Q & A with fellow Seibertronian and Dreamwave comic artist JOE NG
Next up is the interview with Mr. Ng, which was conducted by Seibertronian Mkall.
Mkall: Was The Age of Wrath the only idea you had for WWI 3, or were there other ideas that were turned down/put on the back burner? If there were other ideas, what were they?
Joe Ng: All the story ideas for WWI3 were from the minds of the writers. I basically was just tapped as the artist. I think when I hopped on to the project; they already had the basic story for War Within made up.
Mkall: How did you decide which characters to use in each story? Some are obvious, like Slamdance being the reporter, but why use the Turbomasters instead of the Throttlebots for example?
Joe Ng: Again, this was something that Simon, James and Adam decided on before I was even involved. I'm sure the Throttlebots will have their share of the spotlight, but visually, I think the Turbomasters are more interesting to look at. In general the Throttlebots all look very similar in looks and transformations, whereas the Turbomasters for the most part all look and transform differently. It's small thing, but it's something that made it a little easier for me to differentiate each character from one another.
Mkall: What research, happens before a transformer makes it into a storyline?
Joe Ng: You'll have to ask Simon that question as well. But I suppose it depends on what kind of storyline it is. Does it require certain characters with certain abilities to make a part of the story flow a little easier? Is a relationship between one character and another character something that needs to be touched on for future stories to happen? I think these are questions that need to be asked before introducing new characters to the series.
Mkall: Each series of the WWI leaves the readers with unanswered questions, which questions is the WWI Age of Wrath series going to answer? Which questions are you going to leave unanswered?
Joe Ng: I think the biggest question that will most likely be answered in this series is what exactly happened to Prime and Megatron. As for unanswered questions that the story will bring up, you'll have to wait and see I guess :)
Mkall: As the artist of the series, how much input did you have in the actual story creation?
Joe Ng: I leave the entire story telling to the writers. They have a very clear vision of what they want, and I just get out of their way and let them tell the story they want to ell. I do get to insert some visual input when it comes to layout and how different shots should look, and Simon is always open to my suggestions.
Mkall: The artwork is awesome as always, do you find yourself limited by deadlines? If there were no deadlines, would the artwork be even better?
Joe Ng: First off, thanks for the comment! I think if I were given a year to draw each book, it would look 10, 20, 30 times better. Too bad DW would not only lose a lot of money from it, but the fans wouldn't be too impressed with the scheduling either, I'd be spending most of that year dodging all the tomatoes thrown at me. It's a balancing act a lot of times. You have to make sure you draw as quickly as possible, but at the same time keep the quality as high as you can. I honestly don't know how Don does it! It's a little difficult at times because with the Transformers, they require so much detailing. It can get tedious, but it's very satisfying in the end.
Mkall: Upon close inspection of issue one of the series, there was a mention of SEIBERTRON.com and TFW, obviously indicating two of the major Transformers fandoms. What made you decide to add them in? Will there be any more of these references in the future?
Joe Ng: I don't know what you're talking about. There were Easter eggs in the book?!?! That's just blasphemy! Seriously though, I'm a huge fan of Transformers, and I'm just giving little nod's to where I came from, the friends that I've met, and in a lot of cases, places that I still visit from time to time.
Mkall: Are there any more WWI series are being planned? Are there any details you can give us of the future series?
Joe Ng: I'm sure Simon still has a lot of story ideas up his sleeve about future War Within titles. But I think he's keeping stuff like that very secret for now.
Mkall: How did you implement the design of WWI, or any project for that matter? Do you start from pane 1, and then move to pane 2 once 1 is completely done?
Joe Ng: I always start with a small layout of how the whole page will look. From there, I would transfer it onto the larger comic boards, starting with drawing the biggest figure/panel first. This way I can focus all my energy to the "money shot" of the page. As my energy starts to run low, as the day gets shorter, I would work on the smaller panels that don't need the details that the larger panels require.
Mkall: When do you finally feel you can send your work off to be colored?
Joe Ng: Usually when my body is about to fail me and I start to pass out on my desk ;)