IDW Mike Costa Reflects with UB Podcast Interview - Stories, Fans, and More

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Kickback, Dec 8, 2011.

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  1. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Maybe you should listen again. Whether he meant to or not, Matt pretty much led Costa to water with his first real question: "After 35 issues with the Transformers, and -- possibly worse -- the Transformers fans, do you even like Transformers anymore?" And that's the question that opened the floodgate.

    So... yeah. I think that is EXACTLY the kind of question that would generate those responses.
     
  2. blackout501st

    blackout501st ultimate enforcing hound

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    wow. what a giant bag of dicks. now i know why ongoing wasn't that great most of the time. cause this idiot dosn't have a freaking clue how to write for transformers. no lady transformers? no vehicle characterization? transformers is silly while G.I. Joe is serious? transformers fans only read transformers comics? only 100 active posters for the whole fandom across the internet? you sir need a reality check. good riddance. i vote to have Nick Roche take your spot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  3. Coolhand

    Coolhand Spiff's Stunt Double

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    I guess I don't actually disagree with him in terms of "genuine alien robot life wouldn't behave like this or look that way." In that aspect I think he's totally right. Alien robot life would look in all probability look and act NOTHING like the Autobots, just as organic aliens probably wouldn't look or act anything like Green Space Women from Star Trek.

    My point of disagreement with him is this: The overall impression I get from his interview is that he feels the franchise will never be capable of being more than daft, campy space opera because of the need to accept the Dudes in Robo-Suits central concept, whereas I think that, with enough imagination, world building, and commitment to these characters as real living beings in a science fiction story, and not cartoon robots in a kids cartoon, this franchise is perfectly capable of giving us it's version of Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight.

    In other words, he thinks the franchise can never be more than Adam West, whereas I think it can be Adam West AND Christian Bale. And Heath Ledger, too. I guess it's one of those things that just has to be put down to Creative Differences (TM) :D 


    Quoted for truth, bro. Quoted for 100% truth.
     
  4. Coolhand

    Coolhand Spiff's Stunt Double

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    I LOVE those ideas. Those are the kind of ideas that the writers at IDW should be kicking around in the writing room.
     
  5. chaosMonkeyPoo

    chaosMonkeyPoo Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that was a pretty harsh interview. Guy definitely sounds like a dick, but he did take a lot of heat for how he wrote the book. I personally didn't mind it, though the ongoing got pretty weak (up until Megatron came back anyway).
    I'm not sure if I should be offended by a lot of what he said about TF fans or not. I read a whole lot more than just TF books so I guess his bitching doesn't really apply to me, but it still seemed a bit harsh.
     
  6. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    ...and then be preparing to be torn apart and completely crapped on by the fandom over.
     
  7. Coolhand

    Coolhand Spiff's Stunt Double

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    Indeed. Actual writing is only part of the job of being a professional writer on a franchise. You're not just an artist, you're an employee in a highly visible, PR sensitive position. It sucks, but sadly there's no way around it nowadays.
     
  8. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    See, what I got from him was that we'll never get past Adam West if we retain the Dudes in Robo-Suits attitude. To get to The Dark Knight, it took numerous storytellers to shed the "superhero" concept and embrace the "disturbed man in an obsessive war on crime" concept - from Burton, to Dini/Timm, to Nolan, you can watch that evolve, and see how each iteration moves further down the spectrum.

    Transformers needs to drop the "dudes in suits" aspect and embrace the "alien robot" aspect to get to The Dark Knight someday.
     
  9. Coolhand

    Coolhand Spiff's Stunt Double

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    I suppose maybe it's all about drawing the right balance, a blending of the two?

    The Dark Knight works because we care about the characters. It keeps the central tropes (which some might say are camp and absurd, and that you just have to accept if you want to buy in) of what makes the Batman franchise (the suit, the characters, and the "I'm so ninja I can take out hordes of dudes single handed) but plays those tropes as close to realistic (or perhaps as dramatically) as it can. And more to the point, we CARE about what happens to the characters.

    The more alien you make a species, the harder it is to care about them. Don't get me wrong, I totally support playing more to the robotic aspects of the Cybertronians and playing them more as their own fully fledged culture and species, but taken to it's logical degree of "real world" design, a million year old robot alien that looked like ten limbed spider with no face that communicated only in subspace wireless transmissions and operates with sentience but not emotion is harder root for than laid back, wise cracking rouge with a face and a name.

    It's why people love and root for Spock, but not a faceless sentient millipede who communicates only through the clicks of it's legs cannot grasp the concept of Self, only of the Hive.

    Like I said, maybe it's all about how far down the alien road you can go before you're not writing The Transformers anymore.

    Fine by me. It's what writers do. They tell the stories they want to tell, then people love them or hate them, and frequently both. That's the way it is, always has been and shall ever be. :) 
    Honestly, the worst response you can get as a writer is "meh."
     
  10. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    I totally agree you can take it too far, but I don't think it's ever been taken far enough.
     
  11. Lbsammills51

    Lbsammills51 Well-Known Member

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    One part of his interview that's been bouncing around in my head is his statement that working on Transformers comics are not taken seriously by the comic book community at large...with your words (Kickback's quoted statement) above in mind and my previous thoughts about the position his statements have put IDW in, what are James Roberts and John Barber (I guess the current brain trust moving forward with the new ongoings) supposed to do with that implication that they work on "silly" stuff that people involved in the industry don't take seriously? His statements make me think of when movie stars or, more specifically, athletes/coaches/front office types/owners sound off on a show or team they just left. Even if he doesn't share that position that Transformer comics are "silly" and irrelevant (and given his statements in that interview, I can understand why someone would think that's how he feels), the implication means any work forthcoming from James and John (and others), no matter how high in quality it is viewed, isn't to be taken as seriously as similar work on GI Joe...which he coincidentally is working on.

    I know there's been some back and forth about whether some of his statements are valid or not, but this is one reason why people in sports advise others to "keep it in the locker room," to avoid causing shitstorms like this that fans and media types dwell on and blow up. He has every right to speak his mind, but I wonder how practical it was to sound off like he did, throw fans under the bus, put IDW in an awkward position and semi-dis James Roberts and John Barber for working on a franchise that apparently can't be taken seriously...when he just stopped working on Transformers a little while ago, his last issue just came out and he's still actually working for IDW on another Hasbro franchise.

    He has every right to say what he said and feel the way he does, but I wonder if these comments will bite him in the ass with his employer, Hasbro, former and current colleagues, and others.
     
  12. Scrapper6

    Scrapper6 Lord of Constructicons

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    I'm sorry, but that idea spounds suspiciously like what Furman started hinting at in Escalation, only taken to a much higher level. I mean wasn't Optimus transferring his consciousness between his dieing form and that of Roller (Or the Combat Deck) during that story arc?

    It sounds like an interesting idea, I wonder why Furman didn't expand on it? Oh right, IDW canned his epic space opera, world building story arcs in favor of All Hail Megatron the Nicotine Patch of Transformers Comics.

    Not that there's anything truly wrong with AHM, but it was Shane McCarthy who took the franchise back to it's roots in the 80's. Shane downgraded the Seekers from F-22 Raptors to F-15 Jets so they could better match their original G1 designs. Shane ignored everything Furman had (and was in the case of Maximum Dinobots) written in favor of the soft reboot approach. And why was this again? Of course, Chris Ryall and the Editors decided to ditch the complex epic world building Furman was trying to build up in favor of taking an (originally unaffiliated) story pitch from Shane to try and drum up sales.

    Many fans bitched and moaned about that too. Personally Shane's story was rather interesting and quite bold, but again he wasn't given the chance to do anything more after the initial Maxi-Series because they then hired this guy.

    And now that he has't lived up to expectations (and we all see/know why that is now thanks to the interview) they're going with another group of creative people, one that was tested out in the waters of TF storytelling and managed to pitch a no-hit game. (Last Stand of the Wreckers) Fantastic, great, let's hope IDW doesn't pull another bonehead play and wind up stuck in the endzone of the shitter trying to drum up sales again.

    IDW as a comics company has had loads of potential with Transformers since the Inception of Infiltration. They dropped the ball numerous times by trying to fit the square peg into the round hole. And yet I continue to support them because I'm optimistic, eternally it would seem to my detriment. Yet, that doesn't mean I can't complain and gripe a little about the things that are in the past, because they're in the past, they can't hurt me. (So why complain about them, you ask? Simple, I'm free to complain about anything I choose to if I want, as long as I do it civilly and I have tried not to let my emotions run out of control in this thread, some part of me thinks I'm not very successful though about 45% of the time.)
     
  13. deathsheadx

    deathsheadx Well-Known Member

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    so much veiled rage in this thread.
     
  14. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't, as a rule, enjoy Furman's writing, so I didn't read that. Prime and Roller's link is nothing new, but more power to Furman, if that's where he was planning to go.
     
  15. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    I'm seeing the rage but I haven't noticed the veils.
     
  16. Bravemaximike

    Bravemaximike Road Warrior

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    Man, that was so cool! Something that actually goes back to the original Budiansky Bios, too!!!
    Which again, goes to show, their personalities, wants, motivations, etc. It's all right there!!! That's what's made these characters CHARACTERS and not just a plastic toy on a shelf. And Costa wonders how to write for them....

    Yeah, I hear ya on the rest of it. I don't blame IDW for wanting to get more sales and make it more accessible, every comic does that now and then. But I do wish they didn't (practically) eradicate everything that came before, ya know?
    Well, I mean they have tried to retcon it all back together, more or less, so I kinda give them credit for that, but I agree with what Scrapper has said in his above post.
    Really, I'll keep buying the comics no matter what, cuz in the end it does give me my G1 fix.
    Can't wait for the #81 Furman/Wildman stuff though!

    Hey IDW, on the art side of things, any chance of getting EJ Su again? He was amazing with his stuff.
     
  17. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Man, I've been here a LONG time Veteran

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    To be fair, Costa is an adult writing a comic based off a kids' toyline. Most people grow out of their appreciation for whatever toyline they grew up with. With an appreciation for the toys of youth, it's probably a lot easier to tolerate the excesses of fandom and enjoy writing about the characters than it would otherwise be.

    Or to put it another way, it takes an appreciation of the brand and characters to really make it shine. Costa doesn't have that from what I can tell. It seemed like he did at first though, if you read his comments in the back of the early issues of the ongoing. I think fandom has soured him, along with possible industry experiences. Maybe some of his fellow writers wanted to know why he wasn't writing "real" material instead of toyline based material. I don't know.

    I have a hard time getting all that worked up about what he said. I disagree with a lot of it, but I understand where he's coming from.
     
  18. Mighty.Maximal

    Mighty.Maximal Banned

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    Gi Joe Has Serpentor in it - isn't he like the Modern era Poster Boy for 'Camp' ?
    And the latest Cartoon of Gi Joe is pretty much the A team and tt was never really a serious show either. and the Gi Joe Movie was pretty Much a live action Team America movie played mostly straight. So I like Gi Joe but I don't take it particularly seriously however.

    We refer to Transformers as "Robots" and that make you think of Terminator, Gort, Primitive Cylons or other Robots.

    But actually they are more of an inorganic Sentient Being. so Mechanoid is probably a more accurate term for them.

    So yes they can swap bodies under some circumstances but I don't think I like on the fly body swapping or seeing them as just a Computer Virus on legs - I see then as ensouled machines.. as the Children of Primus. If anything they are far superior beings to a mere Human, they are Demi-gods like a Metals Heracles.

    That is why to this day I still have some problems with the ideas of Techno-organic being an Upgrade if it means you no longer live forever have to breath and eat organic food (even if it does up the birthrate?) it seemed a step backwards and something to only do to save the species in an energy crisis.

    Likewise I think there should be some limits on how a Transformer gets a new body or mode - and one of the issues I might have with the Live Action Movies is that it's shown they can scan a new mode on the fly - yet they don't WHY ?
    But much of that sort of discussion might be best made in a new thread.
     
  19. Coolhand

    Coolhand Spiff's Stunt Double

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    That's an interesting point. He does talk in his interview about Transformers isn't respected whereas GI Joe is, almost as though he's been directly told this or experienced disrespect first hand. Maybe that had a part to play in his attitude to what happened. Like you said, we may never know.

    I have no problem with Costa accepting the job as the lead writer despite being lukewarm to the franchise, because a freelance writer can't afford to be picky and choosey with paychecks. Facing a choice between paying the bills and only working on properties I personally enjoyed, I'd take the pay check every time. Lots of writers out there do high grade professional work for projects they have no personal love for, because they need to pay the bills and because taking one job can open the door to the next. I can see how Costa might have taken the job, struggled to bring what he considered a worthwhile angle to the material for reasons creative, legal and contractual, encountered fan dissaproval, both in terms of legitimate criticism and the less legitimate Tsunami of raped childhoods, and just thought "screw this, I'm outta here, I prefer GI Joe anyway"

    And then in that one moment, in that one interview, as he's almost out the door, the dam breaks...

    Like I said, I feel sorry for him more than anything.
     
  20. leadsled

    leadsled the word is "Mortifying"

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    what a goof....all i have to say is ....BYE!
     
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