Beginning on Easter Day will be an eBay listing to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Transformers.
I am Bagging and Boarding 30 copies of the Convention Variant cover of Transformers Regeneration One #100. Each of the backing boards will have a sketch on the back. The 30 issues will be divided into 6 releases of five. There will be five sketches of Optimus Prime. Five sketches of Megatron - ya get the idea- then Ultra Magnus, Galvatron. Rodimus Prime and Bludgeon. The Optimus Prime sketches begin on Easter Day at 8pm UK time and runs for seven days.
The idea behind this is to not only commemorate the 30th anniversary but to enable those who can't get to UK conventions that I am attending to be able to get a copy of the comic and a sketch. Those of you who have seen me at conventions know that I do sketches but there are, needless to say, many Transformers and comic conventions that I won't be at. Below are the five Optimus Prime sketches that constitute this release. It's pot luck as to which bidder will get which sketch but that's part of the fun.
As you will see below I have decided to donate all the proceeds from the fifth winning bidder to the Make-A-Wish foundation. this is my favourite charity and the one that we support as Draw The World Together. Anyone not familiar with the activities of DtWT click the link and take a look. We don’t have a lot of time or facility to do much with DtWT these days so it is nice to be able to raise a bit of money for the charity.
So. set your alarm for the start of the bid and cross your fingers.
Some of you may have heard the Transmissions Podcast where - among many other things - they discuss Transformers Regeneration One #100. Its always interesting to hear what readers and aficionados make of the work one does. They really get under the skin of the whole issue with story, art etc. They mention right at the end that I am going to be saying more about my thoughts and feelings around Transformers. And I will. As much as they discuss the content of the book and also acknowledge the fact that we all had a chance to say something in the extra pages that the book had, they don't discuss what we said. Maybe at some point they may or maybe that will be covered elsewhere. For those of you who have not read any of that extra material, below is my piece. Slightly different from what you will have read in the book though. This is the unedited piece. Hasbro asked for some changes to be made to what I had written before it went to publication. Some of you may spot them. I am happy with the changes that they asked for but I thought it might be interesting to show exactly what I wrote, grammatical errors and all...
As you will see, as far as I am concerned it is all very great to read, enjoy and discuss all the events of the story but with Transformers there is definitely More Than Meets The Eye.
It Never Ends?
There we are then. That’s it. All done and dusted.
It seems amazing that we ever got to this point. This comic book that has - in one form or another - been there for so long. As many of you will know I first drew Transformers back in the dim and distant 1988. at the time I was working on whatever anyone was throwing at me. I was young(ish) and had a growing family to feed. At that time Transformers was just another paid gig. It very rapidly became more than that as it became the thing that opened to the door to Marvel Comics. Once in that door Transformers suddenly became a victim of Marvel’s decision to not do toy books anymore. No matter, I was in and had the opportunity to move through the ranks at Marvel and the pleasure of working on some of the characters that I had grown up with such as Spider-Man and the X-Men. Those jobs came and went but after all these years it is still Transformers that comes knocking at the door. When something is that insistent and becomes for many the thing that defines you it is always worth having a look under the hood. See what’s really there. What is it about this book that it seems to have attached itself to me?
Then I saw it;
When IDW asked me if I wanted to do some interior art for a Transformers book I said no. When they asked me what it would take to get me to do some interior art for a Transformers book I pondered the question and responded that I would only do it if I could work with Simon and if we could have the opportunity to do something that really had some weight to it. Out of this and Simon’s parallel conversations with IDW the idea for RegenerationOne was born.
I am going to break the flow here to give out a few acknowledgments. We have gathered a great team together for this journey. Guido has done a great job stepping in when I had to step away, JP Bove’s interior colours have perfectly captured that synthesis of being a bit like the old stuff but definitely new and fresh and I think now stand alongside the amazing Mr Nel Yomtov for the amount of uninterrupted output of pages. Jason Cardy’s cover colours have given cinematic impact that have pulled readers in like a movie poster outside your favorite multiplex. Stephen Baskerville, what can I say. A consummate professional. No matter what I throw at Stephen he unfailingly does his thing and makes these books look the way they ‘should’. As for the words, well a huge acknowledgment to Jim Shooter and Bob Budiansky for creating this beast. Without them we wouldn’t be here. We may well be creating a book about battling robots but for sure it wouldn’t be this one. And lastly, Simon Furman. My long time partner in crime. The man who not only brought me into the Transformers hold but who, as a result of that opened the door to many a subsequent opportunity. Thanks Mr F, my acknowledment and respect to you.
So there we were. The idea to finally complete the Transformers story was not only an opportunity but a privilege. What needs to really be gotten here is that this book is the conclusion of the definitive Transformers storyline. Let me just emphasise that. THIS book is THE CONCLUSION of THE DEFINITIVE TRANSFORMERS STORYLINE. It is not possible to over emphasise that. Back in 1983 something huge that has become part of popular culture began. At Marvel Comics Jim Shooter and Bob Budiansky wrote a treatment for Transformers. There was nothing before that other than some ill defined toys. That treatment became the Marvel Transformers book and that storyline - the definitive one - fell silent in 1991, reared its head again in 2012 and the no kidding, final conclusion of that whole storyline is what you now hold in your hands.
But what really makes this concept resonate and give it its longevity is the fact that this is NOT a book about robots. quite the opposite. The term 'robot' was first used in the 1921 play ‘R.U.R. Rossum's Universal Robots’ by the Czech writer, Karel Čapek. But these were human clones devoid of emotion. Transformers are if anything the opposite of that. They are sentient beings. They may be mechanical in their structure but they contain very human emotions and concerns. They are also from one source, The Matrix (later called The Allspark). This original singular source is what binds them and gives a unifying purpose to their lives. These themes are key to the popularity of Transformers in that it is an expression of much of what defines us as human beings. It has its roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, Enlightenment, Pantheism and subsequently many themes of Modern Philosophy. And that is what made me want to do this book. That is why we love it. A book about cool robots? yes, but about so much more. Its about us. About you and me. About the human condition. Its about separation, loss, pain, conflict and the pursuit of unification and oneness. Throughout its long life its always been there in that now familiar mantra; ‘Till All Are One’.
And here we finally are.
Transformers: Dark Cybertron, Vol. 1
James Roberts, John Barber (w) • Phil Jimenez, Andrew Griffith, Brendan Cahill, James Raiz, Atilio Rojo, Livio Ramondelli (a) • Phil Jimenez (c)
Shockwave makes a move millions of years in the planning—an ultimate strategy to remake Cybertron and destroy both the Autobots and Decepticons!
TPB • FC • $19.99 • 152 pages • ISBN: 978-1-61377-891-3
- Collects Dark Cybertron #1, More Than Meets The Eye #23–25, and Robots In Disguise #23–24.
Transformers: Windblade #1 (of 4): Dawn of the Autobots—SPOTLIGHT
Mairghread Scott (w) • Sarah Stone (a) • Casey W. Coller (c)
WHO IS WINDBLADE? In the aftermath of DARK CYBERTRON, WINDBLADE takes the planet by storm! But where did she come from—and what does her secret mean to the future of the TRANSFORMERS? A powerful new chapter in the TRANSFORMERS saga begins here!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
- WINDBLADE takes CYBERTRON by storm!
- Winner of the FAN BUILD BOT POLL—in which fans voted to create an all-new TRANSFORMERS CHARACTER!
- Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the TRANSFORMERS!
- Learn the secret history of WINDBLADE, CHROMIA, and NAUTICA!
- Variant interlocking cover by Livio Ramondelli!
ComicsAlliance: Tell me about Windblade. What sort of story are you and Sarah telling?
Mairghread Scott: Transformers: Windblade is a four-issue miniseries designed to introduce longtime fans to a brand new character and new readers to the current Transformers world. So we really wanted to tell an honestly hopeful, fun story that showcased how human Transformers really are.
We also wanted to really show off the unique things we love most about Transformers as a brand. We have fight sequences that are not even possible in other stories. We have a dazzling array of character designs and relationships, and the world itself is just too lush not to explore. Our characters reside in a living city. They can turn into jets and they fight with axes. They live for thousands of years and have only recently stopped a civil war that almost killed them all. There are some amazing stories to be had in a place like this, and Sarah and I intend to exploit every angle we can to bring fans something that will really take their breath away.
CA: How did each of you come to this book?
MS: Like most comics work that I’ve been part of, it involved a unique dance of asking/begging, worrying, pitching, worrying and then actually doing it. I first heard about Windblade’s creation as a character and toy at a convention with my editor John Barber and I immediately asked to be involved if she got a comic. Of course it took a few months to get the timing right, but John did let me pitch on Windblade — which meant explaining who I thought she was, her backstory and what a miniseries would like like — and he liked it. The rest, as they say, is history.
Sarah Stone: I have Mairghread to thank for the opportunity. She found me through some of my fan art online, and then we started talking more once we met at a comic con. She was kind enough to involve me in a personal comic project she wanted to create a pitch for, and thats when she asked if I would be interested in having my name thrown in as an artist for a Transformers project. I couldn’t say “YES” fast enough!
CA: You’re also telling the story of a female Transformer, though not the first. As the Transformers are all robots, can you talk a little bit about what gender means in this fictional universe and how it’s represented?
MS Yes. IDW’s continuity has never had an “originally female” Transformer in it (the only female transformer in the line, Arcee, was made female against her will) so it was important to us that Windblade’s comic present a positive view of Lady Bots without having the characters beat everyone over the head with their gender.
The beauty of Transformers is that, by their very nature, they’re a very inclusive race. Some Bots turn into jets, or cars, or flying sharks. They can be as small as trash cans or as big as whole cities. So while Windblade and [fellow Transformer] Chromia’s gender makes them “different” to other Cybertronians, it’s a much bigger deal to our readers than it is to the characters in the book.
Joining us at BotCon 2014 is the writer behind what has quickly become one of the most celebrated ongoing Transformers comic series of all-time, IDW Publishing’s Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. With that, we are thrilled to announce that British writer James Roberts will be our guest this year in Pasadena. He will be on hand all weekend for autographs, panels and hanging with fans from around the world! You won’t want to miss this rare opporutunity to meet James and to discuss his amazing work which has brought a new level of excitement to Transformers comic fiction!
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