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View Full Version : IDW Transformers Comic Writer Mike Costa Reflects on Transformers


Grayfox
2011-12-08, 11:59 PM
http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/comics-16/idw-transformers-comic-writer-mike-costa-reflects-on-transformers-173922/

Interesting stuff...

Terome
2011-12-09, 12:34 AM
Man says that Transformers fans are nuts, Transformers fans proceed to go nuts.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-09, 03:16 PM
I must have a listen to the actual podcast to see if he comes across as less of a knob in context.

So the guy didn't really understand the characters motivations, nor why they'd have human personalities (a valid criticism to a certain extent, but if that's a suspension of disbelief you're not willing to make Transformers isn't for you) nor how to make ageless robots relatable. Even if that was just for the first year on the book, that's just about 12 issues written by someone who didn't have the first clue how to do it.

Oh, and Fans (all 100) didn't like the books, not because they're bad but because they don't read enough other comic books to recognise a good one? You'd have thought if the fandom was that small keeping them happy would be a lot easier than IDW have managed it. And all IDW's poor sales are still down to Dreamwave, six years on? Sheer genius.


Fair points... Yes, more dedicated comic fans don't take Transformers seriously. But considering the quality of a lot of the stories that's hardly surprising.

Terome
2011-12-09, 04:23 PM
He comes across as a really nice guy in the actual podcast. A bit sensitive, but not in a particularly bad way.
And the concept for his Smoke & Mirrors comic sounds fun. It's not like he has no good ideas, it's just that none of them go towards his Transformers comic.

Neuronutter
2011-12-09, 07:15 PM
Oh, and Fans (all 100) didn't like the books, not because they're bad but because they don't read enough other comic books to recognise a good one? You'd have thought if the fandom was that small keeping them happy would be a lot easier than IDW have managed it. And all IDW's poor sales are still down to Dreamwave, six years on? Sheer genius.


Fair points... Yes, more dedicated comic fans don't take Transformers seriously. But considering the quality of a lot of the stories that's hardly surprising.


The more comics I read the more I realise how bad IDW's Transformers series are. Not the other way around. Transformers got me into comics and I read a hell of a lot these days, but when you read a lot of stuff that is out there and is fantastic you can appreciate that IDW's TF comics haven't been good in a while. Except LSOTW and Roberts issues.

Terome
2011-12-09, 07:28 PM
Christ, yes. On a structural level, you're lucky to get anything of worth at all from the IDW comics. The artists can draw, and the writers can set scenes, but it's rare indeed to get them both to hang together in a skillful way. Remember how effective and stylish Spotlight: Nightbeat was? Well, that sort of thing doesn't fly well when there's a character slightly off-model in the mix.

Neuronutter
2011-12-09, 08:49 PM
OKay...so I've just sat and read this interview and based on the transcripts Costa sounds like a knob. The repeated impression is he doesn't get these characters or their situation. He can't understand them and doesn't seem to care. So this is only the transcript, I haven't listened to the podcast, but it's left me wondering: why was this guy tapped to write the ongoing? He clearly has no interest so why him? There must be other, more interested people who can produce something far superior? Or are Transformers inherently difficult to write in an interesting way?

"Transformers fans read Transformers comics, and only Transformers comics. They are isolated from the rest of the comic book world"

Really? Cause I'm a fan of the comics and I read a crazy amount of other stuff.

"GI Joe still has respectability, while Transformers does not."
I've heard good things about his GI Joe comics, but I'm not impressed by his TF work. Again, why was he writing this?

Regarding DW "Some of those stories weren’t all that great." Neither were yours mate. And he blames DW for the poor sales under IDW? What world does he live in? If you get a good writer, who writes interesting characters you can make any series successful. There's plenty of examples of that.

Neuronutter
2011-12-09, 09:19 PM
Sorry Dalek, I seem to have repeated all your points. Didn't mean to, I just read it and responded.

Having had a little longer to ponder this I'm amazed by how much of a knob Costa sounds. "None of it was my fault, Robots are impossible to understand, DW f*cked it all up and TF fans don't read any other comics!" Knob.

I'm guessing he never read the groundwork Furman lay down in Infiltration for a reason why these robots are on Earth and have vehicle modes?

And reasoning that the fans don't know good comics when they see them cause they only read TF comics. Did he see the response to LSOTW? Or Roberts two issues in the ongoing? Again, knob!

inflatable dalek
2011-12-09, 09:39 PM
Sorry Dalek, I seem to have repeated all your points. Didn't mean to, I just read this and responded.


Well, all that was just my reaction to the quotes, I've the full podcast on my MP3 player, but haven't had chance to listen to it yet. The full thing is three hours long (?!), so even if the interview is just half of that there's more than enough room for the quotes to work better in context.

Though I'll stake my claim here (and if the full interview suggests otherwise to me I'll come crawling back apologetically) and say this looks like another IDW Editorial problem. You've got an author who admits he can't get his head around how the characters are portrayed as humanistic (and as said before, that's fair enough IMHO but it's still something you need to accept to write these characters) but was still given the job. How the hell did he manage to make any sort of pitch that sounded good? If he was struggling badly for at least a year, why was he kept on?

And also, even if you accept the Transformers themselves are hard to write for... Why the hell were the humans so badly characterised? Surely Costa has no excuse there? Lets not forget, at the same time Schmidt was going "This comic is aimed at teenagers" Costa was giving us Spike running off from a hooker with his dried spunk running down her leg.

Ulcrain
2011-12-09, 10:20 PM
Hey, at least Spike became a fugative by the end of his run.

Anyway, Costa [I]dose[I] seem to write GI Joe much better than Transformers, which may be where hes comeing with difficulty with writeing them, I mean, there were two, maybe three, good issues in his first year writeing it.

Neuronutter
2011-12-09, 10:45 PM
Though I'll stake my claim here (and if the full interview suggests otherwise to me I'll come crawling back apologetically) and say this looks like another IDW Editorial problem.

Absolutely. I think the editing has been terrible since Ryall left. That's the last time I remember the stories being coherent and the series having direction. Once he left Furman's run seemed to come off the rails, and things haven't improved since.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-09, 10:52 PM
Ryall is still in the same position he's always been in though hasn't he? Overall editor? I thought the direct editing of the books has always been in the hands of people directly beneath him? Or was it just that the company was so much smaller back in the early days the Editor in Chief could personally oversee the book? Without digging old issues out of storage I'm not sure, who was it who was the first to answer letters in a comedy cartoon (Nick Roche drawn?) of them as a Transformer? I've a feeling we had something like Tippton-con* at some point but he wasn't the first...



*Possibly a more amusing play on words than the actual gag used.

Neuronutter
2011-12-09, 11:32 PM
Ryall is still in the same position he's always been in though hasn't he? Overall editor? I thought the direct editing of the books has always been in the hands of people directly beneath him? Or was it just that the company was so much smaller back in the early days the Editor in Chief could personally oversee the book? Without digging old issues out of storage I'm not sure, who was it who was the first to answer letters in a comedy cartoon (Nick Roche drawn?) of them as a Transformer? I've a feeling we had something like Tippton-con* at some point but he wasn't the first...



*Possibly a more amusing play on words than the actual gag used.


According to the Collections Ryall and Dan Taylor were editors for Infiltration through Escalation. Then it was Dan Taylor and Andrew Stephen Harris during Devastation. Maximum Dinobots was Andy Schmidt and Denton J. Tipton and Costa's run was these two as well. I think the best series were overseen by Ryall, IMHO.

EDIT: Just looked through some other trades too. Ryall is editor on Locke and Key and has been since the beginning. Probably one of the reasons it's so good.

LKW
2011-12-10, 04:22 AM
Wellp, my early IDW TFs are in front of a Drawerboxes box on the opposite wall of this very room, so it's considerably easier for me to check out....

And, turns out Ryall was in fact the first robot-with-the-head-of-a-man dude, in the back of Infiltration #0, as ...Chrischarger... And he's credited as "editor" of that book. Maybe the company was indeed small enough then that he could personally oversee a few titles, as with Locke and Key? Well, looking further, by issue #1, Taylor had indeed already become his "and"; but still, it does seem like the best days of the series, in large concensus, had him in direct involvement, doesn't it?

None of which affects the fact that Costa sounds like a dope - well, now "knob" does just sound best to me...

Neuronutter
2011-12-10, 12:51 PM
And, turns out Ryall was in fact the first robot-with-the-head-of-a-man dude, in the back of Infiltration #0, as ...Chrischarger... And he's credited as "editor" of that book. Maybe the company was indeed small enough then that he could personally oversee a few titles, as with Locke and Key? Well, looking further, by issue #1, Taylor had indeed already become his "and"; but still, it does seem like the best days of the series, in large concensus, had him in direct involvement, doesn't it?

That's the way I read it. I think Ryall had a far better reign over the series and more control over where the stories were going. I have to wonder who gave the green light to AHM and Costa's run.

None of which affects the fact that Costa sounds like a dope - well, now "knob" does just sound best to me...

I think "knob" is exactly the right word to describe how Costa comes across in the transcripts of this interview.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-10, 01:00 PM
Still haven't had time to listen to the full interview, at the aforementioned three hours it may be a while before I do.

"Chrischarger"? That doesn't even work as a pun.

That's the way I read it. I think Ryall had a far better reign over the series and more control over where the stories were going. I have to wonder who gave the green light to AHM and Costa's run.


I've also thought Andy Schmidt came across as the real incompetent one. And by strange coincidence in interviews he also seems to be Grade A Knob Cheese as well.

Terome
2011-12-11, 05:32 PM
I have received the impression that something strange and crazy went down on Andrew Stephen Harris' watch and that now to even speak his name in the IDW offices could mean a thrashing. Although maybe the truth is far less exciting than that.

But hot damn, he must have been something if Andrew Schidmt can get away with the murder he did. I know he gets credit for greenlighting Wreckers, but I reckon that if he'd had his way entirely it would have been as forgettable as the Bumblebee series he greenlit at exactly the same time.

So I'd say that Costa's only crime is that he was poorly managed as a resource. The moment Ongoing #4 came out, he should have been put on between-arc duties for character-focused spotlight (but not Spotlight) issues where he could meet some of these fairly interesting challenges of the franchise without having to worry about steering the ship.

Red Dave Prime
2011-12-11, 09:11 PM
Blame the editors by all means ( i certainly have over the past few runs) but you have to throw a lot of blame at costa for taking a job writing about a subject he had no passion for. At all. Thats the one thing that comes clearly through in the interview. I cant understand why he even agreed to take the position.

And while I can agree that some of the criticism was maybe overly harsh, its fair to say thats the same of most things on the net. But that doesnt overlook the fact that he clearly didnt prepare himself with regard to the characters and storys that people had followed. Prime and prowl were probably the worst offences but Hot rod/ rodimus & Jazz were also badly written.

Whatever, its best he moved on. Say whatever about furman and mccarthy but I think both had passion for what they did. I'd still rate AHM over most of Costas run (although in fairness to him, he did have the better individual issues) and if Furman could only have been a bit faster and managed to finish off his plot threads probably, than the "-tion" era would have been seen as mostly a triumph.

Best of luck to Barber and Roberts. I fear that Barber in particular has a very hard task to make his story interesting, but I'll be on board. For a while anyway :)

Neuronutter
2011-12-11, 09:25 PM
I have received the impression that something strange and crazy went down on Andrew Stephen Harris' watch and that now to even speak his name in the IDW offices could mean a thrashing. Although maybe the truth is far less exciting than that.

What sort of thing? I didn't hear anything about this.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-11, 09:33 PM
What sort of thing? I didn't hear anything about this.

IIRC he was (fairly or unfairly) the fall guy for the sheer ineptitude of the Beast Wars Sourcebook (we're talking the many colouring mistakes and typos rather than some of the stupider decisions such as hiring Ben Yee to write it when he doesn't know the difference between a character profile and a synopsis of some episodes) and the high general level of basic proof reading errors around that time.


Blame the editors by all means ( i certainly have over the past few runs) but you have to throw a lot of blame at costa for taking a job writing about a subject he had no passion for. At all. Thats the one thing that comes clearly through in the interview. I cant understand why he even agreed to take the position.

I don't begrudge him taking the job, it's the peril of being a freelance writer, unless you're really well established or independently wealthy you're not really in a position to turn down work if someone's daft enough to offer it to you.

Red Dave Prime
2011-12-11, 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dave Prime View Post
Blame the editors by all means ( i certainly have over the past few runs) but you have to throw a lot of blame at costa for taking a job writing about a subject he had no passion for. At all. Thats the one thing that comes clearly through in the interview. I cant understand why he even agreed to take the position.
I don't begrudge him taking the job, it's the peril of being a freelance writer, unless you're really well established or independently wealthy you're not really in a position to turn down work if someone's daft enough to offer it to you.

In a regular day job, fine. If you are part of a team and not leading the way, fine. But if you are going to accept the position of head writer (or just about anything where creativity is a key part) you need to at least have some form of affinity for what you are getting paid to do. If he was just doing it for the pay packet he should quit bitching about the response to his work. You cant expect praise if you were never interested in the first place.

Blackjack
2011-12-12, 09:06 PM
And this destroys what little respect I have for Costa. No doubt any good that's in chaos or the more recent issues is the work of James Roberts and the others.

Heck, at the very least tossers like Shane McCarthy or, hell, Pat Lee are enthusiastic about the brand.

Denyer
2011-12-12, 11:15 PM
I'd say that Costa's only crime is that he was poorly managed as a resource.
Early Furman and Wreckers are the main examples where writers haven't been poorly managed, and I suspect that's largely because a) Furman's better at beginnings than closure or even middle, and b) Roberts/Roche don't need managing.

I'm missing a block of time... can someone please remind me when we're getting Roberts issues again? Already started?

zigzagger
2011-12-12, 11:34 PM
I'm missing a block of time... can someone please remind me when we're getting Roberts issues again? Already started?
January. Roberts will be writing for More Than Meets The Eye (http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=50484).

Though, if you can't wait, he'll also be writing the final issue of the ongoing. The one that was originally going to be numbered as the 125th issue, but was renamed The Death of Optimus Prime instead of simply being, you know, the 32nd issue because I guess that'd be too hard to follow. But then, it is IDW.

Terome
2011-12-13, 01:14 AM
.Early Furman and Wreckers are the main examples where writers haven't been poorly managed, and I suspect that's largely because a) Furman's better at beginnings than closure or even middle, and b) Roberts/Roche don't need managing.

Can't remember the source, but I seem to recall some talk about Schimdt being very involved in Wreckers... Roberts and Roche are gentlemanly enough, though, not to reveal whether that was a good thing or not

.

Heck, at the very least tossers like Shane McCarthy or, hell, Pat Lee are enthusiastic about the brand.

Was McCarthy a tosser? I mean, his comics weren't that great but if they'd been repackaged as a Sunbow 'Lost Seasons' deal they would have been a lot easier to take.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-13, 08:10 AM
McCarthy waded into the comic sales thread when someone pointed out how AHM #1 had sold only marginally better than Devastation in order to go "The Diamond sales figures are wrong! My comic sold loads and loads and loads more than that it did indeed", in the sort of arrogant posting style that's like having a cock slapped in your face. When other people asked politely how this massive sales disparity happened (was it a one off freaky thing that just affected his sales? Were all the figures off- in which case Devastation's sales would have been equally higher as well) he went strangely mute. So a not terribly smart liar at the very least.

To be honest though, even in the age of the fan writer the number of Transformers authors we've had over the years with any real passion of enthusiasm for the brand are still far outweighed by those who just did it for the money (including lest we forget, Furman when he started out. And possibly when he was in the middle as well. And arguably at the end too). There's no shame in being a writer for hire, it's how you approach the work that matters. I'd doubt the writer of Dark Awakening thought any more of Transformers than Don Glutt did, they still put the work in for their money though in a way that he... well didn't.

Skyquake87
2011-12-13, 08:43 AM
Indeed. Most 'good' writers will search for an angle, an approach into a project that they can run with. You can also include Budiansky in the same breath as Furman too, and look what he came up with - all those profiles, the 'are all dead' stuff, and (amusingly in an age when this criticism is levelled at Bay) a focus on the TFs alien nature and how they would interact with humans.

Aside: I rather liked what McDonagh & Patyk were doing at DW. I wonder why IDW haven't approached them to do something..?

Neuronutter
2011-12-13, 03:51 PM
Aside: I rather liked what McDonagh & Patyk were doing at DW. I wonder why IDW haven't approached them to do something..?

I don't think they escaped the whole DW debacle without a little tarnishing, so I'd be surprised if IDW would consider hiring them. In all the sh*t slinging that went on I think everyone got a little splattered. Furman was probably one of the few that escaped unscathed.

Wonder where that whole mess is now with regards creators getting paid, legalities being tied up and everything moving on. Would have liked to gotten my hands on some of the trades that could be printed when the whole mess is cleared.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-13, 08:16 PM
I believe they were (and possibly still are, they've been quite for a while) refusing to so much as even reveal any of their aborted storylines until they'd been paid, as that's pretty much unlikely to happen I guess we won't be seeing them again.

Terome
2011-12-13, 08:26 PM
I believe they were (and possibly still are, they've been quite for a while) refusing to so much as even reveal any of their aborted storylines until they'd been paid, as that's pretty much unlikely to happen I guess we won't be seeing them again.

Bless their spikey little heads.

The invocation of Brad Mick, however, should do to remind us all that pure, unadulterated love for the brand is not sufficient for the production of good comics.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-13, 08:50 PM
They were also a bit annoying going around forums proclaiming "We'd love to tell you what would have happened, and if IDW cared about the fans they'd see our money got to us so we could" style posts whilst arguing with some other ex-Dreamwave tosser who was going around telling people they were going to make Sunstreaker gay (which has got to be bollocks, can you see Hasbro approving that?).

Terome
2011-12-13, 08:57 PM
It was Transformers comics' 'bro' phase, wasn't it?

inflatable dalek
2011-12-14, 09:22 AM
Having now heard the interview (which, after all the new and preamble is probably about an hour and a halfish long)... Hmmmm.

First I should say it was a very well conducted interview, the two doing the questioning were obviously taken slightly aback by how honest he was being, but still managed to stay on top of it and (despite clearly liking him) asked the right difficult questions without being needlessly agressive or pushy. As always with Moonbase 2, a good job done and is well worth the listen for context.

And yes, he does come over better in it. More hesitant and apologetic than out and out hostile. But there's still a lot I'd take issue with, and most of his arguments are fairly lazy strawmen that could just as easily be used to prove the opposite ("People who liked Costa's stuff only did so because they don't read anough other comics to realise how bad he is" for example).

There's actually a lot I'd like to say in countenance to his thoughts (especially on why I kept buying a comic I wasn't enjoying for as long as I did), and will probably knock out a very long and dull blog on the subject later. But three points that especially grabbed me first:

1: Blaming Dreamwave for current continued bad sales is a very low blow, especially as IDW merrily carried on many of their business practices (half a dozen covers for each issue), mini series based structure and even most of the people working on the books. And GI Joe also started off as a number 1 book IIRC, but sales have still dropped off there over the years despite Devil's Due not being EVIL. Mainly due to the fall off in the disposable income of the 80's generation than anything to do with the quality as such. Strawmen again.

2: Up to now Roberts' (and possibly Barber, but I've not been paying any attention to what the lesser IDW lights have been saying) has said several times the two ongoings was an entirely natural result of end of Chaos. According to Costa it was the result of Schmidt going "I want two... maybe three books on the go at the same time" and the story being arranged to meet this requirement. Indeed, it looks as if Schmidt's shadow will be hanging over the book for a while as he set a lot in motion.

3: Costa hate's stories with lengthy flashbacks as apparently they're not dramatic. OK, lets ignore how stupid this and not go off on one quoting the many, many successful flashback based stories done in many medium... Is that a possibly subconscious dig at Chaos Theory? And what would Doctor Freud say about him using his last issue to turn all IDW's output into one long flashback?

Cliffjumper
2011-12-14, 02:04 PM
I would say that while Furman really isn't bad at them (e.g. Target 2006), flashback issues very, very often aren't well implemented - the amount of bad 1990s comics (especially Image, but a lot of Marvel as well) that start off with the hero getting batted around by some new villain for a nice dramatic splash page and start to an issue before being followed by narrative boxes of Wolverine/Spider-Man/Battalion/Bloodpouch (http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/2/27874/877937-bloodpouch_super.jpg) using their time as a punch-bag to think "How did I get into this mess?" followed by a plodding recollection during said fight makes it a bit of a tired old cliche.

The blaming of low sales on DW is a pretty desperate thing, though, agree there. They can be blamed for a slow start, but a lack of growth or even maintenance of readership level (figures are round a third of Infiltration, and seem to be dropping by about a thousand with every fresh start the G1 book is given) is down to IDW. A lot more readers had their fingers burnt by investing in the Deadfurmanverse than ever did by DW. IDW have shown no loyalty to the reader, therefore readers show no loyalty to them.

Cliffjumper
2011-12-14, 02:14 PM
Aside: I rather liked what McDonagh & Patyk were doing at DW. I wonder why IDW haven't approached them to do something..?

I strongly, strongly believe they were punching it up on the fly. I think they had a couple of grand points planned and a few loose ideas, but beyond that... War & Peace is a six-issue self-contained mini-series with a plot that just changes about every ten pages. Both it and the ongoing have no more tricks than 'introducing' (then) 15+ year old characters every issue. Whole plots were contrived to allow widespread patisches of the '86 film (with Prime and Megatron both on the mend and scheduled for the big #12, do we honestly think it wasn't leading to "One shall stand, one shall fall?").

inflatable dalek
2011-12-14, 08:46 PM
I would say that while Furman really isn't bad at them (e.g. Target 2006), flashback issues very, very often aren't well implemented - the amount of bad 1990s comics (especially Image, but a lot of Marvel as well) that start off with the hero getting batted around by some new villain for a nice dramatic splash page and start to an issue before being followed by narrative boxes of Wolverine/Spider-Man/Battalion/Bloodpouch (http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/2/27874/877937-bloodpouch_super.jpg) using their time as a punch-bag to think "How did I get into this mess?" followed by a plodding recollection during said fight makes it a bit of a tired old cliche.

Oh sure, there's going to be just as many bad example as good, that's what makes it a strawman argument. Plus he wasn't talking about comics specifically, but claiming flashbacks are bad drama full stop, which gets even sillier (there's an especially uncomfortable bit where he tries to get the presenter who is studying dramatic writing to agree with him).

Blackjack
2011-12-15, 02:56 PM
Was McCarthy a tosser? I mean, his comics weren't that great but if they'd been repackaged as a Sunbow 'Lost Seasons' deal they would have been a lot easier to take.

What Dalek said.

He's not as terrible as Pat Lee, but he keeps insisting that AHM is better by insisting that sales figures are wrong and stuff like that. Quite an arrogant fellow. And there's all that cock-waving about how Drift was 'the best character ever that has never been seen in Transformers before, Hasbro is sure to make a toy out of him, hur hur' thing.

I mean, like it's been brought up, of course not everyone can be in it for the passion and for the art, and money's into the equation as well, but it boggles my mind how someone who seems to be as uninterested in the franchise like Mike Costa can be made into the 'main writer' for the good part of two years or thereabouts, weaving in and out between giving half-assed stories and some almost-wonderful ones...

Vin Ghostal
2011-12-15, 07:24 PM
The guy comes off as a straight douche. He spends half the interview criticizing, demeaning, and degrading the fans, then admits that he himself didn't have a goddamn clue how to write a Transformers story.

So you suck at your job, and the fans agree! Where's the conflict?

He makes it seem as though it's just impossible, by definition, to write a compelling Transformers narrative, even though others have done it before him. Fine - if you think it's that f*cking difficult, don't do it. I don't play for the Washington Capitals because I CAN'T F*CKING SKATE.

Neuronutter
2011-12-15, 07:26 PM
Nice summary of the interview, Dalek. Glad you listened to it so I don't have to.

What Dalek said.

He's not as terrible as Pat Lee, but he keeps insisting that AHM is better by insisting that sales figures are wrong and stuff like that. Quite an arrogant fellow. And there's all that cock-waving about how Drift was 'the best character ever that has never been seen in Transformers before, Hasbro is sure to make a toy out of him, hur hur' thing.

I mean, like it's been brought up, of course not everyone can be in it for the passion and for the art, and money's into the equation as well, but it boggles my mind how someone who seems to be as uninterested in the franchise like Mike Costa can be made into the 'main writer' for the good part of two years or thereabouts, weaving in and out between giving half-assed stories and some almost-wonderful ones...

I think that's my main issue with Costa's run. It's just so damn half-arsed and not thought through. There's no passion for the series, and annoyance from costa that everyone else doesn't see how brilliant it is, whether they've read no comics or all of them. The series is just not very good.

I did like the Drift mini far more than I expected. I also enjoyed the spotlight more once I'd read the mini. And yes I feel ashamed. And is anyone as terrible as Pat Lee?

Cliffjumper
2011-12-15, 07:43 PM
And is anyone as terrible as Pat Lee?

Nope. Stiffing some naive hacks out of a few thousand dollars makes him history's greatest monster.

There's a joke about perspective in there somewhere, but I'm a pretty lazy person.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-15, 09:06 PM
I respect Pat Lee more for refusing to pay for half the crap his company turned out. It was better spent on the Porsche frankly, I suspect the car had a firmer grasp of art and storytelling anyway.

Neuronutter
2011-12-15, 09:18 PM
Nope. Stiffing some naive hacks out of a few thousand dollars makes him history's greatest monster.


Pat Lee's like Saddam, Pol Pot and Gaddafi all rolled into one.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-16, 08:12 AM
And lets not forget, he managed to hoodwink Alex Milne not once, but twice. Which is pure comedy gold in and of itself. I wouldn't be surprised if IDW don't pay him either considering how easy it is to string him along. Lee's not evil, he's the Transformers version of Jeremy Beadle.

The current Moonbase 2 podcast has a lengthy James Roberts' interview that, if nothing else, shows he can talk the talk better than Costa (he even manages to make the fact he's completely revamping Drift's character seem like it isn't a desperate attempt to make someone like the poor bugger). Only a month to go till we find out if he can walk the walk on an ongoing as well.

inflatable dalek
2011-12-21, 09:25 AM
My (apologetically) lengthy thoughts on the main points of the interview, and the current state of Transformers in general:
http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/1/post/2011/12/the-costa-good-comics.html.

Roberts really does have a huge hole to dig the comics out of doesn't he? Apologies to Mr. Barber, but if it were just you (or just about any other writer working with you) it would be very hard for me to give a toss.

EDIT: Oh, and just as I finish that, I find Chris Ryall tweeted this in response to the interview (courtesy Transfans):


Sometimes you spend your afternoon at the Magic Kingdom only to find an exploding inbox full of very avoidable problems.

Freelancers, really, take this to heart: if you're writing characters you don't own and want to keep writing them, mind what you say online.

Alright, well, now that I know what my tomorrow will be, might as well not think about it any more until then. G'night all.

I assume that was the stuff he said about the origin of the new books which contradicted the Official Line was what caused especial annoyance? Though the Magic Kingdom crap makes me actually like Costa more by default.

The Reverend
2011-12-21, 11:43 AM
(chuckle) I stopped reading IDW early on. Dreamwave had its faults, but IDWs emphasis on drawing lots of ECUs of eyes and mouths annoyed me. :)

StarscreamX
2012-01-05, 01:30 PM
So just to recap

When they needed someone to write their shiny new Transformers comic, IDW picked a bloke who doesn't understand the characters, doesn't like the characters, doesn't know how to WRITE the characters and thinks that all of the readers are a bit mental and would much rather be writing something else instead

GENIUS

:wtf:

Red Dave Prime
2012-01-05, 02:36 PM
Hey, dont forget they kept him on for 2+ years.

Neuronutter
2012-01-05, 09:52 PM
So just to recap

When they needed someone to write their shiny new Transformers comic, IDW picked a bloke who doesn't understand the characters, doesn't like the characters, doesn't know how to WRITE the characters and thinks that all of the readers are a bit mental and would much rather be writing something else instead

GENIUS

:wtf:

Awesome. That really is too funny!

Cliffjumper
2012-01-05, 09:57 PM
Hey, dont forget they kept him on for 2+ years.

Furman was on the book for much more than 2 years. Infiltration was seven years long for a start.

Red Dave Prime
2012-01-06, 06:35 AM
Furman at least likes the subject. Comparing his run to costas is more than a bit unfair.

StarscreamX
2012-01-07, 06:17 PM
Furman was on the book for much more than 2 years. Infiltration was seven years long for a start.

Furman's run wasn't very good either it's true :( but I would argue his run was a bit better than Costa's. Furman's big problem was that he didn't seem to know how to actually tell a story anymore, setting up about a hundred subplots that got maybe two pages worth of development (if we were lucky) each issue. In a way it's a good thing IDW made him hurry up and conclude them or we'd probably still be waiting for any development on the Dinobot/Dead Universe/Machination/Facsimile plotlines to this day.

But at the same time, he managed to write most of the characters pretty well and gave us some fun moments with some cool characters. And Verity, Jimmy and Hunter O-this-name-is-bloody-ridiculous were, while forgettable, not as annoying as Spike.

I'd say Furman was better than Costa. But then that's a bit like saying a punch in the face is better than a kick in the bollocks. They both hurt, one just hurts slightly less

poyguimogul
2012-01-11, 11:47 PM
"We are failing because Dreamwave was better."

We know. (or at least I do)