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Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Transformers: Legacy, Complete Allspark Almanac

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Transformers: Legacy, Complete Allspark Almanac
Date: Tuesday, October 7th 2014 5:18am CDT
Categories: Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Jim Sorenson, Bill Forster, IDW

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Views: 17,356

Good morrow, fellow Transformers fans! Here at Seibertron.com we strive to bring you interesting, enthusiastic original content as well as the best news and toy galleries in the fandom. To that end, we went and checked in with the authors of this week's IDW Publishing release of Transformers: Legacy - The Art of Transformers Packaging: Bill Forster and Jim 'Lockwind' Sorenson! We had a chat with Sorenson already during the Twincast Podcast #100, but read on below for more juicy information about this incredible book, clocking in at 300 pages and for the measly price of $49.99. And we also happen to chat about the upcoming release of the Complete AllSpark Almanac, so make sure to read all the way!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Tr



Va'al – Bill, Jim, it is an incredible pleasure to be talking to both of you. The book looks incredible. Truly. I was a late collector, and grew up in Europe, so some of this is vaguely new to me! But incredible, still. And congratulations on seeing this project all the way through to publication, it must've taken years (and your Acknowledgements section confirms it). How long did it take?


Bill Forster – Thank you! I can share some of the feeling: Jim was the one finding the images and sending them over, it was really exciting for me too. The idea for the book was something that came to our minds since the Ark books. So the answer would probably be...

Jim Sorenson – Probably officially in 2006. But we pitched the idea before the second ark book, and we were talking to some Hasbro guys at the tour during BotCon 2007, only to find out they didn't really have any artwork available.

Then Andrew Hall (aka Hydra), who helped with the Ark 2, went to work for Part One, Takara's design firm, and dug into their archives. He discovered they had a ton of the material, so we thought the time had come to resubmitted the idea to IDW. We had good 40% of the material from Part One.

We also worked with Rik Alvarez at Hasbro, who found some more pieces, maybe another 10%, including some of the more unusual, unreleased paintings that show up in the book. But the biggest source of material were fans themselves, who came to help after a good beating of the drums on my part.

In fact, the initial intention was to have a smattering of pieces across the toy lines, rather than something more comprehensive, but what we've eventually achieved is almost the entirety for what was in scope. That's G1 and G2 in the US, and G1 for Japan. The Japanese G2 art we shied away from, as it was CG and the style didn't really mesh, but you can get a hint of that style because we used a Japanese CG mural as the chapter header for the G2 chapter. That choice was because they never made an airbrushed one. But still, for the eras we covered, we have maybe 90-95% of the art.


Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Tr



Va'al – That is really an impressive feat! And how did you go about dividing up the book into its chapters? Had you considered something by theme, before moving to series?

Bill – Well, we didn't want the same sort of background running through, we wanted to show how it changes, show the visual differences from one line to the next. So we decided to go for the different periods and toy gimmicks, and adding the purple and red backgrounds for the two Autobot and Decepticon factions.

Jim – We really wanted to impart a sense of momentum as you read the books. The Ark books work as reference, but didn't have a sense of progression. It's great for hardcore transformers fans, especially if you want to use it as a visual reference. If you look, you can see that we structued the book that way. We even have a by-character index in the back. However, for a more casual reader, we've seen them go through it and usually they spend a lot of time on the first few images but then accellerate as they go, so that they're just skimming over the last 100 pages or so looking for something different! The Almanacs already improved on that, and I think Bill has done a great job here with Legacy at giving a sense of dynamic progression, pulling the reader through the art.


Va'al – I would agree, I tried to just dip in, but ended up going from start to finish! So how did you divide the work between the two of you, what were your roles for the book?

Bill – Generally, Jim handles the writing, I do the art direction. But we both dabble in each other's worlds, and we get to do different things. In this one though, Jim was definitely the curator, and I the art director: he'd get the thematic display and progression where he wanted them, I'd then lay them out and show them off accordingly.

Jim – Yes, I find the pieces and organize them. Say, for example, with the Stunticons: I wanted them all in one section, or maybe the guys on one page and Menasor on another. It was then up to Bill to arrange them how they looked best, with that basic structurein mind. And he did so much work. We had great quality images, but Bill still had to do a gigantic amount of work cleaning them and cutting them out of their backgrounds.

Bill – I actually got nerve damage from the work, I had to use a mouse rather than a tablet and it messed up my hand quite bad!


Va'al - Whoah! That makes it even more impressive, sorry to hear about it though!

Bill - Another factor was that Jim had moved to Albuquerque, so it made sense to divide up the work.

Jim – But also, Legacy was much more difficult than other books we've worked on, and we each had to work on our own strengths. Bill's is visual, the flow, the backgrounds. I've gone from awful to professionally competent in that area, but Bill is beyond competent, he's exceptional. I bring a strong sense of context and a network of contacts to the job. I flew over to Japan, to different US cities to collect material. Not that he couldn't! He did it once or twice.

Bill – Yeah, with Action Master Shockwave. But Jim is the driving force, getting on planes, contacting people. I sit at a table and put it all painstakingly together.

Jim – Bill's name is first on this one, in the credits, and it really is reflective of the work that went into the project. This is an art book, a beautiful art book. It's playing to his strengths.

Bill – I thought it was alphabetical! Just kidding. I think it was really important to deliver something that would really visually strike the readers and fans.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Tr


Va'al – The visual element certainly does jump out! You mention throughout that a lot of the art shows off the 'transforming' nature of the characters, the movement. Take the Triggerbots and Triggercons for example.. you actually see the spring loaded weapons.

Jim – Oh yeah, remember those? They were a pain.

Bill – Yeah. I had no idea what to do about the background, how to show the motion lines.. I winged it in the end. I replicated the images, trying to figure out how to drop a background. It took forever to reconstruct them over the originals. I was sitting there for a day and a half for each image. At least there weren't too many of them!

With the Pretenders, who also have some motion, they also had a half fade from black to white in the backgrounds. I was originally going to do a grid background, but then the images didn't pop right. In the end, I just went for black background to show off the artwork.

Jim – It's probably what the original package makers had to do, the same as Bill, but with an exacto knife! We left a few of the original backgrounds in tact; Grand from Grand Maximus, Metalhawk, Roadblock, Skyhammer. We couldn't do it with everyone though, unless each Pretender got a full page, and that was too much. They just didn't look as good if not on pure black.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Tr


Bill – I remembered how I did it, actually. I work in InDesign among other programs, and I remember having to put motion lines on the actual page background, and make a solid image out of them or the transparency would not work. When I sent them to Jim, he was not allowed to move anything, because they were part of the background!

Jim – I never touched anything in this book! Normally we both tweak a lot images, even if just by millimeters. It may seem trivial, but it was crucial to us. This one I didn't touch anything

Bill – And you really see that with the yellow boxes containing the names – doing it just right, avoiding the lines in the background, gives it that little more visual dynamic. IDW had to make a few changes in a few places, but I always had to go over their work to make it visually consistent. And I would know what Jim might have a problem with, and we both avoid doing things that the other will have issues with. We're good at it by now.

Va'al – I have to say, it does read like a labour of love, there's a lot of passion gone into this book. It's something that looks and feels like a true celebration of an unsung aspect of the Transformers toys. But as we were talking about names: Why were individual Targetmaster names pointed out, but not the Headmasters? For instance, there's Targetmaster Cyclonus with Nightstick, but it doesn't say Headmaster Brainstorm with Arcana, just Brainstorm. Was that a choice?

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Tr


Bill – I don't like words. Ever. So I'd rather avoid them. But for Targetmasters it became a style choice, using the words to balance the page. Titles, names, descriptions, I can use them to my advantage. Jim might add something in revisions, but that was what made sense to me visually.

Jim – The book came to me with some of the Targetmasters named, and for the sake of consistency, we decided to label all of them. And in the artwork itself, the guns are really prominent. Whereas the Headmasters, it doesn't feel like they're as important, not overly proportioned. It doesn't feel like Chromedome with Stylor. Same with Powermasters. Other than Prime's engine, you can't really see them. So yes, definitely a conscious choice, if only in retrospect. Or maybe I'm rationalizing.

Va'al – That sounds like a reasonable one, too. And what about those three unreleased G2 Gobot names, are they the official ones?

Jim – Well, they were the names written on the artwork. Maybe they wouldn't be named like that on the box, except for Hound maybe. But we had to name them somehow, and those were the names we had. I'm actually about 95% sure that the police car would have been named Prowl, but I didn't have any documentation to support that and I didn't want to make that declaration. This wasn't like the Almanacs, where we were working collaboratively with the creators. This one felt more like archaeology, documenting the history of the brand as we unearthed it.

Bill – I was tempted to label Hound Hulk, actually, because of a comment made by my girlfriend..

Jim – Jillian. She helped work on the book.

Bill – Yeah, as I was working on him she asked if it was a Hulk Transformer. It's the purple pants.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Tr


Va'al – Hah! Yes, I can see that. But speaking of unreleased goodies, what about the pitched US Multiforce releases, do you know if they were planned for G1 or G2?

Jim – Definitely G1. I realize the book structure might not make it clear, as it's a lot of G2 unused artwork, but they would've been G1, probably with new original names. Same for the three Decepticon jets, Quickswitch, Monstructor. A lot of the unused section was drawn from G2 because there were many more unreleased G2 toys than unreleased G1 toys.


Va'al – So what is missing? What about more of the European releases, did you use of all of the material you collected?

Jim - We included everything we had that we were legally able to reproduce. We're missing some Action Masters. But that is also due to the lack of interest in the community, I feel, about them. Since so much of the book came from fans, I think that the distributed collective effort just wasn't as strong for finding Action Master art. The other gaps are at the tail end of G2, but I can mostly live with that, because that's where digital coloring is coming into play. Like, Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywaryp, all repaints but because it's paintings they just made 3 different images. It's basically the same level of effort to make a new image as to recolor an old one. By G2, digital recoloring was feasible so they didn't bother to make a new painting for ATB Megatron and Starscream, they just recolored Dreadwing and Smokescreen.

The one mold we are missing from G2 is Roadblock. That was frustrating, because Hasbro did have it in 2007, when we started thinking about the book, but by the time we pitched in 2011-12, they didn't have it any more.

Bill – It probably disappeared after that Hasbro tour! We even asked fans who were there if they had any high quality digital photos of it, because we might have been able to use it, but no dice.

Jim – We also would've loved to include more European releases, but no one had that artwork. There is a bit, but not that much. In fact, some of those images in the book actually came from Hasbro US rather than UK, like Pyro and Clench.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Tr


Va'al – I will not comment on Hasbro UK, here. I think my question at this point, though, is : what about the artists of the original artwork? Did you find out who they were?

Jim – They're all in the Acknowledgements section, we did contact them but not everyone remembered what they actually worked on. We didn't think it made sense to do attributions if we only knew about 40% of the total. But they are there, and they did help with the book.

Va'al – So the credit is where it's due, excellent news! Of course, Legacy is not the only project you're working on at the moment, especially with its imminent release – what is the status of the Complete Allspark Almanac?

Jim – We'll say as much as we can, but a lot of it is still in the air. The two Almanacs are probably our most popular books, going for really high prices on the secondary market – we're really pleased that IDW are doing a collected volume. We're hoping it will also include the material we produced for the Club, the editors are definitely on board with the idea, but we're still looking at practical aspects like cost, clearances and whatnot, so we have yet to receive confirmation on that.

As far as I know, the combined version – a whopping 472 pages - is ready, sitting in the IDW servers. Maybe it's not what goes to press, but that is my ideal of the book. The chapters from the two volumes are integrated, to combine the separate chapters in the two books.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster - IDW Tr


Bill – Jim loves order. Loves it.

Jim – And now I had the chance to correct some oversights from the first two volumes, like getting Starscream next to Megatron, though he's not next to all his clones as a result. So there are tradeoffs. But each chapter is bigger, even the ones that didn't have an analog in each book. We shifted things around, little things like moving the Tigatron stadium from 'Settings' to the 'Detroit' chapter. All the Elite Guard guys are together. Ironhide is now with the rest of Rodimus' team. Etc.

Bill – What we can definitely say is that the cover is amazing. Once we have Hasbro's approval, IDW will show it.

Jim – Yeah, we were both spitballing ideas with the artist, and then he comes up with something that blew our minds. He sketched ours, and they were perfectly fine, but his was better.

Va'al – Intriguing... can you say who it is?

Jim – Not really, but you can probably guess.

Va'al – A teaser! And apart from the Club stuff, is there any additional extra material?

Jim – Maybe a teeny tiny bit, but that's really not the focus of the book.

Va'al – I see. Bill, what sbout your role this time round? Any major changes?

Bill – I was mostly recovering from Legacy, and Jim, a lovable control freak, took the lead on this one, including designs. Which he then ran past me, and we've become so attuned to one another that he did exactly what I would've done!

Jim – Derrick J. Wyatt had a lot do say about the Complete version, too. But Bill did a lot of writing work in the Almanac the first time round, especially volume two. So it is definitely both of us working on it. Then it goes to Marty Isenberg and Derrick, then IDW, then Hasbro – but it all feels pretty good, and not stretched out thin.

Bill – Yeah, and we both like submitting stuff to Marty and Derrick. We work in their world rather than trying to fit in our own.

Jim – Before we were talking about arguments, and knowing what the other person will like or not like. We were working on the logo for the Complete Allspark Almanac – we wanted something so you could see at a glance what it is, but also not visually dominate the artwork, it needs a balance. But Bill wanted something.. you tell the story, Bill.

Bill – I sent Jim two versions of the logo and told him: One's correct, one's not incorrect. He obviously chose the 'wrong' one. I had made one specifically for him, I wanted the other, and of course he chose that one!

Jim – Usually I'm the one that wants more time on the words, and Bill wants bigger images. But we always strive for a balance between image and picture.

Bill – And sometimes it can be a question of three words, for me.

Jim – Which could be the difference between eight or nine lines! But I think the audience is the winner in the end. It's funny, when I look back on books I see the flaws, but I don't even see the arguments now.

Bill – That's because Jim usually wins! I only remember the arguments when they're really stupid, to be honest. I think we spent two hours arguing over a line by Cliffjumper, which was too 'organic' for the Animated universe, and it made sense not to have it in the end. But two hours, over 'cruising for a bruising'!

Va'al – I may side with Bill on that one, this time. But I also think it's time to bring this chat to an end – so thank you both for taking some time to talk to us, and we'll be showering you with more compliments about the book as soon as more readers get their hands on them!

Jim – Thank you!

Bill – No problem at all!



Make sure to pick up a copy of Transformers Legacy from IDW Publishing, then, and let us know what you think of it! Keep your optics on Seibertron.com and thanks for reading.

IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott
Date: Wednesday, August 13th 2014 12:57pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Newsarama

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Views: 23,060

Comics and entertainment news website Newsarama had a chat with two of IDW's Transformers wordsmiths about the upcoming mini-event (announced at SDCC) Combiner Wars. Follow the link here to read the whole piece with John Barber and Mairghread Scott, and check out some very intriguing snippets below, including Metroplex's Spacebridge, Windblade, Optimus Prime, Prowl and the already established combiners like Devastator and Superion. How interested are you in where this might go..?

Next spring, a war is coming to IDW’s Transformers comics – and it’s bigger than one single robot, or even the divide between Autobots and Decepticons. It’s the “Combiner Wars.”

Combiners are the term used to describe super-robots of sorts, made out of multiple Transformers combining together into one – and they’ve been a major part of the Transformers franchise, from the Destructicons’ Devastator to Predacons’ Predaking and numerous others. In the IDW Transformers line’s upcoming “Combiner Wars,” the technology that made Combiners possible has been found and it starts what IDW Senior Editor (and longtime Transformers writer) John Barber calls a “cold war” between Transformers factions.

Beginning in March “Combiner Wars” will crisscross between the main Transformers comic series (formerly subtitled Robots In Disguise) and the upcoming Transformers: Windblade ongoing series. The crossover will be written by Barber along with Mairghread Scott, and illustrated by Sarah Stone and Livio Ramondelli.

Newsarama: Mairghread, John, what is this “Combiner Wars” about?

John Barber: “Combiner Wars” is, in the comics, the cold war between factions on Cybertron and Earth growing hot. Starscream is the (mostly) legitimate ruler of Cybertron, but not everybody thinks he should be. And when one of his ultimate goals—contact with the missing ancient Cybertronian colonies, as seen in the Transformers: Windblade miniseries—starts to come to fruition, other parties—Optimus Prime, Windblade, Prowl—see an immediate danger to the sanctity of the galaxy.

Beyond that—“Combiner Wars” is a great example of Hasbro and IDW working together and building a huge storyline that goes between toys and comics and into other media. We on the comics have worked very closely with Hasbro’s Transformers brand team, especially Mark Webber and Sarah Carroll, plus Director, Global Publishing Michael Kelly—there’s pieces that come straight out of the comics (like the new Megatron toy for next year that gives you the option of giving him an Autobot symbol, like he has in the Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye comics) and some new things coming from the toy side that we get to debut in the comics. Plus, while the comics will come out from IDW first, they’ll be packed in with select Transformers Generations toys, which will get the comics to an all-new audience that might have never had the chance to read them before.

And beyond that—“Combiner Wars” is a great chance for Mairghread Scott (writer of the amazing Windblade series) and I to work together and to team with Sarah Stone (artist on that amazing Windblade series) and Livio Ramondelli (who’s just finished the Transformers: Punishment motion comic and is in the middle of Transformers: Primacy, the story of the early days of the war) and make a big, action-packed, character-packed story with huge ramifications for the comics in 2015.

[...]

Nrama: We’ve mentioned theWindblade miniseries and ongoing series, but what about Windblade herself – how does she factor into it all?

Scott: The end of Windblade saw our heroine striking a real devil's bargain with Starscream and she's still trying to maintain that very dangerous balance. So we see a really different side of Windblade, one trying to hold her own in the shadowy political world of Cybertron (a world Starscream is the undisputed master of) while still trying to hold onto some sort of moral compass. The question for Windblade in “Combiner Wars” is really: How far can you go in the name of good until you aren't good anymore? When does the end stop justifying the means?

New York Magazine Learns the History Behind Stan Bush's 'The Touch'

Transformers News: New York Magazine Learns the History Behind Stan Bush's 'The Touch'
Date: Friday, June 27th 2014 8:06pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: LOST Cybertronian | Credit(s): Vulture.com

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Views: 35,884

Vulture.com, which is the entertainment destination from the team behind New York magazine, recently learned the history of Seibertron.com friend Stan Bush's Transformers hit 'The Touch'. Learn about the origins of the song inspired from the movie Iron Eagle and which movie Stan had in mind while writing. Check out some excerpts below or you can read the entire article here.

Vulture.com wrote:Listening to it, one might think, With lyrics like "it's in the mighty hands of steel," this must be a song written about Optimus Prime. But no. Bush says he had never even heard of the Transformers until after the song was already finished. Bush had written it with visions in his head of other iron bodies: Sylvester Stallone and Lou Gossett Jr.


Vulture.com wrote:"We wrote the song with the Stallone movie Cobra in mind," Bush said in his amiable southern drawl, picked up during his childhood in northern Florida. "We wanted to get it on the soundtrack. But the record label, they got it in the Transformers movie instead. We thought, What in the hell is that? An animated movie about robots? Really?"

HUB President and CEO Margaret Loesch Stepping Down

Transformers News: HUB President and CEO Margaret Loesch Stepping Down
Date: Saturday, June 14th 2014 6:03am CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Company News, Interviews, Media, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Deadline, Variety, The Outhousers

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Views: 20,414

Making the news on quite a number of entertainment websites around, we can report that the current CEO and president of the extremely successful and award-winning Hasbro and Discovery Communications TV channel, has announced her departure from the company. Read more on the future of the home of Transformers: Prime and re-runs of old 80s series (and possibly the coming Robots in Disguise show) below, or head to Deadline for the full story.

The veteran executive oversaw the 2010 launch of the kids cable network, a joint venture between Discovery Communications and toymaker Hasbro, and has run it ever since.

[...]

“After five years at the Hub Network as its founding President & CEO, I am announcing that I will be leaving at the end of the year when my contract expires,” Loesch said in a statement to Deadline. “I am very proud of the work we have done and the accomplishments we have achieved at the Hub. The network is now in excellent financial shape, its ratings are up year-to-year, our programming has won more than 30 awards, including 12 Daytime Emmys, and the Hub Network has become a TV home for quality programming that kids and their families come together to enjoy. I will be working closely with our parent companies, Discovery and Hasbro, to assist in the leadership transition. I want to thank both companies for the opportunity they extended me and thank my wonderful team at the Hub. I have loved my job and am proud of the achievements we’ve made. While my career has spanned over four decades, I look forward to evaluating future opportunities and writing the next chapter.”

Interview with Neil Kaplan - RID Optimus Prime, Starcraft and Villains

Transformers News: Interview with Neil Kaplan - RID Optimus Prime, Starcraft and Villains
Date: Friday, May 23rd 2014 3:44pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): JackedUpTales

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Views: 30,192

The JackedUpTales bunch were at Tulsa Comic Expo a couple of weeks ago, and had the opportunity to chat to the excellent Neil Kaplan, voice of Optimus Prime in the Robots in Disguise cartoon series. Check out the video embedded below, in which they touch upon the joys of the soundbooth, favourite voices, Starcraft and IDW comics!


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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Views: 36,478

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.

Transformers: Age of Extinction - More Peter Cullen on Optimus Prime

Transformers News: Transformers: Age of Extinction - More Peter Cullen on Optimus Prime
Date: Friday, May 16th 2014 11:30am CDT
Categories: Interviews, Movie News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Hero Complex

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Views: 19,007

We heard from voice actor Peter Cullen not too long ago, about his portrayal of Optimus Prime in the past and in the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction movie. Thanks to LA Times' Hero Complex, we now get even more insight into the voice of Optimus Prime and his approach to the character. Check it out here, and a snippet below!

Transformers News: Transformers: Age of Extinction - More Peter Cullen on Optimus Prime


Auditioning with director Michael Bay for the role of Optimus Prime in 2007’s live-action movie adaptation of the beloved animated series “Transformers,” Canadian-born vocal artist Peter Cullen was aware that his previous accomplishments hardly guaranteed his place in a big-budget Hollywood movie.

“It’s kind of surreal to audition for a character that you basically created,” said Cullen, who originated the Autobot’s stentorian voice in TV performances from 1984 to ‘87. “But I didn’t expect Michael to know what I knew about ‘Transformers.’ I was ready for anything.”

[...]

Contractually obligated to continue voicing Optimus in at least two more “Transformers” sequels, Cullen has no plans to retire his robot-in-disguise alter ego anytime soon. Moreover, having based the characterization on his older brother, a decorated Marine Corps officer who served in Vietnam, the actor feels a sense of responsibility to the franchise’s faithful.

“My brother said, ‘Peter, be a real hero. Don’t do all the bravado stuff and pretend to be tough. Be strong enough to be gentle. Be understanding — and calm,’” Cullen said. “When I began the audition, his voice came right out. I read the lines the way I could hear my brother doing it.

“Now, maintaining those characteristics — courage, trustworthiness, integrity, loyalty — you’re responsible for something to the kids who watch Optimus Prime. I want to be a positive influence rather than just fighting and sock, bang, boom!”

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Mark Wahlberg on Acting Around No Robots

Transformers News: Transformers: Age of Extinction - Mark Wahlberg on Acting Around No Robots
Date: Tuesday, April 29th 2014 1:51pm CDT
Categories: Interviews, Movie News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Hero Complex

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Views: 23,006

In an interview with LA Times Hero Complex, Mark Wahlberg talked about the difficulties and experience of acting around a bunch on non-existing robots in the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction, mentioning how working on Ted (2012) helped him out. Check out a snippet below, and read the whole thing here!

Transformers News: Transformers: Age of Extinction - Mark Wahlberg on Acting Around No Robots


Before Mark Wahlberg ever attempted to test his mettle vis-a-vis giant metamorphosing robots from outer space, and before he befriended a heroic battle-bot named Optimus Prime on-screen, the actor prepared for his latest part with an unlikely foil: a talking teddy bear with an outsize taste for prostitutes and cocaine.

Which is to say that before Wahlberg signed on to appear in Paramount Pictures’ mega-budget sci-fi thriller “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” he got a first taste of acting opposite computer-generated imagery in a certain raunch-comedy that became 2012’s surprise breakout hit.

“‘Ted’ was definitely a good warmup,” Wahlberg said of the movie in which he plays a Boston bro who co-habitates with his hard-swearing, magically alive plush toy. “With ‘Ted,’ it was a more intimate setting. But this movie is much bigger and more intense. You’ve got eight Autobots talking to you at the same time. There’s nothing but a pole or a stick really there. You’ve got to believe and totally commit. The most difficult part of acting is when you look ridiculous and have to confront the risk of looking foolish. You’ve got to be on the whole time. You can’t phone it in.”

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Peter Cullen Talks About Optimus Prime

Transformers News: Transformers: Age of Extinction - Peter Cullen Talks About Optimus Prime
Date: Sunday, April 27th 2014 3:39pm CDT
Categories: Interviews, Movie News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): USA Today

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Views: 29,389

In an article published on USA Today, legendary Transformers voice actor Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime since the first iteration of the Transformers (though not all of them since), including the upcoming Age of Extinction version, gave some background information on the big bot's personality. Check it out below!

Transformers News: Transformers: Age of Extinction - Peter Cullen Talks About Optimus Prime


Optimus Prime has undergone quite a few vehicular makeovers in the past 30 years of Transformers projects, yet his earnest and heroic voice has never wavered, thanks to Peter Cullen.

For the big-budget Transformers: Age of Extinction, the actor once again reprises the role he's been playing since the 1980s Transformers cartoon. Now Prime and his Autobots have a new human ally (Mark Wahlberg) but they are in conflict with the evil Decepticons as well as the U.S. government.

"He is exactly who he was from the very original concept," Cullen says of Prime. "I've always felt a hero should have the qualities that are inspiring and helpful and fatherly and at the same time (be) courageous. I don't see those character traits changing at all."

Transformers is more than a lifetime gig as a transforming big rig for Cullen. It's also a family affair: His son Clay is a stuntman on Age of Extinction, and Cullen's brother Larry, a Marine who served in the Vietnam War and died in 2011, continues to be the inspirational foundation for Optimus' steady and strong tone.

"Though Larry's gone," Peter Cullen says, "he lives on in my mind as Optimus Prime because he was my hero."

IDW Publishing Panel at WonderCon - Summary: Dawn of the Autobots, Primacy, Fall of G.I. Joe

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Panel at WonderCon - Summary: Dawn of the Autobots, Primacy, Fall of G.I. Joe
Date: Saturday, April 19th 2014 11:53am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Company News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Supreme Convoy, IDW

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Views: 22,721

Thanks to Seibertron.com staff member Supreme Convoy, we get a look at what was said during the 'IDW Publishing and Hasbro: Transformers, G.I. Joe and More!' panel event over at WonderCon, on Friday evening! Below is a summary of the main points made by the various speakers: John Barber moderated the panel, which consisted of editor Carlos Guzman, and writers Mairghread Scott, Tony Fleecs, and Flint Dille. They touched upon Dawn of the Autobots, the new Decepticon leadership, G.I. Joe specials and a new Flint Dille book, sequel to Monstrosity - Primacy. Read on below, and check out some of the G.I. Joe crossover images courtesy of Tom Scioli's Tumblr!

Dawn of the Autobots started on Wednesday. Megatron has joined the Autobots, and is now captain of the Lost Light in More than Meets the Eye.

Windblade just started. The lead character is apparently a descendant of Cybertron.

Robots in Disguise, written by John Barber and art by Andrew Griffith, is set back on Earth and stars Optimus Prime, Jazz and Sideswipe (among others). The planet is probably not going to have a welcoming reaction to the return of Optimus Prime and the Autobots.

In More than Meets the Eye, written by James Roberts and art by Alex Milne, Megatron is now leading the Lost Light. The book was called "Really crazy, really lot of fun."

Windblade, the four-issue mini series written by Mairghread Scott and art by Sarah Stone, is billed as new reader friendly. Windblade comes into conflict with Starscream. Really fun and Mairghread believes it's an "expressive, hopeful book."

We were reminded that Windblade is the result of a series of polls taken by the fans. She recently made debut in the Dark Cybertron event, along with Nautica and Chromia.

The new book was announced! Primacy, written by Flint Dille and Chris Metzen, and art by Livio Ramondelli. This will be the last part of the trilogy starting with Autocracy and Monstrosity. Dille described it as a war book and "carnage fest." This is the moment where we see the characters become what we're familiar with. Dille teased that Sharkticons and Quintessons might show up.

They mentioned Transformers vs GI Joe, written by John barber and Tom Scioli, and art by Scioli too. Barber says it's probably the craziest book he's worked on. Things get nuts.

As GI Joe corners Cobra Commander, Starscream purses Bumblebee and the story takes off from there. It's pure comics. Guzman said that he had no idea how Tom was going to draw some of the story elements until he sees the pages that get turned in.

GI Joe: The Real American Hero #200 was just released and the series is still going strong. The slideshow showed issue #201 will have a Liefeld cover. Guzman joked that the series probably going to make it to #300.

IDW Publishing is working on a deluxe hardcover anniversary edition of GI Joe #21, The Silent Interlude. IDW is going back and reshooting original art as well as recoloring it.. and adding even more extra material and commentaries.

IDW teased Fall of GI Joe for September 2014. They're not ready to make announcement just yet. Barber claimed it will please a lot of fans.

As for the background on the decision on making Megatron an Autobot, it goes back to September 2011. James Roberts, Phil Jimenez, and John Barber broke down Dark Cybertron at Hasbro. Barber seems to remember Mark Weber (Global Brand Development Manager for Hasbro) suggested Megatron being an Autobot and was shocked Hasbro allowed it.

As for who's leading the Decepticons.. They have lost the war. Lots of Decepticons might defect to Autobot side. Some believe Megatron sold out. Galvatron gathers and forms new Decepticon group on Cybertron with new agenda. Soundwave and Galvatron will lead group, for now.


Transformers News: IDW Publishing Panel at WonderCon - Summary: Dawn of the Autobots, Primacy, G.I. Joe

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Panel at WonderCon - Summary: Dawn of the Autobots, Primacy, G.I. Joe

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152 total news articles in this section, 10 per page.

Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #102 - Hidden Mickeys
Twincast / Podcast #102:
"Hidden Mickeys"
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Posted: Sunday, October 5th, 2014