Optimus Prime and the Autobots have always had a peaceful relationship with the people of Earth -- but in 2016 that's going to change.
In a new arc kicking off with February's Transformers #50, Optimus Prime is annexing Earth to be a part of Cybertron's Council of Worlds. Humanity is up in arms, not to mention the Decepticons, in this arc titled "All Hail Optimus."
Announced just before IDW Publishing's New York Comic-Con Panel "IDW & Top Shelf: Best Panel Of All Time", the creators of Transformers talked with Newsarama about this shocking event, from what it means to where it goes for the Robots in Disguise and the humans like you and I.
Newsarama: John, Andrew -- what can you tell readers about Transformers #50?
John Barber: Transformers #50 is the biggest thing we’ve done. It’s called "All Hail Optimus," and Optimus Prime annexes planet Earth to become to become part of Cybertron’s Council of Worlds—he takes control of Earth to protect it from invasion. Meanwhile, Optimus has thousands of Cybertronian followers who view him as the “True Prime”—they see him as having a power above any elected office, above any “normal” being—and now Optimus is using the power they’ve handed to him. And he’s using it for good—at least as far as he sees it. Not everybody agrees with him.
It’s a powerful move on Optimus Prime’s part, and one that there’s no moving back from. The humans know the Cybertronians are there, are among them, and the people of Earth are forced to become part of a cosmic community.
Andrew and I started working together about… six years ago? And we’ve never stopped. Most of that time’s been on this Transformers series, and this storyline brings together everything we’ve started. It’s amazing to get to work on something so big, and get to collaborate with somebody for so long. It’s been a long, great trip—and it’s about to get even better!
Andrew Griffith: Yeah, what's great to me about getting to this point is that while a landmark issue like #50 is usually a climax of a story, in our case it's the start of a new storyline that also serves as natural culmination of events that have been building in both Transformers and Windblade.
And I also see it as a bit of a landmark in my time working with John. So hard to believe we and colorist Josh Perez have made it to #50 as the core creative team along with Livio, Casey, Brendan, Guido, Sara and all of the other contributors to the series. Quite a feat in today's comics industry. And the same can be said of Transformers.
Nrama: Who's on Optimus' side in all this?
Barber: The team of Autobots on Earth—at least the ones who’ve survived to #50—are all with him, plus a new character named Aileron—she comes from Caminus and is amazing to be around this world of Primes and of grand cosmic events. Victorion—the new female Combiner we introduced this summer will be playing a big role. Is she on his side? That’s a complex answer. Sunstreaker will play a role, and so will the ancient Alpha Trion.
But his biggest supporters are the Colonists who’ve arrived on Cybertron, who’ve lived their whole lives thinking Primes were a myth—and now here they are standing on the same ground as one. And many are willing to do whatever he says—which isn’t something Optimus Prime has been comfortable with in the past.
Griffith: It's always nice to be able to draw familiar favorites like Optimus Prime, Sideswipe and Arcee. But it's even better sometimes to get to work with new characters to our book like Sunstreaker and Victorion. I know Josh and myself are particularly excited to get to help establish new characters like Aerlion, Victorion and the Torchbearers. I'm really happy that our cast can consist of childhood favorites like Optimus Prime while also embracing the newest and most diverse of characters to join the continuity.
Now the important question is: We have Sunstreaker coming up. What about Bob?
Nrama: John, I noticed Jonathan Hickman is listed as doing a cover. Can you talk about Hickman's involvement in the title and at IDW?
Barber: I’ve known Jonathan Hickman since he started writing comics, and he’s great—I love his writing, but I also love his drawing and his design sense. I talked to him at Comic-Con International: San Diego last summer, and he’d been doing some variant covers, and I asked if he’d do one for Transformers, and he said yes!
That’s all there really is to it, but years ago, I did make him listen to my Transformers plans in a bar. He’s probably blocked that memory out.
Griffith: Jonathan Hickman's doing a cover for our book? How rad is that? Can't wait to see it!
TFcon is proud to announce that Richard Newman will now be appearing as a guest at this years convention in Charlotte. Known to Transformers fans as the voice of Rhinox in Beast Wars, Tankor in Beast Machines and Vector Prime in Transformers Cybertron. Mr. Newman will be taking part in Q&A panels and signing for the attendees of the America’s largest fan-run Transformers convention all weekend long.
If you're coming to New York Comic Con come see me in Artist Alley! I'll be at Artist Alley Table I-18. Oct 8-11.
I'll be appearing at New York Comic Con, October 8-11! I'll be in the Artist Alley, at table BB-7.
I'll be selling Prints, Sketchbooks, Lots of New Original Artwork, and taking commissions at the con. Commission Pre-orders are OPEN - contact email@example.com, or visit the Art of Ken Christiansen on Facebook.
Commission Pricing for NYCC: $100 for B/W Half Figure, $150 for B/W Full Figure OR Color Half Figure, $200 Color Full Figure.
I will have two new prints with me - check out these preview images!
We are happy to welcome the voice of the Generation 1 Autobot Bumblebee Dan Gilvezan to TFcon Charlotte. Also known as the voice of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the 1981 animated series, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, he also voiced Goldbug, Hot Spot, Outback, Rollbar, Scamper, Skids and Snapdragon in Transformers Generation 1 and has returned to the character of Bumblebee for the upcoming video game Transformers: Devastation..
Dan will be taking part in Q&A panels and signing for the attendees of the America’s largest fan-run Transformers convention all weekend long.
IDW Publishing & Top Shelf’s Baltimore Comic-Con 2015 Schedule
Exclusives, Panels & Signings Revealed!
San Diego, CA (September 22, 2015) – IDW and Top Shelf will be at Baltimore Comic-Con 2015 this weekend! Come by Booth #2004 for an exciting convention exclusive and an impressive list of talent signings. And don't forget to look for their two highly entertaining (and informative) panels! Get your schedules at the ready, because you won't want to miss IDW in Baltimore!
Walter Simonson’s Ragnarök: Artist’s Edition Portfolio
Walter Simonson’s Ragnarök Artist’s Edition Portfolio features all 12 covers—main and variants—from the acclaimed writer/artist’s first six-issue story arc. Simonson, an Eisner Award-winning creator of such classics as Thor, Alien: The Illustrated Story, Manhunter and Star Slammers, has returned to his love of Norse mythology in the pages of Ragnarök. Like all our AE books and portfolios, each image has been meticulously scanned and reproduced to the same exacting standards that have made Artist’s Editions the most imitated line in comics.
$40, Limited to 200 copies, 3 per person
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lithograph
Convention exclusive lithograph featuring the stunning interconnecting covers of TMNT #45 through to the landmark 50th issue by Mateus Santolouco.
$10, Limited to 200 copies, 3 per person
SIGNINGS & PANELS
Friday, September 25
2:00 – 3:00 Ragnarök – Walter Simonson
(*Check out the exclusive Portfolio!)
3:00 – 4:00 Transformers – Andrew Griffith
5:00PM–6:00PM, Room 339-442
IDW Publishing: The Big Panel! —This is the big one! Join IDW President Greg Goldstein and VP of Marketing Dirk Wood, and along with industry legend Walter Simonson, James Tynion IV, and a host of surprise special guests you won’t believe, as they blow away a room full of shocked comic fans. Shocking announcements! Amazing prizes! Q&A! This one will have it all.
Saturday, September 26
11:00AM–12:00AM, Room 343-344
IDW: The Masters Series: Walter Simonson — Join industry legend Walter Simonson, for the first in a series of special in-depth panels exploring artists and the art they love! Ever been curious about who influenced the best artists in the business? Of course you have! IDW President Greg Goldstein moderates this unique one-on-one panel. Sure to be a spirited discussion about old influences, new impressions, and maybe even a sneak-peek at some of new work! Come early and stay late — Walter will share his great tales of the comic world, and hopefully will have time for a little Q&A at the end as well!
11:00 – 12:00 Skylanders – Ron Marz
12:00 – 1:00 Long Distance – Thom Zahler
1:00 – 2:00 Ragnarök – Walter Simonson (*Check out the exclusive Portfolio!)
2:00 – 3:00 Mike Zeck’s Classic Marvel Stories Artist Edition – Mike Zeck
2:00 – 3:00 The Story of My Tits – Jennifer Hayden
3:00 – 4:00 Don Rosa’s Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck Artist Edition – Don Rosa
4:00 – 5:00 Transformers – Andrew Griffith
5:00 – 6:00 TMNT, Strange Nation – Paul Allor
Sunday, September 27th
11:00 – 12:00 The Story of My Tits – Jennifer Hayden
2:00 – 3:00 My Little Pony – Katie Cook
IDW Publishing is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY; Disney’s classic characters including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Uncle Scrooge; Paramount/CBS’s Star Trek; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Zombies vs. Robots by Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood; Ragnarök from Eisner Award-winner Walter Simonson; and Little Nemo from the award-winning duo of Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to acclaimed imprints such as the Library of American Comics, which publishes classic comic reprints, Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio, IDW Artist’s Editions, and Top Shelf Productions.
IDW Entertainment launched in November 2013 to distribute productions globally and to develop film and television properties based on IDW's extensive catalog. Three projects are set up: “Wynonna Earp,” a property distributed globally by IDW Entertainment and licensed to Syfy in the U.S.; “Brooklyn Animal Control”, a property created by JT Petty and produced by David Goyer, has a pilot order at USA; and Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, with writer/executive producer Max Landis at BBC America. IDW Entertainment’s development slate of properties includes the chilling vampire thriller, V Wars, by New York Times Best-Seller Jonathan Maberry with writer/executive producer Tim Schlattmann (“Dexter,” “Smallville”); political conspiracy series, Cobb, with writer/executive producer Thania St. John (“Chicago Fire,” “Covert Affairs”); supernatural action series, Pantheon, with co-creator Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”); Wormwood by Ben Templesmith with writer David M Stern (“The Simpsons, Ugly Americans); among others.
IDW also has several active theatrical projects in development. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Warner Brothers are producing a film based on Ashley Wood's Lore; Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony are bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film; and Alex Kurtzman is producing a movie based on Locke & Key at Universal
With two weeks left to Roll Out Roll Call, The UK Transformers, G.I. Joe & Action Force Show we still have many announcements to come and look forward to, including the first appearance at the show of Guido Guidi, flying over from Italy, Guido has helped contribute to many Transformers projects, including the awesome Transformers: Devastation game from Activision.
For more than 30 years transformation has been a staple part of the pop cultural landscape in the shape of ‘Transformers’ a toy and movie franchise, born in 1984 which grew from Japanese designed Takara toys, rebranded and distributed in the USA as Transformers.
JaguarShoes Collective believe that this design practice is long overdue some well deserved admiration and celebration. Therefore we will be hosting a talk and Q&A on 24th September alongside an exhibition of work by prop and toy designer Alexander Kubalsky.
An accomplished product designer Alex specialises in the art of Transformable design and is commissioned by numerous commercial clients inc. Hasbro, Warner Films and many other multinational toy and film franchises.
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