MATT FRANK has worked on numerous Transformers titles, such as the Beast Wars Sourcebook, Transformers Animated: The Rise of Safeguard, and the Transformers Collectors' Club story A Flash Forward. He kicked off 2013 with the crossover one-shot, Mars Attacks: The Transformers!, not to mention Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter, both of which he fully illustrated. Aside from Transformers, Matt has also contributed heavily to IDW's various Godzilla titles. He is currently the interior artist for Godzilla: Rulers of Earth and the 2013 Transformers Collectors' Club story Beast Wars: Shattered Glass!
TEYOWISONTE THOMAS DEER is from the Mohawk Nation Territory at Kahnawake, outside of Montreal, Canada. After undergoing training as a comic book colorist at Dreamwave Productions in Toronto, Canada in 2004, Thomas has since went on to freelance as a professional comic book colorist and illustrator for companies such as Fun Publications, Mega Bloks, and IDW Publishing - primarily working on Hasbro's Transformers and G.I. Joe titles. See his work at: http://www.teyowisonte.deviantart.com
Today we kick off our Artist Alley announcements, with the first being that BotCon 2013 will in fact feature its largest Artist Alley ever! With so many amazing artists scheduled to attend BotCon 2013, this is one show you will not want to miss! And with that, we are thrilled to announce two of the artists attending BotCon In San Diego this June: Livio Ramondelli and Casey Coller!
LIVIO RAMONDELLI is the artist of various Transformers projects for IDW Publishing. His credits include Autocracy, Monstrosity, Chaos, Robots in Disguise and various covers for Spotlights and other series. He will also be doing upcoming Star Wars covers for Dark Horse Comics. He previously worked as a concept artist for DC Universe Online at WildStorm Productions.
CASEY COLLER is a professional illustrator best known for his work on various Transformers comic books from IDW Publishing. He's done covers and/or interior art for various titles, including: Transformers: Ironhide, All Hail Megatron, Robots in Disguise, Spotlights Drift, Blurr and Cliffjumper, More Than Meets The Eye, Transformers Ongoing, and Heart of Darkness. He has also done artwork for Hasbro, the Transformers Collector's Club Magazine and BotCon. Casey lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife Grace, daughter Rose, as well as a cat, two guinea pigs and four chickens.
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: HOIST rises to the top of this week’s new comic book releases, courtesy IDW Publishing and Hasbro! Written by TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE scribe James Roberts—and set firmly in that series’ timeline—and drawn by rising TRANSFORMERS superstar Agustin Padilla (TRANSFORMERS PRIME: RAGE OF THE DINOBOTS and TF:MTMTE #16), this one-shot comic book story delves into the personality of one of the longest-running TRANSFORMERS characters. We sat down with writer James Roberts to talk about the issue—available today at comic book stores everywhere, and at https://transformers.comixology.com/ or via the Comixology and iBooks apps on your computer or mobile device!
PAGE 1: What was it that stood out about Hoist as a character that would allow you to tell this story about him and all that he is?
JAMES ROBERTS: Truthfully? What stood out for me, going back and re-reading previous stories that he’s been in (and there aren’t many, and I’m afraid I didn’t seek out the G1 TV episodes), is that nothing much stands out! He’s the archetypal “background ’bot”–competent, pleasant, hardworking, straightforward. But that’s not a bad thing when you’re settling down to write a SPOTLIGHT about someone. It gives you more of a canvas. Having said that, I sort of made his vanilla-ness a plot point in itself. I deliberately put him with three characters (excluding Bob [the Insecticon] for a moment–sorry, Bob) who are larger-than-life, and let the story play out from there. If I’ve done by job properly, Hoist will be a more fully-rounded character by Page 22.
PAGE 2: How was the collaborative process for you with artist Agustin Padilla? Was there a lot of give and take on how the pages turned out?
JAMES ROBERTS: This was the first time I’d worked with Agustin (we collaborated again on MTMTE #16), and while he and I would communicate very little (English is his second language and he works with—I don’t know what the word would be? An intermediary?—who passes his pages back and forth.
Anyway, Agustin would submit the rough page breakdowns and then respond to any feedback, and in the art itself he’d make choices that improve on how I saw things play out in my head. I love what he’s done—the art has a real Geoff Senior vibe about it—all those heavy blacks, all those close ups, all that weight—so I was a happy little scribbler.
And the first three pages of this SPOTLIGHT are uncharted territory for me: pages without dialog. But Agustin makes them look so beautiful and kinetic and alive (that shot of Hoist in midair on Page 1!)… it’s enough to make me wonder why I don’t go for the silent treatment more often.
Special mention, also, to Joana Lafuente’s scrumptious color work. Together, Agustin and Joana create pages that invite close scrutiny and then slap you in the face—in a good way.
PAGE 3: This issue is set between issues of TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEET THE EYE. Is it hard to find a gap for the story to slot seamlessly into?
JAMES ROBERTS: So far, there are two big gaps in MTMTE where you can squeeze any number of “lost” stories: the gap between issues #5 and #6, which is where the Hoist and Trailcutter SPOTLIGHTS take place, and the gap between issues #12 and #13. So for any fanfic writers out there: go fill those gaps! I didn’t deliberately create those gaps, incidentally, but I’m glad they exist.
PAGE 4: Swerve and Sunstreaker are revealed inside of Hoist’s craft. Sunstreaker hasn’t had a lot of page time in MTMTE—why bring him along for this trip with Swerve and Hoist?
JAMES ROBERTS: I think you’ve answered your own question! The fact that Sunstreaker doesn’t get much page time was a big reason for making him one of the crew. And I know that he has a lot of fans out there, and people had been clamoring to see more of him, and Bob, so I thought that doing this would people happy. Same with Perceptor, to be honest. I almost put Hound in there too, but it would have been too crowded. I do want to write a little off-shoot story featuring the likes of Hound, Huffer, Gears and so on—all the classic G1 characters that we only see in the background of MTMTE. Maybe one day.
PAGE 5: This comic is going to be included with a toy—do you feel a sense or pride this could be someone’s introduction to Transformers through your work? What would the boy inside you say?
JAMES ROBERTS: The fact that this will be someone’s first TF comic—and maybe their first introduction to any TF continuity—was a little daunting. I wanted to write something that would appeal to the uninitiated and to regular readers. I didn’t want the former to feel left out or the latter to feel they were reading something that didn’t complement the style of story they’re used to.
Of course, my most fervent wish is that a boy or girl buys Hoist, reads the comic, and dives headlong into the IDW books, old and new. Hoist as an entry point into Everything Else. I like that!
We are in the middle of Monstrosity. For those unfamilar with the story what's the basic premise of it?
Monstrosity deals with a few parallel stories running and eventually colliding into one another. Most centrally, you have Optimus Prime attempting to unify a very divided world. You have Megatron being betrayed and marooned on a dangerous world and seeking to reclaim his throne. You have the Dinobots on the run, attempting to leave the planet under mysterious reasons. And lastly, you have the self proclaimed Decepticon leader Scorponok proving to be a very dangerous and unpredictable threat to all the other factions.
How far into the series are you? Do you know how it ends?
I'd prefer not to say how far I'm at exactly, except to say I'm on the last 4 issues of it. And yep, I've known how it ended since before we even started it. Flint, Chris and I plotted it all out in pretty good detail when Autocracy finished.
You are involved with an upcoming RiD issue involving Shockwave. Do you enjoy drawing him?
Yeah, Shockwave is one of my absolute favorites to draw. And RID 17 has Shockwave on essentially every single page (in one form or another!), so it's been a real blast.
Well it’s more about how you approach these films, like for example, on “Tranformers,” you already have the built in audience.
See, I was not a fan of Transformers [at first]. Hasbro was talking about giving me a whole Transformers story, and I’m like, “If I can do this really real. If I can make them believable, I think I could have something here.” I’m not a Hollywood guy. My friends are normal guys. I’ve got this guy from Texas. He’s like, “Mike, that “Transformers” [movie] seems like a dumb idea.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I know, but just give it a second.” And then I showed him the shot of the Scorponoks jumping out of the sand with Tyrese [Gibson] running. He saw that image and he went, “I see what you’re doing.” You’ll always have haters, but the last movie? One-hundred-twenty million people saw that movie. There’s still a lot of fans of that franchise. And I’m a huge Transformers fan now, and I protect that brand.
When you’re doing films like that, there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen. Whether it’s the fans, the studios, the toy companies. How do you try to strike a balance at that point? Trying to please everyone and then also trying to make a film that you want to make.
[The film] was also to make non-Transformer fans into Transformer fans. I think it was good coming from that perspective that it wasn’t a “fanboy” movie.
Yeah, because then you’re limited in what you can do and what you can show.
Yeah. You know there are a couple of historians of Transformers. I would do my designs of the robots and they’re like, “What if you just add a little bit more ears to Optimus?” But they’re really hands off. We’ve redesigned them in “Transformers 4,” and there’s some really cool sh*t in it. I’m literally redesigning every character, top to bottom. There’s a reason why they’re redesigned, but it’s also to keep it new and fresh to me. I think the fans will appreciate some of this new stuff we have in the movie and some of the new characters.
I know when you did “Transformers 3,” you were kind of done...
Yeah, and this is literally a true story. I went to the [Transformers] ride in Universal, and there’s a two-and-a-half-hour line, and you just see all these kids -- it’s the most popular ride they’ve had since Jurassic Park -- and I’m like... It’s hard to let go of your franchise. You don’t want someone to f*ck it up. So I at least wanted to set it up on some good footing. Because you’re going to get a different kind of director [who is] not going to want to follow in my footsteps. Directors feel very territorial. So they’re going to go to a more inexperienced director. It’s just the way Hollywood works. And I’m thinking, “God, so I’ll redesign it, set it up... Someone’s gonna f*ck this up. This is way too big of a thing.” And I’m looking at all these kids and I’m like, “F*ck, I gotta do one more.” And then I brought Mark [Wahlberg] into it. So now we’ve got a movie star, we’ve got full redesigns. At least it’ll be on good footing.
This May, writer James Roberts presents two "Transformers" stories from IDW Publishing, "Transformers Spotlight: Hoist" drawn by Agustin Padilla and "Transformers: More than Meets the Eye" #17, kicking off the "Remain in Light" storyline drawn by Alex Milne. Earlier this month "Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter" was released with art by Matt Frank.
Roberts has been busy carving out his own corner of IDW's Transformers Universe after orchestrating the popular "Death of Optimus Prime" storyline with co-writer John Barber. After that story's success, Roberts launched the popular ongoing series "Transformers: More than Meets the Eye" alongside Barber's own "Transformers: Robots in Disguise."
Roberts spoke with CBR News about his upcoming "Transformers" titles, dishing details on what goes down in "Spotlight: Hoist" and "Trailcutter," as well as expanding on the "Remain in Light" story and the next "Transformers" event, "Dark Cybertron."
"Spotlight: Trailcutter" is basically "Transformers" meets "Home Alone." Trailcutter is part of the crew of the Lost Light, an Autobot starship looking for the legendary Knights of Cybertron.[...]
It's a sitcom in space. [...] "Spotlight: Hoist" is more of a bottle episode.
John Barber said it very well: "The 'Transformers' comics are about people. Metal people, sure -- and metal people whose problems frequently involve the fate of the world being at stake -- but they're relatable people with real emotions acting like people act."
My plans for "More Than Meets The Eye" stretch far into the future. Coming later this year is the first proper crossover event since John and I started writing the two ongoings. It's huge, involving hundreds of characters and -- like the end of the war -- it marks another turning point in the Transformers Universe.[...]
One last thing: things are coming full circle as John and I are collaborating -- I'm talking plot and script -- on the next huge "Transformers" event: "Dark Cybertron." It all kicks off in the autumn, with the countdown starting in May.
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, Toy News, Transtopia