View Full Version : Transformers: The Ultimate Guide

2003-12-10, 06:21 AM
Simon Furman has written the ultimate guide for Transformers.


2003-12-10, 03:21 PM
Amazon.com = http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=virtualdebr04-21&path=tg/stores/detail/glance/-/books/0756603145

Amazon.co.uk = http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=virtualdebr04-21&path=tg/stores/detail/glance/-/books/0756603145

...but no pre-order for us Brits yet. It's due May 2004.

2003-12-14, 08:04 PM
Looking forward to that. Anyone have more info on it?

2003-12-14, 08:09 PM
The cover has Armada Prime on it, so it may be a character guide just for Armada, or it may simply reprint Dreamwave's G1 MtMtE profile series.

DK tend to produce books for a slightly younger age range.

2003-12-15, 10:04 PM
Well I hope it lives up to it's name of 'ultimate'. It didn't have the word armada on it so possibly it has info on all universes. Perhaps they put Armada prime on the cover as he is more familliar with todays gerneration of younglings.

2004-03-19, 10:46 AM
Some more information, taken from interview at bwtf.com (http://www.bwtf.com/interviews/sf304.shtml)

1) Please tell us a bit about the Transformers Ultimate Guide and how you became involved with it.
The Ultimate Guide is one of Dorling Kindersley's lush, full colour hardbacks (in the style of Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel), focusing on the evolution of TRANSFORMERS in toy, TV and comic book incarnations. It takes us right through (chronologically) from G1 (via G2, Beast Wars, Beast Machines, RiD and Armada) to Energon. It's 144 pages, heavily illustrated, with accompanying text. My involvement started when I was contacted by UK DK editor Simon Beecroft, who asked me if I'd like to be the author. I think Joshua Izzo at Hasbro US had suggested me a likely candidate.

2) Was it a daunting task to try to boil down twenty years of Transformers history into one book?
Only after I'd signed on did I fully realize what a monumental task I'd undertaken. For a start, we couldn't cover everything, you'd need about six volumes to take in every TV episode, every comic, every character and every toy. I knew going in we weren't really going to be able to get into the Japanese incarnations of characters and toys, and series such as Beast Wars Neo. Instead, I focused on fundamentals, the groundwork of G1 and its core characters. Nearly half the book is G1-based, which I think is what fans and casual readers will be most interested in. Even so, I still had to make some hard decisions about what to include, what to expand upon, and what to (regretfully) reduce more or less to a mention. There was just so much to pack in. G1/G2, as it turned out, was the easy bit. I knew my way around those characters and events, having been heavily involved first time around and since with the Dreamwave reimagination. But once we got onto the likes of Beast Machines and RiD, and (to a lesser extent, because I had at least been involved in the TV series) Beast Wars, that was where the research really kicked in. One thing I was sure of, this book was going to be scrutinized and analyzed (by the fans) to the nth degree. I had to get this stuff right.

3) Some may see this book as just a big promotion for the current Energon line, what more can we expect from it?
Oh, lots more. To be honest, as a lot of writing was done last year, there was only so much energon we could get in. One of DK's strengths is their amazing illustrative material. While, of course, we drew on a lot of established artwork (from the toys, the TV shows, the Marvel/Dreamwave comics, etc), there's a whole lot that's been specially commissioned for the book. Some highlights: a fully rendered planetary map (well, one side) of Cybertron, which places the various regions and landmarks in geographic relation to one another. A first, I think. Then there's detailed views of Iacon and the High Council Chambers, an expanded cutaway drawing of the Ark (which will take your breath away, I promise), cutaway internal workings on both Optimus Prime and Megatron, a full Unicron cutaway and more besides. I really saw the Ultimate Guide as a chance to set in stone the many and varied facets of the Transformers and their world, so there's stuff like a full Civil War Timeline and detailed specs on the Combiners and Special Teams, plus stuff like what Optimus Primal used to transform into, and what Ironhide and others were doing before the war. My aim was to produce a definitive reference guide. As well as being about the Transformers themselves, it's also about the evolution of the concept and its various incarnations. It really takes you through the full twenty years.

4) Can we expect any original artwork in the book?
As mentioned above, there's plenty. Not just the big items like Cybertron and the Ark and Unicron, but also many spot illustrations, ones (for example) that graphically illustrate how the Combiners combine (inside) and Powermaster Prime functions. Look out for a fantastic spot illo by Guido Guidi of the interior of Maccadams Old Oil Bar. Another highlight: Don Figueroa's amazing design for robot mode Primus (featured in the tpb of The War Within vol1, but otherwise unused) is inked and coloured up and presented in giant size (in all its glory). It looks fabulous!

10) What was the most difficult part of writing this book? And inversely, what was the easiest?
The most difficult? Wrapping my head around the pre-G1 origins of the toys and who did what when (and what was the basis of what, and which toys were based on which toys). It's very confusing, with ideas/designs bouncing from West to East and East to West. The easiest? Writing the US/UK comics sections for G1 and G2. It was largely like rattling off my back catalogue. In fact, the whole of G2 was easy, as so much of it came out of the comic book (BTW, there's a section on 'Alignment', the convention fan-fiction style continuation of G2, which, in my mind at least, takes it one step closer to being canon). Until I got to the G2 toys. Tying down those Euro-exclusive toys took some considerable time and effort.

2004-03-19, 11:45 AM
Judging from the cover and the sample pages, I'd say it's something along the lines of the X-Men, Batman, JLA, Spider-Man etc. that have also been published by DK.
I.e. double-page infos on key characters, storylines, technology, places etc.

Alpha Trion
2004-03-19, 08:46 PM
DK's Ultimate Guide to X-Men, while not being an ultimate guide by any means, was a fun read, and all the imagery was worth it, so this TF book should be good.

2004-03-20, 12:12 AM
Looks good.

that graphically illustrate how the Combiners combine (inside) I like that. :)

Corvus Corax
2004-03-21, 07:28 AM
*makes a mental note to show her boys the book info so they can save up for her b-day*