IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli

IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 6:18pm CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 25,284

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In other IDW Transformers comics news, the extravagant architect of the Transformers vs G.I. Joe ongoing series - Tom Scioli - was interviewed by comics website Comics Alliance, about the world he is building for the series, the approach to the universes, layouts and the general madness of it all. Take a look below for some selected quotes, and read the whole piece here.

ComicsAlliance: The first thing I want to talk about is pacing. Jumping into Transformers vs. GI Joe #5, which is the start of the second paperback if people are reading it that way, they’re getting a comic that moves so fast that it is often hard for me to keep up.

Tom Scioli: Well, issue #5 would be the one, because issue #5 is where it really accelerates. I just find that so many comics have a lot of redundancy, a lot of over-explaining, a lot of images of basically the same thing, so part of the approach is to just eliminate redundancy and just give you the things you need to move the narrative forward. I sort of crossed a point of no return with it, I think, and where that came from is that I wrote a script for a Transformers vs. GI Joe movie adaptation.

You know, the movie doesn’t exist yet, but I made a comic as though I was adapting a movie, and how movie adaptations are. There are chunks missing, and jumps because of the time it takes to take an hour and a half movie and put it into a comic, you’re going to have to cut some things out. I wrote something with that sort of style in mind, and after I did that, I realized that’s a tool I could use any time. It doesn’t have to be restricted to this particular conceit, it’s just a tool in my arsenal now. It was really effective in that script, which hasn’t come out yet, but it was just a really intense reading experience.

[...]

CA: The interesting thing about that to me is that, like you said, there have been Transformers and GI Joe team-up books before, and now you’re doing it as an ongoing series and using the entire cast of both books, as they have existed for thirty years. There’s not a whole lot left on the table.

TS: That’s one thing I noticed. I was sort of going through all these characters and throwing them in, and now I’ve sort of reached the point where it’s like, “Oh, what Decepticon villain can show up?” and most of them are there already, pretty much. There’s an endless number of jets that I can go to, but most of the really resonant ones have shown up, so now it’s just getting weird, which is actually interesting. Now we’re getting into the Pretenders and the Predacons, all the weirder corners of the mythology.

CA: That’s something I wanted to bring up, because you’re at the point now where you’re creating new stuff.

TS: I want to go more in that direction. I thought doing a comic like this, that’s an established thing, would be easier — having a universe that’s already established that I’m just building up. But I’m seeing the limitations of it. I really do want to just create more and add more to it. It’s not so complete a cosmology that there’s a character for every season. I thought there would be a character for every occasion, and in a lot of cases there are. I needed a character who was a chef, and, okay, Roadblock is a chef, I can use him. But there are a lot of holes in the mythology that I’m trying to fill in.

That last Transformers movie… they went nuts. It almost wasn’t even Transformers anymore, it was this infinite universe of every kind of creature you can imagine, and that freed me up too, realizing that I could make this universe whatever I wanted it to be. It doesn’t have to just be giant robots that turn into cars or dinosaurs, it can be a universe.

Credit(s): Comics Alliance, Tom Scioli


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Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1688117)
Posted by shajaki on May 20th, 2015 @ 7:35pm CDT
If you've read Part 1 of Tom Scioli's interview with Comics Alliance, you're not going to want to miss the second half! Tom Scioli and John Barber‘s are of course the masterminds behind IDW's Transformers vs. GI Joe, and have brought quite a nutty flavor to the book. See the mayhem behind the scenes in the interview right here, some snippets below, and stay tuned to Seibertron.com for all your Transformers News!

To say that Tom Scioli and John Barber‘s Transformers vs. GI Joe is an unusual comic is underselling things quite a bit. On paper, it’s a natural fit, an ongoing series that follows in the footsteps of earlier books that have combined the two toy lines into one massive interplanetary battle. In practice, though, it’s something a lot bigger, a comic that almost assaults the reader by cramming in as much big, wild stuff as it possibly can — a toy comic so weird, and so great, that it almost feels like it shouldn’t exist.

With the book’s second storyline well under way, throwing in everything from Vikings to old gods to Dinobots (and a new printing of his amazing American Barbarian on the way this summer), I talked to cowriter, artist and occasional ComicsAlliance guest contributor Tom Scioli about the series. Today, he talks about building a history for a universe that’s even more important than our own, the two-page Free Comic Book Day story, and why his book isn’t a paean to Snake Eyes. You can read the first part of this interview here.

[...]

CA: The next specific scene that I wanted to talk about was the first page of #6. Every time I think this comic can’t get any wilder, it gets bigger and weirder in a way that I find really enjoyable. This comic opens with Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden by floating Transformers with laser swords.

TS: Yeah.


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TS: It’s a universe. It’s a whole universe. My thought is that the Transformers vs. GI Joe universe is the most important universe there is, and while you’re reading it, it’s even more important than our universe. There’s an Alpha to that universe and there’s an Omega to that universe, and what you were witnessing was Roadblock’s reading of the Cobra Bible, the Decepticobranomicon, so what you’re reading may well be an actual accounting of what happened. It might be mythology. It might be disinformation. It could be any number of things. There’s a deep history to this world.

CA: I’ve said this before, and I mean it in the best way possible, but I’m always surprised this book exists.

TS: Right. [Laughs]
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1693380)
Posted by Va'al on June 2nd, 2015 @ 3:38am CDT
In other IDW Publishing news, this week also sees the release of the next issue in the Tom Scioli (with some Barber) Transformers vs G.I. Joe ongoing series - what space-wide madness awaits in issue 7? Find out in the full preview below, and check backin later this week for the Seibertron.com review!

Transformers vs G.I. JOE #7
Tom Scioli & John Barber (w) • Scioli (a & c)
THE WORLD AS THEY MAKE IT! Alliance are forged! Enemies are enraged! The war burns on Earth and Cybertron! And now… now the real battle begins.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
If you’ve ever liked anything, you’ll love this!
If you’ve never liked anything—this will be the first thing you love!
Variant Cover by Kody Chamerlain!


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Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1693406)
Posted by BumbleDouche on June 2nd, 2015 @ 5:24am CDT
Good God, these are hideous. Honestly, the worst thing about old comics, in my opinion at least, was the crummy artwork and the cheap paper they were printed on. Trying to emulate that look in this day and age makes no sense to me, other than appealing to a sense of nostalgia in older fans. I can't imagine any kids flipping through this on a comic book store shelf and being impressed. It's like using a broom to clean your floor when you have a vacuum cleaner handy... The vacuum does the job faster, more efficiently and you get a better result, so why stick to "old technology?" But hey, whatever floats your boat, I guess.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1693408)
Posted by MrBlack on June 2nd, 2015 @ 5:35am CDT
Well, this has taken an interesting turn. One of the things I love about this comic is that I legitimately never know what is going to happen from page to page or issue to issue.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1693421)
Posted by RhA on June 2nd, 2015 @ 6:25am CDT
The comic still looks horrid. I do like the colors. And that cover looks nice.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1693454)
Posted by Downbeat on June 2nd, 2015 @ 8:27am CDT
Whoof, this is getting dark.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1693507)
Posted by President-prime on June 2nd, 2015 @ 11:43am CDT
You know, this art was weird at first, but it's rather entertaining. In fact, I went back to my comic store and bought all of the earlier issues. I also collect covers so I bought all the different versions of it. For those criticizing the art work, just read a couple of issues without reservations or bias and you might find that it's more thoughtful and more creative than the newer ones. The art is actually more complicated than what's on the surface. Each panel is layered with other elements of art. Frat job Tom Scioli and John Barber!
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1693558)
Posted by Amelie on June 2nd, 2015 @ 1:31pm CDT
MegaDump wrote:Good God, these are hideous. Honestly, the worst thing about old comics, in my opinion at least, was the crummy artwork and the cheap paper they were printed on. Trying to emulate that look in this day and age makes no sense to me, other than appealing to a sense of nostalgia in older fans. I can't imagine any kids flipping through this on a comic book store shelf and being impressed. It's like using a broom to clean your floor when you have a vacuum cleaner handy... The vacuum does the job faster, more efficiently and you get a better result, so why stick to "old technology?" But hey, whatever floats your boat, I guess.


Two points

- You clearly don't do much housework or have pets. A broom gets things out of wool rugs that a vacuum cleaner simply can't. Different tools. Different jobs. In the case of art - pencils and pens for sketches and inks can be a much more efficient tool. Depends on the style and the artist.

- Its not just nostalgia notes the art hits - it has quirky details and is dynamic in a way that the current pseudo-anime style used in the mainline can't accommodate. It is art and its quality is purely subjective. Whats in vogue now could suddenly look very tired and 'bad' in a few short years and Tom Scioli might look like a progressive genius. Besides which I'd hardly dare call old comic artists like Ditko or Kirby 'crummy' simply because of age or an art-fashion change. ;)

Still gutted I can't easily get my hands on these. I'll have to trawl eBay next month and catch up, if money allows.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1693698)
Posted by President-prime on June 2nd, 2015 @ 9:19pm CDT
Good point. The details are what got me. I find myself looking for "other" things in the background. I feel like playing treasure and it that 3D puzzle book thing where you don't look through the surrogate but stare deeper into what the panels really mean. Old but cool!
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1712224)
Posted by Va'al on July 22nd, 2015 @ 7:28pm CDT
In other iTunes-cum-IDW Publishing news, we also have a very latecomer to the roster for next week, namely the eighth issue of Tom Scioli's cosmic masterpiece Transformers vs G.I. Joe! You can check out the three-page preview below, mirrored from the iTunes page here.

In the interplanetary war between the TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, anything can happen... and does.


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Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1712516)
Posted by o.supreme on July 23rd, 2015 @ 4:19pm CDT
I made a mistake, when this first came out. I was thinking it was going to be a mini-series (4 or 5 issues at the most), but when it kept going I was getting worried. I really have no interest in it, and hopefully the constant delays in publication are a sign it is going to end soon. If it doesn't end by issue 10 or 12, I may just sell them as a lot on eBay.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1714495)
Posted by MrBlack on July 30th, 2015 @ 5:40am CDT
Did anyone manage to pick up #8? It was solicited for this week, but it's not on Comixology.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1714513)
Posted by o.supreme on July 30th, 2015 @ 9:01am CDT
Yes I got it at my local shop yesterday.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1714517)
Posted by MrBlack on July 30th, 2015 @ 9:14am CDT
o.supreme wrote:Yes I got it at my local shop yesterday.

Odd. I contacted IDW, who said it isn't scheduled for release until next week. It seems, however, that more than a few shops got copies and put them out, and the TFWiki has a synopsis.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1714711)
Posted by Va'al on July 31st, 2015 @ 1:00am CDT
I can confirm that all material from IDW indicates this is out first Wednesday of August.
How very odd.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1714752)
Posted by MrBlack on July 31st, 2015 @ 8:28am CDT
Va'al wrote:I can confirm that all material from IDW indicates this is out first Wednesday of August.
How very odd.

Maybe they didn't get all their stock out on time and just bumped the official release to next week. Or maybe they decided at the last minute that having four Transformers titles on the shelves at the same time wasn't a good idea.

In any case, they certainly didn't get the message out to local comic shops, because I know a lot of folks across the country who managed to pick this up on Wednesday. The issue summary is even up on TFWiki.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1715661)
Posted by Va'al on August 4th, 2015 @ 2:27am CDT
With a peculiar blip in distribution, IDW Publishing confirms the release of Transformers vs G.I. Joe #8 for this Wednesday, though some shops and stores may already have received it last week - in either case, check out the full preview for the issue below, and head back to Seibertron.com for a review later this week!

Transformers vs G.I. JOE #8
Tom Scioli & John Barber (w) • Scioli (a & c)
In the interplanetary war between the TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, anything can happen… and does.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
Action and excitement as only Tom Scioli can deliver!
You won’t believe your eyes!
Variant Cover by Artyon Trakhanov!


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Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1715676)
Posted by Optimizzy on August 4th, 2015 @ 8:40am CDT
this is like looking at a Salvador Dali painting that makes less sense.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1715689)
Posted by jogunwarrior on August 4th, 2015 @ 9:46am CDT
This is the most nonsensical preview I've ever seen, and I still cannot stand that artwork for the purpose of sequential storytelling.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe - An Interview with Tom Scioli (1715690)
Posted by o.supreme on August 4th, 2015 @ 9:48am CDT
To be honest, like I said above, I have all 8 issues, there is no "sequential storytelling" as far as I can see, just a bunch of random stuff happening for no apparent reason. I'm pretty sure I'll be selling these all very soon.

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