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Seibertron.com Interviews New IDW Windblade Artist Corin Howell

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews New IDW Windblade Artist Corin Howell
Date: Saturday, June 6th 2015 12:12pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Corin Howell, Va'al

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Views: 24,618

Hello again, fans of Transformers from Seibertron and beyond! We continue our journey in the world behind the scenes of everyone's (we assume) favourite transforming robots by having a good chat with one of the latest entries at IDW - the new artist on the ongoing Windblade series, whose work we have started to see in Windblade #3 (out on 10th June, sneak peek here): Corin Howell! Check it out below, as we look at her development as a fan and an artist.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Corin Howell


Va'al - Corin, it is an extreme pleasure to have you talk to us here at Seibertron.com - it's always great news to hear we have some fresh talent brought into the franchise! And we do hope we'll make you feel welcomed, of course. But maybe we should get to know you a little more first, too: How did it all begin for you? When did Transformers enter your life?

Corin - It's incredibly awesome to talk with you guys! Seibertron.com was one of the first sites I visited when I was starting out in my wee early stages of TF Fandom, so it's really exciting!

It really started when I was kid in the 90s, I grew up around a lot of boy cousins when I was young so I was exposed to Transformers early on (along side TMNT, ThunderCats, G. I. Joe, Batman, comics in general, etc). I think I really got into it when Beast Wars came out and I was a huge fan of Cheetor and Primal. By the time TF Armada came around, I had started drawing all these robots.



Va'al - We're delighted to hear that! More Seibertronians, even if lurkers, making into the professional lands of Transformers is always a big boost. Were you into any of the toys as well, either before the arrival of Beast Wars, of after that stage? Or was it mostly the fiction, on screen and on the page?

Corin - It was actually all of the above! I didn’t get into the toys till I was a little older, so after Beast Wars ( high school methinks, those Master Pieces caught my eye), but before that it was the fiction, the comics, TV shows -- visual media was the primary thing that fueled the need to draw giant transforming robots.

Va'al - What was it about the visuals that appealed to you, do you think? I mean, you've mentioned Beast Wars but also previous iterations of the franchise, and the aesthetics can be really quite different at times - what drew (hah!) you in?

Corin - I’m a sucker for details. I like drawing landscapes: interiors, exteriors, cars, motorcycles, etc. What fascinated me as I got older (because as a kid it was just “Giant talking robots!”) is the amount of details that go into each character -- like how did they transform, how it fit their personality, which part goes WHERE -- it was all really interesting to me. There was one thing I did like adding in, and that was making them more expressive -- after Beast Wars, I dont remember a series that included a lot of expressiveness in their facial features. At least until TF Animated came around.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Corin Howell


Va'al - There was also a blight of 'constipated grimace' expression with the toys.. especially during Beast Wars! So was it mainly the screen media that you were interested in, or were the comics on your radar too?

Corin - It was mainly the screen media that got me interested first. However, when Armada came around I started reading the comics, especially when Alex Milne's work started popping up. Armada comic series was great, never really read Energon, and I was a huge sucker for the “Stormbringer “ series. But no Transformers series really drove me to really start pushing my Transformers drawings more then when Milne did “Megatron Origin”.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Corin Howell


Megatron being one my favorite characters ( you can thank David Kaye and his Beast Wars Megatron for that ), the story was amazing (thank you Eric Holmes) but the art was what really caught my eye. The attention to detail, the fact that they look like they can TRANSFORM on the page was incredibly awesome and looking at my work, I knew I needed to get better to reach that caliber of work. Of course my style really took its shape when I started college, but I still look at Milne’s work whenever I draw Transformers.

Va'al - Milne has had a significant impact on fan artists, that is indisputable. What other influences, Transformers-related or not, would you say you have in your style of drawing in general? Anyone else creep in from the sidelines?

Corin - There’s actually a few that have had a major impact on the development of my style. One of the top being Glen Keane -- I grew up with all of the movies he worked on with Disney, and I've always admired his ability to really pull the characters personality out in their expressions. So when I finally acquired “The Art of Tangled”, I was able to study the way he draws expressions more and put them in my work.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Corin Howell


Another artist is Sean Murphy - his inks and the way he draws vehicles and cities have always been something I've admired. I had the wonderful opportunity to be one of his students last year when he hosted an apprenticeship in Portland, ME. Getting that chance to finally understand how to draw and ink vehicles and landscapes using his techniques really helped me on a new approach in developing my style.

Other artists include Becky Cloonan (By Chance or Providence, Demo) , Klaus Janson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight), Juanjo Guarnido (Blacksad), and the list just goes on and on. But these artist really influenced me on my work.

Va'al - Those are some serious names right there, and great models to work with/from! At this point, I believe, the question is: how did the transition happen? When did you go from student artist to professional? IDW isn't your first gig, is it?

Corin - No it isn't actually. My first project was actually right out of college back in 2013. The SCAD sequential department hosts a “Mini Comics Expo” after every Editors Day and I decided to table since it was my last quarter. It worked out because I met my editor from VIZ Media who right after the expo, put me on a short “Ben 10” Halloween comic. I worked well with cartoons, so after that they put me on the “40th Anniversary of Hello Kitty” anthology (which was nominated for an Eisner!) and then I worked on a few projects with "Bravest Warriors" with VIZ, doing a Seek-and-Find page and then a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

I was still in the starting phase, but I also wanted to branch out and try new things. Then that same year, around September I think I applied for the Murphy Apprenticeship, then the next thing I knew I was working on “Cafe Racer” with the other students (Clay McCormick, Tana Ford, Jorge Coelho, Stephen Green, and Joe Dellagatta).

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Corin Howell


I guess the transition happened right after I got out of the Apprenticeship. I wanted to work more on establishing myself in different areas of comics, so I started making plans for con season. I went to Heroes Con 2014, I tabled and met with one of my first contacts with ONI Press, then came SDCC 2014 -- that's where I met John and Mairghread thanks to Marcelo Matere who introduced me (and also where I geeked out without realizing that these guys were editors/writers and possibly showed that I was biggest nerd in the universe). I basically made it my goal to meet with as many people as I could so I can establish myself, and after that long summer of traveling I was getting contracts.

Va'al - And now you're here, to the big robots! How did you actually get to the Windblade series position, after your meeting with Scott and Barber? Did you pitch something in your geek-out, or were you asked to step in?

Corin - And here I am! I actually didn't get the call till earlier this year (I think it was late Jan or Feb). I think my geek out session had something to do with it, I can't help but be a fangirl sometimes. But John knew I was a major TF fan, so when I got that email to do a test page I was like “SERIOUSLY??” and proceeded to bounce with glee. I was practically giddy when I learned that I got the part too because it's like “CHILDHOOD DREAM ACHIEVED”.

Va'al - I can only imagine the feeling coming from a call like that. If you are able to discern, at this stage, what is your favorite part of working with Mairghread Scott on Transformers: Windblade? How does it compare so far to other projects?

Corin - Mairghread is a lot of fun to work with, especially since she’s so open to the artist’s suggestions. We especially work well with grasping the character’s expression at specific moments. I also love how she’s specific on character personalities -- like when we were talking about the project, she went into detail about how characters acted and their body language, hand gestures. How Chromia as Windblade’s bodyguard, she stands tall and presents herself as a powerful individual, for example.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Corin Howell


Compared to other projects? I’m not sure to be honest, I have fun with all of my projects because it gives me a chance to try new things!

Va'al - That sounds like the Mairghread we've come to know! And do you colour your own art, or are you joined by someone else on the series? Is Tom Long returning on lettering too?

Corin - We have Thomas Teyowisonte Deer on coloring for the Windblade issues I’m working on. I don't usually do my own colors for pages because I’m more of an inker, only with single illustrations will I color. I’m not sure who's lettering this round but we’ll find out!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Corin Howell


Va'al - We sure will, and we're quite intrigued about the Combiner Wars aftermath already! Are there any highlights so far that you actually tell us about the series, anything you're particularly excited about yourself?

Corin - New worlds and new characters! I know it's been hinted at Velocitron in the June and July listings, so I’m excited to draw some awesome racing scenes! There’s more characters coming, but unfortunately I can't spoil too much. ;)

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Corin Howell
Not appearing in Windblade, alas..


Va'al - That's a tease and a half, especially after all the work we're currently seeing in Combiner Wars and seeded all the way back in Windblade (volume 1) #4! But I'm sure all good things will come to those of us who can patient just a little longer..

Corin, it has been a pleasure talking to you, and thank you for taking some time out for us - any last things you'd like to mention, or plug?

Corin - It's been a pleasure having a chance to talk to you guys! This is really exciting!
Also there's more of my Transformers work online (Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) right here: http://rin636.wix.com/rinpin

I also have a book with DC Comics coming out called “Bat-Mite”, so if you’re interested you should check it out! :D


That is all from the Seibertron.com and IDW backstages for this time, readers. Make sure to pick up Windblade #3 for an appetiser, and Windblade #4 when it hits later this month, to see Corin's art in action, and let us know if you'd like more of this type of feature in the comments!

Transformers: Robots In Disguise Producer Adam Beechen Interview

Transformers News: Transformers: Robots In Disguise Producer Adam Beechen Interview
Date: Thursday, June 4th 2015 10:57am CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Interviews, Media, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): CBR

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Comics and entertainment website Comic Book Resources were able to have a lengthy chat with producer and head writer for the current animated TV series Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Adam Beechen. They touched upon the presence of Grimlock, the placing of the series in terms of the wider Transformers universe, the cast, Optimus Prime and more - read the whole piece here, and some selected passages below!

The producer and head writer for Cartoon Network’s “Robots in Disguise,” Beechen shared with SPINOFF how he’s working to open up Transformers to a younger audience while building on the stories that have come before. He also explained what it’s like to tap “Batman Beyond’s” Will Friedel as the voice of Bumblebee, teased the show’s long-term mysteries about the fate of Optimus Prime, and more.

Spinoff Online: Over the past few years, Hasbro has kept the continuity from all their various “Transformers” franchises unified in one way or another between TV and video games and comics. This show is a step forward in that idea since it takes the premise past the “Autobots and Decepticons crash-landed on Earth.” What’s it like to be writing what is the forefront of the canon in some respect?

Adam Beechen: I think that I had the benefit coming in of never having worked on the Transformers franchise before. I didn’t write for “Prime.” And so I wasn’t as emotionally tied to all of the continuity elements that a lot of the people who had worked on that show had been. And it’s great that they are because they’re a wonderful resource for me to find out background info I need. But my main goal coming into this series was, “Let’s make this a show for Bumblebee. Let’s give him the exposure he hasn’t really had in a brand new way.” And as part of that, we get to introduce a bunch of new characters for a new generation of viewers that they can get attached to. It’s still part of the larger Transformers universe, but you don’t have to know 30 years of history to enjoy them, appreciate them and just have fun.

And the show then can serve as a bridge tonally between “Rescue Bots” and “Transformers Prime.” The kids aging out of “Rescue Bots” can jump onto “Robots in Disguise” and still feel at home. But at the same time, they have a little bit more serious adventures with a little bit higher stakes. And then they can ease into all the giant continuity that the series have put together.

[...]

Is it liberating as a showrunner when you work with a company like Hasbro and you have a guaranteed order for a long run on the series?

It doesn’t so much change your approach, but you know how many episodes you have, so you pace out the story you’re telling accordingly. Typically what happens in a situation like this is that at the start of the season you sit down with the brand team and find out what their plans are in terms of the upcoming seasons – as in calendar seasons – for what toys they’re releasing when and what kind of story elements they’d like to see in the upcoming episodes. You have that meeting and plan out episodes according to that, but doing so in a way that tells the best possible stories. You’re not just cramming toys in there. You want to tell a cool story and help with what they’re doing as well. And it just runs from there.

It’s pretty rare that a brand will come back to you in the middle of your season and say, “By the way, we’ve come up with a new figure that will be on the shelves of the toy stores tomorrow. Get it into the next episode!” There’s not any time for things like that. So after that initial meeting, you’re well aware of what you want to do over the course of the season and how to make everyone happy. From there, you’re free to tell the coolest stories you can.

And what about the comics side of all this? Frequently, there will be a kid-friendly comic version that ties into the show in a way that fleshes out what we see on screen. Is that the case for July’s series from IDW?

We’re very aware of what’s happening with the comics, and we love what IDW has done with this world. That factors into our thinking, and we’ve had the good fortune of having one of the key comic book writers – Mairghread Scott, who you may or may not be familiar with – work with us. Mairghread was the script coordinator on our series, and she graduated quickly to being one of the key writers on the show. She is a living repository of all things Transformers, and so she knows what’s gone on across every single medium the characters have ever appeared in. As we were working, she’d say, “The comics have already been there. You may want to do something different with an episode.” Or she may say to the comic editors, “The show did this thing, so it would be kind of cool if you tied it in this way.” I can’t say for sure how all the comics will reflect the series, but we’re definitely aware of each other as we go forward


IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise Writers John Barber and Georgia Ball in Conversation

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise Writers John Barber and Georgia Ball in Conversation
Date: Thursday, April 16th 2015 11:43am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Via a notification from fellow Seibertronian robotmel, we have an interview conducted by IDW senior editor John Barber, also writer for The Transformers, with Georgia Ball, the new writer for the new series Transformers: Robots in Disguise! Check out some highlights below, and read the full piece here.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise Writers John Barber and Georgia Ball in Conversation


JB: What was your entry into the world of Transformers—as a fan, I mean? Do you have a favorite version of Transformers from over the years?

GB: I was parked in front of every episode of Transformers G1 in the 1980s but I couldn’t convince my mother to buy me any of the toys. She was a huge toy collector and had no problem showering me with Star Wars figures but Transformers just didn’t speak to her. After tons of pathetic begging she bought me one: Topspin, a Jumpstarter who sort-of-kind-of popped onto his feet when you pulled him backwards.

GB: I missed out when the movie was in theaters due to the same lack of parental interest—I saw it years later on TV and turned it off when Starscream died, because without Starscream around I just didn’t see the point. I returned to Transformers with Transformers: Prime, then jumped into the comics and bought my own toys, although my daughter’s plan to “share” the Bumblebee I got for my birthday isn’t working out in my favor. Now if only someone would take nine boxes of Star Wars figures off my hands.

JB: This new TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE comic is based on the all-new hit tv series airing on Cartoon Network. But this comic isn’t an adaptation—it’s all-new stories set in that world, but with… well, without giving anything away, some old friends you’re only going to see in the comic, right?

GB: The stories tie into the continuity the show shares with Transformers Prime and what happens in the cartoon will have consequences in the comic. But the comic will also feature new villains and explore different themes. There will be squabbles and there will be punching, but the first arc weaves in an element of mystery and betrayal. Bumblebee has to put the pieces together and he may not get them in the right order. I like resolving subplots in one or two issues within the context of a longer ongoing story, I’m not a fan of ending an issue without getting somewhere.

[...]

JB: What do you think of TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE artist Priscilla Tramontano’s work? Have you two had a chance to collaborate much yet?

GB: This will be my first time working with Priscilla, who I was familiar with mainly for her color work in the comics. I love the somewhat organic feel she brings to the characters that lets them act out their emotions, she’s the perfect choice.

JB: Any other messages for Transformers fans out there?

GB: Transformers Robots in Disguise is accessible to new readers and is all about action and fun. Plus Autobots punching weird Decepticons in the face.

American Cinematheque LA - Transformers: The Movie Cast and Crew Panel

Transformers News: American Cinematheque LA - Transformers: The Movie Cast and Crew Panel
Date: Wednesday, March 18th 2015 10:29am CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Event News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Realistikk videos, Topless Robot

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Views: 29,638

With the current flurry of screenings across the US of the 1986 Transformers movie, and the unfortunate news of the passing of actor Leonard Nimoy, it's unsurprising that we hear more from the people involved in its creation, from a cast, crew and other perspectives! Entertainment website Topless Robot has posted a list of ten major points to come out of the Q&A session during the event in LA (which you can also watch for yourself via the embedded clip below!), ranging from Flint Dille, voice director Wally Burr and voice actors Neil Ross and Michael Bell. Check out some of it below, and the full piece here!



TR: Did your writing process change when you began scripting the movie as opposed to the TV show?

Flint Dille: Well, it did from the point of view that we knew this was going to be a very big movie. Of course, the purpose of the movie was not only to have something in theaters, but also to introduce next year's product line. Which meant that we had to first kill off the old product line to make way for the new toys.

TR: So Optimus Prime had to die?

FD: Exactly. We just didn't realize that it was going to bother anybody! :laughs: But I'd argue that had we not killed him, we wouldn't be talking about Transformers right now. Still, we didn't know the can of worms that we were opening when we wrote those scenes.

[...]

Topless Robot: The film world recently lost Leonard Nimoy, who voiced Galvatron in the Transformers animated feature. Can you talk about what he was like to work with?

Wally Burr: Very professional. Business-like. He came in and was ready to work. I asked him if I could give him the profile of what the show was about, to help get him up to speed. And he said "Go ahead." So I did. And when I finished with the full explanation, he said, "Okay, get your director and let's do this." :laughs: He didn't realize that I was the director! He must have thought I was a production assistant or somebody hired by the studio to hold his hand until he was ready to be used.

TR: What about Orson Welles? He came with quite a reputation, I imagine.

WB: With Mister Welles, I was intimidated in advance. Because if you've ever heard any of the outtake reels on him, he could be pretty tough. And he had a right to be! He could look at any script and say, instantly, I know what you need here. The problem was, he didn't want to be directed. But somebody had to coordinate the session, and that's what a voice director does. We coordinator of the cast. Otherwise, they'd overlap each other. The voice director keeps the characters straight, and so on. So I thought I was going to have a lot of problems with Mister Welles. And I did. At one point he was rather slow in his delivery, so I gently said "Mister Welles, this is sounding great. I'm wondering if I can ask you to pick up the tempo just a little bit." And he said, in that voice of his, "I'm reading this as rapidly as I possibly can. And furthermore, I'll do the slating from now on." Well, the voice director usually slates from the recording booth.

[...]

Topless Robot: You both voiced a number of different characters throughout the Transformers film. Did you have any particular favorites to play?

Neil Ross: Yes, I think so. My favorite was called Springer. He could turn into a helicopter at will, and he was just a good, fun, solid hero-type to play. He also didn't involve any throat ripping.

TR: Throat ripping?

NR: :speaks in a painfully scratchy voice: "That's when some of the characters sound like this!"

Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art
Date: Friday, February 27th 2015 11:56am CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): CBR

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Views: 21,999

Courtesy of entertainment website ComicBookResources.com, we have another interview with some of the creators behind the upcoming IDW Publishing Transformers: Combiner Wars event, crossing over current ongoing The Transformers and returning series Windblade. Read some snippets from the full piece - found here - below, in which John Barber and Mairghread Scott touch upon some of what is to come in terms of stories and themes, including some preview art for from Sarah Stone and Livio Ramondelli!

CBR News: This is the first big "Transformers" crossover since last year's "Dark Cybertron" epic. While we understand the basic gist of the crossover, what more can you tell us about "Combiner Wars?" Who, exactly is combining? Who is warring?

Mairghread Scott: "Combiner Wars" starts when Starscream (a rather evil guy and ruler of Cybertron) gains the ability to make a Combiner (a super-powerful giant) and seems poised to build a new Cybertronian empire.

Let that sink in.

Because when we talk about empire in "Transformers," we're not talking a few countries in Europe. We're speaking of whole planets who might be about to bow to the power of one man. Combiners are the ultimate weapons of Transformers, and Starscream can now make as many as he wants.

So you have two very different wars happening at the same time. Windblade and Optimus Prime are fighting a war for influence (Can they get people to see the danger Starscream poses?), while others take a much more literal war with every weapon they have.

John Barber: Meanwhile, on Earth, Prowl is sitting at the head of the up-to-now only really properly-functioning Combiner -- the other attempts have basically failed outright or driven the component people mad -- and he's not keen on Optimus Prime's leadership of the Autobots, or Starscream's ruling of Cybertron.

To put it in a real world setting: It's six issues (one "Opening Salvo" and five actual parts, just like most of the Combiners have) that starts in "Transformers" #39, goes to the new "Transformers: Windblade" #1, back to "Transformers" #40 and alternated until it's done. Mairghread and I are writing it, and the art is by the amazing Sarah Stone and Livio Ramondelli, alternating issues

[...]

Diversity is a big issue in comics -- and everywhere, really -- and something that I know is important to both of you, but how exactly do you promote diversity through stories about giant sexless, raceless robots?

Scott: The term "sexless" is debatable in my view. I want to be clear: There are Transformers who are inherently male and inherently female. That doesn't mean the same thing as it does in humans, but Transformers that call themselves "she" aren't doing it because they like the 'sh' sound. They are female, and we're going to meet a lot more of them.

The term "raceless" is also misleading. Transformers have a long history of racial tension against cassettes, animalistic transformers, headmasters, etc. They are just as noble as humans and we're pushing the envelope to make them at least as diverse as we are. So what can you expect in terms of Transformers in the future? More! More body types, more races, more LGBTQ, more religions and creeds and classes. More conflict about all of the above. Working with robots doesn't stop us from exploring diversity. It offers us the chance to push the boundaries of diversity in a lot of interesting, allegorical ways.

Barber: Yeah, what Mairghread said there. One of the things that non-"Transformers" fans might not realize is how wide-ranging and inclusive the "Transformers" fanbase is. I mean, it's self-evident if you're part of the "Transformers" world, but "Transformers" readers, "Transformers" fans encompass the entire spectrum of people. And it's important to have the characters in the comic be reflective of that.

It's sometimes a complex line to walk, between the out-and-out science-fiction-ness of the "Transformers" universe and its relationship with the real world, but it's important.


Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Seibertron.com Interviews Shane McCarthy - Lindyhopping with Drift

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Shane McCarthy - Lindyhopping with Drift
Date: Wednesday, February 11th 2015 3:16am CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Shane McCarthy, Va'al

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Views: 33,955

Hi! Remember us? We left the interviews with comics creators lagging for a while, as life decided to settle itself, 2014 swept in and we're now ready for Combiner Wars hitting shelves in both paper, plastic and pixel format. But alongside that, we've also seen the return of one of IDW's original Transformers characters, Drift, in the hands of its originator - Shane McCarthy. Read on below for a spotlight on the Australian author of AHM!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Shane McCarthy - Lindyhopping with Drift


Va'al - Shane, it is a pleasure to talk to you for a bit, thank you for agreeing to do this! As we've done for the other creators we've interviewed, I'd like to start from the beginning - from your beginning: how did Transformers enter your life, do you remember your first interaction with the franchise?

Shane McCarthy - I absolutely do. Like most kids I was crazy about cartoons and around that time I was all about He-Man. Saturday morning was where it was at and I would get up super early to watch them all. One morning, when He-Man had finished, on comes this cartoon I'd never heard of. It opened with Cybertron in flames and I was immediately hooked. After that it was a mad dash to the toy store. The first one I ever bought was the double pack of the cassettes... Frenzy and Laserbeak I think.



Va'al - And was that also a gateway moment into collecting the toys, or were you able to keep the plastic addiction at bay (or forced to, by external factors)? Did you, or do you still, have the one that got away, or at least a very elusive toy that was really hard to get?

Shane - Well I'd already started my He-Man collection so buying toys was already a habit. What I could afford mind you; my parents would buy me some big things for Christmas (Castle Grayskull) but I had to buy the figures myself. So picking up Transformers was a natural progression.

As for the one that got away. I was crazy about Prime and Soundwave as a kid and got both of those. There's two I never got that I really wanted as a kid. Ravage, because he looked so damn cool and I never saw him again beyond when I had to make that first choice in the store. And Megatron. Although I wouldn't be after Megs these days, the actual toy doesn't look at all that hot to me.



Va'al - Starting to sense a purple pattern here, I must admit. Would you say that Ravage (or any of the other three) still holds a spot in your collector's heart? Did you continue collecting beyond your childhood and teenage years, with new iterations of the same characters?

Shane - I'd say it's really just Ravage these days; I think the concept and the design are really cool. I think I've still got Frenzy around here somewhere, I lost Laserbeak's head though.

I didn't keep collecting, no. My love of the toys spilled over into books and comics. The next time I bought a Transformer was after Beast Wars came out. Like a lot of people I dismissed Beast Wars as some sort of heretical assault on the old classics. When a friend explained how the old cartoons and Beast Wars lined up and then handed me Transmetal Optimus Primal, I was hooked again. That was a seriously cool toy.

Va'al - That often still happens with some fans, good to hear we won you over to the beast side eventually! So as you ventured from screen media and toys into comics, what were your first impressions, what caught your attention in particular?

Shane - You mean comics in general? Conan, haha. My sister bought me one at a flea market to shut me up. It had Gil Kane on art and it was glorious. From there it was into Batman and Superman then down the road the X-Men.

As far as Transformers though I started picking up the magazine format comics, the ones from the UK that Simon Furman was writing. I absolutely loved them. I remember the first story I came in on, I can't remember the issue number though. But basically Prime and Outback were battered and fighting to survive against some sort of ape creatures I think. Classic stuff.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Shane McCarthy - Lindyhopping with Drift
via TFWiki


Va'al - That sounds very much like issue #100, Distant Thunder! As an established comics reader, how long did it take from that point to entering the industry as a creator? How was that process for you?

Shane - That's the one! Man, you're good. Alan Davis on cover art too, wow.

How long did it take? Well the link says that comic came out in 1987. My first publication was Batman for DC Comics in...2005 I think so, 18 years. Yikes.

The process was an interesting one. I never even thought of becoming a writer until I was around twenty odd years old. It had never occurred to me. Once the idea struck (or was actually suggested to me) everything clicked in a way nothing ever had before. After that it was a lot of work, effort and training before I broke in with DC.

Va'al - But you did make it in the end, and you've worked on multiple characters and properties since! What I'm wondering, though, is how the IDW gig started - did they ask you to take over from Furman, or did you pitch material to them?

Shane - I was approached by Chris Ryall to take over from Simon. He'd been doing great stuff but they were wanting to move in a different direction and asked me what I would do if I took over. With the understanding that it was supposed to be a new direction, one they hoped would also appeal to a wider audience, I pitched All Hail Megatron.

Va'al - And Drift was one of the new, original appearances in the series, before he became his own full-on character, correct? We've seen the pitch for him in the recent IDW Complete Drift volume, actually - how did it feel to introduce an entirely new character to the franchise?

Shane - It was fun. I was already having a hell of a lot of fun working on AHM and it was never on my mind to bring in anything new. However when I was working on the book the idea for Drift popped into my head and I thought, why not? I've said it before but the initial pitch was me just firing off a "what if" email to Chris. He liked the idea but said Hasbro would never go for it. Turns out they loved it. Right away they mentioned the possibility of a figure which was brilliant. Apparently some people didn't believe the figure was true when Chris announced it. I still find that hilarious.



Va'al - He was also not the only lasting outcome of the AHM series, as we're still feeling some of the aftermath of those events in the current ongoings and mini-series (such as the beef between Devastator and Spike, which Costa took a step further, and Barber is currently retreading in The Transformers). How does it feel, as the plotter behind it all?

Shane - It's nice to know it's all still going forward. I don't read the books (unless I'm writing for them) but I would hope that some things have been kept and other things have changed. Like any comic book, when a new creative team comes on they need to leave their stamp. It's important everything isn't thrown out but it has to be something new otherwise what's the point?

Va'al - And that, in a way, brings us to the present day, with you returning to Drift after his presence in James Roberts' writing in More Than Meets the Eye. How does it feel to write the book now, compared to any of the three you were working on back then?

Shane - I have to say it was a mix of weird and fun. James' take on Drift was different to mine and I needed to keep that in mind as I did the mini series. I'd read through Drift's "James" appearances and got a feel for who he was there. After that I needed to think about where I wanted to take him and what I wanted to say with the character taking into account what he meant to me when I created him and what he means to me now after he'd gone through so much since AHM.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Shane McCarthy - Lindyhopping with Drift


It kind of felt like seeing a really great friend after they'd been overseas for a while. They're still your good mate but they've got a whole bunch of new hobbies and an accent.

Va'al - Was the inclusion of Ratchet as grumpy but sensible counterpart to him in Empire of Stone something that you built from the MTMTE relationship between the two, then, or entirely your initiative?

Shane - No that was absolutely from MTMTE. I loved the odd couple vibe I was getting from them and knew I needed someone to come calling from the Autobots. It was nice having it be Ratchet, someone who once hated Drift (or was at least seriously annoyed by him). Plus I knew it would make for some fun buddy cop moments.

Va'al - They do have some really good interactions, yes! And what about the other characters showing up, such as Gigatron and super obscure ones like Hellbat and the Micromasters? Are they something you have a connection to, or was it more of an editorial call?

Shane - No those were all my choices. When it comes to finding new, interesting characters that haven't been overused it can get tough so I decided to go to an expert. I went to Twitter and asked a Transformer fan, Sprite, for advice on some underused characters. I knew the kinds of characters I was looking for and she made some great suggestions of who hadn't been used in the IDW universe yet. I had a look through that list and chose the ones I liked the most. Gigatron, Hellbat and Grit all came from that list so, thanks, Sprite.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Shane McCarthy - Lindyhopping with Drift


Va'al - Fans really making an impact, then, on all accounts! Some great artists are also showing up at IDW from the fan base, but you've gone with the established team of Guido Guidi, Stephen Baskerville and JP Bove. How are you finding working with them? What do you feel their art brings to the story?

Shane - They're a fantastic team to work with. It's fantastic to be working with Guido again; I absolutely adore his artwork. After having worked together for a year on AHM it was great to get back into those familiar roles again. And JP, what a champ. Fantastic work and a great guy. I had the pleasure of signing with JP when I was at a UK con, the guy's a riot. Stephen is a new one to me but, like the others, I love what he brought to the book. Everyone is excited to be working together and we're all doing our best to put out a book that we love and hope the readers will love too.

Va'al - It is receiving its fair share of praise so far - but with only one issue left to the series, do you have any other plans in mind for Drift or the Transformers universe in general? Anything we should be looking forward to?

Shane - Not currently no. I'm really glad John [Barber] dropped me a line asking me to do this, it was a blast, but currently this looks like it's it for Transformers. Not to say something won't pop up down the line, IDW is over the moon at how well Drift is being received so you never know.

Va'al - That's a low - though hopeful - tone to be ending this chat upon, however - is there anything you'd like to say to the fans and readers out there before we bid our goodbyes?

Shane - Just a huge thank you. Thank you for reading and thank you for writing in. It's great to know people have enjoyed AHM and Drift.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Shane McCarthy - Lindyhopping with Drift


Va'al - And thank you, Shane, for taking the time to talk to us for this interview - it was great to find out more about your journey as a fan and a creator. Best of luck for future endeavours, and we'll be on the lookout for Drift #4 later this month!


You can find out more about Shane McCarthy's multiple creative lives at his website, SMAcTalk, and on Twitter. IDW Transformers: Drift - Empire of Stone is regularly reviewed on Seibertron.com - join the discussion here!

You can also read Shane's thoughts on Age of Extinction Drift here - and find out more about the latest incarnation of the character in animated series Robots in Disguise here and here.

IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Mairghread Scott on Caminus, Mistress of Flame and More

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Mairghread Scott on Caminus, Mistress of Flame and More
Date: Monday, February 9th 2015 6:59pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): The Mary Sue

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 25,406

Comics and geek culture website The Mary Sue was also able to have a chat with IDW writer Mairghread Scott about the upcoming Windblade return with the beginning of Transformers: Combiner Wars - and we've copied a couple of snippets below! Read the full story here, and take a look at some preview art of the Mistress of Flame, a leader of Caminus, by Sarah Stone, too.

TMS: Combiner Wars seems like it might offer more of a chance to examine the Metrotitan Caminus and the culture of his planet, being the only Transformers society (in the IDW continuity) to have developed gender. Or is that the kind of thing that might be left until after the event dust settles?

MS: Combiner Wars is going to be our first real introduction to the planet Caminus (where Windblade is from) and the ‘Bots that live on it. It’s also our first time meeting transformers who are completely unlike the ones from Cybertron. Camiens are proud, devout and desperately in need of help and we see how that affects their dealings with Autobots, Decepticons and Starscream himself.

In fact, we have an exclusive sneak peek at of one of the most important members of Camian society, the Mistress of Flame. The Mistress of Flame is the leader of the only faith on Caminus, The Way of Flame, which worships a female Prime said to be the mother of all Camiens. But fire can be as dangerous as it is helpful and the faith of Caminus burns hotter than any Cybertronian realizes.

[...]

TMS: And finally: Is Windblade combining with anyone in the series? Are we looking at a potential metrotitan combiner (several bots transforming into a single larger bot)?

MS: Now that would be telling. But there will be a brand new combiner in our series. Who it is and how it gets made are things you’ll just have to read to find out.


Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Mairghread Scott on Caminus, Mistress of Flame and More

Jeff Kline on Transformers: Robots In Disguise Tone and Setting

Transformers News: Jeff Kline on Transformers: Robots In Disguise Tone and Setting
Date: Saturday, February 7th 2015 4:17pm CST
Categories: Cartoon News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Unicron.com

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Views: 17,973

Following up to the first part of the Unicron.com interview with Transformers Prime, Beast Hunters and Robots in Disguise producer Jeff Kline, we have copied below a second part to the same interview, in which he sheds some light on the tone and setting of the Robots in Disguise series. We've even removed the all-caps, below.

Robots in Disguise is definitely a lighter, more comedic take on the Transformers universe. There’s no ancient war being fought, meaning we can actually take the time to set-up a joke, and not feel guilty about it. Bee is front and center. Pptimus’ status is more mysterious than sorrowful. And there’s a younger, more inexperienced (aka less battle-weary) cast of characters.

2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
Date: Thursday, January 1st 2015 7:24am CST
Categories: Editorials, Interviews, Site Articles, Toy News
Posted by: Va'al

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Views: 94,540

Another year has come and gone for every time zone in the world, and Seibertron.com has changed a lot in that time too. We have seen old names resurface, new names rise like shooting stars, staff reshuffles, the occasional (read: frequent) flame war and the only constant has been change.

As is only right, this being a community of Transformers fans! But what actually happened since the end of 2013 and the beginning of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Transformers? What wonders did the fandom behold? What thrills did we partake of? What did we make of the anniversary of the comics and the cartoons that started it all? Read on below as the staff of Seibertron.com give you some reading material for the end of the holiday season - and let us know what you thought of


Transformers 2014 - A Year in Review


Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
The Year of Riding Dragonsaurs



Joining us on this thunderous ride are:

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
ScoutBumblebee - The Rule-Enforcer

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
Autobot032 - The Opinion-Giver

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
Mindmaster - The Sandwich-Maker

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
Mkall - The Something-Maker

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
ScottyP - That Podcast Guy

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
william-james88 - The New One

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
mooncake623 - The Not-As-New One

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
LOST Cybertronian - The Silent One

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
Va'al - This One



If you've been with us before, you know how it all works: category by category, we look at toys, comics, series, toys, games, artwork, more toys, people, toy-like things and moments that made 2014 our very own Thrilling Thirtieth.

Categories

Transformers Figure of the Year 2014
Favorite 2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction Figure
Favorite 2014 Transformers Generations (Thrilling 30) Figure
Favorite 2014 Transformers Build Figure
Favorite 2014 Transformers Exclusive Figure
Favorite 2014 Transformers Masterpiece Figure
Favorite 2014 Transformers Comic
Favorite 2014 Transformers TV/Film
Favorite 2014 Transformers Game
Favorite 2014 Transformers Moment
What you're looking forward to in 2015 for Transformers



We will laugh, we will cry, we will share stories about how each of us lived through the Big Anniversary of the Transformers. Ready? Roll out!



Transformers Figure of the Year 2014
In which we all ignore Ultra Magnus, because Va'al is a deadline fiend




william-james88 - This easily goes to Masterpiece Wheeljack. Sure, it’s expensive and not easily available in North American stores (I picked it up in Honk Kong) but it remains the best new mold to come out of Hasbro/Takara in 2014. Not in a while have I marveled this much at a transformer, he is an absolutely perfect example of a robot in disguise. He feels hefty, has flawless kibble free modes which are also both accurate to their own specific source (a cartoon model and an officially licensed car model).What I really loved about Wheeljack is how robot parts just spring out of him and are nowhere noticeable in his car mode, like his wings. I just love how his feet are formed and look like distinct robot legs rather than a piece of his car. It is a “feet” of genius!
The best Hasbro release this year, however, was the Toysrus 2 pack that came with AOE Evasion Mode Prime and Classics Optimus, both in premium deco. It will be discussed more in depth in the next category.

Mindmaster - Generations Armada Starscream. This was a no-brainer for me. Those who read last year's Year in Review will remember that getting Armada Starscream would've been the ultimate highlight of mine for 2014. Thanks to a generous site owner, I was able to get my hands on this guy as a graduation gift.

Being first exposed to the realm of the Transformers through Armada, Starscream hit all the right nostalgia buttons for me. Articulation is great, robot mode casts a hella shadow, and the jet mode (sans turbines) friggin' nails it. If I had to say one negative thing about him, I would say that I wish they had retained the flip-out Null Ray Cannons. The way the missiles launch now are okay, but had the cannons been retained, he would be 150% perfect.

TL;DR version: I like him a lot because he reminds me of when I was eight.

ScottyP - Assuming Ultra Magnus doesn't dethrone him in two short weeks right before the calendar flips, which he very well might (it does), I've gotta give this to Masterpiece Bumblebee for the time being. This one barely edges out Wheeljack for me, for one reason and one reason alone: Bumblebee is more fun to transform. I think they're both extremely well done, definitive versions of the characters, but the intuitive nature of this Bumblebee mold seals it. Like every MP toy, he's super pose-able, has great detail, and unlike Wheeljack's lunchbox, his accessory is a whole other awesome figure - Exo-Suit Daniel! Never in a million years would have thought I'd have a transforming Exo-suit toy that wasn't third party, so kudos on that addition as well.

LAST SECOND EDIT: Well, ok, after having it in hand for less than 24 hours, Ultra Magnus is the greatest thing since great things were even thought of.

Autobot032 - Figure of the year? Man, that's a tough one. I want to say Arcee, because she's a really nice, solid figure, but figure of the year? No. AD-31 Armor Knight Optimus is really nice, I mean REALLY nice, but it's a recolored and somewhat remolded figure I already have, so I can't say it's exceptional. Jetfire's a good one, but he has some serious flaws, especially the hollowness.

It's a toss up between Generations Arcee and AoE Snarl. I can't decide which one is better.

ScoutBumblebee - Toy of the year... I guess I would say MP Wheeljack. I find his transformation truly enjoyable, and I love his vehicle mode. As a car buff, I also really love his true-to-vehicle form, being a licensed Lancia. Wheeljack is one of the few figures I display that I honestly cannot decide if I like his vehicle or bot mode better, because he looks so amazing in both forms. His coloring is spot on, and I just really dig the overall aesthetic of both of his forms. I was SO excited for this figure I hoped it wouldn't disappoint... And it didn't.

LOST Cybertronian - The 2014 trophy goes to Takara Masterpiece Wheeljack. He was always a favorite in the G1 cartoon as was his toy which I never owned as a kid. Mix all that in with an officially licenced Lancia alt mode and you have a recipe for perfection.

Mkall - This is always a tough question to answer, because it's been a long year with many additions to my collection. When it comes down to it, I tend to look at what figure filled a needed gap, and was pretty fun to play with. For the 2014 figure of the year, I'm going to go with... WHIRL! I'm a huge wrecker's fan, and while that gap was filled with the ROTF Whirl for the past couple of years, it had never felt like a good representation of the character. This Whirl is literally the G1 form updated with modern articulation, with a couple nods to his IDW interpretation if that's what floats your boat. He's fun to play with, transform and he's a very unique character on my shelves. I love you Whirl.

mooncake623 - There are so many awesome figures that came out this year it's really hard to choose. I loved Masterpiece Wheeljack and he might technically be the better toy but the winner for me has to go to none other then Masterpiece Bumblebee! I really don't understand all the complaints, yes he's small, forearms can be better with an extra flap and wrist rotations but in the end none of that matters! When I opened him and transformed him (without instructions) it felt like pure magic! I love it when a transformation is intuitive enough that I just know where everything goes and yet it is still complicated! I have every single Masterpiece mold and they are all amazing and I love them all, but I don't transform them very much. Bumblebee? I can play with it all day! Oh and Exosuit Witwicky is just sugar!

Va'al - My usual disclaimer applies, as I don't really buy that many toys, and the ones I do get tend to be from previous years and lines. However, I was pretty up to date once Takara Tomy's G2 Sideswipe showed up, and I even eventually gave in to the fantastic mold that is Age of Extinction Evasion Mode Optimus Prime - but Sideswipe, with his Yaniger grin, Dredd guns, personal attachment factor and multiple sticker deco possibilities, yeah, I think this one takes the top spot.



Favorite 2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction Figure
In which we abandon ourselves to some evasive escapism and revel in --BOOM





mooncake623 - I don't have many, and the ones I bought - SDCC dinobots, Black Knight Leader Grimlock, Takara Lockdown - I never opened... But I do have the Evasion Mode Optimus Prime from that Grimlock two pack.. And I must say it is a fun toy. Great possibility, fun transformation (with some clearance issues), and looks good in both mode. Good toy all around.

Mkall - I restricted myself to getting only the Dinobots from this line, because Dinobots are awesome. Of that subset, I find myself liking Slug the best. He's a big bulky purple presence on my display, kind of like Barney, should be be a sword-toting Autobot knight. His helmet is a cool design and when it comes right down to it, he's pretty articulated to boot.

LOST Cybertronian - My vote goes to Evasion Mode Optimus Prime. There was some amazing engineering that went into this guy. The way it goes from a G1-esque truck alt mode and turns inside out that gives us a very nice robot mode. Very excited for this sexy beast from the moment I saw him.

ScoutBumblebee - Easily Evasion Mode Optimus Prime. Spot on vehicle mode and pretty neat bot mode. Not super easy to transform; he provides a bit of a challenge, which I like. I would've liked to have seen a little less color and a bit more rust on him, but I imagine his coloring was for marketing reasons, so I can live with it.

Autobot032 - I might just have to go with Snarl, here. Seriously, he's a nicely balanced figure, in terms of symmetry, complexity and looks, he's an excellent figure. AD-31 is definitely #2 in the line. All of the figures had their own charm and made them worthy of a purchase, but some were stronger than others, in terms of design.

ScottyP - Leader Grimlock; pick a deco. Looks and feels like a Leader-class toy. Transformation is challenging, but intuitive and fun. Brings out the presence of the character quite well, and has some really great articulation (minus the obvious thing-that-will-not-be-named). While they might not have hit screen accuracy very well on the mold, I can't think of a single Grimlock figure from AoE that really does. I've got to give it to this guy for being just a big pile of fun and passion in a line that was, at times, sorely lacking in it. Honorable mention to Evasion Mode Optimus Prime, who was a hard one to not type for this answer.

Mindmaster - Drift. Honestly, the Age of Extinction line was a bit of a let-down for me. There's something about the quality in them that I don't find appealing. It's not bad, but it doesn't feel as sturdy as things used to be. In saying that, I guess I'll go with Drift. I'm a sucker for a sword 'bot, and Drift fulfills that spot among my movie-oriented shelves.

william-james88 - Never has a “best of” pic ever been easier than the best AOE toy. Even in a toyline dedicated to robot dinosaurs, the winner by a mile is Evasion Mode Optimus Prime. Specifically the one to come in the Toysrus Evolution two pack with Classics Optimus. I never owned either of those molds so owning a premium deco version of them for a reduced price was a no brainer, it's a perfect package. Speaking specifically of the Evasion Prime mold, this is really something else, with no extra kibble in either mode. It is a very involved transformation that mimics the Bay aesthetic of everything turning inside out during transformation, and yet the Bayverse design itself is toned down. The mold gives us more smooth surfaces, often seen in the movie toys that never made it on-screen (like Mindwipe or Skyhammer), reinforcing its homage to G1 Optimus Prime. A true winner.

Va'al - I did mention him above in a struggle with a Masterpiece figure, but Evasion Mode Optimus Prime, in any of its paint schemes, definitely shoots to the top of list for this category. It's a very fun type of engineering, fantastic poses, excellent balance and you can finally make DotM Megatron accurately shoot endangered animals - just like on TV, kids! But seriously, there are very few things this simplified-but-not-really, movieverse-but-not-entirely, red-but-also-blue Optimus cannot pull off.


Favorite 2014 Transformers Generations (Thrilling 30) Figure
In which we pretty much ignore the 30 out of 30 line, for obvious reasons




william-james88 - I really want to say Rhinox. I once wondered if they would ever make Masterpiece Beast Wars figures but if the generations line keeps offering us stuff like this, I won't need any. For all intents and purposes, he is Masterpiece Rhinox. Super show accurate, with a flawless robot mode and great detailing. He has the right weapons and they store well in beast mode. It's pretty much everything you would want. Except the toy has some problems in terms of loose joints. I can't make my figure stand and that saddens me greatly. So I am not sure if Rattrap should get the award instead since I can say a lot of the same things about Rattrap, and his joints are tighter. However, I really like how very little of robot mode is seen in Rhinox's beast mode making my vote more for him. I could find a way to fix those joints, making him the flawless figure he is.

Mindmaster - This one was tough for me. A lot of the Generations stuff that came out this year I like a whole lot; the Mini-Con Assault Team, Jhiaxus, Windblade, Roadbuster, to name a few. I'd name Armada Starscream, but it's already really high up on this list, taking the Figure of the Year spot for me. With that said, I guess I'll go with Generations's first Leader-class entry, Jetfire.

I missed out on the original Classics Voyager back in 2006, so between then and now, I repurposed Universe (2008) Treadbolt as the lamely named "Space Exploration" Jetfire. Treadbolt's burden was lifted when I got Leader Jetfire. Getting this guy was a total delight for me. Though the significant difference in paint between what we saw at Toy Fair and the final product is a little troubling, I'm willing to forgive it.

ScottyP - Am I picking Generations, or the Marketing Gimmick 30 of 30 dudes? I'm assuming the former and will go with Voyager Rhinox. I recommend the superior Takara paint job if you can swing it, even though I haven't picked that one up myself. Rhinox is everything you can ask for out of an update to an old character's toy. He looks like he just jumped out of the screen and started hanging out on your shelf. I think the only way to ever top this figure and have a more definitive plastic toy version of the character would be to create a Masterpiece figure, and I'm really not sure what else that could do besides give the Rhino mode some articulation. Rhinox should be in every store that exists now, at least for a little while longer, so pick up some version of him if you haven't. Since I seem to be on the Honorable Mention train, I'll give that to Crosscut on this one, with the caveat that you really need to go buy the Reprolabels set for him to feel that kind of love for the toy.

Autobot032 - *sighs* This one is a tough one. Arcee's really nice. Like, really nice. Her transformation is simplistic enough to master easily, but has enough steps to make you feel like she's worth the money. Her poseability is top notch, even without a waist swivel, and she can make some killer poses with those guns. (I tossed the swords back in the box. I have ZERO use for them.) I do like Jetfire, though. He's a flawed, but nice figure, although most of his flaws revolve around his hollowness and feeling as light as one of those snap together kits you find at your local Wal*Mart. (Fortunately, his construction is much more solid than that.)

...I'm going to say Arcee. I can't deny her awesomeness.

ScoutBumblebee - Can I pick more than one? I have really enjoyed the fembots both on an enjoyment-of-toy level and a brand level. I think it's neat to see Hasbro giving a little more attention to the fembots, as not only are they cool additions to the story lines, they can help get girls into Transformers. The fact that Windblade is one of my favorite comics doesn't hurt, but I enjoy her figure possibly most of the three fembots, followed closely by Arcee.

LOST Cybertronian - This goes to the loveliness that is Brainstorm. After many years we get a brand new headmaster figure. I had many headmasters as a kid so I have a soft spot for them. To top it all off, Hasbro even worked in revealing tech specs. That is a great wink and nod to collectors. If I have one gripe about this figure, it's the arms for the headmaster. I think Hasbro could have worked in more possible arms with elbow joints.

Mkall - Generations is my cup of tea. It's what keeps my interest in collecting Transformers. For this reason, I'm going to go with a figure that I don't actually own yet, and that is Leader Class Jetfire. Why don't I own it yet? Because I'm waiting for the Takara version because it fixes one of the most glaring issues I had with the Hasbro version, and that was the needlessly chromed guns. Classics Jetfire was one of the first figures ever on my shelves, so it was with come sadness that I'm preparing to swap him out. However this new Jetfire looks to be loads of fun, and despite some hollowness issues which don't bother me as much as it does some people. He's a great representation of a great character.

mooncake623 - This is a tough one. This is the bread and butter of my collection and I bought every single figure that came out this year. Some of my favorites are Rhinox, Waspinator, Arcee, Jetfire, Chromia.... the list goes on. But the winner has to be Brainstorm! Lots of QC issues whatever blah blah blah. It is awesome!! But do take a minute to understand the figure and fix those QC issues. This Brainstorm looks like it just jumped out of the comics and it is just amazing! Stupidly easy transformation but I don't care, it's awesome.

Va'al - Another category I'm actually kinda sorta vaguely up to date with and invested in, in terms of purchases and interest! I mean, except for all the stuff that came out after Voyager Rhinox. I do have an order ready for Takara Legends Windblade, but am really not drawn to any of the other figures (as nice as some of them look, granted). Rhinox, on the other hand, is a great update to the Beast Wars toy, shows up in a comic, looks fantastic, and I have one in hand rather than on a production line.


Favorite 2014 Transformers Build Figure
In which bricks and clips are clicked together, and some are left aside


Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale


LOST Cybertronian - This category goes to Construct-Bots Dinofire Grimlock. It is a very fun build with light up a feature and 9 firing missiles. He even comes with a little Optimus Prime to ride him. With a robot mode that stands around 10 inches, he towers over all the other Construct-Bots.

ScoutBumblebee - I neither collect these, nor get terribly excited about them. But my son, who is also a Transformers fanatic, really liked the Constructbots Strafe. He likes the figure in both bot and robot mode, and he especially likes that he doesn't have to take it apart to transform it; he has no trouble changing it from bot to dino mode.

ScottyP - Kreo "Kreon Class of 1984" set. Uh-oh, I'm double-dipping on exclusives! Whatever, man, ain't no thing. This set is amazing. Boatload of Kreons in one set? Check. Super cool accessories? Check. Absolutely incredible box? Check. Senior Superlatives? Most likely to "Check"! Honorable mention here to Beast Hunters Constructbots Unicron Megatron, for actually being a representation of that character that went beyond a repaint. Sigh.

william-james88 - This would go to Unicron Megatron ConstructBots. For some reason, that Cybertronian flying vehicle mode works much better as a construction figure than as an action figure. The Unicron add ons make Megatron look quite majestic as well and Constructbot Ratbat is a fun little guy.

Va'al - I have eyed up so many of these figures in the lead-up to buying completely different ones, but I eventually gave in on the only representation of a disappointingly plastic version of a character that could've been so much more - and I love it: Constructbot Lockdown, the tiny dude with tiny gun, tiny smirk and tiny scar. No regrets here.


Favorite 2014 Transformers Exclusive Figure
In which we pay more money than needed for extra paint and *prestige*




william-james88 - Easy pic for me, TF Expo exclusive Lambor. The car mode is so nice, with no robot parts seen, even underneath, (something rare in car transformers) that the removal of that symbol (you can stick it on yourself) showcases its beauty so much more. Not only is it a perfect mold for a robot in disguise, but it now becomes a beautiful Lamborghini car model as well. This was also my first crack at the Lamborghini MP mold and even though I have no attachment to the character, this toy is the Transformer I never knew I wanted but always wished I had.

Mindmaster - The character of Beast Wars Rampage is awesome, we can all agree with that. Therefore, this year's incentive for joining the Collectors' Club, a retool of Prime: First Edition Megatron into Rampage, is awesome. Yeah, the vehicle mode doesn't quite suit the character, and the head may be just a bit on the diddy side, but overall, I'm so happy I got him.

ScottyP - For exclusives, I've got to give it up for the SDCC Dinobots with Ark playset, and really by that I just mean the Ark playset. Friend of the Twincast / Podcast Matthew Reinhardt did a phenomenal job designing this set in a way that's not only pretty faithful to ol' Mt. St. Hillary, but also in a way that makes it hold up even with figures displayed on it. Easter eggs abound, a front and back, and again, the thing doesn't just fall apart once you put stuff on it. Amazing work, and I hope there's a Nemesis set in the future somewhere. Honorable mention here to Botcon 2014 Scorponok for actually being a Headmaster.

Autobot032 - YOTH Optimus Prime. While I don't own it, I do own the previous use of the mold (Hasbro's release of Masterpiece Optimus) and it's just a well made and well designed figure, all around. While the colors were a tad ridiculous, especially with the trailer being translucent, the cost more than made up for it, especially after the prices of the original skyrocketed.

LOST Cybertronian - This category was close between BotCon Scorponok and Devcon. In the end it came down to heads. The Devcon head looks a bit off while they turned a non-headmaster Scorponok into a bonafide headmaster. I think the bit they added to make the headmaster gimmick work looks a bit ugly but it gets the job done.

Mkall - Once again, The Transformers Club comes out on top in this category. Botcon Scorponok is my favourite exclusive figure. It's the first headmaster in 20 years, beating Hasbro's Generations Brainstorm to market by 7 months. He's an imposing presence on my Decepticon shelves and I cannot help but to look at him whenever I pass by.

mooncake623 - The Team is coming together nicely.. Honorable mentions goes to Subscription Chromedome, again another figure I anticipated so much that I sold the third party equivalent. I just love to go for the IDW look and the team would not be complete without Cloud Rodimus! That's right! It is Generation Springer in Red, it is a helicopter? WTF? $90 for a $20 toy? There are so many things that shouldn't work with this repaint. But guess what? They do! If you are looking for IDW Rodimus, this is it. I don't think I can say anything about this toy that people don't already know, you just have to see it in person and with the rest of the MTMTE crew. It belongs.

Va'al - I never buy into the Exclusive labels, usually. Not on principle, I simply have so little interest and money for regular retail figures that added price for something a little different is just not up my alley. So actually going out of my way to get the TFSS Rampage figure goes to show how much I wanted that thing. *This* much. Seriously. Great mold, fantabulous colours.


Favorite 2014 Transformers Masterpiece Figure
In which two are tied, and Ultra Magnus is still ignored




mooncake623 - I'm going to say Masterpiece Ultra Magnus! That's right, I don't have it in hand yet but it does come out this month so it still counts as 2014. This is my favorite Masterpiece figure in 2014 because I love the Masterpiece line and the anticipation of getting him in hand and messing with him, is very exciting for me. And because I don't really play with my collections much my Favorite Masterpiece figure will always be the next one...

LOST Cybertronian - Again, this category goes to MP-20 Wheeljack. This is the perfection that all the Autobot cars should strive for.

ScoutBumblebee - Same as figure of the year, Wheeljack, so no real reason to go back into it, I suppose. But I love this figure. It's my second favorite Masterpiece figure of ALL time! I will always be partial to MP Soundwave, but upon receipt of Wheeljack, I realized that I'll be collecting a lot more Masterpiece figures in 2015. They're definitely worth the cost, especially for genuine figures.

Autobot032 - Prowl didn't impress me all that much, other than he looks really GOOD in both vehicle and robot mode, but the transformation and overly tight joints in some areas and loose bits in others, just didn't sell it for me. Wheeljack's a really nice figure, but something's a bit off about him, and I can't get super excited about him, as much as I want to. I think his transformation is part of my problem with him. I don't own it, yet, but I'd say my vote has to go to Bumblebee. You get two figures for the price of one, he seems to be getting rave reviews, and he just looks fantastic.

ScottyP - I already picked Bumblebee up top, so no need to go into detail again on this topic. So instead, here's a shout-out to every collector that didn't buy any Knock-Off Masterpieces this year. Thank you.

Mindmaster - I was going to take a page from last year's Year in Review and name the reissue of the ever-popular MP-10 Optimus Prime (because he just absolutely friggin' rocks) , but I figured that that wouldn't be fair. So I guess I'll go with Hasbro's domestic release of Masterpiece Prowl, my first Masterpiece that's neither an Optimus Prime or a Seeker. At first, I wasn't very interested in the idea of owning Prowl, but I was able to get him for my birthday, and I haven't regretted it. Cool robot mode, ace vehicle mode, banging deco. Looks great riding out of MP-10's trailer.

william-james88 - I love Wheeljack and TF Expo Lambor, but Hasbro also released MP 10 Optimus Prime as an Asia exclusive figure this year and it was my chance to finally own one at a reasonable price. He is a perfect Optimus. Maybe not as hefty as one would imagine (especially when comparing to MP 01) but him being lighter helps move him around to whatever pose you want and it makes transformation a lot easier. And by far, he is the Optimus with the most thorough transformation of his legs into the back of the cab. I also love his transforming blaster gimmick which can be stored away.

Va'al - I can't do anything more than reiterate just how much I am in awe of G2 Sideswipe. I mean, the Takara name is Rambor - it has Rambo in the name! You cannot get better than that, and I just want to grin my way to sleep with it (after a good lick), grin grin grin. Grin.


Favorite 2014 Transformers Comic
In which Va'al goes on for while - bless him


Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale


william-james88 - The one that came with Windblade as it is the only comic I got from this year. Want to know why? Language laws where I am from forbid English only material from coming with toys, so the only comic I got was the one that came with the only Generations figure I bought on my trip to Asia. My Quebec politics rant has now ended.

ScottyP - IDW More Than Meets the Eye #34: Births, Deaths, and Interventions. I know this one wasn't the favorite issue of pretty much anyone, but the more I reflect on this, the more I say to myself, "This issue was an achievement". You can know absolutely nothing about Transformers and enjoy this issue, by itself. You've got striking ideas bouncing through multiple threads, including moral dilemmas, revolutionary thoughts, empathy and the lack thereof - outstanding stuff if you enjoy using your brain. Every heartstring is pulled upon at moments where you don't expect it. In the scheme of the overall plot, it neatly sets up the story to move forward in a way that you won't see coming, and oh my god does it make for some additional fan tears in issue 36. This is everything that makes More Than Meets The Eye the, so far, best Transformers fiction ever written, diluted into one amazing package. Honorable mention in this category to the companion book Robots in Disguise (now "The Transformers"), for its gigantic leap in quality since the end of Dark Cybertron.

ScoutBumblebee - Easily Windblade. I liked the art, the storyline kept me on the edge of my seat for the next one, and the character was fascinating to me. I enjoyed all of the story line, and found few things to really dislike about it. Honorable mention would go to MTMTE. I also liked that series a ton, despite a few bits that I thought were a little dry. Overall, also a highly enjoyable line that did some things no one had ever done before. Megatron going Autobot? Who would have ever seen that coming?!

Mkall - MTMTE takes this. The writing is tight, the characters are dynamic and flamboyant, and I find myself laughing at least once an issue, most recently at the "Having a breakdown is nearly a right of passage" line. It also did one of the biggest twists in TF History: making Megatron a legitimate Autobot, and not suffering a massive fanboy assault because of it. Keep it up IDW!

mooncake623 - MTMTE. I can't comment on it too much cause I'm only up to issue 30 but the things this comic is doing is really turning the transformers world upside down and inside out and it is an amazingly fun ride.

Va'al - The work that the creators and editors over at IDW are doing is unprecedented, we're blending genres, exploring a lot of the quirks of the comics medium, formally, visually, story-wise and more. The fandom is being brought more and more to the fore thanks to the comics personalities - variant covers being commissioned to fan artists! fan artists becoming professional creators! world-wide conventions and guests! recognition alongside comics mainstream publications and awards! And if I had to choose one over all the others, it'd have to be Mairghread Scott and Sarah Stone's Windblade (though she was technically introduced by Barber and Roberts with Raiz, Milne, Griffith and Coller). The designs, the colours, the dialogue, the stories. Even the flaws were spectacular. Not to underestimate the triple combo of first woman writer and artist collaboration on the franchise (in 30 years), writing female characters - and introducing a Transformers multiverse of sorts.

As Scotty points out, xRID has leapt so far ahead in writing it was a really strong contender with MTMTE for second place. And Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs G.I. Joe is still so bonkerishly amazing I can't even.


Favorite 2014 Transformers TV/Movie
In which Rescue Bots was about to win, when --BOOM


Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale


william-james88 - I really like how Age of Extinction took the criticism of the previous films to heart. It wasn't perfect, but man, talk of an improvement: Clearer action, more scenes with the bots, less dumb humor, better villains, and no Shia LaBoeuf. It feels like the case with the Fast and Furious movies which get better the more they make ‘em.

Mindmaster - Age of Extinction was, hands down, really cool. So happy that there was more involvement with the Transformer cast. If I had to be nitpicky about it, I would say that I wish there had been more going on with Galvatron and Lockdown. The fact that they were never really around at the same time smelled of two separate scripts clashing...

Autobot032 - Definitely Age Of Extinction. Yeah, parts of it are pure popcorn entertainment where you shut down your brain and run on autopilot, but the extra robot screen time is greatly welcomed, plus the lack of filth humor was a really nice change. It wasn't until this film that I realized I REALLY dislike Sam and his whole entourage. I look back on it now and think "Oh, a kid gets his first car and it turns into his alien best friend. Wooo." and I look at Cade, Tessa and Shane and I genuinely care for them all.

No "Sam's Happy Time" (Ugh. Thank you!) No screaming like a girl and running around like an idiot for laughs, no, thankfully all of that's gone. Now we have a down on his luck father trying to be more than what he is, while taking care of his daughter and trying to keep his family together and prosper. That's an everyman story, that's something I (and it seems most of the audience) can connect to. Sam was a petulant child who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but had awesome adventures. Boo hoo.

On top of that, the Autobots were finally fleshed out quite nicely and Hound stole the show in every scene he was in. He was just an excellent addition to the movieverse.

ScoutBumblebee - Rescue Bots. While the show misses a few key elements to my fandom (Decepticons) I enjoy seeing a different"group"of Transformers that operate in a different way. I also really like the theory that the Rescue Bots universe operates parallel to the Prime universe. It's a fun show and I like that I can enjoy it with my kids with nothing that's TOO intense, and a lot of silly, funny moments.

LOST Cybertronian - Not a whole lot of choices for this category this year. I am going to have to give it up for Age of Extinction. While many fans despise the movies, I enjoy them for what they are and that is mindless fun. I am glad Bay was able to work in the Dinobots even for the few minutes of screen time they had.


Favorite 2014 Transformers Game
In which we all admit our addiction to that silly little thing


Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale


Mkall - I was really hoping that TF: Universe would come to fruition, if only because some of the character designs were pretty cool. Alas it was not meant to be...

ScoutBumblebee - I didn't get into the games too much this year, but I did really enjoy Angry Birds Transformers. I thought it was a nice variance from typical Angry Birds variations, making it fun to learn and play. My only complaint is the sheer volume of ads and requirements to buy things. That's not something I appreciate much but it didn't eclipse the enjoyment of the game.

Autobot032 - Definitely Angry Birds. It's so silly and ridiculous, but addictive. Can't put it down once I get on a roll. Just a lot of silly fun with tractor beam to pull you in. Great for kids and adults alike, the entire family can have fun and that's really important.

ScottyP - I'm going with Angry Birds: Transformers, and only because they got Vince DiCola for the music duties. I actually think the game kind of sucks, but it got us more DiCola Transformers music, so it wins. Honorable mention to Rise of the Dark Spark, it was kind of fun.

Mindmaster - Angry Birds Transformers - this game is addictive. Kinda wish there were more characters, though, instead of rehashings of the same ones (i.e regular Optimus Prime and "Energon" Optimus Prime). What really gets me chuckling, though, is that when Starscream gets to a certain level, he gets his classic crown.

william-james88 - This goes out to the Angry Birds Transformers Game, simply for bringing this beloved brand to a whole new audience. And I love how the combination of the two brands works really well. The designs are imaginative and the whole VHS aesthetic which makes up the marketing campaign and the pause screen is brilliant.


Favorite 2014 Transformers Moment
In which things get personal and the picture has nothing to do with the response


Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale


william-james88 - Oh man, so many. This is my first year at Seibertron and in this one year I rose from a simple fan with a few posts to a full on staff member. I am so thankful for the warm welcome everyone has given me on this site. I got to make new friends who I actually see physically from time to time or intend to meet soon. This is an amazing community. Due to language laws, I can’t always get some transformers at Toysrus and one guy on the boards told me he would be happy to buy me a MP Grimlock and send it to me. I was quite hesitant about sending money through Paypal and when he told me the shipping was more than he expected and that I didn’t have to pay the extra cost, I became super suspicious. But sure enough, Grimlock came in the mail. He was just being a nice guy who wanted to honor the discussed agreement even if it would be at his loss and that he was just paying it forward for how good the site and its users had been to him. In an era when the internet is known for being louder and angrier than ever, I am amazed at the quality of people this site has introduced me to. Rock on Seibertron!
PS: also, everytime I discover a lot someone is selling in local ads or whenever I receive a package of toys in the mail is an amazing transformers moment too.

Mindmaster - Going to see Age of Extinction the day it opened in theaters, and getting so pumped afterwards that I went to my local Target and bought Whirl, Scoop, Skrapnel, and the Silver Knight Optimus Prime and Grimlock set.

ScottyP - As usual, there are entirely too many to list. I'm going to be somewhat self serving and go with the Twincast/Podcast Episode #100. Not only is that a really cool milestone, but what an episode! Not only were there the usual fun times with weapons, but there were guests galore, including some of the biggest we've ever had on the show. Runner Up nods here to the time I got to spend with friends at both Botcon and TF Con Chicago. Always excellent to see everyone and meet new friends too!

Autobot032 - The anticipation of the new movie figures. Waiting for the street date to be broken (which it was lol) and hoping to be overwhelmed like all the previous movies had done for me. My anticipation was not in vain, the figures turned out to be just as good as I had hoped and some even surpassed my expectations. So, yeah, the waiting for them was my favorite moment. The sheer excitement. (Sadly, nothing else this year has done that for me.)

ScoutBumblebee - My favorite Transformers moment was also my favorite Seibertron moment; staying up late to post all of the influx of news coming in from the UK Toy Fair. It was great fun to work closely with Alex in the early hours of the morning to get everything posted... And first. I felt like I was amongst the first in America to get sneak peeks at all of those exciting new Transformers products.

LOST Cybertronian - My favorite moment was the Masterpiece Star Saber prototype reveal. The vintage Star Saber toy is the pride and joy in my collection and this one aims to surpass it.

Mkall - The Universal Studios trip during the Botcon convention was pretty darned cool. I enjoyed the actors in the Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee suits. I also really enjoyed the Transformers Experience ride. Stan Bush in concert was surprisingly awesome!

mooncake623 - Joining the Staff of Seibertron.com! I'm a closet nerd I really don't have anyone to share my interest in Transformers with. It's great being a part of a community of something you enjoy and contributing.

Va'al - What can I say that hasn't been said by everyone else already? Staff life, #100 Twincast Podcast appearance and subsequent hilarity on the boards due to my alleged Britishness, Auto Assembly 2014 and its guests recognising or knowing me before I even introduced myself, receiving toys and art from creators and fellow fans across the globe (some entirely unexpected too!). But I think what topped it all was talking to the then newly-arrived Sarah Stone for Seibertron.com - and my own interest, of course.


and finally
What you're looking forward to in 2015 for Transformers
In which we all pretty much agree, and say our goodbyes


Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale



mooncake623 - Bring on Combiner wars!!! And more Masterpiece reveals! Let's go Toy Fair NYC!!!!

Mkall - Combiner Wars has my interest, and I'm very curious about this leader-class Ultra Magnus. The Robots in Disguise cartoon holds promise, and I'll watch it hoping it'll be of good quality, but I'll reserve my judgement until I see it.

LOST Cybertronian - I am really looking forward to the new cartoon. Transformers Prime's absence left a big hole that I am hoping Robots in Disguise can fill. I am also obsessively waiting for MP-24 Star Saber. There is not a more beautiful Transformer from what we have seen.

ScoutBumblebee - I can't even list just one thing here. I'm excited for everything that comes next. I'm looking forward to what Robots in Disguise will be like, and I'm also really stoked for the return of the Windblade comic. I'm really looking forward to the surprises that we will see this year though - - the stuff we don't know about yet that will come up unexpectedly and surprise us with cool different stuff than we have seen before.

Autobot032 - Definitely Combiner Wars. I love combiners, but aside from that, I just don't find RID (2015) all that appealing, as it's aimed to kids instead of collectors and that's fine. To each their own and I see that there's a market for figures such as RID, so more power to the children and everyone else who plans on collecting them, but my money's going to Combiner Wars in 2015.

ScottyP - Just getting to experience another year in the continuing saga of this silly hobby of ours. The past decade has been somewhat of a "Golden Age" for Transformers, and it seems to be winding down but not quite yet over, so I'm gonna enjoy the year or two we have left before things inevitably get a little quieter again. Of course, I've been expecting that to happen for the last five years, so I'm probably wrong. Either way, knowing that each day is another opportunity to continue to enjoy Transformers and make some really cool friends along the way is enough for me to be excited about the future.

Mindmaster - I'm looking forward to what Generations: Combiner Wars has to offer (please do Bruticus, PLEASE!), and Masterpiece Star Saber looks promising. More Armada homages in Generations too, please!

william-james88 - I am looking forward to the Combiner Wars toys. I love combiners and I am really curious to see what Hasbro has cooked up for us with this part of the Generations toyline. And speaking of combiners, there is a rumoured 6 voyager Titan Class Devastator. If that rumour turns out to be true, you can jot that down as the figure I am most excited for.

Va'al - I would also say Combiner Wars - but not exactly for the toys. It's all about the comics, and the art, and the writing and the art and more art: xRID and Windblade both feed into it, and it's going to be big (pun *always* intended). Maybe my pre-ordered Takara Windblade will eventually arrive too. And I might even buy another toy *gasp* if Prowlestator is a thing that happens. Be a thing that happens, table-flippin' green giant. Be a thing.

And maybe, just maybe, travelling over to North America for one of the conventions over there, if not BotCon (and SDCC) itself. We'll see.


---

*crackle* --was what 2014, the celebration of 30 years of The Transformers, brought us. We had comics, we had toys, we had movies, we had series, we had more toys, we had a laugh and eventually, a pretty good time. And of course, we had each oth-- *fizz*

*fssh*..eep an optic out for the next Twincast/Podcast episode to hear more opinions on the year 2014, they're bound to show up eventual---

*static*

..what about all of you though? What did the thriving, thrilling community of Seibertron.com make of the Year of the Horse 2014, and what type of Goat do you expect from 2015? Comment below, sound out your thoughts, let those fingers fly, and let us know! You know where to find us in the Energon Pub. Next round's on us.

--william-james88, Mindmaster, Autobot032, ScottyP, Mkall, LOST Cybertronian, ScoutBumblebee, mooncake623, Va'al and the staff of Seibertron.com - Roll Out.

Transformers News: 2014 Seibertron.com Year in Review - A Thrilling Transformers Tale
Sayonara, suckers

Editorial Vision, Shakespearean Power Plays, and Giant Robots with John Barber

Transformers News: Editorial Vision, Shakespearean Power Plays, and Giant Robots with John Barber
Date: Wednesday, November 12th 2014 1:22pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): WCBR

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Views: 40,314

Wanting more this week in terms of Transformers fiction? Why not take a read at this lengthy interview with John Barber on WeeklyComicBookReview, editor and writer at IDW on at least, oh, all of the current series featuring robots, including those yet to come. Some snippets below, full piece here! [Note: Thumbnail is RI cover for Transformers #35, by Andrew Griffith. Fitting, non?]

Already well respected for his nearly Quixotic attempts to bring sanity to the Transformers movie continuity, John Barber’s tenure over IDW’s mainline Transformers comics has been viewed as something of a renaissance period for the brand.

Besides writing a tense sci-fi political thriller in the form of Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Barber has also served as the editor of the award-winning Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye as well as the Transformers: Windblade mini-series. Since then he’s added even more to his plate by writing Angry Birds Transformers and co-writing the latest Transformers vs. G.I. Joe series.

As the man behind one of my favorite shared universes in comics, I’ve been eager to meet Mr. Barber for some time. Little did I know how deep we’d get into the current Transformers line-up.

Mr. Barber was incredibly gracious with his time and considerable knowledge so please enjoy and, if so inclined, check out the newly renamed The Transformers #35, on sale today!

[...]

N: One thing that I was definitely curious about is that one of the weird figures for IDW in Transformers has been Galvatron, in that you couldn’t fall back on a G1 interpretation.

B: Yeah.

N: But so he was kind of Nova Prime’s Starscream for a while and then he kind of had this very ‘glorious leader against D-Void’ period. What made you settle on ‘Galvatron the Barbarian’ for your take?

B: I was kind of intrigued by the story that Simon [Furman] had set up of these characters being of a different age, y’know? These people that were there, that took off on the original Ark? I just kind of latched onto this idea of, ‘what was society like before they had the Golden Age?’ For me, it went back to doing the Robots in Disguise Annual and I had this idea of like Game of Thrones with Transformers, of this idea of these different tribes. And I played with that actually a bit in the movie universe stuff, but it was different in the main line stuff.

And Galvatron was one of those characters, kind of like Soundwave, where even within the IDW universe different writers had radically different takes on where he was. So, thinking about how you can sort of unify those, what kind of person would do all that stuff? And I came to the idea of ‘what if Galvatron’s kind of Conan’ and you had this guy who’s kind of really a rough guy, really a barbarian, but who becomes king?

“Galvatron was one of those characters where different writers had radically different takes. So, thinking about how you can sort of unify those, what kind of person would do all that stuff?”

I mean the story of Conan isn’t just Conan the Barbarian. There’s all these eras of Conan as he goes on; he eventually is King Conan. And the idea that Galvatron kind of went through all that, so he’s been different places in his life, appealed to me. And, in [issue #34] we’ll get kind of a larger grasp of how those early days with him and Nova functioned. We’ll be seeing some stuff, that I think may be surprising to some people, that we sort of hinted at. There’re definitely some hints that have been going on, but some of the ancient Cybertronian lore and history is gonna come up.

But, in short, it’s kind of the idea of this guy who, in his own mind, he’s noble, but it isn’t the usual nobility you get from a villain because he’s really, really brutal and he’s- he’s- like he’s genuinely not a nice guy, y’know, where, Soundwave, to me, he’s the good guy Decepticon.

N: Yeah.

B: Like he’s the guy that genuinely believes in the Decepticon cause and everything they had to do that was bad was a compromise that he had to make to a greater end goal, where Galvatron isn’t like that. He’s less compromising, but much more brutal and, like, the underlying…like-

N: He doesn’t feel like a guy who’s like thinking very much into the future.

B: Yeah. Like he does in his way. So, there are moments where you’re going to see him kind of doing stuff toward a larger goal, but it’s a very distinct, direct barbarian way of doing it. He’s not doing the Machiavellian playing guys off of each other the way Starscream does. Even when he does like straight up lie, his duplicity is a little more honest.

[...]

Just taking a step aside from Robots in Disguise for a second, I was just curious. You are not only a writer, but you’re an editor for IDW.

B: Yes.

N: As someone with that very unique experience, what do you think that -whether it be professionals, aspiring, anywhere in the process – what do you think that writers need to know about editors and editors need to know about writers? You have seen both sides.

B: That’s a good question. Ideally, everybody’s out to make a good comic. And there are good fits with writers and editors, y’know?

It’s funny because I have friends on both sides of the table. So, every once in a while you’ll sort of hear somebody, a friend of mine, complaining about, y’know, that editor didn’t work out. Then there’ll be people who are having a great relationship with that editor. So it’s like any other relationship in life. There are fits and there are non-fits.

When you’re putting a creative team together for a comic, it’s sort of like putting a band together, y’know? Like everybody has to get along. You have to know what parts everybody’s playing and what everybody’s doing. On the Transformers books we’re really lucky, everybody gets along really well, I think, between James, me, Mairghread, Chris Metzen, Flint Dille, plus like Alex Milne, Andrew, Livio, Sarah, everybody; we all interact really well.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #121 - SDCC 2015
Twincast / Podcast #121:
"SDCC 2015"
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2015