Friday, February 20th 2015 3:37am CST
Categories: Event News
, People News
Posted by: Va'al
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Courtesy of a tip from fellow Seibertronian Supreme Convoy
, we have news of a double bill being offered by the Los Angeles American Cinematheque
at the Egyptian Theatre, featuring the The Movie of our favourite franchise and its twin cousin: The Transformers and G.I. Joe! The screenings also features a Q&A with directors, storyboard artists and consultants - you can find more information below, and if you're in the area, buy tickets here
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028 Map
Sat, Mar 7, 2015
Double Feature! Director & Crew Members In Person!
THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE / G.I. JOE: THE MOVIE
Presented by the American Cinematheque and Dammaged Goods
Discussion between films with TRANSFORMERS story consultant Flint Dille and G.I. JOE director Don Jurwich, story consultant Buzz Dixon and story board director Larry Houston.
THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE
1986, 84 min, USA, Dir: Nelson Shin
The hit animated television series (and action figure toy line) makes its first leap to the big screen! In the year 2005, Optimus Prime and his heroic Autobots struggle to defend their home planet Cybertron from the voracious Unicron (Orson Welles, in his final role) and defeat the evil Decepticons and their ruthless leader, Megatron. The all-star cast giving voice to these battling ’bots includes Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Eric Idle, Scatman Crothers and Casey Kasem. Released between the series’ second and third seasons, THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE killed off several major characters and featured a heavy-metal soundtrack and anime style that gave it a slightly darker tone than the TV program - but it’s still intergalactic fun for kids of all ages.
G.I. JOE: THE MOVIE
1987, 93 min, Japan, USA, Dir: Don Jurwich
In this feature-length spinoff of the beloved 1980s TV show, the G.I. Joe soldiers join newest hero Flint (Don Johnson) to take on the evil forces of Cobra, whose ancient Lovecraftian history is revealed as a new enemy, Serpentor, enters the scene. Featuring many of the same cast members as THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE, with Wally Burr once again directing the voices of Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Chris Latta, Michael Bell, Dan Gilvezan, Neil Ross, Corey Burton, Jack Angel and Gregg Berger. Also features Burgess Meredith and wrestler Sgt. Slaughter.
Screening format: 35mm (THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE) and Blu-ray (G.I. JOE: THE MOVIE)
Wednesday, February 11th 2015 3:16am CST
Categories: Comic Book News
, People News
, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al
Shane McCarthy, Va'al
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Hi! Remember us? We left the interviews with comics creators lagging for a while, as life decided to settle itself, 2014 swept in and we're now ready for Combiner Wars hitting shelves in both paper, plastic and pixel format. But alongside that, we've also seen the return of one of IDW's original Transformers characters, Drift, in the hands of its originator - Shane McCarthy. Read on below for a spotlight on the Australian author of AHM!
- Shane, it is a pleasure to talk to you for a bit, thank you for agreeing to do this! As we've done for the other creators we've interviewed, I'd like to start from the beginning - from your beginning: how did Transformers enter your life, do you remember your first interaction with the franchise?
- I absolutely do. Like most kids I was crazy about cartoons and around that time I was all about He-Man. Saturday morning was where it was at and I would get up super early to watch them all. One morning, when He-Man had finished, on comes this cartoon I'd never heard of. It opened with Cybertron in flames and I was immediately hooked. After that it was a mad dash to the toy store. The first one I ever bought was the double pack of the cassettes... Frenzy and Laserbeak I think.
- And was that also a gateway moment into collecting the toys, or were you able to keep the plastic addiction at bay (or forced to, by external factors)? Did you, or do you still, have the one that got away, or at least a very elusive toy that was really hard to get?
- Well I'd already started my He-Man collection so buying toys was already a habit. What I could afford mind you; my parents would buy me some big things for Christmas (Castle Grayskull) but I had to buy the figures myself. So picking up Transformers was a natural progression.
As for the one that got away. I was crazy about Prime and Soundwave as a kid and got both of those. There's two I never got that I really wanted as a kid. Ravage, because he looked so damn cool and I never saw him again beyond when I had to make that first choice in the store. And Megatron. Although I wouldn't be after Megs these days, the actual toy doesn't look at all that hot to me.
- Starting to sense a purple pattern here, I must admit. Would you say that Ravage (or any of the other three) still holds a spot in your collector's heart? Did you continue collecting beyond your childhood and teenage years, with new iterations of the same characters?
- I'd say it's really just Ravage these days; I think the concept and the design are really cool. I think I've still got Frenzy around here somewhere, I lost Laserbeak's head though.
I didn't keep collecting, no. My love of the toys spilled over into books and comics. The next time I bought a Transformer was after Beast Wars came out. Like a lot of people I dismissed Beast Wars as some sort of heretical assault on the old classics. When a friend explained how the old cartoons and Beast Wars lined up and then handed me Transmetal Optimus Primal, I was hooked again. That was a seriously cool toy.
- That often still happens with some fans, good to hear we won you over to the beast side eventually! So as you ventured from screen media and toys into comics, what were your first impressions, what caught your attention in particular?
- You mean comics in general? Conan, haha. My sister bought me one at a flea market to shut me up. It had Gil Kane on art and it was glorious. From there it was into Batman and Superman then down the road the X-Men.
As far as Transformers though I started picking up the magazine format comics, the ones from the UK that Simon Furman was writing. I absolutely loved them. I remember the first story I came in on, I can't remember the issue number though. But basically Prime and Outback were battered and fighting to survive against some sort of ape creatures I think. Classic stuff.
- That sounds very much like issue #100, Distant Thunder
! As an established comics reader, how long did it take from that point to entering the industry as a creator? How was that process for you?
- That's the one! Man, you're good. Alan Davis on cover art too, wow.
How long did it take? Well the link says that comic came out in 1987. My first publication was Batman for DC Comics in...2005 I think so, 18 years. Yikes.
The process was an interesting one. I never even thought of becoming a writer until I was around twenty odd years old. It had never occurred to me. Once the idea struck (or was actually suggested to me) everything clicked in a way nothing ever had before. After that it was a lot of work, effort and training before I broke in with DC.
- But you did make it in the end, and you've worked on multiple characters and properties since! What I'm wondering, though, is how the IDW gig started - did they ask you to take over from Furman, or did you pitch material to them?
- I was approached by Chris Ryall to take over from Simon. He'd been doing great stuff but they were wanting to move in a different direction and asked me what I would do if I took over. With the understanding that it was supposed to be a new direction, one they hoped would also appeal to a wider audience, I pitched All Hail Megatron
- And Drift was one of the new, original appearances in the series, before he became his own full-on character, correct? We've seen the pitch for him in the recent IDW Complete Drift
volume, actually - how did it feel to introduce an entirely new character to the franchise?
- It was fun. I was already having a hell of a lot of fun working on AHM and it was never on my mind to bring in anything new. However when I was working on the book the idea for Drift popped into my head and I thought, why not? I've said it before but the initial pitch was me just firing off a "what if" email to Chris. He liked the idea but said Hasbro would never go for it. Turns out they loved it. Right away they mentioned the possibility of a figure which was brilliant. Apparently some people didn't believe the figure was true when Chris announced it. I still find that hilarious.
- He was also not the only lasting outcome of the AHM series, as we're still feeling some of the aftermath of those events in the current ongoings and mini-series (such as the beef between Devastator and Spike, which Costa took a step further, and Barber is currently retreading in The Transformers). How does it feel, as the plotter behind it all?
- It's nice to know it's all still going forward. I don't read the books (unless I'm writing for them) but I would hope that some things have been kept and other things have changed. Like any comic book, when a new creative team comes on they need to leave their stamp. It's important everything isn't thrown out but it has to be something new otherwise what's the point?
- And that, in a way, brings us to the present day, with you returning to Drift after his presence in James Roberts' writing in More Than Meets the Eye
. How does it feel to write the book now, compared to any of the three you were working on back then?
- I have to say it was a mix of weird and fun. James' take on Drift was different to mine and I needed to keep that in mind as I did the mini series. I'd read through Drift's "James" appearances and got a feel for who he was there. After that I needed to think about where I wanted to take him and what I wanted to say with the character taking into account what he meant to me when I created him and what he means to me now after he'd gone through so much since AHM.
It kind of felt like seeing a really great friend after they'd been overseas for a while. They're still your good mate but they've got a whole bunch of new hobbies and an accent.
- Was the inclusion of Ratchet as grumpy but sensible counterpart to him in Empire of Stone
something that you built from the MTMTE relationship between the two, then, or entirely your initiative?
- No that was absolutely from MTMTE. I loved the odd couple vibe I was getting from them and knew I needed someone to come calling from the Autobots. It was nice having it be Ratchet, someone who once hated Drift (or was at least seriously annoyed by him). Plus I knew it would make for some fun buddy cop moments.
- They do have some really good interactions, yes! And what about the other characters showing up, such as Gigatron and super obscure ones like Hellbat and the Micromasters? Are they something you have a connection to, or was it more of an editorial call?
- No those were all my choices. When it comes to finding new, interesting characters that haven't been overused it can get tough so I decided to go to an expert. I went to Twitter and asked a Transformer fan, Sprite, for advice on some underused characters. I knew the kinds of characters I was looking for and she made some great suggestions of who hadn't been used in the IDW universe yet. I had a look through that list and chose the ones I liked the most. Gigatron, Hellbat and Grit all came from that list so, thanks, Sprite.
- Fans really making an impact, then, on all accounts! Some great artists are also showing up at IDW from the fan base, but you've gone with the established team of Guido Guidi, Stephen Baskerville and JP Bove. How are you finding working with them? What do you feel their art brings to the story?
- They're a fantastic team to work with. It's fantastic to be working with Guido again; I absolutely adore his artwork. After having worked together for a year on AHM it was great to get back into those familiar roles again. And JP, what a champ. Fantastic work and a great guy. I had the pleasure of signing with JP when I was at a UK con, the guy's a riot. Stephen is a new one to me but, like the others, I love what he brought to the book. Everyone is excited to be working together and we're all doing our best to put out a book that we love and hope the readers will love too.
- It is receiving its fair share of praise so far - but with only one issue left to the series, do you have any other plans in mind for Drift or the Transformers universe in general? Anything we should be looking forward to?
- Not currently no. I'm really glad John [Barber] dropped me a line asking me to do this, it was a blast, but currently this looks like it's it for Transformers. Not to say something won't pop up down the line, IDW is over the moon at how well Drift is being received so you never know.
- That's a low - though hopeful - tone to be ending this chat upon, however - is there anything you'd like to say to the fans and readers out there before we bid our goodbyes?
- Just a huge thank you. Thank you for reading and thank you for writing in. It's great to know people have enjoyed AHM and Drift.
- And thank you, Shane, for taking the time to talk to us for this interview - it was great to find out more about your journey as a fan and a creator. Best of luck for future endeavours, and we'll be on the lookout for Drift #4 later this month!
You can find out more about Shane McCarthy's multiple creative lives at his website, SMAcTalk
, and on Twitter
. IDW Transformers: Drift - Empire of Stone
is regularly reviewed on Seibertron.com - join the discussion here
You can also read Shane's thoughts on Age of Extinction Drift here
- and find out more about the latest incarnation of the character in animated series Robots in Disguise here