Here’s a post that’s maybe a surprise addition to my blog, especially as neither creator involved in the excellent new Ramones graphic novel, Gabba Gabba Hey (out today, June 14th, in the UK… August 1st in the US) is me. I was involved, but in an editorial capacity for a change (flexing an older set of muscles here), overseeing the script from the fantastic Jim McCarthy (Sex Pistols: The Graphic Novel, Neverland: the Life and Death of Michael Jackson) and the breathtaking graphic art from the amazing Brian Williamson (Torchwood: Rift War, Neverland: the Life and Death of Michael Jackson). This is a graphic novel in the true sense of the term, as Jim and Brian combine to create a scattershot visual and sensory trip through the life and times and altered states of one of the defining punk/new wave bands. This is the Ramones as never seen before, and whether you’re a fan or not this will grip and surprise you from start to finish. Do check it out. It’s in all good bookstores now and available through Amazon and a host of other on-line shopping channels.
Transformers: Regeneration One #92 hits the stands next week (Wednesday June 12th), and with it we take another inexorable step towards the end (#100). Part 2 of Destiny seeds one of the biggest parts of that pending cataclysm, though by issue’s end it’ll be unclear why (or even what part of the issue I’m referring to) that should be . Anyway, before I draw back the curtain on the stage directions and creative decisions that formulated the issue, as is my habit, those who wish to remain wholly on the audience side of the proscenium arch, should withdraw now (though, as always, I aim to tease and not spoil). Right, so… for those who have clamoured for more of a self-contained feel to the instalments of Regeneration One, hopefully this one should fit the bill. Though various events and characters continue to inch to the forefront of RG1, this issue focuses down on four Autobots — Blaster, Silverbolt, Huffer and Inferno — who fared particularly badly from their infusion of Nucleon, the (not-so) wonder fuel. Inadvertently, ostensibly while in convalescence mode, they stumble upon part of what’s going on to soften Cybertron up ahead of the arrival of Bludgeon and his WarWorld, and in doing so, become marked ‘bots; targets for the all-new, all-deadly Mayhem Attack Squad. I know a lot of you have been particularly keen to see Blaster back in action in RG1, and if I mention that the Decepticon behind this precursor to invasion is Soundwave, perhaps you’ll get an idea where all this headed. So, that’s all I’m prepared to say on this issue. In some ways it’s a kind of interlude story, a slight side-step from the BIG players and storylines of Destiny (and RG1 as a whole). But, as I’m keen to stress, everything is essential in RG1. Everything is building towards issue #100. The official IDW Preview of the issue is now up here. Enjoy!
This time next week, I’ll be bound for Derry in Northern Ireland for what to me is one of THE comics events of this or any year — the 2D Comics Festival (which runs over the weekend of May 31st-June 2nd). I genuinely can’t think of a more user-friendly festival than Derry’s 2D, and this year’s guest list is beyond phenomenal. The biggest and best ever. (Well, Derry is the 2013 City of Culture!) I’ll be there on the Saturday and Sunday, for both the daytime 2D Comics Fair (where I’ll have a fixed spot to meet and greet) and the evening panels at Sandinos. And with me will be the one and only Geoff Senior, making a truly rare convention appearance. I’ll have my usual signed scripts, comics and script/comic packs for sale, and no doubt Geoff will have art prints available. And on the Saturday evening, Geoff and I (along with Mike Collins) will be hosting a dedicated Transformers panel/Q&A. And we’re joined over the weekend by a host of the top comics talent, including Andy Diggle, Robbie Morrison, David Hine, Mick McMahon, Garry Leach and many more. For full details (and the full guest list) check out the 2D website here! Look forward to seeing you there!
This is it. The beginning of the end. The pieces are all now in play and Transformers: Regeneration One #91 kicks off the climactic confrontation(s) that will, like dominos falling, culminate with the shocking, searing uber-battle that is issue #100. In the meantime, #91 goes on sale this week, Wednesday May 15th (officially anyway… it was released to digital buyers a week early… or on time… and we knuckle-dragging print ‘n’ paper folk are behind a week… I don’t know. Anyway…), and as usual I present my delve into the darker recesses of the brain that produced it (ie. mine) with the pure and simple aim to tantalise and torment. BUT, should you prefer to read #91 with wide, agog, clear-of-potential-spoilers eyes, then abort now. Okay, so the first chunk of “Destiny”, our third RG1 arc, kicks off a certain amount of aftermath from the shocking events of Scorponok’s dark reign, as you’d expect, and a certain amount of rumbles of the gathering storm that will rock Cybertron and the Cybertronians to their very core (and yes, I mean that quite literally). Just about everyone is now either on Cybertron or en route to Cybertron, with a wide and complex set of festering motives. There’s Bludgeon and his nomadic group of Decepticons, armed with a WarWorld and a whole heap of Matrix-powered clone war machines, coming back to even several raw and burning scores, and Galvatron (displaced from an alternate future), determined to have what he most desires, and was denied in his own timeline — total domination of Cybertron (and in his way a certain ‘Cybertron’s Greatest Warrior’). And meanwhile, Hot Rod (acting C-in-C on Cybertron in Optimus Prime’s absence) has concerns more close to home on his mind, and a restless populace about to let him know exactly what they feel about his current scheme to reunify them with their distant (and feral) ancestors. It’s an incendiary situation about to combust in spectacular fashion, especially as one key player (so far not on the board) ramps up his involvement. Phew… and if you think you know where all this is going, think again. We’re about to toss in a huge and entirely unexpected curve-ball mid-arc, which will throw a bunch more stuff into the cauldron that is RG1 (and shatter a fair few pairs of trousers in the process). News of that soon! In the meantime, RG1 #91 hits stores in a mere two days, and you can view the official IDW preview here. Trust me, we are at the top of a really big rollercoaster, and the plunge downhill starts now…
UPDATE – creator commentary on the first 5 pages is now up at the official Transformers facebook page. And while we’re on the subject of facebook, don’t forget that RG1 has its own dedicated facebook page.
Once again, a veritable treasure trove of signed/exclusive ebay goodies are up for grabs over on my ebay page, including a once-in-a-lifetime chance to own a signed RG1 TPB plus all six of the original scripts that make up its component stories (#80.5 – #85 – Loose Ends) and some luscious (and hyper-rare) Geoff Senior retailer incentive/variant covers co-signed by the man himself and me). Hurry, before they all go. You can check my ebay auction page here.
Just back from a splendid weekend in Edinburgh (thanks to Andy and Ralph and Nick and all the other great guys who came along to the Edinburgh Toy & Comic Mart to say hi) and, with little or no chance to draw breath, I’m off again, to Wales Con, which takes place on Sunday April 28th, in Wrexham (in Wales, naturally). A good chunk of the Regeneration One team will be there (myself, Andrew Wildman, John-Paul Bove) to sign stuff, and I’ll have my usual exclusive script/comic packs, original scripts and comics for sale (all signed). And… I’ll have sneak peeks of some upcoming RG1 covers (including a simply amazing Senior incentive cover for #92!) and a teaser of Guido Guidi’s interior art for #93 (his first issue). Last year’s event was incredibly full on, so make sure you’ve got advance tickets for this event. There’s an unbelievable guest list, which (above and beyond the comics people) includes stars of big and small screen. For more information on Wales Con, check out their official site here.
In a little over a week, I’ll be heading north of the border for the Edinburgh Toy & Comic Mart. This special one-day event spans pretty much the whole of Saturday April 20th, and includes on its guest-list (other than me) the likes of John-Paul Bove (colourist extraordinaire on Transformers Regeneration One) and writer Ferg Handley (my co-collaborator on the special Hulk vs Death’s Head story a short while back). I’ll be there with my usual assemblage of signed scripts, signed comics and signed script/comic packs, and just generally available to sign whatever’s stuck under my nose. Expect also some teasers and exclusive sneak peeks at what’s coming up in Regeneration One. Might even blow your mind with a teaser of Guido Guidi’s amazing interior art for #93. Boy, are you in for a treat there! For more details of the Edinburgh Toy & Comic Mart, check out their website here.