James Roberts AMA: MTMTE/LL questions answered transcript

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by justiceg, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Scoff

    Scoff Well-Known Member

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    Which is a shame because there's actually a lot of interesting things you could do with such a scenario: Anode has some emotional baggage over feeling she caused the death of a sparkling and she's hallucinating the presence of someone she loves.

    By making the hallucination Lug act different than the real Lug, you can provide some subtle insight into Anode's character because the hallucination is subconsciously being influenced by Anode so for example, if it swings between taking digs at her and being comforting, it could serve to indicate how Anode desires forgiveness but thinks she doesn't deserve.

    In one of my stories, there's two soldiers who used to be good friends but their relationship broke and become bitter and hostile because one of the soldiers committed warcrimes and the other soldier was so disgusted by this, that he left the team altogether after they refused to listen to him and all his reports got "lost" up the chain of command. The warcrime soldier considers him a traitor for trying to "snitch" on him and the others and basically bans any mention of his name and has nothing nice to say about him.

    At some point after the war, the warcrime soldier has an hallucination of sorts, in which the soldier that left has rejoined his former friends and is making amends with them. He is apologetic to the warcrime soldier, which shows that the warcrime soldier still doesn't believe he did anything wrong but also that he desires validation for what he did. His hallucination doesn't grovel at his feet or beg for forgiveness because it's not humiliation that the warcrime soldier wants. Also, that despite everything he projected outwards, he still misses his old friend.
     
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  2. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    Yeah, I actually like Chromedome and Rewind and was glad we didn't get that crazy drama Roberts had considered with Mega Rewind, or whatever he'd have called him. That said, I can believe that was real backstory, but by the point it'd have played out, I wouldn't have wanted to read it.

    Cyclonus and Tailgate was the relationship where I got a little queasy with the relationship angle in MTMTE. That's because I have a real issue with abuse (Cyclonus beats up Tailgate early) early in a relation. Plus they had a weird maturity gap that the Swearth issue itself called out with the holomatter avatar. I'd have much rather seen that become a more mentor/mentee relationship. Those can be really close and personal relationships with a level of emotion that is dramatically different than a romantic relationship.

    Once that happened though, we got a lot more relationship. A lot more. I was mostly ok with Nautica and Skids because that played out slowly and naturally. I could accept Lug and Anode because it was there from their introduction. But I think Drift and Ratchet may have crossed a real line in those final issues. That literally came from nowhere.

    To be clear, I still love Lost Light and More Than Meets the Eye. It's probably going to forever remain in my mental list of favorite comic book runs ever. But yeah, there were some issues the book had, and the over focus on romantic pairings was one of them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  3. NanakoPreame

    NanakoPreame robooty to the max

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    What? But they cared for each other! That obviously meant they were in a relationship. I mean, the only other explanation is that people can show affection to each other with any romantic intention. But that's just crazy.
     
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  4. Scoff

    Scoff Well-Known Member

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    I didn't mind that because they weren't in a relationship at that point and were still a long way from developing romantic feelings for each other so it didn't feel abusive or skeevy. Don't get me wrong, Cyclonus still did a bad thing (and I don't think it was supposed to be viewed any other way).


    I know Drift and Ratchet was, and still is, quite the popular pairing but I didn't see any romantic overtones to their relationships. There wasn't a moment where I sensed something had changed between them or that their dynamic implied anything but platonic friendship.

    Since I'm usually quite good at spotting hints of romance including in vitriolic relationships, I'm more willing to chalk this up to be the writing than me missing something. I don't think Ratchet and Drift were meant to be a romance or become one: I think it was a late change - a sort of "Why not it's the finale" thing.
     
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  5. Scoff

    Scoff Well-Known Member

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    That's one of the reasons that I usually prefer romances to be few and select in a story. I'm mentioned earlier in this thread that I feel other relationships tend to get neglected when romances start to become more numerous in a work. Friendship starts to culminate in romance and ceases to be explored, challenged and appreciated by itself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  6. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Mopey Sea Urchin

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    Yeah. Agreed. Too many romantic relationships/post courtship relationships are a boring paint-by-numbers that goes nowhere and does nothing. The Incredibles are a fantastic example of what happens AFTER the courtship/dating phase of a relationship. Also, the superhero/adventure deconstruction show Venture Brothers has The Monarch/Dr. Girlfriend whose relationship is/was abjectly horrible but also entertaining.

    Other fun "super/action" couples of note are Maddie and Jack Fenton from Danny Phantom and Doc and Drew Saturday of the Secret Saturdays.
     
  7. Scoff

    Scoff Well-Known Member

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    That reminds me of a video I recently watched about the *double standard concerning LGBT relationship in cartoons. The critic took a moment to vent about one of her pet peeves, which was how the getting together stage in a romantic relationship was often treated as the finale stage rather than just its beginning. Relationship drama was derived from break-ups, will they or won't they, etc. rather than the growing pains from the other stages (marriage, parenthood, etc.) and showing the characters' life as a couple.

    Basically, most relationships are Ross and Rachels rather than Chandler and Monicas.

    *It was mostly a critique of shows that were braggedy about how daring and supportive they were by including gay characters and relationships in their shows. As the critic pointed out, they still treated them in a much different fashion than they did straight characters and their relationships. For example, they'd show a straight character flirting with someone of the opposite sex but not show a gay character flirting with someone of the same sex. They'd show two characters of opposite sex discuss their romantic relationship but not show two characters of the same sex discuss their romantic relationship without making the conversation so vague you can't tell the nature of the relationship. They'd "out" a character everywhere except in the show itself and they'd make a gay relationship canon but only in the finale where they'd have nothing to lose from the decision.

    Essentially, they are trying to earn major brownie points with the minimum effort (also, it's just plain bad writing) and it's something that can no longer be excused by networks refusing to allow them to do more because although networks still try, they immediately back down when creators politely ask them to clarify the reason why.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  8. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Mopey Sea Urchin

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    Yeah. That tends to be the most charged, exciting part of any relationship though. Relationships are "work", and unless you're really good at storytelling, most people don't want to read about "work". The general perception that post-courtship is a dull, joyless trudge towards death with someone you eventually grow to loathe.

    Moving past the LGBTQ stuff (May we? A little tired of discussing it - would prefer to just talk narrative dynamics free of the underlying details a bit if it's all the same to you), I think the trickier bit is that you're dealing with something that's easy to do, hard to do well, and generally gets resolved as the 'endgame' as opposed to just 'phase 1' to a franchise that... well, okay. The occasional nugget of awesome aside, Transformers as a whole has suffered enormously from just shitty writing, coasting mostly on how friggin' awesome the concept is.

    So you're applying what is generally hackneyed and crappy to something that has a general track record of being hackneyed and crappy. By law of averages, you're PROBABLY not going to get something good. I suspect that might be part of the cause for concern with a lot of the "NO RELATIONSHIPS PLEASE" naysayers.
     
  9. GoLion

    GoLion You have a hot dog neck

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    It's almost like we're all pedantic nerds that need to comb through each and every facet of this franchise to the point that it becomes absurd. It's almost like that's what this messageboard is about.

    I will never understand how someone having to see an opinion about something that doesn't agree with their own gets them into such a hot mess that they have to passive aggressively bitch about all of those opposing opinions.

    Why is it that you and Smog and a few other guys will rip my opinions and assertions apart (even poke fun at me a little) without having to try to make some nonsense baseless accusation about me simply because I disagree with you. I'd say it's because you guys have a brain between your ears, but I don't want to (as you said) ruffle any feathers myself.
     
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  10. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Mopey Sea Urchin

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    I can't speak for anyone else, but here's my take on things.

    I'm pretty happy. I have a good life. Transformers is a fun hobby for me and I love talking about stories and ideas. I have no need to make anyone else feel miserable or offend anyone. It happens on occasion - were all human after all - but its not what I'm about. This is all about having a good time and occasionally a well thought out discussion about frequently ridiculous robot toys from a company that thought "Discharge" was an awesome name for a character.

    For you in particular, I don't think I've hidden the fact that carry respect for you. You actually read when I respond and what you post usually makes me think about the position you're setting, even if I think is wrong.

    In short, you haven't given me any basis to make me think you're a crazed extremist or an insane street hobo or something.

    It shouldn't be a shock to anyone that being able to carry a conversation and communicating is the best way to forge a positive experience. It's why most of my friends are educated moderates and not crazed extremists or insane street hobos.
     
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  11. NanakoPreame

    NanakoPreame robooty to the max

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    One the more hilarious things in the Q+A was the fact that FU Anode was a "brilliant war general". That had me rolling.
     
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  12. Nelomaxwell

    Nelomaxwell Sit back relax, catch a contact, sippin Cognac.

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    Did he explain why we got no good fights in the series?
     
  13. NanakoPreame

    NanakoPreame robooty to the max

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    Because he wrote like he was on a tv budget for live action? Yeah, you think after awhile he would either ask someone who knew how to do them or would just not do them at all.
     
  14. Nelomaxwell

    Nelomaxwell Sit back relax, catch a contact, sippin Cognac.

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    Arrow has fights, they're not Daredevil quality but they're there. He could have given us a good one on one instead of group shots of people dying.
     
  15. justiceg

    justiceg Well-Known Member

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    I’m not Roberts but I think I can explain this one:

    A) we have seen a few (very few) decent fight scenes in the book. They were all drawn by someone other than Lawrence. Milne -one of those artists - cannot draw great fight scenes without the book being horrendously late.
    Collier (or whomever drew the Getaway/Cyclonus/Rodimus scene in late LL) wasn’t bad either (quite good actually) but was not a regular artist on the book.

    I suspect Roberts wrote to the budget (both time and money) that his book could afford.
     
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  16. Nelomaxwell

    Nelomaxwell Sit back relax, catch a contact, sippin Cognac.

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    Damn what a shame.
     

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