Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
This amazing stop-motion short film by Harris Loureiro will send many nostalgic Transformers fans scurrying for their boxes of old action figures.
The result of six months of work, “Transformers Generation” is a blend of pure fun and impressive skills as the Autobots face the Decepticons in a 15-minute battle amid cardboard boxes — some for the toys themselves — gunfire and laser blasts. This isn’t rudimentary stop-motion, either; these robots in disguise transform as they leap through the air and race across the floor, and are sent flying against the wall by the force of an explosion.
Seeking to promote the republic’s history and values, officials in Chechnya reportedly plan to produce action figures to replace “unhealthy” Western imports like Spider-Man and the Transformers.
“They have a negative impact on the child’s psyche,” Chechnya’s children’s rights commissioner is quoted as saying. “We therefore proposed refusing Western toys.”
A Chinese farmer and his son have combined ingenuity, car parts and their country’s love for the “Transformers” franchise to create a $160,000-a-year business making robot sculptures.
It took three years for Yu Zhilin, who has a background in fine arts, to build that first replica in his spare time, utilizing a makeshift workshop, scrap metal and images downloaded from the Internet. Since then, however, he and son Lu Yingyun have refined the process, allowing them to create larger statues, apparently at a pretty steady pace.
Humble Bundle has rolled out the second Transformers bundle, with up to $155 worth of IDW Publishing’s comics starring the robots in disguise.
There’s a bit of a catch, however: The offer runs for just one week, ending Wednesday, March 11, at 11 a.m. PT.
After pitting Marvel against DC and the Empire against the heroes of both companies, Alex Luthor has turned his attention to another sci-fi franchise, using the Tesseract to draw in the Decepticons for a fan trailer that mashes together all of the mass destruction of Michael Bay’s Transformers series with all of the … mass destruction of superhero films.
When Megatron & Co. attack, it creates a threat so big that not even the combined powers of the Avengers, Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, Arrow and The Flash aren’t enough to stop them. That’s when Nick Fury calls in some help …
Last year we spotlighted a pretty stylish Dark Knight-inspired motorcycle helmet, but what if you prefer, say, The Punisher, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Wonder Woman to Batman? AirGraffix has you covered.
The Mattoon, Illinois-based company specializes in custom-painted helmets that can transform the rider into everyone from Goku and Deadpool to Iron Man and Spawn. It’s not all superheroes or comic books, either; there’s an assortment of Star Wars, Transformers and Power Rangers designs, for starters.
Actual automated Transformers are becoming a reality.
Well, maybe not the quickly transforming CGI-miracle robots from the films or animated series, but Project J-diete is certainly bringing the car-to-robot and back again toys into the modern era. The project — a collaboration between BRAVE ROBOTICS Inc., Asratec Corp. and Tomy Co. Ltd. — seeks to advance robotics research by building actual transforming vehicles with a multi-step program to get to a full-scale robot. The first prototype measure 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) in height (robot mode) and width (vehicle mode) weighing 35 kg. The small vehicle/robot boasts a maximum walking speed of 1 km/hour and maximum “driving” speed of 10 km/hour.
If the biggest surprise coming out of Comic-Con International on Friday was that, before last night, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez had never won an Eisner Award — seriously, how can that be? — a close second was undoubtedly the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover from IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios.
Yes, the two sci-fi franchises will finally meet in an alternate-future event that brings the original crew of the Enterprise together with Taylor, Nova and other characters from 1968’s Planet of the Apes as the Klingons secretly support a renegade gorilla general in a coup to seize control of Ape City. Writers Scott and David Tipton will be joined by artist Rachael Stott for the crossover, which marks the first time BOOM! has partnered with another publisher.
Other announcements of note:
• After being introduced into the Marvel Universe at the end of the Age of Ultron miniseries and discovering her past in Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, Neil Gaiman’s angelic warrior Angela will star in her own ongoing, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett and artists Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans.
Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.
There were a lot of debut issues I was looking forward to this week. Grayson #1, because what can go wrong with the former Robin being a super-spy? Spider-Man 2099 #1, in which Peter David returns to writing my favorite future webslinger. While those comics were fine (with a slight nod to Grayson), I have to say my most satisfying read was once again about Giant Robots Who Transform Into Other Things. I’m talking about Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #31.
Written by James Roberts, the issue kicks off with the crew abandoning the disintegrating Lost Light and scattered among several escape vessels. The story centers around the 20 robots stuck on the Rod Pod, a ridiculous contraption shaped to look like Rodimus’ head. Among the crew is new captain/new Autobot/former Decepticon Megatron, grizzled old doctor Ratchet, former antagonist Cyclonus and detective Nightbeat.
Publishing | Comics archivist and publisher Rachel Richey will launch a Kickstarter campaign in September to fund a collection of Johnny Canuck comics. Created by Leo Bachie and published from 1941 to 1946 by Dime Comics, the character was a super-patriotic hero who once fought Hitler mano-a-mano. Richey was behind last year’s successful Kickstarter to revive another uniquely Canadian character, Nelvana of the North. [Global News]
Digital comics | Todd Allen chats with the Madefire folks about branching out to Windows 8; they launched a free five-issue Transformers motion comics on Windows 8 just last week. Madefire is also available on iOS and via DeviantArt. [Publishers Weekly]
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, your weekly invitation into one fan’s life. Today’s collection comes from Blaine in Murfreesboro, Tennessee — a graphic designer, comic book collector and toy collector “for many years.” He shared his comics, toys, metal signs, Pez dispensers and more.
If you’d like to see your collection here on Robot 6, you can find submission details at the end of this post.
And now here is Blaine …
Transformers lore can be hopelessly convoluted. You think the DC Comics and Marvel universes are hard to keep track of? Try being a Transformers fan: There are various comic book universes, Michael Bay’s movie universe, the one from Japanese anime, the all-ages cartoon universe from Cartoon Network, the all-ages cartoon universe from the Hub, the original 1980s cartoon universe, and one where everyone’s an animal, which may or may not be the same universe as the 1980s cartoon.
Making it even more complicated, this canon multiverse is often acknowledged by the characters themselves, and its existence frequently becomes the basis of storylines. In March, the Transformers: Regeneration One series, which boasts a lineage to the very first Transformers comic, came to the end at Issue 100 with the Autobots untethering their universe from the rest of the multiverse. That made the Transformers mortal, ending the original comic book universe continuity permanently.
However, even if you’re not a Transformers fan, chances are you know the basics: Autobots, good; Decepticons, bad. Expanding on that: Optimus Prime is the hero, Megatron is the villain. It’s white hats versus black hats, except the cowboys in this situation can transform into vehicles, cassette tapes and guns.
Creators | Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson and Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson discuss their mutual admiration and their excitement about exhibiting their work together next spring at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at the Ohio State University. [Comic Riffs]
Legal | Chinese cartoonist Wang Luming, who uses the nom de plume “Rebel Pepper,” was arrested Wednesday, one day after he posted an online cartoon critical of police who were facing off with protestors rather than helping flood victims in the city of Yuyao. Residents have been critical of the government response to the flood, which put 70 percent of the city underwater, but a recently passed law suppressing online commentary has muted the criticism on social media. The Beijing Times (part of of the traditional media, which is heavily controlled by the Chinese government) claimed that Wang was arrested not because of the cartoon but because he spread a false rumor online (Reuters reports the police told his girlfriend it was because he forwarded a post about a woman and her child who starved to death in the floods). He was released Thursday and tweeted, “When I have time, I’ll tell you about the interesting night I spent at the police station.” [Foreign Policy]
Digital comics | IDW Publishing released its first batch of digital comics on the motion-comics platform Madefire this week. The selection includes partially animated My Little Pony, Star Trek and Transformers comics, which sell for $1.99 each. Jeff Webber, IDW’s vice president of digital publishing, noted that because Madefire has a partnership with DeviantArt, the books are being exposed to “an incredibly broad network of illustration fans.” To commemorate My Little Pony’s Madefire debut, Dave Gibbons drew the image at right “to show that Friendship IS Magic!” `[Publishers Weekly]
Passings | Cartoonist Jack Matsuoka, who chronicled life in the Poston, Arizona, internment camp in his book Camp II, Block 211, has died at the age of 87. , Born in the United States to Japanese parents, Matsuoka was a teenager when his family was sent to internment camps in Salinas, California, and then Poston. After leaving the camp he was drafted and served as an interpreter for the U.S. Army in occupied Japan. He went to college on the G.I. Bill and worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for many years. Camp II, Block 211 was based on sketches he did while living in the camps and set aside for many years; his mother found them and encouraged him to share them with the public. They were put on exhibit in San Francisco and then collected into the book, which was first published in 1974. A revised edition was released in 2003. [The Rafu Shimpo]
Manga | As part of the 45th-anniversary celebration of Weekly Shonen Jump, legendary Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump creator Akira Toriyama will launch a new manga series called Ginga Patrol Jaka (Galactic Patrol Jaka) in the magazine’s July 13 issue. Teased only with vague declaration “The ‘legend’ of hope for the entire world returns here!!,” the series marks the 58-year-old artist’s first manga since the 2010 one-shot Kintoki, created for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Top of the Super Legend” project. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Carol Tyler speaks frankly about her struggle to finish the third book of her trilogy You’ll Never Know while taking care of her dying mother and her seriously ill sister, who are characters in the book: “I literally had to do the back end of Book III in hospitals, nursing homes, at the chemo place and in waiting rooms. It was insane.” She also discusses her style choices and how the finished books differed from her original art. [The Comics Journal]