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

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Tetsuro
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Post by Tetsuro » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:36 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.

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:44 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.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:46 pm

Tetsuro wrote: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.

Brendocon 2.0 wrote: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.
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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 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. :)

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:46 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...
TRANSFORMATION: ALL GOOD THINGS
END OF AN ERA IN MY LOOK AT AOE 5!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Feb 26, 2016 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.
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END OF AN ERA IN MY LOOK AT AOE 5!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:53 pm

The moment has come!

My hugely self indulgent ISSUE 200 piece. Plus the "I'm not completely happy with this one so expect a major rewrite at some point" EUGENESIS Addendum!
TRANSFORMATION: ALL GOOD THINGS
END OF AN ERA IN MY LOOK AT AOE 5!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:12 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:The moment has come!

My hugely self indulgent ISSUE 22 piece. Plus the "I'm not completely happy with this one so expect a major rewrite at some point" EUGENESIS 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?

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:19 pm

Brendocon 2.0 wrote: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.
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Post by Denyer » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:33 pm

Dalek wrote: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.

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Post by Tetsuro » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:32 pm

inflatable dalek wrote: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.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:51 pm

Denyer wrote: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.
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Post by Tetsuro » Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:24 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.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:38 am

To be fair, it could have worked if properly handled, but it's just a mess of a scene.
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Post by Denyer » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:37 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.
inflatable dalek wrote:"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.

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Post by Death's Head » Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:12 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.
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Post by Tetsuro » Sun May 01, 2016 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.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu May 19, 2016 3:24 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:

TRANSFORMATION: ALL GOOD THINGS
END OF AN ERA IN MY LOOK AT AOE 5!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by Skyquake87 » Thu May 19, 2016 6:44 pm

Where's your wardrobe? Has it finally collapsed?

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu May 19, 2016 7:42 pm

I have more than one room.
TRANSFORMATION: ALL GOOD THINGS
END OF AN ERA IN MY LOOK AT AOE 5!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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