Transformers MTMTE #15 is released globally tomorrow (depending on your time zone). I recently bought Linkin Park’s latest album “Living Things” and while listening to the final track “Powerless” couldn’t help but notice the themes humming closely alongside the characters Chromedome, Rewind and Overlord in the most amazing Transformers comic (MTMTE).
I have since taken some photos and screen captures from a few of the comic pages and produced a little video Ode to Chromedome. He’s not dead yet, by the way (as far as I know), but he definitely has made some mistakes that involves the death of other Autobots.
Holiday time is a great time to read. This summer break I made it a mission to finally put the time in to finish George R.R. Martin’s “A Dance With Dragons”. As some close friends and family know I’ve had it sitting near me waiting to be read since January 2012, but with work and life being quite busy I could never give it the time to get into that I knew it needed.
Finally, things quiet down and i’ve been chewing (sometimes felt like plodding) through ADWD and its multiple character perspectives. Anyone who has read the books or seen season 1 or 2 of Game of Thrones understands this. There’s a heck of a lot of characters in these stories, and Martin has enjoyed bringing a bit more mystery to this book (including using nicknames or epithets rather than their name in the chapter titles).
This weekend is the Australia Day long weekend (see this awesome rendition of our Anthem here) so I’ve almost finally finished it. So, what do I think?
With about 100-150 pages to go it’s really leaving me breathless. Some parts of the story have left me cold, Daenerys in particular. I love Jon Snow as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and his challenges and strategies. Tyrion is enjoyable enough, but I have not liked him being taken out of a place of power. When he can’t control his fate like in this book he’s just been plodding closer and closer to Daenerys, albeit with a few twists along the way.
So, why breathless – the cliffhangers have hit. Jon Snow at his best at around page 650 and right on pages 698-699 FINALLY DAENERYS rides one of her dragons. It is a moment that is made for the screen but is sooo vivid in my head. She has been utterly stuck in Meereen. It has been painful for her to not have any options and painful for me reading it too. It kept going and going and I knew that something external to her own choices was going to have to happen for her part of the story. At this point also she seems too important to kill off, not that it has stopped Martin before (still lamenting poor Ned).
I can’t wait to finish the book, but the only problem is it seems like the next in the series is still far off. A well, Feist’s next (and final Midkemia) novel “Magician’s End” will be released in a few months and there’s always Transformers comics.
Speaking of comics, last week I received in the mail a copy of Gestalt Publishing’s “The Deep”, vol 1 “Here Be Dragons.” It is written by Aussie comic creator Tom Taylor (other works include Star Wars and DC’s Injustice comics) and art by James Brouwer.
Since going to Supanova (see April/May 2012’s blog posts) last year I’ve wanted to connect and get a handle on more Aussie comic creators and Tom has so far displayed some excellent works. The first two issues of his latest series “DC Injustice” are going gangbusters.
The Deep was billed as an all ages, exciting, adventure story. Awesome. I’ve been looking for some different all-ages comics as part of my own stories I want to create such as these and also share them with younger readers.
“Here Be Dragons” was really enjoyable. It’s a graphic novel* structured in three acts so the action builds nicely whilst also introducing you to the Nekton family. I don’t want to say too much without spoiling it but Taylor and Brouwer really build the tension and mystery of “the deep” here. I particularly enjoyed the way they held back from revealing some of the cool images of creatures they find until later in the comic as it really plays into the narrative. It also meant that we focused on the family and the danger they’re in rather than a couple of mega-wicked fishies.
Volume 2 is available so I’m gonna have to check it out soon, especially as Technicolor have just optioned the story for an animated series! (See here)
So, as for 2013, there are good books out there to read, wonderful people working in comics and also being blessed with amazing extensions of their work, and more comics from me too! I’m still working on that Transformers RiD essay as well!
*My definition of graphic novel tends to be one of form. A graphic novel is a published comic style longer story whereas a “comic” refers to the regular, floppy single issue form. These can then be collected in a longer story centred format, which is often called a graphic novel as well, or a ‘trade paperback.’ It’s murky fun.
This is one of those previews. I’m hesitant to post pictures that are out of context but had to spotlight some of the points that made my gut churn, tears well and heart beat just a mite faster.
Tomorrow is the release of Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye issue 12. 1 year in and I’m in love with the comic and characters. It’s getting pretty hard to watch some of the things James Roberts, Alex Milne and Josh Burcham are putting these guys through.
The whole 5 page preview can be found at FullMetalHero courtesy of IDW Publishing.
Panel pic #1:
Magnus is taking on Hun-Gurr on the left, stomping some dino-con underfoot, shooting one guy on the right and launching two missiles – all at the same moment – and after transforming too. Yep, “he is really good at fighting.”
I love this main panel – it shows the gloriousness of comics in one image – it could be considered a still image, but it also clearly shows a passage of time (vehicle, multiple attacks, movement, smooshing). And you can’t beat Swerve and Tailgate watching from afar.
Panel pic #2:
Snaptrap gets on panel briefly before getting a sword shluckted through the back of his head. Guess which Autobot did that?
I love comic sound effects. This one is nicely masked within the image too.
Okay. This one is REALLY out of context, so you may lose the impact I felt. The third panel is from Page 4, and it is a character i’ve particularly enjoyed so far this series – Swerve. He’s a fast talking, joke-cracking bar man who has gone through a lot this year. Now look at him…
Panel pic #3:
Swerve!!! How did this happen!!! He doesn’t have a face. Is he alive? Unconscious? The preview doesn’t reveal this but just hits me smack in the gut with this image. It’s haunting.
I’m not going to put too many words on this post because I really want to show off this amazing page of comic work!
However, some context.
A few months back the Comics Experience Creator’s Workshop monthly challenge was to write a single page script. As many writers know, putting a whole story in a short space IS a challenge. My first experience of this was crafting the Inkman story “Dead Lines” (which can be viewed for free here) as a 5 page story.
Creating these single page comics was inspired by Warren Ellis’ “Three Panels Open” feature and I came up with two ideas. Amazingly, during the same period the artist’s section of the workshop were tasked with finding scripts to practice their own skills on.
So it is without further ado that I present a reverse-narrative 3 panel tale “BRUTAL CONSEQUENCE” – with amazing art by Jason Folkes and Gannon Beck. Please check out their work at the links below!
This week there has been some awesome comics releases, trailer reveals and music announcements! So many things rocking in my world!
Let’s start with the movies:
Movie #1: Regarding superheroes I’m typically a Marvel guy, but I do have some fond childhood memories watching some Superman stories on VHS and I also loved the All Star Superman comic DC released a couple of years ago. Mostly I enjoyed Smallville’s take on Clark Kent growing up and realising his destiny.
So this week the “Man of Steel” main trailer was released and I loved it. The gravitas and tone set by the music and narration really sets this up as a step for Superman to enter the current generation of moviegoers that are well-versed in Comic Superheroes on screen. There’s a lot of power and impact that is teased at in the trailer as well. If you haven’t seen it – here’s my friendly link #1.
Movie #2: Pacific Rim is a giant monster vs robot film from one of my favorite directors, Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth). The trailer only really hints at a lot of the scale and fun that this film will be – but it totally brings out all my memories with Neon Genesis Evangelion, Godzilla and Transformers. With Del Toro helming this with the freedom to make the movie he wants, this is gonna rock – check it out here link #2.
Now my favorite part of the week – this week’s comics!
I had a lovely LOOOONG drive down to my local comic shop this week but it was worth it. A bunch of comics to pick up and some real gems. Two Transformers comics in particular – Robots in Disguise #12 and a return of the Spotlight brand focusing on Orion Pax (pre-Optimus Prime). Robots in Disguise is a comic that i’ve been engrossed in all year (still working on that essay…) and it even got to the top of the “Buy Pile” at ComicBookResources. The “Underbase” podcasting team did a great review of it too – link #3.
Also on comics – next week sees Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #12 coming out – which in James Roberts on words “ends with a bang.” Which little robot is gonna get it?!?
And lastly here, MY LITTLE PONY #2 should be out in a week’s time – can’t wait!