Does humor belong in Transformers fiction

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Bass X0, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Venixion

    Venixion Resident Feather-brain

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    Is it sad that I'd go just for the WTH factor?
     
  2. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    I don't think you can even call yourself a true fan if you DON'T want to go.
     
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  3. Venixion

    Venixion Resident Feather-brain

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    :eek:  Then I must!
     
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  4. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    You know what I'd like in terms of "funny" and Transformers? I'd like a Transformers story with the full Disney treatment. I want an over-polished, pace-perfect story with a ridiculously simple plotline and tone-perfect musical numbers. If we're going to do "funny", let's do it in spades, Hasbro. None of this "Eh? Eh? Funny, Eh? Clever, Eh?" BS from Roberts or overly-saccharine Rescue Bots silliness.

    I want whomever did the songs "I've Got A Dream" from Tangled and "A Place Called Slaughter Race" from Wreck It Ralph 2 to give me some friggin' Decepticons singing and dancing. I want a goofy villain song. I want Megatron to jump out and start singing the most self-aware nonsense this side of "Be Prepared", edging towards Mel Brooks' "The Hitler Rap":



    Let's flanderize the shit out of everything because why not? If you're gonna have one note, let it ring clear and loud. Let's have it be about Optimus, valiant war hero on a Matrix Quest at the behest of Queen Elita the First. The Evil Wizard Shockwave has knocked out his entire army, leaving him only with his sidekick Tailgate whose quirky habit of talking to appliances saves the day at the last minute and Iron Kup, the quirky old coot that takes a page from TF Prime's Ratchet from "Faster, Better, Stronger" and can't stop jumping face first into battle like a bot 1/10th his age and keeps hitting on all the Paradron medics.
     
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  5. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

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    Can we have a song and dance number from Galvatron with a chorus line of high-kicking Sweeps in the background, where he laments how it isn't easy being the bad guy, before launching into a full on rock and roll ballad about his awesome evil plan?
     
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  6. justiceg

    justiceg Well-Known Member

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    Prior to reading the above, I was generally happy with my memories of Transformers: The Movie; it will now forever be lacking without the above (obviously written by Dicola).
     
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  7. Death Dancaa

    Death Dancaa Rocknrollicon

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    Well Last Stand of the Wreckers is one of my favorite TF stories and it’s not funny at all.
     
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  8. Honorbound

    Honorbound The Working Hermit

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    I know you're being sarcastic with this last bit, but I'd pay money to see it, if it's done well.

    As to the original question, I'd say that yes, humor does belong in Transformers. MTMTE's problem was that everybody used the same brand of humor. It was too much of a good thing.
     
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  9. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

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    Strongly disagree. You can tell the difference between Rodimus, Brainstorm, Swerve, Tailgate, Whirl and Ultra Magnus own brand of comedy.

    Whirl doesn’t talk like Ultra Magnus, Swerve, Rodimus etc... but you’re saying they “all used the same brand of humor.”
     
  10. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    Yes, provided it's a bombastic over the top Trey Parker/Matt Stone-esque embrace of the 80's concept of both "awesome" and "evil". I'm talking the "Man Song" from Orgazmo, or "Scary Mormon Hell Dream" from Book of Mormon.

    I'm not being sarcastic really. I use blue text for anytime I'm just making an all out joke because Transformers fans can be a humorless, stodgy lot, unless they're @Swerve, or perhaps five of him. It's close captioning for the humor impaired. Honestly, there's nothing that's more enjoyable than a ridiculous, over the top musical. If the late, great show Galavant can properly take massive shots at stuff like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, someone could do something for this occasionally dreadful slog of a franchise.

    There may be different tones and/or language, but Roberts often used the same pacing and beats for his humor. Think of them kind of like Furmanisms.

    There's the "Character says a blob of ridiculous text, reaction interjection, capped with a short, pithy and/or sarcastic phrase punchline."
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then there's the "Surreal thing happens/is described, character obsesses/shows concern over nonsense thing".

    [​IMG]

    upload_2019-9-9_10-55-29.png
    [​IMG]

    There's a few others I recall but can't find good screen grabs for, such as the "dueling rants" and "character gives a huge speech while side character takes potshots at the speech".

    Not that any of this is /bad/ necessarily. Monty Python's entire claim to fame is a few set kinds of jokes - each of the writers had a particular style and it got used over and over again. But the difference was that Monty Python was a sketch show - the characters and instances cycled quickly, and there were multiple Pythons. John Roberts used the same kinds of jokes over and over without any kind of a relief writer to mix things up. As a result, if you're particularly attuned to patterns you really start to pick them up. Now, if you like that kind of thing you just might not notice or care. However, if you get bored quickly or don't like this brand of humor, you're going to get tired of it after a while.
     
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  11. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

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    Well yeah. They’re written by the same writer. What do you expect? It’s not just a Furman or Roberts thing. Every writer has their own style of writing.
     
  12. Honorbound

    Honorbound The Working Hermit

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  13. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    In the hands of a skilled writer each character can have his or her own comedic voice if in fact there's comedy to be had. That's the hallmark of someone that's really invested in a character driven narrative. Each character should have their own "brand" of humor, even if the author is the same guy for however many years. I would even submit to you that Roberts COULD do it and just didn't for some reason.

    One of my biggest criticisms of Roberts was how much more interested he was in getting in his jokes and concepts as opposed to creating and maintaining unique characters over time. Especially near the end, the characters all occupied the same space, telling the same kinds of jokes, engaging in the same kinds of banter. Again, that's fine if you like it.

    Again, as @Honorbound said, it was "too much of a good thing". I like Robert's humor... from certain characters. Swerve got me into reading Transformers books and he's the epitome of the hard luck harry, talks too much, goofy out of left field behavior that are the general hallmarks of his character. But when Rodimus, Whirl, Ultra Magnus, and even Megatron is doing it, it loses it's luster.

    Let's look at other works that are generally accepted as good. An easy example of how characters bring different kind of funny to the table can be found in old school 00's Disney. Kim Possible for example - the titular character's humor came from how competent she was fighting evil, but had a hard time navigating school life. Ron lost his pants every other episode and brought a lot of the physical humor. Shego brought the sarcasm, and Drakken was a blustery buffoon that was weirdly likeable, although some of that is due to the talents of John Dimaggio.

    Gravity Falls had an ensemble cast, but each character brought a different kind of "funny" to the table. Grunkle Stan was funny because he was an unabashed, amoral con man. Soos was funny because he was kinda childish, obtuse and made dumb, oafish mistakes with all the best intentions but could just as easily spout something wise or apropos. Dipper had epic meltdowns. Mable's "funny" was being relentlessly optimistic even when it didn't make any sense. Old Man McGuckett provided complete non-sequiturs.

    By the end of the series, the characters of Gravity Falls and Kim Possible stayed within their own lanes when it came to unique personality and how their characters handled themselves, including humor, while still showing character development. However, by the end of LL there's more than a few people that consider the characters all sounded the same, acted similarly, and made the same jokes.

    I'm not of the mind you have to agree. Maybe to you, all the characters developed in this way because they all hung out together too long and ceded all common sense to Rodimus, the king of fools. Maybe it is in fact a logical conclusion to all their story arcs to all act, talk, and speak in the same fashion. I simply don't happen to think so and was frankly disappointed in Roberts' offering at the end for the same reasons @Honorbound was (as far as I can tell). If you like what Roberts gave you that's great, but I'd offer that there's more evidence than not that there was a lot of "sameness" near the end.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  14. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde Neoseed

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    ... Yes. It does.
     
  15. Treadshot 2.0

    Treadshot 2.0 Action Master

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    There should ALWAYS be at least SOME humor in pretty much ANY good story, no matter how serious or even horrific.
     
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  16. Mecheon

    Mecheon Grumpy Dinosaur Nerd

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    "Same voice" is a problem for all sorts of writers, and I'm pretty sure most people would agree with me in that its probably Roberts' biggest problem.

    But onto the topic, yes, humor belongs in. We had a comic without humour. It was called Micromasters, Dreamwave did it, and it wasn't received well.
     
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  17. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    Yes, but it needs to be executed better than just the writer piling one snarky comment on top of another.
     
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  18. Darker

    Darker The Lord of the Dark

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    Animated and Beast Wars were both full of comedy (the latter reaching Looney Tunes levels of nonsensical slapstick sometimes) and a lot of people still consider them the best Transformers shows, managing the best balance between comedy and serious moments.

    There's no harm in a series that is comedically self aware, you can be serious and funny at the same time, but you gotta manage the tones right, otherwise you'll end up with "mistakes" like the gargoyle trio (and other elements) from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

    That being said, we've never had a TF series go as far as having the characters randomly break into song like the aforementioned Megatron example. That'd be pretty amazing. Personally, I'm fine with any TF series that follow Animated or Beast Wars, or even the original G1 cartoon, as examples. Those series had fun with the concept of giant robot aliens that turn into vehicles and all sorts of stuff.
     
  19. PANTSMAN1973

    PANTSMAN1973 Well-Known Member

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    Tried to find it online but I love the bit in IDW where Swerve sums up Decepticons and their infatuation with combining. I think he said something along the lines of you stick two Decepticons in a room together and pretty soon one is standing on top of the other.

    I know its not word for word but it really made me laugh. So in short and providing it is done well, there is totally room for humour.
     
  20. colky7

    colky7 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve no issues with humour in TF books but think it does have to be balanced. ProtectronPrime described my issue with Roberts attempts at humour in MTMTE and even more so LL better than I could. Personally I never found Roberts funny and by the time we got to him constantly trying to fill every conversation with jokes in LL that IMO were never in an6 way funny I found it really grating. I particularly disliked it later as I got the impression from him he/his books he thought he was really funny which made all the worse for me. Humour is a very subjective thing and I could totally accept his humour just wasn’t to my taste and here’s where the balance/moderation comes in as were it dialled back there was a chance I could still have enjoyed the books (as I generally did during a lot of MTMTE) but it got to the point where I couldn’t stand to read LL in particular :( 
     
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