Are you looking for a new comic series to start reading? Or looking for a pile of finished trade paperbacks to pick up and read over the holidays? Do you not know I like using question marks and tangling people in my thought spirals? Did I just insult one of your favourite comic series if you already know which one I’m talking about?
The first two answers are all up to you, dear readers (and so is the third, come to think of it), but the answer to the final one is … nope. In fact, I am about to try the gargantuan, though maybe not Galactus-sized, task of recommending four plus years of a Transformers comic series to a non-Transformers audience. Just in time for that series to start a new season (yes, it comes in seasons) with a new number one issue.
In case the title wasn’t fair warning though (and it probably wasn’t), this post is most likely going to be long, and recommending and describing this series is not going to be simple. Starting with the fact that I am recommending a series that leads you to the ever increasing realization that the starting premise was a terrible, terrible idea. The worst of ideas. And yet you end up really liking the characters who came up with the idea and went along with it and enjoy following along on their adventures.
I seriously think the alternate title for the series could have been/could be Transformers: Bumblebee Was Totally Absolutely Right. [The Death of Optimus Prime]
So, after finding out that Hasbro will be running a fan-built Transformer contest again this year (last year’s contest resulted in the Windblade toy and four issue comic mini-series, which is coming back as an on-going this year), The Audio Knights Theatre started up what they’re calling Project Nightbird. The aim is to come up with a five to six member all-female gestalt team, with robot and alt-mode designs, names, and backstory, all in a nice cohesive awesome package. Which is where I come in, since I may not be able to art but I can certainly worldbuild and try to make everyone as awesome and awesomely different as possible (they are all coming from another planet and one uninvolved in the very long Autobot-Decepticon war, after all). Plus, there have been jokes about Sharkticons (and about Nautica having a mom who doesn’t pick her to be part of the combiner) and there is no way I’m not going for a shark party. 😉 Plus, my love of Marston-era Wonder Woman means I have Ideas about Caminean culture. And a way to fit in the joke about Nautica’s mom in a way that’s compliant with canon.
Okay! The above is actually the title for my proposed panel presentation for Comics Arts Conference – Wondercon 2015, but I figured it’s about as good a title as any for what I’m about to do … which is basically blab on about Sarah Stone’s art for IDW’s Transformers comics and the worldbuilding and character handling James Roberts is doing for the same property with the Transformers: More than Meets the Eye ongoing ‘and’ explain gender and relationships using Loki and penguins. Largely to help myself hash things out more so I can try to fit all of that into a little proposal that will still hold up five months from now (the abstract on the proposal is what the panel description is taken from for the program – usually with some degree of mangling in between) and which fits into an even smaller twenty minute presentation. And also because my personal circumstances are horrible and terrifying right now and I don’t know what the outcome will be, so ‘someone’ is going to hear me talk about robots being penguins and about how awesome Starscream’s legs are. ;P
Note: Oh gosh, this is already getting long. Apparently I mustered enough Nautica-ness for an opening sub-lecture where I demystify/totally ruin what comics scholarship and being a professional comics scholar are like. Sorry not sorry.
I promise this post will be full of text. Text you can actually see. And this was going to be Nautica playing professor but this was too cute not to use.
Normally this would have some kind of really clever title, but I think I’m getting sick (again!) and this is an honest to goodness review, not one of my discussion posts (not that the two are really that separate?). Plus, “Starscream’s Legs” is probably not the most illustrative title this could have. But, below the cut, find a rather spoiler-laden review of an awesome issue of, and good jumping on and/or catch-up point for, IDW’s current Transformers comics. 🙂
Note: Oh, wow. This turned into kind of a lot about Starscream. Densely packed, well done issue though, so it makes sense. Extra kudos to John Barber and Sarah Stone. 🙂
I think Starscream is as pleased with this issue as I am. Also, well, prepare to be punched in the feelings, because, knowing the contents of the issue, I take that smile partly as his very characteristic scheme-y smirk, but also an expression of him being genuinely excited and happy about who’s back. And not just for plot-y reasons.