IDW Transformers vs G.I. Joe - Another Interview with John Barber and Tom Scioli
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 12:59pm CDTCategories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al Views: 26,074
CBR News: John and Tom, aside from the obvious implications of the title, what exactly is "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" all about?
Tom Scioli: We're pretty close to figuring that out ourselves. So far it looks like each issue is going to be a complete "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" epic that, when taken together, will add up to a multi-chapter mega epic. We've got a really good plot going. Figuring out the tone is the next big challenge. How serious, how funny, how topical.
I did a couple of passes, color thumbnail comics in a style similar to [Scioli's creator-owned series] "Satan's Soldier." In those tests, the tone ended up being in the neighborhood of [Scioli's other creator-owned series] "American Barbarian" and "Satan's Soldier." John is bringing a 21st century version of Classic '60s Marvel tone. I think we'll really nail it down when we find a tone that isn't "AmBarb," isn't '60s Marvel, isn't Alan Moore, isn't Frank Miller, but a tone that is "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" -- a tone that is unique and specific to the demands of this particular story.
What's it about? Change or die. It's about a big universe where people build crazy, wild, awesome things and use them to kill each other. I'd like to shepherd the characters to a place where they don't want to kill each other anymore, but I don't know if they'll ever get there or not.
So far, the script for this first issue, which we're close to finishing, is the best thing I've ever worked on. I've spent more hours per page on this than anything I've done before, and the results are better than I could've imagined.
John Barber: Yeah, what Tom said. I came into this with a certain idea of where we were heading, and we've wound up somewhere way, way, way better.
The basic idea of the series is that the G.I. Joe team has been fighting COBRA for some time, but just when they think they've defeated their foe, everything blows up to the next level -- and the Cybertronians arrive.
We'll see the origins of our heroes; we'll see first meetings and secret pasts. This is the ground floor of an astounding new reality, here.
Tom, your style is very cosmic and Kirby-esque in nature, so is it safe to assume "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" will be on a grand, cosmic scale?
Scioli: "Transformers" is a grand, cosmic thing to begin with. "G.I. Joe" is a heightened, sci-fi, 20 minutes into the future version of military adventure. Today's military technology is sci-fi by any reasonable definition, so it does kind of push things in that direction.
Early drafts were extremely serious, hard sci-fi, with absurdist touches and pitch black dark humor. John's brought a little more of a sense of adventure and fun to it. We're folding all of that stuff together and hammering it into what feels like a real, breathing universe from which we can pluck any story we need.
Barber: I think it's fair to say "grand and cosmic" yeah -- maybe "expanding" is another good word.
Merging two major properties like these is something IDW is clearly not taking lightly. How did this idea get started, and how long has it been in development?
Scioli: Months, it seems. When John first floated the idea, I started getting the wheels turning, even before it was confirmed as a thing. I can't help it. I used to fight that urge. Don't work on that, there's no point. I decided not to fight it. If your imagination goes somewhere you'd rather it not, don't fight it, let it happen and see where it goes. So I didn't fight it.
To make this as good as it needs to be, I couldn't wait to get the final okay before I start working. Doing this story one issue at a time just wasn't going to work, so even though I wouldn't advise working on a job you don't yet have, I don't think I'd have gotten the results I wanted if I figured the story out in issue-long chunks, one bit at a time. I knew from past experience, for best results I had to envision what I wanted my entire run to be and then figure out the story as a whole, before I even started work on Issue #1. It's foolishness, but the kind of foolishness you need to create great art.
Barber: At IDW, we'd been interested in doing a "Transformers"/"G.I. Joe" crossover series for a while, but it had to be the right thing. It had to be something really unique and interesting, not just some sort of a cash-grab. 2014 is the 30th Anniversary of "Transformers" and the 50th Anniversary of the original "G.I. Joe" line, so it seemed like we had to do something. But we've got existing comics universes that are pretty clearly not set in the same world. We were trying to figure out what would work and not just feel, well, inessential.
Then Tom emailed in out of the blue, and I'm a big fan of Tom. We started talking about another thing, about Tom doing a cover for another series -- and one day I just thought of Tom doing "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe." So I emailed him, and he was interested -- and I kinda inserted myself into the proceedings as co-writer, which is me kinda staying out of the way and then trying to steal the glory later
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Posted by BumbleDouche on March 12th, 2014 @ 7:08pm CDT
Posted by daningotham on March 12th, 2014 @ 8:40pm CDT
Posted by Sabrblade on March 12th, 2014 @ 9:27pm CDT
One man's trash is another man's treasure.MegaDump wrote:Utter garbage.
And this has "crazy Silver Age fun" written all over it.
Posted by 1984forever on March 12th, 2014 @ 10:20pm CDT
Posted by Sabrblade on March 12th, 2014 @ 10:22pm CDT
Cool story, bro.84forever wrote:We will NEVER get a decent G1 comic from IDW! They are obsessed with publishing garbage! These are the last days, my friends. There won't be a 40th anniversary because the Transformers franchise will be completely destroyed in less than 10 years!
Posted by Burn on March 12th, 2014 @ 10:56pm CDT
Hopefully His Awesomeness Rob Liefeld takes over the art.
Heck I'd settle for John Romita Jr. ... anything's better than that.
84forever wrote:We will NEVER get a decent G1 comic from IDW! They are obsessed with publishing garbage! These are the last days, my friends. There won't be a 40th anniversary because the Transformers franchise will be completely destroyed in less than 10 years!
Posted by Go-Faster-Wings on March 13th, 2014 @ 2:12pm CDT
Posted by BumbleDouche on March 15th, 2014 @ 9:55pm CDT
Go-Faster-Wings wrote:I'm loving this. This art is great, and I love this writing. I am really looking forward to this!!!
Said no-one, ever.
Posted by TheCrookedMan on April 24th, 2014 @ 6:22pm CDT
Posted by Sabrblade on April 24th, 2014 @ 6:31pm CDT
So, you would argue that this really is evocative of Kirby's work and not a poor attempt at imitating his work?TheCrookedMan wrote:I think that people who don't appreciate Kirby, Steranko, and Ditko's work aren't going to understand or like this. These pages could have been ripped from New Gods, Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD, or Shade, the Changing Man. I'm really looking forward to it.
(fyi, I do agree that it is Kirby-esque)
Posted by TheCrookedMan on April 24th, 2014 @ 8:19pm CDT
Also, see his entire Godland series.
Posted by Sabrblade on April 24th, 2014 @ 8:25pm CDT
I know and recognize the intention, but others beside myself would argue that the intention was not met with satisfactory results, hence a lot of the scorn these TF/Joe covers from Scioli keep getting.TheCrookedMan wrote:I think this post on his Web site makes it clear how much he intends this as an homage to Kirby.
Also, see his entire Godland series.
Posted by Dead Metal on April 25th, 2014 @ 10:00am CDT
Sabrblade wrote:I know and recognize the intention, but others beside myself would argue that the intention was not met with satisfactory results, hence a lot of the scorn these TF/Joe covers from Scioli keep getting.TheCrookedMan wrote:I think this post on his Web site makes it clear how much he intends this as an homage to Kirby.
Also, see his entire Godland series.
Even colouring Kirby's pencils does not make it look like the terrible art in this comic, in fact it makes it look even worse because we get to see even more details of Kirby's superb work.