Every once in a while, Luke (Bassbot) of the IDW Publishing forums puts out the call to other forum users, asking them to pose questions to yours truly, and then kindly sorts/collates the questions and sends them to me for my answers. Well, the newest bunch of those questions (and answers) can be found over at the IDW Publishing forums, and the first six can be viewed exclusively here (below). So read, enjoy, then go to the thread on the IDW forums for the rest. Thanks, as always, to Luke for doing all the hard work here.
1. Do you like writing stories that have a definite beginning and a solid end to them or would you prefer to write something that just keeps on going forever?
SF) I like a balance between the two. It’ll probably come as no great surprise to anyone that I’m a big fan of sub-plots, so as and when I’m let loose on an ongoing series I like to bubble away the next few stories in the background while the current ‘A’ story is reaching some sort of resolution. Something like Nefarious, you know it’s a done in one deal, so it has to have a definite beginning and a solid end. But when I was working on the original Marvel TF run or the IDW universe, I tended to always be thinking ‘grand’ and then focusing down on one aspect or another of that story.
2. Other than Transformers, what is your favourite franchise to write for?
SF) I really enjoyed working on both Terminator and Robocop. I loved both movies (and in the case of Terminator its direct sequel) so getting to play around in both those particular sandpits was not like work at all. But I’m becoming more and more immersed in StarCraft these days, even though I’m not a gamer. Between the somewhat short-lived monthly Wildstorm series (featuring the War Pigs) and the upcoming original graphic novel (which has just expanded from a fairly corpulent 100 pages to a positively obese 120 pages), I’m really getting a taste for this rich and diverse universe. There’s so many places to go within it, and Blizzard care passionately about every facet of the non-game material, as everything matters and counts in terms of the larger picture. Their enthusiasm is infectious.
3. Is there a franchise that you would like to revisit writing for?
SF) Apart from Transformers?? Well, I always wish I’d done more Thundercats back in the day. I did maybe one three-part story and contributed plot outlines for another. But if the opportunity arose, I’d like to have another crack at those characters. I thought they were fun.
4. If Hasbro asked you to be the lead story writer for the next Transformers cartoon [replaces Transformers Prime] – would you accept?
SF) Hell, yes! To be honest, I see my future more in animation than comics, so being able to combine my Transformers writing fix with animation work would be ideal. I always want to be doing some comics work, but I’ve done a lot of that for a long time, and working on the Matt Hatter Chronicles, as both head writer and script supervisor, has stretched me in pleasant ways (if that isn’t too appalling an image!). The perfect scenario though would be to get something I owned or co-owned going as an animated series and control a larger part of the direction of the show.
5. If you could write a brand new TF continuity, free from all restrictions/concessions, how similar do you think it would be to the -ations, or even your Marvel stuff?
SF) I like to think that I’d do something different to both. What that is, I don’t know. But I try (and don’t always succeed) not to just dress stuff up differently and hope no one notices I’m (subliminally or otherwise) just rehashing old stories. Anyway, for sure it’d be big and cosmic and sweeping. I’d want to see what the war was like more on an inter-galactic scale. It’d probably be a bit of what G2 was going to be/where it would have gone after issue #12.
6. The GI Joe fans are thrilled that Hama has continued the original ARAH continuity and that has sparked some of us here to ask Andy if the same could be done for TF’s. Have you given any thought to continuing the original TF continuity from the Marvel run? And an even better question is, are you even interested in going down that road?
SF) I actually would like to pick up the baton from Marvel issue #80 and run with it again. There was a lot we never got to do, that I’d like to revisit or just to take the next big steps with all that we’d set up in the previous 20 or so issues. I’d certainly rather do G1 #81 than G2 #13, as, strangely, and for no good reason I can formulate into words, I think the time has passed for G2. It was very, well… 90s.