Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by RNSrobot, May 13, 2017.
I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree on the never part of your statement as for me story arcs like remain in light and elegant chaos have shown that roberts can resolve long standing mysteries in ways that are thought provoking and ambitious and also have the good graces to leave elements unexplained or introduce new story elements for further mysteries later down the line.
The fact that elegant chaos is time travel storyline that tied together years worth of comics in a way that didn't fall to pieces in terms continuity at the slightest bit questioning and most things made a degree of sense still impresses me to this day as I would say 99% of Hollywood movies featuring time travel can't make such claims.
I would say the latest functionist story arc is hardly his most impressive but it's sort of a season (3) starter so hopefully things will pick up Later in the season.
I hope we can ease up on a bit of the venom coming out in this thread, although I fully appreciate the sentiment. I don't think we need to be bullet point rebutting. Lots of good points raised. Please don't attack jro as a person.
Attack anode as a terrible fictional person. =D
I don't think he's a bad writer. I think what he's doing for a half year with some uncomfortable background material and bad art has highlighted previous traits or flaws that I could tolerate no problem. The good far outweighed the bad. Elegant chaos and slaughterhouse remain huge favorites. I really enjoyed dying of the light outside of the meh of tarn. And he's created characters and stories that matter deeply to me.
It is what it is. No need for me restate my original post. Thank you, split lip, for affirming my intent.
I am happy for those who are still enjoying the book. I love having a lost light toy shelf and can't wait to add Nautica. It's just that collection of mtmte trades... Not lost light trades.
But really, if glitch was tarn, he needed more appearances. Something. He was so minor.
I don't want to dive too far into the Moffat comparisons but it almost reminds me of Sherlock. Like by season 3 it gets so far up its own ass with its cleverness and season 4 entirely loses the plot. It gets so caught up in a few specific aspects of the show and loses the better plotting and mysteries of the first two seasons.
Again I'm not a season 2 hater at all. But...
Yeah, Roberts isn't a bad writer. He's written some of my favorite Transformers stories outside of MTMTE. He just wanted to write different kinds of stories, which are still good because he's still got a fairly large following for a TF writer and even though I may not be reading month to month, I still keep my ear to the ground if he does do something that peaks my interests again.
BTW when some of us are criticizing the book, we're not criticizing you guys for liking them. I know that line can get blurred sometimes.
I think it's a pretty relevant comparison as they are both cautionary tales warning of the dangers of appearing smug or overly pleased with yourself.
Dumb hate from someone else aside for all of our benefits I hope Roberts occasionally takes the time to read threads or discussion like this to help keep him Sober, focused and with a broad sense of perspective.
"Bad writer" sounds very like a personal attack to me. You didn't just say he wrote some bad stuff, you defined him. You basicly said things like a writer doesn't deteriorate in their works like he does unless they are never good from the beginning, and you said his better writings are only good because he hold back how much a bad writer he was (how ridiculous even is this. If he can hold that back than it means he has the ability to be a good writer, and there's already the establishment that he writes some good stuff. Then what is the reason to say he's a bad writer all alone?)
Not every insult is non-personal just because it is related to profession. Your attack on him is not professional for the it's lacking of fairness and the presumptions you have on his person. And maybe that kind of verbal abuse works as a motivation for you. But again, you seem to not understand not everyone work the same, and don't have to work the same. You are not above others just because you can take it and thus obtained the right to toughen people up.
I agreed with some of the things you said, but unfortunately I can't agree with your attitude.
I seem to recall Roberts saying he had to switch Anode's introduction due to the relaunch, as she was originally meant to be a neophyte character with the Mutineers during MTMTE season 3, but big relaunch etc meant using her as the P.O.V character (your mileage may vary when you consider that Roller, Terminus, Fangry or literally any one of a dozen or so 'rescued' characters could have done this job).
I'm having problems with the pacing of this opening arc (six issues/months is a long time) and the focus on Anode makes me feel like it could have been done in five issues tops if she wasn't present. Both of her.
That said, there are still enough encouraging little beats in each issue to give me some hope that things will settle back down to two or three issue short arcs still building into a longer narrative, which is how I likes me my comics. I think Roberts is a good writer, and I've enjoyed the vast majority of his output thus far. I'm missing Alex Milne terribly, but I wish Mr Lawrence every success. He's currently in the TF:TM Ultra Magnus having been passed the Matrix by Optimus role!!!
Like, some writers are very reliable, but even out of people I think of as "reliable writers," most have stinkers.
Mark Waid, Warren Ellis, Gail Simone, Alan Moore... huge names in the industry, been at the game much longer than Roberts, list of solid works as long as my arm, hundreds of fantastic issues, all have produced comics that make me go 'meh' to 'bleh' as well.
If you want me to name long running writers who've never done bad stories to begin with, I could count them on one hand. Heck, off the top of my head, I can count them on one finger (that finger being Stan Sakai, btw).
And other writers are hit and miss to begin with- a lot more-so than James Roberts.
This shit is the same as when people say Livio is a bad artist but then immediately go "oh but he's a nice guy". Ok sure, nobody gives a fuck we're not paying money for a comic book because the artist is "nice" we pay for his work. It's like when in our firm one dude kept turning in all his project late and usually incomplete and he got the boot. He was a wonderful dude, still go with him to coffee everyday. He was still shit at his job.[/quote]
Livio's a good artist when given plenty of time to work and in scenes that fit his style. Some of his large-scale splash pages are spectacular. He's also an artist who, in a rush, can churn out some pretty darn rough works in a hurry (kinda the opposite of your firm guy- Livio is the one where if the client is coming to the door in an hour, he will get you something, but no-where near what he's capable of in ideal conditions).
Bad writers, as a general rule of thumb, do not produce long high-quality comic runs even factoring in up and down aspects. Bad writers won't just chance into 20+ issue consistently good arcs.
Like I said, I don't think you get what makes someone a good writer or a bad writer. Shifting styles- which J.Ro did- isn't it.
Oddly enough, your post reminded me of another "divisive" comic run by a Marmite writer - Grant Morrison's New X-Men.
At one point Igor Kordey provided fill-in art which... well, let's just say it wasn't his best work, and X-Men fans can be very vocal and cruel. It later transpired he had done the whole book in a week, as he was the fill-in for a fill-in (Van Sciver filling in for Quitely I think) but the book really suffered.
For my money (and it's just my opinion) Alex defined this book just as much as James did. Very big loss. Probably my fave Transformers artist since Geoff Senior.
Oh man, yeah, kordey's work on new X-Men is brutal but a. He's trying to do quitely-lite, which is not as to his strengths or possible and b. Insanely rushed. I've heard but not read his other stuff which is apparently much better.
I would probably agree with you on Senior #1, and a tossup between Milne and Roche for #2. But it's extremely true that alex defines the book as much as James, and for editorial to not seem to notice or care, with the way things went down, and absolutely no addressing of the issue from jro, that is something I have not been able to shake.
Yes. And anyone who can do a whole comic in a week? Is probably a really good artist in a number of respects, most of which will not visibly show up in said comic made in a week.
Elegant Chaos was awesome, I loved it. I only wish the rest of season 2 was as strong
Aaaaand you lost me.
Not agreeing with someone- hell, even not understanding someone, isn't grounds for just being toxic and insulting towards them.
I agree with the OP completely, I actually dropped TLL at issue #2 as a way of protesting Milne's treatment by IDW and because the artwork was cartoony and completely tonally wrong for Roberts' writing, which at the same time had started slipping into a pattern of building up a story line only to have it end in a disappointing M. Night Shyamalan-esque-"twist" that made past plot points or visual queues (dictated by Roberts) completely irrelevant. I'd go so far as to say TLL actually managed to sour the past seasons of MTMTE for me because so much of what made those seasons great were mysteries that were later revealed to be boring (like Tarn's origin, Rung's alt mode, the DJD ending in particular, the geobomb pay-off, Skids' stupid death...). The best things to come out of MTMTE were Milne's character designs for Roberts' take on classic Transformers characters, and now that he's not working on the series it's like seeing Garfunkel without Simon...like, who the fuck cares?
I did mention a half-dozen of the more famous writers in the media there and you didn't address my argument.
"Someone who writes bad stuff" and "A bad writer" are two different things, because do you know who's written bad stuff? Probably 90%+ of the good writers on Earth. They just also write good stuff too.
James Roberts has written a lot of good comics, and writing some that aren't as good does not mean that his writing skills went poof (heck, some issues I personally don't favor, like Swearth, still have similar individual quality to issues I loved in season 1, they just weren't what I wanted at the time. But being not-aimed-at-me isn't the same as badly written. Plus there's plenty of issues and points even most of his critics here say are good, they're just finding it outbalanced by the parts they don't like) or he's really a bad writer deep down or such.
Or, heck, let me put it another way: If your definition of 'a bad writer' is 'sometimes writes bad stories,' I think your definition of 'bad writer' is useless.
Okay folks did a little cleaning up here, either keep the posts on topic without trolling fellow members or this thread gets the lock.
ouch, man, ouch.
Hey, if you're not digging it, more power to you. I've found this opening arc to be pretty lackluster, but Roberts has more than enough good will built up with me for me to stick around.
Mate, I don't even know what you're trying to do here. Issue #36 is 100% absolutely deliberately intended to try and make the audience think Roller is Tarn. All those things (well, maybe not the head crush) are done on purpose to evoke similarities between the characters to set up the red herring. Saying "oh but some apply to Glitch" doesn't mean anything here. It was done on purpose.
These days Lost Light and MTMTE before it are all that's keeping me buying TF comics. Currently I get all the TF titles, but the good feeling I get generated by LL is kinda holding the other titles in the pull list saved at my comic shop.
I think if I stopped buying LL I'd just drop everything. TAAO and its wordy political machinations is a tedious read, OP is a mish-mash mess and Revolutionaries is full of non-TF stuff I'm not really interested in. Crossovers in general aren't exactly my cup of tea and tend to dilute my enjoyment away from TF rather than strengthen it.
Lost Light is holding all this together for me. Maybe it's not as good as what it used to be, but it's still a title I look forward to opening each month because it, to me anyway, is better written and presented than the other TF titles currently on offer. I was all for completely giving up TF comics before MTMTE came along because IDW TF before that was consistently poor and I no longer got joy from experiencing any if it.
I don't read any other comics. I'm not Marvel or DC or whatever else IDW is putting out besides TF. I'm still happy enough with MTMTE/LL. It's given me more than a TF comic has in many years. Currently I'm nowhere near the point of dropping it which, I guess since it's still propping up the other TF titles I buy, is a good thing for IDW. Without LL I'd no longer be throwing any money at IDW.
Basically, Lost Light needs to retain its quality, and increase it too, because there could be more people like me where a single title is really only all that's still compelling me to buy the other titles in that line. Does that make sense? I tend to have a rather compulsive nature, but if I get too soured against something a switch can sometimes just flick off in my head and I'll walk away without a second glance.
Finally, since the identity of Tarn seems to be a big part of this discussion, when it was revealed I just went 'Hmph' since I didn't even remember Glitch anyway. I wasn't even that invested in who Tarn used to be. But then I didn't think much of Tarn and the DJD to begin with. The Lost Light crew were what I was reading for.
Separate names with a comma.