As with Transformers vs G.I. Joe before it, the new IDW Publishing offering for Free Comic Book Day (May 2nd) of Transformers: Robots in Disguise, is already planned as an ongoing after the issue #0 for the initiative. And with John Barber teaming up with Priscilla Tramontano for the first, introductory book, the reins will then pass on to Georgia Ball, currently behind My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop! Read her announcement, found here, below, and take a look at a preview for issue #0 here.
This was actually announced Easter Sunday at Wondercon but the word hasn’t gotten around: I’m writing this series after issue #0. My childhood parked in front of Transformers G1 is now justified. I can bring Starscream back from the dead right?
TFCon Toronto not only has Peter Cullen and some great Transformers comics related guests - they have also just let us know that another original G1 cartoon voice actor will be joining them in July: John Moschitta Jr, the man behind the fastest Autobot around, Blurr! Read on below for more about the announcement, and head here for the official event website.
TFcon is proud to announce that the actor known as the world’s fastest talking man John Moschitta Jr, will be a guest at this years convention in Toronto. Known to Transformers fans as the voice of the fast talking Blurr in Generation 1 as well as Transformers Animated, fans of the 80s will never forget his commercial appearances for both Micro Machines and Federal Express. Mr. Moschitta will be appearing all weekend, and has graciously agreed to help host this year’s Charity auction on the Friday night of TFcon Toronto.
We had already seen the glorious Sarah Stone cover art for the IDW Publishing Transformers Phase Two Volume 1 hardcover collection a long while back, and we did report on the Amazon listing for the second volume in the series - but we now finally have the cover reveal from the listing, with a sadfaced Bumblebee crowning the front of the book! Refresh your memory on the contents below, now at $44.99, and check out the little bot that could, too.
Before Optimus was Prime, before Megatron became a conqueror, they stood against Autocracy! Plus, spotlights featuring Trailcutter, Hoist, and Orion Pax. And the Dinobots are back! Volume 2 of The IDW Collection Phase Two collects the Autocracy mini-series, Spotlights: Trailcutter and Hoist, Robots In Disguise issues #7-9, More Than Meets the Eye issues #6-8, and Spotlight: Orion Pax.
To mark the 15th Anniversary of Car Robots, what we called Robots in Disguise in the west, Takara designer Hisashi Yuki tweeted out an initial draft sketch of what would become Fire Convoy (Optimus Prime). As you can see below, it shows off some very cool design cues that were not carried over to the toy, like the Maximal insignia on his chest (this was the first time the Transformers brand was going back to Autobots and Decepticons since Beast Wars). Yuki was the designer for Fire Convoy / Optimus Prime and the gallery of the toy can be found here,
If you're feeling charitable this weekend, why not take a look at the great collection of donated artwork for the Rob Lenten Experiment, a fundraising auction for Cancer Research featuring artwork contributed by a number of comics artist - and quite a few are Transformers professionals (including Alex Milne, Livio Ramondelli and others) or themed (by fan artists and others)! Check out some of the pieces mirrored below, and head here to start bidding!
This Sketch is to raise money for Cancer Research, Together with the other Lenten Experiment Pieces I hope to raise a substantial amount of money for the charity.
Bare in mind some of the Lenten Experiment Pieces have been done by Professional Artists who are busy people, so it may take slightly longer for them to post your picture out to you. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.
While we already knew that Transformers: Rescue Bots had been renewed for a fourth season from this post, nothing beats hearing it from the cast themselves! Check out below a totally unofficial but wonderfully amazing video featuring Nicole Dubuc, Brian Hohlfeld, Maurice LaMarche, Jason Marsden, Lacey Chabert, Imari Williams, Steve Blum, Parvesh Cheena, D.C. Douglas, and LeVar Burton - via DC Douglas's channel - and some autotuned tuuuunes!
We unfortunately have some more sad news for another Transformers-related creator, Roger Slifer. We receive news of his passing yesterday, due to a worsening of his condition after a 2012 accident, at the age of 60. Slifer was most known for his work at DC Comics and co-creating the character of Lobo, but was also a producer, writer and editor for Sunbow, including the Transformers series. The staff of Seibertron.com offers our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.
Lobo co-creator Roger Slifer, who was seriously injured in a 2012 hit and run, died this morning while on the way from his nursing home to an emergency room. He was 60 years old.
Slifer began working for Marvel in the mid-1970s as a writer and assistant editor before moving in 1981 to DC Comics as its first sales manager for the direct market. He also wrote Omega Men, for which he created the alien mercenary Lobo with Keith Giffen.
He later moved into animation, working for Sunbow Entertainment as a producer, story editor and writer on such series as Jem and the Holograms, Transformers and G.I. Joe Extreme. Slifer was reportedly working on a new project at the time of the 2012 accident.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
All 29 prints [featuring Costructicons, Stunticons and Menasor, Jetfire, and much more - V] can be found on the Store section of my Web Site.
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!
Press released from Pete@Funpub. Frank Welker to attend BotCon 2015!
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.
Fellow Seibertronian Cyberpath keeps an eye on the activities of concept artist Floro Dery, the mind and hands behind several setting of the original Transformers: The Movie (1986). The latest print offered is the artist's recent rendition of the Chaos Bringer, Unicron (not the actual art used for the movie) - check it out below, and head here to purchase this wonderful piece of art!
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.