TreasuryCast #39 – Transformers


Rob welcomes fellow podcaster and Transformers mega(tron)-fan Derek William Crabbe to discuss IDW's 2015 TRANSFORMERS TREASURY EDITION! Yes, this is really happening!

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14 responses to “TreasuryCast #39 – Transformers

  1. Ok, I can’t comment on the treasury because I have almost no knowledge of the Transformers (Then why don’t you shut up and not comment at all, Gothosmansion!)

    ….to Rob’s remark in the comments section about the unseen middle comic in a three pack. Those were crap shoots and that is how I wound up with a copy of US 1 #2 in my collection. I know one of the visible comics was a Hulk and I think the other was an Avengers, but I have a bit of nerd embarrassment that I have an issue of US 1. The middle comic is also the reason I have a copy of Invaders 17, my introduction to Captain America. I can promise you there is no way my mother would have bought that issue for a five-year-old Gothosmansion if she had seen the cover.

    1. Interesting comments about the ‘mysterious’ third issue in those three-packs, which I’ve seen elsewhere in the online comicsphere. I have to say, I soon learned how to stretch the plastic a bit (without tearing it! Got caught once by the clerk in a drugstore while trying to open one…) to be able to at least see which title was in the middle, if not the actual issue.

  2. Well, let’s get the elephant out of the room first. I’m definitely on record as not being a fan of Livio Ramondelli’s Transformers work, and I honestly don’t think it’s because I’m a member of a wretched hive of scum and villainy (although I can’t really argue against that description of certain parts of the Transformers fandom).

    I don’t mean to argue again Rob’s or Derek’s taste, and indeed think some of his covers are perfectly fine. The problem, IMHO, is more with his work within the stories themselves. Much like Rob suggested for other modern Transformers issues he’s seen in the past (although probably for different reasons), I find it extremely difficult to tell what’s going on with Ramondelli’s sequential artwork, and it detracts from my understanding of the story. This is, I’m sure others would agree, a potential obstacle to enjoying a comic book. To each their own, of course….

    I’d also like to re-emphasize Derek’s concern that Rob not be overly concerned about not knowing all of the relationships in the stories reprinted in this Treasury. A lot of the characters chosen for these stories were specifically chosen because they were lesser known, even to long-time Transformers fans, allowing the writers tremendous freedom to reveal relationships and plot threads over time, and when Derek says the writers are thinking of the long haul, he’s not just talking about the 6 or so issues of a trade paperback. James Roberts (writer of the More Than Meets the Eye/Lost Light series), in particular, drops hints that can take YEARS to pay off. And mostly, they really do. A reward to those who stick with the book.

    A great episode, and not just because I finally get to hear Transformers (arguably my main fan interest) finally discussed at length and in a non-disparaging way. I look forward to other examples where/when appropriate.

  3. So … if someone provides you with a copy of the treasury, you’ll read it and cover it with them on the show?

    You know, I happen to have a PDF of the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Super Special. 😀

  4. Our little Rob is growing up.

    Fun episode fellas. My Transformers knowledge is mostly confined to the G1 cartoon (the US version), so while i Know most of these characters, the situations are entirely new to me. Nice to see most of the original series Autobots didn’t end up as cannon fodder as they did in The Movie (which I love). I would actually be interested in learning more about these two off-shoot series.


  5. I haven’t followed Transformers since the eighties and haven’t even seen The Movie (if we mean the animated one), so this is probably a pre-schooler’s epiphany to you all:

    Orion = The Hunter
    Pax = Peace

    Orion Pax = Seeker of Peace?

    Despite my newbishness (newbidity?), this episode was fun.

    A previous airing of the Action Film Face-Off promo got me to venture beyond Fire and Water,* and I’ve now listened to every episode of that series. I’m also saving the promo so my family can hear the jokes.

    *Previous F&W appearances of the Yard Sale Artist also contributed to this minuscule leap of faith.

    1. Forgot to mention: Gothosmansion, I voluntarily purchased all twelve issues of US1…AND all twelve issues of Team America! Patriotic, working class, unintentional maxi-series FOR THE WIN!

      Waiting for Marvel’s inevitable squad of star-spangled pro wrestlers,
      Captain Entropy

      1. Didn’t mean to insult a favorite of yours….and what can I say? I have every issue of Rima the Jungle Girl. I also have every single issue of Jerry Siegel’s Tiger-Girl…and it is a single issue because that is all there was!

        1. Rima and Tiger Girl are pretty, at least, so I think you’re ahead on points, GM. You spurred me to research them — I’d heard of Rima, but not Tiger Girl — so I got to see the great Joe Kubert and Jack Sparling art. That entire Tiger Girl book is scanned online! Jerry Siegel was certainly Super persistent in his quest for another grand Slam character creation.

          1. You should see the Rima interior artwork by Nestor Redondo. Gorgeous!

            I’ve mentioned this on some other posts, but my first Rima was in one of those “old comics collections” that used to be in the Christmas catalog. I was a teen-ager at the time and, needless to say, fell instantly in love with her.

      2. Well, I voluntarily purchased all twelve issues of Team America back in the day, and I’m still not sure why I did. I wasn’t into motorcycles or racing, and the series was pretty mediocre (mostly bland, uninteresting stories and art to match) – I think at the time I just liked the idea of having a series from the first issue onward.

  6. In recent months I’ve appeared on The Transformers Chronicles, part of the Longbox Crusade podcasts, as well as the Rod Pod which covers this era of IDW Transformers comics, so I’ve told this story before. Derek alluded to my feelings about this era and he pretty much got it right.

    The thing about the Transformers that I loved as a child is that they were robots who changed into cars and trucks and guns and cassette tapes, all things that I could see in the real world. I connected with the ROBOTS IN DISGUISE aspect, and thus, my preferred setting for Transformers stories is on Earth, where Optimus Prime and Ironhide and the rest have to interact with humankind. This was the basis of the original cartoon and comic series; this is what I liked.

    But the longer the property went, the more they got away from that. The stories jumped into the future and frequently left Earth, so the Autobots and Decepticons changed into futuristic alien cars that I had no feeling for. And I totally understand why Derek and others prefer these later eras, because the storytelling is usually a lot better. The third season of the original animated series that came out after the movie is written much, much better than seasons 1 and 2, but I didn’t like it as much, because the setting and the Transformers were so different; they had left me behind.

    I got into IDW’s Transformers books when they got the property and I mostly liked them. The stories were uneven, but it scratched a certain nostalgic itch for me. The last few years that Derek described when the main book was written by Mike Costa were pretty rough, so it needed a pretty radical shift. Along came “The Death of Optimus Prime” and the division of the series into two books, “More Than Meets the Eye” and “Robots in Disguise”. It was a great idea. Taking Optimus Prime and Megatron off the board for two years was brilliant. John Barber (who I think was editor-in-chief at IDW at the time) said he wanted Robots in Disguise to feel like DEEP SPACE NINE and DEADWOOD. And fan-fiction writer turned fan-favorite pro James Roberts was obviously writing a Star Trek series disguised as Transformers. All of these ideas sound great… they’re just not what I want from a franchise I loved when I was five.

    The analogy I would draw is imagine your favorite writer and favorite artist teamed up to tell the definitive Aquaman story. It gets a huge push from DC editorial and marketing; it has widespread mainstream appeal. Except it’s not Arthur Curry, it’s a different guy calling himself Aquaman. And it’s set a thousand years ago.

    Maybe it’ll be really good, but… is that what you wanted?

  7. Man, what a week. Finally found some time today to listen to the episode.
    First, I have to say I have almost zero interest in and almost that little knowledge of the Transformers. I was already well into my teens and well beyond caring when the toys and then the accompanying cartoons and comics came out. As to the movies, I saw the last part of one of the explodey Bay films on TV a few years ago and thought it was pretty sucky, but then quite recently watched Bumblebee and rather liked it.
    So I was a blank slate coming into this, and I really enjoyed the conversation. I found it very informative. I doubt it will make me investigate further into the whole Transformers franchise, but it’s nice to learn something about such a major pop culture property. So thanks to both Rob and Derek.

    And by the way, aren’t they all imaginary stories?

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