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The Official Seibertron.com Guide to BotCon 2014

Transformers News: The Official Seibertron.com Guide to BotCon 2014
Date: Thursday, June 12th 2014 11:56am CDT
Categories: Collector's Club News, Event News, Site Articles, Site News
Posted by: ScottyP | Credit(s): ScottyP

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Views: 14,761

With a week to go, I figured it'd be time to drop some knowledge for any first timers to the convention. Botcon is a great time but there are some things you can do to make the whole thing a lot smoother. Without further ado, I hereby present...

Scotty P's Botcon Pro-Tips

Or, what I've learned at Botcon


Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events


This year will be my 6th Botcon and 4th consecutive one, as well as my 3rd in Pasadena. While I haven't been to as many shows as some folks, I feel like I've been to enough and learned enough to help out others with some knowledge. So here we go.

Tip 1 - The Hotel

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events


Tip 1: Stay at one of the official hotels and book it early.

I'm not a travel guru - no extra knowledge here on how to get a cheaper flight or anything like that, you're on your own there. Quite frankly, paying the extra coin for the "official" convention hotel (or first alternate, depending on the city) is well worth it. Room parties, sales, and general proximity to the actual events will greatly enhance your convention experience. So, while it's tempting to look around town for a budget motel, I don't recommend that.

For this year's show, the Sheraton is very, very booked. The Hilton is not full but the rate may not still be available - but don't be afraid to call them and see if they can work you in to the block for at least some of the nights. I unwisely waited too long to book this year and had to do that. This is why Tip 1 says to book early - you'll end up paying a regular rate for some nights if you don't, and that can be catastrophic to your trip budget.

Tip 2 - Food

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events


Tip 2: Find a local store to grab some quick meals that you can keep in your room.

Gotta eat, right? Unfortunately, this can be one of the more challenging things at the show to do without breaking the bank. Some years, like 2012 in Dallas, there were extremely limited options for restaurants even near the convention hotel. I can already tell you, you won't give a damn about most of your meals, you're just gonna want to grab some calories and move on. The easiest way to do this is to find a local store.

This can be a challenge. Pasadena's Gelson's, which was right across the street from the convention center, has apparently closed down. In Dallas, there was nothing remotely close. In San Diego, one had to take a trolley to find a store. Map things out beforehand and have a plan, and set aside some time to go buy some cheap stuff you can scarf down at the ready for breakfast and lunch. Non-perishable is best, but sometimes hotels will have mini-fridges that you can either use for free or pay a small fee per day for, you just have to ask. Just remember to be polite even if this option isn't available.

Trust me on this one, taking a couple hours on day one to get some cheap eats from a store will help your travel budget immensely, and take some of the stress out of having to "find" food while at the show. And yes, this can also make any alcohol-related expenditures a bit better as well. A $15 case of beer to share with friends will cost you as much as 2 pints at many hotel bars.

As a bonus tip for Pasadena, run across the street to Paseo Colorado and grab some Rubio's fish tacos if you want a tasty meal in a hurry that isn't stupid expensive. I know some California natives will groan at that, but this Carolina Boy has to go to a Rubio's at least once every time in CA. Deal with it 8)

Tip 3 - Lines

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events
Can you find me in this picture?


Tip 3: Do a tour or class and show up Wednesday.

How is that a line tip? Pretty simple, actually. If you register for a class or tour, you can pick up your box set and any other attendee stuff (comic, freebie, etc.) on Wednesday night - even if that class or tour is on Thursday! I've done this the past three years and it's made the entire experience better for several reasons. For one, the classes/tours/trips to theme parks are a lot of fun, and you get to hang out and meet other fans in a cool setting. Also, getting in on the Wednesday pick up means you can go straight to the club store line on Thursday, saving you literally hours. This of course ignores the Golden Ticket option, which I think is only practical for some folks and not a majority of con goers.

Of course, if you can't exercise this option (for instance, way too late this year to do so), make sure to bring something to do in line. That something can indeed be yourself - reach out and talk to the other folks in line with you! If you're not all that social though, pack a book, game system, something. These can get long, especially in Pasadena. [note: lines have been getting more efficient through the years, but bad timing on your part can make for a long wait.]

Tip 4 - Cash

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events


Tip 4: Bring plenty of cash for the Dealer room.

Make it rain! Well, if the dealer doesn't mind. I don't think they'll want you to get too creepy about it though.

Seriously though, cash is king. Most dealers cannot take your card. ATMs will run out. I'm not advising you to travel with $4,000 cash in your pocket, that's dumb. What I am advising you to do is to have a plan on how to get some cash out before you hit the dealer floor. If you use a big bank, it's pretty easy to find a branch near the convention center to make a withdrawl.

Cash also helps with the club store - there are usually two lines, one for cash and one for cards, and the cash one typically moves faster. There have been exceptions to this some years, so don't hold me to that one too hard.

Just remember to be careful when traveling with cash, especially large amounts. Redeposit anything you don't use as soon as possible. Pasadena is very safe, so I don't imagine you'll get mugged and robbed or anything, but still be careful.

Tip 5 - Bags

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events


Tip 5: If you plan on making purchases, bring bags.

I can't stress this one enough. I've even forgotten to do this as recently as a year ago. That wasn't smart! Most dealers will not have bags for you to carry your things. A few might, but don't count on that. Just pack a few extra leftover grocery bags in your luggage and you'll be way happy you did. Most plastic bags you can even bunch up and throw in your cargo short pockets (or purse, for the ladies) for easy access (fade, haters, cargo shorts are super useful).

If you bring too many bags, they can be useful for tip 8 below - use them as packing material! And of course, please recycle.

Tip 6 - Haggle (politely)

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events


Tip 6: Haggle politely if you think a price is too high.

My apologies to dealers for this tip, as some may read into incorrectly. I urge readers of this post to carefully read this one, as over-haggling will make you "that guy".

First, when should you not haggle? If you walk up to an item you want, and you like the price, pay for it and move on. Pretty simple, right? Also, if the dealer is an established store (BBTS, TF Source, etc.), you probably aren't going to get any discounts, so I wouldn't bother there.

Now that that's out of the way, here's when you should haggle - when there's something you want that you feel is just priced way too high. Sometimes an item is just a hair too much to stomach. Don't be afraid to make a dealer an offer. However, and this part is important, if they aren't willing to negotiate or say no to your offer, then be polite, thank them, and move on. Some dealers didn't mark prices just to reduce them anyway, and that's ok. Also remember to be reasonable. Offering $50 for something marked $120 has a 0% chance of success.

Tip 7 - Panels

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events


Tip 7: Go to some panels, and not just the ones you know you'll like.

So, I'm going to safely assume that almost everyone will go to the Hasbro panel, and most folks at Botcon will go to the TFCC panel. My only tip for those is to go to the panel beforehand so you can have a decent seat for the "main event".

My other tip for panels is to pick out at least one that sounds "meh" to you at first glance and go check it out. Broaden your horizons! Learn fun things! Or, you know, end up not liking it at all and leaving halfway through. At least you tried.

Tip 8 - Ship Your Stuff

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events


Tip 8: Ship any large items purchased back to your house for easy packing.

You know what's way cheaper than an overweight checked bag or replacing a broken toy because your luggage was too full and the TSA threw it around like a sack of potatoes? Shipping out your purchases, at least the big ones, while you're at the show. There is a Post Office near the convention center in Pasadena, and for other years, I recommend tracking down a close by US Post Office when possible. Or even just a regular UPS store or something.

The other important part of this tip - DO NOT use the shipping services on the convention floor! The rates are a complete rip off. As in, "$100 to ship just your box set home domestically" level of rip off. Just avoid it. Oh yeah, and remember, you need to do this before the PO closes on Saturday, so check hours carefully!

Final suggestion on this tip - if you need boxes, hit up the club store. They've got a ton of them and are happy to give you one or two.

Tip 9 - You're Here For Fun

Transformers News: Re: BotCon 2014 (Pasadena, CA) Discussion: Toys and Events
Sunburn Level > 9,000. Craps given level = 0.


Tip 9: Conventions can get busy and tiring, but remember, you're here for fun.

Man, sometimes, on that Sunday morning, you're all hungover and exhausted and your dopamine levels are spent and then you have to go be social and stuff and, well, remember at that point, that this is supposed to be a fun experience. Don't let stuff bog you down. Do what you can to keep feeling good. Drink lots of water, take a shower, change your clothes, get a good night's sleep, and make new friends. Botcon can be a really good time, but it's also only ~4 days of your year - make the most of it!

Final Tip


So with all that said, here's my final tip - post yours as well! There's a ton of collective knowledge and I could've droned on even longer, but I'm anxious to learn from others on this too. I'll see you next week in Pasadena!


(Many images ganked from The official Botcon Website. Please don't kill me for hotlinking. Thanks!)

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review
Date: Wednesday, June 11th 2014 7:47am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 14,773

Me, Galvatron (Warrior) King
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
GALVATRON THE BARBARIAN! From Cybertron’s ancient past came the warrior-king, GALVATRON. Once, he united CYBERTRON and ushered in a Golden Age. Now, he wants to do the same to Earth… but OPTIMUS PRIME has a problem with that plan.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review
Who indeed?


Story

So we're still/back on Earth, as the Autobots and Decepticons seem to have switched places in the mind of humanity - or the humanity controlled by Marissa Faireborn and her EDC organisation, at least. Who still really want to keep the robots under wraps for as long as they can, and presumably the fact that they are now siding with the 'bad guys', too.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review
Decepticons being deceptive? Surely not


Flashback! In the distant past of Cybertron, a warrior did warrior things, killing people, slicing people, being snarky and other such barbaric nonsense. But a 'new' player comes into the arena, all that way back, and it really looks like it will have severe repercussions on the entire game, all the way up to the present.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review
Telling it like it is


In the second flashback, we get more about Arcee and her decision to join the Earth Autobot mission, but also her feelings about the three new female Camiens showing up - and I have to say, Barber really made it work, in the same subdued way we saw in Windblade and MTMTE. But then, Barber made Arcee work all through RID, including her excellent dry comments on the situation.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review
..and on Prowl


Overall, Barber delivers a significantly slower issue, with a lot of explaining and setting up: Soundwave and Galvatron setting up their 'plan', Marissa Faireborne setting up Earth's current state, Jetfire setting up the Constructicons, and them setting up Prowl's backstory, in a way - but the dialogue and chemistry with the latter two/seven is brilliant, as is Jetfire in fact, and Soundwave really shines.

Art

Three artists, Casey Coller, Brendan Cahill and main lineworker Andrew Griffith, return to their flashback and main narrative duties. Cahill actually redraws some of what we saw in previous issues, but from different angles, and has a great smirking Prowl; Coller takes us to Galvatron's past, and shows some guts and gore, with excellent facial expressions accompanying them. Both are coloured by the brilliant Joana Lafuente, who really makes the two look different, but still linked enough for some really nice transitions.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review
o hai Arcee


Griffith's robots are amazing, with Soundwave, Galvatron and Prowl/Devastator taking main stage, but the humans have some really good touches too, and some amazing scale perspectives with panelwork that are jawdropping. Josh Perez' colours really help in setting the tone for the fights and aftermaths, with darker tones glinting with scheming light.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review
Sound and scale!


Tom B. Long clearly had a lot of fun with lettering too, seeing the amount of sound-effects and personal voice/fonts throughout the issue. And the covers, all four of them, are great additions, with Coller and Lafuente on B, Griffith and Tramontano on A, and Guido Guidi on two versions of the iconic Megatron-Optimus fight, one sketch, one with John-Paul Bove's colours (see thumbnail)!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

I am conflicted about this issue, for a handful of reasons. I loved Prowl's continuous scheming, Galvatron's over-the-top zealotry and warrior nature, Soundwave's true colours. But it felt like a slow issue, which relied on those three points - and the reason everyone is on Earth - to move along in a big fight sequence that, don't get me wrong, looks great. But still felt a bit like stalling.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #30 Review
Barberrrrr


Prowl's plans keep unravelling, but something is definitely going on with him. The green buddies are as amusing as ever, and there's something more there too. Galvatron is taking a leaf out of Prowl's book, and starts flipping *everything* in his rage, Faireborn and the EDC have a much better take on 'disguise' than usual, too. But I really want the story to leap forward now - show us moar, Barber!

. :CON: :CON: :CON: ½ out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review
Date: Wednesday, May 28th 2014 4:32am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 24,508

Prowl: Superior
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
DETONATION BOULEVARD! Who is MARISSA FAIREBORN—and why does she want OPTIMUS PRIME dead?! And more importantly… how did she start working with on of the AUTOBOTS deadliest enemies…? Dangerous allegiances form, thanks to the terrifying shape the CYBERTRONIANS have twisted planet Earth into!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review
They did sort of screw up last time..


Story

Where did we leave off last month? Optimus Prime and some Autobots arrive on Eart(h) in search of Alpha Trion, seek help from Thundercracker (who lives in a hangar and writes fanfiction screenplays and has a dog called Buster. They find out he's already been contacted and told about Megatron by the Decepticons, now led by Galvatron and Soundwave. And the humans are in it too. Full time.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review
Josh Boyfriend, in the metal


With this, John Barber goes a little deeper into how the Earth/Decepticon alliance came to be, showing short scenes from the aftermath of All Hail Megatron, and the first re-encounter with a now 'military' Faireborn and the new Decepticon faction - and Soundwave's highly diplomatic and cunning statements, somehow keeping Galvatron at bay long enough.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review
Harmony, sure


Other main players in the issue are Jetfire and EV-A D.O.C. dealing with the ship, as they are still evading Earth's defenses and attempting to repair the damage so far, the fun, green bunch of the Constructicons, also on the ship, and everyone's favourite tableflipper, schemeplotter, mindcontrollee and reluctant greenbot himself - Prowl.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review
That guy


Overall, Barber delivers a significantly slower issue, with a lot of explaining and setting up: Soundwave and Galvatron setting up their 'plan', Marissa Faireborne setting up Earth's current state, Jetfire setting up the Constructicons, and them setting up Prowl's backstory, in a way - but the dialogue and chemistry with the latter two/seven is brilliant, as is Jetfire in fact, and Soundwave really shines.

Art

There were complaints during some RID and Dark Cybertron about multiple artists on the same book, but I think that Guido Guidi and Brendan Cahill work really well with Andrew Griffith's core work. Guidi gracefully takes us through Faireborn and the Decepticons' dealings before we reach the present day, and Cahill carefully creates some Cybertronian past scenes with Prowl, among others. Griffith, on the third hand, handles well the 'today' bits, with the final pages packing a magnificent, gigantic punch.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review
Sold separately!


As for the colours, Josh Perez takes egregiously care, as usual, of the present day scenes, while Joana Lafuente looks masterfully after the flashback sequences, be they on Cybertron or Earth, each working really quite well with the three artists. Tom B. Long on lettering, meanwhile, has a field day with the soundwords and section titles in the issue.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review
CHAGA RUANK glowww


And now, a note on the covers: other than being absolutely amazing, the Constructicon variant is Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente's work, while the ongoing incentive featuring Optimus, Rodimus and Hardhead (thumbnail) is Marcelo Matere's lines and John-Paul Bove's colours (and not Tramontano, as some digital issues might claim)! Aren't they pretty? So pretty.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

We get to see Prowl developing into ..something intriguing, at the moment, Soundwave's actual leadership-behind-the-Galvatron, Earth's almost justified hatred of the Cybertronians, Arcee's new alt-mode AND SOUNDWAVE'S TOO and some really nice action scenes and dialogue moments, with highlights pointed out above. Yet it somehow feels a little slower that the opening issue, and its other two companions this month.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #29 Review
...


It's really not that much, and there are panels and lines that really pick everything up again, but I feel the flicking between timeframes for different characters, though quite clear and signposted, got in the way of much needed conversation between Faireborn, Jazz, Optimus and the rest of the main cast - maybe in the coming issues? The issue looks great, nevertheless!

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
Date: Wednesday, May 21st 2014 3:06am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 24,788

*REC
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
CYBERTRON UNDER FIRE! Someone is out to kill WINDBLADE—but discovering who means turning to some less-than-savory ’Bots. Can WINDBLADE trust her informants enough to stake her life on them? And who will she turn to when the events of DARK CYBERTRON come back to haunt them all?

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
FAT TANKOR, clearly


Story

Aaand we're back on Cybertron, as Windblade recovers from the first issue's explosion, abruptly waking up to the reality of Cybertron and its somehow democratically elected ruler Lord Starscream, and aide Rattrap. Indeed, both her and the other Camien Chromia start digging for proof of ..well, anything. This is Starscream after all.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
That kinda sums up the setting


After a fairly painful and actually quite visually uncomfortable moment between the two opposing main characters, Windblade does set with Chromia to investigate the happenings from issue #1, and find out from Metroplex, Ironhide and others what might help them - stumbling across an adorable and well-rounded Waspinator.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
At Maccadam's, where else


The dialogue works very well, and there are definitely distinctive voices for different characters, other than the obvious Wazzzzpinator quirks (and he really does shine in this issue, finally a proper, not-exclusively comical look at his character). Starscream gets creepier, Chromia gets tougher, and Windblade has some good, moving moments with Metroplex, too.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
*This* is Chromia


Another solid issue, if a little slower compared to the opening one. It feels more like a legal-procedural with political intrigue, with a significant emotional and personal take on some of the key players, and all the better for it in places, less punchy in others.

Art

The artwork, on the other hand, and as fully expected, is still quite marvellous. Sarah Stone's composition of the panels does some really great work in terms of border employment and perspectives, making 'camera angles' more so than initially expected, for example, and sliding in some really really cool shots - and transformation sequences.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
"Too close, a little too close"


The colours, of course, do wonders to complement the artwork, and all still at the hands of Stone. But I want to take some time to look at Chris Mowry's lettering, after Scott pointed out something last month: Metroplex's multifaceted speech is due to Mowry's excellent handiwork. And it is magnificent.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
See? Magnificent


So yes, the artistic team nails it truly and squarely. And that includes the truly great covers, with the main version by Stone, an amazing Alex Milne and Priscilla Tramontano variant, with a steadfast, defiant Camien, and a haunting continuation of last week's MTMTE #29 incentive by Marcelo Matere and Tramontano again - in the post thumbnail!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The writing is really, truly good, alternating a great dialogue with steady monologue, and bringing out some touching moments of interaction between characters, especially Metroplex and his Cityspeaker. The final sections feel like a tremendous teasing build-up to what's to come next month - and, in fact, that's exactly what they are.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
Because Scott is an evil mastermind


I was conflicted about whether the slower pacing would hinder the full enjoyment of the issue, especially compared to last month. On re-reading the story once more, however, and taking in every single panel slowly, the emotional, empathetic, compassionate qualities of Windblade shine onto the often misused Waspinator and resonate with Metroplex, without it ever being too much of an aside. Slower? Yes. But also really quite moving. Bring on the next issue.

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: ½ out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!
Date: Monday, May 19th 2014 9:55am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Josh Perez, Va'al

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 33,916

We're back here at Seibertron.com with another full-length chat with one of the minds behind the hands behind the Transformers comics offered by IDW Publishing - and it's time to go full colour: ladynuts and gentlebolts, please welcome colourist extraordinaire Josh Perez!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


Va'al - Josh, it's a pleasure to be able to talk to you at last. We've all seen your amazing work on Robots in Disguise, and then the magnificence that was your power-through with the whole of Dark Cybertron, it's only fair we find out more about you! So, to begin from the beginning: when did the Transformers enter your life? What's your first memory?

Josh - Pleasure is all mine, buddy! Transformers was kinda always there when I was a kid; mostly in the background of a toy visit or seeing some kid playing with "a cool robot that turns into a gun, or a car, or a jet, or a...", and so on. I can't say what my first TF memory was, but I remember when I was about 5, we were sent the TF movie on VHS, and I spent the whole time worrying Bumblebee would die. I mean, the other Autobot deaths, Prime included, were major deals, but once I knew Bee was okay, I was a happy burrito.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


Va'al - I have to say, that's not a feeling we're used to hearing in the fandom these days! Would you say Bumblebee is still your favourite character? Are there version of him that stand out, or that are not worth remembering?

Josh - He most certainly is still my favorite character! I'm always going to be partial to the G1 Gilvezan Bee, but the Pretender and Action Master Bumblebees are nostalgic favorites. I have the Action Master Bee as a kid, and he was, surprisingly, my only Bee toy from the G1 era. A friend of mine had the Pretender Bee, and the Marvel TF stories made me really like him as a character. Transformers Animated Bee is the only recent Bee I've found myself excited to see. His design is great!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


As for forgettable Bees, I think that his movie incarnation hasn't done much to justify the shelf space he tends to take up. I like his design, but you could make him any other Autobot and nothing would really change. I felt the same way about Transformers Prime Bumblebee for a while. He was just a background character (which, honestly, he kinda needed to be after how much the movies shoved him in everyone's faces), but towards the end of Prime he became interesting and I felt his presence was necessary outside of being the guy that beepbooped.

Va'al - Aha, so the kid appeal character appealed to you as a kid, when that was its intention - I'm sure someone at Hasbro was very happy about that! You mentioned the Marvel Transformers comics just now, were they a regular appointment for you, an avid reader, or were you not that invested in them?

Josh - I started reading the Marvel comics late in the game - around Matrix Quest. Before I left Germany, I remember seeing Wildman's cover for "The Price of Life", and maaan that cover messed with me head! It was so twisted and different and gorgeous. If it wasn't for that cover, the Marvel books would have just faded out for me when we came to the States.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


I remember getting a trade of the first four issues that I would read over and over again at school, and then my dad would take me to a now-out-of-business-but-amazing-at-the-time bookstore called "Keep On Bookin' " where I'd buy back issues and read them through most of my elementary/middle school existence. I also bought issues of G2, but I lent the ones I had to a friend and never got them back..! I was pretty invested in the Marvel stories when I got to the States since we had local comic places all over.

Va'al - That is quite the unsettling cover, isn't it? And something we almost saw again, relatively recently. But how long did it take you from readingthe comics to making your own doodles and scribbles? Did you start drawing and colouring *on* comics before moving *into* comics?

Josh - Oh man! I would never have dreamed of defacing those books. I tried to make several Transformer comics as a kid in elementary school; around 4th grade was when I realized I really wanted to be in either comics or animation. In early high school I got to play with Photoshop 5.5 and I started to focus more on learning how to use the program to color artwork.

Va'al - I see it as interactive enjoyment rather than defacing! So was colouring your first venture into the world of comics creation, or were you into the writing, drawing, inking and such?

Josh - I was drawing/inking little comics I'd irritate my friends with before I ventured into coloring- and I remember a friend had a short lived/now deleted webcomic that I drew/lettered/storied a few pages of - but luckily those are gone forever because they're prime examples of how to not do anything art, color, letter, or story related to comics, haha! Oh, those days of high school and early college... Professionally speaking, though, coloring was definitely where I began input in comic creation.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


Va'al - I'm sure there was something salvageable in those early ventures, too! (And I'm even more sure that some collector out there would love to get their hands on them.) So we're up to your actual debut as a comics creator: was it with IDW Publishing directly, or did you work with and for others first? How did you rise to technicolour stardom?

Josh - Back in 2003 my name was suggested to Dreamwave Productions when they needed help coloring their More Than Meets The Eye profile book; I got to color Wheeljack and the Terrorcons/Abominus in issue seven; work started coming in after that!

Va'al - Yet another Dreamwave-induced artist! Can you remember your first full-length gig in a comic? Anything you are particularly proud of from the earlier stages of your professional career?

Josh - My first full length comic was after Dreamwave shut down on a comic called "100 Girls" by Adam Gallardo and Todd Demong; another Dreamwave colorist and friend, Cil Chueng, was leaving as colorist because of college or something (sorry, Cil! I forget!) and offered the gig to me.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


I can't say I'm too fond of anything I've done back in the Dreamwave days- my contrast was bland and my value colors lacked punch. BUT I have a sweet spot for the profile book pieces I've done for the G1 and Armada MtMtE books; and Energon issue #26 was when I first started working with Alex Milne on actual comic issues, even if they're not my best work, I'm happy with them.

Va'al - Dreamwave had its peaks, that is definitely true. But we also do have to admit loving your current work on IDW Publishing titles! How did you get into those? How does it feel to be recognised by fans and on the front cover of monthly comics?

Josh - Alex [Milne] and I had formed a kind of duo after Dreamwave, and when he got work, I got work; I think our first IDW piece was a cover for Spotlight: Kup (I also got Nick's cover for Spotlight: Kup as well); it was a lot of cover work, but then came Megatron: Origin and the Movie Adaptation and stuff.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


And now, when people open their RiD books or when they buy the right MtMtE cover, there I am, ruining their experience! ah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah. But honestly, it's weird- especially now that IDW has been putting colorist credit on their covers... or when really awesome fans tell me they like my work in the books. Never gonna get used to it!

Va'al - I can assure you that no one's day, experience or comic is ruined with your colours! Not even when you repaint *everyone* to look like Bumblebee. (We have proof, do not deny it.) Before you leave us to return to slave away on art tasks, is there anything we can expect in the future of the Perez verse? Convention appearances, different titles, pencil or ink work, writing?

Josh - Well, I'll be doing BotCon this year, as well as TFCon- assuming nothing goes wrong, of course, so stop by and say hi!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Colourist Josh Perez!


Aside from Transformers, I've colored a few new Matt Frank Godzilla covers that look pretty snazzy (more on his part, less on mine, haha!), and the team I worked with on ShiftyLook's/ Namco-Bandai's Bravoman Webcomic (Matt Moylan and Dax Gordine) are in the planning/design phase for a new, creator-owned book called "Avian Odyssey". You can check out updates at AvianOdyssey.com; right now it's design stuff, videos on characters being drawn; very neat!

Va'al - It sounds like you're ridiculously busy, as usual, so even further thanks for taking the time to chat with us! I think we should let readers know how they can follow your work if they want to, too - wouldn't you agree?

Josh - But of course! I post a lot of artwork over on deviantART and Tumblr, Twitter - all under "Dyemooch"!

Thanks very much for the chat!


You've heard the man! Make sure to check out Josh's work, including that amazing Starscream print we posted above, chat to him on social media, and until next time, we've been your usual comics creator fix here at Seibertron.com.

IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review
Date: Wednesday, May 14th 2014 3:53am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 23,302

Expressive
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
STAND-OFF! While the crew of the Lost Light react to MEGATRON’s arrival with characteristic maturity (calling him names behind his back and ignoring him when he speaks) one AUTOBOT is convinced that a more direct approach is needed. Guess what happens when a one-time tyrant is told he’s not wanted? Yeah, exactly.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review
Does not bode well..


Story

Only a couple of weeks after the last comic, and in fact, the last MTMTE it was too, here we are again back on the Lost Light! Last we saw of space was the floating coffin with Autobot insignia just outside the ship, and it seems as thought captain Megatron decides to bring it on board pretty quickly. Meanwhile, Tailgate (completely absent for pretty much the entirety of Dark Cybertron) is reunited with Cyclonus, and everyone else on the ship.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review
Two recaps for the price of one


In another six month flashback, we return to Megatron's planet-wide trial, too. But the centre stage is taken by some behind the scenes Rodimus action (well, more or less) and the prosaic, verbose, eloquent, melodramatic, narcissistic duly appointed ruler of Cybertron itself: Starscream. Who gets even further excellent characterisation, along with the big M himself. He looooves to talk, but he does know what to say. Usually.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review
ME ME ME ME


But what is really impressive in this issue's writing, as has been for the series pre-Dark Cybertron too, is James Roberts' attention to detail. Or to disseminating details, references, clues, scraps of information about where the story might go, where it came from, with the coffin and Skids and Nautica, Riptide, Nightbeat and the rest of the crew. Add to that a number of little nudges towards other series, shows and lores. Seriously, it's riddled with them.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review
Trailcutter may or may not be lying


In terms of actual action, there is probably even less than last issue, but my oh my is there still a lot going on. Chromedome's mourning, Nightbeat's solving, Trailcutter's drinking/forcefielding, THE TRIAL. If anything, it can at times still feel a little cramped if you are trying to pay attention to all the details on the first read.

Art

We get Alex Milne on artwork, confirming and earning his post as the main artist for the series. And it really really works with the tone of the stories being told. And the expressions, especially with Rodimus' reactions during the trial. And Starscream's. But the best parts are some of the perspectives in the ship, around the ship, outside the ship (there's a double page spread that is breathtaking), and Cybertron again, with some excellent montage styled panelwork for the trial scenes.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review
Dat corridor


It's also the first issue with Joana Lafuente on full colours! And she delivers amazingly. There are some plays on light and shadows in the conversation between Nightbeat and Chromedome that really set the tone, and some excellent hues for Trailcutter's scenes and other snippets around the issue.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review
Exhibit.. ten?


Lettering is once more a brilliant Tom B. Long, who does some serious fonting and captioning of scenes, with some truly excellent touches to the already stellar visual components. And the covers are brilliant, too: Milne and Priscilla Tramontano stand-off on A, a smug Nick Roche/Josh Burcham B, and a throwback Marcelo Matere and Tramontano incentive (thumbnail).

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Some of my concerns from #28 return here, in terms of multiple storylines. But there is definitely more of a focus and a bringing together of events, causes and consequences. The ending is a ridiculous cliffhanger or three, there may be ghosts, and it all looks absolutely amazing, with some priceless expressions around characters. It feels less like it's building up, and more like a sustained tension of suspense.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #29 Review
Don't you give me that look


As I said above, in some parts it feels as though there is even more cramped into this issue than the previous one, but give it time. And if, on the other hand, it feels like something is missing, maybe it's just Roberts making it so. Read the issue more than once, take your time, and if it's still gone.. then it's definitely an intentional loss. Just ask Nightbeat.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: ½ out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers
Date: Thursday, May 8th 2014 5:30pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Comic Book News, Editorials, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al

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Views: 47,410

Thirty years ago on this day, 8th May, the very first issue of Marvel Comics' The Transformers #1 appeared in shops, with Bill Mantlo and Ralph Macchio plotting and planning the war on Cybertron, Frank Springer, Kim DeMulder and Nelson Yomtov bringing it to vivid page life, sounded out by Michael Higgins and Rick Parker (all overseen by the watchful Bob Budiansky). The cover? A gigantic Bill Sienkiewicz-drawn Optimus Prime.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers



That was all the way back in 1984, and that was in the US. Across the pond, Jerry Paris created a different cover for the first issue of something that was going to be a much longer and tortuous series, reaching 332 issues in total (compared to and including the 80 of the US run).

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


A series which eventually introduced British writer Simon Furman to the Transformers universe, after Bob Budiansky on writing and other duties since issue 5, left with issue 55. A series which was initially so badly received it was only meant to reach four issues. A series that introduced the Autobots and Decepticons to pop culture around the world, taking a handful of toylines and creating a loosely hanging narrative that would increase their sales. A series that was flanked by its TV counterpart in the animated The Transformers cartoon.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


Fast forward to two years later, 1986, when the Transformers appeared on the big screen for the first time, still in their animated selves. Leaders were killed, moons were eaten, planets became robots, hearts were broken, fanboys and fangirls started complaining, and even more toys were produced. And comic adaptations, of course.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


Marvel Comics resumed its robot stories in 1993, with Furman's revamping of the Transformers in Generation 2, as Hasbro sought to bring back the toyline again. Across the other side of the other pond, meanwhile, Japan was hard at work with the vaguely mecha-style stories of the Transformers, continuing the cartoon series where the US left off after Generation 1: The Headmasters, Super-God Masterforce, Victory, Zone. Which also had their comics and manga adaptations!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


Skip forward again to 1996, and we reach a massive overhaul in the concept: the Transformers no longer become vehicles, but animals - in Beast Wars. Cue outrage, cue new influx of fans, cue growing fondness, cue cartoon series and even more toys, cue the two Japanese sequels, Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo. And yet we're still in the universe set by that 1984 series, both TV and comics wise.

Enter Dreamwave Productions in 2002, with a complete (well, sort of) reimagining of the Transformers universe, trying to combine elements of the Japanese manga and the well-loved Marvel and Sunbow fictions, both aesthetically and story-wise. And it included a prequel! We saw what Furman thought of what was happening on Cybertron before 'bots and 'cons disappeared into the universe, with the War Within storylines and Don Figueroa's designs and Andrew Wildman's take on them.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


Dreamwave unfortunately did not end well, and stories were interrupted mid-issue in some cases. It's 2005, and IDW Publishing picks up the license from Hasbro. We have another redesign, retake and reimagining, once again at the hands of Simon Furman and his universe spanning -ations, Stormbringer and Maximum Dinobots, followed by Shane McCarthy and Guido Guidi's earth-bound, politically paced All Hail Megatron and the arrival of the first live-action Transformers full-length cinematic feature in 2007, with Michael Bay in the director's chair - and John Barber, Andrew Griffith and Alex Milne adapting it into its comic counterpart and expanding it, too.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


Come 2010, another live-action film in the bag, IDW Publishing continues its Transformers storyline more or less succesfully, redesigning its characters to capture the Michael Bay and Paramount aesthetics and potentially new readers, in Mike Costa's The Transformers ongoing series. Something clearly worked, as the series brought into the franchise talent such as James Roberts, Nick Roche, Mairghread Scott, Mike Johnson, Andrew Griffith, Alex Milne, Sarah Stone, E.J. Su, Joana Lafuente, Robby Musso, Josh Burcham, John-Paul Bove, Josh Perez, Casey Coller, Priscilla Tramontano, Ken Christiansen, Chris Mowry, Brendan Cahill, Tom Long, Shawn Lee, Matt Frank, and many many many more, all under the watchful eye of editors John Barber, Carlos Guzman, Chris Ryall, and after the 2011 final (or so we thought) film in the Bay trilogy, Optimus Prime died. Again. But not really.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


Two ongoing series spawned from that moment, neither involving Earth: More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise. We looked at Cybertron's past again, after Chaos Theory, after Megatron Origin, after the Spotlights, Flint Dille, one of the original cartoon series writers, Chris Metzen, and Livio Ramondelli dug deep into the past of the planet and its leaders with Autocracy and Monstrosity, as IDW Publishing ventured into digital-first and motion comics.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


Now, thirty thrilling years later, here we are. A fourth live-action movie opening in June, innumerable toys based on the same and reinvented core cast, three currently (more or less) ongoing comics series with IDW publishing with the addition of Transformers: Windblade, the last issue of the original Marvel US run hitting last March under ReGeneration One and, as far as we can tell, many many more stories to come.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


This was a celebration of the Transformers comics. This was the abridged, incomplete story of some the Transformers fictions. We may have left out parts, some intentionally, some less so. There is a lot more to be found in the Transformers 30th Anniversary Collection edited by Jim Sorenson.

But all of these are also just facets of the whole story - what is yours?

Till All Are One
-The Seibertron.com team

IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review
Date: Wednesday, April 30th 2014 3:49am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 28,021

Trial and Error
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
CERTAIN DEATH, HERE WE COME! MEGATRON assumes control of the quest to find the Knights of Cybertron—a quest that has never before been so urgent, so personal, and so likely to end in tears. An incredulous Lost Light crew is left asking the same thing you are: how exactly did it come to this?

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review
Credits!


Story

This week in the third beginning of Dawn of the Autobots, we finally get back to the Lost Light ship, and the events between Megatron becoming its new captain and the defeat of Shockwave in Dark Cybertron - though we flit between the two settings, taking a look at how Cybertron reacted to buckethead donning the red instead of the purple, and the beginning of his trial.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review
Well, they're best of pals


James Roberts shakes up the crew of the ship, too, adding some new faces like Nautica and Riptide to old friends like loudmouthed Swerve (who actually appears to have toned down a little, or has he?) and dutiful Ultra Magnus. Dynamics have changed, there is very expected tension on board, but not as much really, as everything seems to have solved itself in the time since the trial - more or less.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review
The Tyrest Tiara, now in stores


Swerve and Rodimus still hold some of the best lines, or at least some of the best dialogue happens around them. Nautica is a really interesting addition to the crew, and one that speaks to my linguist self, but as expected, it's Megatron that holds centre stage - in his sessions with Rung, in the preparation to the trial, in his reflections and in his actions, there's definitely a lot more than mee-- fine, sorry.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review
What indeed..


The issue definitely does a lot of packing of multiple threads and plots. A lot of them. In terms of action, nothing actually happens except for one brilliant scene over a number of pages, because everything has happened in the six months leading to this issue and moment, and the six million odd years before that. But in that void of action, a lot happens.

Art

As far as the art is concerned, Alex Milne returns to pencils and inks, and in something that seems almost impossible, increases the amount of detail we were used to seeing in the pre-Dark Cybertron run of the series! The double-page spread with the beginning of the trial is astonishing, and the panelwork between the multiple time frames excellently executed.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review
You can actually see people's houses


Everything is helped by colourist Josh Burcham, who makes sure the linework really pops or shines where needed. There are some amazing sequences, one in particular, where the colours prove that red is not a single hue at all, and each character really comes through with their own deco - and again, that trial scene is ridiculous.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review
So is this, to be fair


Tom B. Long continues on the legendary lettering, from fonts to effects, to graffiti to captions and more fonts - it's always a good thing to get good lettering, especially non-intrusive, art-complementing lettering. Word. Three excellent covers, too, with Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente on A, Milne and Josh Perez on B (thumbnail) and Livio Ramondelli on interlocking RI!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

All the packing I mentioned earlier? That's both the strength and, for lack of a better word, weakness of this issue. Flitting between time frames can be distracting, though both the storytellers do it well, and the plotting has seeded so many different things that you will have to read it multiple times. Including the whole first season, too.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #28 Review
That's.. pretty accurate


The art team have upped their game in terms of everything, and Roberts has gone all the way back to the very first issue of More Than Meets the Eye, and picked up some unanswered questions from there. Will we finally see answers to them though? Eventually? Maybe? Perhaps? ..please?

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: ½ out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Seibertron.com Feature Article: To Parts-form or Not to Parts-form

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Feature Article: To Parts-form or Not to Parts-form
Date: Thursday, April 24th 2014 5:25am CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Toy News
Posted by: Burn | Credit(s): Burn

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Views: 14,757

One of the things I saw being discussed in the Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-22 Ultra Magnus thread was the fors and againsts of parts-forming.

For those unsure of what parts-forming is, it requires one or more parts to be removed from a Transformers mode and reattached to create the other mode. G1 figures are the main example, from having to attach fists (Seekers, Optimus Prime), a complete disassemble and reassemble (Omega Supreme) or feet, fists and chest pieces (gestalts).

Modern engineering aims to do away with parts-forming with all the necessary bits and pieces incorporated into the final toy with weapons often being the only loose parts. Some people like that, parents especially would like it as it means fewer parts to lose.

But if I were to pick a camp, I'd be pro-part-former. Why? Maybe nostalgic reasons, though I do not like modern gestalts where they try to incorporate everything. A few add-on bits wouldn't go astray. Which is the main reason I like them. Sometimes, not having things incorporated can make the figure better.


To illustrate my point, I present to you a semi-modern figure that is part-former, but in my opinion, one of the best figures of all time.

Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime


Here we have his alt mode, ignoring the chest part hiding there on the back, we have a good looking fire engine

Transformers News: Parts-forming ... Yay or Nay?


And then comes the fun part. Taking him apart!

Transformers News: Parts-forming ... Yay or Nay?


Not a very practical mode of transport that's for sure! But look what it becomes.

Transformers News: Parts-forming ... Yay or Nay?


A very basic Optimus Prime robot mode. But what about the rest of his parts?

Transformers News: Parts-forming ... Yay or Nay? Transformers News: Parts-forming ... Yay or Nay?


Transformers News: Parts-forming ... Yay or Nay?


And this is where it gets fun.

Remove the ladder/upper chest/head from the trailer. Slide the chest of the smaller robot up to cover up its head, the fold the large robot chest over the top of it with the ladder hanging down behind. The forward part of trailer comes apart and unfolds to form larger forearms which fit over the smaller robots forearms. The middle part of the trailer comes apart and clips over the shoulder of the smaller robot. The rear part of the trailer also comes apart with panels on top opening up to clip over the smaller robots feet.

And all of that, results in this.

Transformers News: Parts-forming ... Yay or Nay?


Sure there's a lot of cheating involved, but what makes a good figure?

Good looking alt mode - Check!
Good looking robot mode - Check!

And let's not forget, if you have RiD Ultra Magnus, you can do this!

Transformers News: Parts-forming ... Yay or Nay?


So in this particular case, is parts-forming such a bad thing? For me, no, it's not. What do the rest of you think?
(And feel free to use the Seibertron.com Toy Galleries for example images!)

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review
Date: Wednesday, April 23rd 2014 2:08am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 27,643

Down to Eart(h)
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
EARTHFALL! The AUTOBOTS return to Earth—with OPTIMUS PRIME in command! But what brought them back—and what terrifying secret do the humans hold? A bold new era begins here!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review
Aaah, Eart


Story

Here we are again, on this blue planet of ours. This round, blue, beautiful, peaceful planet of ours: Eart(h). Which is not that peaceful, or round for that matter, or happy to see any more robots after what happened last time robots were around - yes, All Hail Megatron and the 2009 ongoing. Bit of a mess for everyone, really.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review
Here's a recap, for our viewers at home


John Barber goes back to wearing his writing hat, and back to the Robots in Disguise cast as they see their ranks shifting a little. We get Optimus Prime leading a new team of Kup, Prowl, Jetfire, Arcee, Skylynx, Jazz, Cosmos and Sideswipe - so maybe not entirely the same cast, but it's one with good tensions and chemistry so far. And Prowl being his usual. As usual.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review
Hellooo Generations Leader Jetfire


The dialogue seems to have lightened up from pre-Dark Cybertron RID, and there is definitely more action, a lot more action, even in the flashbacks scattered throughout the issue, taking place after the first few pages. Pages that feature some glorious fanfiction screenplays written by none other than the only (?) Cybertronian left on Earth last time round: Thundercracker.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review
Handsome as an F-22 jet fighter


Good dialogue, nice selection of cast and interactions, really nice set-up with both the Cybertronian past, Alpha Trion showing up as a potential goal for the cast, Thundercracker's presence and Earth's inevitable hostility towards incoming Cybertronians. The mix so far is actually pretty good, and everything has freshened up a lot since the Cybertron days!

Art

The artwork duties, for both pencil and ink, flashbacks and present-day settings, are with Andrew Griffith. And my, do his robots and Earth shine. The -ation styled Thundercracker is impressive, and there are so many full page panels in this issue that I'm left in awe at the likes of Skylynx, spaceships, planets, cities and.. well, you'll see. Though I am left a little wondering about some strangely shaped human faces, especially in a couple of Marissa's shots.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review
Here, have a Metroplex


Colour duties, on the other hand, are split between past and present, between Joana Lafuente and Josh Perez. But they both equally shine their own glossy, refracting, shaded light on their own respective sections. Lafuente's Cybertron looks gritty and grainy, with lasers pewpewing through everything, while Perez' Earth has the right amount of ominous shadows and glorious natural hues.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review
And a good old purple-badged Megatron, too


The lettering duties fall with Tom B. Long, and dutifully and sparingly does he deliver sound effects and fonts. There are some really good WRUNCH and RUUUUNCH sounds later in the issue. We get three covers again, too, with Griffith and Lafuente on B, Casey Coller and Lafuente on A, and the RI interlocking variant cover by Livio Ramondelli - most of which featuring the big blue face of Optimus Prime.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Starting again almost afresh after Dark Cybertron? In my opinion, it works. It gives Barber and the Autobots a new playing field, a credible threat, complex negotiations with Earth and the possibility to make the running joke of robots being unable to pronounce trills and fricatives (you try, without lips or teeth or tongue). And it's still connected to what has just happened with Dark Cybertron, and some nice references to earlier stuff (and Megatron's trial, which we'll finally see in MTMTE #28).

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 Review
Cosmos, going all meta


The art crew do some impressive teamwork, too, with Griffith's art only slipping a couple of times, but showing off some amazing skill everywhere else. Add Lafuente and Perez' colours to all of that, with their slightly different hues and tones, top it off with good lettering - it's a comic worth reading, looking at and definitely buying. I am not concerned about the Earth setting at all, if this is telling of what will happen.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: ½ out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

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