Calling All Comic Bookers

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Nachtsider, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    I'd like to hear from all you fans who were first introduced to Transformers via the comic books and not the cartoons - fans like me. What were your impressions of the cartoons when you viewed them later, and how did you feel they compared with the comics?
     
  2. Start>Change>

    Start>Change> Scraplet

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    :thumbs2: I'm "one of them". I assume you're talking about way back in the 80s?

    I only manged to see very few of the cartoons on vhs because they never showed them on tv here in New Zealand and my family didn't have a video player! Had to see them at friends places. In fact, I think the Movie was one of the first times I saw "real moving" Transformers!:rolleyes: 

    I found the cartoon strange after reading the comics. From the comics I had my own ideas of how the characters acted and how they "came to be" (origins). I also had different "voices" in my head than what I was hearing on the screen. Compared to the comics, the drawing style always kinda annoyed me, it seemed quite "cheap", if you know what I mean. The comics also had the ability to show a characters' inner-self (inner monologue) through thoughts etc, something that just didn't happen in the cartoon. So, for example, when it's Ratchet versus Megatron in the early comics, you get to see his thoughts and inner feelings of doubt, despair etc.

    I think that my interpretation of the Transformer lore is definately comic based rather than cartoon, the cartoon still seems an "alternate" Transformer universe to me.:wink: 
     
  3. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    Yup, I'm primarily talking about the Eighties Marvel comics! And I'm happy to meet another one who kicked off with those! :D 

    I read what you said about 'different voices', and must say that I experienced EXACTLY the same thing. Many of the on-screen voices contrasted jarringly with what I heard in my head when I read the comic, especially in the cases of Shockwave and Blaster. Characters like Optimus and Jazz were spot-on, though, and I was very, very amused with what they did for Starscream, Soundwave and the Insecticons.

    Count me in regarding the scripting and storytelling techniques. The cartoon lacked the depth that the comics had in terms of plot and characterization (many of the cartoon's origin stories for certain characters fell flat compared to their comic counterparts), and methods like inner monologue were underutilized (these were actually used once or twice). Art style and animation could get pretty lackluster, but it didn't irk me as much as the writing did. Had the stories been stronger, I would have been willing to overlook lack of visual appeal.

    And yeah, comic lore will always remain how I really view G1. The cartoon could be silly fun at times, but it's an Elseworlds continuity in my eyes.
     
  4. Yaujta

    Yaujta Not a Bear TFW2005 Supporter

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    I count myself among the comics-first community from the 80's.

    The comic book to cartoon translation will always be lacking the depth and grittyness needed for some of the stories and plotlines. Same as novels/movies. Never as good.
    The comics also allowed secondary characters to shine, and some to even move to the forefront of fan appreciation. My example here is Shockwave. In the cartoon, he was a yes man with an annoying accent. In the comics, he was cold, logical and violent. I'd have loved to see the scene with all the dead autobots hanging from the ceiling translated to a Saturday morning kiddie show.
    Also, the voices for the G1 series were so overused that I had a hard time really liking it when every other voice was either a Superfriend or one of the cast of Spiderman (Spiderbee anyone?).
     
  5. Sunstorm9119

    Sunstorm9119 RC 1136

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    I started with the comics as well. Issue 4 to be exact. I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but I know I wanted to see more. And when I finally saw the cartoon, it was just icing on the cake.
     
  6. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    I watched the cartoon, but the comics were my true love. Most of my childhood memories of story lines are from the comic. I've said this many times over the years here, and I will repeat it now: my favorite thing about the comic was how many risks Marvel was allowed to make. Look back at the early issues. That initial 4 issue mini-series was bi-monthly, so by issue 4 the Transformers as a cultural phenomenon was in full swing and really at the height of its popularity and success. So what's the storyline for the next year? All the Autobots except Ratchet are dead, Optimus Prime's head is stuck on a pike and forced to make new Decepticons, Megatron is beaten and battered and left to be a subservient to Shockwave, and it's up to the Autobots' medic to set everything right again because he's the only one left. That Hasbro would have allowed this kind of storytelling risk while Transformers was at the peaks of its success is stunning to me. Keep in mind Transformers was not a core brand at Hasbro like it is now...for all they knew it was just a fad and one would think they'd do everything in their power to ride that fad as long as possible. In other words, if you're trying to promote your toys that are on shelves right now, you'd think they would forsake good storytelling in favor of showing those toy characters in the comic. Ultimately of course it was all the better for it, it endeared the comic to me when I was 8 years old, and I am still nostalgic about it all these years later in a way I am not for the cartoon.

    Eventually as I got older and the comic got sillier we parted ways (I believe my last was the one with the Micromasters becoming pro wrestlers). I was in college before I ever read the later stuff. By an incredible stroke of chance I had a roommate who shared my enthusiasm for the comic over the cartoon and insisted I read the Simon Furman US material. It too was really enjoyable. I'm not nostalgic about it like I am for those first 35 or so issues, but I'm glad to see they were able to end the cycle of nonsense plots that infected it for a couple years there in the middle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  7. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    I was introduced via the toys first (those bios really hooked me), but I did always prefer the comic over the cartoon. As has been said, the comic was able to get into the minds of characters like the cartoon never could; not to mention the fact that the cartoon was so often wrong (obvious examples include RIBFIR, and Reflector being three virtually identical clones).

    Shockwave and Soundwave were two characters whose voices I loved in the cartoon, but couldn't help thinking they were the wrong way round; one's supposed to be a smooth-talking blackmailer, the other's a coldly logical calculator. What do you think they'd sound like?

    I like to dig my comics out for a read far more often than watching the 'toons (with the exceptions of More Than Meets the Eye and Transformers: the Movie).
     
  8. Start>Change>

    Start>Change> Scraplet

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    Yeah, I loved reading the bios and tech specs on the back of the boxes:popcorn  and the START>CHANGE>CHANGE>FINISH bit on the top seeing how much fun it would be to transform the toy for my $$.

    My first comic was #7, Ratchet on the cover telling Buster (way better name than Spike) to get away as the menacing shadow of Megatron approaches:p 
    Loved it. The story was compelling, Autobots hanging deactivated, Prime on a stick, creation Matrix etc. Superb. And yes, up till that point I thought Megatron was leader of the Decepticons, WHO was this Shockwave guy?? Makes me smile with those early memories.

    I loved the earlier comics more so than later ones. Micromasters as wrestlers and Pretenders as movies stars were off putting.:( 
     
  9. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

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    Living in the UK, the comic was WAY more prevalent over here. Besides the odd season 1 episode chopped into 4 minute segments and screened across an entire Mon-Fri (ah, good old Wide Awake), and some videos of the "feature length" episodes, the cartoon just wasn't really a presence here.

    So yeah, definitely the comic and toys for me. The UK comics continuity (which incorporates the entire US continuity as well, save for GI Joe Vs. but no one will miss that, right?) is, for me, the definitive Transformers saga.

    The comic was just able to get so much right. Superior characterisations, an ongoing story which really felt like an actual war, some really involving multi-parters (Target: 2006 and the like), and so much more. I could write all day on how much the comic ruled over all, but you get the idea...

    Fave character of Ultra Magnus is actually as a direct result of
    a) Getting the toy for my 8th birthday
    b) his amazing character from the Marvel comics
     
  10. Erector

    Erector I ruined the Hall of Fame

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    I actually lived abroad for my early life, from about 3 until I was 10. My dad worked with the British army, so the amount of TV we had was very limited (1 channel which operated 9-5 while we were in Gibraltar, and a single 24 hour one in Germany). Neither of them broadcast TFs actually, so the only TV shows I saw were ones that friends had on video.

    Conversely, we had really good newsagents in both countries that got stuff in from the UK for the forces personnel - of which every week was 1 copy of Transformers comic, for little old me :D  So yeah, I remember vividly all the old Marvel UK stuff. It didn't BEGIN my love for TFs, but it was the major part of TF lore for me growing up :) 
     
  11. Prime Noble

    Prime Noble Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much agree with everything posted so far. Grew up on the Marvel UK run and it will always be my canon. Would love to see more adventures of Rodimus Prime and the post movie cast as depicted in Marvel UK.

    The cartoon had a great voice cast though and like a previous poster, I love MTMTE and the Movie. In fact actually prefer MTMTE to the comic orign because you get more of a feel of the characters.

    First saw the cartoon as the 4 minute segments of Wide Awake Club as mentioned earlier.

    Friend of mine had the first few comics which really hooked me. It would be a while later however before I'd start collecting them. Went grocery shopping with my Mum and saw UK issue 79 on a shelf. Cover said The New Leaders are here, referring of course to Ultra Magnus and Galvatron. Had to find out what happened to megatron and Prime so asked her to get it for me. This was the start of Target 2006 and 5 years of devoted following. Again, I loved the tech specs but I did stop collecting the toys when the comic stopped. Broke my heart when I got issue 332 and it said it was the last one. But I would turn 16 later that year so maybe it was time for me to grow up. Yeah right.

    Went on to love the Dreamwave stuff though was initially disappointed that they weren't continuing from Marvel.

    Got into Beast wars with the Agenda trilogy UK DVD so the text origin on it that tied it in with the Marvel comics really hooked me along of course with the great writing and characterisation of BW itself.
     
  12. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I got started on the comics before the cartoons, but like Ramrider, my first and last reference points for all things Transformers were the Tech Specs profiles. I would just lurk in toy departments sometimes memorizing all the new ones. Sigh... good times. :) 

    Needless to say, my take on certain elements from the G1 cartoon was that they were just flat out wrong. I guess I haven't changed much since then. :) 

    Naturally, the earlier Marvel comics tended to follow the official canon a bit better, though the monthly format and inconsistent child-friendly writing never allowed it to attain the momentum of the UK comics (which I owned a few of).

    zmog
     
  13. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    It's definitely one of the aspects where it paid to be a UK fan. We may have missed out on quite a few of the toys, but comics-wise we got reprints of all the US material, plus our own original stuff. :D 
     
  14. aussiehippy

    aussiehippy Au contraire, Blackadder.

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    The UK comics were definitely my Transformers when I was growing up. I never saw much of the cartoon on wac-a-day, I just saw the film (which tied nicely into the comic's use of the movie characters) at the cinema.

    After getting back into TFs through Beast Wars, I found a load of old VHS at car boot sales which I watched, but I didn't see the whole run until I bought the DVD boxsets.

    I found a big box of about 200 of the UK comics when I was travelling in Australia in 2003, and promptly posted them home. I still read those buggers to this day.
     
  15. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    Nice. I have 300 of the 332 released issues of the UK comic. I missed several of the early ones until I put in an order with my newsagent, but even then for some reason, a handful just didn't get through.
     
  16. Fairlady_Z

    Fairlady_Z Official Voice of Flareup

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    My first exposure was the cartoon but the comics kept my love for the show alive long after the toon had been canceled. I aslo consider the comic book origin for the Headmasters, Targetmasters, etc to be the definative one. I never saw Rebirth as a kid and even after seeing it as an adult I consider the comic origin superior over both the Rebirth and the Japanese Headmaster series. And it wasn't until the comics that Ratchet became one of my favorite characters. There is so much I love about the comics. There some of the first comics I remember buying with my own money as a kid and the comic I blame for turning me into a comic book collector for the next....well up until this very day. ;-)
     
  17. rodster6

    rodster6 Well-Known Member

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    Transformers Uk was the first comic I collected and I have tried to get every Transformers comic ever since, especially uk ones even G2 and Armada. The UK comic will always be the main G1 continuity for me. I do prefer MTMTE to the comic origin story though.
    I thought the cartoon origin of Unicron was far better than the comic version too.



    That was a joke about Unicron lol.
     
  18. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

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    Glad and relieved you added that extra bit or I was going to call the men in white coats to come and take you away to a peaceful place with soft walls...
     
  19. Wodicus

    Wodicus Active Member

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    Well I got started with the cartoon, which has a special place in my heart, but in my mind I love the comics so much more when I read them all on line in high school. To me the comics are so much better then the cartoon because to me it is the comics that has really created the universe and established the characters that I love so much. Comics have always been something I've looked (more so as I've gotten older) as I am always impressed with the amount of depth you can get into with them, and the TF comics were amazing for that. I personaly thought the ideas before the comic versions of Unicron and Primus were so much better then the cartoon. I have also noticed that if you pay close enough attention to the stuff that has appeared for backstory in the more recent TV shows for Transformers it seems that alot of that back story set up in the comics has become the established cannon for Transformers. Maybe I'm wrong on that, but that is the way I see it.

    The old comics were great and the new stuff is wonderful to. I have always wanted to see what the Transformers war was like, the details, how do they fight their battles, what are they fighting for other then good guys and bad guys stuff. That is what I love about both comics, they give you an idea of perspective, that there is more to the war and the transformers then just giant robots blasting the hell out of each other. I think the comics are wonderful for exploring the depth of the Transformers universe and I hope to see that continue as well as the great stories we are getting with, in my mind, some of the best fictional characters ever created for the modern era.
     
  20. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    Like most 80s Ukers, the comic was my window to TF stories. The toys came first when a pal of mine had this cool robot toy that changed into a car (I later found out - from the comics, of course - that it was Sideswipe), followed by the comics, which I'd maybe have passed over if it had not been for seeing that toy. The cartoon followed soon after, with it's sparse airings and chopped-up nature meaning to see a new episode was a special thing indeed. To see actual moving transformations was cool, and something the static comic images could never give me.

    For the most part the comics are my canon, although the voices I hear in my head when I read are more the cartoon ones (although not always as the comic could be more serious than the cartoon and that whiny Starscream voice and others just didn't seem to fit then).
    I prefer the Primus origin and the comic Matrix (although the animated movie did give us the nice holder for it), and the comic certainly did a better job of introducing the Headmasters and the Special Teams, although the Vector Sigma thing does sometimes edge it out.

    So, if I could have the stories of the comics with the animation of the cartoon, I'd be happy. :) 

    To be honest, my interest in the comics has dwindled to practically nothing these days. Back in the 80s they were the highlight of my week (or fortnight, depending on which schedule Hasbro UK had decided to shift them to). With the cartoon not getting as much airing over here the comics were my main story well for TF.
    These days too much page space is wasted (or in the other direction, overcrowded) and the art of sequential panel storytelling seems to have diminished somewhat. A lot of times I'm just not entertained as much as I used to be.
    I dunno, maybe the internet is to blame for that as I used to read the comics in a bubble and now there's more 'support information' for a title there isn't that anticipation I once had.
    Really, I think I just keep buying them because of the Transformers name. Anything else I'd have dropped months ago. Habit buying, I guess.
     

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