PDA

View Full Version : Bryan Hitch


inflatable dalek
2015-09-11, 01:37 PM
EDIT: Thanks to a kind chap re-editing the page, much of what follows now makes no sense.

A mildly curious thing came up on my blog during the last week when discussing Hitch's early work on Wrecking Havoc. Now, I'm a fan but a few readers really didn't like his early stuff (which is all gravy, debate and different opinions are what keep this place going), and one regular reader confidently stated Hitch has actually denied working on Transformers (and Death' Head), using his tfwiki entry as proof:

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Bryan_Hitch

I was curious about this as he'd both retweeted and replied to my piece on his Legacy of Unicron work (yes, in a way that suggests he's mildly embaressed by his early stuff--"You're very kind to a kid who didn't know what he was doing" IIRC--but not in denial about it), and other people have mentioned him being happy to chat about his Marvel UK stuff when he meeting him at cons and what not.

My first thought was perhaps he's mellowed, or more likely that he was making A Very Obvious Joke that whoever wrote the wiki piece had completely misunderstood (akin to someone who worked on Dark Cybertron once telling me "I had nothing to do with it!").

But the wiki also seems oddly aggressive towards him, "He currently employs a widescreen, photo-realistic drawing style, but sure as hell didn't when drawing giant robots" seems needlessly angry considering it's pissed off about him not drawing Transformers in a style he hadn't yet developed.

A Google search didn't bring up any anti-Transformers/Death's Head quotes from him either (though of course, neither come up very much in conversation), though it did show the opening art from Wrecking Havoc in his art book from about ten years ago HERE (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AACgSTuet3oC&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=Bryan+Hitch+didn%27t+work+on+transformers&source=bl&ots=nwY3s-IOs2&sig=SUekSsa0hZz_NtgAqB0f7C3t9Bo&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Bryan%20Hitch%20didn%27t%20work%20on%20transformers&f=false).

So has anyone here ever actually heard Hitch refute his Marvel UK stuff, even in an obviously jokey or self-deprecating way? Or is it just a bizarrely twatish and completely made up wiki claim? I'm curious because, whilst it can sometimes overplay the humour, it's odd for the wiki to be so over the top in being untruthful.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-09-11, 01:49 PM
Absolute nonsense.

In the past couple of weeks I've seen Hitch openly acknowledge his DH work on Twitter (in a "oh god, I was young, go easy on me!" kinda way). Will try to find the tweet.

Plus he was meant to be at Transforce 2005 (I think it was 05?). Alright he cancelled last minute to go and do some Doctor Who related stuff, but given the status of each franchise at the time, who can blame him.

I've always found him to be quite open, honest and approachable on the Twitter. Though saying "nah, different Bryan Hitch" is entirely the sort of thing I can imagine him saying either as a joke or to get rid of some annoying fanboy who won't leave him alone.

For reference, Topsy.com's advanced tweet search is a superb tool.

Here's search on him being self-deprecating about his Death's Head stuff. Consider how old he was at the time, how he's developed since and that most comic folk are sort of embarrassed by their early more primitive work:

http://topsy.com/s?q=death%27s%20head%20from%3Athebryanhitch&type=tweet

Here's a tweet where he openly acknowledges working on TF:
https://twitter.com/THEBRYANHITCH/status/456035110966812672

So, er, complete bobbins.

Skyquake87
2015-09-11, 08:56 PM
Fancy the wiki being a bunch of sh*t stirring girls.

Whilst I didn't care much for Hitch's 'Havoc' work, I did like the 'Legacy' stuff and his TF work is far from bad. I think, as I mentioned on Dalek's blog, is more his scritchy-scratchy inking at this stage that is a pit of a turn off. There's a fairly big improvement when he gets to Death's Head (and I still really dig his work on DH). Oddly, his current style isn't my thing. I can see what others do in it - the composition, perspective and use of jaunty angles and whatnot, but there's just something about it...I do find his inks are a bit too heavy and smother a lot of the detail. I do like that he's become a big deal in comics though, that's really cool :)

Cliffjumper
2015-09-11, 09:20 PM
I dunno, I think there were some strong visuals in Wrecking - Sandstorm towering over shit-scared humans, Cyclonus blown into a building, Broadside shoulder-charging Galvatron; there's a real energy, scale and sense of panic in that artwork that I personally feel few other urban-set TF comics have struggled with. Some of the faces in smaller panels are not so good and there are some flubs (am I misrembering Springer having silly pupils at the end of the part 1 cliffhanger?) and Furman dropped a clanger with the silly ending and then another when the Wreckers all die in nine seconds flat in Time Wars after a respectable showing.

The problem with the Wiki is that 99+ % of the content and style is down to a small cabal of regulars who don't like outsiders and if they've all decided to misinterpret a quote from Hitch and fill his page with snark you aren't going to convince anyone otherwise.

There's this sort-of distrust of non-American material (a common thing in the fandom 10-15 years ago) running through the place (UK stories which dovetail beautifully with US material are treated like an insane 'fake' spin-off but toy bios which outright contradict minor things like films are given a solemn treatment) and in a way Hitch suffers from that - if he'd done a couple of BotCons or something there'd be a lot in there about what a stand-up guy he was regardless of the quality of his work on the title but the stupid bastard made the dumb mistake of doing Transformers then going on to be successful doing something else. If you read real-people bios on the Wiki it's pretty easy to tell the ones who do BotCon and/or other serious interaction with fandom and the ones who don't.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-09-11, 09:46 PM
Yeah, thing to remember about Hitch is that his TF work is like Morrison on Zoids. Just some guy passing through at the start of his career padding his portfolio en route to doing "proper" stuff.

I mean he would have been about 18 when doing Death's Head. I bet if you went back and looked at the standard of your writing/art at 18 you'd probably work to avoid talking about it too.

Dead Man Wade
2015-09-11, 10:18 PM
The question I keep returning to is, "Why hasn't anyone started a proper wiki?"

Selkadoom
2015-09-12, 06:24 AM
The question I keep returning to is, "Why hasn't anyone started a proper wiki?"

It'd be inconvenient to have to set one up and such
So you just sift through the snark and form ones own opinions.

Death's Head
2015-09-12, 10:28 AM
here's this sort-of distrust of non-American material (a common thing in the fandom 10-15 years ago) running through the place (UK stories which dovetail beautifully with US material are treated like an insane 'fake' spin-off but toy bios which outright contradict minor things like films are given a solemn treatment)

Earthforce, oh my Earthforce.

Cliffjumper
2015-09-12, 11:46 AM
Earthforce, oh my Earthforce.

Yeh... they really do make a ridiculous mountain of that one and yet are perfectly happy to bundle - say - film merchandise like prequel comics obviously based on draft scripts in with the main film stuff.

TBH I think it's a decent resource for the most part; the editorialising and idiotic double-standards don't tend to affect the more major articles, only the little stuff that's affected by that sad bastard who wrote the Almanacs and is on some sort of mission to canonise every fanboy idea he's ever had. It can just be slightly irritating when there are pages on official fiction and the like that are sparse templates and then the wacky stuff is longer.

inflatable dalek
2015-09-12, 10:05 PM
Here's search on him being self-deprecating about his Death's Head stuff. Consider how old he was at the time, how he's developed since and that most comic folk are sort of embarrassed by their early more primitive work:

http://topsy.com/s?q=death%27s%20head%20from%3Athebryanhitch&type=tweet

Here's a tweet where he openly acknowledges working on TF:
https://twitter.com/THEBRYANHITCH/status/456035110966812672

So, er, complete bobbins.

Excellent Google-Fu Sir. I suppose the thing that most surprises me is there's no hint of any, even jokey, denial on his part (including of course a citation in the original article). The wiki humour can be forced at times but it's unlike them to completely make something up.

Mind, a look at the edit history shows an old friend as the most recent and equal most prolific editor on that page, and it's someone (possibly because of the language barrier) who has form for completely grabbing the wrong end of the stick. IIRC when I once made a joke about something Nick Roche said at AA ("Last Stand of the Wreckers was the first Transformers comic one of the editors at IDW read") meaning Andy Schmidt had never read a Transformers comic before, they took that completely seriously and at one point was going to edit it into their (now defunct I believe) "IDW controversies" page before I had to point out he clearly meant one of their non-TF editors and my claim was a blatant lie on my part.

So even if it doesn't seem to have survived on the internet, I can now very much see a similar complete failing of grasping the right end of the Hitch quote stick having happened.

Interestingly, the equal most prolific editor of that page is another old poster from here, the all round lovely Dr. Spengler. I wouldn't have had either one of them down as being particularly interested in or knowing much about the Marvel comic generally or the UK one in particular, though I suppose you don't really need that for a Hitch page.

I dunno, I think there were some strong visuals in Wrecking - Sandstorm towering over shit-scared humans, Cyclonus blown into a building, Broadside shoulder-charging Galvatron; there's a real energy, scale and sense of panic in that artwork that I personally feel few other urban-set TF comics have struggled with. Some of the faces in smaller panels are not so good and there are some flubs (am I misrembering Springer having silly pupils at the end of the part 1 cliffhanger?) and Furman dropped a clanger with the silly ending and then another when the Wreckers all die in nine seconds flat in Time Wars after a respectable showing.

I really like Cyclonus ripping off the side of a building as well.

The annoying thing about the subsequent Wreckers showing is Wrecking Havoc actually handles it pretty smartly. Rather than having Galvatron being an unrealistically powerful one robot army, it puts the Wreckers in a situation where they're at a disadvantage because of being stuck slap in the middle of a human town. In other circumstances, their weight of numbers would have been enough and that makes sense of Springer's subsequent hubris in thinking his team and the MAS would be enough to deal with Galvatron alone on a level playing field, before things go very wrong when it turns out Megatron is there as well.

It's just how that sequence in Time Wars is written that makes it all very silly.


There's this sort-of distrust of non-American material (a common thing in the fandom 10-15 years ago) running through the place (UK stories which dovetail beautifully with US material are treated like an insane 'fake' spin-off but toy bios which outright contradict minor things like films are given a solemn treatment) and in a way Hitch suffers from that - if he'd done a couple of BotCons or something there'd be a lot in there about what a stand-up guy he was regardless of the quality of his work on the title but the stupid bastard made the dumb mistake of doing Transformers then going on to be successful doing something else. If you read real-people bios on the Wiki it's pretty easy to tell the ones who do BotCon and/or other serious interaction with fandom and the ones who don't.

Yeah, with the UK stuff I do actually think it's useful to have an at a glance way of telling which stories are from which comics without having to remember all the story titles (yes, we can do that but someone with a more casual interest might struggle) or clicking on every link to double check, but the ittalics do emphasise that difference.

Mind, you rarely hear British fans claiming the German text stories should be taken seriously despite technically being Marvel continuity and just as official, if anything we ignore them more than the Yanks do Earthforce despite translations having done the rounds over the last few years.



Yeh... they really do make a ridiculous mountain of that one and yet are perfectly happy to bundle - say - film merchandise like prequel comics obviously based on draft scripts in with the main film stuff.

I don't know how far they got along with it, but IIRC relatively recently Chris McFeely had started going through the film character profiles and separating out the different media into their own sections rather than trying to make them flow chronologically. Which is of course a far more sensible way of doing it.

Earthforce stories being treated separately doesn't hugely bother me, I don't think it's the job of a wiki page to try and decide on solutions to continuity issues, just to acknowledge them. It's just it doesn't just list those stories in one go without worrying about making them fit, but that it firmly says "These are out of continuity".

TBH I think it's a decent resource for the most part; the editorialising and idiotic double-standards don't tend to affect the more major articles, only the little stuff that's affected by that sad bastard who wrote the Almanacs and is on some sort of mission to canonise every fanboy idea he's ever had. It can just be slightly irritating when there are pages on official fiction and the like that are sparse templates and then the wacky stuff is longer.

Yeah, it's generally very useful and I get with a fandom like Transformers coming up with something that would please everyone is an unlikely thing to achieve. It's just the niggles that are there are, at least for me, really irritating niggles.

I'm actually seriously tempted to sign up to edit the page properly, but I'm really incapable of the sort of impartial objectivity a wiki should aim for above all else. I'd totally Bryan Hitch the Andy Schmidt page for starters. Plus it'd be about 30 seconds before I went to their "Unofficial Transformers books" page and wrote 50'00000 words on mine, which is probably unethical.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-09-13, 08:36 AM
I don't really get how Earthforce causes more problems than Man of Iron, Big Broadcast or the Movie comic adaptation do for the US comic.

Or, y'know, the three completely different cartoon origins for the Constructicons that the Wiki cheerily lists in chronological order and then tries to say that the dialogue in their first ever appearance "added to the ambiguity".

I'm sure I was going to make a point, but **** it.

Cliffjumper
2015-09-13, 01:00 PM
Actually just re-read Wrecking Havoc to see and TBH I'd say it's one of the better non-Senior actioners in terms of art; I'd forgetten about the smashing bit with the F-14s (still, to my mind, the best and most plausible TF v Human battle that side of Bay) which really, really has the germs of The Authority in it. There are occasionally a few lumpy faces in smaller frames (the Wrecker roll-call) but the energy's all there and as I said it's one of the better stories for conveying scale (and the confined nature of the battle in the second part).

Regarding the Waki, unless you're doing thankless bitch-work there's no point editing the articles because you'll have the clique down on you like a ton of bricks. Best bet would be to raise a question on the talk page, ignore anything that twat Interrobang says, see if one of the more reasonable people turn up and just don't let it bother you if they close ranks. POV doesn't seem to be a problem (it's not Wikipedia and has no mandate to be NPOV), it's just got to be the house POV. Like Dreamwave, ironically.

FWIW, the article does read like N's sense of 'humour' and perspective, though the lack of bolded italics would suggest that he's learned subtlety. Which is unlikely.

inflatable dalek
2015-09-13, 07:38 PM
Or, y'know, the three completely different cartoon origins for the Constructicons that the Wiki cheerily lists in chronological order and then tries to say that the dialogue in their first ever appearance "added to the ambiguity".

No, it's OK, the bio for Ehooby Hauler explains all that. What we need is to get Earthforce onto the back on an online exclusive repaint (of a KISS Players toy to make it really stick. And not in the way they normally stick) and then it'll count.

Hmm, has anyone actually read the bio of the King Grimlock Masterpiece exclusive?

Actually just re-read Wrecking Havoc to see and TBH I'd say it's one of the better non-Senior actioners in terms of art; I'd forgetten about the smashing bit with the F-14s (still, to my mind, the best and most plausible TF v Human battle that side of Bay) which really, really has the germs of The Authority in it. There are occasionally a few lumpy faces in smaller frames (the Wrecker roll-call) but the energy's all there and as I said it's one of the better stories for conveying scale (and the confined nature of the battle in the second part).

It's a lovely grandstanding entrance. It's interesting to compare it to the similar cold open to Deadly Games just previously as well. Both are basically gratuitous action scenes to bump up the page count that up about half the issue and could be easily cut (though unlike Hooligan and Chameleon, Cyclonus and Scourge are at least regulars allowing for a bit of important character development), but Havoc does it will a lot more OOOMPH.

It's also amusing how worried the editorial is that readers might think the jets on the cover could be Action Force.

Regarding the Waki, unless you're doing thankless bitch-work there's no point editing the articles because you'll have the clique down on you like a ton of bricks. Best bet would be to raise a question on the talk page, ignore anything that twat Interrobang says, see if one of the more reasonable people turn up and just don't let it bother you if they close ranks. POV doesn't seem to be a problem (it's not Wikipedia and has no mandate to be NPOV), it's just got to be the house POV. Like Dreamwave, ironically.

Yeah, knowing a couple of people who have given up on editing there for similar reasons would be another thing that would make me weary.

Amusingly, I was just checking the hits on my site (I pretend to be doing this for the love, but it's really for the fame. And book sales. I check these things on a minute by minute basis) and there's been one from TFwiki at some point since the start of September for what I think is the first time ever! Not from the Hitch page though as there's been no additions (even to the talk page), so presumably it's just a coincidence but I'm mildly curious as what they've decided to link to. I hope they haven't started a page on the Movie Poster Magazine, The Book still touts that as an exclusive they don't have...

Unicron
2015-09-13, 08:42 PM
so presumably it's just a coincidence but I'm mildly curious as what they've decided to link to. I hope they haven't started a page on the Movie Poster Magazine, The Book still touts that as an exclusive they don't have...

Don't have to worry about that right now. Looks like this (http://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/index.php?title=File:Nightstalker-UKClassics.jpg) is the only page linking to yours. They use your interview page with James Roberts and Lloyd Young as a cite on an image

Tetsuro
2015-09-13, 09:28 PM
The question I keep returning to is, "Why hasn't anyone started a proper wiki?"
Even better, why not just take the other Transformers wiki (Teletraan 1) and use it to do everything right where tfwiki failed? No need to start a whole new one.

Then again, if it's under the iron grip of wikia, I can totally understand the motivation to just make a whole new one.

inflatable dalek
2015-09-14, 07:25 PM
Don't have to worry about that right now. Looks like this (http://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/index.php?title=File:Nightstalker-UKClassics.jpg) is the only page linking to yours. They use your interview page with James Roberts and Lloyd Young as a cite on an image


Ah, cool. Though it's probably slightly unfair on Wildman that they have to use an outside interview to confirm that the Ravage looking guy is supposed to be Nightstalker!

It hadn't quite clicked before that Wildman has drawn a stylised version of the Design a Decepticon competition winner of the same name that pre-dates Actual Nightstalker (the one gun on the back is the give-away), which is mildly amusing at James Hill says that's just a coincidence. Is Nightstalker not in the illustrations for State Games then? IIRC Overlord actually looks a bit Fortress Maximus in them.

Skyquake87
2015-09-14, 07:26 PM
Ooh, I thought that was Ravage in that illustration...

Warcry
2015-09-16, 04:53 PM
Even better, why not just take the other Transformers wiki (Teletraan 1) and use it to do everything right where tfwiki failed? No need to start a whole new one.
I think the main problem is just how entrenched TFWiki has become. Even though it's slowly becoming more and more in-jokey and beholden to the opinions and interests of the main clique of editors, it's also exhaustive and usually a solid source of information. Even Hasbro and IDW seem to use it as a reference these days.

But even ignoring that hurdle, truth be told I'm not sure that anything that replaced it would actually be better. The scattergun nature of TF media means that there's always going to be judgment calls that need to be made on what goes where, or how to treat differing sources that contradict each other. I don't necessarily agree with the way they handle some stuff, and in some cases they're inconsistent for no good reason*, but the franchise in general is such a mess that any replacement Wiki is going to have just as many questionable editorial stances.

*I think the one that annoys me the most is that Hammerstrike and Cybershark are apparently the same character because they share an alt-mode and have very similar bio text. But G2 Deluge/Hydradread and Drench/Jetstorm, who meet the exact same criteria, aren't treated the same way because...well, basically because they don't want to, I guess? I don't think they're necessarily wrong whichever way they decide to do it, but the inconsistent approach really doesn't make any sense.

inflatable dalek
2015-09-16, 07:48 PM
I think the main problem is just how entrenched TFWiki has become. Even though it's slowly becoming more and more in-jokey and beholden to the opinions and interests of the main clique of editors, it's also exhaustive and usually a solid source of information. Even Hasbro and IDW seem to use it as a reference these days.

The wiki ending up being used in official material is a strange one, it feels like the snake eating its own tail, especially when it's done in a very lazy fashion, apparently some of the stuff liscenced by other companies than Hasbro--small vinyl figures IIRC--just cuts and pastes the wiki profiles onto the packaging.

Mind, I suppose that's just a silly gut reaction, if you're writing something Transformers related and you want to double check a fact, what else are you going to use? It certainly does a better job than that Furman written Ultimate Guide, which I gather used to be the reference of choice for a lot of writers working on the franchise.

Though that business of them randomly deciding to fill Streetwise's page with Shaft jokes for No Reason and then people starting to write him like Shaft in the fun pub stuff just because his wiki page was filled with Shaft jokes thus suddenly making them relevant to the character is the sort of thing that could make me go more crosseyed.

It did make me smile reading the script for World Shut Your Mouth to see James Roberts sheepishly admit he got Rewind's last message slightly wrong because he'd just copied the slightly edited version on the wiki page for that issue rather than taking the time to open the file and just grab it from the original script.

I'd put the inconsistent handling down to the fact that, whilst it may be a clique, there's still a fair few people working on there who probably don't all agree on everything and there's no one (understandably considering the size of the thing) double checking everything.

inflatable dalek
2015-09-21, 09:05 AM
And the page has been reworked by one of my readers. Look at the power I wield!

Brendocon 2.0
2015-09-21, 11:40 AM
And the page has been reworked by one of my readers. Look at the power I wield!

See, who needs a user account there when you've got your audience reach and my ability to actually look stuff up.

Tetsuro
2015-09-21, 12:06 PM
Though that business of them randomly deciding to fill Streetwise's page with Shaft jokes for No Reason and then people starting to write him like Shaft in the fun pub stuff just because his wiki page was filled with Shaft jokes thus suddenly making them relevant to the character is the sort of thing that could make me go more crosseyed.
If the joke is in the name, it's still more clever than what they did with Roadbuster.

Ryan F
2015-09-21, 07:20 PM
If the joke is in the name, it's still more clever than what they did with Roadbuster.

Or indeed the Tracks page, which utterly stinks the place out.

According to the Tracks talk page, apparently it's okay to make gay jokes because one of the editors is gay himself.

That's a bit like saying the Black and White Minstrel Show was okay because a young Lenny Henry was in it once.