Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where did all the Ads go?

This a little bit off-topic but I finally took the plunge today and went ad free on my personal website, (I'd been considering doing that for a LONG time now). So, no more banner ads for the next twelve months! :-D

(Also, the site is eventually going to show up as "" instead of "" It's technical but I had to use the .org extension because I already had .com and .net registered and couldn't transfer them through to Lycos. At any rate,, and will all work--but the .org one needs a couple of days to get into the DNS servers so it won't work just yet. Confused yet? Good! :)


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TF Comic Scripts...

I did up a TF comic script a while ago with the intention of drawing it up. It's been about a year and I still haven't gotten around to it. I decided to just post it on my site and get that done... Also, a friend and I had come up with a new idea for IDW's TF Evolutions comic and I wrote up a four issue script project for it. I just got an email back from Chris Ryall today that rejected it (supposedly Evolutions is on indefinite hold now. The answer was different at BotCon 08 though. Back then, they made it seem as if they might do more with the right script). Anyhoo, I decided to post that as well...

Both script projects can be found here:

Comments are always welcome, be they positive or negative.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thoughts on the IDW comic...

In November, we get an ongoing Transformers comic series written by Mike Costa. I felt it was prudent to take this opportunity to look back at where we've been.

The AHM Coda went for four issues and to be perfectly honest, I felt like the whole thing was largely a waste of time. We had:
- #13: Optimus Prime/Starscream
- #14: Sunstreaker/Galvatron
- #15: Kup/Perceptor
- #16: Spike/Bumblebee

Of all of these stories, I think I liked Optimus Prime's the best. Even still, it was filler. Starscream, Galvatron, Spike and Bumblebee's stories seem to exist to set-up future stories (which the ongoing could've done anyway). Sunstreaker, Kup and Perceptor's stories could have--and should have--been explained in the main AHM story. Not doing so was just lazy writing on someone's part (or lazy editing. Either way, someone dropped the ball. There was more then enough time in the twelve issue series to fit these plot points in there, even if they only got a few lines addressing them). Done as a coda, it helped fill a four month gap before the next iteration of things.

I get a feeling that IDW doesn't entirely know what to do with Transformers. Unlike G.I.JOE, which seemed to have a plan from the get-go (if you're a fan and haven't checked it out, you really should). Despite numerous fan comments about getting an ongoing series, IDW insisted on sticking with it's tried and true mini-series approach to start with. Infiltration/Escalation/Devastation/Revelations was a decent storyline and continuity although it's clear that Simon Furman is best at an ongoing not mini-series. All of those comics ran into each other and didn't really feel like minis anyway. The spotlight comics, by contrast, were much better from the get-go (for the most part--ignoring turkeys like Mirage or Metroplex).

Transformers Evolutions
was a great comic concept but Dixon's story could've been a bit better and to-date we've seen no follow-up series which makes me suspect it didn't sell as well as IDW expected. Maximum Dinobots was Furman's last multi-issue arc to-date and his most on the ball one. Sadly, nothing came of it ultimately (that is, it didn't really change anything).

On the other hand, we have Shane McCarthy's All Hail Megatron series. It seems like IDW seized upon his story as an attempt at a mini-reboot. Suddenly, all the carefully updated forms from their previous series were gone (and even now there's been no explanation for why in the actual story). Also, Furman's three humans were pushed aside and Hunter O'Nion was killed off entirely. AHM had some good points--like good attempts at characterization of the Transformers characters but this came at the expense of making the story far longer then it needed to be. The story could easily have been told in six to nine issues--it didn't need to be padded out to twelve.

With the announcement that Costa is doing the ongoing series, I can only assume that my supposition that Furman was cast out is correct (or perhaps he's simply too busy--but that's never stopped him before). Whether they did it harshly or diplomatically, it's clear he's gone in favor of new talent. My only experience with Mike Costa to-date is his G.I.JOE: Cobra mini-series and it's been very good. Edgy, character developing and worth waiting for the next issue. Which is good because my interest in TF media is at an all-time low--there's no cartoon and the previous comics haven't excited me like the old Marvel series used to. Granted, I'm older but the newer comics have not lived up to their history either.

I'm going to give Mike Costa's Transformers an issue or two--and that's it. If my attention is waning, then I'll drop back to picking up the odd TPB of the series. I've wasted enough money on IDW's mostly mediocre efforts so far. I do hope the new series ignores the Quintessons, Unicron and anything too fan-ficky for it's own good (not using Spike and Sparkplug would've been another good decision. As it is, their inclusion now feels like bowing to fan pressure). I want good characters, good plot and some actual change to come of the story. Mostly, I want to be entertained--like any good story should do.

Comic Review...

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #16

Writers: Mike Costa, Zander Cannon
Artists: Guido Guidi, Chee

(covers by Guido Guidi and Chee)

Story one
begins with Spike Witwicky in a full body cast in a hospital. He is greeted by a Colonel and two UN men. They ask how he got here and he relates a story how he was part of a team hunting down Decepticon/Transformers survivors in the ruins of New York. They had found Thrust previously and this time were pursuing Ravage, who was hiding out in a building. Spike finds him and takes him down, but not before falling through the floor and injuring himself first. The men ask if he wants to join Skywatch, which has been completely revamped of late. He agrees and learns the new Skywatch commander is none other then his father!
Story two is about Bumblebee. He's hiding out in the ruins of a Earth city somewhere, trying to evade a human strike team out to get TFs. However, while hiding, he realizes there are humans at risk and risks his own life to save them before their building collapses. Meanwhile, the hit squad use his distraction to try and destroy him. Before they succeed, Optimus Prime and the Autobots arrive and save him. Ratchet later tells him they found him by monitoring the humans comm channels--Prime knew that sooner or later Bumblebee wouldn't be able to resist showing himself to save someone.

Story one
is by Mike Costa, a rising star at IDW--having written the very good GIJOE: Cobra mini-series. It's a decent little tale and the art is okay. I do wonder why Soundwave would've left Ravage behind on Earth, though. Thematically, he was in earlier AHM and a foil for the humans. I get that. But why Soundwave would leave one of his loyal pets behind with no concern seems out of character for him. Mildly recommended.
Story Two is by Zander Cannon (I have no idea who half the writers IDW uses are. Pros? Fans?) It's also a decent little tale about Bumblebee being heroic and embuing the Autobot principles. Mildly recommended.

The issue as a whole: Mildly Recommended.