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View Full Version : Transformation: The Marvel UK Website and Now Book! Plus Dalek's Other Published Works.


inflatable dalek
2012-05-19, 11:25 AM
EDIT 31/10/2016:

The book is now available from Lulu, Amazon UK and Amazon US, details here:

http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/book-shop.html



Shameless self promotion time:


As some of you will know. I've just come into ownership of the entire run of the Marvel UK comic. Which has inspired me to go through each issue, one a week, writing down my thoughts on the entire package. It's not an in-depth behind the scenes thing or lengthy synopsis, just a very personal journey through the comic.

The introduction and issue #1 entry are up, so I hope you'll be joining me for the next 332 (!?!?!) weeks:

http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/transformation.html

All thoughts and feedback welcome either here or on the site itself (each issue will get promoted in the blog as well where comments can go).

I feel all whoreish now.


UPDATE:

The short story collection Fitting In contains my comedic take on The Headless Horseman. Amazon links all in one handy place here: http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/blog/commercial-break-the-fitting-in-anthology

Denyer
2012-05-19, 11:41 AM
It's certainly a very different read to having stories packaged up in TPBs with parts back-to-back (and with decisions having to be made about how to sequence things.)

If you haven't got US G2, BTW, and're interested, I have an additional set of the TF issues.

inflatable dalek
2012-05-19, 11:51 AM
With the American stuff I'm fine with the trades, but I may look into tracking down the UK G2 stuff as a coda to the whole thing at the end. If I get that far...

It's a shame that, beyond the basic logistics of it either being very big books or a very large number of them, that there's no real way of reprinting the UK and US stuff in an easy chronological trade order together. There's that lengthy run in the middle where it all works but the begining and end would be a bit of mish mash mess with the Earthforce stuff in particular likely to cause aneurisms.

Red Dave Prime
2012-05-19, 07:21 PM
I really like this idea, nice one. Best of luck!

Rurudyne
2012-05-20, 02:44 AM
Sounds like a great idea.

I can finally find out what Marvel UK did instead of that ... (ugh) Spiderman crossover....

Skyquake87
2012-05-20, 09:16 AM
With the American stuff I'm fine with the trades, but I may look into tracking down the UK G2 stuff as a coda to the whole thing at the end. If I get that far...

It's a shame that, beyond the basic logistics of it either being very big books or a very large number of them, that there's no real way of reprinting the UK and US stuff in an easy chronological trade order together. There's that lengthy run in the middle where it all works but the begining and end would be a bit of mish mash mess with the Earthforce stuff in particular likely to cause aneurisms.

Eh, I were doing such a thing, I'd sling the collections out in their original published order and not worry about it. Who needs everything happening in the right order anyway? The alignment thing you point out between the US/ UK material certainly signifies how hard the editorial team worked on making everything gel. Its when you get less interested parties that it starts to fall apart.

I have read your blog thing and really enjoyed it ( I also liked your Avengers review too). Spot on about the early days of the comic, where it really felt like the more educational tone of Look And Learn and Look-In (before its 'teen pop-mag' makeover).

Cliffjumper
2012-05-20, 12:45 PM
Ahhh, Look and Learn, bought by well-intentioned parents in droves unaware that the only thing in it their sprogs read was Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire.

The 'Woo, robots!' page always seemed like such a kick in the nuts. You read all these pages about transforming 40ft metal warriors and then were faced with the cruel reality of some bloke in Japan managing to get a plastic box on tracks to make a left turn while bleeping.

I've never really seen the great advantage to chronological ordering of comic stories either... Published order generally avoids any unintentional incomprehension, and intentional secret origin/flashback stories don't always work well like that anyway. Plus in the case of TFUK time travel would really **** it up - something like the first DH arc puts down vital plot points for both 1988 and 2008.

I'd be for the rough idea of using the fully integrated stuff in line with the US issues (which like it or not are the core the UK book's built around) and ignoring everything without clear consensus on placing being dropped. But then you'd miss the point of it all I suppose.

Basically, though, I'd do anything but pick a 'big name' arc and then just pack the rest of the TPB with randomly chosen unconnected stories.

inflatable dalek
2012-05-21, 08:02 AM
Sounds like a great idea.

I can finally find out what Marvel UK did instead of that ... (ugh) Spiderman crossover....

Well, I'm not really doing any indepth synopses so you won't be finding out much in the way of events in the comic. Mainly because that's covered in a lot of depth elsewhere.

The Spider-Man crossover (originally from the American series than than UK originated) is awesome though. He teams up with Gears, there's nothing more awesome than that.

Cliffjumper
2012-05-21, 08:14 AM
No offence, but I doubt he even clicked the link. It's just an excuse to roll out a stock phrase.

inflatable dalek
2012-05-21, 08:17 AM
No offence, but I doubt he even clicked the link. It's just an excuse to roll out a stock phrase.

It's all part of my new nice persona to take people entirely at their word despite all evidence to the contrary.

relak
2012-05-21, 12:59 PM
nice.

Hope you'll do a feature or 2 on the letters pages. I heard those "Grim Grams" and "Dread Tidings" were quite entertaining.

Denyer
2012-05-22, 07:47 PM
They're here if you want to read some for yourself;

http://transfans.co.uk/media.php?series=2&imagekind=letter%20pages&section=comics

inflatable dalek
2012-05-25, 04:47 PM
We're about six months away from the first "Classic" letters page.

Issue 2: http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/transformers-uk-2.html

I've now twigged how to make the pictures bigger if you click on them. Look upon me ye mortal men and despair!

inflatable dalek
2015-07-16, 07:27 AM
Extreme necro bump (I did think about starting a new thread, but I'll be shamelessly needing to pimp The Book of the Site in a couple of weeks so I thought keeping the one thred for all my sell out whoring would be a good idea. It might trick the other mods into not noticing I've become a spam bot for myself)!

Anyway, tomorrow I reach the exact midpoint of the British comic. Three years and two months down, three years and two months to go!

[For Marvel anyway, I suspect I will carry on and do Every Single British Transformers comic. Mainly because, as no one cares about Panini/Titan*, it'll be interesting to see at what point the readership reaches zero]

Just for fun, I've been making hugely professional and sexy looking adverts as part of a daily countdown (except on Sunday, for I am a God fearing man, not because I forgot. No Sir), which I thought I'd share to show off my AMAZING photoshop skills.

Six days to go!

https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/status/619816102097514496

Err... Four days to go!

https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/status/620494806649831424

Three days to go!

https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/status/620851221289672704

Two days to go!

https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/status/621213579199516672

Today!

https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/status/621570339202539520

It's the same joke five times, but I'm way more proud of those than I should be (by the by, I'm not deluded enough to actually try and watermark these things, the link is just so people know where to look). Big things ahead tomorrow!










*On this note, if anyone has issues 1 and 2 of the Animated comic for sale, or scans they could chuck my way, I will be grateful. Veeeeeeeeeeery grateful.

inflatable dalek
2015-07-17, 01:33 PM
SHAMELESS:

The middle of the comic's run! (http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/transformers-uk166.html)

Plus Dragon's Claws (http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/addendum-13-dragons-claws.html)!

Terome
2015-07-17, 06:00 PM
Fantastic work! I've been reading these every Friday (most often on the train). Very impressed that you've soldiered on to the half-way mark. I like the little details about the ads and letters pages and back-up strips. It's a chronological history of Marvel UK itself, in a way.

inflatable dalek
2015-07-17, 06:24 PM
My face is all red now.



For many reasons. But mainly for the adoration.

Denyer
2015-07-18, 10:47 PM
I think Animated scans existed, but I might be misremembering having had the actual issues at one point.

As did you...? You reviewed them, anyway.

inflatable dalek
2015-07-19, 10:43 PM
You were good enough to provide me scans at the time, but not knowing that I might ever need them again I never bothered to keep them.

Don't delete files kids!

Except incriminating ones.

Denyer
2015-07-19, 11:15 PM
I've lost a few discs over the years, but chances are reasonable I'd still have them somewhere if I had them at some point. When I have time to reboot will have a fish around on the NAS.

inflatable dalek
2015-07-21, 08:08 PM
The man!


The book is basically all ready to go now, it's just a case of finding the free time to sit down with Lulu to set it all up.

This is going to be the final cover from Mr. T:

https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/status/623584388807327744

Denyer
2015-07-21, 08:29 PM
Classy. I'd be tempted to make a few minor tweaks (guessing at spine thickness) --

http://i.imgur.com/5WUnwMQ.jpg

Haven't found scans yet, but there are discs they might be on. Will rummage at weekend.

inflatable dalek
2015-07-22, 06:21 AM
Niffty, but I think it's too late to much about with the full size version now (not without breaking Andy anyway!). This assumes I achieve my plan of setting it all up this morning anyway.


[Yes, I did write the backcover blurb myself. Oh yes, it is snot dribblingly egotistical].

inflatable dalek
2015-07-25, 10:50 AM
PROOF COPY HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/status/624868472992997376

The cover needs a minor bit of rejigging but the contents are sexier than me. Once that's fixed it should hopefully go on sale either on Friday or just after.

Denyer
2015-07-25, 06:17 PM
Do Lulu insist that one input file is used to cover the reverse, spine and cover?

inflatable dalek
2015-07-25, 08:49 PM
Yeah, presumably for making it as easy as possible for amateurs (which is fine for me).

The problem is the actual dimensions of the book and the dimensions listed on the options page are almost microscopically not the same, which threw off Andy's designs. The text has been automatically shrunk slightly as well but you can't actually tell with that bar the illustrations being slightly off centre (officially that's a design choice now. Shh, don't tell anyone. TBH I think no one else but me would notice/care).

inflatable dalek
2015-07-30, 07:05 PM
I'm really going to start pimping this out heavily over the weekend, but for now Transformation Volume 1: 1985-1987 is on sale and available to buy from Lulu right now!

It's also set up for distribution on Amazon, which should take about eight weeks to activate.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/stuart-webb/transformation-a-personal-journey-through-the-british-transformers-comic-volume-1-1984-1987/paperback/product-22289496.html

As I don't think I've made this offer here yet: Anyone going to Auto Assembly who wants to pick up a copy in person for just 10, let me know via either here or twitter.

Terome
2015-07-30, 08:46 PM
Good work! I'll pick one up at AA if I may. I am definitely still going to that.

Ryan F
2015-07-30, 10:54 PM
I've just been over on TFW2005 and started a news thread over there about it - this really does deserve as wide an audience as possible. Really looking forward to snagging a copy at AA, hopefully it sells bucketloads!!!

inflatable dalek
2015-07-31, 02:46 PM
Thanks, it seems to have caused an insane spike in visitors to the site at least. And all that before I started applying the emotional blackmail to my readers to spread the word!

inflatable dalek
2015-07-31, 04:23 PM
At risk of annoying people who bought already, I've just been made aware of a discount code Lulu are currently doing that will knock 2.25 off the price: FWD15

They do these a lot throughout the year on and off, so it might always be worth Googling beforehand to see if there's a current code if you're reading in the future.

Skyquake87
2015-07-31, 09:11 PM
...I am reading from the future


its amazing.


I will be making a purchase of this on half past wednesday and am right looking forward to it :)

inflatable dalek
2015-07-31, 09:17 PM
And if the opinion of a bunch of drunken people who don't like Transformers and think the only representative way of doing a book on a comic is for it to be fully illustrated counts: Everyone in the pub was slightly in awe of sitting next to a published (it counts!) author.

inflatable dalek
2015-08-02, 02:29 PM
BEHOLD THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!

I'm not saying it's a good book, but it's got me literally foaming at the mouth (when watching it back my main thought was "Have a glass of water man!").


gqeJqFslPko

Denyer
2015-08-02, 03:23 PM
At least the typo on the back is fixable with a black marker.

YouTube's got this relevant recommendations thing down to an art...

http://i.imgur.com/FrZhPal.png

inflatable dalek
2015-08-02, 03:30 PM
Well obviously that image of me is the "after" one.

inflatable dalek
2015-08-17, 04:48 PM
I'm not going to go spamtastic with these codes (if nothing else, they seem to come along often enough that keeping on top of them would be a full time job), but as it ends today and gives a good chunk off, CWW25 will knock 25% of the cost off.

inflatable dalek
2015-08-18, 02:15 PM
And just to be really shameless, this is now available on British and American Amazon as well.

Full links can be found on the pretentiously titled Book Shop part of the site:

http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/book-shop.html

Cliffjumper
2015-09-21, 09:38 PM
Finished it the other night. Largely found it to be very enjoyable; I only dip into your blog from time to time as a lot of the original posts have coincided with baby stuff so it was a nice fresh read. Found you have a good feel for the level of "summary" detail that works for a book like this - i.e. no solid eye-glazing synopsises that get skipped but plenty of contextual information rather than "What Prime's saying on page 9 is stupid!". Lots of fresh theorising on there and the approach in general felt nice and fun, especially the willingness to admit you'd over/under-estimated several stories before this reading approach. Going to be a fun thing to dip in and out of whenever I'm re-reading stories myself, and looking forward to a second pass and picking out some specifics to go over. It also pulled a lot of information that's probably buried across Wikis and IDW trades together, which was really handy as I personally won't buy the latter as I have no need, and there are probably a lot of people with Titan trades who feel the same.

Nicely presented too, found the format really good and the typos unobtrusive, though there's a spell about 80% in where a few columns reverse order that is quite disorientating.

Negatives for me I'm afraid; some of the preambles haven't aged well and make the book read like some old blog posts pasted into Lulu; we're probably only talking a handful and it's something I can emphasise as I often find the hardest part of any review or similar to write is a preamble before launching into the nitty-gritty. But some really are "WTF?" and jerk you right out of the book by not really linking into the main body well, just being whatever was relevant a year or two before.

The ones where this was largely dispensed with in favour of "well, last week I said this so let's see how it goes" really did flow better in the context of the thing being a book rather than a blog archive, and I must confess my eyes skipped over some of these and just latched onto the first paragraph that was actually about the comic itself.

But overall a hugely enjoyable read, very much looking forward to the second volume and I'm sure I'll be re-reading before then.

inflatable dalek
2015-09-23, 05:22 AM
With that last bit you've actually hit upon one of the harder parts of turning this into something that worked solely as a book rather than a collected website. Cutting out all the contempoary references actually would have been fairly easy (and a lot did go), but I did very much want to keep the feel of this being a "Journey" in real time where the stuff going on in my life did have an impact--be it good, such as the fun of reading Enemy Within whilst sat at a bar near Simon Furman, or bad, hello ReGeneration One fans!---on how I went into each issue.

Making that still flow well though was tricky (just changing the tenses was rarely enough) so I'm not surprised some of it has wound up a bit chunky.

The other tricky thing was not heavily reworking my opinions. Up to three years later some of my thoughts have shifted a bit (especially as I reread everything again, and doing it quickly creates a different feel to weekly), but I wanted to keep the "This is what I thought as I did it" approach. The only area I cheated there was with Robo Capers as I enjoyed them a lot more this time round. As I'd only talked about a few of them on the blog I thought it'd be sensible to bring those bits more in line with the new material I was writing so as not to look completely schizo.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-09-23, 07:39 AM
With that last bit you've actually hit upon one of the harder parts of turning this into something that worked solely as a book rather than a collected website. Cutting out all the contempoary references actually would have been fairly easy (and a lot did go), but I did very much want to keep the feel of this being a "Journey" in real time where the stuff going on in my life did have an impact--be it good, such as the fun of reading Enemy Within whilst sat at a bar near Simon Furman, or bad, hello ReGeneration One fans!---on how I went into each issue.

Drop the Dead Donkey that shizzle.

"This entry was originally written on 23rd June 2013, in a week when Stuart couldn't get his spell-check to work and a really shit issue of RiD had just landed."

Rack 'n Ruin
2015-09-23, 07:44 AM
"This entry was originally written on 23rd June 2013, in a week when Stuart couldn't get his spell-check to work and a really shit issue of RiD had just landed."

But those things could apply to any given week!


I kid, I kid...


And c'mon, Dalek, how did you not love Robo Capers? While not as good as Combat Colin, it was infinitely better than that bloody cat. I did like those bonus strips, though. Happy days! :)

Brendocon 2.0
2015-09-23, 07:45 AM
Almost as if my examples were carefully chosen.

(Joking, obviously. I've still not read RiD so wouldn't dream of casting aspersions about its quality).

inflatable dalek
2015-09-23, 01:53 PM
But RID isn't weekly.

Denyer
2015-09-23, 06:37 PM
In passing, if anyone wants to get into a bidding war, this is the first copy of Eugenesis I've seen come up for sale in a long while...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transformers-Eugenesis-Novel-James-Roberts-Transmasters-UK-Fan-Fiction-2001-/291571344308?

inflatable dalek
2015-09-23, 07:27 PM
Speaking of price wars, I do love the person who has set up a second Amazon page for the book so they can try and fleece idiots with extortionate prices:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transformation-Personal-Transformers-1984-1987-Paperback/dp/B014S4DPD2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1443036075&sr=8-2&keywords=stuart+webb+transformation

410 for a new copy. But only 291 for a used one (which has actually gone up from last week when it was worth 110). Except the used copy will be exactly the same as a new one as I've not sold enough for there to be a second hand market (and the bulk of those are signed, which I say should make it worth more than a new one!) so this person will just order a copy and send it to you regardless of what you pay.

Are Amazon good at sorting out this sort of thing if you contact them? Whilst this greedy tit is entitled to try and make as much money as they can, I think it should at least be merged with the proper Amazon page for the book so people can have the choice/not thinking there's just stupidly priced versions out there because they only see the one page and so don't buy (which is more of a concern for me).

Oh, and it's both back in stock on the proper Amazon page after not being so for a couple of weeks (why I'm not sure when they just order a copy from Lulu when you buy from them. They're claiming to only have ten in stock), and if anyone wants free postage it's on the Book Depository as well, three pence more for some reason I can't fathom though.

Skyquake87
2015-09-23, 07:52 PM
Stuff like that on Amazon annoys me no end. There's some knobhead keeps chucking Lego sets on there for a grand a throw or more. There's too many folk like this that have got wise to Amazon's pricing by availablity and are treating it like the stock market.

...isn't captialism marvellous?

Cliffjumper
2015-09-23, 10:26 PM
Most of it's automated stuff thrown up by ISBN/EAN with no human interaction, feeding back from Amazon's own database. You can make up a product for Amazon (not too difficult, just need an EAN for something that's not already on there; storebrand stuff is handy if you're, say, trying to set up a listing page for something that predates EANs) and several automated sellers will set up an automatic listing once it's all fed fully through the database; would suspect that any purchase of one of these would be met with an out of stock refund. This is why the famous Paul Ross box canvas attracted so much attention, because there were some for sale for thousands.

Cliffjumper
2015-09-23, 10:29 PM
Cutting out all the contempoary references actually would have been fairly easy (and a lot did go), but I did very much want to keep the feel of this being a "Journey" in real time where the stuff going on in my life did have an impact--be it good, such as the fun of reading Enemy Within whilst sat at a bar near Simon Furman, or bad, hello ReGeneration One fans!---on how I went into each issue.

Personally I feel you're selling your writing short by using such a device as the "on-topic" sections did a perfect job of conveying the real time aspect both for you reviewing them and the readers of the time.

Skyquake87
2015-09-24, 06:12 PM
Most of it's automated stuff thrown up by ISBN/EAN with no human interaction, feeding back from Amazon's own database. You can make up a product for Amazon (not too difficult, just need an EAN for something that's not already on there; storebrand stuff is handy if you're, say, trying to set up a listing page for something that predates EANs) and several automated sellers will set up an automatic listing once it's all fed fully through the database; would suspect that any purchase of one of these would be met with an out of stock refund. This is why the famous Paul Ross box canvas attracted so much attention, because there were some for sale for thousands.

I did not know that, I just assumed (wrongly) it was a chancer on the make.

inflatable dalek
2015-09-24, 06:19 PM
There is a chancer on the make, me.

Interesting stuff about the how the secondary market works on there, all sounds a bit baffling to me.

Personally I feel you're selling your writing short by using such a device as the "on-topic" sections did a perfect job of conveying the real time aspect both for you reviewing them and the readers of the time.

The second book should be a bit smoother, I've actually been thinking "So how will this work in the book?" so as to save work rewriting later.

Cliffjumper
2015-09-24, 06:35 PM
It is and it isn't; larger Marketplace sellers often have their shops set to "match lowest price" and often set up something to pick up any additions to either the catalogue or Amazon's insane chart. They'll have an upper limit set and the insane price is probably what it is; as yet as something so newly published there probably aren't any genuine used listings on Amazon, just auto-setups, so there's no competition for a low price.

If I was to log into my Marketplace now and list a copy at - say - 30 - within minutes/hours (depending on how quickly Amazon's cache picked it up) their copies would drop to 29.99. But as said there are no genuine used copies out there so no personal sellers are using that field; let's say Dalek sells 1000 copies, chances are for some reason or another a couple of people will move them on in a couple of years and you'll have multiple genuine used listings from people happy to get a fiver for a genuine used book.

So it is chancers from the point of view that Marketplace sellers are happy to provide the 'cheapest' price for an item in multiple condition categories however absurd the actual price is (I guess the logic being that if someone does plump for a 100 used copy they can just source one - and due to the way Amazon's marketplace system works cancel the order if it proves impossible, or if they can't get a copy for significantly less than 100).

But it isn't from the point of view of there being a bloke sat there going "look at that book, I reckon I can get 100 for one of those by setting up my own listing, LOL".

And TBH I'd be surprised if Amazon could be bothered to do anything about the situation, especially as it's their mechanism that effectively sets up the automatic undercutting in favour of big business marketplace sellers. The answer is likely to be to rely on customers doing their research.

It is a system that's open to abuse if you've got the balls, though - find item you want used; set up a listing and undercut lowest price by a significant amount if the lowest prices are by bulk outfits; wait for their prices to drop automatically and buy while hoping they don't realise it's you doing it (not difficult as your seller ID isn't your buying ID) and cross your fingers no-one buys it off you in the meantime.

(Not that I have done this on multiple occasions; though post-checkout there is often someone human pulling the stock out and if you overdo crashing the price on something too obscure the seller will miraculously have no stock to send).

inflatable dalek
2015-09-24, 06:44 PM
let's say Dalek sells 1000 copies

I like the way you say things.

Though if anyone sells their copy I will cut them.

Oddly, whilst Lulu tells me every time they sell a copy direct, I've not had any information on how many I've sold through Amazon/Barnes and Noble/The Book Depository yet. I'm presuming they do that quarterly, though considering Lulu has to send them out anyway I don't know why they can't keep me better informed. I only know people have been buying it off Amazon because they've told me themselves.

Denyer
2015-09-29, 08:58 PM
In passing, if anyone wants to get into a bidding war, this is the first copy of Eugenesis I've seen come up for sale in a long while...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transformers-Eugenesis-Novel-James-Roberts-Transmasters-UK-Fan-Fiction-2001-/291571344308?

Got up to just under $150, which isn't bad for something that thankfully isn't exclusive (leaving aside minor edits) to its original print run.

Cliffjumper
2015-09-29, 09:07 PM
Someone's going to be very disappointed that there's not a single incident of Swerve doing epic bantz in there.

Death's Head
2015-09-30, 06:00 PM
I was reading some old TMUK stories the other day and I must admit, it jarred me slightly when Swerve showed up and behaved...like a metallurgist. He was doing his job and everything!

inflatable dalek
2015-10-07, 07:37 AM
The young lady who won the book seemed delighted with it on twitter yesterday, but--whilst it's clearly of historical value (even if Roberts hadn't gone on to do anything else, an entirely self published Transformers book is a pretty insane thing. Especially before the sort of lazy and easy ways of self publishing some tossers use today were available) and I'd not say no if the chance to get a copy came up... I think I can live with the PDF.

Though having the PDF and access to easy self publishing, if anyone has a good scan of the cover we could print our own and say, sell one "Original" every few months. We'd be rich! Rich!

Ahem.

If I've worked it out correctly the second part of the Cosmic Carnival will be (counting the Annuals/Collected Comics/Addendums) 200th Transformation piece. That means I've got less that two weeks to come up with something celebratory.

Maybe I'll randomly attack myself for no readily apparent reason other than to pad things out?

I've been browsing a draft of the Other Book On Transformers that will be coming next year (I can't go into details as it's not formally been announced yet, and as it's coming from a proper publisher I'd probably get the author--who foolishly thinks I know enough to be sent an advanced draft--into trouble. But it obviously won't be as good as mine) and was reminded of something Tom touched upon earlier:

Back when this started a lot of people did actually ask me to do detailed synopses and credits. That wasn't the sort of thing I wanted to do (having grown tired of the approach I'd used for the reviews here), but it did come up again when I started on the book version as a few people did think a proper book would need them for context.

I did consider it as whilst there's plenty of online synopses, there's only been that now very outdated Prime Targets in print. Luckily finding out this other book that is actually doing all that was coming relieved me of that and saved an awful lot of rewriting. Huzzah!

Denyer
2015-10-07, 06:16 PM
Who got it? Anyone we know?

Though having the PDF and access to easy self publishing, if anyone has a good scan of the cover we could print our own
Not the first person to make that suggestion. Not having anything to do with a for-profit printing, but I'd like a copy on acid-free paper and am considering working out the logistics (ditto epub). Got as far as reading some instructions for TeX some years ago, but there are probably mature open source authoring tools around now.

BTW -- not in this evening but will make podcast edit tomorrow all being well. Will be quicker if someone lets me know what bit to clip out, rather than re-doing from new original source.

Cliffjumper
2015-10-07, 07:01 PM
Regarding non-profit, IIRC Lulu does have an option to set the book price at cost (or did when I did those Robo Machine things... which'd also mean for anyone feeling sneaky there's the option of setting it up as a private book). Mind, it'd feel pretty rude considering the writer is interactive with fandom, and it'd be a red flag to the arselickers... Has anyone asked Roberts about this option? What's the copyright status of the book, i.e. is it up to him?

inflatable dalek
2015-10-07, 07:53 PM
Though I have previously considered printing off my own copy as a one off (putting it out of mind as I'd need help with the layout and cover, so that person would have to have a copy as well. Then there'd be a few "Well, so and so must have one, they're a good mate and they deserve it!" folk and the whole thing grows out of hand), I'd not do so without getting some sort of permission from Roberts, which he'd probably not be able to give these days, even clandestinely.

So if someone cad passing through nicks my fiendish money making scam, I'll be really annoyed.








Because I won't see any money from it.

Who got it? Anyone we know?

I didn't recognise them, they said they were bringing it to the TFCon in Charlotte so get signed, so presumably an American/Canadian.

BTW -- not in this evening but will make podcast edit tomorrow all being well. Will be quicker if someone lets me know what bit to clip out, rather than re-doing from new original source.

Did Terome not send you a file with the new edit in it? I was under the impression he had.

Denyer
2015-10-07, 11:24 PM
I've sent a PM in the other direction explaining this, but basically: it doesn't help at all having what's effectively a brand new audio file to put through filters and add stuff to. If you'd said which thirty seconds or whatever wanted cutting, I could have done that to the finished project files in five minutes yesterday, re-exported and had it uploaded.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-10-08, 09:54 AM
fightfightfightfightfight

Cliffjumper
2015-10-08, 12:12 PM
♫ Dalek got told off, Dalek got told off ♫

inflatable dalek
2015-10-09, 12:19 PM
I'm sure Denyer wasn't telling me off as I was quite precise in the staff thread about which bit needed cutting out, how other people went about that isn't my fault.

The only solution is to tar and feather Terome and march him through the streets naked.

Unless he buys another three copies of my book. That's only fair.

Who do I talk to in order to get the adventures of Peter Pez Clown Policeman in SPACE collected in book form?

Rack 'n Ruin
2015-10-09, 12:24 PM
Who do I talk to in order to get the adventures of Peter Pez Clown Policeman in SPACE collected in book form?

A therapist. :p

inflatable dalek
2015-10-09, 12:42 PM
A therapist. :p

Any one in particular or have they all managed to get the rights collectively?

Ryan F
2015-10-09, 12:58 PM
A therapist. :p

I once needed therapy and so logged on to therapist.com

I was shocked to discover it was actually Bill Cosby's personal site...

inflatable dalek
2015-10-10, 06:56 PM
I was just able to make the "Rhi-not" joke in the newest acquisitions thread safe in the knowledge it would not be the most painful and forced joke on the Archive this week.

Summerhayes
2015-10-11, 01:42 PM
Read a fair chunk of the book in prison today and yesterday, so hopefully I'm the first to do that?

Brendocon 2.0
2015-10-11, 02:01 PM
"A great prison read"
- Summerhayes

These pull quotes for the second edition are lining up nicely.

inflatable dalek
2015-10-11, 08:04 PM
He didn't say he enjoyed it though.

Summerhayes
2015-10-12, 11:21 AM
Prison, or the book? :p
Let me put it this way: when they let us out for activities, everyone else was giving it "oh my god, two hours in a cell, I can't imagine being sent here properly" and I said "can I have a bit longer? I'm nearly at Target: 2006"

Rack 'n Ruin
2015-10-12, 01:04 PM
Read a fair chunk of the book in prison today and yesterday, so hopefully I'm the first to do that?

What did you do to deserve such punishment?

And why were you in prison?

Better hope you are let out for good behaviour, or you may end up having to read about Re:Generation One (or whatever it was called - wasn't particularly bothered by it at the time, even less so now).











PS: You know I love the blog, Dalek! :swirly:

inflatable dalek
2015-10-12, 07:46 PM
He shot a man to watch him die.




That's took the fun out of this hasn't it?

Rack 'n Ruin
2015-10-12, 07:53 PM
Dunno. Depends on who he shot.

Summerhayes
2015-10-13, 12:41 PM
I just picked a bum on the street.

(For clarification: I went to prison for charity. I still haven't been caught for my actual crimes)

Rack 'n Ruin
2015-10-13, 12:49 PM
I just picked a bum on the street.

Well, that is an unusual crime. Did it belong to anyone we might know?

(For clarification: I went to prison for charity. I still haven't been caught for my actual crimes)

Oh, I see! A different idea. How long were you "inside" for? Anything you found particularly interesting about the experience?

Summerhayes
2015-10-13, 01:00 PM
I was only in for 24 hours. I'm actually in the process of writing it up for the local paper, but it was quite the experience. Once I've got my thoughts clear in my head, I'll share them.

inflatable dalek
2015-10-13, 07:43 PM
I was only in for 24 hours. I'm actually in the process of writing it up for the local paper, but it was quite the experience. Once I've got my thoughts clear in my head, I'll share them.

Everyone's a writer now! I was doing it before it was cool.

Summerhayes
2015-10-15, 04:00 PM
Anything you found particularly interesting about the experience?

Long Answer (http://www.sheptonmalletjournal.co.uk/Prison-Diary-Luke-Summerhayes-does-time-Shepton/story-27991945-detail/story.html)
Short Answer: It was a hell of an experience, and the building was full of palpable history, but I was the wrong person to be properly bothered by it. Sitting alone in a quiet room and reading is my idea of a nice afternoon!

inflatable dalek
2015-11-13, 06:10 PM
And it's a pretty big one this week (both in terms of importance and length) as I hit the first issue I ever read:

http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/transformers-uk183.html





It would of course have to be one of the more horribly sexist issues in the whole run.

Denyer
2015-11-14, 12:40 PM
Easter part of the story coming up then...

Arcee being threatened by a massive penis substitute

Not particularly, except insofar as almost any situation involving a "female" character and another character with a gun is. Not long after you've got Ghyrik standing dominant over and thrusting his crotch towards a prone Hot Rod's face -- it's not that there aren't things to deconstruct in either image, but if anything the visual goes out of its way to emphasise no robo-boobies. Or much sense of proportion, or concern with basic things like centring faction symbols.

Cliffjumper
2015-11-14, 12:53 PM
Yeh, it's pretty hard to argue that anything Dan Reed did was done on purpose.

inflatable dalek
2015-11-14, 05:55 PM
The cover is Wildman though.

It could be worse, if Furman had picked one of the more traditional Quints for the general Arcee would be being menaced by a tentacle.

Tetsuro
2015-11-14, 06:54 PM
You know, that Ghostbusters comment kinda makes me wonder if anyone out there has made a review of all the episodes or the comic to anywhere near this level of completion.

inflatable dalek
2015-12-11, 04:18 PM
Yes, it's that time of year again where Slag tells me off for making the questions too hard.

There's prizes again this year, including some unique ones related to The Book (the only proof copy and some prints being made by the mighty Mr. Turnbull) and some ones you might actually want (Lew Stringer books).

But to win you must pass my fiendish test! All answers in by the 8th of January. You should all take part to stop Ryan F steam-rolling it again:

http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/2015-christmas-quiz.html

Brendocon 2.0
2015-12-11, 05:37 PM
If I win can I forego the prizes in return for you never mentioning your book again?

inflatable dalek
2015-12-11, 05:55 PM
If you win.

If you don't win you have to watch Headmasters again. From the start. All the way through. Without the dub.

Alternately you could just not go in the thread marked as being about the book...

Brendocon 2.0
2015-12-11, 06:07 PM
Because this is the only thread you turn your sig on for, obvs.

Auntie Slag
2015-12-11, 07:12 PM
Holy hell. If I was to answer these off the top of my head I might be in with a chance with question 8.

What happened to normal questions like 'Name all the Seekers' or 'Spell Thunderwing' or something?

Do us a dumb quiz as well :up:

[Edit] I DEFINITELY know the answer to Question 8. Ooh, that's a good one, I'm so happy. Score!

Brendocon 2.0
2015-12-11, 07:25 PM
What happened to normal questions like 'Name all the Seekers'

I name them Jeff, Dave and Bernard.

What do I win?

Auntie Slag
2015-12-11, 07:40 PM
Only my everlasting love, you maverick renegade!

Tetsuro
2015-12-11, 08:31 PM
[Edit] I DEFINITELY know the answer to Question 8. Ooh, that's a good one, I'm so happy. Score!
Well I know the answer to that and 4, so at least I got that going on for me.

inflatable dalek
2015-12-12, 09:36 AM
All the answers can be found by having read the strips and/or the blog. This is an award for attentive readers!

Skyquake87
2015-12-12, 03:12 PM
ooh a Quiz!

Okay, I've got nine of these off the bat. I think.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-12-12, 03:52 PM
All the answers can be found by having read the strips and/or the blog. This is an award for attentive readers!

I read your tweets about the blog. Should I know it from those?

inflatable dalek
2015-12-27, 03:28 AM
Skyquake is winning at the moment. Do you people want Skyquake to think he's better than you? Look at him, sat there laughing at you all waving his penis in your faces. He must be stopped!

Skyquake87
2015-12-27, 10:03 AM
Look at me winning...!

*!THIS CONTENT HAS BEEN DELETED BY YOUR ORGANIZATION. REASON : NO ONE NEEDS TO SEE THAT.*

inflatable dalek
2016-01-05, 09:17 PM
And now Skyquake has been cockslapped into second place with three days still to go.

Amazingly by a reader I don't know as well. Most of them I've met by now.

One question seems to have fooled everyone into giving the same wrong answer, anyone who has actually read Firebug could still win it.

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-05, 10:02 PM
One question seems to have fooled everyone into giving the same wrong answer, anyone who has actually read Firebug could still win it.

I've totes read Firebug. I'm totes gonna win.

Skyquake87
2016-01-06, 08:27 PM
Oh poo, trumped again! ha. Well, its not the winning, its the taking part. My brain is having sleepy time, so I can't relate any of those questions to Firebug.

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-06, 08:33 PM
There's only one question I've not got the (obviously correct) answer for, and the deadline is still easily doable.

Exclusive footage of me winning the quiz:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2NtAP9-o4s

Skyquake87
2016-01-06, 08:49 PM
Ha! ...now I want to watch Jessica Jones. If only I had (insert relevant streaming service)

inflatable dalek
2016-01-06, 09:00 PM
:swirly:Oh poo, trumped again! ha. Well, its not the winning, its the taking part. My brain is having sleepy time, so I can't relate any of those questions to Firebug.

I don't want to give too many helpful hints to the competition; but read the first page of Firebug and think on one of your answers.

Skyquake87
2016-01-07, 07:35 PM
...ohhhhh.

Ah well, not to worry.

inflatable dalek
2016-01-08, 04:43 PM
The results are in! And we have two winners!

One of whom I've lost the email of.

The other is our very own Brend!

Once again Skyquake gets the silver second place prize.

Full results: http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/blog/transformation-191-heads-you-lose

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-08, 06:32 PM
The results are in! And we have two winners!

One of whom I've lost the email of.

Oh dear.

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

I wonder how that happened.

I guess that means I win outright. Oh well.

I'll spare you all my victory speech. Suffice to say I'm brilliant and everyone else is rubbish, etc etc and all the other stuff that stereotype dictates I say.

Thanks all.

Skyquake87
2016-01-08, 08:01 PM
:swirly: And I am second bestest

inflatable dalek
2016-01-10, 08:47 PM
And Richard, the other winner, has been in touch. Turns out he was a little tied up.









And Brend was the one who tied him.

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-10, 08:48 PM
Tied with him.

And also tied him up, yes. Must get better ropes.

Auntie Slag
2016-01-11, 09:47 PM
Oooh, I think I got zero. I was confident about Question 8 because I thought the next place Death's Head turned up in was the Marvel Bumper Holiday Special. This contained individual stories from the Galaxy Rangers, Real Ghostbusters etc.

DH appears in a Doctor Who story in that holiday special. Its black & white, and he bounces off the Tardis in mid-spaceflight. Then the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) shrinks DH down to human size.

So this special was published after Doctor Who 135? I'm going back to The Racoons, and Jayce & the Wheeled Warriors. Screw this Transformers lark.

Auntie Slag
2016-01-11, 09:51 PM
Oh, and you spelt Mount St. Hilary wrong!

http://ih1.redbubble.net/image.10415502.2944/fc,550x550,army.jpg

Ryan F
2016-01-12, 01:19 PM
Oooh, I think I got zero. I was confident about Question 8 because I thought the next place Death's Head turned up in was the Marvel Bumper Holiday Special. This contained individual stories from the Galaxy Rangers, Real Ghostbusters etc.

DH appears in a Doctor Who story in that holiday special. Its black & white, and he bounces off the Tardis in mid-spaceflight. Then the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) shrinks DH down to human size.

So this special was published after Doctor Who 135? I'm going back to The Racoons, and Jayce & the Wheeled Warriors. Screw this Transformers lark.

By the sounds of it, the Holiday Special story was just a reprint of the strip that appeared in DWM#135.

Skyquake87
2016-01-12, 08:15 PM
It was, and was coloured for inclusion in that very special.

inflatable dalek
2016-01-12, 08:53 PM
Skywuake and Ryan speak the truth!

Oh, and you spelt Mount St. Hilary wrong!



Honestly, that was the answer everyone gave.


















And no one will ever be able to prove otherwise.

Tetsuro
2016-01-29, 08:03 PM
Well thanks, now I can go mad while not finding the milk bottle on the cover of #186.

Ryan F
2016-01-29, 08:32 PM
Well thanks, now I can go mad while not finding the milk bottle on the cover of #186.

My favourite Wildman easter-egg is the Toilet Doors of Unicron. Not because it was particularly funny, but because it finally gave us an in-universe explanation as to where Cyclonus's Armada got to.

inflatable dalek
2016-01-29, 10:16 PM
It is hard to spot the milk bottles mentioned in the letter in 194, but on the Metroplex cover there is a massive door opposite his fist which has a classic metal British bin at its base (of the pre Wheelie bin sort) and the whilt splodge of milk bottles is next to it.

Tetsuro
2016-01-31, 10:54 PM
Oh well no wonder I couldn't find it then; I was looking at the picture on the blog (where it's so tiny it's impossible to make out), and I thought it was "hidden" in the rest of the art, if that makes any sense.

Not quite as conspicuous as the infamous toaster.

inflatable dalek
2016-02-12, 04:41 PM
Today almost at exactly the same time I was going to email him to check up on their expected delivery date, I had a lovely email from Lew Stringer full of apologies for forgetting to post me the Brickman competition prizes. I had to stop myself from emailing him back and going "It's OK, you're Lew Stringer and you're emailing me as if we were equal*! You can do what you like".


















*Obviously in reality, I'm better.

Tetsuro
2016-02-16, 07:36 PM
I'm considering of ripping you off by making my own blog where I look through all the issues of the Marvel comic as it was published in Finland.

Only trouble is that, apart from only owning about less than half of all the issues published - not that there were many to begin with - but issues from '88 and '90, which I have none of, rarely crop up for sale - and there was very little content in them besides the comics themselves, so there wouldn't be much to talk about that you haven't already covered.

Unless, of course, I write the blog in Finnish, which would cover an entirely different audience.

Brendocon 2.0
2016-02-17, 05:44 PM
Somebody sent me a book. Which I'm sure is full of exciting spelling errors, typesetting mistakes and general formatting cockups that I look forward to making extensive notes on and judging Dalek for.

Also some Brickman books.

Presumably this is because I'm awesome and won the quiz. Or because I'm being punished, I won't know until I've studied it in depth.

Cheers squire.

inflatable dalek
2016-02-17, 08:46 PM
I'm considering of ripping you off by making my own blog where I look through all the issues of the Marvel comic as it was published in Finland.

That would be at least the third blog I've inspired. You all want to be me so badly.


Somebody sent me a book. Which I'm sure is full of exciting spelling errors, typesetting mistakes and general formatting cockups that I look forward to making extensive notes on and judging Dalek for.

That's exactly what I wrote the book for.

Brendocon 2.0
2016-02-18, 11:25 AM
To be fair, we long ago reached the point where it's a pleasant surprise if you write something that isn't horrifically mangled on some level. :)

inflatable dalek
2016-02-18, 07:46 PM
Speaking of horribly mangled, I have an idea for issue 200 that is insanely self indulgent and derivative, but potentially fun. It all depends on if I can find the time to pull it off...

inflatable dalek
2016-02-26, 10:56 PM
You know what the best feeling in the world is? When you've written a really lengthy, extensive piece on the 1988 Annual and seconds after you put it out there you suddenly realise every story in that book is about characters in conflict with themselves and that's what you should have made the entire write up about.

Bollocks.

inflatable dalek
2016-03-11, 05:53 PM
The moment has come!

My hugely self indulgent ISSUE 200 (http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/transformers-uk200.html) piece. Plus the "I'm not completely happy with this one so expect a major rewrite at some point" EUGENESIS (http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/addendum-15-eugenesis.html) Addendum!

Brendocon 2.0
2016-03-11, 06:12 PM
The moment has come!

My hugely self indulgent ISSUE 22 (http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/transformers-uk200.html) piece. Plus the "I'm not completely happy with this one so expect a major rewrite at some point" EUGENESIS (http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/addendum-15-eugenesis.html) Addendum!

Ah, issue 22. The one we've all been waiting for.

Why do Eugen now though? Surely it makes more sense to do it after the series?

inflatable dalek
2016-03-11, 06:19 PM
Ah, issue 22. The one we've all been waiting for.

Why do Eugen now though? Surely it makes more sense to do it after the series?

I certainly wouldn't want to say it's because I'd originally planned to do it alongside Space Pirates (as it's effectively a sequel) but didn't have time to reread it beforehand so I made it the 200 special instead.

Though it may by some strange coincidence wind up following Space Pirates in the book version.

Plus with the franchise winding down at this point there's not many more things I can do Addendums on between now and the end, but a lot of stuff that needs dealing with when the series wraps up (American G2, Reg, Titan and IDW trades and so on), so I thought I'd space it out a bit.

Denyer
2016-03-11, 07:33 PM
The idea is simple enough: Primus and Unicron are actually mad super computers built by the Quintessons
Losing a lot of nuance by focusing on reducing to that -- the Quints stole the technology from a more advanced race, and evopeak is slightly different terminology around approaching the subliming you get in Iain M Banks novels; it provides a wider context in which one planet of robots aren't inexplicably the most important thing(s) in the universe.

Primus/Unicron as literal gods craps on any attempt to be science fiction, and isn't even consistent with the framing devices and script Furman used first time around. The idea of it being true (and Primus/Unicron being multiversal, and similar stuff) rather than delusional ranting is built up by later fiction, and basically what happens when a big company resets things to a simple saleable good vs evil battle. It airbrushes out the scepticism about Primus shown in the original comics.

Tetsuro
2016-03-11, 08:32 PM
That would be at least the third blog I've inspired. You all want to be me so badly.
Well it beats all the other "reviews" that just describe everything that happens in an issue, and if you're lucky, you might get a sentence or two actually analyzing the contents.

inflatable dalek
2016-03-11, 11:51 PM
Losing a lot of nuance by focusing on reducing to that -- the Quints stole the technology from a more advanced race, and evopeak is slightly different terminology around approaching the subliming you get in Iain M Banks novels; it provides a wider context in which one planet of robots aren't inexplicably the most important thing(s) in the universe.

I'll admit to simplifying it for the sake of length, but it really does boil down to that, there's just a lot of needless faffing about in his exposition going on about a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with the rest of the book. A SUPER mad computer is still a mad computer.

It doesn't help that it's a character explaining his motivation who already has plenty of motivation for what he's doing (survival of the species and base revenge), it's needless exposition.


Primus/Unicron as literal gods craps on any attempt to be science fiction, and isn't even consistent with the framing devices and script Furman used first time around. The idea of it being true (and Primus/Unicron being multiversal, and similar stuff) rather than delusional ranting is built up by later fiction, and basically what happens when a big company resets things to a simple saleable good vs evil battle. It airbrushes out the scepticism about Primus shown in the original comics.

I'd say the Primus story is just as much "Proper" SF, or at least as close as Transformers ever gets. "Super advanced aliens from the Universe before this" is a perfectly solid sci fi idea, it's the use in conjucture with the "Living robots" idea that was--and still is outside of Transformers, I think the "Built to serve and revolted" idea would still be the default origin story for anyone creating a similar franchise--fresh.

Tetsuro
2016-03-12, 09:24 AM
Well it does sound like the typical attempt to compromise between the different cartoon and comic presentations, similar Soundwave (or worse, Ratbat/Shockwave); and I mean that in the sense that it just winds up looking stupid and doesn't really work.

inflatable dalek
2016-03-12, 09:38 AM
To be fair, it could have worked if properly handled, but it's just a mess of a scene.

Denyer
2016-03-12, 05:37 PM
It's heavy on info-dumping but does give the Quints and overall TMUK universe far more interesting background hooks than a survival motivation. It's rather a shame it (as far as I know, haven't read that much) sits in relative isolation apart from some other stories involving nanotech.

"Super advanced aliens from the Universe before this" is a perfectly solid sci fi idea,
It is if you want to portray your protagonist species as the most important thing evar!!1! (created to fight the being that destroyed the last universe, etc) but it comes off as immature and generally too neat in a narrative sense. It's up there with characters supposedly millions of years old having the depth of cardboard with most writers.

I think the "Built to serve and revolted" idea would still be the default origin story for anyone creating a similar franchise--fresh.
Yeah, and it's one that lends itself to scope for character agency even if the cartoon version of it wasn't anything special (notwithstanding that some takes on the origin then divide the two sides overmuch into military and labour hardware). The other main one being the origin picked for Gobots, Cybermen and various other series, organics upgrading themselves to avoid plague/war/etc. or for cultural reasons.

I like settings that feel as if they're keyed into a larger universe, and Unicron tends to **** with that if the before-time-began angle is played up. As a more straightforward Galactus substitute minus that it's not as jarring.

Death's Head
2016-03-12, 06:12 PM
The nanontech Denyer mentions above was part of yet another on-going TMUK plot largely written by Martin McVay under the umbrella title 'The Nanobot Conspiracy'. This involved a HUGE number of stories set all over the TMUK timeline and involved all the Transformers with special powers (what we would call 'outliers' these days - I can't help but imagine James was giving a friendly nod towards Martin's stories with that reference) and a vast, intergalactic conspiracy involving aliens older even than Primus and Unicron. It's very Iain Banks, and very, very good.

James was very generous in emailing around various people at the time, making sure he didn't step on anyone's toes story-wise. It was kind of him and, in the case of the story he emailed me about, entirely unnecessary as I would have had no problem with it being squashed by Eugenesis. As I said over on Stu's blog, the weakest parts of the book are going to be the parts where it references or leaves space for other stories, even if for me as TMUKer those are parts I really love!

Regarding the cartoon/comic origin - I have to say, over the years I've softened considerably on the whole 'consumer-goods-rebelling' angle. There's a good Marxist moral in there which I like (and which, come to think of it, is rather subversive for an American toy advert from the 80s). Coupled with the overexposure of the Primus/Unicron myth over the years, and I find I'd have no problem with James introducing some kind of streamlined version of the Eugenesis origin into IDW.

Tetsuro
2016-05-01, 12:29 AM
It's kind of funny, I never even considered Time Wars taking place at any other point in time but where it was published in the UK magazine; before Cold War.

The fact that whoever sent me the DVD with the low-quality scans not having the letters or editorials explaining any of this might've had something to do with it.

inflatable dalek
2016-05-19, 03:24 PM
Transformation is four years old today! Normally I'd do a thing, but a long weekend of Roger Moore has worn me out. So here's a simple thank you video instead:

i8XAxzF-OT0

Skyquake87
2016-05-19, 06:44 PM
Where's your wardrobe? Has it finally collapsed?

inflatable dalek
2016-05-19, 07:42 PM
I have more than one room.

Warcry
2016-07-14, 05:51 PM
I've read the book! And I'm quite impressed.

Oh, the opinions expressed in the reviews themselves are often dead wrong on account of being dalek's, but I love the completely unapologetic tone of the whole thing. It's clearly one man's opinion and no ****s were given about rocking the boat or going against the popular opinions of about any given story, and that makes the whole thing a far more engaging read than any attempt at a "neutral" review could ever hope to be.

But as a non-Brit, the most interesting part of the whole endeavour was actually the bits that weren't about the stories. I've read all of this stuff by now either in collected form or as scans, so there weren't any huge surprises to me there. But the tidbits of info about early creators like Steve Parkhouse and Mike Collins were really interesting, as I really wasn't all that aware about how much (or little) some of these men had contributed over the years. And the wealth of information about letters pages, backup strips, features and articles was the real goldmine to me. Most of this is stuff I never knew existed, let alone seen, and it really places the stories in a different context to me. I'd also never really thought through the implications of delivering 11 pages of story weekly rather than 22 pages monthly, and the commentary on how well (or poorly) this worked both in the native UK strips and the chopped-up US ones was a real standout.

I did have some niggles, though.

Nicely presented too, found the format really good and the typos unobtrusive, though there's a spell about 80% in where a few columns reverse order that is quite disorientating.
This was probably the biggest one. It really made it difficult to follow the reviews in which it happened.

The other thing that didn't really work for me was the addendums. The content itself was fine, but the way they were presented in the book was really distracting. Having them run on the right hand pages while the main reviews continued on the left really made it tough to keep track of where I was, and flipping three pages forward to read an addendum only to have to flip back and find where I'd left off was quite frustrating (especially since -- as my son will chew on any books I try to read at home -- I did most of my reading in half-hour chunks on the bus and often had to leave off in the middle of something). If Volume 2 found another way to present these, I think it'd be a big improvement.

P.S.: If I live to be a hundred I'll never understand the love you Brits have for Geoff Senior. He's fine and all, but I enjoy the work of a lot of other Marvel TF artists more than his.

inflatable dalek
2016-07-14, 06:23 PM
We'll never live that page thing down.

Interesting thing about the addendums, do other folk feel the same? We can always change that for the next one.

And see, even colonials like it! Though that last sentence probably invalidates the entire opinion.

Skyquake87
2016-07-14, 07:05 PM
Yeah, I think I agree with Warcry having had another read through recently (although not about Geoff Senior). Perhaps put your addenums at the end of chapters / make a distinct break between issues.

inflatable dalek
2016-07-14, 07:49 PM
We'll look into that then. The format with the bonus stuff was shamelessly stolen from the About Time books.

on the misplaced columns, I did look into editing the file on Lulu, but it seems (presumably because it has an ISBN number and therefore you can't just change the content) that I'd have had to start over and create a new book, which would have confused things in terms of aforementioned ISBN and Amazon listings.

Plus, I wasn't sure if it would be fair on people who bought early to present a better version almost immediately afterwards. If I ever get round to doing an ebook version, that'll be sorted as it'll probably just be straight text anyway.

I have started on Book 2, with the introduction, acknowledgements and "The Story of the Transformers--So Far!" sections done in first draft form. Though it's taken me long enough that it's probably going to be 2017 rather than before Christmas.

This may also be the time to mention I've sold two short stories to Mad Scientist Journal. The exciting one is for a proper book anthology: http://madscientistjournal.org/2016/04/table-o-contents-for-fitting-in/, but even before that has been published they bought another for their March quarterly (which you'll then be able to read for free on the website in June. Based on that lead in time the Fitting In Book should be about Christmas/New Year as well), that's how good it is.

Plus the second story has me totally libel Denyer.

Expect lots more on this as these come out.

Denyer
2016-07-14, 08:56 PM
Interesting thing about the addendums, do other folk feel the same? We can always change that for the next one.

Yeah. No longer own any About Time volumes and the layouts and effect on being annoying to dip into was a small part of that. The much bigger part was them being dry as f*ck a lot of the time and with an interest in detail bordering on the pathological, admittedly.

I've probably mentioned before but if the footer disclaimer is kept it needs a bit more margin between it and the page text.

If I live to be a hundred I'll never understand the love you Brits have for Geoff Senior. He's fine and all, but I enjoy the work of a lot of other Marvel TF artists more than his.
Hard lines and shading techniques. It's mostly done to be presented in black and white, and balances expressiveness with relative minimalism a lot of the time. Didn't work well with modern colouring when he popped back on the Titan movie comic (although having to simplify the movie designs didn't help).

inflatable dalek
2016-07-15, 04:24 PM
Don't engage with Warcry on his crazy Geoff Senior opinions, it just makes them look valid.

I'm delighted at least one person has read it more than once.

Warcry
2016-07-15, 04:53 PM
Don't engage with Warcry on his crazy Geoff Senior opinions, it just makes them look valid.
Oh hush. He does a good job of storytelling but his robots and humans both look like they've been chipped from blocks of stone. I tend to think that his stuff does look a lot better in black-and-white, as Denyer alluded to, but even then he's far from my favourite.

But it's not like I'm comparing him to Jose Delbo, Dan Reed or Manny Galan either. He's not bad, I just don't get his style at all.

Perhaps put your addenums at the end of chapters / make a distinct break between issues.
That's what I was thinking too. Maybe have them clustered in between each year's worth of reviews, or something like that?

I've probably mentioned before but if the footer disclaimer is kept it needs a bit more margin between it and the page text.
A smaller/different font would help a bit too, I think. My eyes kept tricking me into thinking it was a part of the text.

Denyer
2016-07-16, 09:23 AM
Not necessary apart from the covers anyway, really.

inflatable dalek
2016-07-29, 12:08 PM
And the current Lulu code with get yo 15% off and free postage before Sunday with SHIPSAVE16: http://www.lulu.com/shop/stuart-webb/transformation-a-personal-journey-through-the-british-transformers-comic-volume-1-1984-1987/paperback/product-22289496.html

Tetsuro
2016-10-31, 12:08 PM
Not sure you've noticed, but the months and days of 1989 match up with 2017.

You can use the classic covers calendars then.

inflatable dalek
2016-10-31, 01:11 PM
Ha, that's awesome.

To keep all my self pimping in one thread, my first pro short story in the anthology Fitting In is now out! It's perfect for the long winter evenings, indeed, thanks to the magic of kindle people can still just about read it and the other misunderstood ghoul and spooks filled stories on Halloween itself!

More details and various Amazon links: http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/blog/commercial-break-the-fitting-in-anthology

Denyer
2016-11-05, 12:14 AM
If you hadn't said which story it was, it would probably still have been readily apparent (although read the first vampire one then skipped ahead... will have to dig into more at some point). Always interesting to read stuff in the author's voice. Tightly written.

Bumblemus Prime
2016-11-05, 12:45 AM
'Grats Dalek. You're currently the only person at the center of a Venn diagram of my friends who are TF fans and friends who write short fiction.

inflatable dalek
2017-04-28, 09:15 PM
The rough draft of Transformation Volume 2 is now done and in the hands of Denyer who can actually proof read!

Also, my second short story is out now, in the Spring 2017 issue of Mad Scientist Journal! Complete with a joke about Denyer!

Wait, maybe that wasn't a good idea, who replaced all the words in Transformation 2 with "Twat" over and over?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0997793651/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493414306&sr=1-1&keywords=mad+scientist+journal

(It's on all the other Amazons as well)

Warcry
2017-04-28, 09:30 PM
Which issues does the second volume cover? Odds are I'll actually properly buy this one without needing to be tricked!

(Mildly jealous that you got a story (or two) published before me, by the way, but I suppose that's what I get for getting distracted by having a life and a family. :glance: Ah, well. One day!)

inflatable dalek
2017-04-28, 09:39 PM
Which issues does the second volume cover? Odds are I'll actually properly buy this one without needing to be tricked!

Issues 113 (you might have heard of that one) to 222! So Death's Head to Survivors.

(Mildly jealous that you got a story (or two) published before me, by the way, but I suppose that's what I get for getting distracted by having a life and a family. :glance: Ah, well. One day!)

I HAVE A LIFE. :0

Annoyingly they've got another open submissions thing at the moment, but I'd need to write something in like a day to meet the deadline...

inflatable dalek
2017-06-26, 08:04 PM
My aforementioned second short story can now be read for free on the Mad Scientist website!:

http://madscientistjournal.org/2017/06/a-date-to-be-remembered/

Meaning you don't even have to pay now to read me insult Denyer.

inflatable dalek
2017-07-11, 02:15 PM
Transformation 2 should formally be out by next week, assuming the proof copy arrives nicely with no need for future alterations.

Meaning I should have copies in time for TFN! Reserve one by reading here (I've limited how to get in touch to ask for one to two options this year so as to make it easier for me to keep track of):

http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/blog/transformation-2-tfnation-orders-open

inflatable dalek
2017-07-14, 12:34 PM
And the proof copy has arrived!

https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/status/885812977148059648

inflatable dalek
2017-07-27, 05:41 PM
Transformation 2 is out now! Lulu at the moment, but Amazon and the rest will follow. The code BOOKSHIP17 will get you 10% off before midnight, after that, check the Lulu main page for whatever discounts they're offering at the time:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/stuart-webb/transformation-a-personal-journey-through-the-british-transformers-comic-volume-2-1987-1989/paperback/product-23265043.html

inflatable dalek
2017-11-09, 09:21 AM
As a heads up, this week (a day early as I'm away over the weekend) I hit the start of the Irwin Spoon saga, and thus the end of the original British stories. Expect all sorts of crazy stuff to tie into this over the next three weeks. Assuming I think of anything. It'll probably be twitter memes, but they're exciting, right?

I've already changed my twitter handle to Irwin Spoon in tribute. I don't know how people change them on a regular basis for things like Halloween, it's only been ten minutes and I already don't know who I am any more.

Ryan F
2017-11-09, 01:10 PM
Me: I won first prize in a hesitant Transformers journalist cutlery competition!
Person 2: Er... win spoon?
Me: No, it was Joy Meadows.

inflatable dalek
2017-12-01, 08:46 PM
And it's the now traditional (except when I don't do it) Christmas Quiz!

And as it may well be the last one, I've some good prizes of a signed Lost Light trade, a Combat Colin collected comic and Transformation Volume 2. So get thinking!

As is also tradition, Auntie Slag will tell me off for it being too hard ;)

https://thesolarpool.weebly.com/christmas-quiz-2017.html

Tetsuro
2017-12-01, 11:31 PM
Fiendish of you to make one of the questions about the most forgettable story in the comic that nobody wants to re-read to find the answer for.

inflatable dalek
2017-12-02, 12:45 AM
I don't know the answer.

Skyquake87
2017-12-03, 01:26 PM
Ooh them's some good questions! I'll put my best thinking brains on and have a goat that.