Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing

Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing

Friday, December 16th, 2016 3:22pm CST

Categories: Comic Book News, People News
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal   Views: 34,922

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The interviews keep on rolling in for John Barber and the whole of IDW's Optimus Prime ongoing. Comic Book Resources were able to snag an interview with Mr. Continuity himself and ask him even more questions about the new ongoing and where it will be headed. You can check out the full interview HERE and catch a sneak peak below. Let us know what you think of this latest interview in the comments section below!

In Prime, you have this unique lead with literally millions of years of history. Will you be digging into that?

We’ll definitely be digging into Optimus Prime’s past. The first arc has a parallel story set before the war — back when Optimus was Orion Pax, a police officer on Cybertron. It’s another view, on another world, in another time, of a lot of the same issues at play in the present day: the relationship of a protector to the protected, and how Optimus/Orion looks at his enemies. Back then, Cybertron was on a downward curve, historically speaking. Orion’s on the precipice of a four-million-year-long war that he winds up being an essential part of.

.....

Optimus tends to have a crew around him. Will that be the case in here? Who can fans expect to see at his side?

Optimus still has a big crew with him. The real difference here is that Optimus’ actions are so big, the people around him can’t help but be pulled into the orbit of what he’s doing. Soundwave is still at his side, and Pyra Magna and the Torchbearers (who form Victorion) are there, but she’s not exactly standing at his side. Arcee is cautious toward him, but in a different way. And Aileron, who was a Colonist who sees Optimus as a space-messiah, has had her worldview shattered a bit. She sees Optimus is just a guy – a big, metal guy – dealing with things as best he can.

But then Optimus brings in a half-dozen new Colonists, all very eager to follow his every word. This decision doesn’t sit well with all of his crew, but it introduces some very obscure faces into the fold – characters like Oiler, Slide, Gimlet, Bump, Midnight Express, and Roulette. Don’t be worried if you don’t know them — nobody else on Optimus’ team knows them, either. But Aileron and Pyra are both colonists themselves, and seeing these hopeful ‘bots willing to lay down their lives for Optimus, right or wrong…well, they get a little uneasy with the situation.

.....

How does bringing in a new artist like Kei change your approach to Optimus and these other characters?

When I thought about what a comic drawn by her would look like, it was like a whole new approach to the Transformers opened up. I mean, I’ve been writing these characters for a while, and I’m always super-excited to get to do this stuff, but the idea of Kei’s vision of the characters, of the way she’d draw G.I. Joe characters, and how she’d approach all this…it seemed like such an exciting idea.

Carlos Guzman, our editor, didn’t take too much convincing, and he brought in Josh Burcham to color and Josh has brought a very unique, very cool color palette. The book has an amazingly distinct look to it. It doesn’t feel like anything else out there, which is amazing.


Credit(s): Comic Book Resources


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Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1847602)
Posted by Halfofme07 on December 17th, 2016 @ 9:07am CST
Trying to delete this....
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1847745)
Posted by Va'al on December 18th, 2016 @ 2:49pm CST
Via the usual iTunes screenshot uploads, we have an early look at the next issue of the new IDW Publishing Transformers ongoing series - Optimus Prime #2 - in which we meet the newcomers to Earth in their corkscrew ship. Check the three pages mirrored out below!

NEW CYBERTRON! A massive corkscrew-shaped space ship has drilled into Earth, bringing with it a surprising disruption to OPTIMUS PRIME's plans. Meanwhile—ARCEE fields a dangerous offer that may be too good to resist!


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Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1847798)
Posted by Flashwave on December 18th, 2016 @ 11:26pm CST
Slag it, I read that entire preview parsing his name as "Rum Mage" and not the blatent "Rummage" Stupid, sneaky, tricky IDW and their tricks. And pulling a Bait and Switch by showing us the years-long teased Quintesson ship and then giving us the Junkions.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1847811)
Posted by Stuartmaximus on December 19th, 2016 @ 2:45am CST
Corkscrew ship? isn't that the same kinda ship that was in the original animated movie :-?
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1847835)
Posted by #Sideways# on December 19th, 2016 @ 10:46am CST
Whew, the art is not the best. I can't tell what's happening half the time. Also, did Wreck-Gar just rip his own head off to prove a point?

But truly, I'm hoping that Wreck-Gar eventually could be the Deadpool of this universe: Breaking the fourth wall whenever possible and being rather insane comic relief.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1847858)
Posted by ricemazter on December 19th, 2016 @ 1:31pm CST
#Sideways# wrote:Whew, the art is not the best. I can't tell what's happening half the time. Also, did Wreck-Gar just rip his own head off to prove a point?

But truly, I'm hoping that Wreck-Gar eventually could be the Deadpool of this universe: Breaking the fourth wall whenever possible and being rather insane comic relief.


I'm not sure, but I think the problem might be the coloring rather than the line work. There's barely any contrast between shades. Everything has the same lighting despite being different colors. This isn't so much a problem with characters who aren't Junkions. The other Autobots are only made up of one or two primary colors anyway.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1847881)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on December 19th, 2016 @ 2:52pm CST
#Sideways# wrote:I'm hoping that Wreck-Gar eventually could be the Deadpool of this universe: Breaking the fourth wall whenever possible and being rather insane comic relief.

I kinda agree, given the vibe I'm getting from him.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1849653)
Posted by Va'al on December 30th, 2016 @ 12:54pm CST
Via another surprising choice for a reveal, we have the IDW Publishing Transformers Optimus Prime #2 full issue preview. The images come courtesy of comics website Comic Crusaders, and can be seen below - head back to Seibertron.com for our review once the book is out next week!

NEW CYBERTRON! A massive corkscrew-shaped space ship has drilled into Earth, bringing with it a surprising disruption to OPTIMUS PRIME’s plans. Meanwhile—ARCEE fields a dangerous offer that may be too good to resist!

Optimus Prime #2
John Barber (w) • Kei Zama (a & c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99


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Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1849693)
Posted by Sabrewing on December 30th, 2016 @ 3:31pm CST
It becomes even better if you read it in Eric's voice.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1849698)
Posted by Bounti76 on December 30th, 2016 @ 3:46pm CST
I don't know.....compared from Issue #1 to this......the art style is just cluttered, there's no better word for it. There's too much crammed into every panel, too much going on to follow the narrative without multiple re-readings, etc. If it continues this way, I may just unsubscribe from the book and catch up with it on the wiki.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1849826)
Posted by Va'al on December 31st, 2016 @ 6:43am CST
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1849974)
Posted by Va'al on January 1st, 2017 @ 11:31am CST
Let's start the new year with some contemplation and good art, with two new incentive covers for upcoming issues of IDW Publishing Transformers comics - first up, Optimus Prime #3's retailer incentive cover by Joana Lafuente, with Earth, Optimus and a lot of spaaace. Check it out below via Previews World!

Optimus Prime #3
John Barber (w) • Kei Zama (a & c)
An uneasy peace between Optimus Prime and the newly arrived Junkions is threatened by Soundwave’s discovery within their massive ship…
FC • 32 pages • $3.99


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Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1850368)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 3rd, 2017 @ 11:27pm CST
Bounti76 wrote:I don't know.....compared from Issue #1 to this......the art style is just cluttered, there's no better word for it. There's too much crammed into every panel, too much going on to follow the narrative without multiple re-readings, etc. If it continues this way, I may just unsubscribe from the book and catch up with it on the wiki.

I'm in a similar situation with the art, it feels cluttered as you said, and not as clear as I'd like to see. it's not bad, but it feels...unrefined
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1850399)
Posted by Va'al on January 4th, 2017 @ 3:17am CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Bounti76 wrote:I don't know.....compared from Issue #1 to this......the art style is just cluttered, there's no better word for it. There's too much crammed into every panel, too much going on to follow the narrative without multiple re-readings, etc. If it continues this way, I may just unsubscribe from the book and catch up with it on the wiki.

I'm in a similar situation with the art, it feels cluttered as you said, and not as clear as I'd like to see. it's not bad, but it feels...unrefined


Disagree, review coming up soon. :-D
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1850403)
Posted by Va'al on January 4th, 2017 @ 3:42am CST
Idle Wrecks
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
NEW CYBERTRON! A massive corkscrew-shaped space ship has drilled into Earth, bringing with it a surprising disruption to OPTIMUS PRIME’s plans. Meanwhile—ARCEE fields a dangerous offer that may be too good to resist!

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also, cameos and digs


Story

A giant corkscrew spaceship lands in the Alps. Robots with apparently, arguably, perhaps not some screws loose pop out of it. Hilarity and hijinks (your mileage may vary) ensue. And we bring back a lot of loose threads from a long, long, long time ago in this new issue of Optimus Prime. Resolutions? No, just dangling. Like bait.

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baitin'


What I really enjoy about the two new characters we encounter - Junkions Rum-Maj and Wreck-Gar - is that while the latter carries across a lot of his canonical characterisation, they both also sport some sinister undertones to their easily dismissed comedy relief. Much like charming cannibalistic psychologists, perhaps, but with Eric Idle's voice stuck in your head.

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or his


A point of contention, elsewhere at least, is the inclusion of GI Joe teams in the book. But this is the status of the universe, and the book does some more steps towards acknowledging the wider status of it all. Not just American settings, not just American teams, not just Americans. This feels part of that pseudo-post-colonial shift that started way back when with the colonies being rediscovered.

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only took about 15 years


John Barber is doing pretty much what he wants, now that he no longer has the editorial shackles, and he can delve into older Transformers universe, both within and outside of IDW's. This is some entertaining, and successfully so, storytelling with good characters.

Art

I'll admit, I echoed some sentiments I've seen around about Kei Zama's art in this starting to look a bit more cluttered than the first issue, covers or fan art. My initial worries, however, did not last long. There may be a couple of panels which sport heavier inks (or feel that way) but they never jar with the spot-on designs and backgrounds.

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and references


That is also thanks to Josh Burcham's colour wizardry, marrying the dark linework of Zama's layouts with his muted (yet somehow still vibrant - see? wizard) palette; I could not have thought of a better choice of team for any selection of Junkions. Where there might've been the risk of too dark, colours light it up. Done.

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or don't, but still works


The fears I had about the art were also a little in the lettering, as lots of dialogue means lots of ballooning, means a lot of stuff in the same panel - but I should've trusted Tom B. Long, of course. Both dialogue and sound effects work, and Wreck-Gar's speech pattern is well conveyed visually too. As for covers, we've seen the main Zama/Burcham one, and I spotlighted the Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente variant in the preview. We also have another Zoner piece, featuring Arcee, and thumbnailed with this review, the Andrew Griffith/Josh Perez Rum-Maj centrepiece. Admire them all.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The issue is, overall, thoroughly enjoyable, much more than I initially feared I would feel about the book, from the preview. My biggest misgivings were not about the story as much as the art - as I explain above - but they were easily assuaged once you take in the whole story. There is no clutter. There is no lasting distraction.

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...


What else does it bring, as well as ensuring that the mythos goes forward? Re-evaluation of both Primacy and Monstrosity, old Spotlights and -ations, Budiansky references, G1 references, early days of IDW's Robots in Disguise, i.e. Barber's best output. Until now. This is a series worth keeping at hand and in mind, and it does an excellent job of using those references as complementary, not essential.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1850406)
Posted by jasonwilty on January 4th, 2017 @ 4:15am CST
Loving the story, but the art is still killing me.

I have trouble telling what's going on one panel to the next.

Not feeling this at all.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1850415)
Posted by Kurona on January 4th, 2017 @ 8:11am CST
Have to say, I did enjoy Issue 2 a lot more than 1. I dunno, something about the first issue felt a bit... off, but this one is right back on track and it's already very entertaining imo.
But yeah, the art is... hm. It's more a personal hurdle for me; not that in terms of quality there's anything wrong with the style, but it's just not to my tastes so it does get in the way a little for me. Just a bit too gritty for my tastes, and maybe a bit too gritty for the story.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1850452)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 4th, 2017 @ 12:37pm CST
Va'al wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Bounti76 wrote:I don't know.....compared from Issue #1 to this......the art style is just cluttered, there's no better word for it. There's too much crammed into every panel, too much going on to follow the narrative without multiple re-readings, etc. If it continues this way, I may just unsubscribe from the book and catch up with it on the wiki.

I'm in a similar situation with the art, it feels cluttered as you said, and not as clear as I'd like to see. it's not bad, but it feels...unrefined


Disagree, review coming up soon. :-D

You are right about it clearing up as is went, just wish that first part wasn't as clutteredish
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1850476)
Posted by Tigertrack on January 4th, 2017 @ 2:00pm CST
I'm enjoying the flashback episodes more. Learning about Jetfire, and Prowl, and others. Jetfire seems so different now. I think solicits have somewhat let the cat out of the bag with the Junkions, but I'm sure there is more of a twist than seems present by those previews and covers.

I'm good with the art. It's not my total favorite, but it works. GI Joe in it took me back a step... I'm not sure I'm ready for every issue to be a GI Joe and Transformers X crossover now. Well, at least Lost Light is still safe from that.
Re: Comic Book Resources interview with John Barber on IDW Optimus Prime Ongoing (1850532)
Posted by Targetmaster Kup on January 4th, 2017 @ 7:21pm CST
No, it's not the art bothering me, it's the horrible colouring. How can anyone call that good? If I hadn't committed to buying #1-6, I'd be out already.

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