March 26, 2015
Frank Welker, legendary voice actor and original voice for MEGATRON, to appear at BotCon 2015 on June 19th and 20th. This will be Mr. Welker’s first ever convention appearance. Fort Worth, TX - Fun Publications, Inc., licensee for Hasbro’s official Transformers Collectors’ Convention BotCon, announced today that Frank Welker, one of the greatest voice actors of our generation, will be the featured guest for BotCon 2015. From his first voice role as Fred on the Hanna-Barbera series Scooby-Doo, Where are you! to the voice of one of the most iconic villains in cartoon history, MEGATRON, the tyrannical leader of the Decepticons, Frank Welker’s characters have entertained kids of all ages kids for over 40 years! This year’s award-winning convention featuring Frank Welker will take place at the Pheasant Run Resort June 18thright outside of Chicago. You can make your hotel reservations now at BotCon.com. In the coming weeks, pop culture enthusiasts from around the world will be able to register for BotCon 2015 and purchase the “Frank Welker VIP experience” package. This package will contain ONE autograph from Frank Welker, ONE professional picture with Frank Welker, an EXCLUSIVE MEGATRON art print, an EXCLUSIVE MEGATRON souvenir pin and VIP seating at his moderated panel on Saturday. This package will be available to anyone who purchases the BotCon Primus package. Fans and collectors who register for BotCon as a Primus package holder will receive a five-figure convention set, admission to the Friday private sales room experience, priority seating at all panels and seminars throughout the weekend and admittance to the Saturday night Dinner and Awards party. Primus package attendees will also receive a special bonus Transformers figure to go along with their convention box set. Day passes for non-registered guests(general public) will be available at the door on Saturday and Sunday only.
For all the information regarding BotCon 2015 show activities, hotel updates and the exclusive figure offerings be sure to stay tuned to BotCon.com.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company's world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company's Hasbro Studios is responsible for entertainment brand-driven storytelling around Hasbro brands across television, film, commercial productions and short-form. Through the Company's deep commitment to thru June 21st in the great city of St. Charles, corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Learn more at http://www.hasbro.com. © 2015 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
About Fun Publications
For 20 years, Fun Publications, Inc. has been a Hasbro licensee offering fans and collectors of pop culture memorabilia news, exclusive product and family events through different print offerings, websites, collector clubs and brand specific conventions such as GIJoeCon and BotCon. Located in Fort Worth Texas, Fun Publications reaches a large audience, serving the United States and many other countries such as Japan, Great Britain, Brazil, Australia and Canada. For more information visit TransformersClub.com, GIJoeClub.com, GIJoeCon.com, and BotCon.com. BotCon is a registered trademark of Fun Publications, Inc. © 2015 Fun Publications, Inc. All rights reserved
MY 2014 VERSION OF UNICRON
Unicron rips Cybertron apart as Autobot and Decepticon warships attack. Also shown are Mini-Unicron and the five moons of Cybertron.
Signed prints are available at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FDartstudio
As well as providing the making of text, how involved are you in the development of the book? Do you have a say in things like design, layout and covers as well?
The cover and contents page designs have been constant throughout, and were conceived entirely in-house at IDW. For every edition I'm asked to give Andy Wildman a detailed cover idea (let's face it, no one else involved in the production of the book would have asked for Nightstalker and an Autobot Overlord on the cover of Vol 2). You'll have noticed that with the covers we try to highlight the unique aspects of the UK stories, typically the characters that never featured in the US comics.
I'm responsible for selecting what should go in each volume, from the stories to the non-story scans: posters, letters pages, adverts etc. I re-read the 30 - 40 issues covered by each volume and flag up everything I think would be interesting to fans old and new, such as Transformation pages that trail or tease a big story, or announcements for new toys, or promotion about the original Movie and so on. Letters pages that disclose hitherto unknown 'in universe' facts are worth reprinting, too. I'll choose the front-papers - usually the inside cover of the annual, so that's easy - and the sequencing of the contents.
I'll submit the text - the foreword, the introductory essay, the story intros etc - and notate it to indicate which scans should go where.
At this point I must sing Lloyd Young's praises. The series wouldn't be a tenth as good as it is without him. Lloyd got in touch after Volume 1 and offered to use his complete collection of TFUK issues to provide high-quality scans of all the material that IDW didn't have. He spends hours and hours cleaning up and 'brightening' the strip pages, and digs up all sorts of rare free gifts and original art. I couldn't do any of this without him.
We’re now past the halfway point of the series, how advanced is the work on the remaining three books and do you think we’re likely to remain on a one volume a year schedule?
I'd love to be able to do more than one a year, but realistically... it's Volume 6 later this year, and Volume 7 in 2016. Maybe we'll get Volume 8 - the final one - out in 2016 too. I'd like that. As much as I love the project, I want to see it done! I can't relax until all eight volumes are on the shelf. I owe it to fans - and to myself.
As for how advanced work is on the remaining books, I know precisely which issues and annuals will be reprinted, and what special features we'll put in. I keep a list of non-story material we've not yet printed, and it's pretty long. I know exactly what's going in Volume 6. And I have my list of confirmed and prospective interviewees.
Be a huge tease and give us a hint of an exciting and new fact we’ll be learning in volume 6.
There's interesting stuff in Volume 6 (did you know that a TF character appeared on the cover of another Marvel UK publication in the late 80s?), but it's in Volume 7 that there's a real revelation. Wait until you find out what was originally planned for after issue 212...
I understand you and James first came into contact about this series via the TMUK forum, had you known each other before this, and what has the process of working with him (and IDW generally) been like?
As fate would have it, it was only a short time after finding all of the free gifts from the UK series and joining the TMUK forum that I was introduced to the one and only James Roberts. It was prior to Volume 1 of Transformers Classics UK being released and I received an email with an introduction. At the time I probably had to re-read it, it’s not often you’re approached to contribute to something that’s dear to you. After James explained what he was trying to achieve, there was no doubt that I wanted to be involved.
I couldn’t do this interview without highlighting the sheer passion that James has put into these books. He really has gone to the ends of earth to interview key contributors in its rich history to dig up information that would have potentially been lost forever. Each time we work on a new volume and I’m hunting around for items to include, I sit back and think, how the bloody hell is James going to fill this issue out? But testament to his unrelenting passion for the series, he does. Quite often, we’ll be nearing our cutoff dates to collate everything we need to hand off to the IDW guys, who then stitch the book together, and James will message me at the eleventh hour saying he’s found space for one last thing. That ‘one last thing’ often turns into the ‘tenth last thing’ but that’s what I love about this project, we’re always pushing to get the best content we can in.
This is where the guys over at IDW obviously do a great job as well and as James said earlier, are always kind enough to push the page count up if there’s more great content to include. As the books lay flat on my table you can visibly see the thickness change from the first few volumes. Without these guys, the books wouldn’t happen either. Shout out to Justin Eisinger.
And finally, you’ve contributed to an officially licensed Transformers book about the comic you love and have had your name in the credits alongside the great and the good who worked on the original series. On a scale of one to ten, how much of a good feeling is that?
It’s nothing short of amazing; I give it a 1984 out of 10 (the year that changed it all for me). What an absolute privilege to contribute to not only something you’ve loved since childhood, but to have your name in the same publication as the guys who shaped the original series and those who continue to work on the existing stories. I pinch myself from time to time.
During my years working in the games industry, I was also fortunate enough to work on a Transformers game. Although I was working as a 3d artist at the time, my good friend and fellow 3d artist/ photographer Jamie Andy Evans was given the role of advert photographer. Long story short, like a child attempting with their dear life to answer a questions in class, my arm went immediately up. I said to Jamie, “I have to get my face in this game; I don’t care what it takes”. It’s safe to say, I’m now immortalized on a mobile phone billboard. Sadly, Jamie passed away mid way through 2014, far too young and I’ll be forever thankful to him for taking those photos. RIP mate.
I’ll sign off now by once again thanking James Roberts and IDW, not only for including me in this epic journey of theirs but just because these guys rock it hard for TF’s! I’m certainly looking forward to meeting James and the gang in the flesh, we’ve only been working together for 4 years now after all.
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!"
D.C. Douglas wrote:And then there’s Chase! He was a challenge once we started recording the first episode. The breakdown (description of the voice the producers wanted) was that of Friday from “Dragnet.”
D.C. Douglas wrote:Here is my audition for Legion. It’s actually my call back. The first one was a monologue a la “friends, Romans, countrymen!” You’ll notice in this call back recording that I’m leaning heavier on the facts and less on the thoughtfulness. It’s subtle, but anyone who knows these games will hear it:
D.C. Douglas wrote:But once in the recording session, the creators realized it was just a bit too limiting and began shaping Chase with more of Spock’s Mother’s tendencies. Over the course of 3 seasons Chase has evolved into quite a lovable character.
And now the post “Spock Archetype” performances:
“Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong! ”
Casey W. Coller, reporting from my underground workstation! (basement studio) I’m honored and ecstatic to be a part of the TRANSFORMERS Legends Signature Series, following in the footsteps of some amazing artists! I had the chance to choose some of my favorite Transformers to include (and it was hard to narrow it down), and I hope you enjoy playing the game! Good luck and have fun!
“til all are one”-Casey W. Coller
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