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As many of you already know, I dig comics. And I also dig Transformers (why else would I be here?). So I was happy with Dreamwave producing new Transformers books. But my real dream came true when Simon Furman was on board to produce a new Transformers mini-series called The War Within! Not only was he writing it, a familiar name popped up. It wasn't Pat Lee or Andrew Wildman... it was Don Figueroa. I recognized his name credited in the "All Optimus Prime," "All Megatron," and "Dinobots vs. Devastator" but I couldn't figure out where I first heard the name. Then it hit me... he use to draw a Transformer fan comic and kitbashes! I was blown away that he stepped up to a professional level and is now working with the legendary Simon Furman. So I set out to find out about the man behind the pencil of the new mini-series...
Supreme Convoy: What's your art background (college, art school, etc.) like?
Don Figueroa: I only took some high school art classes, I could have gone to the Art institute of California but I never finished my portfolio in time. Oh well.
Supreme Convoy: What inspired you to pursue a career in art?
Don Figueroa: Well, I hated my old Job, Unloading trucks is not what I had in mind in terms of career choices, I'd rather do what I like, have fun with it and get paid for it:)
Supreme Convoy: So who's your favorite character?
Don Figueroa: Of all time? it's a toss up between Batman and Superman:) in Transformers? BW Megatron! He's such an Evil Bastard and he kicks ass.
Supreme Convoy: Favorite Transformers moment (either in the show or the comic)?
Don Figueroa: The most best TF moment for me is probably is in BW, when Megatron did that Speech right before he busts a cap on Optimus Prime's head.
Supreme Convoy: What's your favorite toy?
Don Figueroa: I Don't really have a favorite, whatever new toy I get is the one I display and fiddle around, until I get a new one that is.
Supreme Convoy: What did you think of the Robots in Disguise and Armada shows?
Don Figueroa: RID was a bit too kiddified for me, Armada's still new so I'll save my judgment later on, but animation wise, it does look a bit better than RID.
Supreme Convoy: What some people may not know is that you once worked on a fantastic fanfic comic and kitbashes called Macromasters. What inspired you to make the Macromasters comics and toys?
Don Figueroa: I started with the Base-bot named Stronghold for fun and people went nuts when they saw it. it's so big it dwarfs Fortress Maximus! people asked for more so I did, then when I made a Megatron figure, I needed to come up with a story to bring back the Original G1 Megs since it was based on that character and things just fell into place.
Supreme Convoy: What comic books have you been reading lately?
Don Figueroa: Right now, just G1 and Armada. I used to read X-men, Superman, Batman and Spawn but since most of the comic stores around here closed, I don't get to buy them as regularly.
Supreme Convoy: Did you ever think that you would draw comics professionally?
Don Figueroa: Yeah, but I did have some doubts when I keep getting rejection letters from the big companies, I almost gave it up once. It's a good thing I didn't:)
Supreme Convoy: How exactly did you get the job at Dreamwave? Did they see your work on Macromasters?
Don Figueroa: I think Pat saw some of my work online, I got an Email from him asking if I'm interested in doing Box-art for Armada. And of course I said yes!
Later on, I sent him some TF sample pages just for future consideration. I guess they liked it:)
Supreme Convoy: What would you be doing if Pat Lee haven't emailed you?
Don Figueroa: Probably still driving a forklift, unloading trucks.
Supreme Convoy: What Armada boxes have you done?
Don Figueroa: Starscream, Blurr, the Adventure team and Speed team Minicons, Galvatron and Thundercracker.
Supreme Convoy: Do you get samples of new toys?
Don Figueroa: I wish! I would have returned them back afterwards....no, really! ;)
Supreme Convoy: Can you tell us what's The War Within all about?
Don Figueroa: Well, it's basically the start of the Great War, We'll see how Prime evolved to the great leader he is today.
Supreme Convoy: What inspired the character designs for The War Within?
Don Figueroa: It always kinda bothered me why the Transformers have Earth Vehicle parts when they were back in Cybertron Millions of years before they even heard of Earth, I always assumed it's just coincidence.
I wanted to use some of the Alt-modes seen in MTMTE , but I also wanted to give them realistic transformations.
Supreme Convoy: What's it like to work with the Simon Furman?
Don Figueroa: It's great! He's a really cool guy and I'd like to meet him in person one of these days:) his Script's are just awesome, it's like a Movie sceenplay!
I was worried at first, his panel descriptions are so complicated I'm afraid that I won't get to fit everything in that one scene. I'm glad he's cool with everything I've done so far.
Supreme Convoy: When is The War Within suppose to arrive in stores?
Don Figueroa: October, not sure what week though, the Preview should be out now
Supreme Convoy: Did you make any The War Within toys out of scratch as a side project?
Don Figueroa: Not yet:) I just don't have the time right now :P
Supreme Convoy: What do you think of your work in The War Within, is it the best yet?
Don Figueroa: I think so... I'll let the fans decide:) but I AM very proud of it.
Supreme Convoy: Are there any references you use to come up with scenes in the books?
Don Figueroa: Toys, I like having a 3D representation of what I'm Drawing, I also watch movies as I draw, mostly anime and sci-fi.
Supreme Convoy: What's your work schedule like? How long does it take a page?
Don Figueroa: Hectic:) I can do about a page or so per day, Depending on the Scenes. a Splash pages will take about half or full day.
Supreme Convoy: What do you do when you're not drawing?
Don Figueroa: Not...drawing?!! What do you mean... :)
Supreme Convoy: What was your favorite moment with Dreamwave so far?
Don Figueroa: When I finally met them in person down in the San Diego Comic-con, I had a blast! Wish I could have stayed longer, but I was only there for a day.
Supreme Convoy: Have you done any conventions yet as a guest?
Don Figueroa: Nah, DW had to sneak me in the Con:) I didn't get a pro badge then
Supreme Convoy: Any dream book you wish you could work on?
Don Figueroa: Batman and Ghost Rider, maybe even Spawn.
Supreme Convoy: Any comments on the 80s retro phase?
Don Figueroa: I think it's cool to go back to simpler times, even if it's just in paper and Cartoons. Those were the good ol' days.
Supreme Convoy: Do you visit the Transformers message boards?
Don Figueroa: I used to post at Allspark, mostly in the Iacon art forum. Wish I could post more drawings there, just been kinda busy lately.
Supreme Convoy: So what's after The War Within? Any other projects you're working on?
Don Figueroa: I have some artwork on the upcoming TFU Profile book and the TF Genesis Artbook. I'd really like to do TF comics as long as possible. but I'd also would like to do other comics, any comics.
Supreme Convoy: Any plans on continuing Macromasters? You did leave us hanging...
Don Figueroa: I'm hoping to finish the story someday, I'm thinking of pitching the Idea to DW. who knows...
Supreme Convoy: Just out of curiousity, in the "All Optimus Prime" poster, why is Optimus Minor included?
Don Figueroa: Well, he IS an "Optimus" and they wanted an ALL Optimus Poster:)
Supreme Convoy: Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists?
Don Figueroa: Just keep at it! Stick to a medium you're best at, Develop on your own style, keep sending to companies and don't give up.
Supreme Convoy: Anything else you want to say for Transformers fans?
Don Figueroa: Till all are one! :)
I'd like to thank Don for taking the time for the interview. As for me, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy The War Within #1. I'll definitely be at the comic book shop that Wednesday to pick it up... or my new buddy, Don, can hook me up with one... - SC
The webmaster of SEIBERTRON.com would like to thank Supreme Convoy for landing this awesome interview with Don Figueroa and would also like to wish Don good luck with his new career!
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