October 30, 2007

As we teeter on the precipice between October and November, IDW squeezes out yet another Transformers comic release in a month already bursting at the seams. Issue #2 of the Beast Wars Sourcebook (character profiles series) hits stores this week (31st Oct in the US, 1st Nov in the UK), taking you through from Elephorca to Noctorro. Now here’s a tester for those of you who figure you can detect a Furmanism at thirty paces: can you identify (or guess) which of the character profiles were written by me (rather than Ben Yee)? If memory serves, there are nine of them in total in issue #2. Now, if we (myself and Ben Yee) have done our jobs well, it shouldn’t be easy to spot who did who, as they were done in a style, to a format, and I kind of did an editorial pass to make sure the whole thing was as seamless as possible (text-wise). But maybe you can work it out. Feel free to post your thoughts/conclusions on this thread and in a few days I’ll reveal who was on the money and who missed the mark. I’ll give you one for free, though, as it’s a bit of a no-brainer: eight letters, begins with ‘G’ ends with ‘K’. Click on the thumbnail below for a better butchers at the cover for Beast Wars Sourcebook #2 and don’t forget to check out the IDW site for more preview pages and news of upcoming Transformers releases.


October 26, 2007

A quick thanks to those who turned out yesterday to say hi and have stuff signed at London’s Forbidden Planet megastore. Thankfully, the Death’s Head volume 2s made it as well, which meant that I had those to sign along with piles and piles of Transformers comics. In fact, I’m convinced one person brought their whole collection. It was like seeing my whole career flash before my eyes. It was a good solid hour of wrist-cramping action and I signed a whole bunch of stock too (so it’s not too late to snag yourself a copy of DH vol 2 with my scrawl inside it). Is it over? Is that it for conventions and signings this year? Is it heck! More details (of upcoming events) in due course. Click on the link for a pic from the event. As you can see, FP clearly don’t run to chairs!


October 24, 2007

As previously mentioned, I’ll be at London’s Forbidden Planet Megastore this Thursday (25th) PM, signing copies of (among other things) Death’s Head volume 2. The signing is from 6PM for an hour or so, and while DHv2 is headlining, I’ll be more than happy to sign copies of Transformers (Devastation, Beast Wars The Ascending, TF-UK and even Best of the Dinobots) and Terminator 2… and pretty anything else you can lay hands on (wot I wrote) in the store. So come meet and greet, gather any wayward crumbs of upcoming information I may impart along the way (especially if it all ends up in the pub afterwards) and just generally soak up the, um, ambience. The Megastore can be found at 179 Shaftesbury Ave. For more details click on the thumbnail below. Hope to see you there!


October 23, 2007

In a packed month for IDW Transformers releases, this week (Wednesday 24th in the US, Thursday 25th here) sees the release of issue #2 of Transformers Devastation. Just in case you missed issue #1, here’s a quick recap: lift off… boom… aaaaaah! To be continued. Infuriatingly, for the those of you who’ve seen the preview pages over at IDW’s site, issue #2 picks up not exactly where we left off, so if you were waiting to see what exactly happens to those gravity-challenged Autobots, you’ll have to pick up the issue itself. But it’s worth it, trust me. You get all that plus Headmasters, Hunter/Sunstreaker and Sixshot, plus a couple of other bubbling under subplots. Go on, you know you want to! Oh, and all being well, I’ll be in Forbidden Planet London this Thursday to sign your copy. EJ’s cover for the issue is showcased below. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge.


October 19, 2007

You heard it here first. The second issue of volume 3 of IDW’s Transformers Spotlight series of character-led one-shots is… Spotlight Arcee! Yep, you heard that right. Transformers Spotlight Arcee. But hang onto your hats, this is Arcee like you’ve never seen, um, ‘her’ before. Forget pink and fiesty, this Arcee is mad, bad and dangerous to know! I’ll be doing a Script (W)rap for the issue in due course, but just to whet your appetite we’ll just say for now that a certain Jhiaxus has been ‘dabbling’ and Arcee is not happy about it one little bit. In fact, she’s pretty darn homicidal! For a taste of the goodness to come, here’s Alex Milne’s incredible cover art (he’s also doing the interiors AND the alternate cover!). Click on the thumbnail to enlarge. Transformers Spotlight Arcee hits in Feb 08, and is written by me (but then you guessed that, right?). Thanks to Chris Ryall and Alex Milne for for letting me blow the whistle on this one exclusively here, on my blog, and (as always) for details of all IDW’s Transformers titles (and one of the best discussion forums going) check out their site here.


October 16, 2007

Hot on the heels (paws?) of issue #1 of Beast Wars The Ascending comes issue #2. This week, October 17th in the US, 18th in the UK, sees the release of issue #2 of The Ascending, the continuation of IDW’s series set in and around the Beast Wars world created by Bob Forward and Larry DiTillio in the TV series of the same name. Things are looking bad for the Maximals and Predacons, as an ancient evil once more threatens the very future of Cybertron itself. Their only hope? One Predacon general, Magmatron, currently in temporal limbo and unable to affect very much at all. One Maximal deep cover agent, Razorbeast, currently stranded on prehistoric Earth and embroiled in his own ‘Beast Wars’. This issue, things go from bad… to worse. Even the arrival of The Pack (the Maximals’ crack special forces team) seems destined to be too little, too late. As for Razorbeast, he’s about to undergo something of a transformation, and things will never be the same again! Beast Wars The Ascending #2 is by myself and Don Figueroa. For more details of all IDW’s Transformers titles visit their website here.


October 11, 2007

Okay, here’s an insider look at the thought processes and deliberations behind the second batch of UK-exclusive (new movie continuity) stories for Titan’s Transformers comic/magazine, and specifically TF-UK #7 and the story ‘Starscream’s Militia’. Issues #1-6’s lead stories (of which, by now, you’ll have seen/read #1-4… in fact, #4 is out today) focused (within a larger framing story) on Optimus Prime and Megatron and then some of the characters that maybe didn’t get much screen time/characterization (in the movie itself), such as Jazz, Ironhide and Devastator. This interlinked mini-story arc was set during the early stages of the Prequel material established in the IDW Movie Prequel series. All well and good, but somewhat limiting, in that the characters could only appear (apart from the odd flash-forward) in their pre-movie/Cybertronian (protoform) forms, and if they transformed it either had to be into their spacegoing ‘meteor’ mode or some alien variation on their (eventual) Earth mode. Fine for older readers, but maybe confusing for younger readers who wanted to see the trucks and cars and jets from the movie proper. So, issues #7-12’s lead stories really had to be Earth-based. The question was, how? Where? Given the limitations (sequel in the works, more IDW movie-based stories to come in all likelihood), the stories couldn’t just ‘continue’ on after the end of the movie without possible story contradictions ensuing (later). So, we decided to squeeze our next batch of stories into the very tail end of the movie, exploiting the ‘unseen’ time between the end of the battle in L.A. and the sort of epilogue scenes. Issue #7’s ‘Starscream’s Militia’ picks up directly (moments) after Megatron’s final downfall, and has a distinctly ‘Night of the Living Dead’ type vibe, as Starscream makes decidedly unconventional use of such downed/deactivated Decepticons as Barricade, Blackout and Devastator. ‘Starscream’s Militia’ is written by me, with art from a relative newcomer to TF-strip work (apart, I believe, from a back-up strip in Panini’s Transformers Armada #9) Simon Williams. Simon’s been a regular artist on Panini’s Spectacular Spider-Man comic, as well as supplying new art for the recent Death’s Head collections and a few TF-promotional pieces. Really looking forward to seeing his take on the TF-movie cast. TF-UK #7 hits stores (in the UK only I’m afraid) on 3rd January 2008.


October 9, 2007

It’s out this week, Thursday 11th October to be precise, the fourth issue of Titan’s superlative Transformers comic/magazine. And this issue is extra-special, as it features all-new art from the one and only Don Figueroa (Transformers Movie Prequel, Beast Wars The Ascending)! Movie Devastator comes under the spotlight in a new 10-page comic strip, written by me and drawn by Don. Is he as dumb as his G1 counterpart? Well, yes. But he’s also equally as brutal and destructive, and when he finds himself with no easy prey to crush, watch out! As always with these solo but interlinked stories, there are guest appearances aplenty from other characters from the new TF-movie. Plus, more strip, a profile for Blackout and a titanic, expanded head-to-head smackdown between Optimus Prime and Megatron! Oh, and free pin badges! What more could you ask for. Click on the link below for a view of issue #4’s cover (so you know what to look for).


October 7, 2007

As promised, a round-up/digression on last weekend’s Sub-Con in Dublin. This was something like convention #5 for me this year (not counting signings), so I approached Sub-Con with a certain amount of weary ‘been there, done that.’ But, actually, it turned out to be a surprisingly refreshing and (with a tacked on holiday touring the west coast of Ireland) revitalising experience. There’s just something about Ireland that very quickly winds me down, cushions the largely frantic beat of freelance life, and given that Sub-Con wasn’t on any kind of large scale, there wasn’t so much pressure involved with the convention day itself. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We (myself and my wife, Anna) were met at Dublin airport by convention organizer (and owner of Dublin’s Sub-City comic store) Rob Curley and ferried to the Central Hotel (where we were to stay and where the convention itself was to be held). It was also home to one of the nicest and most laid back hotel bars (big, comfortable chairs and walls bedecked with books) I’ve ever had the pleasure to behold. Unsurprisingly, much of Friday evening was spent there, supping Guinness and conversing with the likes of Rob, Steve Niles, Sarah Wilkinson, Leah Moore, Bryan Talbot and John Reppion. Good crack, as they say. Anyhow, on the Saturday I was set up and ready to go at 9.30AM as the doors opened, with scripts and other stuff out for inspection (and signature/purchase). Punters started to drift in, then more and more, until by lunchtime the main area was heaving. At 1PM I adjourned to the panel room and regaled the audience with upcoming stuff about (largely) Transformers. I managed not to reveal the subject of the second (or three) Spotlights I’m currently writing for IDW, but did let slip that (within the covers of that same un-named Spotlight) a certain Fortress Maximus makes his full IDW debut (albeit in a supporting role). That done, it was back to my own little corner of the convention hall for more in the way of one on one meeting and greeting. The afternoon then gently wound down until 5PM, when I packed up and was gone. A nod of the head to fellow creators Declan Shalvey and Will Sliney, who had the table next to mine. They both made for excellent company as the attendees ebbed and flowed. Overall, a very nice experience, busy enough to feel it was worth your while being there, but not so mad you feel mauled by the end of the day. After food, it was back to the ‘library’ bar at the Central Hotel for more lively chat (and, yes, Guinness), the proceedings enlivened still further by the arrival of Nick Roche (and pretty much his entire family). The next morning, it was into a hire car and off into the wild blue yonder. All in all, a very fine diversion. Cheers, Rob. Now back to work…
Me, in my corner, signing scripts.

Me, on my panel, laughing at my own joke. Thankfully…

… the audience did join in!


October 5, 2007

Just back from Ireland, having rolled the Dublin Sub-Con (full report and pics to come) into a brief but spectacular tour of the country’s west coast. So, one or two things to catch up on/trailer. First and foremost, the news finally broke while I was away that I’ll be contributing a one-page story to the fan project Transformers Mosaic (go here for the full Newsarama interview with Josh Van Reyk and Shaun Knowler, the driving force behind Mosaic), which showcases new (one-page) strips by budding writers and artists, and is well worth your time to check out. The stories can be from any era or incarnation of Transformers and the one-page format makes for some pithy and unique storytelling. Anyway, I’m writing (or actually, have written) a story called ‘Hail and Farewell’ which sits very much in the current IDW/TF continuity. It’s set a year or two ahead of where we are now (in Devastation) and features Hunter O’Nion and Sunstreaker. Can’t tell you any more, as it’s very difficult to tease here without giving too much away. But it touches on stuff that the main series will expand on big time. It’s being drawn by two guys who are new to Transformers but have comics careers that span a decade or more (and also happen to be good friends of mine, which is always handy when there’s no money involved!), Steve Buccellato and Don Hudson. Can’t wait to see what they come up with, artwise. As soon as it’s done and ready we’ll launch it here and on the main Mosaic thread over at the IDW website. Also, IDW are kindly finding space within their Transformers comics to showcase selected Mosaic comics, so it may even make it into print. No definite release date yet but I’ll keep you posted. So what else is new? Well, Death’s Head vol 2 is now out, as are the clutch of IDW comics I was trailering last week (Transformers Devastation #1, Beast Wars The Ascending #1 and Beast Wars Sourcebook #1), and next week sees the release of Titan’s Transformers #4 (featuring the art of Don Figueroa, whoo-hoo! Full trailer next week). I’ll be signing all of the above at Forbidden Planet London on Thursday October 25th (from 6PM). More details on that nearer the time. Look out too for a Script (W)rap on Transformers (UK) #7, the first of our full in-movie continuity stories, coming soon. That’s it, I’m out of here (for now).