Sunday, March 14, 2010

Transformational Drift


Since Amazon.com has a listing up for the TRANSFORMERS: DRIFT TPB, it's not exactly a big secret that we're going to be doing a miniseries based around the character. The listing also details the creators, writer Shane McCarthy and artist Alex Milne (along with colorist Josh Perez), but doesn't show any cover image. So let's show a little bit here--the cover for issue 1 by Milne and Perez, and page one of issue 1 as well. The 4-issue series will be shipping bi-weekly in August and September.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris Ryall:

Why do you always blog about Drift-chan but never about one of the best Transformers books you've put out, Last Stand of the Wreckers?

Sincerely,
Transfandom

Marcus said...

Dear ChrisCharger

Please continue to blog about Drift. The silent majority do in fact enjoy these posts.

Also tell Alex how epic he is

FDrowned

Detour said...

Hah, silent majority, that's a good one.

The "silent majority" of transfandom doesn't even bother with IDW comics. That's why it can't break the 15,000 in sales.

In any case the original blog post did not tell Ryall to stop blogging about Drift, but rather why he, and IDW in general, works so hard at promoting crap (ie Shane McCarthy's writing) while completely omitting to promote Last Stand of the Wreckers.
Andy Schmidt, ever the professional, even tried to pass the blame on LSOTW's sales over to the fandom, saying because it's a hit there, it can't be "accessed" by the casual fan. Never mind the fact that Ryall barely made one blog about LSOTW, that was more about "LOOK! Roche's buddies support him!" than "READ LSOTW IT IS AWESOME!" and that it otherwise got no promotional exposure beyond the obligatory "five-page previews somewhere", unlike the heavily advertised Ongoing and Bumblebee titles.

Drift may suck, but IDW's real problem lies in its editors and higher-ups rather than with the writers themselves.

Matthew said...

Can you honestly say that Spotlight Blurr was rubbish? That's one of the best TF comics ever - and that was written by McCarthy...

And seriously... do you think IDW editors are that childish? Why do we have to throw our dummies out all the time guys...

Anonymous said...

Well, let me tell you, this is one of the "silent majority" that's not buying your comics.

On the one hand, I think some of the cruder remarks are coming from people who can't draw or write and thus have diminished standing. The key word is diminished, as believing only artists can critique art is elitist.

On the other hand, that doesn't absolve you of all mistakes. Inconsistent character models and sloppy editing are bad. If nothing else, at least get ahold of these issues. I used to do animation as a hobby and it drives me nuts given the difference in workload.

Subjectively, the fiction feels wrong but it's difficult to pinpoint why. Let me put it this way. There are things about the shows I like that are intrinsicly linked to those shows. Your TF comics, and Dreamwave's for that matter, don't really have that. Most shows I can tell you my favorite episodes but I toss the comics in a box and forget about them. If I wasn't already a TransFormers fan, I don't know if I would've hung on to the end of AHM. But then this isn't really specific to IDW, as I haven't "grown" with the many other drama-centric interpretations of TransFormers...

It's probably nothing you haven't heard before though. The fandom should really put together something if your books are so bad, but that's failed every time it's been tried so i don't know what to say. Well, other than it doesn't necessarily mean the emperor's not naked.

Anonymous said...

I am starting to think someone at IDW must have killed Detour's puppy or something...such a bitter little boy...

Supermoose37 said...

Aw little Detour. You make your buttons so easy to push.

Why is that?

Supermoose37

lonegamer7 said...

*facepalm at the others* Oy...

Anyways, in the minority here on waiting to see how Drift's story pans out from being a Con to the Bot he currently is. :)

Zeke said...

I have zero interest in this. I've already read this story several times - over on fanfiction.net.

Luke said...

looking forward to this, love the cover and art here Chris, thanks for showing it!!!

Can you get Hutch on alternate or incentive covers!?!?!?!?

--Bassbot

DeaNPrime said...

uggh.. even josh's colors couldnt save milne's art. & Yeah i dont mind being the first to say that tho milne's faces are 'normal', Don figueroa ongoing faces has way more awesome unboring appeal. Harsh? yeah. Honest? To the core.

Anonymous said...

people, people!

don't be so rude.

I think Drift is really cool and the writers of IDW know what they are doing. I also like Alex's art.

I for one say keep blogging Drift!

Besides, could any of you do better?

Chris Ryall said...

Dear (all of?) Transfandom --

I recently put up a bit about Wreckers. And when did I last put up anything about Drift? Honestly, I update the blog in between my always hectic work schedule, and usually late at night, so I just toss up whatever occurs at the time and try to keep the thinking or long bits of text to a minimum just for expediency's sake. I don't have time to plan it out that much. And when I did put up something about Wreckers before, I put up a page that spoiled a character's appearance. So I try to be careful with that. To even think it's a lack of respect for the book is folly, though. I really love the job Nick and company are doing there--it's one of my favorite TF minis we've ever done. But please, people, don't create drama where there isn't any, I just toss up new art here as I see it or when something crosses my mind.

I put up a new post at least once every single day, and clearly still that isn't enough to cover everything or make everyone happy. But I'll keep trying.

Zeke said...

Dear Chris,

I think it's a matter of human nature. When people are content, they don't feel the need to go around telling everyone. But if something displeases them, and they don't want to see mistakes repeated, they're going to be spurred to action.

I think the success of your work might be better gauged not by the the proclivity of optimism, but by the lessening of negative comments.

That said, people around here could stand to be more tactful. While I agree with Detour's feelings about Drift, his lack of politeness isn't helping anyones' case.

I do have an honest question though. As a professional, what on Earth possessed you to think people would be so interested in a cliche'd character archetype in the first place? Drift is nothing original. As I said before, we've seen him a dozen times before, in stories written by twelve-year-olds.

He's basically the Steven Seagal of Transformers. Obsessed with ninjas, trying too hard to be badass to the point of ridiculousness, and really not having any true personality.

Casey Coller said...

@ Luke-

Hutch and I are going to have a cage match for the chance to do an incentive cover... but don't worry.. he'll probably pin me with the flying lindy hop spin kick of doom!

I'm (quite obviously) kidding about all of this...

Chris Ryall said...

Hey, Zeke--

"I do have an honest question though. As a professional, what on Earth possessed you to think people would be so interested in a cliche'd character archetype in the first place? Drift is nothing original. As I said before, we've seen him a dozen times before, in stories written by twelve-year-olds."

If you want to rephrase this politely and professionally, I'm happy to answer it in kind.

Detour said...

Chris,
"If you want to rephrase this politely and professionally, I'm happy to answer it in kind."

Well I'm not sure how nicely I can put it given my venomous dislike of the character.

Mr. Ryall, as a professional comic book writer, editor and publisher, what lead you to believe Drift, a character so riddled with bad fancharacter cliches created by an author whose work was largely untested, especially in the realm of creating his own characters, would be good idea?

Hrn, I think that still sounds rude... Ah, well, at least I gave it a shot...

I have a better question, though.

Chris, professionally, following the venomous dislike of AHM and Drift under Shane McCarthy's penmanship, what made you think getting him again to tell the further adventures of Drift, rather than get someone whose work the fans would be more responsive towards, such as Chris Mowry or Simon Furman, to tackle the subject and even get a chance to salvage the character in the fans'
eyes?
Hopefully I wasn't too rude.

I'll be honest, Chris. Right now I hate Drift because of how Shane's written him. "Tropes Are Not Bad", as TVTropes says... but under Shane it's all been very poorly handled, and I can't help but think (dare I even say hope) that a better writer, like the aforementionned Mowry or Furman, could salvage him into something good.

Also, this is a question you can pass along to Andy Schmidt, since I still can't post on the IDW forums:
Aside from the fact that unlike LSOTW, you are going to promote the living hell out of Transformers: Drift, what exactly will make this story about a virtual unknown less "nigh-inaccessible to the casual fan" than LSOTW?

Zeke said...

Mr Ryall-

Okay, let me put it this way:
I do have an honest question. As a professional editor who has read both good and bad fiction, I'm willing to bet money that yo've seen characters like Drift before, written by non-professionals. However I believe professionals should be held to a higher standard than young authors who are just getting started. What in your opinion elevated Drift above the traits we've seen before and why do *you" see him as an interesting character?

I'm trying to be as polite as I can here.

Oracle1984 said...

Sorry to steal your thunder and post this in the IDW blogs first -- but blame it on Amazon. Looking forward to this! What's the thought around the bi-weekly release? Is it to tie in with the toy release? Any promo packages of the toy and comics in the works?

Luke said...

I still can't believe that people personally attack Chris Ryall here on his own blog. He shouldn't have to answer for his own posts, let alone take the hate-filled spew that's here...

Are Detour and Zeke the one person? Anyhow - IDW OBVIOUSLY have some different information and perspective than the few (or more) of us have.

--Bassbot

Detour said...

Luke:

Wow. Really? Oldest strawman argument on the internet? "They both disagree with me so they must be the same person"?

Wow.

That's sad.

Zeke said...

Luke- I'm not personally attacking Chris here. Maybe I'm questioning his judgment, yes, but it's within my rights to do so.

Chris is a cool guy, and I to a certain extent I admire him. However, I've found his judgment to be questionable as of late, especially concerning Drift.

I'm an aspiring writer. And from my studies, I learned that Drift is pretty much the culmination of everything you SHOULDN'T do. It just boggles my mind that he's gotten so much professional support.

And for your information, I'm JazZeke on the IDW boards. I'm not going by a different name to hide who I am, it's just that's the name assigned to my Google account.

Zeke said...

One more thing I would like to add. Maybe I might seem impolite to you guys, but I grew up in the Hispanic culture. We're confrontational, sometimes to a fault, but we are honest and speak out minds. Perhaps I'm not wording my thoughts to everyones' liking but I *am* making an effort to be tactful.

Marcus said...

@Detour
You can't post on the IDW forums?

THANK THE LORD!

FDrowned

Mel said...

Jeez. Things have gone from bad to worse in the rudeness department around here.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should stop being so disrespectful.

go away and don't leave comments if you don't like how they are doing things.

Chris Ryall said...

"Sorry to steal your thunder and post this in the IDW blogs first -- but blame it on Amazon. Looking forward to this! What's the thought around the bi-weekly release? Is it to tie in with the toy release? Any promo packages of the toy and comics in the works?"

We're hoping to tie in with the toy's release, yeah--it's slated for release around the same time.

Sprite said...

See, there's a thing I don't get. I understand that there is a lot of hate towards AHM and Drift (somehow those things go together) - but those people seem to make it out that NO-ONE likes or supports them. Yet as far as I can tell, it's about fifty/fifty: people either hate Shane's writing or they love it. Interestingly enough, there doesn't seem to be much of a middle way.
But Drift seems popular enough. I've read a lot of comments of people who don't just like him but already mark him as their favourite character, or one of their favourite characters. So I think whatever IDW brings out concerning him (Spotlight, minis) is very well justified.

As for me: well, I doubt anyone has any doubt by now how *I* feel. ;P

Bring on more Drift!

Mel said...

Anonymous said...
"Everyone should stop being so disrespectful.

go away and don't leave comments if you don't like how they are doing things."

Whatever, man. Rude is rude. Nobody said 'don't comment if you don't like it'. I personally never gave my opinion of the comic itself one way or the other. Just on the running commentary, as I am wont to do.

Erwin said...

Aw, his head looks different. If that stays true for the earth version, the one I made is not that accurate anymore.

Chris Ryall said...

Hey, Erwin--

"Aw, his head looks different. If that stays true for the earth version, the one I made is not that accurate anymore."

Don't worry, it still is. This is his Cybertronian version.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris,

I just want to say that I am really quite excited for this series, espescially after re-reading AHM in one sitting the other day and actually finding myself really enjoying the majority of what McCarthy did, espescially with his character work. So if you guys over at IDW want to give him a series that hopefully focuses on Drift and develops him further as a character AND you've paired him with my current favourite Transformer art team then I have nothing to say other than WAHOO!

Also, when can we expect to hear news on Roche and Roberts' Wreckers follow up? Remember though, if they don't get a sequel then I'll cry. And trust me, angry Transformer fans have NOTHING on crying Transformer fans ;)

Matthew Hessey A.K.A Optimus Frimal

Chris Ryall said...

Thanks, Matthew.

"Also, when can we expect to hear news on Roche and Roberts' Wreckers follow up? Remember though, if they don't get a sequel then I'll cry. And trust me, angry Transformer fans have NOTHING on crying Transformer fans."

Well, that sounds like something to avoid, then! But I'd say to hit up the Transformers editors directly for any follow-up plans. They can tell you better than me what might be coming your way next.

lonegamer7 said...

If anything about the love-hate on Drift, he's rather popular over in Japan if by the fanart from artists there are of any indication (although that could be just because of his samurai-style hints coming through ;)).

Jeff said...

I don't think Zeke and Detour are the same person. Both sad, jealous individuals, but individuals nonetheless.

I think what Zeke and Detour have been meaning to ask, but just can't because rudeness is apparently inherent in thier souls, is "why does Shane get to create characters, but you've rejected my writings a thousand times?!?! Wahhhh!"

Zeke said...

"Jeff":

Way to show you're better than me.

While it is my dream to be published someday, I know myself that I am not ready yet. I've already explained why I express myself in such a way.

All I want to know is what people SEE in Drift. I look at him and I just don't get it. Yeah, he's got swords, he's got style, but he doesn't have *personality.* Describe him to me, if anyone can, and explain why he's such a great character.

Robert Powers said...

I cannot adequately describe how not interested I am in Drift.

I mean, seriously. There are guys among the ORIGINAL 18 AUTOBOTS who have been left to rot in fictional limbo over the years (Trailbreaker! Windcharger! Huffer! Gears!) , to say nothing of the hundreds of characters in the many years since who have never gotten their fictional due.

And this made-up guy, who's a walking talking pile of bad fanfic cliches, and has already had his own Spotlight issue, gets his own mini-series??

Man, Transformers: Seaspray better be coming down the pike real soon.

Luke said...

Detour and Zeke: sorry for getting confused, just saw the same question so close together, and I know it's a possibility I thought i'd throw it out there.

Detour - you seem to have some issues in reading tone in my post, but if it came across confrontational then i'm sorry.

--Bassbot

GWolfv2 said...

Hey Chris

Hope you're well.

This is a kinda weird question but do you have any idea if there's any connection between Deadlock's colour scheme and Wheeljack's from Armada? Just they're similar and thematically, there's a convergence.

If you read my posts on the forum, you know I'm not a fan of Drift. I honestly think he's got great potential, but he's been written almost exclusively through cliches and redundant archetypes. That said, I do see a great deal of opportunity to make a fully fledged character. I like the idea that he chose the autobots because while both factions have lost their way, the Bots are a step back from the precipice.

I'll be picking this up. We'll see what happens.

Best wishes

Gwolfv2/Michael O'Sullivan

Chris Ryall said...

Hey, GWolfv2:

"This is a kinda weird question but do you have any idea if there's any connection between Deadlock's colour scheme and Wheeljack's from Armada? Just they're similar and thematically, there's a convergence."

Honestly, I'd suggest aiming the detail questions about the TF comics to Andy and Denton, since they're the ones involved with all the day-to-day on those books. But I tend to doubt there's any real connection here.

Web said...

Didn't LSotW #1 sell out within the first week? It's doing great, and getting lots of pimping (tho I never tire of hearing about Wreckers).

Still- Drift is interesting, he'll be a good contrast for G1 Skyfire. He has a history many want to read about.

TF comics provide a bit of something for every fan, not just one group. Not everything will appeal to everyone. But no one is in a room plotting ways to annoy one part of TF fandom. Try new things, stick to what you like, but why waste time complaining because you don't like a certain character and the treatment it's getting? Just read another series- that's one of the appeals of TF- a bit for everyone.

Colky said...

Hi Chris,

It does seem as if you get a hard time on your own blog and i can see how that could be very upsetting for someone who works very hard and is very busy.

However i do have to say that as a massive fan of the original marvel G1 comics (was never that keen on Budianski but loved Furman), i was very excited when IDW took over. I had enjoyed some of what DW put out though not all but still stuck with it. I thought the 'ations' started a little slowly but got a alot better and was a little disappointed when they seemed to be finished quicker than first intended and i felt this showed. I also loved Stormbringer, especially Don's artwork. I think Simon Furman is a fantastic writer of TF's and is still unmatched. For this reason i was disappointed when his serious was curtailed early and Shane was brought in but i felt he deserved a chance. PERSONALLY i was very disappointed and stopped reading, but made a point to check out synopsis and comics in the shops, hoping my mind could be changed. However, i felt they remained very poor, i did however enjoy some of the later spotlights i.e. metroplex and Max Dino's.
Again when ongoing was announced i eagerly looked forward to giving IDW another chance but have again been bitterly disappointed thus far. I understand early stories will be slow and i guess the two main gripes are Don's art which in my opinion is awful or perhaps this style is. This again saddens me as i used to love his stuff but feel this new style totally ruins any potential enjoyment i may be able to gain from the comics. Secondly, why are humans portrayed as all powerful? If we were genuinely facing a race so much more advanced than that they have mastered interstellar travel we would be utterly against them. To simply develop this is at least 1000 years ahead of current technology.
I do appreciate that you are far better able to judge what the majority of readers feel and are privy to sales figures i am not. But off what i can gauge from reaction on the internet, Shane's stories and Don's new style are both mostly unpopular so i struggle to understand your insistance on sticking with them. It is especially frustrating when i pick up Last Stand of the wreckers and see how fantastic IDW Tformers can be. I would do anything to have 2 regular G1 titles even close to this class. It is frustrating when i see the heights you can reach to be left very rarely buying your series'.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think the reason some people get so irate is because you sometimes give the impression when facing criticism of 'no you are wrong, how dare you criticise'. When you are trying to sell a product surely your customers opinions should be all important and listened to at all times. Perhaps this is the case and i am in a minority, guess your sales figures will tell you this, but from reading reaction on the various sites there is far more anti McCarthy and Don's new stlye and Ongoing thus far feeling than there is postive. Furthermore LSOTW has gained a hugely positive reaction. Surely this should be noted and if any of what i have said is correct acted upon with great haste.
I hope my rather long winded post doesn't offend. I have tried to show my support towards IDW by buying all the comics i have enjoyed and their trades but simply cannot support AHM, the ongoing whilst it is being drwan in this style and am very dubious about Drift. I do however want to buy so please if any of what i've said is correct from a commercial standpoint - act on it!!!