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  • transformers live-action movies speaks to David Guivant . . .

David (right) with Tom de Falco at GALACTICON 2003.
David (right) with Tom de Falco

What was your first experience of Transformers?

Back in the early 80's. I saw the cartoon and got hooked immediately. I decided to purchase both toys and comics. American cartoons have a specific age group whereas the comic book was a bit more matured. But both are different mediums and have filled my childhood with wonderful memories of the struggle between Autobots and Decepticons.

Who—or what—inspired you to become an artist?

Comics legends themselves such as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, filmmakers such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and designers like Ralph Mac Quarrie. These people created compelling stories filled with wonderful characters. Their purpose was to teach or educate people through comics or movies as well as entertain their audience.

My latest influences were Ralph Mac Quarrie, Syd Mead, Ron Cob, Nigel Phelps... their designs just blew me away. I knew exactly what I wanted to do later on. I went to study Engineering at first and later on Graphic Design at Griffith University.

After graduating my career went on to the commercial area, as well as teaching and shifted slowly through the entertainment area. I designed GEN 13 Cards, Alpha Flights Cards, XXX (Vin Diesel) movie cards and the GIJOE widevision series.

Which have been your favorite Transformers characters?

Click here to view this lithograph in our creative section! Back in the 80's Optimus Prime was my favorite character. He represented courage, honesty, integrity and leadership. Timeless values that our world lacks these days. A great model for children back then.

Starscream was a great character. While the other decepticons obeyed Megatron without question, he was the only one who wanted power and had his own agenda.

The human characters are also very important and deserve more attention. While the robots have human personalities it is important that viewers also identify with human characters.

There are rules in writings, a sort of bible that the creators set up before writing a whole series. There are main characters and supporting characters; due to the narrative process people can't show every characters every time and have to focus their stories on a few main ones the same way it was done with the Kirk, Spock and Bones trio on Star Trek. But in my opinion, the Transformers universe is so rich and well written that everyone deserves equal attention.

What do you consider to be the factors which have kept you interested in Transformers over the years?

The ageless themes: Good versus Evil. Intolerance, discovery, love and friendship. I really loved Starwars and E.T. I found similar themes in Transformers too. Also being a (Art) teacher makes me understand how well these stories were written and how important these messages are.

Click here to view this lithograph in our creative section!My interest shifted more towards the golden age transformers published by Marvel and reprinted by TITAN BOOKS. Some of the elements and origins differed a bit from the cartoon series but I found out that the writers from the comic had more freedom and matured storylines.

The Transformers arrived on our planet but also discovered new friends among humans. A human being is able to teach new things to a technologically advanced being. Amazing isn't it? Shows you that life is but a learning experience and that we can learn from people no matter where they come from.
Bob Budiansky did a magnificent job with the TRANSFORMERS comics back in the 80's. He took a slightly different approach in his script including provocative stories and conflicting character elements. Both humans and robots had feelings such as honor, nobility, despair, revenge, anger but also friendship.

Do you have any favorite art styles used on the Transformers property and who are your favorite Transformers artists?

Click here to view this lithograph in our creative section! Well I guess most artists in the field have portrayed TRANSFORMERS magnificently, capturing the original heart and spirit of the characters in the series.

But I am very fond of artists who portray them in a photo-realistic way. The Japanese illustrators are brilliant at that. I like what Production Designer Guy H. Dyas did on Transformers. But you have to wait till 2005 till it comes out!

So, my candidates in the pencil area would be: Herb Trimpe, William Johnson, Ricardo Villamonte and Andrew Wildman. Jae Lee also brought a tremendous contribution to the TF Comic Universe: he has designed some intriguing WW II Transformers and gave them a very dark and intimidating look.

The other artworks made by fans are fantastic as well—there are a lot of talented people out there and everyone took the freedom to explore and share their own vision of Transformers, and that's great.

If you could have the original copy of any piece of design work from any Transformers series or medium, what would you choose?

I think I'd like to have the TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE original painting (UK poster).

Laserbeak looks out in a scene reminiscent of the 1986 Transformers movie opening.

TFArchive would like to thank David for taking time in his schedule to answer our questions, and you
can see more of his stunning lithographs over in our Visions of Cybertron creative section!

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