James Roberts Interview on MTMTE and Lost Light

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Mercutio, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Mercutio

    Mercutio Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen this posted yet (please delete if I'm mistaken), but a convention website has a new interview with Roberts where he discusses both series in depth:

    Revealing Greatness With James Roberts

    A few excerpts below...

    On his writing process:

    "I spend a lot of time mapping out the story arcs, and then I obsess over the structure of each issue, making sure the scenes are properly balanced and the pacing feels right. The first few drafts of the script are usually in longhand – I have a tower of notebooks full of my barely legible handwriting. I refine the dialog when typing everything up, and then edit it all again by hand – by which I mean I take a red pen to the printout. That’s the best bit; it means I’m nearly done."

    On Milne & Lawrence:

    "I can’t overstate the extent to which Alex’s lines defined the ‘feel’ of MTMTE – his contribution to the way the book read was massive. Jack is also supremely talented, and he’s already given Lost Light a visual language that’s all its own."

    On Anode and new female characters:

    "It was always my intention, as MTMTE wound on, to introduce new female characters — and in so doing address a longstanding imbalance — and the plan was for Anode to show up in Season 3 of MTMTE. That became Season 1 of Lost Light. And as I say, the circumstances of her arrival altered a little, too – she was going to cross paths with the crew of the Lost Light under the mutineer Getaway’s command, as opposed to being rescued by the time-traveling Necrobot. I was in a bit of a bind when MTMTE ended, because it ended on the mother of all cliffhangers… I had an obligation with Lost Light to pick up where I’d left off, but it was far from a neat jumping on point for new readers. Anode, being a totally new character – and someone who was unfamiliar with our regulars and their backstory – was my way of re-introducing all the series’ key concepts without it being too clunky. But Anode was and is more than just a means to an end. I wanted a driven, funny, independent, ebullient, cheeky new character, with a unique set of skills."

    On upcoming arcs and the future of the series (under spoiler tags just to be safe):

    "After the Dissolution arc we’re following a smaller group of characters to a place we’ve mentioned more than once but never actually visited. After that, we catch up with Getaway and his fellow mutineers – the titular Lost Light finally makes an appearance. Then we’re into Year 2, and I won’t say anything about what’s going to happen then. But I will say that Lost Light is going to be revisiting and resolving more and more MTMTE-era mysteries. I like posing questions, but I like giving answers, too. And as will become apparent as the series continues, there’s something on the horizon, getting gradually closer – and that’s the grand finale itself."
     
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  2. John TheDestroyer

    John TheDestroyer I rise, you fall

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    I haven't read any of the IDW TF comics, but I want to get into them. Where should I start?
     
  3. Murasame

    Murasame CHIMICHANGAS

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    Most will say Death of Optimus Prime. I'll say at the beginning and read everything.
     
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  4. John TheDestroyer

    John TheDestroyer I rise, you fall

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    Yes but which comic is the beginning?
     
  5. spartan 3764

    spartan 3764 Cyan Love ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ - TFW2005 Supporter

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    Scroll down to where it says "Media".
    It lists all issues in chronological order, as opposed to order they came out.
    IDW Generation 1 continuity - Transformers Wiki
     
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  6. John TheDestroyer

    John TheDestroyer I rise, you fall

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  7. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    I haven't really been super hot on this opening arc. I get from an authorial / editorial standpoint why a new, reader identification character needed to be introduced... but Anode does nothing for me. The FUnctionalist stuff doesn't seem particularly reader friendly, come to think of it... and I'm disappointed Alex is clearly no longer on the book. In addition to all that, I'm much, much more interested with what's going on with Getaway, et al. This is not a tired "arrgh, Roberts sucks now because of red herrings and I'm dropping the book!" thing... it's just that the first few issues haven't rocked my world... and I thought that season 2 wrapped up firing on all cylinders. I'm here for the long haul, but Season 3 has gotten off to a rocky start, IMO.
     
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  8. WhiteMocha

    WhiteMocha TFW2005 Supporter

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    For those of us who don't keep up with the comics, how did Rodimus end up sporting his MP-09B colors? Just curious, and interested to see that color scheme pop up in canon like that.
     
  9. Wazdakka

    Wazdakka Decepticon

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    Without any significant spoilers, Rodimus decided to be repainted mainly to show his grief and also his desire for revenge.

    I'm going to agree with some other posters that Lost Light/Season 3 didn't really explode off the page at me in as meaningful of a way as Season 1 or even Season 2.
     
  10. Maverick Hunter Christian

    Maverick Hunter Christian Choke on that, causality!

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    Drift (literally) repainted him, at Rodimus' request. Drift asked Rodimus if the new colors were a statement of intent to kill Getaway. He didn't answer.
     
  11. WhiteMocha

    WhiteMocha TFW2005 Supporter

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    Gotcha, thanks guys! Just curious. I like seeing homages to strange toy decisions pop up in other media.

    One of these days I really need to make the time to sit down and read the comics.
     
  12. Splendic

    Splendic bleep blorp

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    There's no way people are jumping onto LL #1 and can follow anything but the most surface-level plot details, so Roberts should have just fought to keep the plotting the way he initially intended. I know I could've used a break from the Rod crew to catch up on the goings on of the LL instead. This is yet another example of how the IDW editorial process remains a fucking mess.

    Also, when describing his intentions for Anode, Roberts claims:

    "...Anode was and is more than just a means to an end. I wanted a driven, funny, independent, ebullient, cheeky new character, with a unique set of skills.”

    He literally has a cheeky, ebullient, funny character who is already a metallurgist on the crew. One that we readers have half a decade of investment in! But instead of giving him something new and interesting to do, he makes up a new character. Sadly, this seems to be Robert's MO with his characters. As he tires of them, he lets them fade into the background.

    For me, at least, this constant demoting of his A-listers for new bots continuously lowers my engagement with the book, and also prevents me from getting attached to new characters because I know within a few months, they'll also drift toward the background and be replaced by Roberts's next flavor of the month.

    I really appreciate his writing abilities, but sometimes he needs editorial guidance, and he's certainly not going to get it from IDW.
     
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  13. Mr. Chaos

    Mr. Chaos Force Ghost

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    Annoyed we have to wait at least 6 months to see what is going on with those pos on the Lost Light.

    I really do hope it isn't sunshine and roses. Quite frankly, for betraying their friends like they did (even if they didn't realize Getaway's contact would leave them all to die), I want to see them all suffer. Perceptor, Blaster, all of them. If the issue opened with Getaway finding out Skids is dead and Unicron appeared and ate them all I'd only be made the pain didn't last longer.

    And yeah, call me bitter but I hate Getaway and every single member of his crew that decided this was a good idea.
     
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  14. bman29

    bman29 Dancitron

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    I've been a little less interested in this series versus the previous one. It's dragging to me. I just can't quite put my finger on it that is bothersome though.
     
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  15. SparkPlug24

    SparkPlug24 Named after the Mini-con, not the Witwicky.

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    It appears to me that the primary problem is pacing. I mean, it's typical for serials to have an A-plot and a B-plot but with Lost Light we seem to have two A-plots going on concurrently, which prevents either from significantly progressing when they have to share two dozen pages.
     
  16. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    This is easily my biggest gripe with MTMTE/LL. It's almost like he's promoting new toys, shoving in new characters to fill a quota and forgetting the old. I have no attachment to Anode or her friend who's name I forget. There's something about many of his OCs that lack the limitations of previous characters. Sometimes beign restricted is good. The story feels directionless and plodding, the characters feel one-dimensional (despite not being one-dimensional) and the actual dialogue is verbose and unfunny whenever it tries for quirky, Whedon-esque quips and what I can only describe as "character mini-rants."

    It's like MTMTE put the story first and character quirks and jokes second, and LL is that reversed.
     
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  17. bman29

    bman29 Dancitron

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    Yeah the Whedon-esque where everyone has a smart ass comment to make is wearing thin. It's been doubled down on. I'm fearful the next Guardians of the galaxy will do this and it throws any kind of threat or seriousness out the window. Much like Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome did with its villains. Reduced to charactures and slapstick.
     
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  18. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    I don't know why it is that I just can't understand the blind hatred towards Getaway and the Lost Light crew, and almost get annoyed by it. And I think I discovered why:

    The Getaway incident is a clear construction on Roberts' part for a morally grey situation where we, the reader, have largely one perspective. We see first hand the worst aspects of Getaway, his manipulation, his lack of empathy, and yet even now as I try to describe his legitimately awful crimes I fall short past those. Yet, Megatron has done far, far worse and again, because the reader's perspective is from Megatron's side, we accept his whiplash-inducing heeel-turn. Getaway did evil things, but ultimately his motivations coem from an intense hatred of Megatron and the injustice of the farce that is his "redemption." If perspectives were swapped, we'd have a far more compelling story of this morally blackended Autobot consumed by hatred for a monster who may or may not even be a monster anymore. That's like some good shit if done well, like Getaway becoming what he's always hated type deal. It's like if we only had a slightly different perspective, we'd see so much more to this situation and have a completely different opinion.

    But instead we get the simplified, less thought-provoking version where Getaway is more cartoonishly villainistic and Megatron is noble and repentant and blech. And the fans just went with it, falling right for the manipulatively simple premise of Getaway tricks a baby into getting murdered for personal gain. MTMTE's greatest weankness has always been the villains. They're too black and white. And people are still largely alright with this, even when a grey character is basically giftwrapped and ripe for development, they're devolved immediately into the mundane and typical. And you know what? I bet when we do return to the LL Getaway's death will be every bit as protracted and scornful and it will be exactly what the fans want.

    Problem is, the fans don't know what they want. They rarely do. That's why MTMTE was so great, and now feels like it's fallen for it's own hype in a way. It's focussing too much on the sweet desert and not giving us the hearty main course anymore.
     
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  19. bman29

    bman29 Dancitron

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    Yeah I've been hoping the Megatron stuff would be addressed more directly in a regard. This would be like giving Hitler a free pass to go on an epic journey of redemption thinking that would absolve a lifetime of sins. I've been hoping having Terminus around and him seeing how far gone Megs got would be addressed, unless I'm forgetting something in LL. Edit: granted the Getaway stuff is hitting upon that but it falls flat.
     
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  20. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    Exactly.

    Yet the thing is, the Getaway stuff is blunted by the fact that he's so unsympathetic it feels hollow coming from someone we're manipulated into distrusting completely. Getaway's crimes are detailed and fresh in our memories. Megatron's are much more vague and it feels almost like Roberts is hoping we just forget how evil he was, like if naive, bullied Megatron was always the Megatron we've known when that was only the start of his career as a tyrant. When really, Roberts' sympathetic Megatron is a relatively new take on the character, and it creates an incongruity nobody but Getaway seems to acknowledge. And like I said, because Getaway has been simplified into a moustache-twirler, basically no genuine development is being done to Megatron.

    Season 2 and LL desperately needed/needs a Rattrap to Megatron's Dinobot. Someone who conflicts with him and spurs on his development.
     
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