East Coast Comicon wrote:During a 20-year career in the comic book industry, mostly at Marvel Comics, Bob Budiansky worked as an editor, illustrator, and writer. Although he edited titles like Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, was the regular penciler on Ghost Rider for more than a year, and even created and wrote his own series, Sleepwalker, Bob is perhaps best known for the work he did on The Transformers.
Bob was the editor on the very first Transfomers mini-series in 1984. He followed up that hugely successful four-issue intro by scripting most of the next 50-plus issues of the monthly Transformers comic book. He also named, created character profiles of, and wrote Hasbro packaging copy for approximately 250 Transformers during the first six years of the brand’s existence, and developed story treatments as Hasbro introduced new lines of Transformers. And occasionally he even penciled a Transformers comic book cover or two.
Bob is no longer active in the comic book industry, but still produces art commissions based on his comic book work.
- See more at: http://eastcoastcomicon.com/guests/2015 ... BCECF.dpuf
If you were to pitch the story to a new reader that hasn’t had the fortune of reading prior IDW Transformers comics, what is Combiner Wars and why should you be reading the current Transformers stories?
Mairghread Scott: Combiner Wars is about a world on the verge of imperial takeover. Cybertron has recently discovered one of a series of long lost colony worlds (this is where Windblade comes from), and they’re reaching out to them once more. But with the rise of the combiners, Cybertron (and more accurately Starscream) has military power no one’s ever seen before. He could easily turn these colonies into conquered worlds, creating a vast empire even Megatron never imagined.
John Barber: If you’ve never read Transformers, you probably wouldn’t guess what the IDW Transformers books are like. I mean, there’s a lot of action, yeah—and Combiner Wars definitely has some serious fighting—but a lot more personal interactions and political machinations go on than somebody might expect. I think word of mouth has spread about what we’re doing in these books, and hopefully something like Combiner Wars will give new readers a good place to take a look at this universe.
What do you want to do after Combiner Wars? Windblade Returns has been confirmed to not just be a miniseries, but little more besides that has been stated.
MS: That’s by design. Actually, the comic is named Transformers: Windblade; “Windblade Returns” was just a title card put up to announce our comeback. And we haven’t said much about it because Combiner Wars is so linked in with Windblade’s story that saying too much could spoil this event. I will tell you one thing. There’s this old saying I keep thinking of as I write it: “God never gives you more than you can handle.” Windblade is a lot stronger than she was when we first introduced her, but that just means her problems have grown that much bigger with her. I want to believe that Windblade really can build a better future for Cybertron and Caminus. But, as a writer, it’s my job to push her as hard as possible and see if she actually does.
JB: The next set of issues of Transformers deals with the ramifications of what happens in Combiner Wars back on Earth, and the rest of our solar system. With the changes in CW, we’ll see Arcee taking on a new role, and get some good Cosmos stuff, finally. And see what happened to Kup when he was in the Dead Universe. Plus, somebody will return. I won’t say who.
James Roberts, writer and mastermind, talks robots, disguises, and the scope and humanity of IDW’s Cybertronian comics universe. Robot gender, robot psychology, and entry points for new readers — this sprawling conversation with WWAC staffer, Rachel Stevens, has it all.
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.
JOURNEY'S END! Across time, across space, from prewar Messatine to postwar CYBERTRON—it's all been heading towards this—the moment when the fate of the AUTOBOTS and the DECEPTICONS is sealed. At the heart of it all: three killers, two outcomes... and one terrible, terrible choice.
his work as an illustrator has been used in advertising and publishing but it is for his work in the field of comics that he is best known. Illustrating for books such as Transformers, The X-Men, Spider-Man and Venom with such acclaimed writers as Larry Hama, Peter David and Ralph Macchio has gained him a devoted fan base. Further work includes character and environment design and animated movie production for the TV and Video Games industries. Story boarding for the film Wing Commander and design and concept work on games The Mummy, Gunlok, Jesse James: Gunfighter, Delta Force, Largo Winch and Dredd v Death have created a presence within the computer games industry.
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