Just a quick reminder that issue #3 of the official Transformers Movie Prequel comic (the precursor to this summer’s Transformers live-action blockbuster) is out this week: April 11th in the US, 12th or even 13th (due to the bank holiday) in the UK. Written by myself and Chris Ryall, featuring mouthwatering art by Don Figueroa, the issue charts more of the history of the mysterious Sector 7 as well as a certain Autobot’s arrival on Earth (and his own investigations). Plus, what happened on Mars (in the first teaser trailer) is finally revealed! You can check out the preview on the IDW site at http://www.idwpublishing.com/newreleases2.shtml
As a distinct change of pace (from the world of robots, Turtles and so forth), I’ve recently been writing some feature articles for a new movie magazine from Eaglemoss (UK). Titled The Horror Collection, and featuring New Line Cinema’s trio of slasher icons, Freddy Krueger (from A Nightmare on Elm Street), Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) and Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), the fortnightly magazine contains a wealth of information on each featured movie and a die-cast metal figure. There’s nothing from me in issue #1 (which focuses on the first A Nightmare on Elm Street), but issue #2 contains my disgressions on the background to original (1974) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (in particular, the real life cases that inspired it) and the movie locations. Issue #3 focuses on Friday The 13th part 3, and my contribution is an article on the genesis of the whole Friday the 13th phenomenon. Been good fun this. I’m a huge movie buff, and getting paid to watch/research movies is my idea of heaven. Okay, Freddy, Jason and Leatherface aren’t exactly oscar contenders, but I love the creative processes that go into film-making, and there’s plenty of good stuff to be had in each issue. Oh, and then there’s the die-cast figurines (individually sculpted, cast in lead and hand-painted), which are just amazing. For more information go to http://www.horror-collection.co.uk/
Just wrapped the script for the first issue (of four) of IDW’s (Transformers) Beast Wars (vol 2): The Ascending, and I thought I’d share (what I can) of the content with you. Rest assured, these occasional script-wrap digressions will always be teasers rather than spoilers. So, what can I tell you? Well, for a start, expect a whole lot more Cybertron than in The Gathering (vol 1… now available as a handy-dandy TPB, in case you’re interested). We get a good look in on the planetary status quo, focusing on the overall command structure/hierarchy and special groups such as ‘The Pack.’ And… it’s there we meet our new ‘big bad.’ And I do mean “big.” What else? Well, we also see how Razorbeast and his earthbound (chronally displaced) Maximals are doing (and what Ravage’s Preds are up to). We find out what happened to Magmatron, and we learn the ultimate fate of Cybertron (and this is just issue #1!). Phew. Out at about the same time as The Ascending (poss. August, maybe Sept… TBC), we (finally) have the Beast Wars Profiles series I co-wrote (a while back) with bwtf.com’s Ben Yee. That (four issue) series pretty much encompasses every Beast Wars character from every toy line and TV show, including convention and store exclusives. V. useful it proved too, when it came to write The Ascending, as there’s more than the occasional nod to the Japanese BW series (and characters!). Oh, art on the Ascending, barring the man blowing some kind of artistic fuse (which is always possible, the rate he goes), is Don Figueroa (who else?). Art on the profiles book is by, well, just about everyone!
A while back, it was my pleasure to supply a Transformer-style character bio for Cougar, the official mascot of tfauctions.com (see: http://tfauctions.com/mascot.php). Since then, Cougar’s acquired a nemesis and a sidekick (not to mention a sponsor or two). TF artist extraordinaire Guido Guidi (who did the Cougar designs) is hard at work on the next batch of illustrations, and there are plans afoot for a dedicated website and more. As and when this happens, I’ll post here with updates.
Was lucky enough to blag an invite to last Friday’s (UK) Paramount screening of segments from the new live-action Transformers movie (thanks again, Laura). It was a strange experience, largely because (bar the trailers and TV spots) I’d seen so much of the movie (in terms of still images, style guide character shots, the script, etc) but actually none of the movie (in terms of actual moving images). In the process of (co-) writing the IDW Prequel comics and writing an extensive and in-depth movie Visual Guide for Dorling Kindersley (out in July BTW), I was exposed to more or less every angle of the movie, but seeing those twenty or so minutes of actual footage really brought it all to life. I was impressed… very impressed, as were pretty much everyone I got to speak to afterwards. It looked great and the dialogue crackled (something I hadn’t got when I’d read the script). In common with others there, I was left wanting more, which has to be a good sign. At the after-screening soiree, I got to chat to Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (in person this time) and hang out with the Titan bods in attendance. Eaglemoss were also there (more on that when I can tell you). As for the (whole) movie, I can’t wait. Really. The more I see the more excited I get. It’s going to be a big year!