Thursday, September 3, 2009

Transformers: The Ongoing Mission

We launch the Mike Costa/Don Figueroa TRANSFORMERS ongoing series in November, so let's spend a little time on those covers here. First up, the covers to issue 1, which've already been seen here and there (colors by James Brown):

And then we have issue 2's covers, being seen here for the first time (first one by Don and James, Bumblebee variant cover by Andrew Wildman, who'll be doing variant covers for each issue of the first storyline):


Anonymous said...

Chris, thanks for more Transformers posts!!! Awesome covers, love Wildman's style, hope to grab these somehow, sometime! (Bit hard on budget with a 10month old now!)
This mission looks set to fire, I hope people that are a bit put off by the art style give the first few issues a go, to see what Costa, Fig and Brown are going to do with this series, cause i'm quite excited. Especially now that we have RODIMUS and he ain't Hot Rod any more!

Chris Ryall said...

Hey, hope things are going well with the kid, Luke. Don't worry about spending more on comics, though--I found that kids can subsist on half of what doctors recommend...

Joe said...

Give Don to do a movieverse comic book. The guy's butchering G1 comics with this horrid hybrid style.

James M. Biggie said...

Don's work is always amazing. Hail to the King, Baby!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other guy. If Don wants to draw movieverse, please give him a movieverse book.

The G1 books were par to date, nothing exceptional but this new art style really takes the lifeblood out of why I even buy TF comics in the first place. Otherwise I'd stick to the toys.

I'm happy for new continuities but this amalgamation is plain fugly.

Or may I ask is this what Hasbro has asked you guys to do for going forward with the brand?

Liam Shalloo said...

Beautiful covers. Man, Don and Wildman are on top form here.
Don's bot retain the classic elements with a fresh Alien look to it.

Im absolutly green with jealousy towards James :D.

Marcus said...

Wow, 4 covers and not a single decepticon. Where are the Decepticons?

Ryan Yzquierdo - said...

Hopefully someone realizes how bad an idea it is to do the movie-style with classic characters. Not a fan at all of this style in this usage.

I really miss the days when Transformers comics weren't such a disarray of ideas. I have my fingers crossed that the ongoing story will bring some cohesiveness to the IDW Transformers comics that has been missing the past few years with all of these mini-series-designed-to-be-trade-paperbacks.

Please keep the movie style out of the regular TF comic books in the future.

Ryan Yzquierdo

Stan said...

I like what I see! But I agree, where are the Decepticons?

Ok..ok..Wheres Soundwave? :)

Chris Ryall said...

Where the Decepticons are is a point of the first storyline.

And man, some of these comments about the art. I understand you being resistant to change, but why you're so opposed to giving an artist breathing room and letting his style evolve, I just don't get. His art looks amazing, better than ever.

Evidently no Iron Man fans here, since he seems to be able to change his look over the years and not be met with this kind of resistance. Who wants to read/see the same old thing for decades on end? It's still the characters you know.

When we started, we were lauded for not forcing a "house style" on the artists like previous publishers. And now I see people wishing that the "E.J. Su aesthetic" was forced on all the other artists. Leads me to think people only want change if it's change the way *they* would do it.

Give the first issue a chance. I can't imagine everyone won't like what they see there.

Liam Shalloo said...

People have short memories man.

I remember when people hated the look of Nick Roche's and EJ's bots. Now people crave them.

Fact is guys that a title called Transformers is obviously going to constantly evolve. Artists need room to grow and as long as Don's story telling continues to improve i say let him grow.

I mean no disrespect here but if Comics never evolved then we would basically have everything looking like John Romita Snr and Jack Kirby. And we would never have gotten artists like Ben Templesmith, Pia Guerra, Skottie Young, Nick Roche, or Guido Guidi

Personally i see so much potential in Don's new style, just as an artist its given me a lot of inspiration colour wise!

wordmongerer said...

I'm intrigued by the new style. I'm not sure it's my cup of tea but the simple truth is I have a massive amount of faith and admiration in Don's work and ability so I'm more than happy to see this evolve and develop. It certainly has has the effect of getting people to take notice!

wordmongerer said...

And I forgot to say - I'm very VERY pleased to see Andy Wildman doing some TF work again.

Anonymous said...

pat lee style was always the best a real g1 homage idw your just getting silly now sort it out ..............

Anonymous said...

Yeah, not liking the Movie elements grafted onto the classic designs. And why do they all have monkey faces?

glovestudios said...

Red Alert? Where did he come from? Interesting.

Gahhhrrr! That art sucks! I'm so mad. (Sorry, sometimes I just want to fit in so badly.)


glovestudios said...

Haha. Just in case, and to be clear.... that was a joke. :)

Ryan Yzquierdo - said...

"When we started, we were lauded for not forcing a "house style" on the artists like previous publishers. And now I see people wishing that the "E.J. Su aesthetic" was forced on all the other artists. Leads me to think people only want change if it's change the way *they* would do it."

Personally, I'm just tired of all of the different interpretations of the Transformers, especially ones without explanation and especially within the same continuity. I'm up for artist interpretation from here to there, but Spider-Man and Batman have more or less stayed the same during the tenure, and whenever they've strayed, it seems like they more often than not end up back at the basics.

While I love EJ Su's artwork (his and Guido Guidi's are my favorite for Transformers), I was not a fan of a lot of the Transformers designs. I was very happy to see the Decepticon Seekers switch from their original IDW designs to the designs based off their Masterpiece figures. Still have never, ever liked the weird design of Bumblebee.

Honestly, I'd just prefer the IDW robot designs to be based off whatever current version Hasbro has out at retail for their primary line. Bumblebee should use his Classics Bumblebee mold from 2006/2007. Cyclonus? Universe 2008/2009 version. Personally, I think that makes more sense from a company stand point than just letting the artists do whatever they want.

As I stated above, please keep the movie aesthetics out of the G1 based comics. If the artists want to play around with the movie style, give them a movie book to work on.

Ryan Yzquierdo - said...

Meant to say "was not a fan of a lot of the IDW Transformers designs" in my post above.

Fanbot said...

You whiners oughta be ashamed of yourselves. Now admittedly Don's new style is a bit ... well, different, but hello?Remember Galvatron's words in AHM 14 - the only constant thing is change. I mean, look at G2 (best series ever). Look at Dreamwave (Pat Lee). The bots have all gone thru changes at some point. You guys have a serious case of GEEWUN. Get the hell over it.

Ryan Yzquierdo - said...

Nothing to be ashamed of here by finally speaking my mind about something I saw a few weeks ago that I didn't like so I decided to voice my opinion about it. Only way things can be fixed is if enough fans make a statement about something they do or don't like.

I am tired of that blanket "GEEWUN" statement being shoved in the faces of people who complain about something with the "classic" Transformers. I love change when it comes to Transformers. I love Beast Wars, heck I'm even a fan of Beast Machines. I really like the movie style as well, but in the movieverse. I also highly enjoyed the look of Transformers Animated once I saw more than the first pic that leaked of Optimus Prime (that piece of artwork still looks bad with TFA Prime's face looking straight at you, but that's just a bad angle).

It wasn't the designs of the bodies that made me decide to post, but the weird faces that just don't look right to me. I think the inconsistent style of the IDW Transformers is probably more frustrating than anything. Perhaps the artists have had too much freedom. Perhaps no one cares.

I certainly do not mind letting the artists have some creative freedom. Some of my favorite Marvel era Transformers comics were issues when the artists did something different than the norm (Marvel TF #16, #33, #34 and Derek Yaniger's art comes to mind). It is my hope that this is just a temporary style to gauge our reactions.

As for Don Figueroa's artwork ... I've never really been a fan. He's a nice guy, I think he's done some great work over the years, and I admire him for being a fan who made it into the world of official folks who work on the brand. I've liked a lot of his concepts (such as the War Within designs). However, I prefer the artists like Guido Guidi and EJ Su ... artists who can draw Transformers AND humans.

I'd personally rather see the Transformers drawn in a more Japanese style than whatever this style is.

Bill Hartnell said...

Come on Ryan, how can you say that when you run one of the worst looking websites on the planet.

Ryan Yzquierdo - said...

Because it's not one of the worst looking websites by a long shot. If you'd like to discuss my website, please feel free to contact me at I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions if you have some. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

Ryall's blog is not the appropriate place for that discussion and I'm sure all parties involved would appreciate it if we kept conversations about off this blog.

lonegamer8 said...

I'll openly admit, I was taken aback quite a bit on seeing Don's new style in AHM #13 when the previews came out. Part of me was "Movie designs with traditional classic-style?! WTF?!", while a different part of me was "wonder if there's a reason for the change". After reading Don's reason, it made sense that as one of the fan favorite artist he would want to try something different.

I think not many of us thought of another angle to Transformers. It's not just the toys that can change. It's not just the characters that take different shapes throughout the years. It's not just the worlds where we see the stories unfold. There's also those who help create said characters and worlds that change as well over time. While there's always dissonance on something new, at least they're laying groundwork for new directions that can either continue on smoothly with a few bumps, or come to a painful jarring end.

Don deserves to be allowed to change his art style, and he has a point on seeing the same designs year after year (well, month after month) getting a bit tiring. Put bluntly: screw "enforced house style"; each artist - lines, inks, finishes, colors, letters - should be able to dance to the beat of their choices so as long it's within acceptable parameters.

Marcus said...

hmmm. Wasn't that keen on the story in AHM 13. Also didn't really like the image that was put out during SDCC.

HOWEVER the second image with Prime, Ironhide & Hot Rod had me going WOW!

The new one with Rodimus and Red Alert is even better. It just makes the title feel more grownup and less cartoony. Can't wait for this and Nefarious.

Wish Don was drawing more than just the first arc, hope to see him apply this new style to something like Beast Wars or Beast Machines.

Fanbot said...

I still like his art. I'll always read TF comics no matter what. But you all right about the faces. WTF is the grille stuff in the mouth? Look at Don's art for issue 2 - serious movieverse styling

Fanbot said...

And has anyone noticed the inconsistency of Rodimus' altmode? In issue 1 he has his old Dodge altmode while in issue 2 he has his AHM/Sunbow design. WTF?

Anonymous said...

I still don't like Nick Roche. He's passable and I've come to accept him as part of the stable. I think Nick's stylistic strong but it's not how I like my TFs to look so he barely passes.

I haven't changed my position on IDW's artists from day 1. I still think of them the same as now and some have grown but I do still think they're subpar to the Dreamwave style and particularly to Don's style - which to me was one of the very reasons I got back into collecting TFs again.

This grafting of G1 and movieverse is forced and tries to combine to polar opposites that just do not quite work.

There's nothing wrong about the evolution of an artist but there is something quite distinctly different from drawing something in a different style to amalgamating two different designs. Nick for instance style is still G1. I just don't like his style all that much. Don's here is putting G1 and movie verse in a blender together. I'm happy to read about movieverse but let's keep separate.

You read G1 comics b/c it's a throwback to G1. You read movieverse b/c it's about movieverse. You don't read G1 and expect movieverse. What's happened here is like putting Animated into a a G1 based comic. The Animated comics are the animated comics. The G1 comics are the G1 comics/

And judging by the sales estimates, from day one of IDW acquiring the licence, a lot of people have dropped off, Chris. I think a lot of them aren't around any more to complain b/c they've already voted with their wallet and walked. Guys like myself are still here cos we can live through the general mediocrity, sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Anonymous said...

I should add too that Don deserves his chance to evolve too. I'm not saying he doesn't. It's just I don't appreciate where it's being done.

So I take it that this is a completely IDW taken direction with the art style? That it's been between IDW and Don? Because my gut instinct was that it came from Hasbro or potentially some new TF cartoon series.

Chris Ryall said...

>Wish Don was drawing more than just the first arc

He is.

Fanbot said...

Oh come on man. Dreamwave's art was good, but the story was even more subpar than you allege IDW is at art. And Pat Lee - don't even get me started. He came on and look what happened - Dreamwave blew up. No, I believe IDW have, as with ALL the other companies, put their own little spin on the mythos.
And don't diss the Roche.

Fanbot said...

Oh and all you who are completely being a bunch of wimps saying "Don's art sucks", you haven't even read the fricking comic yet!!! Talk about judging a comic by it s cover. Read it first and THEn you can gripe about it.

David W. said...

Typical Transformer fans. No wonder no one takes most of you people seriously.

Here. Read this.

And please, grow a set and learn how not to cry.

camshaftgirl13 said...

I, for one, like the artwork. It's always fun to see the new incarnations of the characters.
And what, Hot Rod is going to be Rodimus now instead? Eh?

Hans said...

I think it all comes down to: do you like what you see? The simple answer, unfortunately, is: no.

Don't get me wrong, I'll pick up the book as always, but it's more because of habit and having a complete collection this time than it is because I'm really curious to see what happens.

It's not about not wanting change for me. I just don't like the fact that all the faces have the same, morbid look to them. Especially when it's the Autobots we see. I'm sorry, but I agree with some other posters here, let Don do a movie-universe book if that is more to his current style. Guido Guidi and Casey Coller have the G1 aesthetic down perfectly, I think they would be a more natural fit for this universe.

Sorry Chris, this is the first time I'm really not digging what I see. Everyone's allowed to have an opinion, right?


Hans said...

Oh, and Fabot: it's not just judging by the cover. Don already did AHM 13 in this new style, as well.

DanielW said...

Andy Schmidt has said that each artist will be allowed their own style for their runs on the comics, Don has opted for a hyper-detailed approach.

No doubt the fans will whinge about "inconsistency". IDW can't catch a break from the community can it? If everything was the same, "house style", if the artist changes his own style "he's taken hack lessons from [insert name of easy to slight artist]", if they change designs to something new "what happened to the proper designs?" if they go back "how dare you change".

Frankly, IDW needs to just stick to their guns and do what they think will work, the fans that strop off in a huff will be weighed with the fans who come one because of great publicity and so forth.

Baron Prime said...

I've warmed to Don's new style. Transformers are ever changing, so why shouldn't the art style? Would we all like to see Jose Delbo's style all the time?(Not a criticism, I enjoyed Jose's work.)
The one thing that I've always loved its Don's attention to detailand the new designs will put him to the test. The story should be great as IDW has not disappointed me yet. Bring it on!!

Anonymous said...

God those Autobots are ugly! Whose idea was it to make them all look alike with those god awful movieverse faces? There is a difference between evolving and sucking...Hasbro and IDW, total failures. I was looking forward to this series, it's a shame that it is not worth my money.

puppylove said... << comments from tfw.2005

i already posted about my dislike of the new designs here. to the people telling the fans to get over it- if the fans don't like the new designs, they won't buy the comics, and i would hope IDW cares about sales. i also don't understand a company that seems to like angering its fanbase.

alternate style can be good, but within reason. like casey coller's art is different, but still fits nicely into the look. having read through the series in the last year or so (started reading AHM, then was hooked, went back got all the trades) i don't see a huge leap in design from artist to artist. each was respectful of the look. this is clearly a mixture of movie aesthetic with the beautiful former designs that were more G1 related. if i wanted to read movie comics... i would buy the movie comics. *sighs*

i am so frustrated. it seems the opinions of the readers are being disregarded as trivial, or just fans not wanting change. when in fact the comics are meant for the fans! please, listen to us.

in the end, you are losing readership, and if you are willing to do that to keep your artist happy, there is something very wrong.

i for one, will not be buying anymore comics if this is what i have to look forward to.

James Snelgrove said...

Frankly, I dont mind the changes in the bodies of the Transformers at all. Don's new style might be more movie-verse fiddly but he makes sure to maintain a G1-verse feel to the characters.

Unfortunately, I despise the way he has been drawing the faces of these characters. In his Optimus/Ironhide story it looked like Ironhide was wearing a much oversized helmet, and was really excessively old. Actually, most of these robots come across looking like they have robo wrinkles with their segmented faces, and it just feels wrong.

I'm all for change and, heck, I even got over my dislike for switching the designs between the -ations and AHM (it helped that there was a flashback scene to acknowledge that the Seekers used to be F-22's and not always Masterpiece designs....I also think that sequence was pencilled by EJ Su as a fill in artist) and I know I will grow to like some of the structural changes I am feeling reticent to do with the switch over to Don as artist, but the faces just aren't what I like out of my TFs, and I'm worried that it may ruin the book for me if there is a lot more exposition than action (and I actually want a lot of exposition, I like stories where things get explained and its not just jumping from one set of explosions to the next in my comic books), because then Ill have to look at these segmented faces a fair deal more than I think I will be comfortable with.

And, for the record, I don't dislike the Movie style. I don't particularly dislike any artist that IDW has used (though there was that one who filled in on an AHM issue who's style worked better on the Humans than Robots, clashed with the other fill in artist's style and made the book read weird, but his art had no major faults to it....might be interesting to see him on an Animated comic issue), I just tend to prefer my robot faces in a more traditional G1 aesthetic, especially when dealing with G1-based versions of the characters. If Don were to tone down the changes he made in drawing their faces then I would be completely on board with his new style.

DrSpengler said...

I think "Seibertron" is one of the best people to give his opinion on the quality of the comic books. After all, he has thousands of copies of the Dreamwave series at his house (the unsent copies he kept after stealing the money of the fans from his site).

Fanbot said...

Why don't we read the first arc and just wait a bit? We've only seen Don do a small number of characters and we haven't seen enough of Costa's penmanship to judge yet. Who knows? His story could make up for Don's controversial art styling. You are right tho, his faces at times ... by Primus, how awful!

Chris Ryall said...

>i also don't understand a company that seems to like angering its fanbase.

We in no way try to anger anyone. But if a close-minded minority thinks we're going to only do what they demand, that's also flawed logic. I don't want the comics feeling stagnant in story or art. So we try new things with both, in hopes that people appreciate that we're trying new things.

There are probably 20+ different opinions in this blog thread alone. Obviously someone somewhere is going to be angry because there's no way to please 20+ different opinions of how the book should be.

I wish you weren't angry, and would give the book a read before writing it off. But if you don't choose to do that, well, you're welcome to your choice and your opinion.

I also wish all of you would recognize that Don is a human being and an artist and doesn't deserve to just read comments like "this art is ugly." He's doing amazing work, detailed as can be, and whether you personally love it or not, at least be polite about it, before you forever drive away one of the best artists to ever draw these characters.

Fanbot said...

Too right Ryall. Don was supposed to have stopped doing transformers several times, yet he always came back. This reaction could permanently destroy his association with TF. He could leave to never return. Think about that...

Anonymous said...

I find these reactions very interesting. If you were to take away the face designs and replace them more traditional, more recognisable ones, I doubt you'd get a single complaint about the 'more detailed' look (OK, maybe a few, LoL).

The thing is, the face is a very important part of what makes a character's relationship with the reader/viewer. If you plonk in a very mechanical/alien design onto well loved cast that people empathise with, you're bound to get this kind of reaction. Even guys I know in my local comic shop who aren't necessarily TF fans went "What the hell?".

I personally could get used to it, but it won't mean I'll like it.

Andrew said...

I've loved Transformers comic books since the Marvel days and will likely continue to buy them. Chris, I'm not convinced that it is a minority of people that dislike what they've seen of the art. Don is one of my favorite artists but this artwork seems to make the characters too alien to identify with. Prime looks fantastic but the faces are too detailed (if that's the right word). The same is true of the bodies. I think the comparison to the movie-verse is adequate. I will give the series a chance but I really hope the art is better than we've seen. I also hope that if sales drop, God forbid, that the publisher will at least explore the possibility that the art may be the reason for a drop in sales.

Hans said...

I hope Don realises that he is probably the most universally loved Transformers artist. People aren't saying they don't like the way he draws (because I believe everyone loves Don's art), they're only saying they don't like the influence of the movie style into G1, a design choice that Don has made. In other words, no one is asking for him to be taken off the title, they're only asking him to rethink his designs :)

But seriously Chris, I really don't think that a close minded minority doesn't like these 'redesigns'... If you look at discussions over at or, you'll see that people are talking about them in a negative way across the board. I just hope IDW realises this.

And I suppose passionate fans of a certain property will always have a certain level of close-mindedness about aesthetic changes to that property. That's only to be expected, I think.

By the way, Guido Guidi and Casey Coller are still around as well, right? Guido and Casey are my favourite TF artists.

wordmongerer said...

Seconded - Don's work ranks amongst the finest TF has seen and I'm going to give him (and me) a chance to warm to this style. MT preference was never EJ's style but I could never fault his ability even if it wasn't to my *taste*. Key word there "taste". It's not like the books are being drawn by someone with no talent, it's just that he's using his considerable talents in a different was than I or anyone is used to.

And I'd definitely like to see more from Casey and Robby who ALWAYS seem to dazzle with their books too.

Anonymous said...

I like every thing but the faces. Really hate the faces.Hope the comic dosent have those faces too cause they are really turning me off from buying this.

Anonymous said...

"But seriously Chris, I really don't think that a close minded minority doesn't like these 'redesigns'... If you look at discussions over at or, you'll see that people are talking about them in a negative way across the board. I just hope IDW realises this."

All I think Chris is saying is that all of the people that post on the message boards comprise maybe somewhere between 2 and 5% of consumers. So yeah, that would be a minority. You have what, maybe 500 people (I think that's even being generous) that post on the major boards if you don't count those that have multiple accounts (one on each site). I mean, all of the boards were very vocal with dislike for AHM but it still sold consistently. I've scanned a lot of the boards and it always seems like a select few who are always throwing the complaints with a few new people thrown in the mix.


Ryan said...

[quote]DrSpengler said...

I think "Seibertron" is one of the best people to give his opinion on the quality of the comic books. After all, he has thousands of copies of the Dreamwave series at his house (the unsent copies he kept after stealing the money of the fans from his site).[/quote]

I love when people don't tell the whole story. You received your refund at least 4 years ago, as did everyone else. Let it drop Spengler.

Nightingale said...

I've posted before, and I feel I should post again. I'm happy that people are putting in their opinion. First of all... I already said Don is one of my favorite artists. It's just the lean on the movieverse that is making me walk away.

I think that in that genre, I'd enjoy the design. Only when I look at it in this continuum, it loses the feelings and attachment to me. In fact, as I stated before, I think of Skeletor (adding in Terminator at that). But, this is all in the faces. The body detail is impressive and almost functional. I mean NO disrespect for Figueroa...

I've subscribed to each round of comics AND bought the compilations... But... I don't think I'll be buying these even if I am curious about what is going to happen.

Anonymous said...

I've posted before about that art work and I feel I need to again. Don is an AMAZING artist. I myself am an artist and a graphic designer so I realize and agree with the fact that all artist have to grow and try new things. This in no way bothers me. In fact I like to see artists expanding and evolving their styles.

With that being said. IDW is a business. As a Graphic Designer I realize that my work must please the client, the person PAYING. If the client is not pleased then there is a problem. The client wants the style they want. If they don't get what they want, I don't get paid and they walk away to someone else who is going to do the work the way they want it done.

In no way do I mean any disrespect to Don, I think he is amazing, but if he wants to try a more movie verse style, why not let him work on movie verse comics instead of comics that are G1?

If I want to see movie verse art I would go to the movie verse comics. But we have been promised a more G1 continuing saga and I for one would be more pleased to see it stay a little truer to G1 and not try to merge the two designs because frankly it doesn't work, it is not eye pleasing and will simply drive fans to not pick up the comics.

Now, I think it is unfair to say the style is ugly or any other negative comment about it in the reguards of style itself. I'm not bashing the artwork for what it is. I'm simply saying that it's not suited to a more G1 based line, it's not a good selling point.

You can not do a somewhat movie verse style and call it G1, it simply does not work. And comments about it sucking will not get the point across that what we, the fans, want is G1 style art and not movie verse.

While, I think it is great that Ryall is backing up Don in this, that shows some great loyalty and I respect that a lot... I simply ask that you take the time to hear us fans out who are actually not trying to bash and give our honest opinions and please take us into account.

DanielW said...

Andy Schmidt has this to say:

Don wanted to take different elements from different incarnations and I stood by the decision. Don't not the only artist on here. Look at the "Last Stand of the Wreckers" cover we've released or the Bumblebee cover we've released. Neither of those are movie-fied. What we're doing differently is letting the artists be artists. We're letting them show off their unique skills. Casey, Guido, and many others are working on other TF projects and no one but Don is doing what Don does. No one but Guido is penciling them the way Guido does. It's about letting the artists bring something unique to their stories.

One of the things I love about comics is how I used to argue with my two brothers over who did the best Wolverine or Spider-Man or Batman. I'm just trying give the artists on TF that same kind of freedom. Granted, Don's take on them is the most different from what we've seen before, but if yo look closely, there's elements from "War Within" and "armada" as well as the movies.

Well that rather is that.
Now I predict that people will be complaining about the incosistency.

However - we have Don on art.
An ONGOING series.
A company that has committed to producing the best quality series they can.
The NUMBER 3 COMPANY in the industry no less.
It's a company that takes the fans seriously enough to employ some of them to write, illustrate and illuminate the comics.

A company that has enough guts to speak to the fans, listen to the abuse and to try and change their opinions.

No, I don't work for IDW, but by thunder I have more respect for them then I do certain other companies out there.

Chris Ryall said...

>While, I think it is great that Ryall is backing up Don in this, that shows some great loyalty and I respect that a lot... I simply ask that you take the time to hear us fans out who are actually not trying to bash and give our honest opinions and please take us into account.

In the five years I've been doing this, I've repeatedly shown that I do take every fan's comments into account. And you'd think that in doing so it would build up some level of trust with the fans, but when I see fans yelling me they will stop buying Transformers comics because they don't like the way a character's face looks, well, that is not something I understand, condone or will cater to. If peoples' affection for these characters is so transitory as to let an art style that isn't 100% to your liking (but it IS a high percentage nonetheless, based on everyone's "we love Don but just not these faces" comments) send you packing, well, there's nothing we can do about that. Change the faces again and alienate other people? Or change a vehicle mode and alienate still others? Change a color, a word balloon, a font? Where does this level of jumping off end? And how do you think we could put together long-term plans if we're expected to constantly tweak little details that some people don't like?

Is it too much to ask that everyone actually read issue 1 and then decide? Because I think most all of this is going to be moot when you see it.

Anonymous said...

Chris said...
> Is it too much to ask that everyone actually read issue 1 and then decide? Because I think most all of this is going to be moot when you see it.

Mate, you are asking readers to spend their money on something that at first glance repulses them.

I'm really sorry, if your the one trying to win us over, you should be more than willing for us to express our opinions and pass judgement. You put previews to try and woo us in, to get us to spend $3.99. Comics aren't cheap.

It's your job to get us to buy books. Turning around and complaining when we don't respond well to the very previews you're trying to lure us in with is pretty damn hypocritical.

No one should have to try your book and then pass judgement on it. As a consumer, you are from the very outset trying to engage us and attract us to your offering. We should be able to pass judgement on something the moment you put a preview out there.

I don't think there's been anything nasty in these responses here. They're expressing an opinion and I agree with others that you should at least listen.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think there's been anything nasty in these responses here. They're expressing an opinion and I agree with others that you should at least listen."

When did Ryall ever say he doesn't listen? Did you even read his post where he said he takes every fans' opinion into account?


Chris Ryall said...

>No one should have to try your book and then pass judgement on it.

Um. No idea how to respond to this kind of thinking.

Mark Pellegrini said...

Just a heads up to Ryan of, but this is the real "DrSpengler" and I did not write that comment about the Store.

Looks like someone was playing a joke.

Anonymous said...

'Is it too much to ask that everyone actually read issue 1 and then decide? Because I think most all of this is going to be moot when you see it.'

We've already given it a chance with issue 13 of All Hail Megatron. And it was not to our liking.

Obviously either my point was not coming across clearly or you just weren't getting it. Which, I can understand with people giving negative comments that are quit harsh and not needed.

Simply having a 5 year old tantrum and saying 'it sucks, it's ugly' is not the way to get the point across because obviously, you're not holding a gun to our heads to buy your comics and bottom line is it's our choice to spend the money or not.

However, there are those of us like myself who want to support IDW and love the transformers comics. Heck, they're the only comics I read and buy.

That being said, they are comics books so the greatest appeal to them is the artwork. It's not a novel with only words.

While, I am sure the story line and plot itself will be fantastic I can not say that I will be able to get into it looking at those faces. I felt very put off from relating to Prime and Ironhide in issue 13 of AHM and I feel it would be the same for this new series.

You ask is it too much to ask that we read the first issue, but really is it too much that you give us what was promised? The first on going GENERATION ONE Transformers series in years?

Anonymous said...

> Um. No idea how to respond to this kind of thinking.

I don't think you're listening. What I interpreted him as saying was that why should we not be able to pass judgement on a book before reading it?

Given you're trying to lure us in, market to us, can't readers then judge what they see? It's the whole point of these covers you're showing us, right? Trying to whet our appetite?

The art does suck btw.

DanielW said...

As much as we have something of a right as a consumer to pass judgement on whether or not we intend to buy something based on the art (or the writer or the company or whatever) there must be a line between deciding not to buy something, speaking as a previous consumer and explaining why you're not going to continue with a title (even to the EIC of the company) and just being negative.

I see people saying "I don't like the art" (hell I've said it) as being a judgement.

"The art sucks" is just being negative, and somewhat rude.

I don't like a lot of the New Series of Doctor Who, but love the old stuff. Now, I am within my right as a consumer to say why I don't like it (I love IDW's take on it FWIW), but if I didn't watch the series and was just critical, does that not make me somewhat hypocritical and rude, rather then making judgements as a consumer?

So if you're not going to get the comics because of the art, that's fine. If you want to say "I'm not getting this because of the art" then that's fine too. But to constantly go on and on about it, it crosses the line between a judgement and rudeness IMO.

You see, I'm a teacher.
When I teach kids to critique the work of their fellow students (and it is something we do) language that is constructive, "I didn't like it because of X and Y" that sort of thing, is far more likely to get the person you're talking to listen to your comments then saying "it sucks".
If children as young as 8 can do that, why can't adults on the Internet?

Why can't we be creative in our criticisms? I read a post on the IDW forum, where someone explained that their dislike of the faces comes from the difficulty in them emoting. He could so easily have said "they suck because they can't emote", but instead he toned in such a way to offer a critique that is toned in such a way to offer suggestions for improvement.

Hans said...

I disagree about the art sucking, it's just the way the bots are designed. When I look at those covers and don't even recognise the iconic image of "Generation One" Optimus Prime, there's just something very wrong.

Like I said, I'm a fan, and I too support IDW, so I'll buy the comic. But these are not the Transformers I knew. And quite frankly, yes, this is hard to look at.

I hate the movie designs. There's nothing "Japanese mecha" about them at all. It's more "American Terminator". So no, I don't appreciate the movie design language imposed on the original character designs. If Don really wants to draw more detail I don't see why he wasn't given a movie Universe book instead.

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Anonymous said...

Ryall, if you consider my post in the context of the entire response it makes much more sense.

Focus on this perhaps: you want to market to us, you want us to buy by offering a preview, expect feedback.

Don't sit there and whine why people won't give things a chance. Be glad that they've given the chance to have a look at the cover art you've supplied. You're trying to market to us, you're trying to encourage us to help you make profits. We should be perfectly entitled to judge what we see - esp. when you're trying to entice us to fork out our hard earned on your books.

wordmongerer said...

Criticism is not the issue as I see it, it's more the opinion disguised as fact (coupled with a lot of rudeness) that's the problem. I've stated it's not to my tastes and that I'll give it a chance and take it from there. In the days on Marvel G1 (UK) you had such contrasting styles and I liked some more than others and I had my favourite (who just so happens to be doing a cover for this - whoop!).

If you've said you don't like it or that you're not going to buy it - fine. Move on! Chris will ultimately take into account audience reaction, but as a whole not in individual terms. The only way to see whether a risk is worth taking is to take it and then see the results afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Ryall's not whining, he's saying "give it a chance", hell he's not even saying buy the issue, all he's asking is that we give it a flick through in our LCS and pick it up based on what we see in our hands.

Anonymous said...

Whoever the "anonymous" is that can't even sign-off - have you noticed how the "feedback" you're describing is actually moreso the nondescript, negative bashing of "the art sucks".
it's fine to have an opinion, but Ryall shares his time with the fans, so please be a little respectful. It really isn't hard.

I honestly found the style Don used in AHM#13 a little bit jarring - but from the FEW pics of #1 and #2 i'm warming to it.
I cannot WAIT to see the pages in the comic, and witness Costa and Fig telling this new story. And I hope it's successful!


Anonymous said...

DanielW for the win on constructive criticism comparison with his students.

Fanbot said...

Woo! This comments page is turning into a slagging forum!

And the "Anonymous" who is saying how sucky Ryall is and how he's whining and not taking the consumers seriously and all that slag; well isn't a bit of bad consumerism that you aren't even doing your research to ascertain the product quality by actually investigating (ie reading) the product? As I said before, Mike's writing may make up for this style. Art alone don't make a comic great. Look at Batman Year One. The art was very basic, but the story made up for it.

And yes, others are right, I find the faces annoying because of the faces. The grille things make it hard for them to look emotive, and they are a bit of an eyesore in the way that it's a bit hard to look at them.

So can we PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF PRIMUS, read the slagging comic and actually see what it's like? I mean it's the first ongoing for almost 5 years. FIVE SLAGGING YEARS, people.

Chris Ryall said...

>Look at Batman Year One. The art was very basic, but the story made up for it.

I was with ya on everything, Fanbot, until this. I think the art in that book is absolutely gorgeous. But that's one of my all-time favorite stories.

Although now I wonder if Mazzucchelli had given Batman Michael Keaton's "Batman Movie" mouth if I would've reacted as badly as some fans have about Don's new style...

Stan said...

So did Sixshot take over or what?

Imagine the Plot twist,Razerclaw & Soundwave are his 2cnd Lt's in command..But puts offswitch's in Megatron, Shockwave, Starscream and Scorponok, and makes them lowly grunts while there down...all out of spite, & becouse he could. HA!

Am I close or way off? Come on Ryall!

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against artists trying something new. But let's face it, the faces are atrocious on the covers.

And yes, I understand things change... but not always for the better.

Doctor said...

Well, it's nothing new to say that while these are skilfully rendered drawings, I find the faces irksome. It's not, imo, to do with using a 'movie' style or making them more complicated per se; it's simply that Don's choice of how to arrange the plating means the general template is, unfortunately, redolent of an angry old man with gimlet eyes and sunken cheeks.

I'd also like to point out there's a massive difference between mandating that artists draw in a 'house style' and mandating that they stick to the same basic design of a Transformer. With the exception of Kup and a few minor characters, Nick Roche has always toed the line in terms of the design, following the cues set by other artists. To say that he draws in a 'house style', however, is preposterously wrong.

So I'll be disappointed if this letting artists draw in whatever way they want means the same character turns up with three different configurations over the same time period.

As to the writing? Well, let's wait and see. That's what we're all doing, isn't it? All this reaction is just to do with the 'look'.

Oh, as a final note - nice to see Red Alert!

Anonymous said...

Not sure why some fans don't like this new look to the transformers, I think the new looks is awesome, Dons a transformer drawing expert and the fact he can make them look like that proves it. I'm looking forward to the release in November and I expect great things from this series.

Keep up the good work Don

Andersonh1 said...

Hi Chris,

I wasn't too keen on Don't new style when I first saw the ongoing preview art, but I picked up AHM #13 today with his Prime/Ironhide story, and the new look has grown on me considerably. It's still Don's art, just a bit more detailed and with some inspirations from the movie designs. I personally think I'm going to enjoy the ongoing.