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Linkin Park Not Collaborating with Steve Aoki for Transformers: Age of Extinction, May Still Feature

Transformers News: Linkin Park Not Collaborating with Steve Aoki for Transformers: Age of Extinction, May Still Feature
Date: Friday, April 18th 2014 5:45am CDT
Categories: Interviews, Movie News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Geek Nation

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Views: 18,579

Quite a while back we reported on Chester Bennington of Linkin Park claiming that it 'made total sense' for the band to be working on Transformers: Age of Extinction, seeing their past relationship with the previous films. In a recent episode of Tweet Out, on Geek Nation, however, band member and director Joe Hahn was asked whether Linkin Park will be working with Steve Aoki on the movie, and gave an ambiguously negative response. Does this mean they won't be returning? Will Imagine Dragons take over for the first installment of the Transformers new trilogy? Or does it just mean they will not be collaborating with Aoki, but still feature? Check out the answer in the embebbed video below (06:25) and speculate away in the Energon Pub!

Transformers News: Linkin Park Not Collaborating with Steve Aoki for Transformers: Age of Extinction, May Still Feature

Transformers News: Linkin Park Not Returning for Transformers: Age of Extinction?

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Michael Bay Gives Further Details on Lockdown

Transformers News: Transformers: Age  of Extinction - Michael Bay Gives Further Details on Lockdown
Date: Saturday, April 12th 2014 4:08am CDT
Categories: Interviews, Media, Movie News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): EW

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Views: 35,561

As we've seen yesterday, Entertainment Weekly has had a chat with Michael Bay, getting some interesting information about the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction movie being the first of a new trilogy (not a reboot - a new installment of three films). What we didn't mention is the fact that Bay also talked more about the still relatively enigmatic character of Lockdown and his ship. Read on below for the details, or head here for the full article!

It’s actually a Transformer who is neither Autobot or Decepticon, a bounty hunter named Lockdown, whose alternate form is a Lamborghini Aventador.

“Lockdown is an interesting character. He travels the galaxy, he works for somebody else. And he’s here for one person, one alien, and then he’s out of here,” Bay says. “So he doesn’t really want to take sides. The cause and balance of the galaxy is kind of messed up when different species play with different species. And that opens up a whole other gigantic world for Transformers.”


“Lockdown’s ship has a lot of meaning that can go into other movies. There’s a lot of backstory about that ship that’s not laid out here,” he says. “You’re going to see a few things where you’re like ‘What is that? And what is that?’ And you’re going to see a couple shots like, ‘Wait a minute, who are they?’ But we don’t answer those questions.”

New AoE Grimlock Image Revealed. Bay, Wahlberg and Raynor Comment On The Upcoming Film

Transformers News: New AoE Grimlock Image Revealed. Bay, Wahlberg and Raynor Comment On The Upcoming Film
Date: Friday, April 11th 2014 5:59am CDT
Categories: Interviews, Media, Movie News, People News
Posted by: Autobot032 | Credit(s): Entertainment Weekly, Transformers Live Action Movie Blog

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Views: 29,747

Director Michael Bay, star Mark Wahlberg and co-star Jack Raynor took a moment to speak with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the film itself, what's new, what's changed/changing, and the article included a new image of Grimlock in action in the film.

This information was brought to us courtesy of the Transformers Live Action Movie Blog, and you can read the full article here: ... .html#more

We've included some snippets below:

Bay: "It's kind of like a new Transformers. We had three, the first trilogy, and this is going to be the next. ...It's the first of a new trilogy. I'm not necessarily sure that I'm doing [the others], but that's what it's meant for."

Bay: "{Shia LaBeouf]'s a good guy, but three movies, the same guy, it's time. You know what I'm saying? It's always good to freshen it up and change the story."

Wahlberg: "[The government] basically want to wipe out all Transformers, all the Autobots. Optimus has lost all faith in humankind, and I'm trying to convince him there is still good in the world and we need to work together."

Reynor: "The first day I'm acting opposite a giant robot that's not there so that was something that took me out of my comfort zone. Probably the most outrageous thing we did was run through an incredible explosion. You can see it in the trailer. Everything around us blew up. Absolutely terrifying. But you don't really think of the terror until afterward. It's one of those things where you just run and all of your basic instincts as a human kick in. You get out on the other side of it and you feel like a different person, really."

Also of note, some specs on Grimlock, which we've also included below:

"150 feet long from the tail to the nostrils, 63.5 feet tall from the ground to the top of his horns, and weigh 850 tons."

And finally, the new Grimlock image:

Transformers News: New AoE Grimlock Image Revealed. Bay, Wahlberg and Raynor Comment On The Upcoming Film

Keep your optics tuned to for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!

Mairghread Scott & Sarah Stone Talk IDW’s Transformers: Windblade

Transformers News: Mairghread Scott & Sarah Stone Talk IDW’s Transformers: Windblade
Date: Thursday, April 10th 2014 4:18am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): ComicsAlliance

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Views: 23,003

Next week, IDW Publishing's Transformers comics will start its new mini-series on the fan-steered character Windblade, for whom we've seen a couple of interviews already - including our exclusive Sarah Stone one. Comics news site ComicsAlliance was also able to interview the two creators and we've reported some snippets below - read on!

ComicsAlliance: Tell me about Windblade. What sort of story are you and Sarah telling?

Mairghread Scott: Transformers: Windblade is a four-issue miniseries designed to introduce longtime fans to a brand new character and new readers to the current Transformers world. So we really wanted to tell an honestly hopeful, fun story that showcased how human Transformers really are.

We also wanted to really show off the unique things we love most about Transformers as a brand. We have fight sequences that are not even possible in other stories. We have a dazzling array of character designs and relationships, and the world itself is just too lush not to explore. Our characters reside in a living city. They can turn into jets and they fight with axes. They live for thousands of years and have only recently stopped a civil war that almost killed them all. There are some amazing stories to be had in a place like this, and Sarah and I intend to exploit every angle we can to bring fans something that will really take their breath away.

CA: How did each of you come to this book?

MS: Like most comics work that I’ve been part of, it involved a unique dance of asking/begging, worrying, pitching, worrying and then actually doing it. I first heard about Windblade’s creation as a character and toy at a convention with my editor John Barber and I immediately asked to be involved if she got a comic. Of course it took a few months to get the timing right, but John did let me pitch on Windblade — which meant explaining who I thought she was, her backstory and what a miniseries would like like — and he liked it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sarah Stone: I have Mairghread to thank for the opportunity. She found me through some of my fan art online, and then we started talking more once we met at a comic con. She was kind enough to involve me in a personal comic project she wanted to create a pitch for, and thats when she asked if I would be interested in having my name thrown in as an artist for a Transformers project. I couldn’t say “YES” fast enough!


CA: You’re also telling the story of a female Transformer, though not the first. As the Transformers are all robots, can you talk a little bit about what gender means in this fictional universe and how it’s represented?

MS Yes. IDW’s continuity has never had an “originally female” Transformer in it (the only female transformer in the line, Arcee, was made female against her will) so it was important to us that Windblade’s comic present a positive view of Lady Bots without having the characters beat everyone over the head with their gender.

The beauty of Transformers is that, by their very nature, they’re a very inclusive race. Some Bots turn into jets, or cars, or flying sharks. They can be as small as trash cans or as big as whole cities. So while Windblade and [fellow Transformer] Chromia’s gender makes them “different” to other Cybertronians, it’s a much bigger deal to our readers than it is to the characters in the book.

Concept Artist Wes Burt on Transformers and More - Interview

Transformers News: Concept Artist Wes Burt on Transformers and More - Interview
Date: Friday, March 28th 2014 5:16am CDT
Categories: Interviews, Media, Movie News, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Gizmodo

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Views: 34,353

Courtesy of entertainment news website Gizmodo, we have a brief interview with one of the usually unsung people behind big visual properties - concept artist Wes Burt, who worked among other projects, on the first Transformers trilogy! Check out the whole thing here, and see some relevant snippets and images below.

Wesley Burt is a concept artist who has worked on prestigious film and game projects like the Transformers films, Skyrim, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Lord Of The Rings: Online, Magic: The Gathering trading cards and Thor. In his 13 years of professional work, Wes has created some amazing art.

Burt has done some amazing work for big-name movies and triple-A gaming titles; his portfolio stretches from Dishonored to Silent Hill to League of Legends to Borderlands to the GI Joe films. A Cleveland Institute of Art alumni, he’s multi-talented, also working on graphite works and oil paintings in his spare time.

He’s presenting at the Melbourne International Design Week festival next week, at the Look Upstairs forum on April 2-4 on design, advertising, 3D and creativity alongside 40 other design professionals from 20 countries. Wes spoke to Gizmodo about his history and inspiration as a graphic artist, and about some of the amazing properties he’s worked on.

How did you get into concept art and design? What drew you to Massive Black?

I became really interested in concept art when I was an early teenager, seeing the Art of Star Wars books and other movie pre-production books. I started making my own drawings and designs of characters from my head and from books I was reading at the time.


What’s the largest, or most exciting, or your favourite project that you’ve worked on?

Working on the Transformers films was really fun and exciting — having a really direct input on what things could end up looking like, and working with the director and production designers who’ve worked on so many different films. I ended doing a whole lot of the preliminary work for the Dinobots in the new film, so it will be really cool to see that come to life!

I also really enjoy working on games that are more in the historical or fantasy realm — so designing factions and costuming for Lord of The Rings Online, and also a lesser-known title called Gods & Heroes, was right up my alley. I like researching different cultures, their way of dress and types of armor and all that, so that’s always fun for me

Transformers News: Concept Artist Wes Burt on Transformers and More - Interview

Transformers News: Concept Artist Wes Burt on Transformers and More - Interview Interviews Sarah Stone

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone
Date: Friday, March 21st 2014 6:30am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Sarah Stone, Va'al

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Views: 42,102

Thought we were gone for long? We are always here, lurking, waiting, and pestering IDW Publishing creators until they agree to sit down and graciously talk to us about what they're doing with the Transformers! We have a really recent newcomer to the franchise, comics and Seibertron, so please extend a warm welcome to the artist behind the soon to appear Windblade mini-series: Sarah Stone!

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

Va'al - Sarah, it's a pleasure to be able to have a chat with you, thanks again for agreeing to do this! My first question, as has been with everyone we've interviewed, is the following: where did it all begin? What was your first encounter with our favourite Robots in Disguise?

Sarah - Hello Va'al, it is my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me!

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone
Image by Madman Entertainment

It all began with Beast Wars for me. I was a little too young to experience G1 in all its glory, so by the time I was old enough to watch TV on my own, Beast Wars was what was on. I remember that it was absolutely incredible for me because I was obsessed with dinosaurs so it played right to my interests. I had just seen Jurassic Park so dinosaurs were my world. I wanted to be an archaeologist or draw dinosaurs for the rest of my life, so robot dinosaurs just blew my mind. Actually come to think about it, maybe this was the beginning of my love for the 'cons since I clearly preferred the Predacons.

Va'al - Another of my generation! I had no idea what Transformers really were in terms of fiction, other than the Beast Wars series. Was that your only exposure to the franchise though? Were you interested enough to track down older comics, did you spring for some of the toys?

Sarah - I never heard anything about the comics back then unfortunately, and didn't do much looking into it, though I kind of randomly remember having a Dinobot toy. He probably had lots of fun with all my other dinosaur toys (poor dude was all alone).

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

Transformers sort of dropped off of my radar after Beast Wars, I'm sad to say. The Michael Bay movies put them back on my radar, but I was left sort of wanting. I was considerably more interested in the robots than the human characters, so sadly even after the movie I fell off the Transformers train again. It wasn't until I discovered Transformers Prime that I fell off the deep end and rediscovered my intense love for the world again. Through the Prime fandom I ended up finding out about IDW's More Than Meets the Eye, and Robots in Disguise and well... now I'm ruined forever.

Va'al - This is getting eery now, that sounds very similar to my own experience - though I had a few more toys back then! Before we move into the comics, though... What was it in particular about the Transformers: Prime animated series that caught your eye? The stories, the artwork/animation, the characters, something else?

Sarah - Haha, that's crazy! Hmm, It was a combination of a lot of things I think. The sort of more organic designs, the darker tone, great writing, really expressive animations... it was like a quadruple combo to everything I didn't even know I wanted.

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

I think after watching one episode I ended up marathoning every episode I could get my hands on in a single night. The team did a fantastic job sucking me into the world and I was insatiable. I wanted more - I had to know more about these characters and their history.

Va'al - Binge-watching is apparently a good thing, under some aspects. Do we endorse it? Not necessarily. But still... So where did you head to find more? Was it the two ongoing series by Barber and Roberts and the respective artistic teams, or did you go via some other fiction first?

Sarah - Yeah, the ongoings were my next target. I had some friends that were kind enough to lend me some trades to read while I was traveling, and honestly it was becoming a little hard for me to go anywhere on the internet without bumping into awesome fan art (read: spoilers) of both series, so I knew I had to get on board fast or else I was going to get everything second-hand.

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

But outside the comics I started retroactively checking out the other series like Transformers: Animated and G1 just out of growing fondness for all of the characters. I'm also currently mid playthrough on Fall of Cybertron but I'm stuck because it makes me so motion sick! It's really the saddest thing.

Va'al - So you did effectively branch out as much as possible! That is impressive, even I haven't got into the games yet. Too focused on the comics. And life, I suppose. Who would you say your favourite character, present or past, in any part of the fiction, would be? And why?

Sarah - Gosh that's hard, I have so much love for so many of them. I guess I always end up having a soft spot for Starscream in almost any incarnation. I just have a thing for the really slimy, insufferable ones.

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

He's such a fascinating mix of horrible yet sympathetic, but always entertaining. He'll stir up trouble anywhere you inject him, and I love him for that. I really can't choose. I'm loving the IDW Robots in Disguise/Dark Cybertron one right now.

Va'al - I think a lot of fans have a soft spot for Starscream, to some extent. Voice actors notwithstanding. So now we know about you as a fan, let's find out about you as an artist! How did you start out, personally? How did you first venture into artistic endeavours?

Sarah - I've always been drawing, at least as long as I can remember holding pencils and crayons. As a kid I always drew my favorite video game characters and cartoons, before I even knew that was a thing. I grew up with so many animated movies, especially Disney movies, I dreamed of working for them and being an animator. I was fortunate and my parents were always extremely supportive and provided me with Photoshop and even a Wacom tablet at an early age.

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

It only took a few forays into dabbling with hand drawn and 3d animation before I realized that I am actually a terribly impatient person. Working on a few seconds of animation could take weeks, and an illustration I could finish in an evening or two, so I started slowly gravitating toward illustration as I got older.

Va'al - And if Disney was your influence and aspiration for the animation that never was, what would you say the influences are in your illustration work?

Sarah - That's a tough one, I always feel like I have a hard time pinpointing influences because I'm honestly inspired by so much. Concept art for games and movies have always found space on my shelf in art books, and there are just so many amazing illustrators putting their work up on the net, and I've had the privilege of working with many -- I'm constantly inspired. But I also love taking cues from some more classic work, like J.C. Leyendecker and my recent discovery of Richard Macdonald.

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

When it comes to illustrating Transformers though, some of the concept art that comes out of Jagex for Transformers Universe has really inspired me to push the rendering of metal and the different materials the bots are made of. And when it comes to the comics, I have to admit being a huge fangirl for Milne and how expressive his bots are. I can only hope to be able to bring life to them in a similar way.

Va'al - Well, I think the time has come to ask *the* question -- how did you make it to not only IDW, but your own mini-series with Mairghread Scott? Did you pitch? Were you selected?

Sarah - I really believe it's because I'm the luckiest girl on the planet, it's really kind of a crazy road. Mairghread had actually messaged me once on Tumblr to tell me that she loved the human Soundwave [see above - V.] illustration I did, which, knowing that she was a writer for Prime and being a fan, was enough to just make my day. Or week. I was really happy.

It wasn't until I was tabling at a comic convention over a year later that the stars aligned and Mairghread and her husband actually bumped into my table, entirely by accident. I tried not to freak out at her too much, and they both actually invited me to help out on a project pitch that they were looking for an artist for. I very excitedly obliged and kept in touch with them over the next month or so while we worked together, and one day Mairghread gave me a call and said something like, "Hey we're kind of looking for someone to work on something Transformers related... would you like me to throw your name in the hat?"

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

I said yes, of course, and I submitted some work and did a test page, and I suppose they liked it enough to take a chance with me. I'm eternally grateful to Mairghread for putting me under the eyes of the powers that be, and also to all the guys at IDW for giving me this chance.

Va'al - Wow, that does sound like a really lucky set of coincidences - but from what we've seen, they are working with the skills and output which is already of a really high standard. What's the most exciting part of working for IDW, on Transformers, and for a new character?

Sarah - Aside from the obvious of just working of something I absolutely adore (I used to draw this stuff just for fun, you mean I get paid to do it now?), I think it's just such an incredible time to be involved with what IDW is doing for Transformers. The stuff that Barber, Roberts, and Mairghread are doing is just really exciting, and it is crazy to be a part of it, even in the smallest way.

Transformers News: Interviews Sarah Stone

Windblade is just a puzzle piece (but hopefully a really cool puzzle piece) of an awesome picture they are painting, and I'm just really humbled to be working on it. It seems like kind of a cheesy answer, but I really am stoked.

Va'al - Surely you're the one painting it, and they're setting up the canvas! Sarah, may I say personally I am really looking forward to the new mini-series, and I know quite a few our readers are too. Before we let you get back to making art, and me to hunt down another creator to question, any final words to round off your first interview for the fandom?

Sarah - And thank you too, Va'al! It was really a pleasure, thank you for having me. I just want to say thank you to everyone who's been supporting and pre-ordering the mini-series, It means the world to me and I hope I don't let you down. If anyone's interested in seeing more of my stuff, you can check me out on my blog or DeviantART, or say hello on Twitter!

We will find out more of Sarah's work as Transformers: Dawn of the Autobots - Windblade hits. If you want to make sure you get your hands on this, and the other two ongoings - check out how to preorder the issues here! Thanks again for sticking with us for another interview on, keep your optics tuned in, as there is still much much more to come.

Mairghread Scott Writes, Drinks Coffee With, Robots - Interview

Transformers News: Mairghread Scott Writes, Drinks Coffee With, Robots - Interview
Date: Wednesday, March 19th 2014 12:07pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Robots with Coffee

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Views: 39,507

Fun Facebook fan page Robots with Coffee have just posted an interview with IDW Publishing writer Mairghread Scott (Beast Hunters, Prime, Windblade), touching upon her own career and credits, and teasing what may or may not come out of the upcoming mini-series. You can read it all here, and snippets below!

Everyone, please welcome Mairghread Scott to Robots With Coffee!

You are part of the first all-female team to produce a Transformers comic book...unless you and artist Sarah Stone were ghosting for Pat Lee at Dreamwave and haven't been paid yet. But this isn't your first TF comic. How did you get involved with IDW, and did you choose Sarah to be your artist?

I got involved with IDW through an elaborate series of heists perpetrated by myself and Mike Johnson when we...I mean...when we co-wrote Rage of the Dinobots together.

As far as Sarah is concerned, I have to be serious. There are certain things I really wanted in an artist on Transformers Windblade: vibrant color, a sense of movement, diverse and identifiable body designs, and an emphasis on facial expressions. Sarah hit the nail on the head in each of these areas and they all combine to make (what I think is) a dynamic, emotive and easy to follow book perfect for old-school fans and new readers alike.

Windblade was a 'fan created' character, in that the fans got online and voted for what kind of figure it would be. What did you bring to the character once the fan voting had been tallied?

Quite a bit actually. Dark Cybertron was still being written when I came aboard and outside of the knowledge that she could speak to Metroplex, everything else was kind of free reign.

The most important thing for me was to make sure that even though Windblade was a fan-made character, she didn't feel like a composite or generic person. Windblade has a very clear character in my mind: hopeful, determined, empathetic, a little naive and in way over her head. If she was human she'd be the girl that puts on fancy eye shadow for a date and then keep forgetting she has it on and touching her eyes...

…and that's probably the first make-up to Transformer comparison ever made in a professional interview so...milestone?

Your series addresses the gender issue in the IDW TF comics continuity, beyond there originally being no gender (perceived to be "he") and Arcee being the lone female by forced transgender surgery. Was this something that IDW wanted to change, or something you were happy to grab the reigns and 'retcon'?

Argh! Don’t say the ‘r’ word! IDW definitely wanted to do a Windblade book and that obviously required a bit of a think to get Lady Bots back in continuity (outside of Arcee’s unique situation, as you mentioned), but 'retcon-ing' (actually saying something didn’t happen that’s already been established) is something I think of as a weapon of last resort. I still have plenty of tricks up my sleeve besides that and, while new information will be revealed, retcon-ing is not happening in Transformers Windblade.


I know Windblade is going to be a mini but, hey, if it does well enough, there's a possibility of a NAUTICA ongoing? How awesomely true is this? #nauticafanclub #ftw!

So awesomely true that I have no idea if it will happen/control if it does happen/information on the subject. Although I will take this moment to say that Windblade and Nautica fans should not be snipping at each other online. There's room for everyone in the pool, kids. Mom's watching.

IDW Transformers vs G.I. Joe - Another Interview with John Barber and Tom Scioli

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs G.I. Joe - Another Interview with John Barber and Tom Scioli
Date: Wednesday, March 12th 2014 12:59pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): CBR

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Views: 18,291

Comics and entertainment news website Comic Book Resources also wanted a piece of the Tom Scioli/John Barber pie, and add themselves to the list of interviews about the upcoming IDW Publishing Transformers vs. G.I. Joe series, set to debut in May, with Free Comic Book Day. Read on below for some snippets and more preview pages from the free issue, and head here for the whole interview.

CBR News: John and Tom, aside from the obvious implications of the title, what exactly is "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" all about?

Tom Scioli: We're pretty close to figuring that out ourselves. So far it looks like each issue is going to be a complete "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" epic that, when taken together, will add up to a multi-chapter mega epic. We've got a really good plot going. Figuring out the tone is the next big challenge. How serious, how funny, how topical.

I did a couple of passes, color thumbnail comics in a style similar to [Scioli's creator-owned series] "Satan's Soldier." In those tests, the tone ended up being in the neighborhood of [Scioli's other creator-owned series] "American Barbarian" and "Satan's Soldier." John is bringing a 21st century version of Classic '60s Marvel tone. I think we'll really nail it down when we find a tone that isn't "AmBarb," isn't '60s Marvel, isn't Alan Moore, isn't Frank Miller, but a tone that is "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" -- a tone that is unique and specific to the demands of this particular story.

What's it about? Change or die. It's about a big universe where people build crazy, wild, awesome things and use them to kill each other. I'd like to shepherd the characters to a place where they don't want to kill each other anymore, but I don't know if they'll ever get there or not.

So far, the script for this first issue, which we're close to finishing, is the best thing I've ever worked on. I've spent more hours per page on this than anything I've done before, and the results are better than I could've imagined.

John Barber: Yeah, what Tom said. I came into this with a certain idea of where we were heading, and we've wound up somewhere way, way, way better.

The basic idea of the series is that the G.I. Joe team has been fighting COBRA for some time, but just when they think they've defeated their foe, everything blows up to the next level -- and the Cybertronians arrive.

We'll see the origins of our heroes; we'll see first meetings and secret pasts. This is the ground floor of an astounding new reality, here.


Tom, your style is very cosmic and Kirby-esque in nature, so is it safe to assume "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" will be on a grand, cosmic scale?

Scioli: "Transformers" is a grand, cosmic thing to begin with. "G.I. Joe" is a heightened, sci-fi, 20 minutes into the future version of military adventure. Today's military technology is sci-fi by any reasonable definition, so it does kind of push things in that direction.

Early drafts were extremely serious, hard sci-fi, with absurdist touches and pitch black dark humor. John's brought a little more of a sense of adventure and fun to it. We're folding all of that stuff together and hammering it into what feels like a real, breathing universe from which we can pluck any story we need.

Barber: I think it's fair to say "grand and cosmic" yeah -- maybe "expanding" is another good word.

Merging two major properties like these is something IDW is clearly not taking lightly. How did this idea get started, and how long has it been in development?

Scioli: Months, it seems. When John first floated the idea, I started getting the wheels turning, even before it was confirmed as a thing. I can't help it. I used to fight that urge. Don't work on that, there's no point. I decided not to fight it. If your imagination goes somewhere you'd rather it not, don't fight it, let it happen and see where it goes. So I didn't fight it.

To make this as good as it needs to be, I couldn't wait to get the final okay before I start working. Doing this story one issue at a time just wasn't going to work, so even though I wouldn't advise working on a job you don't yet have, I don't think I'd have gotten the results I wanted if I figured the story out in issue-long chunks, one bit at a time. I knew from past experience, for best results I had to envision what I wanted my entire run to be and then figure out the story as a whole, before I even started work on Issue #1. It's foolishness, but the kind of foolishness you need to create great art.

Barber: At IDW, we'd been interested in doing a "Transformers"/"G.I. Joe" crossover series for a while, but it had to be the right thing. It had to be something really unique and interesting, not just some sort of a cash-grab. 2014 is the 30th Anniversary of "Transformers" and the 50th Anniversary of the original "G.I. Joe" line, so it seemed like we had to do something. But we've got existing comics universes that are pretty clearly not set in the same world. We were trying to figure out what would work and not just feel, well, inessential.

Then Tom emailed in out of the blue, and I'm a big fan of Tom. We started talking about another thing, about Tom doing a cover for another series -- and one day I just thought of Tom doing "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe." So I emailed him, and he was interested -- and I kinda inserted myself into the proceedings as co-writer, which is me kinda staying out of the way and then trying to steal the glory later

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs G.I. Joe - Another Interview with John Barber and Tom Scioli
Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs G.I. Joe - Another Interview with John Barber and Tom Scioli

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs G.I. Joe - Another Interview with John Barber and Tom Scioli

15 Years of IDW - IDW Publishing's Ted Adams Interview

Transformers News: 15 Years of IDW - IDW Publishing's Ted Adams Interview
Date: Tuesday, March 11th 2014 5:27pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): The Beat

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Heidi MacDonald, over at comics news website The Beat, sat down for a chat with co-founder and CEO of IDW Publishing Ted Adams. While they don't touch upon Transformers as much, they do mention it, one of their bigger licensed franchises - and there may be more to come in the second part of the interview tomorrow! Check out the robotic mentions below, and read the whole thing here.

THE BEAT: Since we’re doing a 15-anniversary look back, I wanted to ask you if you if you could lay out kind of the structure of IDW. I know that you started it with some partners and then IDT came in as investor — can you just talk about who’s still involved and
what their roles are?

ADAMS: Yeah absolutely. I started IDW with three other guys in 1999 and when we organized the business we each owned essentially 25% of the business. So there were four of us who owned 25% and that continued on for quite some time. In the early days of the business actually we weren’t a comic book publisher, we were just a creative service company that was doing art and design for a variety of entertainment companies. And so for the first probably 3 or 4 years of IDW it was just the four of us and a handful of employees. We really started with an art book by Ash Wood and that led us to doing 30 Days of Night and CSI comic books. That was around 2001-02 was when we were first starting to publish comic books. But it wasn’t really until probably 2004, 2005 when our publishing business started taking off, around the time we picked up the Transformers license, and really started to expand our publishing business. (Editor-in-chief) Chris Ryall came in and really helped us build that business.


If you look at the licensed books that we did when we first got into the game versus the licensed books that we do today, they just weren’t as good. And there’s that stigma that’s associated with a licensed book that I’ve never really understood. I think it’s starting to go away. Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book is regularly on weekly Best Of lists. It was on a bunch of end of the year Best Of lists. The Godzilla book that we did with James Stokoe was critically acclaimed; the Transformers book that James Roberts writes for us is well received not just by people who like Transformers, but people who like well written comic books.


We also have comic books in the Transformers toys and it’s the same thing there. If you like that comic book, you got the Transformers toy as a gift for Christmas, you didn’t expect to get the comic book, it’s just a freebie in there. You read it, you liked it, the back of that comic book completely drives you to the direct market. If we’ve done our job right it very clearly explains to you, should you like this comic book, here’s the next thing to buy and here’s the place to buy it. Interviews Livio Ramondelli

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli
Date: Friday, March 7th 2014 9:13am CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Livio Ramondelli, Va'al

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Views: 40,646

Continuing in our quest to bother all the creators over at IDW Publishing, and with a severe lack of Transformers comics coming out this week, we reached out for one of the biggest names right now, with his very unique style gracing the pages of several comics, from Autocracy and Monstrosity to Dark Cybertron via Chaos - ladies and gentlebots, please welcome Livio Ramondelli!

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

Va'al - Livio, thank you very much for agreeing to do this. As I've been doing with all out interviews so far, let's start from the very beginning: How did you first discover The Transformers? What's your first memory?

Livio - It's great to speak to you!

I first became aware of the Transformers with the original G1 cartoon. I have pretty sporadic but vivid memories of moments from it here and there. But it always stayed with me. The characters had a huge impact on me. I don't recall the first moment I saw Optimus Prime or Soundwave for example, I just remember them as being a big part of my childhood. When I was a little older, my family would regularly rent the animated movie over and over. Which is an insane concept that the next generation won't understand- you had to RENT a movie from a physical store? And they had a limited number of copies that someone could beat you to at any moment?

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

But regardless, we rented that movie so often we eventually bought it when I was around 13. Then I really began actively re-watching it and the series as a whole. I'd tape the reruns that aired, trying to assemble a collection of the entire series. It's definitely one of the things, along with Star Wars, that has been with me my entire life.

Va'al - I remember renting VHS and DVD. I also remember Blockbuster going bankrupt, which felt pretty bad actually.. But back to you and everyone's favourite transforming robots! You got into them as a visual thing, were you ever a toy person? Do you have any personal favourites?

Livio - I was definitely into the toys as well. To this day I remember which ones I had, and which ones I never got to own. Prime and Soundwave were always my favorite toys, which might factor into why they're my two favorite characters. I thought they were both very clever in how much they did as toys. I'm a huge fan of the current Masterpiece toy line as well. I bought the new Soundwave at BotCon last year, and it sits proudly in my art studio. I just love how they're taking the toys you remember and tweaking them to be even more like the characters, it's a genius move.

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

I'm still plagued by a few toys that I was never able to own as a kid. I never got a Sharkticon, for example. I always looked enviously at my friends who did.

Va'al - So would you say you had or still have any particular goals, in terms of toys? Would a Sharkticon be what we call a holy grail of plastic transforming robots to you? Or is there something else you'd really really like in your collection?

Livio - Of the original era of the toys.. a Sharkticon and Trypticon would probably be my two holy grails. I had Metroplex, but I never had Trypticon. Sometimes when I see some of them out-of-box at a comic convention I look longingly at them for a few moments. It's like looking at missing pieces from my childhood!

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

And like everyone, I'm anxious to see where the new Masterpiece series goes and which new figures will be released. I'd love to see a new Galvatron toy closer to the original series. But having Masterpiece Soundwave and the tapes feels so good. The design on Laserbeak and Buzzsaw ( where even the silver armored sections fold in on themselves to create a flat surface) is just mind-blowingly good.

Va'al - Those are some nifty little birds indeed, I agree. And I've only seen them in hand! We've touched upon you getting into the toys and the franchise as a whole, but how did you make it from there to comics? Were you a fan as you grew up?

Livio - Yeah, definitely. I loved the original Marvel run. By the time I got to them, a lot of them were already in back issue bins and so I was tracking them down to piece a collection together, the same way I was doing with Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men and other titles that I loved.

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

I stopped reading the comics when they sort of dried up in America, but then when Dreamwave got the license I certainly bought those. I thought the art and coloring was beautiful in those early issues. And then after that there were stories I read here and there, like the Jae Lee drawn G.I. Joe vs Transformers. Before the license came to IDW!

Va'al - And that's why should have been a fan growing up across the pond - to quote a certain writer, the series.. never ended. You were clearly a comics reader growing up, but what drew you into drawing yourself? Can you remember the early days of shifting doodling to actual drawing? Was it always a potential career option?

Livio - I know, I'm jealous of you guys across the pond! I also definitely noticed that a lot of UK readers have more of an affinity for the later G1 characters like Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus. Possibly because they did so much more in the UK run that we didn't get to see for a long time.

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

And I think most people who read comics try to draw them, really. I think if you're drawn to a creative medium like that you're almost certainly hoping you can one day draw or write them yourself. I don't remember an exact moment when it switched into a possible career, it was basically always a dream that I had and hoped I could do it one day. It still feels very surreal getting to draw these guys, and especially to work with someone like Flint Dille, who was such an architect of the G1 stuff I grew up on.

Va'al - Ultra Magnus does seem to be one of the latest big favourites, even with the whole 'controversial' take on him by Roberts and Milne, indeed. How would you describe your first venture into comics in general, before hitting the Transformers franchise at IDW? What's the story there?

Livio - My first venture into comics was one of two very random and lucky moments in my life. After I finished my time in Art school, I was hunting for a job. I was looking into concept art positions for the gaming and movie world. I thought that'd be a steady way to make a living and also be a lot of fun. Comics was sort of always my dream, but I didn't know how realistic it was. One of the blogs I'd check, for fun, was Gelatometti - Jim Lee and Wildstorm's art blog.

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

They suddenly had a job posting on it, looking for someone to join their team designing the DC Universe Online game. I applied and got hired through the blog, which was my first real gig. It was amazing, since Jim Lee was a huge hero of mine.. and continues to be. I worked there for about 5 years, learning a lot and contributing to a pretty massive game project. It also started me on the path of doing comic conventions across the country.. which lead to IDW.

Va´al - Aha! Here we are, the juicy stuff. What was your first IDW gig? Did they come for you, or did you pitch something to them?

Livio - It was very random! I was sitting at an Artist Alley table at Wondercon I believe. Just selling some prints and essentially fan artwork. IDW's head editor Chris Ryall walked by and happened to see my work, and gave me his card. He told me to submit samples. About a week later, I got an E-Mail from Andy Schmidt, who offered me the covers to The Best of Optimus Prime and Best of Megatron trade paperbacks. It was really a dream come true, and I'm very grateful for the chance.

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

I always suggest to anyone looking to work in comics to start showing your work at Artist Alley tables. Doesn't matter if you've been published! You never know who will walk by.

Va'al - That's some good advice, right there! So after cover art, Chaos, Autocracy, Monstrosity, Robots in Disguise and Dark Cybertron, where is the IDW partnership taking you next? Can you talk about anything at all with us, or is it still all under wraps?

Livio - I can say there's definitely two big projects coming that I'm excited about. Unfortunately I can't reveal details about them yet, which I understand makes for a very frustrating answer!

But as a teaser, and as most people are guessing, I'd say it's very likely that Chris, Flint and I will finish off our trilogy with another series. We should have a lot more information about that soon.

Transformers News: Interviews Livio Ramondelli

But I'd just like to take a second and thank all the readers for the response we've gotten doing Transformers comics for the last few years. We all really appreciate the support, and we work hard to hopefully give you guys a great ride with the stories we're telling.

Va'al - And we all really appreciate all of your work as creators! They may not be 'real' comics according to some publishers, but we know there are some really good stories being told. Livio, before we part ways, are there any other last words you'd like to share with our readers?

Livio - It's been a real pleasure chatting with you! And again, I'd just like to thank everyone out there for supporting the books. If you'd like to check out more of my work you can find me on deviantArt, Twitter and Instagram all with the insanely original handle of LivioRamondelli.

You heard the man, go follow him on various social media platforms - and read some more into Livio's creative process here! I extend my thanks to all the readers who have been following us this far, and end by saying there is more to come in our quest to bring you even more insight into the minds and hands of Transformers franchise creators. So keep your optics tuned to!

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #111 - New York Toy Fair 2015
Twincast / Podcast #111:
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Posted: Thursday, February 19th, 2015