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. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hey, cool. Thanks, Josh.

    Let me state right now that my TF comic angst is writing centric and does not extend to the other craftsmen on the books. I love your coloring work. Love the drawings I've seen of yours, too. I'd really dig seeing you draw a whole book in that graffiti style. :thumbs2: 
     
  2. Sheba

    Sheba FF 1 Badman=Cyclonus

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    *facepalm hard* Oh, Mike, Mike, Mike. Did he not grow up watching the cartoon? He could have easily found relatability in there! Sure they don't get hungry for organic food (unless it's an Insecticon or Terrorcon or Sharkticon), but they do get hungry for fuel (energon or whatever's available). While the Marvel Comics' lack of females in the beginning was due to Executive Meddling (we don't want girl robots in a boy's toy series, they have cooties), Furman didn't like the idea either (around the time they had already put, or were about to put in, Arcee), in other storylines females work well. This "No actual females" thing wasn't handled so great, IMO. Probably served to confuse more writers than two different Constructicon origin stories.

    He has a point, that if you can't relate to TFs on a somewhat quasi-human level, it's not going to work. And it didn't work for him.

    But also, how could he not understand WHY they transform into cars and stuff? The second part of MTMTE answered that!

    Spike: So why do you guys turn into cars and stuff?
    Trailbreaker: Disguise! Besides, it sure beats walking!

    And this, my friends, is why you do not hire someone, who isn't at all interested in Transformers, to write your TF stories. It's going to muck things up. It doesn't matter how good of a writer generally they can be. If they hate the source material, it's going to turn out badly in the end.

    (ohai, I can has Mike's [former] job? ;)  )
     
  3. Josh

    Josh Comic Color-guy

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    Haha. Thanks!

    Well maybe someday I can convince james to write me a one off in the ongoing and john to let me draw it!

    But in the meantime I think I'm set to draw a bunch of exclusive sketch covers for the first issue of MTMTE. I suppose that'll do for now ;) 
     
  4. ladywreck

    ladywreck comic wrecking goodness

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    Excellent Josh! That's great news!
    :thumbs2: 
     
  5. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    By the way, that was a really, really great review of #31 . Thanks to the entire review team for that. Good discussion, balanced critique, and a lot of nice insight from everyone. Somehow, I had missed discovering the Underbase podcast before this episode, but I'm subscribed now.
     
  6. Megabattimus

    Megabattimus Same As It Ever Was

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    Wait, since when was I calling for Mike Costa's blood? Can't I complain that this guy not insulted one of my favourite franchises, but also insulted me and the fans as a whole? Or can't people complain about anything in Transformers franchise?
     
  7. Wreckie

    Wreckie Holder of the Discomatrix

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    He didn't insult you or fans as a whole. He just made some observations about the way some fans behave that you don't disagree with, and you just happened to take that part of the interview personally. The part of the interview where he says how much the franchise owes the fans for keeping it alive seems to have passed you by completely.

    And then you said "fuck you."
     
  8. Transbot90210

    Transbot90210 Banned

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    never read the books this guy Mike put out but I did read this article.

    His words sound like the crying of an untalented child.

    It's not MY fault MY story sucked, robots have no attachments.
    It's not My fault MY story sucked, Dreamwave ruined everything.
    waaa waaa waaa, blahh blahh blahhh

    Its sad to read quotes from some crappy writer that wrote 35 issues and has as much understanding of TF's as Michael Bay has. (NONE)

    I like how he discredits poor fan reaction by reducing the number of fans. This site alone has about 60000 members. If his poor writings could sell 60G copies a month he would have a 12" erection 24/7.
    Then he goes on to say " they all hate it but they can't agree why", Ummmm last I checked if they all hate it and for different reasons that just mean you got a lot of crappy crap going on in your "stories"

    By the sounds of it this guy is a weak, poor, shallow writer that should take some energies away from feeding his ego and spend it on learning his craft.

    Remember Mike, It is the bad musician that blames the instrument.
     
  9. ladywreck

    ladywreck comic wrecking goodness

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    Because as AWESOME as that would be, its really hard to write it and make it make sense and seem non confusing. (The jumping into other characters.) Just wrapping my brain around that in prose form alone I can see the problems that could arise. It's very difficult to do but not impossible. And how do you keep it straight which character has jumped into another at any given moment?

    Illustrative wise (on the comic page) any new comer to the comic would be confused as to "what just happened?" (Cause that's not normal behavior for Tfs, so it'd take a bit till it sunk into the TF consciousness?)

    Don't get me wrong I'm not opposed to it, but it would require great skill on the side of the artist. And more understanding of that process for the writer as well.

    AND if Grimlock jumped into Bumblebee what would stop another Con jumping into the Con? GAH... it would get confusing pretty fast...

    And you'd have to get Hasbro to sign off on it too.

    Remember those limitations Mike Costa was talking about... um... yeah.

    And "I need to know how to pilot a helicopter" style upgrades" Aren't they essentially walking computers? Why wouldn't they already collectively know how to do it because they have personal databases that already have the info stored in them? It's not too outrageous... I'm constantly surprised at how much data my iPod Touch holds in such a small device... and TFs are huge! If their technology is more advanced than us, what if they could hold thousands of yottabytes compressed into their system core? We don't even have a storage device for that yet... but what if they did? They wouldn't need to download information... it's already in their heads. (Maybe space for newer tech? And Data reports, like Wreckers Declassified!) :wink: 
     
  10. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't think it'd be that difficult at all, really. It'd require some planning, but I think you could totally communicate it effectively. It's not like body switching is a new concept in fiction in general. Movies and TV do it regularly enough.

    You could do things like personify the "Network" wherein the program exchanges took place, so we see a "ghostly" Prime and Bee in a sort of void discussing the exchange that's about to take place so the audience follows the narrative. You could make the robot's eyes glow a specific color to indicate the spark that is currently using it. You could do all kinds of things.

    And, again, my post was just brainstorming. I'm not trying to sell that idea 100% as-is. But we live in a world where the information is now more important than the hardware. We access the same website for years at a time without it changing much, but we constantly refine and replace the tools we use to get to that website. How many of us have used multiple machines just to have this single discussion? I know I've used my work and home computers.

    But Transformers were largely conceived of in a time where the opposite was true - the hardware was the big deal.

    I just think it's time to update the robot characters to reflect a modern technological POV.

    Well, nothing. And wouldn't that be the fun?

    And, of course, you'd have the 'Cons trying to hack the 'Bot network and vice versa. And how do you keep a prisoner in a world where the 'Bot can download out of his body? How do you kill an enemy?

    All this would lead to that sense of culture I was talking about earlier.

    No doubt. And I totally feel for all the writers of the franchise who have to work within the confines of what Hasbro wants...and if I were Hasbro, I'd be equally as protective.

    I 100% agree. This is one of those things where I think they're too personified. Why doesn't every Autobot know as much as Ratchet does about repair? Why doesn't every Decepticon know how to execute Metallikato as well as Bludgeon? How much data space could that stuff take up in the grand scheme of an alien robot the size of a tank?

    And, even if there was a data storage issue, wouldn't it make sense that they could use something not unlike a flash drive to plug themselves up with a specific skill set or something to prep for a mission?

    Humans need time to learn and specialize. Machines don't.
     
  11. ladywreck

    ladywreck comic wrecking goodness

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    Well, if they do... who says they can't learn en route? Jack into some VR world and speed up their cognitive relays and learn skills in some sort of sleep mode? or suspended animation?

    :D 

    And you are right about the Ratchet thing. Even if they have this major storage of info... they still have interests. Ratchet's interest of course in the medical field but nothing says they wouldn't have first aid skills.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  12. G1Wheeljack

    G1Wheeljack Well-Known Member

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    Listened to the interview and while I do disagree with some of Costa's points, I appreciate his frankness on the matter. Could he have thought out what he said a little better? Yes. Also, I feel he completely missed the point of Transformers in that they are like humans, they just happen to be giant robots from another planet. They can still have basic human motivation and character. I think a nice, healthy debate/discussion on this topic would help Costa understand this and benefit any future writing he may do for the franchise.
     
  13. ARCTrooperAlpha

    ARCTrooperAlpha Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure he insulted us as a whole, calling us narrow minded - or something along the line. Hell, we barely even fathom why Optimus went emo on us back in issue 1


    “Why aren’t we listening to the fans? It means we’re not listening to you and the other 20 people that post on message boards? Honestly? Weak. There are at least 1000 fans complaining actively. :D 

    There's no mention I can see that he said the franchise owes its life support to the fans. If anything, Costa blames a dead horse for screwing it over.




    well said friend ! Well said !!!




    plug in eh ? Like the Matrix, that be cool !!!!
     
  14. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    I wasn't offended by what he said.

    It's sort of a "if the shoe fits..." situation, as I see it.
     
  15. ARCTrooperAlpha

    ARCTrooperAlpha Well-Known Member

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    eh, whatever flows with ya.
     
  16. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    It's a shame more people aren't able to take a step back and see that.
     
  17. Wreckie

    Wreckie Holder of the Discomatrix

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    Yes. Yes it is.
     
  18. Coolhand

    Coolhand Spiff's Stunt Double

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    There's some awesome brainstorming going on in this thread.

    I love the idea. It raises all sorts of interesting questions about how Cybertronians view personal space, view their sense of self, of body, of reality. It opens to the door to some fantastic story and world ideas and, if it was built into their world, allows you to start defining who they are, how they think and what thier values are.

    It also raises a number of problems in terms of incorporating the idea into story world, as Lady Wreck points out.

    You could also take the view that in a war situation, that kind of network link would be a huge liability for any combat unit. A group of soldiers, or an entire army, jacked into a single AI or data stream becomes massively vulnerable to attack via that singled shared point of contact. BattleStar Galactica was pretty muched based around the point as the key weakness in the human military hardware. One could argue that this type of system would be the first thing they'd shut down in a war.

    Or one could argue that there's a whole system of specialised transformers who guard and patrol that network in a matrix-like virtuality, keeping it guarded and secure because it's TOO valuable to shut down, even during a war.

    Or one could argue that the Cybertronians had this ability long ago, turned if off due to the war and it became lost to myth and legend and the current Autobots and Decepticons don't even know it exists, and maybe plot a whole story arc about one side or the other re-descovering it and trying to turn it back on.

    A good writer could take the idea and, with sufficient world building and imagination, make it work and make it a focal part of the story. A good writer could also discard the idea and state quite clearly, with sufficient world building and imagination, why the concept does't work or can't be done because of the limits of cybertronian psychology or technology, or even culture (Yes, they can do it, but they view the act the way we view rape, and so it's simply not done, or severely punished when it is.)

    It comes down to vision. A writer has to have a solid, vibrant, coherent vision of the world he's writing, how it all fits together, and what he WANTS that world to be, and everything else, including character and plot flows from that.

    That's what it sounds like Costa lacked. A vision. You don't say: "They're giant alien robots and so they're really hard to write and it's the fault of the franchise." You say "They're giant alien robots so lets break out the imagination and world building skills from the writer's toolbox and really go to town with this thing!"
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  19. ladywreck

    ladywreck comic wrecking goodness

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    There's plenty of things he could do within the construct he was working. Why blame the franchise when you can just simply work within it. Surprisingly I have not been the biggest supporter of the Ongoing plot. I've taken it apart at times. And Mike has called me out on a few things, that was April 2011 podcast which got very little major news like this. (If you get a chance to check it out, it's definitely worth a giggle. Especially since its ME in the hot seat! Every body likes it when the critics get confronted!)
     
  20. DJW107PRIME

    DJW107PRIME Autobot Hero

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    He so didn't get it.
     
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