Other Stuff - Calendars, posters, playing cards,
anything that doesn't fit into the above categories.
Initially, Dreamwave got the license to bring Transformers back to the comic
shop, and all seemed fine for a while. However, overextension and some
horrible business decisions drove Dreamwave into the ground. IDW, a company
with a few years' experience in licensed properties (such as the Buffyverse
books) picked up the license, and started their own G1 continuity while also
picking up some of the stuff Dreamwave dropped.
Meanwhile, Devil's Due had the GI Joe license, and got permission to do
GIJoe/TF crossover comics, something they kept doing even after Dreamwave
tanked. And UK publisher Titan Books got the rights to reissue the 1980s US
and UK Marvel comics in trade paperbacks.
IDW Generation One: IDW's G1 book opens with the
"Infiltration" miniseries. A totally new continuity, abandoning ties with
the 1980s cartoon and comic. Includes the Spotlight and Origin books.
IDW Beast Wars: IDW picked up the
not-actually-published Dreamwave Beast Wars comic, "The Gathering", and put
it on shelves as a miniseries. IDW doesn't DO ongoings, but more minis are
Dreamwave Generation One: A pair of miniseries and
then an ongoing title. Also includes the Micromasters miniseries. More or
less connected to the 1980s storyline.
Armada: A "closed" series, it changed its name to
Energon with #19.
Energon: Starting at #19, this picks up from the
Armada comic setting with the Energon characters. And then just sort of
peters out with Dreamwave's demise.
War Within: Set during the years before the Ark left
for Earth, Simon Furman writes the old mythology of the Transformers. May
come back under IDW, and has gotten a few toys in the Titanium series.
Crossovers/Altiverses: Books like TF/GIJoe or
GIJoe/TF, or the Evolutions series. These are books where Transformers exist
outside of their "canonical" universes, either meeting some other property,
or engaging in "Elseworlds/What If?" stories. I'll also stick stuff here
that doesn't belong anywhere else, but hasn't run long enough to have its own
Movie Adaptations: Adaptations of the 1986 movie
and the 2007 movie, plus other stuff in the 2007 movie continuity.
Collections: Trade Paperbacks and other collections
of older comics, as put out by Titan Books. They seem to have stopped making
them at this point, although there's some material left unreprinted.
Various guidebooks are out there, from toy picture collections to comicbook
Who's Who type books. This page includes Antarctic's Cybertronian
Guide series, Dreamwave's More Then Meets The Eye, and various other
October/November: Not reviewing this one. Landmine review, more G1
premiums, interview with Palisades, comparison of Supreme and Voyager
Starscreams, MTMTE entries on Vector Prime and Ramjet, review of Metrotitan,
some fan art, and the comic (which was okay).
December/January: Ditto on not reviewing.
February/March: More of an extended capsule, also
my final issue as I decided not to renew.
2007 Movie Novels - Alan Dean Foster has written
both a prequel to the 2007 Transformers movie and the novelization of the
movie itself. Published by Del Rey.
Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday - Set in 1969,
complementary to the prequel comic series (more or less before the last scene
of #2). Mildly recommended. Alan Dean Foster seems to have had to really
wush this, and it shows.
Movie Junior Novelization - A stripped down and
kinda flatly-written piece, but a quick read if you just want a decent plot
Kidbook Movie Roundup - A whole lot of Harper
Collins books for kids from very small to only kinda small. Some with Guido
Transformers Genesis - The Art of Transformers: Image - Well, it's been
delayed, switched publishers, delayed some more...but it's finally out. And
it's very well done. Series, character and artists are listed on every one
of the *numbered* pages. There's a great deal of art new for this volume, as
well as reproduction of posters, gatefold covers, etc (but not the
MegaLitho). The coloring is generally more subdued than the usual Dreamwave
murk, even on the Dreamwave pieces, although the "metal reflections" computer
coloring trick is a little overused. 115 full pages of art on high quality
semi-glossy paper (page size 12" tall and 9.5" wide), well worth the price,
and the wait. Strongly recommended. $29.95 (Oh, and the cover under the
dustjacket has the full art as well.)
Keepers Trilogy - A series of three books by Scott
Ciencin. "Keepers Trilogy" is my name for it, I'll change it if an official
one other than "Transformers" comes up, or if I come up with a better idea.
Book One: Hardwired: Riddled with errors that an
editor should have spotted, and it tries to use graphic violence and gore to
Book Two: Annihilation: Delayed by the need to
find a new writer who wasn't such a horrible hack. New writer David Cian
does a decent job of repairing the damage, although doesn't really add much
Legends Anthology: Edited by David Cian, it's an
anthology of short stories where the authors were told they didn't need to
follow any rules. So there's some weird stuff in there, and a couple where
characters just don't act like themselves (Parts is Parts stands out in that
respect). Finally decided not to write a full review. Mildly
Armada KidNovels: Put out by Reader's Digest
Children's Books, these are 64 page Young Adult books running their own
version of the storyline.
Secret of the Star Saber: Tietelbaum "adapts" the entire "hunt for
the Star Saber Mini-Cons" arc into about 60 pages. And it's worse than you'd
think. Bare surface treatments, nonexistant transitions from scene to scene,
bleah. It was better when the KidNovels were off in their own continuity.
DK Sticker Books: DK Publishing has put out some
sticker books for Transformers. 60+ stickers, with a few big scenery spreads
to place the stickers on, as well as outlines for those who'd rather just
paste the stickers into the "right" places. Offered through Diamond Comics
Distribution and also carried at Barnes & Noble.
Armada: I picked this one up the week of release. The stickers are nice,
ranging from box art and colored instructions art to what seem to be excerpts
from the comics. Maybe not worth $7, but well done.
"Classic": As with Armada, this is a mix of box art, instructions art and
Dreamwave pieces, but since Dreamwave didn't do the box art in these cases,
the differences are more significant. The backgrounds for placing the
stickers are back of box murals from the first four years of Transformers
toys (1984-7), although the last one is only partial. There are 57 character
stickers and 4 faction symbols. Note, Hot Rod is labeled as Rodimus Major.
DK Readers: Aimed at 8 year olds (roughly), these
tell the story of some episodes of the cartoon, plus marginal notes about
topics related to the stories and a glossary. Educational and entertaining.
Armada Cine-Manga: Using stills from the cartoon,
these two books each tell the first two parts of three-part arcs. D'oh.
Updated with the third book, which ends on a downer.
Transformers Energon Cinemanga: The Ultimate Betrayal: TokyoPop - I
think this got accidentally ordered for me, but what the heck. It adapts two
episodes: "Scorpinok" (their misspelling) and "Megatron's Sword". They do a
little more with the "cel comic" format than during Armada, violating panel
borders and using borderless stuff more often. However, it's still not all
that good, and leaves out bits here and there. Very mildly recommended.
Bendon Books: Bendon has made a bunch of cheap activity books and things
for small children, and I've found some of them at dollar stores and Kay
Bee. The coloring books are a quartet of books made on cheap paper with
puzzles, coloring pages, etc. The four have different covers but share a lot
of (but not most of) the same pages. Actually good references for basic line
art of a lot of the Armada characters, especially since there's side views
and rear views of many characters (the rear views are as close as these come
to "stuff to laugh at"). Unlike the G1 activity books, these use Dreamwave
art and generally don't misrepresent characters or do "dumb stuff". The
sticker books are small, almost pamphlets, and come with the same sort of
stickers found in the DK Armada sticker book. Bendon also makes those gray
write on/pull up to erase slates and a series of handwriting books that also
teach you to draw basic vehicles and robots, but I haven't found those yet.
They're all pretty cheap, so worth snagging if you can find 'em.
Armada Trading Cards: A review based on 12 packs
of the set (60 cards). The box I ordered never did ship, although several
years later I scavenged up a few boxes cheap at Wal-Mart.
www.reprolabels.com sample pack: Delta has gone
into business making reproductions of both specific toy label sets and
insignia packs. I got one of the periodically-offered free sample sets and
tried them out.
Transformers G1 2003 Calendar: Dreamwave - The cover is a bit bland, a
somewhat washed out computer-colored depiction of Omega Supreme, which I
think might hurt sales a bit. Assuming ANYTHING can hurt the feeding frenzy
Dreamwave's benefiting from. Some very good original pieces in this
calendar, especially from Don Figueroa and M.D. "Doc" Bright (who contributes
a new painted piece of Shockwave blowing Prime's head off for November). The
weakest pieces in the calendar come from Keron Grant, although his pieces are
at least better than what stuff I've seen of his in comics. I hope Keron's
not getting any work drawing actual TF comics, though. Recommended. $14.99
Transformers Armada 2003 Calendar: Dreamwave - This one's cover follows
the same bland graphic design concept, but has a little more going for it,
with both Demolishor and Megatron. Less artists work on this one, probably
in part because outside artists wouldn't necessarily have the model sheets to
do an Armada piece. Figueroa has some very nice pieces in this one,
including a Hot Shot who doesn't necessarily like jam (injoke, sorry).
G1 Playing cards: Regular poker-style cards with TF
art. Armada cards also exist, but I never reviewed 'em.