Matt Tieger has decided that what he wants in his next game is a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex from outer space who fights with a sword and a shield and breaths fire. And is a robot.
What he wants, in other words, is Grimlock, the Dinobot. All that stands in his way is the company who owns the Transformers, Hasbro, and they've decided that Grimlock (and the rest of the Dinobots) are being retired.
According to Hasbro, the Dinobots will not be in any Transformers movies. They will not be in any Transformers games. They will not be in any Transformers anything. They are finished.
The people at Hasbro, in other words, tell Tieger that Grimlock will be done away with.
This is the story of how he tried to change their mind.
Matt Tieger wanted to be a paleontologist when he grew up. And a marine biologist. And an artist. But mainly: Paleontologist. He loved dinosaurs. Knew all of their names. He wanted to dig their bones out of the Earth and tell their stories.
By the time he went to college, he'd changed his mind. He wanted to be a marine biologist again. He studied marine biology. Then, just shy of a Ph.D from Rutgers, he changed his mind yet again and left to make videogames.
Now Tieger works as Game Director for High Moon Studios, the company behind 2010's Transformers: War for Cybertron. For Matt, it is the best job in the world. Particularly because he is now in charge.
His new game is the sequel to War for Cybertron, Fall of Cybertron, and what Tieger wants more than anything is to let players be the leader of the Dinobots.
"As a fan of Transformers," Tieger told Polygon, by phone. "Grimlock is, if not my favorite, in my top three favorite Transformers of all time.
As Tieger explains it, it goes like this: "It's all about loyalty in the Decepticon.
"Megatron is obviously in charge of the Decepticons, [and has] three lieutenants: Shockwave, Soundwave and Starscream (which by the way is very confusing to people who are not big Transformers fans because they're all Ss), but it's all about loyalty.
"Soundwave is loyal to Megatron above all things.
"Starscream is loyal to Starscream above all things.
"Shockwave is loyal to Cybertron above all things.
"So Shockwave's plan is:
"'We're not going to leave Cybertron. I'm going to save it. I'm going to search the cosmos, find a world that is teeming with what I can covert into Energon (the Transformers energy source). And I'm going to suck that planet dry and ... use it to reboot my home.'"
PAGE 1: We’re seeing for the first time in the IDW continuity First Aid and Delphi. Was this always the plan to bring them both in here and the look of them in this grave situation?
JAMES ROBERTS: Well, First Aid made his first appearance—along with Pharma and Ambulon and Delphi itself—in the short story “Bullets,” which I wrote for inclusion in the Last Stand of the Wreckers trade (it’s in the new hardcover edition, too). But you definitely don’t need to have read “Bullets” to enjoy issues 4 and 5 of MTMTE—the first three pages set everything up for readers new and old. But to answer your question, part of the fun of writing MTMTE is getting our heroes—the crew—meet other characters on their travels. When Cybertron was transformed at the end of the Chaos storyline, it brought a lot of Cybertronians back home; but there are still lots of characters out there, waiting for their moment.
ALEX MILNE: A lot of characters still out there? Oh man I can't wait to see what will be coming up in the later issues of MTMTE. I hope fans will like the look that we have given Delphi. I know I talked it over with Josh—I wanted the interior of the complex to have a very Arkham Asylum feel to it. Specifically the medical ward from the game. I really do think that Josh did an excellent job in pulling that feeling off. I guess the whole look of Delphi consists of 2 things. The outside, where we see the planet and the base, is one. This look is cold, but somewhat comfortable. By looking at the base from the outside, you wouldn't get the sense that anything is wrong. Then the interior, which at times looks nightmarish. I wanted it to have that feeling as you went along that you will really be yearning for the outside again.
JOSH BURCHAM: Thanks Alex! Yeah, it was a lot of fun helping create the look of Delphi’s “visual identity.” Obviously most of the hard stuff, like designing how the base looks and getting across what type of world it is and the terrain it consists of, was already done by Alex but I had a good time trying to come up with a way of reenforcing all of that with color. Every place, every planet has its own feel and its own color scheme to kind of help push the notion that “hey, this is a different place now.” And it’s not just to let you know where you are geographically but there’s an element of getting across a “feeling” to these locations too.
PAGES 2 and 3: More new bots in Ambulon and Pharma and setting the scene for what’s going on inside Delphi. Was the disease influenced at all by the Cosmic Rust we saw in the cartoon and what were Ambulon and Pharma based on?
JAMES ROBERTS: Hmm, it’s hard to answer these questions without giving away too much. Sorry! Let me just say that something very, very bad has happened on Delphi, and Ratchet’s about to walk straight into it! I’ll just say that this story marks a major turning point in the life of the Autobots’ Chief Medical Officer…
ALEX MILNE: I’m not going to give away anything about them either. The only thing I will say is that when you look at Pharma, it's clear that he’s a jet of some sort.
JOSH BURCHAM: Heh, I wish I could extrapolate more on your question but like the others, I’ll leave it to you to find the answers within this and the next issue! Heck, I wish I could comment to some degree on these characters and their color schemes but a lot of that was already kind of laid out for me. Alex and James are very particular about the details when they go to creating their respective parts of the book. I guess for me the main goal of this spread was to keep pushing that green “medical ward” color scheme throughout the panels. (And, boy, Alex sure does design some awesome looking ’bots doesn’t he? Really digging Pharma’s design! Not every day we see a jet medic-bot so it’s a nice treat seeing the Transformers universe expanded, even in little ways like these characters and these kinds of locations!)
PAGE 4: Swerve opens a bar and Ratchet starts realizing his own mortality. I guess it’s really being leading up to this? Just how much of the Lost Light has been designed at this stage?
JAMES ROBERTS: Ratchet’s not been himself since we met him in issue 1. The kindly, young-at-heart doctor of old has changed—he’s less kind, less patient, and in many respects has had enough. Why? Well, that’s what issues 4 and 5 are about. I decided Swerve needed his own bar about five seconds after putting words in his mouth for the first time. But the idea that the Lost Light should have its own social hub was there from the very beginning. There needed to be a place where the crew can congregate, argue, laugh, ingest too much engex, brawl, hide… you get the idea. I think issues 1 through 6 of MTMTE each introduces at least one new location. Alex has outdone himself in terms of designing the interiors. He really makes it feel as if we’re writing a TV show or a film, and these are the set designs. It also makes for fantastic visual continuity.
ALEX MILNE: Hmm, that’s a good question. When I was brought onboard for this project and knew I was going to be working on interiors I started to layout the ship so I would know where things were in relation to each other. I would say that at this point in time 80% of the ship is laid out.
I have a general floor plan I work off of, and I have plotted out section for the bridge, engineering the bar and so on. I have left areas open for things that James might throw my way. I like to think of this as if I was working on star trek or another really cool science fiction show.
JOSH BURCHAM: Yeah, totally! It’s a great deal of fun getting to visit all of these new planets and meeting up with long lost characters. It’s exciting and also challenging, creatively, trying to come up with how all these different places look and feel. Always trying to make them feel familiar and yet alien (and also distinct from each other!) all at the same time is a lot of fun, and seeing how intricately planned out and detailed Alex is on his locations just serves to fuel my own creativity.
And Swerve’s bar. I mean, come on. I can see so many memories coming out of this place in the future. What a fantastic idea!
PAGE 5: Ratchet and Swerve discus this “message” hidden for them to find, getting us to Delphi and they start becoming friends. Has anything in the series so far taken any of you guys by surprise in how the stories and overall arcs are evolving?
JAMES ROBERTS: I’ve got a very firm idea of where the overall story arc is heading. Each of the main characters have their own arcs as well, some of which have yet to begin. In translating these overarching or slow-burning storylines into actual issues, yes, I have been struck by how certain characters gel with each other, and tweaked future stories to exploit that. I’ve been pleased by how many characters seem to work well in pairs: Skids and Swerve, Tailgate and Cyclonus, Ratchet and Drift (I didn’t say “get on” in pairs), Rodimus and Magnus, Chromedome and Rewind, etc. As the voyage continues we see friendships begin and end. As I’ve always said, you live the story through the characters, and the crew of the Lost Light will always be at the heart of this book.
ALEX MILNE: Surprises. Each book is a surprise for me. A wonderful and at times twisted surprise that gives me tingles up my spine when I read it.
For me, each issue that James writes is better then the last, but then when you read them all in one go you see how they all start to tie together to make one great story. It’s a real treat to read and be a part of. I seen a lot of people who have said I don't get why this was said, or this was done. I think we have to have a bit of patience and see how the story unfolds. The stores are so dense and at times and interconnected in ways we don’t see until they happen.
I'm positive the payoff will be worth the wait! Also, Skids is awesome. Just had to put that out there.
JOSH BURCHAM: Ya know what’s funny is that it really doesn’t surprise me at all how much I’m falling in love with all of these characters. James is a fantastic writer! That much was evident when I was working with him on Last Stand of the Wreckers. I know I’m just having a blast getting to know them more and more with each passing issue. There’s a distinct difference between just knowing of a character and really getting to know that character, and James just does such a great job letting us in on how these characters live for 22 pages! And Alex, too! Alex has the big job of putting James’ words to life and he’s just been doing such a great job showing us who and how these characters are! It’s an honor to be working with such a talented team!
Transformers Game wrote:New Transformers Fall of Cybertron gameplay footage hitting Kotaku.com Wed morning 7am Pacific. High probability of robot on robot violence. http://www.kotaku.com
MATT FRANK'S JOB HISTORY -
RAY HARRYHAUSEN PRESENTS - BlueWater Productions - Covers, interiors (2006-2008)
BEAST WARS SOURCEBOOK - IDW Publishing - Character art (2007-2008)
MARVEL HANDBOOKS - Marvel Comics - Art Refurbishing (2008-2009)
Challenge Games - Concept/Production Artist (2009)
BLACK PAW: RETURN OF THE DRAGON - Gleaming Scythe Productions - Character/creature design (2008-2010)
Chaotic Moon Studios - Concept/Production artist (2010)
GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS - IDW Publishing - Retailer Incentive covers (2011)
DUNGEON IN A DECK - Games By Gamers - Character design, creature design (2011)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
9 AM-5 PM Transformers Customizing Class Shawnee Trail
8:30 PM Golden Ticket Package Pick-Up Reunion Ballroom
9:30-10:30 Tour and Class Package Pick-Up Reunion Ballroom
Thursday, April 26, 2012
9 AM-5 PM Transformers Customizing Class Shawnee Trail
4:00 PM Golden Ticket Pick-up Reunion Ballroom
5:00 Golden Ticket Store Opens Marsalis Hall
6:00 Registration Pick-up Store Opens Reunion Ballroom
6:00 Store Opens Marsalis Hall
8:00-9:30 Exhibitor Unload and Drop Off Marsalis Hall
Friday, April 27, 2012
7:30AM -2PM Exhibitor Setup Marsalis Hall
8:30-9:30 Club Store opens for Exhibitors Only Marsalis Hall
9:30-11:30 Club Store opens for all Registered Guests Marsalis Hall
9:30 Walk-up Late Registration Marsalis Prefunction
9:00-12:00 Contest Setup Marsalis Hall
9:00-10:50 Panel: MSTF! Reunion Ballroom
11:00-11:50 Panel: Transformers Filmfest Reunion Ballroom
Noon Contest Judging Marsalis Hall
1:00-1:50 Panel: TCC Comic Panel Reunion Ballroom
2:00 Private Sales Room Experience Marsalis Hall
2:00-3:30 Autographs: David Kaye, Garry Chalk, Simon Furman
3:30-5:00 Autographs: Dan Gilvezan, Buster Jones
5:00 PM Private Sales Room Experience ends
7:00 PM Golden Ticket Reception Reunion Ballroom
Saturday, April 28, 2012
7:30 AM Exhibitor Set-up Marsalis Hall
8:30 Registered Guests Private Preview Marsalis Hall
9:00 Early Bird Entry Marsalis Hall
10:00 General Admission Marsalis Hall
10:00-10:50 Panel: Dan Gilvezan, Buster Jones Reunion Ballroom
10:00-11:30 Autographs: David Kaye, Garry Chalk
11:00-11:50 Panel: Transformers Comics: IDW Reunion Ballroom
Noon-12:50 Panel: Animated Talk with Derrick Wyatt Reunion Ballroom
Noon-1:30 Autographs: Dan Gilvezan, Buster Jones, Simon Furman
1:00-1:50 Panel: David Kaye, Garry Chalk Reunion Ballroom
1:30-3:00 Autographs: Peter Cullen
2:00-2:50 Panel: Transformers Collectors’ Club Roundtable TCC Staff Reunion Ballroom
3:00-3:50 Panel: Hasbro Transformers Brand Team Reunion Ballroom
4:00-4:50 Panel: Peter Cullen Reunion Ballroom
5:00 PM Show Closes
6:30 PM Cocktail Reception Reunion Prefunction
7:00 PM Hall of Fame Party and Casino Night Dinner Reunion Ballroom
Sunday, April 29, 2012
9:00 AM Exhibitor Set-up Reunion Ballroom
9:30 Registered Guests and General Admission Marsalis Hall
10:00-10:50 Panel: Bee in the City 2! David Kaye,
Garry Chalk, Dan Gilvezan, Buster Jones Reunion Ballroom
11:30-1:00 Autographs: David Kaye, Garry Chalk, Simon Furman
11:00-11:50 Panel: Activision: Fall of Cybertron Reunion Ballroom
Noon-12:50 Panel: Simon Furman Reunion Ballroom
1:00-2:30 Autographs: Dan Gilvezan, Buster Jones
1:00-1:50 Panel: JAGEX: Transformers Universe Reunion Ballroom
2:00-2:50 Panel: Transformers Costuming: Design Your
Own Costume! Rosemary Ward Reunion Ballroom
3:15 Draw for Trips to 2013 Convention Marsalis Hall
3:30 PM Show Closes
Thank you for contacting us regarding our Transformers product line.
I am happy to confirm that we will be offering the Fall of Cybertron line this coming summer and that it will be exclusive to the Argos chain.
In the interim, please check your local retailers for the newest products from the Transformers Prime line, including the recently released Revealers: Ratchet and Knock-Out.
Hasbro UK Customer Service
00800 22 42 72 76"
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #7
James Roberts (w) • Alex Milne (a) • Milne, Nick Roche (c)
DECEPTICON MONTH! The war's over — but no-one told the DECEPTICON Justice Division! Meet the five deadliest DECEPTICONS in the galaxy. Their sole purpose: to hunt down and kill anyone who has ever disobeyed MEGATRON. Who's their next target?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Marcelo Matere variant! Interlocks with TRANSFORMERS: Robots in Disguise #7’s RI cover!
• The massive success of the TRANSFORMERS relaunch continues!
• Nobody’s safe and nothing is sacred!
• DECEPTICON MONTH!
Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #7
John Barber (w) • Brendan Cahill (a) • Andrew Griffith, Casey Coller (c)
DECEPTICON MONTH! Fan-favorite character TURMOIL returns from the dead—but what does he want on CYBERTRON? The AUTOBOTS don't want another DECEPTICON on their planet and the DECEPTICONS don't want things to get any worse... but what Wheeljack discovers about the DECEPTICON warlord will change everything!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Marcelo Matere variant! Interlocks with TRANSFORMERS: More Than Meets The Eye #7’s RI cover!
• DECEPTICON MONTH!
• The Decepticons take center stage this month!
Transformers: Regeneration One #81
Simon Furman (w) • Andrew Wildman & Stephen Baskerville (a) • Wildman, Guido Guidi (c)
The TRANSFORMERS comic that began it all—is back. With a vengeance! 21 years have passed since CYBERTRON was restored to its former glory, and finally there is peace. But, after millions of years of bitter civil war, can all ever truly be one? In a conflict this primal, this epic and far-reaching... There are always “Loose Ends”!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Geoff Senior variant!
Unique hand-sketched variant by Daniel Khanna!
• Picks up where the original TRANSFORMERS comic book series left off—with the same creative team!
• Fan Favorite legends Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman reunited!
• 50/50 retro cover by Guido Guidi!
Transformers: Regeneration One 100-Page Spectacular
Simon Furman (w) • Andrew Wildman & Stephen Baskerville (a) • Wildman (c)
GET READY FOR REGENERATION ONE! For the first time in nearly a decade the final issues of the original run of TRANSFORMERS are back—just in time for the story to continue in TRANSFORMERS: REGENERATION ONE #81! Following a planet-shattering battle with UNICRON, OPTIMUS PRIME has fallen! How will the other AUTOBOTScarry on—and will PRIME be back in time for CYBERTRON's darkest hour? Reprinting THE TRANSFORMERS #76-80!
FC • 100 pages • $7.99
Guido Guidi variant retro cover!
• The last issues of the original TRANSFORMERS comic series—by the same writer, penciler, and inker as REGENERATION ONE #81!
• Fan favorite characters meet their final fates!
• Includes the legendary "END OF THE ROAD"!
Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Vol. 1
John Barber (w) • Andrew Griffith (a & c)
The war for Cybertron is over—now the hard part begins! BUMBLEBEE and his fellow AUTOBOTS struggle to maintain control of a world without OPTIMUS PRIME! Bumblebee's provisional government is struggling and Prowl defends it against the DECEPTICONS but how far will he go—and who will chose to stand by his side?
TPB • FC • $19.99 • 124 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-291-1
• The smash-hit re-launch collected in trade paperback!
Chris Metzen & Flint Dille (w) • Livio Ramendelli (a & c)
Before Optimus became a Prime... he fought for order. Before MEGATRON became a conquerer... he fought for freedom. Before they were enemies... they stood against—Autocracy. Writers Chris Metzen (World of Warcraft) and Flint Dille (original TRANSFORMERS animated series) are joined by artist Livio Ramondelli (TRANSFORMERS: Chaos) to bring you an IDW comics event five million years in the making.
TPB • FC • $19.99 • 120 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-290-4
• The smash-hit digital comic, collected in print for the first time!
Infestation 2, Vol. 2
Mike Raicht & Chuck Dixon (w) • Valentine DeLandro & Guido Guidi (a) • Livio Ramendelli (c)
The Lovecraftian monsters invade the worlds of TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE in INFESTATION 2. It's a steam-punk world in the grips of panic as terrifying beings from the depths of the ocean corrupt both humans and DECEPTICONS! Meanwhile, COBRA has always had a penchant for dark experiments. This time they've gone too far and opened a portal to a realm of violence and madness. As squadron after squadron of Cobra Vipers falls under the thrall of the Elder Gods there seems no way to stop the hideous transformations that are taking place. Can SNAKE EYES stop it?
TPB • FC • $17.99 • 104 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-280-5
Battle Beasts #1 (of 4)
Bobby Curnow (w) • Valerio Schiti (a) • Dan Brereton (c)
It's just another average day for Bliss, an ignored linguist at the Department of Defense. However, when Bliss unlocks the secret translation of an ancient scroll, terror rains from the sky... in the form of the BATTLE BEASTS! Unstoppable creatures armed to the teeth, the Battle Beasts are determined to make Earth their own personal war zone. Nothing can stop their merciless carnage. Nothing except perhaps a gentle word from the one woman who can understand them—Bliss!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Wraparound Ulises Farinas cover!
• The beloved toys from the ‘80s come to life in a story with non-stop action!
• If you love Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you'll love this tale of intergalactic creature mayhem!
• Wraparound Ulises Farinas cover!
Mike Costa (w) • Antonio Fuso (a) • Antonio Fuso (c)
The lies and betrayals keep adding up, as Flint struggles to maintain his honor amidst his team of scoundrels and backstabbers. And is the information that Tomax has been supplying really on the level? Of course not... but what game is he playing?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Joe Eisma (Morning Glories) & Juan Castro cover!
• NEW CHARACTERS! NEW MISSION!
• SAME CUTTING-EDGE STORYTELLING!
Classic G.I. JOE, Vol. 15
Larry Hama, Eric Fein, & Peter Quinones (w) • Phil Gosier, William Rosado, & Ernie Stiner (a) • Jonboy Meyers (c)
The original run of Marvel's G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO comes to a conclusion. Issues #146–155 are collected in this final volume of CLASSIC G.I. JOE.
TPB • FC • $24.99 • 248 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-274-4
• All 155 issues of A REAL AMERICAN HERO are now collected for the first time.
G.I. JOE: Cobra Command, Vol. 2
Chuck Dixon & Mike Costa (w) • Alex Cal & Beni Lobel (a) • Dave Wilkins (c)
COBRA COMMAND CONCLUDES! The new COBRA COMMANDER is on a path of conquest and destruction. The G.I. JOE, SNAKE EYES, and COBRA story lines converge in this second volume as the JOES struggle to survive. Everything changes here! Who lives—who dies—who wins? The answers aren’t what you expect, and the foundation for the future of G.I. JOE starts here!
TPB • FC • $19.99 • 120 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-278-2
• Includes issues 10 & 11 of all three ongoing G.I. JOE series!
G.I. JOE: Disavowed, Vol. 6
Brandon Jerwa (w) • Tim Seeley, Jason Millet, & Emiliano Santalucia (a) • Sharp Bros. (c)
Containing the two-part "Bad Moon Rising," where General "Joe" Colton returns to lead the JOEs for the recovering Hawk and the first three parts of the "Union of the Snake" storyline that leads to the conclusion of the “Real American Hero” story arc.
TPB • FC • $19.99 • 124 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-222-5
• Collects issues #34–38!
G.I.JOE: A Real American Hero #180
Larry Hama (w) • S L Gallant (a) • Herb Trimpe, Gallant (c)
In this special issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, G.I. JOE goes to SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL! After being provided with pivotal information, G.I. JOE travel to San Diego in order to stop a plot to exchange nuclear clearance codes within the confines of the SDCC. Will G.I. JOE save the day in time? You can’t miss this convention-tastic issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Larry Hama variant sketch cover!
G.I. JOE #15
Chuck Dixon (w) • Will Rosado (a) • Tommy Lee Edwards (c)
“Deep Terror, part 3!”
DEEP TERROR rumbles on! Scarlett and Team Bravo are on the loose in a COBRA mining operation, miles beneath the surface of the Earth, with no chance of escape. In this issue they uncover the objective of Dr. Mindbender's subterranean search: a rare element that will allow COBRA to change the world forever. And that's NOT Good!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Black & White Tommy Lee Edwards cover!
• The all-new direction for G.I. JOE continues!
Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow #15
Chuck Dixon (w) • Robert Atkins (a) • Andrea Di Vito (c)
“Serpent’s Shadow,” part 3!
SNAKE EYES continues a deadly game where the rules are known only to him. To prove his renewed loyalty to the Arashikage Clan, he joins a team to kill the new COBRA COMMANDER! But danger lurks for him within the ninja clan with a new betrayal around every corner. ALSO! Zartan makes some interesting new friends.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Lee Ferguson cover!
• Non-stop ninja and commando action!
• Featuring the key villain from G.I. JOE: RETALIATION!
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