Alas, I can't get excited anymore over Transformers fiction. There's just nothing there anymore for me.

Sure the occasional Don Fiqueroa money shot art piece gets me off every now and then but otherwise it is all pretty meh.

The live action movie? I have absolutely no interest in at all.

I think I may be moving on and just haven't been able to fully admit it to myself yet.


I am with you on this- all of the modern stuff I have seen thus far has been totally uninteresting (and terribly written, to boot). Haven't gotten into any of it, apart from some of Don's War Within Designs, which were nice eye candy.

I just don't get what they are trying to do with these comics. It's odd how they keep cranking out the G1 stuff with no supporting G1 toys or products (at least thus far). Aren't they limiting themselves by focusing exclusively on the nostalgia market? You would think they would want to draw in kids and use the comics as a vehicle to- you know- sell toys (!), like in the old days. Why isn't hasbro using these books to sell Cybertron? Perhaps they accept that kids don't read comics anymore and are just content to milk a few more bucks out of the dead G1 horse.

I don't really think losing interest in the fiction/cartoons etc. will necessarily signal an end to your addiction though. I haven't paid attention to any of the supporting media since the first few eps of Beast Machines (ugh), and I'll still acquired hundreds of figures.

I can understand the continued interest in G1 since those characters and their inherent personalities seemed to have survived for so long. Same with Beast Wars.

The recent series have had no real redeeming characters. They've sorta of been watered down bland versions of stereotypes worse than they were in G1.

And per your "ugh" I think I am most definitely in the minority when it comes to loving me some Beast Machines cartoon. While no fan of the toys, the show was totally aimed at me and I respond to it a lot.

To be honest, I really credit the voice actors and direction on BW and G1 with giving me characters that stick with me. Starscream's unholy whine, Wheeljack's smoker's throat, and Jazz's Scatmantastic drawl gave the characters far more character than anything the writers did, in my opinion. Same with (BW) Megatron's megalomania, Rattrap's cynicism and Inferno's pure crazy. You just don't get that out of voice actors anymore, at least in TF cartoons. The last series I saw where the voice acting was top notch was Invader Zim. It also helps that G1 has the nostalgia value of the first thing I latched on to in life with geek love, and BW had a kickass storyline that no TF series has been able to come close to.

And Nala, if you're done with TF fiction, can you at least let me in on what the hell Splintered was going to be about?

I fully understand the fan interest in G1/Beast Wars but I guess what I'm really wondering is why Hasbro permits it...it does not seem to make business sense, if you are a toy company, to license a comic book for something you aren't currently selling (G1/Beast Wars) instead of focusing on something you are selling (Cybertron). Because from hasbro's perspective, these comics should be viewed purely as a promotional vehicle, not freestanding works of fiction with "artistic merit".

The situation we have now is akin to Hasbro telling Marvel in 1984, "let's not do a Transformers comic, focus on Micronauts, those guys had character". Would Transformers have developed if all creative energies were spent on noistalgia projects? If the modern characters are watered down maybe it's because so much time is devoted to defunct toy lines at their expense. It just seems like bad strategy--they should focus on making today's toys/characters memorable.

Just my opinion.

Alex: Indeed the focus for licensing seems to be on G1... at least with the new comic publisher.

I kind of find it funny that they aren't even going the route of a Cybertron comic like they did with Energon and Armada before it. I actually think that Dreamwave's Armada book did more to make me like that line than the toy did. (And I hated the animated show for that series with a passion!) At least Dreamwave worked a logical explanation of Armada to Energon characters-wise in their first few Energon issues. That was sorely lacking in the animated show.

I suppose Hasbro does see some value in the nostalgia factor. I'd imagine this is even more important to them in a sense if they care at all about the cons. I don't see Botcon being attended well at all if there was no focus on the old. Then again, perhaps the cons are where this focus should be and not in the new fiction.

But I just don't think TF fiction can be written in any way that I'd find satisfying anymore.

The show translations coming from a source Japanese material aimed at a much younger audience doesn't cut it for me. The comics don't interest me anymore except for the occasional eye candy.

And those 3 recent novels were just horrible so I can't even consider them valid attempts at non-comic TF fiction. I wanted to like them but they just didn't have the sophistication I needed I guess.

Evebird made an important observation at lunch today that I'm losing more and more interest in TFs all the time and he's correct. I'm just personally not finding anything much to satisfy myself with anymore. Perhaps that's why I've totally dove into the 40+ years of Doctor Who that is new to me. At least there's a complexity there, though geek-heavy, that meets some void I have.

Frowny: Yeah. I definitely think you hit on something I hadn't thought about in terms of the VAs and "creating" the characters.

I'll try and email you a bried idea about what Splintered is.

Note. "Is".

I'd still like to finish it and shop it around to whoever has the license to publish TF stuff when the time comes.

Nala: One word-Ret-con. I hate it too. The fact is that years of new lines has muddled the story so hopelessly that it's impossible to know what is accepted as canon. Perhaps someone should do a TF "bible" and just cast 60% of it away as "apocrypha." ALL convention comics would fall under the latter. Also, Superlink and Micron Legend just sucked. Again, I have yet to see Carobots. Galaxy Force knew exactly what it was, and gave a lot more room to the characters this time around. It's definitely aimed at kids, tho. I wouldn't call it great, but it's not bad.

Alex: Comics work differently than action figures. They're run a lot more off of nostalgia. (Just look at Infinite Crisis!) The old characters sell more comics, because the demographic in comics has shifted more towards adults. This, in its own way, is bad, (the older your audience skews, the harder it is to get the next generation hooked) but the fact is that IDW probably stands to make more off of G1 characters than the Cybertron line. Consider this: When Dreamwave launched their G1 book, it was #1 for six months. The Armada and Energon books never reached that level. It may not make sense for a toy company to license old characters but it sure as hell makes sense for a comics company to get their hands on characters that they know sell books.

Frowny: Since I'm working an "my" version of a TF Bible for the background necessary for Splintered I'll send you a copy of the chronology and such one day. You may find it somewhat interesting, probably more so for the fact of what I think needs to go "bye-bye".

Well, Nala, that all depends on what your definition of "is" is.

Frowny, speaking as one who's heard some of the themes behind Splintered, I can honestly say it has outstanding story potential. Nala approaches the subject matter from anthropological and philosophical points of view, drawing together disparate continuties and eras into a reasonably coherent whole. Now he just needs to blow some shit up and he's got a good novel.

As for the TF comic license, I wonder if Hasbro really cares much what eras are portrayed. True, the comic can be used for a marketing tool. But the main audience for toys is kids. And kids just don't read comics anymore. Besides, I'm sure Hasbro gets a nice big licensing fee just for lending out the property.

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This page contains a single entry by Nala published on January 9, 2006 8:03 AM.

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