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Transformers: Robots In Disguise New Decepticon Character Scuzzard Revealed

Transformers News: Transformers: Robots In Disguise New Decepticon Character Scuzzard Revealed
Date: Thursday, April 2nd 2015 3:38pm CDT
Categories: Book News, Cartoon News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Amazon.com

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Views: 20,585

Thanks to an Amazon listing for a new chapter book based on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series, we have the reveal of a new member of the escaped Decepticons: Scuzzard! You can check out the listing for the book, authored by John Sazaklis and out in May, here, and check out the cover showing off Bumblebee and the new Con below!

The first in an exciting, original chapter book series based on the new Cartoon Network show, Transformers: Robots in Disguise!

Copyright © 2015 Hasbro.


Transformers News: Transformers: Robots In Disguise New Decepticon Character Scuzzard Revealed

Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
Date: Friday, March 27th 2015 7:56am CDT
Categories: Book News, Interviews, People News, Toy News
Posted by: Va'al

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Views: 27,417

A very different take, perhaps, on the Transformers franchise, was brought to the stage and under the spotlight by Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster, in the IDW Publishing Transformers: Legacy book. Showcasing the art that adorned the packaging of the toys from the early Generation 1, 2 and their Japanese counterparts and continuations, the book has been extremely well received in the Transformers fandom (and outside of it), and you can hear the Twincast Podcast talk to one of its authors here, and read an interview here.

Here at Seibertron.com, we were able to contact one of those wonderful artists involved in the creation of the original pieces, and an unsung part of the face of Transformers in toy, iconic and pop culture: freelance artist and illustrator Mark Watts!

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
The artist in the studio, with Transformers: Legacy


Va'al - Mark, thank you for the opportunity to discover more about this side of the franchise. So how did it begin, were you approached by Hasbro? Or did you pitch work to them?

Mark - Back in 1985, many, many illustrations ago, I was called into my Agents office. In New York I was shown the Transformers toys fresh from China, some being Prototypes. I was working on a lot of kid toy boxes for Mattel, Kenner, Tyco and more also working on Movie posters I did the Movie Poster for Pink Cadillac staring Clint Eastwood. Some of the Transformers shown were being sold in China and had done very well. At that point I was given a Transformers Bible, top secret, to be kept under lock & key. It contained technical drawings of each Transformer including the placement of colors, logos, ect.

Va'al - Did you choose what to work with yourself, or were you assigned characters?

Mark - Originally I was given six to start with, they were to be used on blister packs for Autobots. Of the six toys, some I believe were Prototypes. I completed the drawings with forced perspective to make the toys more exciting and menacing.

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark WattsTransformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
Early Autobots!


Va'al - And how did you go about creating them, what methods and tools do you use?

Mark - This first set of six were painted in Dr. Martian Dyes and Luma Dyes, completely done in Airbrush with cut frisket to protect the area not to be spread. Cut tracing paper was used to move around when spraying to create a softer edge in the reflections. Later paintings were done with Airbrushed Acrylic paints. I like them all I paint in mostly with Acrylics, and occasionally Oils. In the beginning of my Illustration Career I used Airbrush almost exclusivity with - Dyes, Watercolor and Gouache then I switched to Acrylic. I also like Digital now it is faster and easy to change and correct colo,r of course when I started out in the late 70s everything was done by hand, no computers. The Software I use is Photoshop, Painter, Illustrator, Lightwave, Vue. Also I use a combination of 3D rendered and wacom tablet.

My objective on these illustrations in particular was to make them as reflective as possible, like car paint--exciting with a lot of reflections.

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark WattsTransformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
Newer projects by Mark, returning to car illustration


I completed the set of six and all were very happy with the results. The rest is History, and I continued to work on Transformer art for many years.

Va'al - That sounds fantastic, you almost defined a whole style and even the franchise itself, in a way! How many pieces did you create for Hasbro?

Mark - I did the Original Artwork on about 45 Boxes and Blister Packs for the Transformers Toys when they 1st came out in America in around 1985 and on. In the New Transformers book: Legacy The Art Of Transformer Packaging - Pages that my Art is on: 7,14,15, 30, 34, 35,82, 83, -( 283 Eagle Eye ) - ( 242 Ram Jet ) - ( 264 Reflector ) 295.

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
The Big Purple himself


You never know when a toy will take off like Transformers did and become such a sensation. It was my pleasure working on all of the illustrations for the Transformers packaging, the toys were enjoyable and I am sure they were a part of many fond childhood memories. The Art itself feels like Pop Culture Art to me now. It was a real pleasure to be involved.

Va'al - I can tell! So what happened to the originals? Any plans for them, or anything based on them?

Mark - I have decided to put on sale Signed prints of my Transformer Art on www.markwattsstudios.com. I am offering them on Canvas, Aluminum and Paper, and all Prints are made direct from the the Original Art of these Great Iconic Transformer Toys from 1985, 1987 and beyond…

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts


All 29 prints [featuring Costructicons, Stunticons and Menasor, Jetfire, and much more - V] can be found on the Store section of my Web Site.

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
Blast from the Combiner past!


Va'al - That is some great stuff, and quite topical with the new IDW/Hasbro event and lines of Combiner Wars! What else do you see yourself doing now and in the future?

Mark - I am planning on mass market my Illustrations on prints and products, I have some more Ideas for products I want to Patten. I also have many more Illustration Ideas floating around in my head and on sketch pads that I will be doing right now I kind of have my Business hat on for a little while longer. As for life, I just had my 1st Grandchild, Crew Winsor Watts. I am enjoying him and my 3 Children, Justin, Britney, Amber, they are all dong great and are very artistic as well. My Wife is a Nurse, she enjoys being a Nurse and is going to start working on a Children's Book that I think she is going to let me Illustrate them.

Va'al - Well then, best of luck to all of you, and in your sales too! Thank you for the chat, Mark.

Mark - Thank you as well for the Interview, Alex.

Mark Watts can be found at his website www.markwattsstudios.com, and is available for prints, commissions and car illustration art. Head over here for more about him and his work!

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts

TRANSFORMERS RETURNS TO HUMBLE BUNDLE WITH IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers News: TRANSFORMERS RETURNS TO HUMBLE BUNDLE WITH IDW PUBLISHING
Date: Wednesday, March 4th 2015 3:22pm CST
Categories: Book News, Comic Book News, Company News
Posted by: william-james88 | Credit(s): IDW and Humble Bundle

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Views: 35,380

New Transformers Comics Bundle from Humble Bundle. If anyone was wondering what that revealed Leader Ultra Magnus with Minimus Ambus was all about, here is an easy way to get caught up.

It's pay what you want from Humble Bundle:

Transformers comics are so nice, we bundled them twice.

That, and we've got a sweet spot for Bumblebee (let's bee friends)!



From IDW:
TRANSFORMERS RETURNS TO
HUMBLE BUNDLE WITH IDW PUBLISHING
Leading Publisher Re-Teams With The Pay-What-You-Want Site To Offer TRANSFORMERS Comics

San Diego, CA (March 4, 2015) - Humble Bundle and award-winning publisher IDW Publishing, in conjunction with Hasbro, are reteaming to offer the perfect opportunity to build a digital TRANSFORMERS comic collection. Not only does the bundle feature multiple collected volumes of the hit TRANSFORMERS series, it also boasts some of the most recent issues to date, making it easy to catch up to speed on the latest stories.

Humble Book Bundles typically last for a full two-week time span, however, the contents of this particular bundle are so premium that it will run as a limited time one-week offer. Also unique to this bundle is the "pay $5 or more over the average price" tier, which is being utilized in place of the standard fixed price tier.

https://www.humblebundle.com/books

Customers can name their price for the first 37 issues of TRANSFORMERS: More Than Meets the Eye and the one-shot Death of Optimus Prime.

Those who pay more than the average price will also receive volumes 1-6 of TRANSFORMERS: Robots in Disguise as well as TRANSFORMERS: Dark Cybertron Vol. 1.

Customers who pay $5 above the average price or more will receive all of the above plus TRANSFORMERS: Robots in Disguise #33-#37 and TRANSFORMERS: Dark Cybertron Vol. 2.

“This new bundle of Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERS comics features the newest directions for Optimus Prime, Megatron, and all your other favorite Autobots and Decepticons,” said Jeff Webber, IDW’s VP of Digital Publishing. “This collection includes brand new issues all the way up to the past month, documenting the very latest stories in IDW’s TRANSFORMERS Universe!”

As with all Humble Bundles, customers can choose how their purchase dollars are allocated, between the publishers and charity. The Humble TRANSFORMERS Bundle 2 Presented by IDW supports the Hasbro Children's Fund, which is dedicated to empowering childhood by bringing the sparkle of Hope, the joy of Play and the power of Service into the lives of the children who need it most.

The Humble TRANSFORMERS Bundle 2 Presented by IDW runs from now until Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 11 a.m. Pacific time.

About Humble Bundle
Humble Bundle organizes pay-what-you-want plus charity promotions for awesome digital content and puts the power directly in the hands of the consumers, offering them fully-featured titles at prices they set themselves. Consumers pay what they want and decide how to allocate their money between content creators, charity and a humble tip. Humble Bundle also offers the Humble Store, a digital storefront that features great games at great prices with a portion of sales going to select charities. Since the company's launch in 2010, Humble Bundle has helped empower its community to allocate more than $54 million toward charity to date. For more information, please visit https://www.humblebundle.com

About Hasbro Children’s Fund
The Hasbro Children’s Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to empower childhood by bringing “the sparkle of Hope, the joy of Play and the power of Service” into the lives of the children across the globe. Working with strategic charitable partners, the grants made through the Hasbro Children’s Fund support programs that deliver; stability for children in crisis; pediatric physical and mental health services; hunger security; educational programs; quality out of school time programming and programs that empower youth through service. To learn more about these programs and how they are making a difference for children worldwide, please visit http://www.hasbro.org.

About Hasbro
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including LITTLEST PET SHOP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, PLAY-DOH, TRANSFORMERS, and premier partner brands. From toys and games to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive lifestyle licensing program, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection for children and families around the world. The Company’s Hasbro Studios creates entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film and more. Through the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. Learn more at http://www.hasbro.com and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews).

Contact:
Humble Bundle
Lizzie Cuevas, 510-842-7087
Director of PR
lizzie@humblebundle.com
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About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY; Paramount/CBS’s Star Trek; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; 2000AD’s Judge Dredd; The Rocketeer; Toho’s Godzilla; Zombie vs Robots by Chris Ryall and Ashley Woods; Ragnarök from Eisner Award-winner Walter Simonson; and Little Nemo from the award-winning duo of Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to acclaimed imprints such as the Library of American Comics, which publishes classic comic reprints, Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio, IDW Artist’s Editions, and Top Shelf Productions.

IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot; Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Warner Brothers are producing a film based on Ashley Wood's Lore; Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony are bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film, Alex Kurtzman is producing a movie based on Locke & Key at Universal.


Transformers News: TRANSFORMERS RETURNS TO HUMBLE BUNDLE WITH IDW PUBLISHING

Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac, plus Contest

Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac, plus Contest
Date: Monday, March 2nd 2015 4:44pm CST
Categories: Book News, Cartoon News, Comic Book News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Jim Sorenson

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Views: 35,030

Jim Sorenson, co-author with Bill Forster of the Allspark Almanac and regular Seibertron.com presence, has updated the Disciples of Boltax blog with an eight-page preview of this week's Transormers: Animated release by IDW Publishing: The Complete Allspark Almanac! Check them out mirrored below, and head to the blog here to find out more about the small contest held for fans of both this and the original release of the same pages.

Then it hit me... there are numerous pages that aren't completely new but are a BIT new. New art, new context, new photos, integrated in with the existing material So, why not showcase them?

Then I thought, why not make it a game? The first person who replies in the comments who can correctly identify every difference will get a doodle of the character of their choice. 8 pages, (at least) 8 differences. Go for it!


Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac

Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac

Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac

Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac

Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac

Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac

Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac

Transformers News: Preview of Transformers: Animated - The Complete Allspark Almanac

Disciples of Boltax - Secrets of the Almanac Addenda

Transformers News: Disciples of Boltax - Secrets of the Almanac Addenda
Date: Sunday, February 8th 2015 1:53pm CST
Categories: Book News, Cartoon News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Disciples of Boltax

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Views: 28,421

It looks like Jim Sorenson took the weekend to update his Disciples of Boltax blog with another section of behind the scenes tips on the Allspark Almanac, adding to the post we reported on the other day! Check out the blog here - it includes parts of the Addenda, from the Transformers Club magazine and the Stunticon Job story.

Summer of 2011... Animated had come and gone, and then Fun Publications went and did an awesome BotCon set featuring the Stunticons and a few other new Animated goodies. I even got asked to write a few of the tech specs for the lithograph. Pete Sinclair and I got to talking and one thing led to another and soon Bill and I had been tasked to write a 16 page AllSpark Almanac Addendum, featuring the events and characters and places of The Stunti-Con Job and Moving Violations. The big constraint was that they wanted about half of the pages devoted to covering BotCon itself, which we did in the style of the Part II, out-of-universe material.

They were pleased with our work, and agreed to give us a few pages in the club magazine itself to continue the theme. We did six more pages the next year, though it never was quite the right time to revisit the format... until now, that is!

Disciples of Boltax - Secrets of the (Animated Allspark) Almanac II Revealed

Transformers News: Disciples of Boltax - Secrets of the (Animated Allspark) Almanac II Revealed
Date: Saturday, February 7th 2015 3:57am CST
Categories: Book News, Cartoon News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Disciples of Boltax

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Views: 27,864

With the arrival of the Complete Allspark Almanac hitting soon, co-writer Jim Sorenson has updated his blog Disciples of Boltax with an overview of the second volume in its first iteration, covering some of the behind the scenes of the book, page by page. They include references to TV shows, comics series, videogames, self-referential lines and more Transformers goodness - and you can read them all here!


A while back, Bill Forster and I did a series of posts called Secrets of the Almanac. We went behind-the-scenes on all of book 1 and about a quarter of book 2 and shared our thoughts. I figured, with The Complete AllSpark Almanac just a few weeks away, I'd pick up where we left off. I'll just ramble on about what I remember, and especially anything that Chris McFeely missed in is excellent (and flattering) Annotated Almanac II. By-the-by, here is Part One of Secret of the Almanac II, and here are parts one, two, three, and four of book 1.

The Complete Allspark Almanac Cover Art Revealed

Transformers News: The Complete Allspark Almanac Cover Art Revealed
Date: Monday, January 26th 2015 6:27pm CST
Categories: Book News, Cartoon News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Jim Sorenson

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Views: 37,808

Via Jim Sorenson's Disciples of Boltax blog, we finally get a look at the cover for his and Bill Forster's upcoming Complete Allspark Almanac! Artwork by Marcelo Matere and Josh Perez, showing off the main Transformers: Animated cast of Dinobots, Autobots, Decepticons, and some humans too, from Optimus Prime to Shockwave, Megatron and Captain Fanzone, Omega Supreme plus Cheetor, Rodimus and G2 Sideswipe - make sure to check it out below.

It looks like The Complete AllSpark Almanac is just three short weeks away, with an ETA of February 18th at fine comic book stores everywhere. (Probably hitting Amazon shortly thereafter, available for preorder now.) Here's Marcelo Matere's beautiful cover for the book, with excellent Josh Perez colors. (Josh also lent his talents to some of the new bonus material inside the book.)

For those of you who missed our Radio Free Cybertron interview, this is going to be a massive, 472 page tome that combines The AllSpark Almanac, The AllSpark Almanac II, The AllSpark Almanac Addenda we put together for the Transformers Collectors' Club, and ten-ish pages of new content teasing more of what Season 3.5 might look like. We worked closely with Derrick Wyatt to ensure that the book was as close to 100% canon as possible, with all new material carefully vetted (and a bit of old material tweaked or recontextualized.) I hope that you all get a big kick out of this one. V1 and V2 are insanely hard to find and fetch ridiculous prices on the secondary market, so it's very nice to get this material back in print where everyone can get a copy.


Transformers News: The Complete Allspark Almanac Cover Art Revealed

THE ART OF IDW'S TRANSFORMERS: CASEY COLLER EDITION

Transformers News: THE ART OF IDW'S TRANSFORMERS: CASEY COLLER EDITION
Date: Thursday, November 13th 2014 3:43pm CST
Categories: Book News, Collectables, Comic Book News, People News
Posted by: Autobot032 | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 59,369

For the über fan among us, IDW has released a special, very limited edition hardcover book featuring the artwork of Transformers artist Casey Coller. How limited, you ask?

Only 15 in the world!

Read below for the full details:

DETAILS
*Limited to 15 copies
*Includes a hand-drawn original piece of artwork from Casey Coller
*Oversized hardcover celebrating IDW's amazing line-up of TRANSFORMERS artists
*Exclusive Black Label Dust Jacket


The Art of IDW's Transformers collects the best, and some of the rarest, artwork from IDW's run of Transformers comic books into one oversized hardcover. Celebrating the achievements of the many artists who have left their mark on the material over the years, The Art of IDW's Transformers collects the most memorable work from series such as Beast Wars, Generations, Infiltration, Spotlight, Escalation, Stormbringer, and Evolutions, and splits it up by artist to give an unprecedented look at the impact of talents like MD Bright, Don Figueroa, Guido Guidi, Bob LeFevre, Marcelo Matere, Ed McGuiness, Alex Milne, Robby Musso, James Raiz, Nick Roche, Rob Ruffolo, Klaus Scherwinski, E.J. Su, Andrew Wildman, and Ashley Wood have had on the ROBOTS IN DISGUISE.

NOTE: The product image shown is an example. Each one of a kind, hand-sketched is completely unique. The artist has sketched a small selection of various characters and poses, each drawn in similar detail to the cover shown in this listing. The cover you receive may vary from this image.


Order here:

http://idwlimited.com/series/transforme ... oller.html

Check out a sampling of images below:

Transformers News: THE ART OF IDW'S TRANSFORMERS: CASEY COLLER EDITION

Transformers News: THE ART OF IDW'S TRANSFORMERS: CASEY COLLER EDITION

Transformers News: THE ART OF IDW'S TRANSFORMERS: CASEY COLLER EDITION

Transformers News: THE ART OF IDW'S TRANSFORMERS: CASEY COLLER EDITION

Transformers News: THE ART OF IDW'S TRANSFORMERS: CASEY COLLER EDITION

Transformers News: THE ART OF IDW'S TRANSFORMERS: CASEY COLLER EDITION

It's available now and would make the perfect Christmas present for the Transformers and comics fan(s) in your life, but you have to act fast!

Keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!

New Photo of Japanese exclusive Goshooter

Transformers News: New Photo of Japanese exclusive Goshooter
Date: Monday, October 20th 2014 9:58am CDT
Categories: Book News, Sponsor News, Toy News
Posted by: william-james88 | Credit(s): Transformers facebook

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Views: 39,793

The official Japanese Transformers facebook page has posted an image of the Generations volume 2 magazine with the Goshooter figure.

Goshooter is a redeco of Generations Nightbeat and it will come with a redeco of Blazemaster. This Japanese exclusive figure can be bought indepdently or combined with the magazine for 10$ more at BBTS.

Transformers News: New Photo of Japanese exclusive Goshooter

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

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

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Views: 61,142

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Jim – Jillian. She helped work on the book.

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Bill – Jim loves order. Loves it.

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

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

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

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

Jim – Not really, but you can probably guess.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim – Thank you!

Bill – No problem at all!



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

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #116 - Character Piece
Twincast / Podcast #116:
"Character Piece"
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Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2015