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View Full Version : Question on IDW's reprints (Dreamwave, Marvel UK etC)


relak
2012-03-28, 12:37 PM
I've recently purchased a bunch of books
- Transformers Armada 1-3
- Transformers Generation 1 vol 1 and 2
- Transformers: Best of UK Omnibus
- Transformers War Within Omnibus

They came cheap but im starting to suspect i was sold defective products.

The "Best of UK" omnibus had serious color issues. the colors seemed a lot more dull than usual. Darker colors like browns of blacks would totally mask the linework and turn the character into one big smudge. This is particularly apparent in the "Space Pirates" section.

Transformers Armada books had random pages where the art was literally BLURRED. As if someone jostled the printing machine while the pages were being printed.

Now here comes a problem i found with ALL the Dreamwave reproductions with the exception of most of War Within 1 and 2. Many pages seemed as if someone at IDW just Xeroxed their old Dreamwave comics instead of reprinting them from the original files. I mean COME ON! There are digital copies of those comics, in near perfect resolution, floating around the internet. USE THOSE instead of xeroxing some employees old collection.
The worst offenders of this is stuff like Armada's final chapter and War Within Preview chapter (meeting between Starscream and Grimlock).
Seriously, i can get better resolution than that using my handphone camera.

Now, can anyone tell me if i've just been swindled with defective books or is this the actual output from IDW???

inflatable dalek
2012-03-28, 06:26 PM
The reprint of Armada was definitely a bit shoddy, like poor quality scans with at least one bad misprint on one page that wasn't on the original issue.

The second Classic UK book also manages to print a couple of pages out of order, alongside some fairly overt typos in the making of sections.

Cliffjumper
2012-03-28, 07:16 PM
It's IDW. They **** everything up because they're completely incompetent and they do not give a shit about quality as long as a bunch of submissive fans shell out for TF material.

inflatable dalek
2012-03-28, 07:24 PM
The oddest thing is a really overt factual error that's presumably the result of a brain fart on Roberts' part where he talks about Devastation Derby featuring Will Simpson's first art since Christmas Breaker despite the fact that earlier pages in this very book prove this wrong. Furman taking the chance to kick Simpson's art is a bit unpalatable as well, sure, I think Simpson is terrible (probably my least favourite of the regular artists) but I'm not the books one time editor who kept hiring him.

Shame as all the new info (ranging from how Marvel UK came close to doing a European comic with new content through to a great in-depth interview with James Hill, that really does show he was probably the first really enthusiastic person to be involved with writing Transformers. The pitch he made to IDW for a comic adaptation of the story is about 5000 times more interesting than Megatron Origin as well) is pure gold.

relak
2012-03-29, 12:08 AM
The reprint of Armada was definitely a bit shoddy, like poor quality scans with at least one bad misprint on one page that wasn't on the original issue.

The second Classic UK book also manages to print a couple of pages out of order, alongside some fairly overt typos in the making of sections.

So they actually did grab some employee's old Dreamwave comics and xeroxed them?

Why even bother scanning when they can print from a digital copy?

Skyquake87
2012-03-29, 08:37 AM
The oddest thing is a really overt factual error that's presumably the result of a brain fart on Roberts' part where he talks about Devastation Derby featuring Will Simpson's first art since Christmas Breaker despite the fact that earlier pages in this very book prove this wrong. Furman taking the chance to kick Simpson's art is a bit unpalatable as well, sure, I think Simpson is terrible (probably my least favourite of the regular artists) but I'm not the books one time editor who kept hiring him.

Shame as all the new info (ranging from how Marvel UK came close to doing a European comic with new content through to a great in-depth interview with James Hill, that really does show he was probably the first really enthusiastic person to be involved with writing Transformers. The pitch he made to IDW for a comic adaptation of the story is about 5000 times more interesting than Megatron Origin as well) is pure gold.

Bad Furman, bad! I liked Will Simpson's art. It suffers from being a bit too busy (notably during Dinobot Hunt), but once he starts toning his linework down, it improves dramatically, I'm thinking from around The National Interest up. I wonder why James Hill was never given more work for the weekly - obviously, Furman becoming writer/editor would have nixed that, but I'm thinking earlier on. Was Furman cheaper/ more prolific?

Cliffjumper
2012-03-29, 01:13 PM
Yes, probably. Marvel had all sorts of writers on most of their other titles (ranging from Grant Morrison and Jamie Delano to whichever talentless piece of shit wrote that Blues Brothers rip-off 2000AD clearly rejected) and all we got on Transformers was Furman and occasional "script" by the British Jeph Loeb, Dan "Not the man, but a man, will that do?" Abnett.

I'd have a lot more time for Furman if he just shut his stupid shiny head a bit more often. He's got an astonishing ego for someone who's been cancelled more times than Star Trek.

I suspect any criticism of Simpson comes from him straying outside the little cabal they had. I like Will's stuff, TBH. He's great at grotesque stuff (the first look at Jazz in the torture machine in T2006, ****ing Hell; Christmas Break-er, etc.) and he's actually doing comic art rather than posing character models (Hi, Jeff! Hi, every Transformers artist of the past two decades except Nick Roche!).

I love the desert section he did in Dinobot Hunt. That's what the desert's like, it's not just the beach without the sea.

inflatable dalek
2012-03-29, 07:05 PM
So they actually did grab some employee's old Dreamwave comics and xeroxed them?

Why even bother scanning when they can print from a digital copy?

I'd guess using online scans would be a no-no due to their illegality, though that doesn't explain why they didn't do their own scans. It's not as if anything they've reprinted from Dreamwave is especially hard to find, only the (still?) up in legal limbo third series and difficult to do as a book WW3 and GI Joe 2 contain anything people might be holding on to.


I suspect any criticism of Simpson comes from him straying outside the little cabal they had. I like Will's stuff, TBH. He's great at grotesque stuff (the first look at Jazz in the torture machine in T2006, ****ing Hell; Christmas Break-er, etc.) and he's actually doing comic art rather than posing character models (Hi, Jeff! Hi, every Transformers artist of the past two decades except Nick Roche!).

It does somewhat hilariously mention in the book that it wasn't any dissatisfaction with his work that saw him depart the book but the fact 2000 AD came calling for him shortly after it did Barry Kitson (who, incidentally, got a story credit on Robot Buster as a sweetener to try and keep him around, "OK, you don't like drawing robots, what would appeal to you?").

One of the great things about the UK comic, as much as it might have been nice to chain Geoff Senior to a desk and make him draw everything until his fingers bled, is that the sheer variety of artists and styles means there's something for everyone. Simpson doesn't do it for me personally, I find his work far too gangly myself (and it's always struck me as odd he kept using more toy based art long after everyone else stopped), but I'm the man who likes Dan Reed so what do I know?

Skyquake87
2012-03-29, 07:26 PM
Yes, probably. Marvel had all sorts of writers on most of their other titles (ranging from Grant Morrison and Jamie Delano to whichever talentless piece of shit wrote that Blues Brothers rip-off 2000AD clearly rejected) and all we got on Transformers was Furman and occasional "script" by the British Jeph Loeb, Dan "Not the man, but a man, will that do?" Abnett.

I'd have a lot more time for Furman if he just shut his stupid shiny head a bit more often. He's got an astonishing ego for someone who's been cancelled more times than Star Trek.

I suspect any criticism of Simpson comes from him straying outside the little cabal they had. I like Will's stuff, TBH. He's great at grotesque stuff (the first look at Jazz in the torture machine in T2006, ****ing Hell; Christmas Break-er, etc.) and he's actually doing comic art rather than posing character models (Hi, Jeff! Hi, every Transformers artist of the past two decades except Nick Roche!).

I love the desert section he did in Dinobot Hunt. That's what the desert's like, it's not just the beach without the sea.

that'll be sleeze brothers by andrew cartmel (really!) and andy lanning.it is rubbish.shame really as lanning's art was nice.

inflatable dalek
2012-03-29, 07:34 PM
Cartmel did the Sleeze Brothers? Bloody hell.

EDIT: Though, having checked as I thought it was odd the Cold Day in Hell trade extras didn't mention this, not according to the Wikiepdia page for the boys, which claims it was John Carnell.

Skyquake87
2012-03-29, 07:39 PM
Whoops.my bad.put that down to my age.i have the comics (along with other marvel uk horrors) but am on the bus at the moment so not really convenient to check!

inflatable dalek
2012-03-29, 07:47 PM
Whoops.my bad.put that down to my age.i have the comics (along with other marvel uk horrors) but am on the bus at the moment so not really convenient to check!

The names are similar enough to make mixing up understandable. The Who crossover strip is the only Sleeze Brothers I've read and blimey O'Reilly, it is bloody awful. A Time Bandits style (literally in the shamelessly cribbed Titanic sequence) black comedy where the Doctor accidentally causes lots of terrible disasters throughout history being chased by these bozos might have been good, but that wasn't anywhere near working.

Cliffjumper
2012-03-29, 08:19 PM
Yup, Carnell. Did ****-all else; probably something in Strip no-one read or whatever. It's a genuinely god-awful series, really pleased with itself despite the fact there's not a single new idea in it. The TF strips were the funniest thing about it, and they were like watching someone take a Stanley knife to a baby's face.

RE: DW masters, they might be using scans. Just because the rights reverted to Hasbro when DW folded doesn't necessarily mean negatives and digital masters have been handed over, and I doubt Hasbro or IDW give enough of a **** to physically seize them if they are still with Pat and Roger or whatever. It's not much different from the way they legally own toy moulds that are in the possession of Chinese bootleggers.

Any actual scanning is probably menial intern/dogsbody work, and considering IDW's writers and editors can't be ****ed to do anything properly the scanners are unlikely to be motivated individuals striving to deliver quality work.

relak
2012-03-30, 12:11 AM
RE: DW masters, they might be using scans. Just because the rights reverted to Hasbro when DW folded doesn't necessarily mean negatives and digital masters have been handed over, and I doubt Hasbro or IDW give enough of a **** to physically seize them if they are still with Pat and Roger or whatever. It's not much different from the way they legally own toy moulds that are in the possession of Chinese bootleggers.

Any actual scanning is probably menial intern/dogsbody work, and considering IDW's writers and editors can't be ****ed to do anything properly the scanners are unlikely to be motivated individuals striving to deliver quality work.

Good points.
But whats weird is that especially with Armada's "Worlds Collide" chapters, its not as if a whole issue was badly scanned.

A few pages were badly scanned then the rest of the pages were perfect, just like on the single issues, then the last few pages were badly scanned again.

Its as if the only had the negatives or digital masters for the odd page here and there.

Oh IDW, was it really that hard to secure EVERYTHING to do with the story (rights, original art masters, etc) before reprinting it?

inflatable dalek
2012-03-30, 04:43 PM
Oh IDW, was it really that hard to secure EVERYTHING to do with the story (rights, original art masters, etc) before reprinting it?

Probably, IDW may have the reprint rights but even if Dreamwave hadn't gone pffft in a little puff of smoke they, like Marvel, wouldn't be under any obligation to hand over the masters that presumably do remain their property even if they can't use them. With the collapse I suspect there were other, more papery and green coloured, things higher on the list people wanted to get out of the Lee brothers.

Still doesn't excuse the poor scanning or lack of basic proof reading though.

relak
2012-03-31, 12:33 AM
Probably, IDW may have the reprint rights but even if Dreamwave hadn't gone pffft in a little puff of smoke they, like Marvel, wouldn't be under any obligation to hand over the masters that presumably do remain their property even if they can't use them. With the collapse I suspect there were other, more papery and green coloured, things higher on the list people wanted to get out of the Lee brothers.

Still doesn't excuse the poor scanning or lack of basic proof reading though.

If it really was about money, then wont it be a win win situation?

IDW pays the lee brothers for the original masters on the dreamwave TF comics.

Lee brothers are then able to pay off the people they duped.

Cliffjumper
2012-03-31, 03:14 AM
IDW once horded convention-only comics, 'found' them a short while down the line and then sold them via the site store for $50 apiece. They like spending as little as possible with maximum return, which is why most of their TF comics have about nine covers.

TBH, scans of back issues should have been more than adequate - it's a surprisingly common route for a lot of collections. It just sounds like IDW haven't done a good job of it, just accepting the first results without bothering checking if they're any good. It's an unsurprising extension of their general ethos, same as the way they can't even be bothered to make sure speech bubbles point at the right characters or find out if Furman had any plans to make his stories go anywhere before publishing 30-odd issues.

inflatable dalek
2012-03-31, 04:26 PM
Yeah, it's worth remembering that some, very likely all, of the Titan trades were scans as well (Furman was the one who actually had to hunt down issues on Ebay, IIRC he specifically mentioned Headmasters issue 4. Presumably Target: 2006 was still lost in a postal sorting office somewhere as well) with very few problems. A bit of a printing fubar on a page of On The Edge of Extinction being about their worst cock up.

Cliffjumper
2012-03-31, 04:32 PM
With minor league stuff like Transformers, especially anything that's handed around multiple publishers, hi-res scans are probably a lot easier than the expense and risk of shipping around negatives these days. If nothing else I suspect Marvel or whoever would want Titan/IDW/whoever to pay for the freight and probably wouldn't be overly helpful for digging stuff out in the first place.

relak
2012-03-31, 04:41 PM
Yeah, it's worth remembering that some, very likely all, of the Titan trades were scans as well (Furman was the one who actually had to hunt down issues on Ebay, IIRC he specifically mentioned Headmasters issue 4. Presumably Target: 2006 was still lost in a postal sorting office somewhere as well) with very few problems. A bit of a printing fubar on a page of On The Edge of Extinction being about their worst cock up.
seriously??

I found the titan reprints of the Marvel US stuff (yes other than the blurred pages in End of the Road) to be the best so far among all the releases.

I have sat down with my Titan tpb and compared page by page with Generations, Classic Transformers and the latest Transformers Classics vol 1. The comparison was made using "Warrior School" as a common reference.

inflatable dalek
2012-03-31, 04:45 PM
EDIT:

@Cliffy:

Yeah, Panini's archive is supposed to be excellent (when they reprinted issue one of Doctor Who Weekly for its thirtieth anniversary they were able to do it because they still had all the masters for the entire issue, adverts and all, with only the free transfers being impossible to reproduce) despite several moves and changes of ownership, but there'd be very little incentive to go looking down in the vaults for stuff. Same applies to Marvel US. And that's with companies that, unlike Dreamwave, still have offices.

And of course, scanning technology has probably come on a great deal in the decade since Titan did theirs, so if anything the IDW books should be of a higher quality.

@Relak: So Furman claimed at the time. Titan have good form with representing comics for which the originals are long gone though, before it folded Dreamwatch magazine had a very good feature on the work they put into scanning and remastering the Bond strips from poor quality newsprint. You'd never tell from looking at most of them.

Cliffjumper
2012-03-31, 07:09 PM
With Panini, that's Panini doing a reprint of stuff located on their premises for one of their own titles; most things tend to look very good with that (Marvel 1960s reprints, for example). Marvel USA's archive is probably very comprehensive even for something as low down the food chain as Transformers, but I doubt they're going to send someone down the vault to hook out masters for a competitor to reprint.

TBH, I wouldn't be surprised if the comic rights don't automatically include masters. IDW probably have the rights to reprint whatever they like (less Spidey and the other gubbins but let's not sidetrack), but it's up to them to lay their hands on the source material - and the easiest way to do that is to scan. Especially as DW back issues are 99p and printed on decent paper.

Skyquake87
2012-04-01, 08:26 AM
Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel (or whomever) can lay claim to some sort of ownership of the artwork that was produced under them that would make selling on the negatives cost prohibitive...

...that said, IDW have churned out those weird 'art books' reprinting the original inked artwork for Walt Simononson's run on Thor and John Romita's run on Spiderman, so its not impossible. Mind you, if they've spent money acquiring some sort of rights deal with Marvel over these (maybe as part and parcel of picking up the TF stuff if these were something they wanted to do) and seem to have put a bit of effort into those, i can see how the TF stuff would be somewhat lacking.

@dalek - titan did have a major fub in the Legacy Of Unicron collection. There's a two page spread in #147 of the UK comic where everyone is fighting and Ttian have split this over a facing page and the next page as you turn it over (hope that makes sense!) rather than putting in a bit of place holder artwork ( a cover or something) to allow that splash to be put over two adjacent pages. Even now that annoys me, because it both looks rubbish and disturbs the way the strip is supposed to be read.

relak
2012-04-01, 01:03 PM
Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel (or whomever) can lay claim to some sort of ownership of the artwork that was produced under them that would make selling on the negatives cost prohibitive...

...that said, IDW have churned out those weird 'art books' reprinting the original inked artwork for Walt Simononson's run on Thor and John Romita's run on Spiderman, so its not impossible. Mind you, if they've spent money acquiring some sort of rights deal with Marvel over these (maybe as part and parcel of picking up the TF stuff if these were something they wanted to do) and seem to have put a bit of effort into those, i can see how the TF stuff would be somewhat lacking.


Oh yea the "Artist's Edition".
It wasnt Simonson's whole run though. just 1 issue worth and some extra stuff.

But if im not wrong, most of the scans were reproduced using the artists own original artwork. Perhaps they approached the artists indivudually for the artwork and only approached marvel for the rights to reprint.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-01, 01:36 PM
Yeh, in the sixties and earlier (not sure how much later) artists often retrieved their original work - before TPBs or reprints in anything other than an emergency were that common, publishers had little use for anything once the issues were printed. Fleetway at least used to burn stacks and stacks of unclaimed pages as it was a fire hazard keeping them in King's Reach.

Even when TFs started TPBs were a) generally for only popular, worthy stories rather than shit like Devastation or Maximum Emobots and b) generally only contained the issues, maybe the covers and a foreword that usually went to manic lengths to justify the book's existence (Boxtree, who were sort-of a prototype Titan, actually went to great lengths to hide the original format, slicing credits, titles, "Next month - Wolverine stabs people!" and the like from X-Men issues to try and pass things off as a genuine book-length graphic novel), so there was generally little call for original pencils and the like.

One interesting thing is that the inked pencils for the first 7 issues of Marvel US's Transformers could well be at Panini, as the early B&W reprints must be taken from uncoloured art to look as good as they do.

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-04-01, 02:10 PM
Oh yea the "Artist's Edition".
It wasnt Simonson's whole run though. just 1 issue worth and some extra stuff.

But if im not wrong, most of the scans were reproduced using the artists own original artwork. Perhaps they approached the artists indivudually for the artwork and only approached marvel for the rights to reprint.

They also have done and/or plan to release Artist Editons of: Dave Steven's The Rocketeer, Will Esiner's The Spirit, Wally Wood's EC Comics, Dave Mazzucchelli's Daredevil: Born Again, and [i]Serigo Agones' Groo, The Wander[/i


Yeh, in the sixties and earlier (not sure how much later) artists often retrieved their original work - before TPBs or reprints in anything other than an emergency were that common, publishers had little use for anything once the issues were printed. Fleetway at least used to burn stacks and stacks of unclaimed pages as it was a fire hazard keeping them in King's Reach.

In the US most artists working for Marvel and DC wouldn't get the artwork back. It wasn't until the mid-to-late 70s when new artists like Neal Adams learned that while the characters he drew were owned by their respective owners he and other artists actully owned the rights the artwork and could sell it and make a small forture off of it. Of course Marvel and DC didn't like that idea and fought it tooth and nail but ultimately the artists won. It didn't stop Marvel from screwing Jack Kirby over by claiming he had to sign away all claims to the characters he co-created with Stan Lee, or saying that they lost most or all of his artwork from the 60s (you know the real valuable stuff).

inflatable dalek
2012-04-01, 04:04 PM
With Panini, that's Panini doing a reprint of stuff located on their premises for one of their own titles; most things tend to look very good with that (Marvel 1960s reprints, for example). Marvel USA's archive is probably very comprehensive even for something as low down the food chain as Transformers, but I doubt they're going to send someone down the vault to hook out masters for a competitor to reprint.

Oh sure, it's a different kettle of fish, it just shows that there's more than a good chance that most of what they have is still down in the basement bar any more misplacings (which, considering that during the 8 year run they seem to have lost part of 2006 and Man of Iron separately isn't impossible).



@dalek - titan did have a major fub in the Legacy Of Unicron collection. There's a two page spread in #147 of the UK comic where everyone is fighting and Ttian have split this over a facing page and the next page as you turn it over (hope that makes sense!) rather than putting in a bit of place holder artwork ( a cover or something) to allow that splash to be put over two adjacent pages. Even now that annoys me, because it both looks rubbish and disturbs the way the strip is supposed to be read.

I'd managed to forget that one. Very annoying, and surprising as other wise Titan were very good at that sort of thing. Perhaps Dan Reed just confused the proof reader?

Yeh, in the sixties and earlier (not sure how much later) artists often retrieved their original work - before TPBs or reprints in anything other than an emergency were that common, publishers had little use for anything once the issues were printed. Fleetway at least used to burn stacks and stacks of unclaimed pages as it was a fire hazard keeping them in King's Reach.

Yeah, the TF artists seem to have kept most of their pages to be able to either sell them on now (Sullivan and Wildman. With Andy- unless he ever moved to the States- getting his back from another continent as well) or get annoyed at having given them away/chucked them before realising people might want to buy them (Senior). Presumably Senior's test art based on Decepticon Damnbusters IDW reprinted came from him as well.


Even when TFs started TPBs were a) generally for only popular, worthy stories rather than shit like Devastation or Maximum Emobots and b) generally only contained the issues, maybe the covers and a foreword that usually went to manic lengths to justify the book's existence (Boxtree, who were sort-of a prototype Titan, actually went to great lengths to hide the original format, slicing credits, titles, "Next month - Wolverine stabs people!" and the like from X-Men issues to try and pass things off as a genuine book-length graphic novel), so there was generally little call for original pencils and the like.

Yep, I've got a couple of Titan's DC Trek trades done like that. And of course, their TF books started off based around representing a block of issues that could (if you squint a bit) be presented as one big story split over two volumes.

One interesting thing is that the inked pencils for the first 7 issues of Marvel US's Transformers could well be at Panini, as the early B&W reprints must be taken from uncoloured art to look as good as they do.

Would they? I was under the impression that masters for comics come in two parts, one with the art and one with the colours, allowing for easy separation without the need for the original art. Though I'm no expert and may be wrong on that.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-01, 04:16 PM
Yeh, bad phrasing - I meant that Marvel UK probably had the masters for those issues at least at some point rather than whatever the next stage in the process is.

inflatable dalek
2012-04-01, 11:26 PM
Shame they didn't swap them back for the Man of Iron ones else they might have actually been able to go through with the "Complete" series of reprints as back up strips plan.

I always felt a bit of an odd one out when it came to those later day main issue reprints, whilst I can understand why long term readers hated spending the cash only to get old material it was great for a bright eyed and bushy tailed youngster like me as a chance to experience classic stories for the first time without having to shell out for a Collected Comic as well as the weekly. Even with the most senior of them being only @5 years old knowing this was vintage material actually did a lot to give the comic an added mystique, this was a book with a lengthy-in the eyes of a 8 year old- history behind it.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-02, 12:13 AM
I think most people's problems was the reduced new material - had the reprints replaced the never-popular Action Force - The G.I.Joe stuff no-one would have minded. I mean, obviously there were a whole slew of economic factors, but it meant long-term readers were effectively buying the comic for five pages. And some of those pages were "Double Deal of the Century", "Prime's Rib", that toss with the Triggerbots, "Aspects of Oooh That's a Bit Naughty Really" and so on. When the five pagers come off they're great, but on a percentage basis they really struggle with the format. Add in the loss of colours and it's easy to see why sales tumbled. I know a lot of the issues around that time I thumbed through once and that was it.

The big problem with Marvel UK's various back-up plans was that they didn't want to compromise the specials... IIRC the Death's Head arc was at the time round about the earliest issues that hadn't been reprinted (I think the continuity-heavy Fallen Angel hadn't been done at that point, but that's it). Had, say, the original mini kicked off the reprints it might have gone down a bit better, but Marvel UK were probably still trying to shift the Complete Works books at the time and the choice of material that was only a couple of years old (to showcase the writer's spin-off comic to boot) probably wasn't the smartest. Someone at Marvel just assumed everyne reading snapped everything they out out straight up, hence various stories crossing over with annuals - so "Fire on High" finished running in September or whatever, but most kids would have to wait three months to get their annual and see the conclusion.

And following "Wanted" with "Headhunt" rather than the rest of the story wasn't smart either.

inflatable dalek
2012-04-02, 12:31 AM
I think most people's problems was the reduced new material - had the reprints replaced the never-popular Action Force - The G.I.Joe stuff no-one would have minded. I mean, obviously there were a whole slew of economic factors, but it meant long-term readers were effectively buying the comic for five pages. And some of those pages were "Double Deal of the Century", "Prime's Rib", that toss with the Triggerbots, "Aspects of Oooh That's a Bit Naughty Really" and so on. When the five pagers come off they're great, but on a percentage basis they really struggle with the format. Add in the loss of colours and it's easy to see why sales tumbled. I know a lot of the issues around that time I thumbed through once and that was it.

I certainly remember Combat Colin frequently being the only worthwhile thing in the book during the dark GI Joe crossover days.

I think part of the problem may have been the book by its very nature wasn't interested in long term readers because past a certain age they're no longer going to be buying the toys, the intent is presumably to be always attracting new, younger readers. Though the net result here seems to have been to mainly piss off those older readers without getting any new ones in.

Someone at Marvel just assumed everyne reading snapped everything they out out straight up, hence various stories crossing over with annuals - so "Fire on High" finished running in September or whatever, but most kids would have to wait three months to get their annual and see the conclusion.

Yeah, I can see the business logic in doing the tie-in story that early in terms of giving the kids enough time to pester parents to get the book for them (no doubt that neatly coincided with the publication date as well), but it really would have been fairer on the reader to do it closer to Christmas.

I wonder if they'd have been even able to reprint any other US issues beyond the mini series? I'm not entirely sure how these things work, but presuming they'd been sent a set of duplicate masters for every issue with the originals staying in America there's a good chance most would have been chucked soon after use as superfluous to requirements, at least before a dedicated reprint spin-off started up anyway.

And following "Wanted" with "Headhunt" rather than the rest of the story wasn't smart either.

That was really odd actually, and I don't even think there was any explanation was there? I'm fairly sure I'd just assumed that was how the story ended, with the next instalment just picking up after Death's Head's embarrassing return to the present. It felt like very odd storytelling but the idea something was skipped never even occurred to me until I brought a copy of the Magn-etron Annual from Oxfam a few years later.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-04, 08:06 PM
I dunno, the letters page (and just the stuff we see published) surely should have indicated the number of people following the thing, especially after the first year or so. Of course, most of them got pissed off by "Dreadwind", whose "deal with the black and white or stop buying" attitude didn't exactly work out. The handling of the format change in general was handled very badly when full honest disclosure would have been better, but it's about the point Furman was pretty sure he was the next Alan Moore and didn't need these ****ing kids anyway BUY DEATH'S HEAD'S NEW MONTHLY SERIES PLEASE KIDS THEN I MIGHT GET A PROPER COMIC.

Considering they were still getting 'new' GI Joe issues sent over, it probably wouldn't have been too much trouble to get back issues of the US run over, and they found Machine Man easily enough. But then I suspect Hasbro fought for G.I. Joe to stay in the book for most of the time anyway.

inflatable dalek
2012-04-05, 07:57 PM
I dunno, the letters page (and just the stuff we see published) surely should have indicated the number of people following the thing, especially after the first year or so. Of course, most of them got pissed off by "Dreadwind", whose "deal with the black and white or stop buying" attitude didn't exactly work out.

Oh sure, no doubt they were aware of the demographic reading the book at that point, it's just that it wasn't the demographic they wanted.

I think the telling thing is when someone wrote in to ask how Unicron could attack in 1991 rather than 2006. A perfectly reasonable question and one with a few nice and easy answers, the most obvious of which being the massive reset button option offered up by Time Wars. Instead Blaster's (?) response boiled down to "That was five years ago, ancient history man! Why would anyone remember that? Lets move on" which really shows what they thought of the long term readers.

Of course, the fact they were reprinting the Death's Head stories that followed up on the Movie at the same time shows how schizo the behind the scenes thinking seems to have been at the time. I think we've talked before about how towards the end of the comic's life the editorial attitude became much more relaxed and laid back, I suspect once they knew the American comic was ending they didn't have to push so hard to keep the title aimed at the audience Hasbro would rather have had.


The handling of the format change in general was handled very badly when full honest disclosure would have been better, but it's about the point Furman was pretty sure he was the next Alan Moore and didn't need these ****ing kids anyway BUY DEATH'S HEAD'S NEW MONTHLY SERIES PLEASE KIDS THEN I MIGHT GET A PROPER COMIC.

It's done so amazingly badly, and at such obvious short notice (it's, what, two months before we get a strip that wasn't intended for the 11 page colour format?) that it's got to have been a much more last second dodge to avoid sudden cancellation than is usually admitted.

relak
2012-04-06, 03:06 PM
ok. Like i just got "TRANSFORMERS CLASSICS UK: Vol 2"

Seriously what gives???
I'm comparing the "Dinobot hunt" storyline from this one with the one in my "Best of UK omnibus".
The printing is actually WORSE.

Take a look at page 76 for example. The single page spread of Soundwave screaming "Victory belongs to the Decepticons!"

Skywarp is barely visible. His colors are bleeding into the dark backdrop.

Then im comparing the "Second Generation" (special teams) storyline with my Titan tpb reprint.
On the Classics UK page 185.
Superion's head is just one big smear of black with yellow visor.

At least in the titan tpb there was better color gradient between the black and grey.

And anyone know the reason why IDW SHRANK THE PAGES??!?!?!?!? Seems they apparently shrank the pages to their typical omnibus size (similar in size to TF: Armada, War Within and Best of UK Omnibus) BUT the actual book remains at the full tpb size.

If they're going to produce the book in full tpb size, why shrink the panal art?? I mean, if they shrank the panel art and had James Roberts put production notes in the additional space, i dont mind. But the additional space is JUST ADDITIONAL SPACE!

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-04-06, 03:44 PM
ok. Like i just got "TRANSFORMERS CLASSICS UK: Vol 2"

Seriously what gives???
I'm comparing the "Dinobot hunt" storyline from this one with the one in my "Best of UK omnibus".
The printing is actually WORSE.

Take a look at page 76 for example. The single page spread of Soundwave screaming "Victory belongs to the Decepticons!"

Skywarp is barely visible. His colors are bleeding into the dark backdrop.

Then im comparing the "Second Generation" (special teams) storyline with my Titan tpb reprint.
On the Classics UK page 185.
Superion's head is just one big smear of black with yellow visor.

At least in the titan tpb there was better color gradient between the black and grey.

And anyone know the reason why IDW SHRANK THE PAGES??!?!?!?!? Seems they apparently shrank the pages to their typical omnibus size (similar in size to TF: Armada, War Within and Best of UK Omnibus) BUT the actual book remains at the full tpb size.

If they're going to produce the book in full tpb size, why shrink the panal art?? I mean, if they shrank the panel art and had James Roberts put production notes in the additional space, i dont mind. But the additional space is JUST ADDITIONAL SPACE!

My guess, (and that is what it is a guess), is that IDW can't figure out how to reprint the Marvel UK The Transformers series. And some it due to size of the orginal issues, the sheer number of orginal stories, the page count of the orginal stories, etc.

I think they should've follow Dynamite's Vampirella hardcover archives as an example. The orginal Vampirella was a magazine size comic and they just reprinted everything in each issue including ads, letter pages, editorials, and text stories (which I would rather have that in the case of Marvel UK's The Transformers than Roberts' comments which lets be honest about it is just padding the book out so IDW can charge more for it) and roughly in the same size as the orginal magazines comics, you get 10 issues per book for $50.

relak
2012-04-06, 04:36 PM
thanks.

But here's the problem.

They printed those same stories in regular tpb format as part of their "Best of UK" series without any of the art looking warped.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-06, 05:54 PM
they just reprinted everything in each issue including ads, letter pages, editorials, and text stories

Which would require IDW to get rights for Spider-Man and Iron Man. Can't see that happening somehow.

Denyer
2012-04-06, 06:08 PM
Yeah, the retrospective by Roberts makes it worth picking these things up, IMO (although they're not going to replace the larger Titan volumes) but the best we're going to get on that score for something like the UK comic, which was always an ensemble title, is scans. There can't be an official product to match having representations of the original objects in a more persistent format.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-06, 06:28 PM
Yeh - I'm not just being glib with Spidey and Iron Man, but the thing was a Marvel UK comic, and the additional features - even adverts - were often heavily composed of licensed material; even something like Robot Round-Up would probably need more clearance work than was worth the effort. By the sounds of it they're including just about everything TF-related even if it's just a tiny picture.

However, if the reproductions of the comics are bad it's probably all for nothing. The problem is Roberts' features will be a labour of love (he's probably been dreaming of doing that stuff for 25 years), but the actual reproduction is down to IDW, who don't give a shit. If there are enough complaints they'll sort if for Vol. 3, but you've already bought Vol. 2 so why should they care? They've been selling badly written/edited/drawn/packaged/promoted TF material for five plus years now, and enough people have shovelled it down, praised it mindlessly and then asked for more that there's no need for them to suddenly start taking care now.

inflatable dalek
2012-04-06, 07:27 PM
I've found the scans perfectly readable myself, though I know I'm in the minority on that score. I wonder if the different, cheaper feeling, paper stock from previous trades is part of the problem?

It is something of a shame that Roberts' original idea of just doing a "Making of" book wasn't followed through, especially as the 2000 AD tome he cited as inspiration is bloody good. But that's speaking from the selfish position of having all the original material, I suspect the market for that wouldn't be large enough to justify it by itself.

Mind, the write up is more than just padding, the amount of effort put into it (I mean, tracking down the bloke who drew the first cover for a chat? I don't think people like Alan McKensie or James Hill have ever been interviewed before have they?) and the utterly insane amount of new information in there means that I've certainly not regretted either purchase despite having both the Titan books and the entire original series.

Agreed that officially reprinting each issue in its entirety would basically be so expensive as to be impossible. Lets not forget that even post their deal with Marvel that art for I, Robot Master! has been photoshoped to remove their characters from the walls of the "Famous Comic Book Publisher", can you see much point in them forking out for Machine Man or Rocket Racoon? Even something like Combat Colin (the Prisoner spoof one was self-republished by Stringer as part of a Brick Man collection so he's presumably fully owned by his creator) would probably add up over all the issues he was in. And much of it wouldn't be of any interest to people wanting a Transformers book.

Denyer
2012-04-06, 07:40 PM
However, if the reproductions of the comics are bad it's probably all for nothing.
It's not terrible -- not unreadable from what I've skimmed. The overall tone is somewhat washed out and there aren't really any true blacks on the page, which could have been equalised a bit before information started getting lost in the process. The annual stuff in particular doesn't look as good as the annuals themselves, but the issues weren't on great paper in the first place.

As thick volume "value" reprints with bonus material thrown in, I'm certainly more than happy to get them as released (IDW don't have a terribly good track record for keeping material in print without repackaging it) and stick 'em on one side to read through at leisure when time permits.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-06, 08:30 PM
I wonder if the different, cheaper feeling, paper stock from previous trades is part of the problem?

It could be that the dense colouring is sinking in a little bit more or something. I would expect IDW are saving what they can on the paper stock. At least Pat Lee just wanted a free Porsche.

But that's speaking from the selfish position of having all the original material, I suspect the market for that wouldn't be large enough to justify it by itself.

I dunno - how big's the market for Armada reprints? TBH, Transformers needs a good non-fiction guide book, preferably an authorised one that isn't under Hasbro's thumb. Lulu or something would be a serious outlet these days.

I mean, tracking down the bloke who drew the first cover for a chat?

Paris is a freelance illustrator working in the industry, he's not living under a bridge with a tin of Tennants.

As thick volume "value" reprints with bonus material thrown in.

Mmm, I think that's the market; the 'bonus' stuff is just because Roberts is kicking around and probably more-or-less insisted on doing it.

relak
2012-04-07, 01:37 AM
It's not terrible -- not unreadable from what I've skimmed. The overall tone is somewhat washed out and there aren't really any true blacks on the page, which could have been equalised a bit before information started getting lost in the process. The annual stuff in particular doesn't look as good as the annuals themselves, but the issues weren't on great paper in the first place.

As thick volume "value" reprints with bonus material thrown in, I'm certainly more than happy to get them as released (IDW don't have a terribly good track record for keeping material in print without repackaging it) and stick 'em on one side to read through at leisure when time permits.

true.

Im only getting the UK Classics series as a completist.
Kinda bummed that i blew 20 bucks on a "best of Uk omnibus" before this UK Classics was announced.

still cheeses me off that it costs a whole $10 bucks more than the US classics though.

Skyquake87
2012-04-07, 06:34 AM
I've found the scans perfectly readable myself, though I know I'm in the minority on that score. I wonder if the different, cheaper feeling, paper stock from previous trades is part of the problem?

It is something of a shame that Roberts' original idea of just doing a "Making of" book wasn't followed through, especially as the 2000 AD tome he cited as inspiration is bloody good. But that's speaking from the selfish position of having all the original material, I suspect the market for that wouldn't be large enough to justify it by itself.

Mind, the write up is more than just padding, the amount of effort put into it (I mean, tracking down the bloke who drew the first cover for a chat? I don't think people like Alan McKensie or James Hill have ever been interviewed before have they?) and the utterly insane amount of new information in there means that I've certainly not regretted either purchase despite having both the Titan books and the entire original series.

Agreed that officially reprinting each issue in its entirety would basically be so expensive as to be impossible. Lets not forget that even post their deal with Marvel that art for I, Robot Master! has been photoshoped to remove their characters from the walls of the "Famous Comic Book Publisher", can you see much point in them forking out for Machine Man or Rocket Racoon? Even something like Combat Colin (the Prisoner spoof one was self-republished by Stringer as part of a Brick Man collection so he's presumably fully owned by his creator) would probably add up over all the issues he was in. And much of it wouldn't be of any interest to people wanting a Transformers book.

I would actually buy a 'Making Of' book. I'm interested in Roberts' introduction / behind the scenes things that he's done for these books, but can't quite bring myself to fork out for a run of collections full of stuff I've got either as collected comics or Titan trades.

And yes, Lew Stringer does indeed own the rights to Combat Colin. He didn't used to, but approached Panini and was pleasantly surprised that they handed over the rights without any fuss or cost. (probably not a huge surprise given that CC had languished forgotten in the MUK vaults for sometime) Which reminds me, I think a Combat Colin collection exists out there...I must remember to track that down

inflatable dalek
2012-04-07, 04:48 PM
It could be that the dense colouring is sinking in a little bit more or something. I would expect IDW are saving what they can on the paper stock. At least Pat Lee just wanted a free Porsche.

Yeah, whilst it's certainly not cheap feeling paper it still feels more like... well paper than the previously glossy feeling stuff. Go me and my technical terms.



I dunno - how big's the market for Armada reprints? TBH, Transformers needs a good non-fiction guide book, preferably an authorised one that isn't under Hasbro's thumb. Lulu or something would be a serious outlet these days.

The Armada and other reprints though require no effort whatsoever though, just money for old rope. Roberts' work seems to have required a lot of time and effort and potentially extra cost (I'd hope that the Australian who's been providing scans of the free gifts has been getting paid for it). I could see a book on the genesis of the franchise doing well, or even one on all the comics, but with the UK stuff still seen as this strange little step sibling by so many of the large American audience (which I can understand, the problem is it's different enough from the US comic to not feel the same but feeds into it enough that you can't just read the UK issues in isolation, so unless you're prepared to put the work into sorting out exact reading order across trades it can probably seem a very bitty series) it's basically a niche within a niche.

Something like Lulu or Kindle could be the way to go with it though, even if the later doesn't lend itself well to the big glossy pictures I suspect many would expect from such a book. I wonder if there'd be any milage, after all the books are out and have reached their maximum sales potential, in IDW putting out the "Making of" sections by themselves as a Kindle/Electonic Reader of Your choice book?


Paris is a freelance illustrator working in the industry, he's not living under a bridge with a tin of Tennants.

Though he still hasn't (to the best of my knowledge) been tracked down for an interview before. Though I can understand why, it certainly wouldn't have occured to me that it would be worth the time for a fan site to get in touch on the assumption he probably wouldn't remember very much. Rather nicely it turned out he did though.

Thinking about it, I'm not completely sure Hill has never been interviewed before. I don't recall ever seeing anything, but considering how eager places like Transfans were a few years ago and that he's clearly still very fond of his Transformers work and happy to talk about it (both a combination of it being the start of his career and him not having anything like the same level of freedom to do what he wanted on anything else he's done) it'd be odd if someone hasn't had a chat with him before.

Though as I'd never heard before that Crane wasn't responsible for the comic side of the comic in the early days I'm guessing this is definitely the first time McKenzie has been spoken to on this subject, he certainly casts a very different light on what I'd assumed about the origin of Man of Iron. It's not strange and different because it was very early days and no one was yet fully sure what the franchise was, it's strange and different because McKenzie thought Transformers was crap and commissioned his DWM boys to do a story as different as humanly possible from the reference material provided by Hasbro.

It's also fascinating that if Parkhouse hadn't left Marvel the first choice would have been for him and Furman to alternate writing duties.

Mmm, I think that's the market; the 'bonus' stuff is just because Roberts is kicking around and probably more-or-less insisted on doing it.

I'd say that's fair, straightforward cheap reprints with added juicy extras added as much to keep their new golder writer happy as anything else.


And yes, Lew Stringer does indeed own the rights to Combat Colin. He didn't used to, but approached Panini and was pleasantly surprised that they handed over the rights without any fuss or cost. (probably not a huge surprise given that CC had languished forgotten in the MUK vaults for sometime) Which reminds me, I think a Combat Colin collection exists out there...I must remember to track that down

Cool, though Ebay only comes up with a Colin the Combat Monkey toy.

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-04-08, 06:45 PM
Yeh - I'm not just being glib with Spidey and Iron Man, but the thing was a Marvel UK comic, and the additional features - even adverts - were often heavily composed of licensed material; even something like Robot Round-Up would probably need more clearance work than was worth the effort. By the sounds of it they're including just about everything TF-related even if it's just a tiny picture.

However, if the reproductions of the comics are bad it's probably all for nothing. The problem is Roberts' features will be a labour of love (he's probably been dreaming of doing that stuff for 25 years), but the actual reproduction is down to IDW, who don't give a shit. If there are enough complaints they'll sort if for Vol. 3, but you've already bought Vol. 2 so why should they care? They've been selling badly written/edited/drawn/packaged/promoted TF material for five plus years now, and enough people have shovelled it down, praised it mindlessly and then asked for more that there's no need for them to suddenly start taking care now.

Dynamite reprinted ads for Eerie, Creepy, and Famous Monsters of Filmland and they don't have the rights to any of them. It should also be noted that Dynamite is now getting sued by Burroughs estate over their Warlord of Mars titles because they didn't get the rights to the names of the characters.

My point is that I feel the Vampirella Archives are a high-quailty product and that is what I want for the Marvel US and UK Transformers reprint books and right now my Titan trades and hardcovers are better books. Roberts' material is a great extra and it's nice but I can't help but feel at times when I'm reading it he feels like he's rubbing my nose in it. It's probably just me.

I would love to buy the rest of the Marvel UK series in single form but around where I live is like finding them is like finding A Cherry Coke at a Pepsi warehouse which is next to impossible.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-08, 07:06 PM
There's a new thing out called the internet, you can even buy stuff on some bits of it - or so the story goes.

Denyer
2012-04-08, 07:38 PM
http://www.silveracre.com/ has a lot, and there are bulk lots on eBay periodically.

Can't actually remember the last time I saw issues of 80s/90s TF in a retail comics shop. They all seem to be games/collectibles/manga/trades. Back issues are a warehouse business.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-09, 04:38 AM
The Armada and other reprints though require no effort whatsoever though, just money for old rope.

I dunno, it's obvious from the sounds of things they've had to "remaster" them (I use the term in its' basest form)

(I'd hope that the Australian who's been providing scans of the free gifts has been getting paid for it).What? Why? I'd have done it for free to help a project out (well, I wouldn't because IDW are scum and I advocate physical theft of their material, but still). Nobody got paid for photoraphing figures for Generations and Wedge - it's the sort of thing you do for the love of the project, or you **** off and someone else will do it.

Something like Lulu or Kindle could be the way to go with it though, even if the later doesn't lend itself well to the big glossy pictures I suspect many would expect from such a book. I wonder if there'd be any milage, after all the books are out and have reached their maximum sales potential, in IDW putting out the "Making of" sections by themselves as a Kindle/Electonic Reader of Your choice book? You still haven't really got a handle on IDW, have you? Why would they put out a $5 Kindle file when there's the slightest chance someone will fork out 20 times that for the series of books? There's no such thing as a maximum sales potential when you're dealing with Transformers fans - there's always going to be enough morons sexually excited by Ashley Wood covers to ensure prices for used flexible twisted fibre remain surprisingly high.

Thinking about it, I'm not completely sure Hill has never been interviewed before. I don't recall ever seeing anything, but considering how eager places like Transfans were a few years ago and that he's clearly still very fond of his Transformers work and happy to talk about it (both a combination of it being the start of his career and him not having anything like the same level of freedom to do what he wanted on anything else he's done) it'd be odd if someone hasn't had a chat with him before. It's as much about making first contact. Fan interviews are generally with people who have either a convention or a web presence. IDW would possibly have had to track Hill down if only to know where to mail his 25 royalty cheque (IIRC the first book is the first time Hill's stuff has been reprinted since... the Xmas CC?). Then it's no problem to give him a ring or whatever.

relak
2012-04-09, 12:21 PM
Dynamite reprinted ads for Eerie, Creepy, and Famous Monsters of Filmland and they don't have the rights to any of them. It should also be noted that Dynamite is now getting sued by Burroughs estate over their Warlord of Mars titles because they didn't get the rights to the names of the characters.

My point is that I feel the Vampirella Archives are a high-quailty product and that is what I want for the Marvel US and UK Transformers reprint books and right now my Titan trades and hardcovers are better books. Roberts' material is a great extra and it's nice but I can't help but feel at times when I'm reading it he feels like he's rubbing my nose in it. It's probably just me.

I would love to buy the rest of the Marvel UK series in single form but around where I live is like finding them is like finding A Cherry Coke at a Pepsi warehouse which is next to impossible.

but Vampirella archives are like twice the price of the TF reprints.

I guess its just me but i only buy limited series in hardcovers, not long running stuff.

Hence why im pretty happy with my Titan tpbs for the classic TF US stuff.

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-04-09, 05:45 PM
but Vampirella archives are like twice the price of the TF reprints.

I guess its just me but i only buy limited series in hardcovers, not long running stuff.

Hence why im pretty happy with my Titan tpbs for the classic TF US stuff.

As I mentioned earlier they're $50 per book, and sometimes that is the best and sometimes the ONLY way to buy high quality Golden and Silver Age reprints.

I tend to buy only books that I buy in hardcover are the ones that I really really love or it's by creators that I'm very big fan of (like Transformers: All Hail Megatron, John Byrne's Next Men, The Ultimates and The Ultimates 2 or just about anything by Jim Starlin) or if it's the only way that I get it (like The Rocketeer or all 25 issues Whedon/Cassaday's run on The Astonshing X-Men)

inflatable dalek
2012-04-09, 06:08 PM
I dunno, it's obvious from the sounds of things they've had to "remaster" them (I use the term in its' basest form)

Though it looks as if they spent about five seconds scanning the Dreamwave issues.

What? Why? I'd have done it for free to help a project out (well, I wouldn't because IDW are scum and I advocate physical theft of their material, but still). Nobody got paid for photoraphing figures for Generations and Wedge - it's the sort of thing you do for the love of the project, or you **** off and someone else will do it.

Because by scanning the material he's doing what's basically several hours freelance work for a major comic book company? Not paying him the going rate for whatever that is (which I'm sure wouldn't be anything to write home about, it's more a principal than anything else) when they can more than afford to even if he's happy to do it for nothing is slightly dodgy territory. Plus, he seems to be the only person IDW are aware of with all the free gifts, so it's not as if they could go to anyone else for it anyway.

I'm surprised the pictures for the Generations book were done free of charge, I was under the impression it was a guy on Takara staff who provided them so he'd have already been on the pay role. Considering the book pretty much is the pictures that's even dodgier territory, they're effectively making money of his free work (though I recall it being mentioned that the reason a Western version never happened was that the royalties on the pictures would make it inpracticle with the interest in toy books being so much smaller in the US. Or was that just conjecture someone was making with no basis in fact?).

You still haven't really got a handle on IDW, have you? Why would they put out a $5 Kindle file when there's the slightest chance someone will fork out 20 times that for the series of books? There's no such thing as a maximum sales potential when you're dealing with Transformers fans - there's always going to be enough morons sexually excited by Ashley Wood covers to ensure prices for used flexible twisted fibre remain surprisingly high.

I'd say it's actually fairly in keeping with their standard practices, as Denyer says they're more keen on repackaging material than keeping it in print, and as it'd be difficult for a Kindle version to include all the scans and pictures that's a big part of the appeal the print version would still have it's own separate unique selling point.

It's as much about making first contact. Fan interviews are generally with people who have either a convention or a web presence. IDW would possibly have had to track Hill down if only to know where to mail his 25 royalty cheque (IIRC the first book is the first time Hill's stuff has been reprinted since... the Xmas CC?). Then it's no problem to give him a ring or whatever.

I think the Jetfire Christmas story was in one of the Titan trades, though presumably IDW got his contact details when he pitched the State Games comic to them a few years ago.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-09, 06:39 PM
Though it looks as if they spent about five seconds scanning the Dreamwave issues.

Which is still more effort than none whatsoever, though. Even a rush job takes a little time and effort.

Because by scanning the material he's doing what's basically several hours freelance work for a major comic book company? Not paying him the going rate for whatever that is (which I'm sure wouldn't be anything to write home about, it's more a principal than anything else) when they can more than afford to even if he's happy to do it for nothing is slightly dodgy territory. Plus, he seems to be the only person IDW are aware of with all the free gifts, so it's not as if they could go to anyone else for it anyway. Yeh, they couldn't just ask around if they didn't find anyone else. A great number of Transformers fans touch themselves at night at the idea of a licencee even emailing them about things. Some people are just helpful. Text features for the 'US' trades were provided for comp copies. If it wasn't for the fact IDW are cunst, I'd have done it for them for free, and there are still some people out there who they haven't pissed off. It's not like they're making anyone do this, and they'd only pay if they were really struggling to find someone who was just happy to help.

I've spoken to people who supplied pictures to both Generations and Wedge who donated pictures for free to help complete the book. Can't remember the specifics for Generations, but for Wedge it was someone who provided some of the rarer US Gobots (in both cases most of the pictures were from in-house sources, but not all of them). There are many reasons why Generations didn't come out in America - only a hundred or so people being likely to buy due to competition with the CRGs and the like being the biggest.

IIRC toy pictures are a bit of a legal grey area anyway - it's a 2D representation of someone else's IP. It's unlikely that anyone would get in trouble for it, but I don't think it's as cut-and-dried as that - there are certainly limits. If you were to do a novel of, I dunno, paedophile snuff fiction and slap a picture of G1 Bumblebee's toy on the cover you'd taken yourself you'd probably get taken out. You'd certainly be on shaky ground trying to claim ownership of an image of HasTak's IP when you'd submitted it to a HasTak book

IDW are not a major comic company, incidentally. How many household names have they devised? How many people who don't have pre-existing ties to someone else's ideas that they're renting have heard of them? How many TF fans (admittedly an incredibly insular sample) had heard of them before the licence announcement?

inflatable dalek
2012-04-09, 06:55 PM
Yeh, they couldn't just ask around if they didn't find anyone else. A great number of Transformers fans touch themselves at night at the idea of a licencee even emailing them about things. Some people are just helpful. Text features for the 'US' trades were provided for comp copies. If it wasn't for the fact IDW are cunst, I'd have done it for them for free, and there are still some people out there who they haven't pissed off. It's not like they're making anyone do this, and they'd only pay if they were really struggling to find someone who was just happy to help.

I'd presume they did put out feelers to find people who had a more complete collection than Roberts himself, I'm certainly unaware of anyone with every single free gift and considering the bragging rights many fans like to enjoy if there is someone else out there with a 100% mint run they seem to be keeping it to themselves.

Though lets be clear here, I'm not saying the fans in question should be demanding cash for their efforts, it's great they're happy to share what they have. I just don't think IDW themselves should be so eager to take them up on it. After all, this isn't for some fan run website but a professionally published and licensed full price book.

I've spoken to people who supplied pictures to both Generations and Wedge who donated pictures for free to help complete the book. Can't remember the specifics for Generations, but for Wedge it was someone who provided some of the rarer US Gobots (in both cases most of the pictures were from in-house sources, but not all of them).

Cool, I thought all the Generations pictures came from the same collection.


IDW are not a major comic company, incidentally. How many household names have they devised? How many people who don't have pre-existing ties to someone else's ideas that they're renting have heard of them? How many TF fans (admittedly an incredibly insular sample) had heard of them before the licence announcement?

Though in terms of size of their business they're level pegging with Dark Horse behind the big two aren't they (though as it's been at least a couple of years since they announced that they may have fallen behind again)? The relative merits of their output doesn't change the fact they're a big, successful company who should be above not paying for freelance work.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-09, 07:32 PM
IDW also claimed AHM #1 sold out and that we'd all be gay for Drift. IDW are congenital liars. IDW are only as major as the proprties they sublet - they probably have done alright on the odd occasion (2007 before they ****ed the film comics over), but if/when Hasbro etc. opt to take the licences elsewhere they're back to really hoping that try-hards will buy multiple editions of 30 Days of Night.

der2
2012-04-09, 09:43 PM
Going on the quality of the scans in my IDW Target:2006 TPB I'm a bit nervous about picking these up. Sure the additional material is nice and all and most importantly I'd like a tidy collected couple of volumes, but if the quality of the printed story isn't up to snuff I don't think I can justify biting. The Titan books are superior, I have the Second Generation one here on hand and the image quality is almost as good as the original. I'm torn somewhat, I want to buy them once and be done, I have a couple bits of the UK stuff in TPB, but this would be a neat collection.

Could I ask someone to take a picture of a story page in the Classics volume versus the same page from an original comic, Titan reprint or whatever is at hand. Just a quick camera phone shot or whatever is convenient.

Denyer
2012-04-09, 10:19 PM
If no-one else has managed it by then, will dig out the Titan books this week, and I'm sure we can muster a few actual comic scans.
competition with the CRGs
The Cybertronian Recognition Guides? I'd be doubtful that such overpriced short-run stuff is competition to anything. It was a fan circle thing ten years ago when the information was only just starting to really become available -- now photo books are a very minority thing simply by dint of the internet.

I just don't think IDW themselves should be so eager to take them up on it. After all, this isn't for some fan run website but a professionally published and licensed full price book.
Eh, it's better than letting information rot away unrecorded, and you're not going to have things like a paper collection (or even a full set of the old scans, let along anything more recent) without a fairly keen interest. Who cares if a company makes a few bob off that? It's not much in the grand scheme of things, and TBH Amazon probably do best out of the publishing financially.

I hope that Roberts has been paid for his material, since it's the main appeal, but wouldn't be surprised if it's in kind or not much. Ditto for the Wreckers bonus material, and similarly I hope that when MTMTE runs aground that it isn't too acrimonious.

relak
2012-04-10, 03:48 PM
erm.....i guess im one of those fans who did hear of them before they got the Tf license.
I was a fan of their 30 Days of Night and Zombies Vs Robots.


IDW also claimed AHM #1 sold out and that we'd all be gay for Drift. IDW are congenital liars. IDW are only as major as the proprties they sublet - they probably have done alright on the odd occasion (2007 before they ****ed the film comics over), but if/when Hasbro etc. opt to take the licences elsewhere they're back to really hoping that try-hards will buy multiple editions of 30 Days of Night.
Well those arent lies outright.
AHM could have sold out because they printed less copies.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-10, 04:42 PM
But AHM #1 (or any other number) didn't sell out because copies were avaliable all over the place. At best they were all distributed, which is basically meaningless.

And I'd heard of DW before they got the licence (an issue of Dark Minds brought at random on some multibuy thing), and a rare special case didn't make them a major comic company.


The Cybertronian Recognition Guides? I'd be doubtful that such overpriced short-run stuff is competition to anything. It was a fan circle thing ten years ago when the information was only just starting to really become available -- now photo books are a very minority thing simply by dint of the internet.

Which makes the idea of a mooted translated print run of Generations around the time even more inviable, surely? It would have been a niche product competing with other niche products. An English-language Generations would have been no more widely or cheaply avaliable than the CRGs were. Similar books have a much longer history in Japan, allowing larger print runs, lower prices and - crucially - more help from licence owners.

In such a limited market (remember, CRG just about predated the 2001/2 boom; IIRC so did the first edition of Generations, if not by much) any competition was probably too much - especially if people are likely to get partisan about it.

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-04-10, 05:59 PM
IDW are not a major comic company, incidentally. How many household names have they devised? How many people who don't have pre-existing ties to someone else's ideas that they're renting have heard of them? How many TF fans (admittedly an incredibly insular sample) had heard of them before the licence announcement?

I had heard of them before they got the rights to The Transformers but I didn't buy anything from them unless you count a comic book adaption of the first Underworld film that came with the extended cut/special edition DVD.

inflatable dalek
2012-04-10, 06:15 PM
Eh, it's better than letting information rot away unrecorded, and you're not going to have things like a paper collection (or even a full set of the old scans, let along anything more recent) without a fairly keen interest. Who cares if a company makes a few bob off that? It's not much in the grand scheme of things, and TBH Amazon probably do best out of the publishing financially.

I am inclined to agree with Cliffy that IDW are in it solely for the money rather than any great preservation scheme, and if they're only after a fast buck expecting the people helping them make it to do it for the love would be crap.

Of course, this is all conjecture and the exact working relationship and reciprocation could be just about anything. As Roberts apparently sent IDW his own comics (suggesting these are all new scans rather than reuses of previous IDW trades, which makes the poorer quality even more annoying) I hope he at least got them back in good condition. Someone was telling me recently that a few of the Annuals don't scan easily without wrecking the spine.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-10, 07:29 PM
There are several elephants in this room, aren't there?

I don't think I actually totalled any annuals in the end, though I did cheat like ****ery on the Fallen Angel reprint in the Magnificent Six one. And swore a bit at the last one for the way none of the page joins are close to correct.

That and you can't spit in this country without hitting a copy of one of the first four annuals. Apparently in Sunderland there's a block of flats made out of pulped copies of the second one. True story.

inflatable dalek
2012-04-10, 07:36 PM
Next to a public toilet made out of the World Distributor Gobots Annuals I believe.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-10, 07:52 PM
"BUG BITE turns into a Volkswagen Beetle. Here's a two-page spread on the Volkswagen Beetle!"

inflatable dalek
2012-04-10, 07:55 PM
Does it mention how the famous Transformer Bumblebee turns into one?

One thing that wouldn't surprise me is, if these books don't run the course, Roberts will very likely make sure any and all interview/research material winds up out there.

Denyer
2012-04-10, 07:57 PM
I am inclined to agree with Cliffy that IDW are in it solely for the money rather than any great preservation scheme,
Companies are made up of individuals, and most of those I've spoken to have given the impression of interest. Which actually makes various editing and quality ****-ups more bothersome.

In any case, motives and outcome don't have to coincide to make a project worthwhile.

Which makes the idea of a mooted translated print run of Generations around the time even more inviable
I think the relative ease of importing the thing for anyone who jumped on the first printing probably has most to do with it. (I didn't, so mine was long after the fact -- after the deluxe edition came out, but before the Chinese reprint -- and thanks to a friendly British fan). The type of people buying are unlikely to care about the language.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-10, 08:33 PM
What the hell is "inviable"? I think I was going for "unviable".

And yep, that interested would import is another factor against a translated run. Bottom line is that there are/were at most somewhere between 500-800 people in the West who would have been interested in buying a translated version of the book and would have actually followed through (Stepper Stepper Stepper Stepper), and most of those made alternate arrangements. My base point is that there were much, much simpler reasons for the thing staying in Japan than any potential copyright problems.

Denyer
2012-04-10, 08:53 PM
@Der2:

Sorry, the light in here's quite yellow... this is Collected Comics #10, IDW and Titan.

http://img31.imagevenue.com/loc460/th_089580902_P1000250_122_460lo.jpg (http://img31.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=089580902_P1000250_122_460lo.jpg)
http://img31.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=089580902_P1000250_122_460lo.jpg

The main thing Titan has going for them here is the size and the glossy paper, although as mentioned the blacks are truer... both modern reprints emphasise contrast and have lost a lot of the blue tone, which is especially noticeable on Prime's face.

I'm guessing the paper in #64 (first print of the story) would be in slightly worse condition than CC#10 but not by much.

der2
2012-04-10, 09:16 PM
@Der2:

Sorry, the light in here's quite yellow... this is Collected Comics #10, IDW and Titan.

http://img31.imagevenue.com/loc460/th_089580902_P1000250_122_460lo.jpg (http://img31.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=089580902_P1000250_122_460lo.jpg)
http://img31.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=089580902_P1000250_122_460lo.jpg

The main thing Titan has going for them here is the size and the glossy paper, although as mentioned the blacks are truer... both modern reprints emphasise contrast and have lost a lot of the blue tone, which is especially noticeable on Prime's face.

I'm guessing the paper in #64 (first print of the story) would be in slightly worse condition than CC#10 but not by much.

Many thanks man, I really appreciate that.

I can see what you mean about the blue tones, they're gone from Ratchets face in the bottom left, Spike's t-shirt isn't quite as vibrant either, a little washed out.

But for a collected edition it looks reasonable enough for a neat copy to have. For all the complaints, it's affordable and that'll do me. I have a lot of the originals at home buried in a box somewhere and I'd prefer one book (or a handful of TPBs) over routing through individual issues to find the one I want.

inflatable dalek
2012-04-11, 07:18 PM
Blimey, I hadn't realised quite how shrunk the art is...

Skyquake87
2012-04-12, 08:27 AM
Indeed...they may as well have spared a tree and shrunk the book to fit the scanned artwork if thats how they were going to do it...

Cliffjumper
2012-04-12, 02:23 PM
I do like the borders emphasising just how much of the page is wasted. It's like they're saying "we've spared the original whitespace within the lines; outside of them it's IDW's own brand of clear, fresh nothing, as seen in Infiltration".

relak
2012-04-12, 02:58 PM
Indeed...they may as well have spared a tree and shrunk the book to fit the scanned artwork if thats how they were going to do it...

Precisely. I've been pestering IDW (dont know if they reply emails or not) about why the decision to shrink the art, but no reply yet.

Especially since the art was already previously printed in full page format/
Anyone got any speculation?

Cliffjumper
2012-04-12, 03:17 PM
http://www.wpclipart.com/money/bag_of_money.png

relak
2012-04-14, 11:58 AM
ya. Money.

But you see, if they cut the entire book down to the size of Transformers Armada omnibus, yes they be saving on the lesser paper used.

In this case the paper used is the same as a tpb size since the size of the book is the same.
They might save on a little less ink since the pictures are smaller but seriously!!!!
Go through the trouble of getting some guy to shrink ALL the artwork just for a bit of ink saved?

Denyer
2012-04-15, 11:07 AM
Most of the work (layouts, colour correction) can be reduced to very straightforward batch processing with automated steps. The worst part of scanning comics material is if you get distortion other than slight rotation, and the UK material has a lot of art that hangs over panel borders or reaches page borders so you'd have to be careful with cropping, but it's still something an office temp could do with clear instructions.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-15, 11:37 AM
:(

inflatable dalek
2012-04-22, 07:53 PM
Brief interview here with Roberts:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=295137320556469&set=a.153259298077606.36631.146805978722938&type=1&theater

It clarifies how the scans were done (the first volume was all done from Roberts' own collection sent to IDW, the second largely from the Australian).

I have to say, the offered reason for moving Ancient Relics, to offer fans something "Special" (ie, something not reprinted before. So it's entirely sales motivated rather than space as I thought) is a bit crap.

I'm finding it odd that right after they've reprinted the Joe lead up to G2 issues they're doing them again in the first TF/Joe collection. Considering a large part of the people who'd want them would have already brought Joe 14 surely that's going to hit sales hard when the only other thing in the book is the bloody terrible original Marvel mini?

Cliffjumper
2012-04-24, 04:19 AM
Transformers fans will buy it anyway. Hit sales hard? Less than a thousand people would be buying the book either way.

relak
2012-07-26, 05:08 AM
So i just got Transformers Classic UK vol 3.

I must say the Quality control is better on this one.

The colors are less "smudge-looking", the darks have defined gradient.

Then again, most of these stories were reprinted before in the "Best of UK" series and before that from Titan.
Maybe they just re-used those master copies instead of scanning them from scratch?

IMO, i like the whole commentary about the change of coloring policy.
It's something i never noticed until the commentary pointed it out

wolfbolt86
2012-08-03, 05:43 AM
A quick question to those that have both IDW's and Titans' collections: does IDW's have the colors blurry or out out of the lines like the Titans? I have most of the Titans collection and noticed that some of the pages are real hard to look at due to the colors either just splashed or cover teh details. I am up to the The Last Stand, but do not know if I should finish getting the Titans collection or grab the IDW reprints.

inflatable dalek
2012-08-03, 08:46 AM
The Titan trades don't look especially more blurry than the original issues do now (be that because of ageing; the limits of the technology of the time or Nel having trouble staying within the lines).

The current IDW books are completely recoloured and so should avoid this problem but, if you're as far as Last Stand I'd suggest either sticking with Titan or waiting till IDW reach that point and carrying on from there.

inflatable dalek
2012-08-07, 12:09 AM
Though my copy hasn't arrived yet, according to the Wiki Ancient Relics isn't in volume 3 of the UK books after all, yay for more sensible ordering even if it is likely a space issue! It does mean the cover in now hugely misleading though. Oddly the Wiki specifically mentions Flint and Scarlett in the distant background as an error but not the big honking Megatron fighting Centurion that takes up half the cover...

inflatable dalek
2015-01-10, 11:49 AM
NECRO BUMP.

This felt like the best place to share this (though I may put it in the AA thread as well when I get a second): All round nice Scotsman Andrew Turnbull has shared a PDF of the convention fanzine for Auto Assembly 2014 that includes, amongst other nice gubbins, a chat with James Roberts on the Classics UK series that even addresses the main issue most of us have with the books, the size of the reproduction. This will be in the top two interviews with James Roberts you will read on this subject this year (well, all being well):

http://tmukhub.proboards.com/thread/8030/cybertonian-times-2014

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-10, 02:32 PM
Cheers! You beat me to the punch as I was just about to whore, I mean share that with everyone here.

Andy

Denyer
2015-01-10, 03:01 PM
Nifty. Hope this doesn't sound too nitpicky, but the G1 font is a bit uncomfortable to read for anything smaller than titles.

Time And Time Again -- now there's an interesting concept!

Will have to find time to read the rest at some point.

I think IDW just lets me get on with it!
Yeah, it's both one of their biggest strengths and something that that doesn't work particularly well with some other creators.

I'm glad it's a project he's enjoying and doesn't feel short-changed by, and it's great to be getting these to put back in circulation stuff that's only existed as scans for most people. Me included for a lot of it -- the comic wasn't exactly printed on best stock, and big stacks of mouldering paper are somewhat depressing as well as taking up lots of space.

inflatable dalek
2015-01-10, 03:26 PM
*HUGS HIS BIG STACKS OF MOULDERING PAPER*

I like the insanely OCD idea of printing both B&W and colour versions of the the stories that have both. Hopefully that extra page in The Flames of Botax will be included as well, that's not just messing about with speech bubbles as with most of the UK edits but imaginative recycling to create new a chunk of new content.

And as I don't think I shared this here at the time, my video thoughts on book 5:

w3H0O2OATHs

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-10, 05:47 PM
Nifty. Hope this doesn't sound too nitpicky, but the G1 font is a bit uncomfortable to read for anything smaller than titles.

Time And Time Again -- now there's an interesting concept!

Will have to find time to read the rest at some point.


Yeah, it's both one of their biggest strengths and something that that doesn't work particularly well with some other creators.

I'm glad it's a project he's enjoying and doesn't feel short-changed by, and it's great to be getting these to put back in circulation stuff that's only existed as scans for most people. Me included for a lot of it -- the comic wasn't exactly printed on best stock, and big stacks of mouldering paper are somewhat depressing as well as taking up lots of space.

No, not at all. All feedback gladly received.

Re: Time and Time Again glad you liked it. The idea came around a few years ago when myself and Karl were blethering about the Time Travel stories as it just seemed a bit too easy that Rodimus and co. end up back home at the end of Time Wars with very little having changed as a result. I know Furman did it that Galvatron survived and was on top but that wasn't enough and given that everything had been destroyed according to Time Wars it made sense to try something different.

As to whether Rodimus actually knows that he has stolen another's place well, Unicron taints the Matrix anyway so he could be hiding it from him, or it could be something deliberate.

I do have a few ideas as to where things could be taken for both sets of characters and will hopefully revisit them at some point.

Andy

Denyer
2015-01-10, 05:49 PM
*HUGS HIS BIG STACKS OF MOULDERING PAPER*

Yeah, not the most tactful view, sorry. Stuff that sticks around is what's reprinted relatively frequently and distributed as widely as possible, which is why I'm hugely in favour of curatorial projects irrespective of the stance of any particular copyright holder.

And not just paper. We're getting towards being able to scan 3D objects well enough and for that tech to become cheap and easy to use.

Denyer
2015-01-10, 06:00 PM
No, not at all. All feedback gladly received.

Re: Time and Time Again glad you liked it. The idea came around a few years ago when myself and Karl were blethering about the Time Travel stories as it just seemed a bit too easy that Rodimus and co. end up back home at the end of Time Wars with very little having changed as a result. I know Furman did it that Galvatron survived and was on top but that wasn't enough and given that everything had been destroyed according to Time Wars it made sense to try something different.

As to whether Rodimus actually knows that he has stolen another's place well, Unicron taints the Matrix anyway so he could be hiding it from him, or it could be something deliberate.

I do have a few ideas as to where things could be taken for both sets of characters and will hopefully revisit them at some point.

Andy

Just spotted the "best of" ad -- cool.

I think the best possible route is some sort of fittingly heroic death for various characters, knowing that others will be restored from limbo. Not necessarily on a direct replacement basis.

Christ, Furman was rather grim with his concepts at times, wasn't he... the Aspects future, demon leeches in limbo...

inflatable dalek
2015-01-10, 06:06 PM
If the best of is in a book format (akin to what Kris Carter did with his collected fan comics perhaps?) that'll be a purchase here, the MTMTE/RID stories from two or three years ago were good enough on their own to justify the double did for a more durable package.

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-10, 07:00 PM
Just spotted the "best of" ad -- cool.

I think the best possible route is some sort of fittingly heroic death for various characters, knowing that others will be restored from limbo. Not necessarily on a direct replacement basis.

Christ, Furman was rather grim with his concepts at times, wasn't he... the Aspects future, demon leeches in limbo...

Oh yes, there was a sense that there was no great and glorious future. Look at what he did when he got the US book and gave them a glimpse into the future.

Andy

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-10, 07:01 PM
If the best of is in a book format (akin to what Kris Carter did with his collected fan comics perhaps?) that'll be a purchase here, the MTMTE/RID stories from two or three years ago were good enough on their own to justify the double did for a more durable package.

The idea is to have it in a book format, exactly what size is being determined. For preference I'd have it the size of the UK Titan comics with a similar dress, but all of that is being looked into.

Andy

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-10, 07:06 PM
Just spotted the "best of" ad -- cool.

I think the best possible route is some sort of fittingly heroic death for various characters, knowing that others will be restored from limbo. Not necessarily on a direct replacement basis.



The original intention was the six from Time Wars displaced their six analogues in the parallel timeline they find themselves in. There is scope to tweak it slightly as you only see Kup's hand in the reveal on Page 4. I took my cue from the way the devastation ramped up when both Optimus and Rodimus were in the same space and time. (Although it always bothered me that surely the same held true because we already had Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Ultra Magnus and Red Alert active in that time) I thought the universe would try and protect itself somehow and thus ensuring it was a straight swap.

Although it does raise questions as to what happened to the skeleton of Galvatron, the corpse of Cyclonus and the very much active Scourge. Where did they go?

Denyer
2015-01-10, 07:55 PM
Other than a simple just being wiped out, the limbo concept bears further investigation and could generate all sorts of storylines. It can't just be a straight matter displacement swap.... something that ties into the fabric of reality being information and/or driven by consciousness, or with a kludge similar to artron energy...

Cliffjumper
2015-01-10, 08:43 PM
Time Wars screwed limbo for me a bit I'm afraid as they just seemed to be making it up. Why does Prime and Rodimus being in the same place cause all sorts of problems when Hot Rod's presumably around somewhere (and isn't it lucky that this is about the only time ever PM Prime doesn't have Kup and Hot Rod hanging off his comically oversized trailer tails?).

That and the Autobots are stupid beyond words - Ironhide's explicitly brought back for no reason whatsoever, witnesses exactly the same thing he witnessed in Target 2006 and opts to help beat everyone up. For God's sake, even if we pretend Rodimus looks nothing like Hot Rod and assume Red Alert's debut was an error they all work with bloody Kup and Blurr and really should know what Magnus looks like at least. This is why Fort Max sucks.

Still convinced the thing was truncated at short notice and possibly while running.

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-10, 09:37 PM
Ironhide having first hand experience of the time travel shenanigans is incredibly stupid in this. As for the way Fortress Maximus and the others react when the time jumpers appear - yes it is inexplicable.

Not sure if the story was cut short deliberately as this point, but the way the next two UK stories were repurposed to the 5/6 page mark suggests that might be true. After all going to 5 pages a week meant there was always US material for at least 48 weeks so would save some money.

Shame it was handled so badly if this was the case, and we were cheated out of our proper final Ultra Magnus/Galvatron showdown.

Still annoys me that after Deadly Games he just vanished.

Cliffjumper
2015-01-10, 09:46 PM
The thing that really bothered me is that the odd Delbo crowd scene aside Ironhide probably hadn't been in the book since Prey, or at best the proper Prime funeral. So why bring him back when if, I dunno, Joyride had been there it at least wouldn't be so obvious. It also might have been smarter to send Rodimus back with some newer toys or Red Alert/Wrecker-style misfits, especially as there would have been plenty for Kup & co to still do in 2009.

It's the sort of thing that would benefit from being turned into a novella or an outright remake. There's no much potential in there - stacks of old characters to kill off (the various Autobot cars that don't get Underbased such as Wheeljack and Ironhide; present Magnus, the Sparklers), good fights versus Galvatron for Magnus and both Primes (the three of them all on him at the same time with Mags sacrificing himself to get an opening for the Matrix boys would really work), a general tidy-up of the present day forces, some sort of explanation for why the Autobots are acting so stupidly (maybe some weird effect of the rift?).

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-10, 10:53 PM
The simple choice of having Rodimus come back with Arcee and four other random Autobots would have been much simpler and cleared up most of the issues, aside from the whole cheating us of the Ultra Magnus/Galvatron showdown.

A retelling wouldn't be a bad idea all in.

I like the idea of Ultra Magnus being the one to actually defeat Galvatron though, it someone feels right that Rodimus isn't quite up to the task. In the same way that in the comics Optimus and Megatron seldom squared off one on one and even when they did it wasn't a conclusive victory it would be thematically nice to keep that with the next generation.

Because the rift was only going one way, back from the future to the past there was no easy way to explain away the Autobots being idiots. Had time been consumed from both ends you could easily write it off as these characters not having existed for some reason or another.

Andy

Cliffjumper
2015-01-10, 11:42 PM
Yeh, there was always that sense in the comics (and TBH the cartoon too, where they're again kept away from each other) that Rodimus defeating Galvatron inside Unicron was a bit of a fluke; in the first DH story Rodimus doesn't come close even with an all-star back-up team.

I always liked the way Galvatron was just miles off the scale in terms of power in the comic; TBH I wouldn't fancy Marvel Optimus against him either, so a three-way pile-on with Magnus doing the bulk of the work (maybe pinning Galvatron while the others opened fire, dying in the process?) would probably be fitting. As someone who never really rated Fort Max or Scorponok seeing those two put in their place within a couple of frames was something of a joy, though again where do they go? Where does Grimlock go? Grimlock's another one really who should perhaps do more considering his history with both Megatron and Galvatron and that power-level wise he's a big hitter but he's just sort-of there in the same way as Hoist or Snapdragon are.

Regarding Rodimus's future team it is a bit frustrating when you consider the likes of Punch, Fastlane, Cloudraker, Blaster's tapes (IIRC yet to be seen in the 'present'; only Steeljaw in the later Joe story contradicts the idea that they were built in something like 1996), Wreck-Gar and probably a couple of others were sitting around unused. Especially as Red Alert seems to be intentionally used for pretty much that reason (wonder if Furman remembered using him in Enemy Within).

Whenever I read it I just feel it's such a shame that what's basically the climax of hundreds of issues of the comic gets so sloppy and rushed when there's so much potential and it gets off to such a good start. There's some really, really smart use of continuity (Ravage coming back, for example - who expected that at the time?) in some places and in others it's idiotic.

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-10, 11:47 PM
Getting seriously tempted to scan the pages in and replace certain characters in order to make the story at least make sense.

Yeah, I always took it that it was a fluke that Rodimus won there, and yeah super crazy Galvatron was always off the charts power wise. I can imagine that he was so powerful because of Unicron and his link to him. It's also another reason why he jumped back into the past. While that Unicron might not be fully aware of him, that power link would remain so he's back up to proper power levels in 1986 onwards. He may have ended up being weaker in 2006 following Unicron's death.

Andy

Skyquake87
2015-01-11, 10:42 AM
There's something in his Universe profile that states his power reserves are unlimited, so long as Unicron exists, or something. He's one of the few super-powered monstrosities in fiction that has some decent underpinning of why he's so much more powerful than everyone else.

As a bit of steal from Marvel's own Galactus, its hard not to see Unicron/ Galvatron's relationship the same way as Galactus/ Silver Surfer. The surfer has power in his own right (The Power Cosmic!) , but can draw on Galactus own well of power, IIRC.

I can see him being weaker, but still tougher than most Transformers after Unicron's destruction. Him being a ramped up version of Megatron, with everything dialled up to 11, the bleak future the Autobots returned to in Aspects made sense to me.

Just had a leaf through the CT, all good stuff :) The interview with Roberts is great, although reading between the lines, the UK stuff being re-presented in a US format TPB for what appears to be budgetary reasons/ sales projections seems to be the reason the over-sized UK format wasn't used. I can understand that, otherwise these things would probably cost around the RRP of their art books. Just a bit of a shame it does a disservice to the UK material by not presenting it at a scale it could be fully appreciated.

AndrewDTurnbull
2015-01-11, 12:14 PM
Oh I would just love an artists edition of something like Target: 2006!

Never going to happen, but I can dream. Yes there is obviously budget constraints on the project, which probably contributes to it's sporadic scheduling.

I can also see the reason for doing it, just so it fits with their other reprints, but my big objection is the random size they chose. The UK material can easily be resized to match US size. Any 2nd part of a US issue which had the little sidebar was printed at pretty much it's native US size, with the remaining pages resized to the US format.

Why we have an arbitrary smaller size is beyond me.

Andy

inflatable dalek
2015-01-13, 12:05 AM
Yeah, I can go with the books being the size they are, I just don't quite follow why the art on each page can't take up more room, even with the explanation in the above interview. But then that shows up my understanding of the printing world.

And speaking of interviews, as I now have the reply in my inbox and no force in the Universe can stop me now, I will also be running an interview with Mr. Roberts on this subject on my site within the next few weeks, hopefully with a special guest as well whose name I shall keep mysterious for the moment despite it being in my twitter feed.

As for Time Wars... Well, as I've always said, I'm very glad I hadn't read all the comics leading up to it when I first encountered it as I just put down all the stuff that didn't make sense to not having followed the backstory and thus enjoyed in immensely.

Though even as an 8 year old the future Decepticons turning up just to go away again seemed strange. That bit more than anything else makes it feel as if something was abandoned as it was being written.

With Magnus, to this day I have never understood why the future one is in there rather than the '87 version who really has the beef with Galvatron (the Volcano story made it clear that future Magnus doesn't remember any of this-for whatever timey whimey reason- so you can't even try and imagine he's ending his long standing feud even if it does get no attention).

I mean, I know the official explanation is that Magnus got lost amongst the need to focus on newer toys, but Ironhide is in the bloody thing and gets more lines than Magnus (Furman must have actually liked Ironhide a lot, he gets more to do than you remember after coming back as a Classics Hero as well. Certainly more than Sunstreaker and Silverbolt). Plus the entire story is effectively a grand goodbye to that wave of toys, giving present Magnus something to do wouldn't have been any more of a struggle than Galvatron and company surely?

Sure, I can absolutely see why it's made an Optimus/Galvatron fight in the end, kids must have been absolutely gagging for it, but the older plots are neglected as a result.

If things like the pointless "Autobots Vs. Autobots" fight, and even the Bondian pre-credits sequence in 2009, had been left out, there'd have been more room for the story to breath.

And one thing I really don't like now is how it swipes the final dialogue from Dark Star before British kids had read it (I suspect the Autobots V Autobots thing was inspired by the Decepticons V Decepticons scuffle in Cold War was well). Furman certainly had prior for borrowing ideas from upcoming American stories if he liked then (his second story ends with the first ever homage to the "Are all dead" cover two weeks before we saw it) and that slightly dismissive attitude towards the reprints is probably what drove him to make the UK stories bigger and more important, but that one in particular feels like bad form for some reason.

Cliffjumper
2015-01-13, 12:32 AM
The worse thing about Magnus is that it is one of the most pathetic deaths ever, makes the TF:TM version look like ****ing Cheyenne by comparison - that awful little "But I... I didn't mean it..." like he's about to burst into tears; Lee Sullivan's great 99% of the time but his art style just made Magnus look really craven and pathetic, like it was a joke. Plus 2009 Magnus dying then really should have split the universe in half or something.

Though I'd still give you evens on whether he's dead or not - subsequent stories make it pretty clear but if he had turned up in Aspects of Bad Form Old Boy I doubt anyone's head would have exploded. Considering how poorly done the "new future" stories printed were you half wonder if he just got forgotten in the shuffle.

As I've said before I still think a major hurry-up happened while the story was actually being printed, or at least close enough to that nothing could be done with the first three or four installments. Even Furman's weakness for setting up too much and then being unable to quite tidy things up as well doesn't account for the lurch in pace and focus. Bluntly you could (and maybe in some cases should) as Dalek says lose the 2009 set-up (which could have been done in a page, the attack on the energy leech is just to take it up to 11 pages) and the Autobot on Autobot battle (which could easily have been handled by having Ironhide and Goldbug present even if we want to be charitable and have no-one recognise any of them), plus probably the stuff with Ravage (which is great but makes no real difference to the story beyond having him there to team up with Megatron).

inflatable dalek
2015-01-13, 12:46 AM
I'd say Ravage is a keeper as even beyond the set up for future stories it's him that persuades Shockwave to save the day, and he feels like exactly the right character for that role (and I mean, Ravage basically gives a speech that saves the entire Universe. **** YEAH), but otherwise I think we're on the same page.

I was actually going to suggest that the "Never before seen" thing Roberts mentions in his interview with Mr. Turnbull could be the original plan for Time Wars, and based on his replies to my own questions it looks like I would have been nearly right [/TEASE].

inflatable dalek
2015-05-21, 11:24 PM
Another gratuitous necro bump!


I've made another of my award winning videos (this time on a new camera. It makes no difference to the presentation but does make how I try to SHOUT VERY LOUDLY so as to make sure the sound gets picked up on the internal tablet/phone mic more obvious), this time talking about the pros and cons of IDW's trade of Universe (and some other stuff that's basically ballast).



-jYbwkVnK-o

inflatable dalek
2015-05-22, 11:20 AM
And the link should actually be working now.

Skyquake87
2015-05-22, 10:01 PM
I watched your vido and dun a comment!


I love how IDW have taken material that was perfectly acceptable in its original form, and messed it up when reprinting it. hooray.

They really are an answer to a question no-one asked. Pfft.

Denyer
2015-05-22, 10:16 PM
Didn't realise this had finally gotten back into print.

Auntie Slag
2015-05-22, 10:18 PM
You know Dalek, with your flashy new camera and well honed pieces-to-camera (much like Michael Caine in Alfie talking about his Transformers comic collection), you could do a decent sideline in a series of Dalek-as-Michael-Caine-impersonating-Michael-Parkinson-interviewing-prominent-Transformers-people-types.

And you can leave your hat on!

Auntie Slag
2015-05-22, 11:03 PM
... you know, just on top of your book project, extensive weekly review and everything else!

inflatable dalek
2015-05-23, 09:34 AM
My problem is, every time I try to be Michael Caine I wind up Jude Law.

Cyberstrike nTo
2015-06-30, 07:15 PM
My problem is, every time I try to be Michael Caine I wind up Jude Law.

And that is a bad thing? :swirly: