We’ve managed to not screw each other up, though, with our stories. If that’s what you mean.


Q: Have you found it difficult to keep a track of events in RID, especially with issues such as the time travelling space ship causing chaos (at least for the characters)?

JOHN BARBER: Yeah… it’s funny. I really intentionally focused in on five key players—Bumblebee, Ironhide, Prowl, Wheeljack, and Starscream—with Metalhawk playing a huge outsider role for most of the series. But as the series went on, a lot of other characters became important, too. So keeping track of where everybody is and where they wind up by issue 16 has been constantly on my mind.
Issue 10, with the time-traveling space-ship… that was it’s own beast. That was hard to keep track of on a totally different level. And I’m happy people came along for that ride.


Q: Is there any one stand-out moment from the first year of RID that you are most proud of over the others?

JOHN BARBER: Yes, but I can’t say what it is yet without giving things away.


Q: A certain character re-appears in issue 11 of RID. Had the return of this character been in your mind right from the very start?

JOHN BARBER: Yes, absolutely. Don’t miss today’s issue! Everything changes here.


Q: Between writing RID and editing the books across the TF license, would you say its one of the most challenging jobs you’ve done in comics?

JOHN BARBER: Sure, yeah. I mean, I edit more than just the Transformers comics, too—I work on G.I. Joe with Carlos Guzman, and on Dungeons & Dragons, and on a few other comics, too. So it’s a lot of good stuff to get to do. There’s definitely a lot of Transformers comics across a lot of timelines, but it’s a good challenge.

Q: Anything you can say about season 2 of RID? Can you say about possible happenings or characters that may reappear?

JOHN BARBER: Two words: purple reign.

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