CBR News spoke with Scott and Howell about what's next for "Transformers: Windblade," what it means for their title character to learn that Prime may not be the 100% altruistic hero she once believed him to be, and why giant, battling robots provide the perfect allegory to explore themes like politics, war, gender and more.
Starscream has been handling this all magnificently, maneuvering everything into place. Has it been fun to get to have him outpace the others and show off his political agility?
Scott: Starscream is one of my favorite characters and I've had a great time revealing just how cunning he is. He also has a big advantage because everyone else in the book wears their heart on their sleeve. Windblade wants to save Caminus. Optimus wants to save Cybertron. And Starscream just wants to do whatever's best for Starscream. That makes him a lot more flexible than our other characters, and he uses that flexibility to its fullest extent. When Starscream sent Swindle and Menasor to Caminus, I saw a lot of people exclaiming that this would be Starscream's last mistake, and by the end of "Combiner Wars" he'd be ousted from power. I think underestimating Starscream is a lot of people's biggest mistake.
Scott: So at the end of "Combiner Wars," Caminus and Cybertron are now connected via SpaceBridge, and the Cybertronians have learned of at least four other colonies. Windblade's new mission is to make first contact with these worlds and somehow convince them to ally with Cybertron's new Council of Worlds, but each colony will have its own unique challenges she'll have to deal with. We're also kicking open a lot of doors to continuities that haven't been explored much in IDW. We're including a whole lot of new Transformers, many of which fans will know from other iterations of the brand throughout the years.
The Transformers comics seem to handle sci-fi as allegory more capably than anyone else is able to right now. What is it about the Universe which makes them so suitable to introduce themes of politics, war, gender and the like?
Howell: I think it's because when you get to see huge talking robots fighting, you can be sneaky with some bigger themes like political disputes and rivalries or the cause and costs of war. Everyone reads it to have fun, but they come away with a little bit more than that -- or at least that's the hope, anyway.
Scott: When you are dealing with alien robots, you have just enough distance between you and the subject that you can explore difficult ideas and themes much more comfortably. "Transformers" as a brand has always dealt with war, battle fatigue, prejudice and factionalism. And while our main goal is to tell a really great story, it's always my hope that we're giving people the chance to explore the rationale, emotions and beliefs of people they wouldn't get the chance to do in real life.
Was it a conscious choice to pick characters from so many different versions of the franchise and unite them here?
Scott: My goal for introducing more diversity to the brand has always been about opening as many doors as possible. I never want a writer to think "I can't introduce Character X because they have no place in this universe." So Caminus got the ball rolling on introducing female Transformers, but now all these other colonies will have female Transformers, too. My next thought was how can we push this further and introduce more bots. I realized that we had a lot of G1 and G2 bots but what if you grew up with "Beast Wars" or "Animated" or any of the later generations of Transformers? I wanted something for those viewers, too. These colonies have allowed me to open even more doors and create a whole universe of possibilities for future stories and future characters. I want any fan no matter their age or what iteration of the brand they grew up with to be able to see their favorite Transformer fitting in to the story.
We are happy to welcome the voice of Generation 1 Grimlock Gregg Berger to TFcon Charlotte. He also voiced Skyfire (Jetfire), Long Haul and Outback in the same series. He returned to the character of Grimlock for the Fall of Cybertron video game as well as the upcoming Transformers: Devastation.
Gregg will be taking part in Q&A panels and autograph sessions with the attendees of the world’s largest fan-run Transformers convention all weekend long.
Taking a page from how a TV show is run, Paramount assembled a big group of experienced writers to help chart out the future of the Transformers film series, under the guidance of Akiva Goldsman, as the studio looks to build more of an expanded Transformers movie universe. I asked DeKnight what the experience was like taking that TV dynamic and using it in film, and he had an enthusiastic reply.
“It's that wonderful thing where features are now taking a page from television and getting people together to really try and plan things out. It was a wonderful experience. Akiva Goldsman was fantastic and Jeff Pinkner, who's co-writing the fifth [Transformers] movie with him was phenomenal. Zak Penn... It was just a room full of brilliant, funny, amazing people. And we spent two and a half weeks in physically the best writers room I've ever seen in my life. Paramount pulled out all the stops. It was phenomenal! We laughed and joked and told stories and plotted out...”
It’s not very often that voice actors make a return appearance at Auto Assembly. Not because we don’t want to see many of our guests come back but with a limited budget for voice actors for the convention we tend to focus on bringing actors to Auto Assembly who haven’t visited the event before so it’s rare that actors make return appearances and if they do it’s not usually for a few years. However, something rather unusual has happened for Auto Assembly 2015 and some may say that it’s something rather fishy…
In 2014 we were joined by Peter Spellos, the voice of Skybyte from Robots In Disguise. Peter made an incredible impact on all of the fans who were in attendance to the extent that immediately after the event we were asked by hundreds of people to bring him back to this year’s convention – the enthusiasm to see his return was unprecedented and something we hadn’t seen before in Auto Assembly’s 15-year history. Unfortunately as we had already booked our two guests of honour for this year’s event we weren’t able to do this but it was clear that there was an incredible amount of affection for Peter and the fans wanted to see him back. But this affection and desire to see his return ran a lot deeper than anyone could have ever imagined…
This desire to see Peter’s return has now become a reality as we are now proud to confirm that – thanks to a massive collaborative effort – Peter Spellos IS making a return to Auto Assembly 2015 as our third guest of honour at the last ever Auto Assembly convention! Peter’s appearance has been made possible because of the determination of the Transformers fan community pulling together and showing how much they wanted to see Peter return to the event and I can’t thank the community enough for making this possible.
Peter’s flight has been provided by the Auto Assembly team themselves in a collective effort and I can’t thank all of them enough for their efforts and generosity here. Peter’s additional travel costs and other expenses relating to the convention are being covered thanks to the incredible fundraiser that had been organised on Facebook by Jamie Harris on The Sharkiest Of Sharks page and I have got to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the amazing fans who have contributed to this. Jamie is also very kindly sponsoring the Skybyte postcard (featuring artwork from Ed Pirrie) that all of you will be receiving at the convention.
Finally, as a convention, we have managed to secure accommodation for Peter in the Hilton to make sure that he will be able to be with us all weekend, enjoying whiskey and ice cream with all of you and as with last year he’ll be taking to the stage for a Q&A Panel, joining Sumalee Montano and James Horan for our script reading and signing autographs throughout the weekend.
I can’t thank everyone enough for making this happen and for helping to bring everyone’s favourite shark back home to all of us here at Auto Assembly next month. It’s going to be a blast!
The Transformers Quintesson castle and Ariel (later redesigned and renamed as Elita)
Signed prints are available at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FDartstudio
While Auto Assembly is taking it’s final bow, we realise the Transformers brand moves ever onward, with new stories, characters and creative artists. It’s fitting therefore, that our latest guest announcement is for one of the brightest new stars in TF art. We are delighted to announce the appearance of the amazing Miss Kei Zama.
Miss Zama will be familiar to many of you through her fan art collaborations, and stunning commission work, under the moniker of GOLBY2, and this has lead to her official work for IDW’s Transformers, providing the RI covers for MTMTE, TF and Windblade in September. We are confident she will only go forward, from there!
While here, Kei will be selling her sketchbook, prints and be taking commissions. Due to the following she has through the fandom, it is worth getting your request in early. To request a commission, go to Kei’s Twitter and Tumblr pages, where a price list will shortly be published, or you can email her at email@example.com
Kei is making her first journey over here, from Japan, for Auto Assembly and admits she is still picking up English. However, she cannot wait to join us and, in between her stunning work, her admitted love for Judge Dredd, ABC Warriors and all things 2000AD and her excitement for Wreckers, we think she will feel right at home.
Kei’s Deviantart: http://golby2.deviantart.com/
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Golby_mkII
If you haven’t already registered for the convention, you can book now for Auto Assembly 2015 which is taking place over the weekend of 21st – 23rd August 2015 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, England.
Constructicons that appeared in 7 / 26 wonder-TT booth oculus is based 3D data of the toy and, enables exact deformation combined on a video screen. ※ Oculus tickets and distributed in order of arrival will end and reached at will number #TT_TF
We are very happy to welcome Transformers voice actor Garry Chalk to TFcon Charlotte 2015. The voice of Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines and Optimus Prime in the Armada, Energon and Cybertron cartoons, he also voiced Generation 1 Megatron in an episode of Beast Wars. Additionally he is known to GIJOE fans as the voices of Pathfinder and Metalhead in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and He-Fans as the voices He-Man in The New Adventures of He-Man, and Man-at-Arms in the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Mr. Chalk will be taking part in Q&A panels and autograph sessions with the attendees of the world’s largest fan-run Transformers convention all weekend long.
He voiced the character of Woodhouse in the FX animated series “Archer” and the Autobot Wheeljack in Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”
The Hollywood Division of SAG awarded Coe with the Ralph Morgan Award for service to the guild in 2009.
“It is with heavy hearts that our SAG-AFTRA family says goodbye to George Coe,” said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. “He was a stalwart unionist and a tremendous presence in our union for many years. He served his fellow actors and the labor movement with conviction and pride. Our deepest condolences go out to his family.”
News Categories: View All Categories, 3rd Party News, Auctions, Book News, Cartoon News, Collectables, Collector's Club News, Comic Book News, Company News, Contests, Editorials, Event News, Game News, Heavy Metal War, Interviews, Knock Offs, Media, Movie News, People News, Podcast, Press Releases, Reviews, Rumors, Sightings, Site Articles, Site News, Sponsor News, Store News, Top Lists, Toy News, Transtopia