Sunday, July 1st 2007 1:28am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News
, Event News
Posted by: Hotrod
Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Our own Repugnus has brought us a report from IDW's BotCon Panel. Here is what he reported:
I don't know if something of this nature has been posted yet (I looked around and couldn't find it), so I apologize if this is a similar to anyone else's post(s). The following is a full breakdown of IDW's panel earlier today at Botcon. All questions and answers are paraphrased, but although the quotes are not 100% accurate, I tried to keep my paraphrasing as close as possible to how they said what they said while typing feverishly away on my laptop at the panel.
In attendace from IDW (name spellings may be incorrect): Bill Forrester, Jim Sorenson, Nick Roche, Josh Burcham, Alex Milne, Robby Musso, and Dan Taylor.
They started with Dan Taylor announcing that his notes for the panel were unfortunately lost, and that they'd be winging it (I asked him later at the IDW booth if this was true or just a joke, and he said it's true).
They then proceeded with a slide show, showing artwork for upcoming projects, most of which have already been announced.
While showing cover art for issue #3 of the New Avengers / Transformers crossover (the previously seen pic of Iron Man vs. Skywarp), Dan mentioned that the cover of issue #2, featuring Megatron vs. Spiderman, was rejected by Hasbro, and so they're still working on it.
When they showed the previously seen cover art for the Optimus Prime spotlight, they said that if you've been following the ongoing storyline in the Infiltration/Escalation/Devestation books and the other spotlight issues so far, then you definitely do NOT want to miss this issue! (They had the full issue on display at their booth, but later that day after the panel they gave it away to Mr. Optimus Prime.)
Shortly after that, they showed a slide of a cover by Nick Roche, featuring Swoop, for a reprint of the old "Dinobot Hunt" storyline. Dan said this might "lead into something with Nick Roche that Chris Ryall wants to announce in San Diego." When the fans asked if it was a dinobots book, Dan asked Nick if he wants to do a dinobots book, who of course replied in the affirmative.
Also in the slide presentation they showed several preview pages of pencils from Don's upcoming work on Beast Wars: the Ascending, and cover art (featuring previously seen art from the Stormbringer mini series) for an upcoming Premier Edition hardcover that will collect the Infiltration/etc. mini series and the various spotlights that have come out so far.
Next, on to Q & A:
Q: (for Nick) What was it like to be able to focus on Kup and, two, are we going to be seeing him again?
Nick's answer: "Good fun." He wanted to do Hot Rod, but one step removed is Kup. He didn't want to kill off any characters Simon would use, and if he writes more, there won't be as many decapitations. He has a couple of ideas he'd like to explore with Kup: Nick said he'd imagine Hot Rod would like to know what happened to Kup, and if he ever returns to being the Kup we all know, he'll have to deal with what he's done.
Dan: "When we handed the script to Hasbro, we thought, 'Yeah, this won't make it,' but wow, they approved it."
Q: Any possibility of a follow up to Hearts of Steel?
Dan's answer: They definitely want to do more evolution stories and have talent lined up out the door who want to do their take on Transformers. Dan said they, "totally want to do an H. G. Welles 'War of the Worlds' version," and he'll give Chuck [Dixon] a call on Monday to see if they can't do more with Hearts of Steel.
Q: Where's the ideas coming from for the Megatron Origin story?
Alex's answer: "Collaboration between me and Eric Holmes. when I saw the script i was like, whoa, how much different can I make it? I wanted to make it gritty." Alex then gave the example of the nice, clean, ship descending into the "ghetto" with "Transformers porn" pictures on the walls. (Dan then interjected, "Yeah, hasbro approved that 'cause Richard was out of the office.") Alex then added, "There's stuff coming up in the next few issues you haven't seen before." and, "Giant sculptures of stuff."
Q: Any other origin stories in the works after megatron?
Dan: "I hope so."
Q: How much leeway do you have with printing old Dreamwave stuff, particularly MTMTE?
Dan's answer: IDW is doing their own profile books with Beast Wars right now, but they're definitely going to reprint the MTMTE stuff. He then asked the audience if they wanted a nice, high quality, hardcover edition, to which they applauded.
Q: Will we see an American version of the kiss players line? And can we get a poster of characters like shockwave from Hearts of Steel?
Dan ignored the first question, and then said, "Posters? I love that stuff. We've definitely got a few of those out. 'Cause how many Don posters can we collect?"
Q: Who's idea was it to show Megatron fighting Psy-Kill in the Origin book?
Q: Any chance of "What if's" from after Beast Machines?
DAN: No current plans, but it's [possibly] on Simon's to do list.
Dan then also mentioned that the Beast Wars profile books will be three issues, 48 pages each, and that the first will be released some time around the last week of August pending any further delays.
Q: Any chance of reprinting story segments from MTMTE?
Dan: "I think we're okay with that." Dan went on to say that Dreamwave's a sticky situation. IDW's pretty much reprinting everything they've been able to at this point. Hopefully they'd like to finish some stories for us, but right now it's "void."
Q: Any chance of reprinting old Marvel stories with new art?
Dan answered that he doesn't think they'll do new art "other than Nick's beautiful covers." "With titan UK doing their books, they've got their niche and we've got ours."
Q: Any chance of reprinting marvel's tf universe guidebooks? Possibly including the profiles at the end of the latter Marvel issues?
Dan: And the ones in the Transformers club magazine, we're trying to add those as well. Marvel? We're working on that.
Q: Is Beast Wars the set future of the IDW Transformers universe?
Dan: Yeah, it's set.
Q: Any possibility of seeing Rodimus Prime?
Dan: "Like a rodimus prime spotlight? Anyone here want to do it?"
DAN: "Okay, nick's doing it."
Nick: "Give Hot Rod a chance. I think it'd be kind of cool to see him be the punk, the kid before he gets all, 'Aw, I can't be the leader." If it's red and has yellow flames, I'm there."
Q: Any chance of seeing Japanese G1 characters?
Dan" I think there's a chance." (Q: Any plans?) "Nothing yet."
Q: How much leeway does IDW have with reprinting Marvel stuff?
Dan: "I can't touch Circuit Breaker, I can't touch the Neo Knights."
Q: [Extreme paraphrasing of this question] Any chance of a Star Trek / Transformers crossover.
Dan: "I would love to write that one." (Audience member: "Then do it!") "We've asked, it's been brought up. Actually it's not Paramount anymore, it's CBS we have to talk to about Star Trek. Their innitial repsonse was no, but i'm trying to wear them down." He continued by saying that the Star Trek / X-Men crossover was so bad that they're warry of crossovers. When the audience then asked which captain they'd use, Dan said, "I'm a big Sisco [sp?] fan... but it'd have to be Kirk."
Nick: "Do you think Arcee would be safe up there?"
Dan: "Any interest in an Arcee spotlight? You wanna do it? Okay, Nick."
Q: Any chance of spotlight issues on human characters, like Verity?
Dan: "I would love that, but i think you and I would be the only ones to buy that issue." "Everybody just wants robot on robot action."
Q: [Extreme paraphrasing of this question] Any chance of a "The End" type of a story set in the distant future?
Dan: "As far as a definative 'The End,' we have a meeting with hasbro in three weeks to talk about something along that line, but that's probably more than i'm allowed to say."
Q: Will we be seeing other autobot females besides Arcee?
Dan: "Of course there's always a chance. You never know what Simon's going to throw at us. In fact... I can't even tell you about that one. It's a definite yes on that one."
Dan then asked the audience if they had any coloring questions for Josh.
Q: How many layers do you use?
Josh: "As many as it takes." He then said that's often around 25.
Q: What's your favorite book you've colored?
Josh: Optimus Prime Spotlight.
Q: Does the Megatron Origin make Optimus Prime into Margaret Thatcher? [I could be wrong on this one, as it was hard to hear, and the answer was confusion over hearing the question correctly as well.]
Q: Will we see Outback again in a "living capacity"?
Nick: "If I go back [before Spotlight: Kup] "I want him to be back alive and be really chirpy and optimistic, someone everone likes to be around. 'I'm just going on a shuttle with Kup! Just goin' on an adventure!'"
Q: Any chance of a Beast Machines comic series?
Dan: "What about it? Wanna pitch your proposal? I'll hit simon up for that."
Q: Any ideas that Hasbro shot down?
Dan: "You're gonna get me in trouble with hasbro. To be honest with you, hasbro's been great to work with. Richard has his good days and bad days... he gave up corrections on Nick's Kup."
The audience then asked, "like what?" Nick answered that the decapitation on page two was originally organic with cute eyes and fluffy hair, but they weren't happy with an organic character getting his head cut off. And they had to fatten Kup up in a few panels.
Dan then also said Hasbro rejected the Spiderman/Megatron cover, saying Megatron looked too organic and they had to make him look more angular. "But they are easy to work with. They've given us free reign on everything we want to do."
Q: Any chances of seeing a Decepticons Orign book, like about how characters like Starscream and Soundwave got behind Megatron?
Dan: "That fall on your plans, Alex?"
Q: How financially successful has IDW been with Transformers considering the licensing fees? Any chance they might just disappear like Dreamwave?
Dan: IDW and Transformers will be together "for a long, long time. No worries."
Q: Any plans of a comic based on the new animated series?
Dan: "The new upcoming, set in Detroit and all that stuff? Yeah we're talking about that. It's in the works." Dan then indicated he may have said more than he was supposed to (my guess is by saying it's set in Detroit).
Nick then asked the audience what they think about the new animated designs. They responded favorably, and Nick said he loves them too.
Q: [to Josh] How do you go about coloring these books?
Josh answered that he starts off with the page and applies the base colors. He uses different reds and blues, but it's pretty basic. "After i read the script I get the tone, kinda basic like that, and render it."
Dan then said that Don's artwork is great, but Josh is the guy who colors his Tri Fold Gates and the Stormbringer poster. "He's our go to guy."
Q: Any chance of breaking out of the mini-series format?
Dan then started joking around, and eventually said, "Botcon exlusive: Chris Ryall's writing the Wheelie spotlight."
Q: What happened with the ending to Hearts of Steel? It just stopped like they ran out of room.
Dan: "Exactly." Hearts of Steel was supposed to be a longer series, but they had to cut it short at the end.
Q: What's the restoration process for the animation models?
This led to a long explanation about how the models they got back were pretty badly degraded, and a lot of them had a big hair across every page. Also, it's easier to thicken lines that are too thin, than to thin out lines that are too thick.
Q: And chance of a "Skyfire one shot"?
Dan: "We will do a spotlight for every single Transformers character if everyone of you promises to buy it."
Dan: "Yeah... nothin's... probably..."
Q: Does IDW have the rights to do spotlights for Japanese G1 characters? And who would each of them like to see a spotlight for?
Dan: "Yes, it's a possiblity. It's been kicked around the office. That's the super secret meeting in a couple of weeks. I'd love to see an Arcee spotlight and a Prowl spotlight."
Robby: "Who do I want to do? Anybody? [long pause] Huffer. Or Mirage. Bring them into the mix. I'd like to do Ramjet."
Alex: "Me? I'd like to do Skywarp."
Josh: "I wanna see Devcon."
Nick: "Rumble or Blur."
Jim: "We'd love to do Reflector. We've got a whole Reflector story."
Bill: [I couldn't hear what he said, 'cause by now a few guys in the audience were loudly shouting the names of various characters they'd like to see.]
Q: Any chance of a story set in the prehistory of Beast Wars?
Dan: See how the sales on Beast Wars: Ascending go.
Q: Any chance of picking up where DW left off?
Dan: "Top priority [would be] just to finish everthing. Put closure. All you people who put investment on that story should get to see how it ends. Just as soon as... that's why i hate lawyers."
Q: Will IDW use "Convoy" names in Beast Wars?
Josh: "I think Simon just kept 'Lio Convoy.'"
They also mentioned that they use Big Convoy in the script as well.
Q: Any chance of a Transformers ongoing?
Dan: "Um, pretty much, Infiltration/Escalation/Devestation is our ongoing, just in six issue arcs." He then explained that each issue cover has a little shield on it with the "ongoing" issue number.
Q: Any chance of seeing more writers like Nick Roche and Eric Holmes contribute to Simon's new TF universe?
Dan: "Most def. With spotlights, we've thrown out the invitation to every comic writer: pitch us a story. I love Simon to death, but new writers are a breath of fresh air." He also mentioned that they have a new writer they can't mention until San Diego.
Q: Any comics set in the movie universe?
Dan: "Yes! Next question!"
Q: [Another extreme paraphrasing] Any chance of filling in the gap between G1 and Beast Wars?
Dan: "We don't have anything yet, but it's on Simon's plate. Again, depends on sales of Beast Wars: Asceding. Buy a copy for you and your mother."
Q: What universe does the Avengers crossover take place in?
Dan answered that it's the IDW universe, and has nothing to do with the previous crossover.
Q: Any chance of Transformers / Avengers action figures?
Dan: "You gotta ask hasbro that one."
Q: A movie / G1 crossover?
Dan: "I don't think that'll happen."
Q: Any possibility of numbering the spotlight issues to make it easier to collect them?
Dan answered that the premier edition coming out in October should have them in chronological order.
Q: With Sixshot showing up, will we see Quickswitch, and will he be Sixshot's son?
Dan: "You don't want me to ruin that for you."
Q: Could we see similar numbering on the spotlights like the little shields on the main mini-series?
Dan: "Probably, yeah. I'll bring that up at Monday's editorial meeting."
Q: Any chance of an RID mini series? Or of IDW picking up the Joe Madureira's old "Battlechasers" property?
Dan: "I dug Battlechasers as well, but i think someone else picked that up. RID? Nothin's on the counter yet, but it's a possibility."
Q: [I couldn't make out this question. It was about something Simon Furman posted online. About "The Pack" it sounded like.]
Dan: "I'm not gonna tell you here."
Q: What other creators might we see on Transformers?
Dan: "Everyone's exclusive with DC and Marvel. I'd love to see Mark Waid write a Transformers story. Jennings, I'd love to see write Transformers. A whole Ed McGuiness comic would be great. There's tons of artists out there I'd like to see."
Q: Any chances of appearances by Circuit Breaker or Death's Head.
Dan: "Uh, nope."
Q: Which is better: to buy direct from IDW, or from local distributors?
Dan answered probably local comic shops, both 'cause it supports the local shops, and it helps with IDW's order numbers.
Dan then abruptly closed the panel by saying, "Remember '30 Days of Night' the movie comes out in October."
I hope this was helpful to some of the folks who couldn't make it to Botcon this year.