Winner: James Roberts
A great comic can come from anywhere, even a property built to sell toys, which has been through enough reboots to make DC Comics go “well, hold on now.” Nothing is better proof of this than Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, a comic canonized as a minor miracle by Pontifex Prime (what the Popemobile turns into) due largely to its writer, James Roberts.
Roberts humanizes the Transformers like never before, keeping every detail of their massive backstory alien without being alienating, spinning a story where a minor detail from three years back can snowball into a revelation today, and unafraid to be funny, sentimental or heartbreaking, with breathtaking skill at all of these. That this is his first professional work is stunning, and I hope it’s far from his last. [Charlotte Finn]
In March, IDW Publishing is revisiting classic moments from it's most popular franchises in a series of thematic one-shots subtitled "Deviations," and for the Transformers it doesn't get any bigger than the original Transformers: The Movie. Transformers: Deviations revisits the classic G1 era to ask "what if Optimus Prime didn't die and was there to stand against Unicron?"
Transformers: Deviations is by writer Brandon Easton and veteran Transformers artist Priscilla Tramantano, and we spoke to them about this unique opportunity -- and oh yeah, we talk about that epic soundtrack as well.
Newsarama: Brandon, what is Transformers: Deviations about?
Brandon Easton: This is a spin on the extremely popular alternate universe concept seen in sci-fi stories and graphic novels for decades. The idea that we get to peek into a different continuity where events took a strange turn and a whole new reality is born is difficult to resist. In Transformers Deviations, we speculate on the one of the biggest moments in Transformers history – the death of Optimus Prime from the classic Transformers: The Movie (1986).
The story explores the events of the original Generation One Transformers timeline if Optimus Prime had not been critically injured by Megatron in their fateful battle in Autobot City. Anyone who knows the movie and the subsequent stories from the third season of the classic TV series knows that Optimus’ death was a central point in the saga and if he survives a wholly divergent and complex wall of dominoes tumble erratically. We get a universe that deviates from the original timeline in a very interesting way.
So in a nutshell, it’s “What if Optimus Prime survived?”
Nrama: Who are the characters that take center stage in this one?
Easton: Without ruining too much, I will say that Optimus, Hot Rod and Starscream get a lot of “screen time.” There’s a lot more I could say, but I’d rather have people check out the book when it hits the stores.
Tramontano: Grimlock is a favorite of mine and he plays a big part in the movie so it'll be cool to revisit that. But I'm looking forward to the Starscream coronation gag. It´s such an iconic scene, probably my favorite scene out of the 1986 movie, and I want to see how fans will react to this new spin Brandon gave to it!
Nrama: And is there anyone you wish you could have drawn but didn't?
Tramontano: Well, I love Galvatron but sadly he won't be in this.
Nrama: This is an interesting concept -- the idea of an alternate history. What does this offer for you two as a writer and artist respectively, and do you see potential for doing it more with Transformers?
Tramontano: As a fan, it's very common for us to play within established universe, drawing fan art, writing fanfics and so on. Imagining what could have been if something had happened differently is part of the fun. I like this idea a great deal. Now, as an artist, things get more complicated because you're dealing with something that people love with all their hearts and you have to be able to tell them you're not trying to replace the original material but just add a new version. I sincerely hope people are open-minded about this book and like the result. Reading Brandon's script, I know I did (as an artist and as a fan).
Easton: Alternate history stories are a sub-genre of speculative fiction and they’re great ways to explore socio-political concepts without alienating readers. I would point to the works of Harry Turtledove or Bryce Zabel to see some compelling takes on how different the world would be if a critical moment in history went in another direction.
Personally, as a writer of speculative fiction and a former U.S. History teacher, I adore alternate histories because they allow us to engage in a different kind of world-building exercise that forces us to work within grounded constraints while still pushing the boundaries of what is/was possible.
TFcon is proud to announce that Ian James Corlett will be a guest at the 2016 convention in Toronto. Known to Transformers fans as the voice of Cheetor in Beast Wars and Beast Machines as well as the Maximal Computer, Sentinel, and Sea Clamp. Mr. Corlett will be appearing all weekend meeting with attendees.
Operation: All Hail Guido
TFNation is delighted to welcome artist extraordinaire Guido Guidi to its inaugural convention!
An exceptionally popular comic artist who has worked with Transformers since the Dreamwave era, Guido has lent his talent to the smash hit All Hail Megatron, the fan-favourite Last Stand of the Wreckers and of course the ongoing books, The Transformers and More Than Meets The Eye.
In addition to his comic work, Guido has also provided artwork for various Transformers DVD covers, box art for toys, trading cards and publications around the world. If you’re a fan of Transformers, you have certainly enjoyed his artwork!
Guido has most recently applied his talents to the video game Transformers Devastation, where he provided not only the game’s box art, but also served as a concept artist for the game’s characters.
Outside of the Transformers franchise, Guido has worked on IDW’s Dungeons and Dragons and publications for Marvel, such as the Super Hero Squad books and short stories for Marvel Rampage Magazine.
For a glimpse of his work, take a look at Guido’s deviantART page.
Guido will be signing autographs and selling artwork from Friday 19th until Sunday 21st August 2016 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel at TFNation 2016 – we look forward to seeing you there!
Further transmissions to follow.
Where all are one
11/24/2015 - We are thrilled to announce that Scott McNeil, who did the voices of RATTRAP, DINOBOT, WASPINATOR, SILVERBOLT and Tripredacus Council member CICADACON from the Beast Wars cartoon series will be our guest at BotCon 2016.
Along with David Kaye and Alec Willows, Scott will be available for autographs and panels as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Beast Wars! For more info on Scott, be sure to click the "Guests" link to read his bio.
If you haven't seen our 20th anniversary convention boxed set celebrating the anniversary as well, be sure to click the "Con Exclusives" link to the left.
Stay tuned for more news, guest updates, and info regarding events and registration for BotCon 2016 - North America's LARGEST Transformers fan convention!
After their Akiva Goldsman-led Writers Room experiment led to at least three movie ideas to extend Transformers, Hasbro and Paramount have set Goldsman to supervise a Writers Room for their G.I. Joe movie series. And they will go the same route with Goldsman to draft ideas for the Hasbro property Micronauts, with Goldsman supervising that as well.
This change of duties means Goldsman will supervise but won’t write the next Transformers installment. Paramount now is negotiating with Writers Room participants Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man) and Black Hawk Down scribe Ken Nolan to write the script together. That course change was cemented by Paramount, Hasbro, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Don Murphy.
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