Submit News Contact Us Translate Sign in Join

Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary

Transformers News: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 1:44PM CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 19,544

Topic Options: View Discussion · Sign in or Join to reply

Like every comic book Wednesday, the Official Transformers Facebook page has interviewed one of the creators of this week's IDW release: Spotlight: Hoist. We've mirrored both the interview with writer James Roberts and the images from the first five pages below!


TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: HOIST rises to the top of this week’s new comic book releases, courtesy IDW Publishing and Hasbro! Written by TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE scribe James Roberts—and set firmly in that series’ timeline—and drawn by rising TRANSFORMERS superstar Agustin Padilla (TRANSFORMERS PRIME: RAGE OF THE DINOBOTS and TF:MTMTE #16), this one-shot comic book story delves into the personality of one of the longest-running TRANSFORMERS characters. We sat down with writer James Roberts to talk about the issue—available today at comic book stores everywhere, and at https://transformers.comixology.com/ or via the Comixology and iBooks apps on your computer or mobile device!


Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary


PAGE 1: What was it that stood out about Hoist as a character that would allow you to tell this story about him and all that he is?

JAMES ROBERTS: Truthfully? What stood out for me, going back and re-reading previous stories that he’s been in (and there aren’t many, and I’m afraid I didn’t seek out the G1 TV episodes), is that nothing much stands out! He’s the archetypal “background ’bot”–competent, pleasant, hardworking, straightforward. But that’s not a bad thing when you’re settling down to write a SPOTLIGHT about someone. It gives you more of a canvas. Having said that, I sort of made his vanilla-ness a plot point in itself. I deliberately put him with three characters (excluding Bob [the Insecticon] for a moment–sorry, Bob) who are larger-than-life, and let the story play out from there. If I’ve done by job properly, Hoist will be a more fully-rounded character by Page 22.


Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary


PAGE 2: How was the collaborative process for you with artist Agustin Padilla? Was there a lot of give and take on how the pages turned out?

JAMES ROBERTS: This was the first time I’d worked with Agustin (we collaborated again on MTMTE #16), and while he and I would communicate very little (English is his second language and he works with—I don’t know what the word would be? An intermediary?—who passes his pages back and forth.

Anyway, Agustin would submit the rough page breakdowns and then respond to any feedback, and in the art itself he’d make choices that improve on how I saw things play out in my head. I love what he’s done—the art has a real Geoff Senior vibe about it—all those heavy blacks, all those close ups, all that weight—so I was a happy little scribbler.

And the first three pages of this SPOTLIGHT are uncharted territory for me: pages without dialog. But Agustin makes them look so beautiful and kinetic and alive (that shot of Hoist in midair on Page 1!)… it’s enough to make me wonder why I don’t go for the silent treatment more often.

Special mention, also, to Joana Lafuente’s scrumptious color work. Together, Agustin and Joana create pages that invite close scrutiny and then slap you in the face—in a good way.


Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary


PAGE 3: This issue is set between issues of TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEET THE EYE. Is it hard to find a gap for the story to slot seamlessly into?

JAMES ROBERTS: So far, there are two big gaps in MTMTE where you can squeeze any number of “lost” stories: the gap between issues #5 and #6, which is where the Hoist and Trailcutter SPOTLIGHTS take place, and the gap between issues #12 and #13. So for any fanfic writers out there: go fill those gaps! I didn’t deliberately create those gaps, incidentally, but I’m glad they exist.


Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary


PAGE 4: Swerve and Sunstreaker are revealed inside of Hoist’s craft. Sunstreaker hasn’t had a lot of page time in MTMTE—why bring him along for this trip with Swerve and Hoist?

JAMES ROBERTS: I think you’ve answered your own question! The fact that Sunstreaker doesn’t get much page time was a big reason for making him one of the crew. And I know that he has a lot of fans out there, and people had been clamoring to see more of him, and Bob, so I thought that doing this would people happy. Same with Perceptor, to be honest. I almost put Hound in there too, but it would have been too crowded. I do want to write a little off-shoot story featuring the likes of Hound, Huffer, Gears and so on—all the classic G1 characters that we only see in the background of MTMTE. Maybe one day.


Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary


PAGE 5: This comic is going to be included with a toy—do you feel a sense or pride this could be someone’s introduction to Transformers through your work? What would the boy inside you say?

JAMES ROBERTS: The fact that this will be someone’s first TF comic—and maybe their first introduction to any TF continuity—was a little daunting. I wanted to write something that would appeal to the uninitiated and to regular readers. I didn’t want the former to feel left out or the latter to feel they were reading something that didn’t complement the style of story they’re used to.

Of course, my most fervent wish is that a boy or girl buys Hoist, reads the comic, and dives headlong into the IDW books, old and new. Hoist as an entry point into Everything Else. I like that!
Credit(s): Transformers Facebook, James Roberts
Search Got Transformers News? Let us know here!
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483679)
Posted by 1984forever on May 1st, 2013 @ 2:36pm CDT
I liked Hoist a lot as a kid because he could tow most Autobot cars with his attachment thingy. Hoists' playability is his greatest feature, not his personality. He tows your Autobots, fixes 'em up and then jokes around with Grapple and the rest of the guys. This dream story is way off base. Kids are going to rip out the first few pages of this pack in comic and throw the rest away with the packaging. :SICK:

The art was pure crap. Sunstreaker has no kibble on him, yet he turns into an earth Lambo? And why would an Autobot who takes so much pride in his appearance be covered with so many scratches?

I'm disappointed.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483702)
Posted by NovaSentinel on May 1st, 2013 @ 3:39pm CDT
84forever wrote:The art was pure crap. Sunstreaker has no kibble on him, yet he turns into an earth Lambo? And why would an Autobot who takes so much pride in his appearance be covered with so many scratches?

I'm disappointed.


You have a point about the kibble, but to be fair his ship has crashed, and so everything is pretty scratched up. What bugs me is that Sunstreakers face looks like an Iron Man mask, especially the mouth
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483724)
Posted by Downbeat on May 1st, 2013 @ 4:24pm CDT
Hi 84Forever, I remember seeing your "criticisms" of the IDW comics on TFW2005 before. :lol:

Kinda sad that the artist drew Hoist with the toy body instead of the MTMTE body, Trailcutter's spotlight kept his body consistent. Still, good stuff! The fact that Padilla inked it himself makes it look better than in MTMTE 16, and it's very surprising to see a Roberts-penned story with silent pages.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483801)
Posted by 1984forever on May 1st, 2013 @ 7:35pm CDT
Downbeat wrote:Hi 84Forever, I remember seeing your "criticisms" of the IDW comics on TFW2005 before. :lol:
.
Yeah, apparently criticism over there is called flame baiting so I "signed" myself out forever! When something's good I heap praise upon it. This book was beyond bad... Hoist got upstaged in his own spotlight. It would have been cool if Roberts surprised us and killed off Swerve in a spotlight that a lot of people slept on!
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483824)
Posted by burning_sirius on May 1st, 2013 @ 9:30pm CDT
84forever wrote:
Downbeat wrote:Hi 84Forever, I remember seeing your "criticisms" of the IDW comics on TFW2005 before. :lol:
.
Yeah, apparently criticism over there is called flame baiting so I "signed" myself out forever! When something's good I heap praise upon it. This book was beyond bad... Hoist got upstaged in his own spotlight. It would have been cool if Roberts surprised us and killed off Swerve in a spotlight that a lot of people slept on!


Hey 84forever, the exact same thing happened to me when I was defending ReGen One. People were mercilessly insulting Furman and I defended his work but was called a flamming troll because obviously 3 insulting jerks vs 1 is flamming. They banned me from the discussion I appeal led but they circled the wagons. Seibertron is better in every way so you are not missing out on much.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483874)
Posted by Blurrz on May 2nd, 2013 @ 1:09am CDT
84forever wrote:I liked Hoist a lot as a kid because he could tow most Autobot cars with his attachment thingy. Hoists' playability is his greatest feature, not his personality. He tows your Autobots, fixes 'em up and then jokes around with Grapple and the rest of the guys. This dream story is way off base. Kids are going to rip out the first few pages of this pack in comic and throw the rest away with the packaging. :SICK:

The art was pure crap. Sunstreaker has no kibble on him, yet he turns into an earth Lambo? And why would an Autobot who takes so much pride in his appearance be covered with so many scratches?

I'm disappointed.


Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but let's be honest, if you don't find enjoyment out of the current crop of Spotlights then I'm starting to wonder. I think its a shame that the current block of comics has sort of stymied the fact that before MTMTE/RID/Regen/2013 Spotlights, Schmidt's reign had terrible publicity - i'd have to say that despite me generally staying positive with comics, the stuff that was going on during 2009-'11 was crap.

I'm also wondering if this is soft, then what's Spotlight: Cliffjumper, the Notebook of Transformers comics? I find it hilarious that people are demanding that all Transformers should fit within the masculine tough guy stereotype. Roberts is making this real. These Cybertronians have spent years fighting in wars, and losing hundreds of friends. Heck, they have different personalities hardwired into them. If you want stock robot characters, then go read toy bios.

If you want Hoist's great toy playability to play out in comics, then you're not going to be satisfied reading comics.

And man, scrutinizing art? I don't even want to go there because if this is bad, then Ramondelli is probably in the deepest level of purgatory.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483890)
Posted by burning_sirius on May 2nd, 2013 @ 3:37am CDT
Blurrz wrote:
84forever wrote:I liked Hoist a lot as a kid because he could tow most Autobot cars with his attachment thingy. Hoists' playability is his greatest feature, not his personality. He tows your Autobots, fixes 'em up and then jokes around with Grapple and the rest of the guys. This dream story is way off base. Kids are going to rip out the first few pages of this pack in comic and throw the rest away with the packaging. :SICK:

The art was pure crap. Sunstreaker has no kibble on him, yet he turns into an earth Lambo? And why would an Autobot who takes so much pride in his appearance be covered with so many scratches?

I'm disappointed.


Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but let's be honest, if you don't find enjoyment out of the current crop of Spotlights then I'm starting to wonder. I think its a shame that the current block of comics has sort of stymied the fact that before MTMTE/RID/Regen/2013 Spotlights, Schmidt's reign had terrible publicity - i'd have to say that despite me generally staying positive with comics, the stuff that was going on during 2009-'11 was crap.

I'm also wondering if this is soft, then what's Spotlight: Cliffjumper, the Notebook of Transformers comics? I find it hilarious that people are demanding that all Transformers should fit within the masculine tough guy stereotype. Roberts is making this real. These Cybertronians have spent years fighting in wars, and losing hundreds of friends. Heck, they have different personalities hardwired into them. If you want stock robot characters, then go read toy bios.

If you want Hoist's great toy playability to play out in comics, then you're not going to be satisfied reading comics.

And man, scrutinizing art? I don't even want to go there because if this is bad, then Ramondelli is probably in the deepest level of purgatory.


Well for one, Sunstreaker hasn't been himself ever sense the Ironhide miniseries. It will take a lot for him to return to being the near sociopathic jerk he was before. Think about someone who is still dealing with depression. They are just not themselves, same with Sunstreaker. Also, it seems they have been off the planet for sometime, so no buffing for him.

As for 2009-2011, AHM was indeed not that great but it served its purpose in retrospect. It broke the war, it hit a climax and now everyone is dealing with the fall out. Galvatron is now out of the picture. Schmidt's reign was terrible because of the lack of continuity between writers. That has changed. Things have been, for the most part, satisfactorily explained. Hoist comic is an introduction into the IDWverse. I think it serves its purpose perfectly.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483897)
Posted by Va'al on May 2nd, 2013 @ 4:22am CDT
burning_sirius wrote:Well for one, Sunstreaker hasn't been himself ever sense the Ironhide miniseries. It will take a lot for him to return to being the near sociopathic jerk he was before. Think about someone who is still dealing with depression. They are just not themselves, same with Sunstreaker. Also, it seems they have been off the planet for sometime, so no buffing for him.

As for 2009-2011, AHM was indeed not that great but it served its purpose in retrospect. It broke the war, it hit a climax and now everyone is dealing with the fall out. Galvatron is now out of the picture. Schmidt's reign was terrible because of the lack of continuity between writers. That has changed. Things have been, for the most part, satisfactorily explained. Hoist comic is an introduction into the IDWverse. I think it serves its purpose perfectly.



AHM was 2008-2009. I believe what Blurrz is referring to, and I agree if so, is the Costa run.
Which damaged the continuity in a big way, according to a lot of people.
The only salvageable part from the run was the introduction of new writers like Roberts, some great dialogue, Last Stand of the Wreckers (though with its faults) and some nice ideas.

I do agree with you that this issue is a good introduction, and Roberts made it clear in an interview a while back that NOTHING was going to happen in here. :D
And people who were hoping for death and more death should've remembered that this takes place between previous issues of MTMTE, and we would've seen those deaths happening in the main title too.


I also agree with 84forever that this issue is 'softer' than, say, Spotlight: Megatron or the whole of MTMTE. See above for why this is, though! It's an in-pack comic to go along with a toy, it serves as a link for the bigger story, sheds some light on the 'main' character. Nothing more.

I said in the review that I am disappointed that the Metrotitan/plex plot was not advanced at all, seeing as how it might be picked up with Dark Cybertron. That point still stands!
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483904)
Posted by burning_sirius on May 2nd, 2013 @ 5:53am CDT
Va'al, Costa's run didn't really mess up any continuity beyond trying to deal with after Great War Transformer politics. In fact, Roberts cowrote Chaos Theory which helped patch up continuity patches right then and there (along with John Barber on the team to help also smooth out continuity glitches) as we speak right now, the only major glitch left is who was the Scourge Starscream was talking about (Scourge was going to be the Decepticon's version of Kup as Furman intended but that was dropped for GALVATRON to have him as a member of the Ark's original crew, this worked out in the end imo).

No advancement of Metroplex, but if that is a sore point, idk. Nothing was going to happen in this comic. It is just a one off self contained adventure that Roberts carved out to give him some creative space to deal with side stories. Not every side story is going to matter to the overall plot. I mean I can think of some really good side stories like Gundam 0080 that in the grand scheme of things didn't matter compared to 0079, Zeta, ZZ and Char's Counterattack, but hey that is just how story telling goes.

Also note I am a weirdo for liking Costa's run apparently. He did a decompressed story for sure, but I felt it was done correctly.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483905)
Posted by Va'al on May 2nd, 2013 @ 6:01am CDT
burning_sirius wrote:Va'al, Costa's run didn't really mess up any continuity beyond trying to deal with after Great War Transformer politics.

*snip*

Also note I am a weirdo for liking Costa's run apparently. He did a decompressed story for sure, but I felt it was done correctly.


You're not a weirdo, and I would not like anyone to call you that! :D

But, personally, I disagree. I've said why above and elsewhere.
I much prefer the Furman -ation series, and All Hail Megatron, actually.
Heart of Darkness, which was not Costa's, admittedly, was poor, Police Action was horrible, International Incident was hnng, For All Mankind is a bit of a meh. Revenge of the Deccepticons is a little better, but no, I'm still not a fan.

The whole of Barber's work in RiD, after issue 12, seems to have been trying to sort out continuity, patching gaps up, and reverting back to the situation we had at the end of All Hail Megatron. But on Cybertron instead of Earth.


As for Spotlight: Hoist and the Metroplex plot - I think it is a sore point. But it always was going to be, as IDW decided to run an influential plot to the main series in a side-series, and an in-pack advertising one at that. Orion Pax, Thundercracker and even Trailcutter were much better in knitting things in. Megatron, only just. Bumblebee and Hoist, no. Really no.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483929)
Posted by 1984forever on May 2nd, 2013 @ 8:14am CDT
Blurrz wrote:

If you want Hoist's great toy playability to play out in comics, then you're not going to be satisfied reading comics.
]
This is a comic commissioned by Hasbro to showcase a Hoist toy. I guess it's too much to ask that he-

1) tow a wrecked Autobot

2) patch him up

or

3) fight some REAL Decepticons?
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483939)
Posted by sabrigami on May 2nd, 2013 @ 9:05am CDT
It was a fun fluffy issue for me. Not as good as SL:Trailbreaker imo, but still fun. Swerve is so lovable in this. He's such a little trooper. I'm glad Sunstreaker finally got some comic time but I can't say it really did much for him. Hopefully in future he will be featured more. The ending kind of confused me at first. It took me a few seconds to understand what was going on but once I did I really liked it. Very smart of Hoist.

If I had to point out a negative with this issue it's that after reading it I still really don't know Hoist any better. Trailbreaker's issue took a character I didn't know much about and made me care. This issue did not do that for me with Hoist. He's just kinda there (maybe that's the point?).

The art is much more solid than MTMTE #16. no complaints there.

All in all an enjoyable read :)
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist - Creator Commentary (1483984)
Posted by Blurrz on May 2nd, 2013 @ 12:19pm CDT
84forever wrote:
Blurrz wrote:

If you want Hoist's great toy playability to play out in comics, then you're not going to be satisfied reading comics.
]
This is a comic commissioned by Hasbro to showcase a Hoist toy. I guess it's too much to ask that he-

1) tow a wrecked Autobot

2) patch him up

or

3) fight some REAL Decepticons?


Atleast it's better than jaAm :P

I'm not entirely sure that this was commissioned, I was just thinking they threw these things in here, much like how GiJoe/Star Wars and other toy companies were doing toy/comic packs.

And as much as I would love to see Autobots and Decepticons beating the crap out of each other, the way Ongoing had steered the ship, the bots and cons have really been holding hands for the past few years until the last few issues of RID.
Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #96 - Age of Extinction
Twincast / Podcast #96:
"Age of Extinction"
MP3 · iTunes · RSS · View · Discuss · Ask
Posted: Monday, July 7th, 2014