Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book

Transformers News: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book

Sunday, March 24th, 2019 5:04PM CDT

Category: Book News
Posted by: Emerje   Views: 14,535

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Viz Media has announced on Twitter and Facebook plans to release Transformers: A Visual History, an art book, in Fall 2019. While details are scarce they do give a short description.

TRANSFORMERS: A Visual History, out Fall 2019. This new art book is the most comprehensive compilation of Transformers artwork ever assembled featuring rare and iconic imagery pulled from Hasbro’s archives.

The announcement was accompanied by a single image of live action movie Optimus Prime's head.

Transformers News: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book

If you aren't familiar with Viz Media they're best known for localizing Japanese anime, manga, and art books into English. This will be their first Transformers project. Pure speculation here, but Japan does have The Art of the Transformers book coming from Parco in April, if these aren't the same books then they'll likely share many assets making for a nice alternative.

Thanks to fellow Seibertronian Nexus Knight for the heads up! Are you excited about the sudden options in Transformers art books this year or are books just not your thing? Sound off in the Energon Pub forums below and let us know!
Credit(s): Viz Media on Facebook and Twitter
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Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2015881)
Posted by BumbleDouche on March 25th, 2019 @ 8:24am CDT
Preview images on Amazon for "The Art of the Transformers" make it look very much like "Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging," albeit with a slightly tweaked layout, different cover art & translated to Japanese. Does anyone know if my theory there is correct?

Releasing "Transformers: A Visual History" as an English language equivalent of "Art of Transformers" wouldn't seem likely if that book (AoT) started out as an English language book (i.e. Legacy) in the first place.

By my twisted logic, that means the books either have little to do with one another (apart from sharing some art), or my original supposition is completely wrong & idiotic. Someone please put me out of my misery...
:HEADHURTS:
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2015899)
Posted by Sabrblade on March 25th, 2019 @ 11:13am CDT
Here's a little more information about the book.

Announced earlier this year at TFCon, Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster present Transformers: A Visual History, a book that showcases 35 years of artwork for the Transformers brand, divided into five sections:
  • Toy packaging art
  • Comic book art
  • Animation production art
  • Video game concept art
  • Live-action film art
The book should be due out in time for Christmas.

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Two versions of the book are currently up for preorder on Amazon.

The standard edition ($49.99):
Celebrating 35 years of rare and iconic TRANSFORMERS imagery, this deluxe art book will delight fans of all ages!

One of the world’s most popular franchises, Transformers has been delighting fans since 1984. Now, in this deluxe hardcover celebration, Hasbro reveals behind-the-scenes production sketches, beautifully polished final art, and everything in-between. From the obscure to the iconic, this book features packaging artwork, animation models, video game designs, comic pages, and, for the first time ever, production artwork from all six Paramount live-action films! Lovingly curated by Transformers archivist Jim Sorenson, this is the most comprehensive collection of Transformers imagery ever assembled.

© 2019 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

And the deluxe Limited Edition ($99.99):
elebrating 35 years of rare and iconic TRANSFORMERS imagery, this deluxe limited edition art book will delight fans of all ages!

This deluxe limited edition comes packaged in a beautiful collector’s box with an exclusive variant cover design and five gorgeous and frame-ready prints showcasing art from across the franchise!

One of the world’s most popular franchises, Transformers has been delighting fans since 1984. Now, in this deluxe hardcover celebration, Hasbro reveals behind-the-scenes production sketches, beautifully polished final art, and everything in-between. From the obscure to the iconic, this book features packaging artwork, animation models, video game designs, comic pages, and, for the first time ever, production artwork from all six Paramount live-action films! Lovingly curated by Transformers archivist Jim Sorenson, this is the most comprehensive collection of Transformers imagery ever assembled.

© 2019 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

Both have a listed release date for November 12, 2019.
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2015917)
Posted by BumbleDouche on March 25th, 2019 @ 1:43pm CDT
Well that answers that question lol.
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2015926)
Posted by Emerje on March 25th, 2019 @ 2:55pm CDT
Guess I'll have to buy this book and The Art of the Transformers since that book includes all of the rare Japanese art seen at the museum exhibit.

So now I have to wonder why Viz suddenly decided to make such simple posts about the book if all this information is out there. It isn't even on their website yet.

Emerje
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2043793)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 4th, 2019 @ 10:45pm CST
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044169)
Posted by Seibertron on November 8th, 2019 @ 5:22pm CST
Hi Jim. Thank you for taking time to answer some questions for the staff of Seibertron.com in which we thought our users might be interested regarding your upcoming book Transformers: A Visual History, which is scheduled to come out on November 12th, 2019. You can pre-order Transformers: A Visual History on Amazon.com or by clicking on any of the images below. Without further ado, let's jump right in!

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Seibertron.com: Are there any pieces featured in A Visual History that were brand new to you even after all your years of deep curation and involvement with Transformers?

Jim Sorenson: Oh, absolutely. That's part of the joy of a project like this one. Much of the production artwork from Chapter 5, “The Films,” is from deep in the vaults. To my knowledge no one outside of Hasbro or Paramount has ever seen much of the material presented here.

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Seibertron.com: If yes, any that stand out for any particular reason, perhaps due to their being a surprise discovery or something that has a fun story around how it was discovered?

Jim Sorenson: A couple of pieces come to mind. On page 269, we have a couple of Rescue Bots sketches that are just brimming with emotion. They really capture the feel of the series, and I'm delighted that we found room to include them. On page 346, there's an important piece of movie concept art called The Ice Man, by James Clyne. It's one of the first pieces that Michael Bay fell in love with and helped set the visual language for the entire film franchise. The challenge for the production staff was that it's a portrait piece, and of course films are landscape, so they had to figure out how to translate this piece to the big screen.

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Seibertron.com: Are there some new items or surprises in this upcoming book that most fans haven't seen before?

Jim Sorenson: Yup! Tons. I won't give away all the surprises, but we've got the never-before-seen alternate modes for Elita-One and Orion Pax from the original series episodes The Search for Alpha Trion and War Dawn, which I'm super proud to bring to the light of day. You'll find them on page 226, in the “Animation” chapter. There's also an amazing sketch by Doug Heart, who did virtually all of the Beast Wars package art, for a 15th anniversary box set that would have included Beast Wars and G1 toys. Alas, it never came to be, but you can see the art here for the first time on page 44.

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Seibertron.com: Was there a particular piece that was difficult to come across or that you hadn't seen before?

Jim Sorenson: There were several pieces that I fought hard to procure. On page 334 we've got the promo art from BotCon 1997, High Stakes, which was my very first Transformers convention. It's a gorgeous piece by Andrew Wildman, who was my very first favorite Transformers artist, with modern colors and inks by JP Bove and Stephen Baskerville. There's also a couple of images on pages 106-107 featuring the Siege Starscream vehicle and robot artwork that was a very late addition that I advocated passionately for, because I'd realized we were a little light on both Siege and Starscream. Two birds and one stone later and it's an absolutely gorgeous spread. And you wouldn't believe the lengths I went to in order to procure the Pat Lee Back to the Eighties piece originally published in Wizard Magazine. (Suffice to say, a former editor had to dig it out of a semi-inactive email account.)

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Seibertron.com: Of all of the artwork shown in this book, what piece stands out to you the most as your personal favorite?

Jim Sorenson: Which of my children do I love the most, you ask? Jeepers. I'm not even going to attempt to pick a single favorite. But some pieces that have great personal meaning for me are the classic Shockwave cover to Marvel #5, my first comic book EVER, on page 127, a two-page spread of every Gobots character ever in Cybertronian bodies on 294-295 that I commissioned when I was working with the fan club, and a series of Transformers homages to classic comic covers on pages 208-209 headlined by a Liefeld-on-Liefeld recreation of the cover to New Mutants #87 he did for the Dark Cybertron storyline.

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Questions pertaining to the Transformers franchise:

Seibertron.com: Since the scale charts shown in The Complete Ark do not address it, how large do you think the individual Scramble City style combiner characters are in relation to other established characters? Are the individual limbs similar in size to the ‘84 cars? Are the torso characters Optimus Prime and Megatron sized? Would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this debate!

Jim Sorenson: This feels like a question that would require research to answer well. WITHOUT having done said research, my gut is that guys like Motormaster are as big as a large Autobot car (think Ironhide Trailbreaker, five meters according to the internal scale guides) and that limbs are probably closer to regular car height, about four meters. But the real answer is that these guys are whatever size the plot required.

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Seibertron.com: What was it like to come up with fiction for the TFCC (Transformers Collectors Club) characters? Is there any story that stands out to you as a favorite, or that you're particularly proud of?

Jim Sorenson: Incredibly satisfying. There's something magical about starting with a blank page and building up the robot zombie apocalypse 500 pages later. I think the last two Beast Wars Uprising stories, Derailment (a 179-page novel!) and The Inexorable March, stack up favorably to any other Transformers fiction you might care to read.

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Seibertron.com: What's your favorite aspect of the franchise?

Jim Sorenson: The community it has generated. I've got friends on all four corners of the globe, and I'd never have met most of them if not for the incredible franchise that is The Transformers.

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Seibertron.com: Transformers fans miss their time with Jim Sorenson at past BotCons! Will you be signing books anywhere in the future or when can fans get some time with you?

Jim Sorenson: I try to keep my dance card full, but I've got no specific plans I can announce yet. This year I did TFCon in Burbank, NYCC in Manhattan, Bubonicon in my hometown of Albuqurque, and TFNation in the United Kingdom. Fingers crossed I'll be able to maintain a similar schedule for 2020. But I'm easy enough to get in touch with. Facebook is pretty reliable (https://www.facebook.com/jimsorenson) and Twitter (https://www.twitter.com/jimsorenson) are two good means of reaching out. So please, don't be a stranger!

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Thank you, Jim, for taking some time to talk with all of us here at Seibertron.com. We look forward to reading Transformers: A Visual History which fans can pre-order on Amazon.com.


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A fellow Transformers fan on YouTube received a copy of Transformers: A Visual History. You can view his review below:

Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044176)
Posted by TulioDude on November 8th, 2019 @ 9:10pm CST
This looks awesome!
I happy to see such dedication in the gathering of some many of TF art over the years.
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044178)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 8th, 2019 @ 11:03pm CST
Seibertron wrote:Seibertron.com: What was it like to come up with fiction for the TFCC (Transformers Collectors Club) characters? Is there any story that stands out to you as a favorite, or that you're particularly proud of?

Jim Sorenson: Incredibly satisfying. There's something magical about starting with a blank page and building up the robot zombie apocalypse 500 pages later. I think the last two Beast Wars Uprising stories, Derailment (a 179-page novel!) and The Inexorable March, stack up favorably to any other Transformers fiction you might care to read.
Quoted for truth. While many other Fun Pub works were stories, BWU was an experience. 8-) :APPLAUSE:
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044192)
Posted by Rodimus Primal on November 9th, 2019 @ 11:53am CST
Thanks for sharing my video guys. The book is cool and is a treat to look at. Especially the never before seen stuff.
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044196)
Posted by Deadput on November 9th, 2019 @ 12:17pm CST
The news that there is indeed a lot of new art is news that is very much appreciated to me.

The Art of the franchise is one of the best things, concept art for movies, shows, games is a great delve into the mind of the artists and really shows creativity.

I was waiting to here if there was indeed a bunch of new stuff in the book before placing an order, thank you for the interview article, it was really nice to hear the info as well as a tease of what's to come.
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044204)
Posted by Coptur on November 9th, 2019 @ 2:35pm CST
I like Jim's dedication and passion for the brand but view his writing as nothing more than hyper-fanon.
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044242)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on November 10th, 2019 @ 12:27pm CST
Holy-Grail, Batman! He found a vintage illustration of Elita-1's vehicle mode!?!

IDR where he posted it, probably on the Disciples of Boltax blog, but when Jim was assembling his Ark books and online supplements, the character models for Search For Alpha Trion were apparently impossible to find. Add in the frustration of her car mode being largely obscured by Optimus and the weird angle for the few seconds it appears in the ep, and that alone should make this book worth whatever they're charging!
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044450)
Posted by Deadput on November 12th, 2019 @ 3:49pm CST
I just got the book and it's amazing, will follow this post up with some pics if I can get some

Book is huge and heavy

Will find that Elita 1 vehicle mode pic
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044453)
Posted by Deadput on November 12th, 2019 @ 4:08pm CST
Excuse my shody picture work, I don't have the most ideal shooting quarters and my phone camera refuses to focus in more.

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Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044454)
Posted by Deadput on November 12th, 2019 @ 4:16pm CST
Gonna post this stuff since it's movie related, the stuff with the most never before seen art is The Last Knight.

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Finally a reference to what the Submarine Transformer could of looked like, kinda reminds me of that one Seaspray toy, the big bulky guy

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Early version of Canopy which looks wicked

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Hard to tell from my pictures sorry but the very last one kinda looks like a movie still like a scene that never was, based on the environment in the pic the Da Vinci bot was meant to be in Burton's castle.



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AOE art of the lady bot who's concept eventually became Stinger or at least the alt mode did (the Pagani)
Re: Viz Announces Transformers: A Visual History art book (2044456)
Posted by Deadput on November 12th, 2019 @ 4:19pm CST
The book is like way too big to really make a good sample review post, I'm also not really good at that kind of thing

And my shooting isn't good in these conditions my apologies, just wanted to give an early look at the book's contents, there is a lot of stuff and this truly is a holy grail of Transformers art, not sure how much of it is absolutely new but this is an awesome piece of history, lots of packaging art.

I will say though I'm disappointed in the Video game section, didn't see anything that was new in my eyes, not to say the content's were bad but I was personally hoping for more, it's a pretty short section in comparison to other things.

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