Thought we were gone for long? We are always here, lurking, waiting, and pestering IDW Publishing creators until they agree to sit down and graciously talk to us about what they're doing with the Transformers! We have a really recent newcomer to the franchise, comics and Seibertron, so please extend a warm welcome to the artist behind the soon to appear Windblade mini-series: Sarah Stone!
Va'al - Sarah, it's a pleasure to be able to have a chat with you, thanks again for agreeing to do this! My first question, as has been with everyone we've interviewed, is the following: where did it all begin? What was your first encounter with our favourite Robots in Disguise?
Sarah - Hello Va'al, it is my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me!
Image by Madman Entertainment
It all began with Beast Wars for me. I was a little too young to experience G1 in all its glory, so by the time I was old enough to watch TV on my own, Beast Wars was what was on. I remember that it was absolutely incredible for me because I was obsessed with dinosaurs so it played right to my interests. I had just seen Jurassic Park so dinosaurs were my world. I wanted to be an archaeologist or draw dinosaurs for the rest of my life, so robot dinosaurs just blew my mind. Actually come to think about it, maybe this was the beginning of my love for the 'cons since I clearly preferred the Predacons.
Va'al - Another of my generation! I had no idea what Transformers really were in terms of fiction, other than the Beast Wars series. Was that your only exposure to the franchise though? Were you interested enough to track down older comics, did you spring for some of the toys?
Sarah - I never heard anything about the comics back then unfortunately, and didn't do much looking into it, though I kind of randomly remember having a Dinobot toy. He probably had lots of fun with all my other dinosaur toys (poor dude was all alone).
Transformers sort of dropped off of my radar after Beast Wars, I'm sad to say. The Michael Bay movies put them back on my radar, but I was left sort of wanting. I was considerably more interested in the robots than the human characters, so sadly even after the movie I fell off the Transformers train again. It wasn't until I discovered Transformers Prime that I fell off the deep end and rediscovered my intense love for the world again. Through the Prime fandom I ended up finding out about IDW's More Than Meets the Eye, and Robots in Disguise and well... now I'm ruined forever.
Va'al - This is getting eery now, that sounds very similar to my own experience - though I had a few more toys back then! Before we move into the comics, though... What was it in particular about the Transformers: Prime animated series that caught your eye? The stories, the artwork/animation, the characters, something else?
Sarah - Haha, that's crazy! Hmm, It was a combination of a lot of things I think. The sort of more organic designs, the darker tone, great writing, really expressive animations... it was like a quadruple combo to everything I didn't even know I wanted.
I think after watching one episode I ended up marathoning every episode I could get my hands on in a single night. The team did a fantastic job sucking me into the world and I was insatiable. I wanted more - I had to know more about these characters and their history.
Va'al - Binge-watching is apparently a good thing, under some aspects. Do we endorse it? Not necessarily. But still... So where did you head to find more? Was it the two ongoing series by Barber and Roberts and the respective artistic teams, or did you go via some other fiction first?
Sarah - Yeah, the ongoings were my next target. I had some friends that were kind enough to lend me some trades to read while I was traveling, and honestly it was becoming a little hard for me to go anywhere on the internet without bumping into awesome fan art (read: spoilers) of both series, so I knew I had to get on board fast or else I was going to get everything second-hand.
But outside the comics I started retroactively checking out the other series like Transformers: Animated and G1 just out of growing fondness for all of the characters. I'm also currently mid playthrough on Fall of Cybertron but I'm stuck because it makes me so motion sick! It's really the saddest thing.
Va'al - So you did effectively branch out as much as possible! That is impressive, even I haven't got into the games yet. Too focused on the comics. And life, I suppose. Who would you say your favourite character, present or past, in any part of the fiction, would be? And why?
Sarah - Gosh that's hard, I have so much love for so many of them. I guess I always end up having a soft spot for Starscream in almost any incarnation. I just have a thing for the really slimy, insufferable ones.
He's such a fascinating mix of horrible yet sympathetic, but always entertaining. He'll stir up trouble anywhere you inject him, and I love him for that. I really can't choose. I'm loving the IDW Robots in Disguise/Dark Cybertron one right now.
Va'al - I think a lot of fans have a soft spot for Starscream, to some extent. Voice actors notwithstanding. So now we know about you as a fan, let's find out about you as an artist! How did you start out, personally? How did you first venture into artistic endeavours?
Sarah - I've always been drawing, at least as long as I can remember holding pencils and crayons. As a kid I always drew my favorite video game characters and cartoons, before I even knew that was a thing. I grew up with so many animated movies, especially Disney movies, I dreamed of working for them and being an animator. I was fortunate and my parents were always extremely supportive and provided me with Photoshop and even a Wacom tablet at an early age.
It only took a few forays into dabbling with hand drawn and 3d animation before I realized that I am actually a terribly impatient person. Working on a few seconds of animation could take weeks, and an illustration I could finish in an evening or two, so I started slowly gravitating toward illustration as I got older.
Va'al - And if Disney was your influence and aspiration for the animation that never was, what would you say the influences are in your illustration work?
Sarah - That's a tough one, I always feel like I have a hard time pinpointing influences because I'm honestly inspired by so much. Concept art for games and movies have always found space on my shelf in art books, and there are just so many amazing illustrators putting their work up on the net, and I've had the privilege of working with many -- I'm constantly inspired. But I also love taking cues from some more classic work, like J.C. Leyendecker and my recent discovery of Richard Macdonald.
When it comes to illustrating Transformers though, some of the concept art that comes out of Jagex for Transformers Universe has really inspired me to push the rendering of metal and the different materials the bots are made of. And when it comes to the comics, I have to admit being a huge fangirl for Milne and how expressive his bots are. I can only hope to be able to bring life to them in a similar way.
Va'al - Well, I think the time has come to ask *the* question -- how did you make it to not only IDW, but your own mini-series with Mairghread Scott? Did you pitch? Were you selected?
Sarah - I really believe it's because I'm the luckiest girl on the planet, it's really kind of a crazy road. Mairghread had actually messaged me once on Tumblr to tell me that she loved the human Soundwave [see above - V.] illustration I did, which, knowing that she was a writer for Prime and being a fan, was enough to just make my day. Or week. I was really happy.
It wasn't until I was tabling at a comic convention over a year later that the stars aligned and Mairghread and her husband actually bumped into my table, entirely by accident. I tried not to freak out at her too much, and they both actually invited me to help out on a project pitch that they were looking for an artist for. I very excitedly obliged and kept in touch with them over the next month or so while we worked together, and one day Mairghread gave me a call and said something like, "Hey we're kind of looking for someone to work on something Transformers related... would you like me to throw your name in the hat?"
I said yes, of course, and I submitted some work and did a test page, and I suppose they liked it enough to take a chance with me. I'm eternally grateful to Mairghread for putting me under the eyes of the powers that be, and also to all the guys at IDW for giving me this chance.
Va'al - Wow, that does sound like a really lucky set of coincidences - but from what we've seen, they are working with the skills and output which is already of a really high standard. What's the most exciting part of working for IDW, on Transformers, and for a new character?
Sarah - Aside from the obvious of just working of something I absolutely adore (I used to draw this stuff just for fun, you mean I get paid to do it now?), I think it's just such an incredible time to be involved with what IDW is doing for Transformers. The stuff that Barber, Roberts, and Mairghread are doing is just really exciting, and it is crazy to be a part of it, even in the smallest way.
Windblade is just a puzzle piece (but hopefully a really cool puzzle piece) of an awesome picture they are painting, and I'm just really humbled to be working on it. It seems like kind of a cheesy answer, but I really am stoked.
Va'al - Surely you're the one painting it, and they're setting up the canvas! Sarah, may I say personally I am really looking forward to the new mini-series, and I know quite a few our readers are too. Before we let you get back to making art, and me to hunt down another creator to question, any final words to round off your first interview for the fandom?
Sarah - And thank you too, Va'al! It was really a pleasure, thank you for having me. I just want to say thank you to everyone who's been supporting and pre-ordering the mini-series, It means the world to me and I hope I don't let you down. If anyone's interested in seeing more of my stuff, you can check me out on my blog or DeviantART, or say hello on Twitter!
We will find out more of Sarah's work as Transformers: Dawn of the Autobots - Windblade hits. If you want to make sure you get your hands on this, and the other two ongoings - check out how to preorder the issues here! Thanks again for sticking with us for another interview on Seibertron.com, keep your optics tuned in, as there is still much much more to come.
Fun Facebook fan page Robots with Coffee have just posted an interview with IDW Publishing writer Mairghread Scott (Beast Hunters, Prime, Windblade), touching upon her own career and credits, and teasing what may or may not come out of the upcoming mini-series. You can read it all here, and snippets below!
Everyone, please welcome Mairghread Scott to Robots With Coffee!
You are part of the first all-female team to produce a Transformers comic book...unless you and artist Sarah Stone were ghosting for Pat Lee at Dreamwave and haven't been paid yet. But this isn't your first TF comic. How did you get involved with IDW, and did you choose Sarah to be your artist?
I got involved with IDW through an elaborate series of heists perpetrated by myself and Mike Johnson when we...I mean...when we co-wrote Rage of the Dinobots together.
As far as Sarah is concerned, I have to be serious. There are certain things I really wanted in an artist on Transformers Windblade: vibrant color, a sense of movement, diverse and identifiable body designs, and an emphasis on facial expressions. Sarah hit the nail on the head in each of these areas and they all combine to make (what I think is) a dynamic, emotive and easy to follow book perfect for old-school fans and new readers alike.
Windblade was a 'fan created' character, in that the fans got online and voted for what kind of figure it would be. What did you bring to the character once the fan voting had been tallied?
Quite a bit actually. Dark Cybertron was still being written when I came aboard and outside of the knowledge that she could speak to Metroplex, everything else was kind of free reign.
The most important thing for me was to make sure that even though Windblade was a fan-made character, she didn't feel like a composite or generic person. Windblade has a very clear character in my mind: hopeful, determined, empathetic, a little naive and in way over her head. If she was human she'd be the girl that puts on fancy eye shadow for a date and then keep forgetting she has it on and touching her eyes...
…and that's probably the first make-up to Transformer comparison ever made in a professional interview so...milestone?
Your series addresses the gender issue in the IDW TF comics continuity, beyond there originally being no gender (perceived to be "he") and Arcee being the lone female by forced transgender surgery. Was this something that IDW wanted to change, or something you were happy to grab the reigns and 'retcon'?
Argh! Don’t say the ‘r’ word! IDW definitely wanted to do a Windblade book and that obviously required a bit of a think to get Lady Bots back in continuity (outside of Arcee’s unique situation, as you mentioned), but 'retcon-ing' (actually saying something didn’t happen that’s already been established) is something I think of as a weapon of last resort. I still have plenty of tricks up my sleeve besides that and, while new information will be revealed, retcon-ing is not happening in Transformers Windblade.
I know Windblade is going to be a mini but, hey, if it does well enough, there's a possibility of a NAUTICA ongoing? How awesomely true is this? #nauticafanclub #ftw!
So awesomely true that I have no idea if it will happen/control if it does happen/information on the subject. Although I will take this moment to say that Windblade and Nautica fans should not be snipping at each other online. There's room for everyone in the pool, kids. Mom's watching.
Continuing in our quest to bother all the creators over at IDW Publishing, and with a severe lack of Transformers comics coming out this week, we reached out for one of the biggest names right now, with his very unique style gracing the pages of several comics, from Autocracy and Monstrosity to Dark Cybertron via Chaos - ladies and gentlebots, please welcome Livio Ramondelli!
Va'al - Livio, thank you very much for agreeing to do this. As I've been doing with all out interviews so far, let's start from the very beginning: How did you first discover The Transformers? What's your first memory?
Livio - It's great to speak to you!
I first became aware of the Transformers with the original G1 cartoon. I have pretty sporadic but vivid memories of moments from it here and there. But it always stayed with me. The characters had a huge impact on me. I don't recall the first moment I saw Optimus Prime or Soundwave for example, I just remember them as being a big part of my childhood. When I was a little older, my family would regularly rent the animated movie over and over. Which is an insane concept that the next generation won't understand- you had to RENT a movie from a physical store? And they had a limited number of copies that someone could beat you to at any moment?
But regardless, we rented that movie so often we eventually bought it when I was around 13. Then I really began actively re-watching it and the series as a whole. I'd tape the reruns that aired, trying to assemble a collection of the entire series. It's definitely one of the things, along with Star Wars, that has been with me my entire life.
Va'al - I remember renting VHS and DVD. I also remember Blockbuster going bankrupt, which felt pretty bad actually.. But back to you and everyone's favourite transforming robots! You got into them as a visual thing, were you ever a toy person? Do you have any personal favourites?
Livio - I was definitely into the toys as well. To this day I remember which ones I had, and which ones I never got to own. Prime and Soundwave were always my favorite toys, which might factor into why they're my two favorite characters. I thought they were both very clever in how much they did as toys. I'm a huge fan of the current Masterpiece toy line as well. I bought the new Soundwave at BotCon last year, and it sits proudly in my art studio. I just love how they're taking the toys you remember and tweaking them to be even more like the characters, it's a genius move.
I'm still plagued by a few toys that I was never able to own as a kid. I never got a Sharkticon, for example. I always looked enviously at my friends who did.
Va'al - So would you say you had or still have any particular goals, in terms of toys? Would a Sharkticon be what we call a holy grail of plastic transforming robots to you? Or is there something else you'd really really like in your collection?
Livio - Of the original era of the toys.. a Sharkticon and Trypticon would probably be my two holy grails. I had Metroplex, but I never had Trypticon. Sometimes when I see some of them out-of-box at a comic convention I look longingly at them for a few moments. It's like looking at missing pieces from my childhood!
And like everyone, I'm anxious to see where the new Masterpiece series goes and which new figures will be released. I'd love to see a new Galvatron toy closer to the original series. But having Masterpiece Soundwave and the tapes feels so good. The design on Laserbeak and Buzzsaw ( where even the silver armored sections fold in on themselves to create a flat surface) is just mind-blowingly good.
Va'al - Those are some nifty little birds indeed, I agree. And I've only seen them in hand! We've touched upon you getting into the toys and the franchise as a whole, but how did you make it from there to comics? Were you a fan as you grew up?
Livio - Yeah, definitely. I loved the original Marvel run. By the time I got to them, a lot of them were already in back issue bins and so I was tracking them down to piece a collection together, the same way I was doing with Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men and other titles that I loved.
I stopped reading the comics when they sort of dried up in America, but then when Dreamwave got the license I certainly bought those. I thought the art and coloring was beautiful in those early issues. And then after that there were stories I read here and there, like the Jae Lee drawn G.I. Joe vs Transformers. Before the license came to IDW!
Va'al - And that's why should have been a fan growing up across the pond - to quote a certain writer, the series.. never ended. You were clearly a comics reader growing up, but what drew you into drawing yourself? Can you remember the early days of shifting doodling to actual drawing? Was it always a potential career option?
Livio - I know, I'm jealous of you guys across the pond! I also definitely noticed that a lot of UK readers have more of an affinity for the later G1 characters like Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus. Possibly because they did so much more in the UK run that we didn't get to see for a long time.
And I think most people who read comics try to draw them, really. I think if you're drawn to a creative medium like that you're almost certainly hoping you can one day draw or write them yourself. I don't remember an exact moment when it switched into a possible career, it was basically always a dream that I had and hoped I could do it one day. It still feels very surreal getting to draw these guys, and especially to work with someone like Flint Dille, who was such an architect of the G1 stuff I grew up on.
Va'al - Ultra Magnus does seem to be one of the latest big favourites, even with the whole 'controversial' take on him by Roberts and Milne, indeed. How would you describe your first venture into comics in general, before hitting the Transformers franchise at IDW? What's the story there?
Livio - My first venture into comics was one of two very random and lucky moments in my life. After I finished my time in Art school, I was hunting for a job. I was looking into concept art positions for the gaming and movie world. I thought that'd be a steady way to make a living and also be a lot of fun. Comics was sort of always my dream, but I didn't know how realistic it was. One of the blogs I'd check, for fun, was Gelatometti - Jim Lee and Wildstorm's art blog.
They suddenly had a job posting on it, looking for someone to join their team designing the DC Universe Online game. I applied and got hired through the blog, which was my first real gig. It was amazing, since Jim Lee was a huge hero of mine.. and continues to be. I worked there for about 5 years, learning a lot and contributing to a pretty massive game project. It also started me on the path of doing comic conventions across the country.. which lead to IDW.
Va´al - Aha! Here we are, the juicy stuff. What was your first IDW gig? Did they come for you, or did you pitch something to them?
Livio - It was very random! I was sitting at an Artist Alley table at Wondercon I believe. Just selling some prints and essentially fan artwork. IDW's head editor Chris Ryall walked by and happened to see my work, and gave me his card. He told me to submit samples. About a week later, I got an E-Mail from Andy Schmidt, who offered me the covers to The Best of Optimus Prime and Best of Megatron trade paperbacks. It was really a dream come true, and I'm very grateful for the chance.
I always suggest to anyone looking to work in comics to start showing your work at Artist Alley tables. Doesn't matter if you've been published! You never know who will walk by.
Va'al - That's some good advice, right there! So after cover art, Chaos, Autocracy, Monstrosity, Robots in Disguise and Dark Cybertron, where is the IDW partnership taking you next? Can you talk about anything at all with us, or is it still all under wraps?
Livio - I can say there's definitely two big projects coming that I'm excited about. Unfortunately I can't reveal details about them yet, which I understand makes for a very frustrating answer!
But as a teaser, and as most people are guessing, I'd say it's very likely that Chris, Flint and I will finish off our trilogy with another series. We should have a lot more information about that soon.
But I'd just like to take a second and thank all the readers for the response we've gotten doing Transformers comics for the last few years. We all really appreciate the support, and we work hard to hopefully give you guys a great ride with the stories we're telling.
Va'al - And we all really appreciate all of your work as creators! They may not be 'real' comics according to some publishers, but we know there are some really good stories being told. Livio, before we part ways, are there any other last words you'd like to share with our readers?
Livio - It's been a real pleasure chatting with you! And again, I'd just like to thank everyone out there for supporting the books. If you'd like to check out more of my work you can find me on deviantArt, Twitter and Instagram all with the insanely original handle of LivioRamondelli.
You heard the man, go follow him on various social media platforms - and read some more into Livio's creative process here! I extend my thanks to all the readers who have been following us this far, and end by saying there is more to come in our quest to bring you even more insight into the minds and hands of Transformers franchise creators. So keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com!
Following in the string of interviews with comics creators we've been seeing recently, comics and entertainment news website Bleeding Cool were able to have a chat with Simon Furman, writer of part of the original Marvel G1 comics and currently ready to end that story with ReGeneration One #100. Read some extracts below, and the whole interview here!
Simon Furman is, to quote the man himself, “like unto a living god,” at least for Transformers fans. He started out writing for Marvel UK in the 80′s, and saw the Transformers comic through a legendary period, penning the most memorable TF comics in the franchise’s history.
Recently IDW gave Furman a chance to pick up his twenty-year-old story lines in an epic what-if series called ReGeneration One (think X-Men Forever, with giant robots). The series picked up in 2012 at issue #81, following the final issue, #80 released in 1991, and will conclude with issue #100 in March.
SE: How do you feel about ending it after all this time?
SF: Mixed emotions. Both Andrew (Wildman) and I were only interested in doing this if it was to bring it to conclusion. So it feels like job done. Finally. But it’s quite sad too, because you get invested in it and the characters all over again. You start seeing new angles and new story possibilities and you have to resist, because everything is supposed to be building to a wrap-up. You can’t risk opening any new doors. But mostly I feel satisfied that we’ve done the book proud and can be proud ourselves of what (even as purely Regeneration One) has become a substantial body of work. We originally envisioned a 5 or 6-issue limited series. So to get 20, plus an 80.5, an issue #0 and a giant-sized final issue is just incredible. We really can’t complain.
SE: Tell us a little of what we can expect in issue #100.
SF: A lot of connectivity. Issue #100 will – l hope – feel like the capstone to a 100-issue series, rather than just Regeneration One. The thing that’s been building, that comes to a head this issue, has its roots in the original series as much Regeneration One. So I hope readers feel the full impact of the ‘bigger picture’, the thing that’s been tick-ticking away in the background like a timebomb and now explodes. Certainly, as we join the story, the situation is already beyond dire. As one character puts it, “maybe we already lost this one.” And honestly, maybe they have. But there’s a still bigger picture that needs saving, even if it means a truly terrifying scale of sacrifice. Certainly there’s no halfhearted cop-outs here, no magical quick fixes. But there’s still a heck of a lot to strive for and some massive obstacles to overcome before they get there. It’s backs to the wall time, against an enemy that in many ways is homegrown, a part of themselves.
SE: You’ve also been involved in numerous other iterations of the Transformers, particularly the “ultimate TFs” IDW continuity. How have you liked the work James Roberts and John Barber are doing these days?
SF: James and John are doing great work. I feel, finally, that the IDW-verse is in safe hands.
Thanks once again to Comic Book Resources, we get a taste of what's to come in the IDW comics world, and this time, it's time for ReGeneration One. Read the whole interview with writer Simon Furman here, with some snippets reported below!
This March, writer Simon Furman closes out his legendary "Transformers" run for a second time with "Transformers: Regeneration One" #100 from IDW Publishing featuring art by Guido Guidi. "Regeneration One," based on the classic Hasbro toys, is the continuation of Marvel Comics' original "Transformers" series which Furman concluded for the first time with issue #80 -- all the way back in 1991. IDW resurrected that series and its continuity with "Regeneration One" #81 in 2012, recruiting Furman to properly close out his "Transformers" saga with a final 20-issue maxi-series.
Furman recently discussed ending his legendary run with CBR News, revealing how #100 caps off the run that began in the '80s, why he turned Rodimus Prime into the "guts n' grit" Prime he always wanted, which infamous inside joke is making it to the final cover and much more.
So what exactly is going down in "Regeneration One" #100?
Perhaps not what people are thinking. We've been building to this big confrontation with Jhiaxus (a former Cybertronian senator from before the Great War who stole a bunch of secrets and deleted himself from Cybertronian history), but that is not the end. There's this other 'big bad' that's been staring us in the face and is a lot closer to home (in Cybertronian terms). It's one of those classic, 'even if they win... they lose' scenarios, as what they're fighting is essentially one of their own (in the most fundamental way possible) and the stakes are so much higher, the picture so much bigger than anyone (characters or readers) could have imagined.
Can we expect any familiar faces to reappear during the finale?
One or two, yeah, but largely we're not pulling any 'out of left field' stuff in terms of the characters featured. But there's a few surprises and one or two (haven't seen 'em for a while) cameos. Andrew [Wildman]'s cover to #100 kind of blows one of our big 'this series is a 100-issues old' twists, but there's yet more twists and turns.
Could we see spinoffs or miniseries set in this continuity down the line or are you putting a definitive end to all of it?
It's a definitive end. Sort of. Y'know, it's splitting hairs but how definitive does it have to be to be classed as definitive? This is "Transformers." Which never ends. But it is an end. Until anyone with the power to make it happen says different.
Seibertron.com staffer and talented voice over professional, jON3.0 conducted an interview with fellow voice actor Richard Sellers. Mr. Sellers made an appearance on our news page just the other day, which you can read about here: /transformers/ ... toy/29404/
In the included embed below, Jon discusses his various work with Hasbro and in doing so we find out that Mr. Sellers is the voice of Optimus Prime in the Rescue Bots toyline, Transformers greeting cards and ornaments, plus he's recording material for the Age Of Extinction toy line. Grimlock, as we found out in his previous news bit, is one of his toy projects, with 7 others he can't name at this time.
Also of note, Mr. Sellers had the chance to work with Peter Cullen and found out that Mr. Cullen will be doing all the voice work for the AoE line.
Keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!
Courtesy of geek culture news site The Mary Sue, we get to look at some exclusive images of Windblade, the fan-created character whose first appearance was in this week's issue of More Than Meets the Eye! Check out the images below, and some snippets from the interview with Mairghread Scott, writer of the mini-series featuring the character, starting in April (which will apparently also feature Starscream, Blurr and Chromia).
Jaydot: The TFWiki entry about Windblade is pretty sparse. We know she’s got a “fancy sword” and turns into a jet, and there’s almost literally no other info about her. Without getting into too much background detail, which I understand might be spoilery, can you elaborate at all on who/what Windblade is?
Mairghread: To be fair, beyond being a jet and a sword fighter I started with a pretty blank slate when I developed Windblade, so don’t fault the wiki for that one. The most important thing for me when constructing Windblade was to make her a fully three-dimensional (read: flawed) character, so if I had to pick one word to describe her I would say that Windblade is trying. She’s an optimistic, hard-working Transformers character who is genuinely interested in helping others, but she’s also been dropped in the aftermath of a millennia (for real) long war that she was not really part of, so while she’s a very competent character, she’s way behind the curve when it comes to knowing who’s who and what’s what on Cybertron. This actually makes Transfomers: Windblade a really good starting point for new readers because almost everything on Cybertron is as new to her as it is to someone just entering the brand.
What’ll be the overall tone of the book? Transformers can run the gamut from very kid-friendly to very mature (although even Transformers Prime had its extremely dark moments, see the whole Silas storyline, for example). While I have no doubt Windblade will have its emotionally impactful moments, are you aiming overall for something lighter or more fun, or is this a much more serious endeavor?
Transformers: Windblade is, at its core, a story about hope: who has it, who doesn’t, what does it cost and when is it worth (and not worth) that price. So you should expect a story that runs the entire emotional gamut. That said, Transformers: Windblade will definitely be fast-paced and fun because Transformers as a brand is so fast-paced and fun, but hope in the hands of someone like Starscream can be a very dangerous thing and Windblade, who is so centered around the idea of hope, is going to learn that the hard way.
what’s the #1 (or #1 through #5) thing you want people to know about WINDBLADE? Either the comic as a whole or the character.
When it comes to the comic, you should be reading it.
If you’ve loved Hasbro and IDW’s Transformers comics for years, you should read it: Sarah and I have really tried to push the envelope in both storytelling, artistic style and that wonderful point where they meet. We’re going to open whole new worlds for you both in-story and on the page and you are not going to want to miss it.
If you’ve never read Transformers, you should read it. Transformers: Windblade is a perfect jumping on point and designed to show off all the best (okay, all my favorite) parts of this brand: fantastic characters, imaginative landscapes, awesome fight scenes and, yes, even humor.
And if you’re an impulse buyer, you can order issue 1 from your local comic store right now: FEB140337 E TRANSFORMERS WINDBLADE #1 (OF 4) gets you the Casey Coller cover.
FEB140338 E TRANSFORMERS WINDBLADE #1 (OF 4) SUBSCRIPTION VAR gets you Sarah’s cover.
Comics and media news website Comics Alliance has published today another installment of its 'Hire this Woman' feature, an initiative to bring out the female talent in the comics world. The latest edition showcases Transformers' own Mairghread Scott, writer of Rage of the Dinobots, Beast Hunters and the upcoming Windblade mini-series! Check out some quotes below, read the whole thing here and don't forget to take a look at the Seibertron.com interview with her here!
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
This week we’re talking to comics and animation writer Mairghread Scott, who is best known for her work on the Transformerss property both at Hasbro and at IDW Publishing, where she became the first woman to write an official Transformers comic.
ComicsAlliance: Tell us about your process.
Mairghread Scott: I always break out my outlines on paper before I type the actual script in my computer, then I go back to paper, breaking the script back into an outline during my revision process to see if/where I may have strayed from the original plan. Digital writing is wonderfully easy to edit, but the physical act of writing with a pen gives me the time I need when I’m thinking through a story as a whole. Of course, I can also use only one of three pens to write with or nothing works, but that’s another story.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past? What are you currently working on?
MS: In television I’ve written for Transformers Prime, Rescue Bots, Kaijudo and several other shows that haven’t aired yet because animation takes so long. In comics I’ve co-written Rage of the Dinobots and Transformers Prime Beast Hunters. I am currently writing Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs for Lion Forge (yes, it is about an intergalactic law enforcement officer on a robotic horse), and the Transformers Windblade miniseries for IDW with the fantastic Sarah Stone. I’m also pitching my first original graphic novel with Sarah and… between you, me and the Internet… it’s awesome!
Our friends at Madman Entertainment group were able to recently sit down and have a chat with voice actor Garry Chalk, the voice of Optimus Prime in the Unicron Trilogy and Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines. He talks about his early days, and how he got into the business, the difference between the two roles, the evolution of the industry and more! Check out the embedded video below.
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!
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.
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