ALEX MILNE: Cybertron Philippines Interview [Alternated Masterpiece sold at BotCon]

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by lastmaximal, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. lastmaximal

    lastmaximal Hellspark

    Jul 1, 2002
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    TFW2005 Staff edit: We have received word that Alex Milne, a guest at BotCon 2007 will have limited copies of the Toronto TransformersCon exclusive Alternated Masterpiece lithograph available for sale at his table at the convention this weekend. If you couldn't make it to Toronto this spring now is your chance to pick this piece up.


    Ondoher Prime, Canada-based Cybertron Philippines moderator/Writer's Bloc head extraordinaire and keeper of the Transformers Tagalog Dub Archive, was able to spend some time with Megatron: Origin artist Alex Milne for a good talk, with lots of Transformers insights, questions, and answers.

    Alex Milne is a Canadian comic book artist best known for his work on Transformers comic books.

    Milne debuted in the comics scene after graduating from Sheridan College, being picked up by Dreamwave Publishing to pencil their Transformers: Energon series written by Simon Furman. He would also work on Transformers: Armada More Than Meets The Eye profile books, and the box art for the Hasbro toys Alternators Jazz and Grimlock during his time there. After the collapse of Dreamwave due to poor management Milne was hired by Udon Comics to work on Devil's Due's GI Joe vs Transformers series. After the completion of that series Milne was hired by IDW Publishing to pencil and ink the official Transformers Movie Comic Book Adaptation that is set to debut in June of 2007 a month before the release of the live action movie. He is currently working on the upcoming Transformers Generation 1 Megatron Origins miniseries for IDW and the Transformers Timelines comic for Fun Publications.

    In this exclusive online interview, you will find out how Alex Milne started his career as a comic book artist, how he got into the Transformers, and his current and future plans and projects.

    CYBPH: Tell us a little about yourself.
    MILNE: Well I've always been a big fan of anything to do with mechs. I grew up watching shows like Transformers, Robotech, etc. I studied Illustration at Sheridan College, and after I graduated, started drawing comics.
    I really enjoy reading manga, my favourite being "Air Gear". I draw most of my time, but when I'm not drawing I'm buying toys. My room is full of toys, so much so that I almost don't have a place to sleep anymore.

    CYBPH: How did you get into Transformers?
    MILNE: Well as a said before, I grew up watching Transformers. I would watch the show, buy the toys, and read the comics. I guess it's your typical way of getting into Transformers.
  2. lastmaximal

    lastmaximal Hellspark

    Jul 1, 2002
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    CYBPH: When and how did you get your start working professionally?
    MILNE: For my last year of college I had to do a internship that related to art in some way. So I started as an intern at Dreamwave, and managed to do good work for them, that they decided to keep me on. This was all back in 2003-2004. Ah, how the years go by.

    CYBPH: Is there anything non-Transformers you are currently doing, or would like to be doing?
    MILNE: There's nothing right now, but who knows what will happen? I'd always like to do something with DC comics, or just do my own thing. The only thing I'm working on that's non-TF is some sample pages, but its just on and off. You know, when I have free time to work on them.

    CYBPH: Who are your favorite characters?
    MILNE: They'd have to be Optimus Prime and Megatron.

    CYBPH: What is the best Transformers story you have ever read?
    MILNE: I'm not sure. One of those cool ones.

    CYBPH: Why do you think Transformers has been such an enduring franchise?
    MILNE: What kid doesn't like transforming robots? That's just some cool stuff.

    CYBPH: For you, what is the most underrated Transformers-related thing
    [character, series, toy, anything]?
    MILNE: Probably female Transformers. You don't see enough of them, and when you do, they're sometimes too beefed up, that it's hard to tell that they're female.

    CYBPH: Any thoughts on the 2007 movie? Aesthetic, impact, ease or difficulty of drawing, etc.?
    MILNE: A challenge to draw, but I think they're pretty cool. I'm not opposed to change. I think the movie is going to be wild to watch. From what I've seen on the net already and from what I read from the adaptation, I think it's going to be a good movie. I really like how these guy transform. In the end, I'd like to draw these TFs again. Maybe when they do the next movie.

    CYBPH: Your job notwithstanding, which part of Transformers do you appreciate more: toys or fiction? Why?
    MILNE: Fiction. There's so much more you can do with your imagination than you can do with the toys. Like, I don't see Hasbro making any Cybertron playsets to create mini-movies with my toys, but I can just draw down the movie I see in my head. [With] fiction you have no limits.

    CYBPH: What was working with Simon Furman like?
    MILNE: Pretty fun. He's a really cool guy, who's open to hearing your ideas.

    CYBPH: Could you describe the nature of working on the comic? It seemed to be a unique breed of beast indeed, what with tying into a toyline but not entirely tying into a cartoon, and shifting art teams as well.
    MILNE: Yeah, this was, in my opinion, the comic most people didn't want to work on. It was also the comic they put the new guys on. I didn't mind it too much, and there were going to be some interesting things that were going to happen. The only thing I regret is that I hurt my back moving, and it was hard to draw. I fell behind, that's why Marcelo (Matere) did issue 30. It was too bad, since the work I did for issues 28 and 29 were not even up to par by my
    standards. And when I did do work which was better, the book gets cancelled before anyone got to see it. Bug piss off, but that was then, and this is now.

    CYBPH: Was there a moment or scene that you were looking forward to before the series got cut?
    MILNE: Probably when you got to see Unicron transform. That was going to be in issue 36. I would have killed to draw that. I actually talked to Simon about writing that part. He was originally going to have Unicron never transform before the end, and I really wanted to draw him in robot mode. So I did a little wheelin' and dealin' to get Simon to make him transform in the end. Sometimes it's cool to be able to pitch an idea and make it real. It would have been pretty sweet. The cover for 36 would also have been sweet. [A] 3 page spread. Maybe one day I'll draw it. I have a loose rough I did to pitch the idea.

    CYBPH: What was working with Eric Holmes like?
    MILNE: Torture, he's a real slave driver. LOLL. Just kidding. I'd say it's the same as if I were working with Simon.

    CYBPH: Who designed the Origin look for Megatron?
    MILNE: I did. I was originally going to only do the covers, but there was no design for Megs yet. So I read the outline, and came up with a design for him. He was supposed to be much younger looking. About 21-25 years if he were a human. So I gave him a younger face, no weapons yet, and I designed a new head for him which is under his helmet. There were lots of fun things I got to do with him, then I did the first cover, and after that I was given the book. It was pretty cool. I enjoy working on it a lot.

    CYBPH: What is your favorite moment from the mini-series?
    MILNE: It's coming up for me, but I don't want to give it away. All I'll say is that it's going to be a couple of spreads. Another thing I like is being able to create the look of Cybertron before the [Great] War started, and I'm throwing in a lot of characters that haven't seen a good share of the spotlight.

    CYBPH: What, in your view, are the best things about the Megatron character as you and Eric portrayed him?
    MILNE: I'm guessing it has to be making Megatron more of a rounded character than just the villain. You get to see how he got to be the way he is.

    CYBPH: How did you get into drawing?
    MILNE: Well I guess it all started back in kindergarten. I was given a coloring book, my Mom says I went to town on it, and then I just started drawing the picture I saw in the coloring books. After that it was one to comics, reproducing what i saw, then starting to come up with drawing on my own, just using my imagination. After that I just expanded on that talent, and went to college for art.

    CYBPH: When did you discover your talent for drawing Transformers?
    MILNE: I've always loved drawing robots. I'd always draw Gundams, and Japanese mechs. Then after the Transformers comic came out again, I said, I can draw like this. And it just developed after that.

    CYBPH: Which characters are easiest for you to draw? What about the most challenging?
    MILNE: The easiest character to draw has to be Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. It's always easy to draw characters that you have to draw over and over again.
    The most challenging has to be any of the Combiners, or Grimlock, just because i hate drawing Grimlock. I sometimes have fans come up to me and ask me the draw Grimlock, and as I'm doing it, they'll ask me which character I don't like to draw. I look at them and say to them, "You're looking at it."

    CYBPH: Describe your creative process. How do you get down to work?
    MILNE: I first read the page I'm working on, then I look at my blank paper. I then see the layout in my head, and I start to rough it down. I then outline the panels in ink, then I start to draw what goes on in the page.
    I usually have my TV on to programs I have no interest in watching, I merely do it to keep time for myself.

    CYBPH: Who are your art influences?
    MILNE: Wow, what a question. There are so many. I like J Scott Campbell, Jim Lee, Chris Bachalo, Inoue Takehiko, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, there are just so many to list them all here would take up too much space.

    CYBPH: How has your work evolved over the years since you started out?
    MILNE: Well I guess you could say that I've gotten rid of all the unnecessary detail that I put in when I first started drawing Transformers. I no longer see the point to add so much. I basically draw detail to the level that you'd see on a Gundam. I figure that's how I like to draw TFs now. I base them on Gundams, well, just the basic structure for their bodies, then I shape them into the Transformers. Now I go a step further by trying to add a bit more expression into the bots. I'll draw there faces with a bit more
    emotion in them, I'll add shadow to help convey emotion. I guess I just want to make it more like a manga than your typical western comic. Still haven't got all the rough spots out yet, but I'm working on it.

    CYBPH: What is the biggest change in yourself [as opposed to your work] you've noticed since you started drawing professionally?
    MILNE: I'd have to say my speed. I can now draw 2 pages a day. However, this doesn't always hold up when I'm close to being burnt out. Right now I feel a bit low on energy, so I'm a bit slower than I'd like, but I never want the level of work to go down from what I set in the beginning. Overall, I would say that my enjoyment of the work has gone up as well as my stress with the work.

    CYBPH: What is the most common misconception or incorrect idea people have about your work, or about being a TF fan artist in general?
    MILNE: The biggest misconception is that all I can do is draw Transformers, and nothing else.

    CYBPH: Could you describe the working process for the Transformerscon exclusive lithograph, "An Alternated Masterpiece?" How did you decide what the scene should look like, who should go where, etc?
    MILNE: Myself and Colin (Douglas), who runs TransformersCon, came up with the idea for a convention poster, but something that hasn't been seen before. We came up with an idea that involved the Alternators and the Masterpiece toys. I
    originally didn't want to have all the characters, but the guys at the 'con wanted them for completist reasons. So I came up with a 3 page spread, but I wanted Megatron to be really big, 'cause I really dig the toy. After that I put in all the other characters. The ones I didn't really want to draw, I put in the background, or had them kind of destroyed. There were a few that I did want bigger, but there wasn't enough space.

    CYBPH: What are your favorite TF art pieces you've done?
    MILNE: The covers for the Kup and Galvatron Spotlight. I also like the covers for the Megatron origin series, and the first issue for the movie adapt.
    Even though there are some place on the litho I think could be better, I'm generally pleased with the way it came out. Also this Starscream pic I did for myself. You can see it on my deviant art page,

    CYBPH: What are your favorite TF art pieces from other artists?
    MILNE: I like this pic of Megatron vs Shockwave done by J Scott Campbell, and there are a couple [of] covers that Don (Figueroa) did that I like.

    CYBPH: People have mentioned they love your art for its dynamic, action-oriented nature. What do you feel is your artwork's primary strength?
    MILNE: I'm not sure. I just try and draw what I see in my head and hope that it comes out on paper the way I see it in my head.
    I try to make use that all the TFs look like they can really move, and I draw all my own work.

    CYBPH: Which TF writers have you worked with? What makes each collaboration unique from the others?
    MILNE: The only two I've worked with is Simon and Eric. I don't count Tim Seely because I was just a fill-in artist for GI Joe/ Transformers volume 3 so I can't really say what his writing style is like, since I didn't work on the project from the beginning. As for Simon and Eric, I'd have to say they're pretty much the same. They both have a great deal of knowledge, and want a lot packed into a page.

    CYBPH: Who have you never worked with before [writer, inker, colorist?] that you would like to work with on a project, Transformers or otherwise?
    MILNE: I'd love to work with Frank Miller, or Alex Garner.

    CYBPH: What is coming up for you in 2007? What's next? [Care to spoil us a bit?]
    MILNE: Not sure. Maybe a vacation? Hopefully something good.

    CYBPH: What's your dream Transformers project for you to work on?
    MILNE: Besides working on the Megaton book, [it] would have to be something to do with G1.

    CYBPH: What's your dream non-Transformers project?
    MILNE: Batman.

    CYBPH: Which writers/artists [that have already done Transformers work] would you put together for a dream project? What would the project be?
    MILNE: I've never thought of this, and I can't really say. Because I'd want to draw this dream TF project.

    CYBPH: Now, which writers/artists [that have NOT already done Transformers work] would you put together for a dream project? What would the project be?
    MILNE: I'd like to see a whole book done by Frank Miller and Chris Bachalo, or Frank Miller and J Scott Campbell.

    CYBPH: Optimus Prime
    MILNE: The Big Cheese
    CYBPH: Bumblebee
    MILNE: Josh Preze
    CYBPH: Autobot
    MILNE: Wimps
    CYBPH: Galvatron
    MILNE: Badass
    CYBPH: Hot Rod
    MILNE: Punk
    CYBPH: Megatron
    MILNE: Will mess you up.
    CYBPH: Beast Wars
    MILNE: Burn Maximals burn.
    CYBPH: Starscream
    MILNE: Backstabber
    CYBPH: Michael Bay
    MILNE: Who?
    CYBPH: Action Masters
    MILNE: What's that?
    MILNE: Job
    CYBPH: Megan Fox
    MILNE: Hot
    CYBPH: Energon
    MILNE: More trouble than it's worth
    CYBPH: Grimlock
    MILNE: Dumb as nails
    CYBPH: Decepticon
    MILNE: military superiority
    CYBPH: Minicons
    MILNE: Things to walk on
    CYBPH: Chris Ryall
    MILNE: The Boss
    CYBPH: Cybertron
    MILNE: Land of robots
    CYBPH: Philippines
    MILNE: Far away from where I live.

    CYBPH: What advice do you have for beginning artists?
    MILNE: Just draw as much as you can, look at what others have done before, and always look to real life for reference. Also make sure you always do your own work and get credit for it. Don't let others step over you because you're new. Know what your work is worth.

    CYBPH: Any message for your Filipino fanbase?
    MILNE: I have a Filipino fanbase? Are you sure when you asked these people about me, they weren't just responding to bad gas? It's been known to happen.
    Ummm, hope you enjoy the Megatron Origin book when it comes out. Hopefully I can make work that doesn't make people violently ill?

    A big "Thank you!" to Mr. Alex Milne for providing us some of his time to be interviewed. A special "Thank you!" as well to Super_Megatron of the 2005 Boards for helping me get in touch with Mr. Milne.

    - Ondoher Prime


    up next: interviews with Don Figueroa and Josh Burcham!
  3. Galvatron397

    Galvatron397 Official TFW Omni-Geek

    Aug 10, 2006
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    He knows not the glory of ACTION MASTERS?! :eek: 

  4. Super_Megatron

    Super_Megatron Twitter: @Super_Megatron Administrator

    Aug 11, 2004
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    It was a joke that went over your head I beleive.
  5. ActionMasterZod

    ActionMasterZod LarzArz on twitter, man.

    May 8, 2007
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    He knows not of my kind...
  6. Galvatron397

    Galvatron397 Official TFW Omni-Geek

    Aug 10, 2006
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    ...Can you elaborate on that? :confused: 
  7. Godconvoy

    Godconvoy Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2006
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    To bad they aren't selling it any where else. That would make a sweet poster.
  8. MrFX

    MrFX Collecting never ends...

    Oct 20, 2005
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    Nice! I really want one of these.
  9. btomaselli

    btomaselli GreenLantern of Cybertron

    Aug 1, 2006
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    I got one and I never went to the convention. They had an offer posted here at where if you sent in $30, you got the poster shipped to you. Looks awesome. The online image doesn't do it justice.
  10. Kaijumaster

    Kaijumaster 335

    Sep 29, 2004
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    Anyone willing to hit the con for me and get that poster?obviously I'll pay for it. PM me, Thanks
  11. airfox

    airfox TF: Cybertronian Wars!

    Oct 22, 2002
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    Hehe. Great read.


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