Aug 10

We Have A Tumblr Now!

Okay, I try to keep the horn-tooting to a minimum, but since we’re just warming things up here I’d like to let everyone know that we now have a little annex over on Tumblr, iaconunderground.tumblr.com. In addition to links to our new posts, I (and whatever other staffers get involved) will be reblogging other fun Transformers-related things, from fanart to official art to news…art. If you do that whole Tumblr thing give us a follow – we follow back!

Aug 09

Beware the Chartnado

Sitting on my desk is a lanyard and a memo pad.

The lanyard, purchased from Five Below is green and has multi colored robots covering it. The memo pad contains a planning list of items to purchase. Both are in anticipation of my upcoming trip to the Transformers convention Charticon (combining Charlotte North Carolina and Sharkticon). Inside my head is the list of things to have ready for when I leave out Friday morning.

My sling backpack waits hanging on my closet doorknob with a fresh bottle of Germ X attached (because germs are everywhere), waiting to be worn while walking around the convention floor for storage of those items on the memo pad list and any instabuys as well. My 3DS sits on my nightstand receiving the newest system update, which will be important over the weekend. The new update updates SpotPass, which will be necessary as conventions provide ample SpotPass opportunities and I don’t want to miss out on any potential content.

I guess everybody’s 3DS will be having their own con.

My cars oil was changed yesterday (a must for any road trip) as well as the safety system firmware was updated (because… safety). Aside from packing and some last minute printing (backup mapquest, confirmation materials, etc), all there is now is the wait.

Damn the wait.

The last few days is like Christmas Eve night when you’re 7. Sitting, waiting, hoping the time will pass and the culmination of all this waiting will show and all will be right with the world for a few days.

Anticipation is a killer.

A con is a great thing, you get to spend a few days immersed in your fandom with your fandom friends. Checking out the panels. Scouring the dealer room for things you’ve been wanting and things you’d want. Talking to the guests and getting to know them more as a person than just a contributor. Seeing old friends and making new ones. Those group outings where everybody wants pizza and the place doesn’t have enough seating. That trip to a local store where you find that Generations Sandstorm (hoping) and your friend buys antacids (the pizza was spicy). The blur of a few days that will be over before you know it and the next week is filled with slight moping from post con depression.

Man, post con depression. Post con depression saddled with that sense of ‘well, what do I do now’ that follows after the con is over and all that waiting is over.

Then you wait for the next one.

Aug 09

Friendly Reminder: FOR THE LOVE OF PRIMUS DON’T EMAIL YOUR CARD INFO

There’s been some chatter lately about the technologically challenged folks in charge of the Transformers Collector’s Club suggesting people email their credit card information to them if it needs to be updated for the subscription service but their club membership is lapsed. “IF you email this information,” the site says, “please break it up into 2 emails so that all of the data does not travel together.”

No. No no no no no no no.

Please. Don’t email them your credit card information. Do not email ANYONE your credit card info. It doesn’t matter if “the data does not travel together” or not, it winds up at the same destination and sits there waiting for someone to hack the email account. The fact that they’ve posted this suggestion with the email address in question makes it almost certain someone has hacked the account by now; it’s an open invitation!

So this is just a reminder, if you haven’t heard about it from anyone else yet: Don’t do it. Yes, I know they said you should. They don’t know what they’re talking about. If you’ve gotta have the toys that bad and your club subscription has lapsed, just take the time to call them.

Aug 08

Renegade

Animated CyKill

As my first post on this Transformers-themed website, here is a sketch of Renegade GoBot leader Cy-Kill by Derrick Wyatt (art director of Transformers Animated), drawn on request at BotCon 2008. Contrarian!

For a while, I had a theme of asking for GoBots character sketches from Transformers artists, but I stopped this practice when the prospects of getting anything more GoBot-y out of mainstream channels seemed to become nil. Of course, now the Transformers Collector’s Club is doing a new GoBots text story, so we’ll have to see just what that means for the situation…

Aug 08

Roberto Orci Says Some Vague Things About The Next, More “Kid-Friendly” Show

Over on IGN, Roberto Orci confirmed in an interview that he and Alex Kurtzman will be staying with the cartoon wing of the Transformers franchise, continuing on as executive producers on the as-yet-unnamed (at least publicly) new cartoon along with much of the rest of the Prime crew.

Something that’s sure to raise a lot of fandom hackles is his assertion that the new show will be less “intense” and more “friendly to the family” than Transformers Prime. Though we’ve been spoiled on that lately, with Rescue Bots catering to the younger audience while Transformers Prime gave us something much more sophisticated than we usually get in a main-line Transformers cartoon, this seems like a return to the norm of the main show being much more “for kids”. There was nothing said by Orci about whether this more kid-friendly show from the Prime team would run alongside or replace Rescue Bots.

It sounds like we haven’t seen the last of the Aligned continuity after all, as Orci seems determined to stay in continuity as much as possible with Transformers Prime despite the change in tone. He’s also hoping to keep Peter Cullen and Frank Welker on in their classic roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron.

Aug 08

Nick Roche Reveals A New Print For Auto Assembly That Summarizes Everything That Is Absolutely Perfect About More Than Meets The Eye.

On his Twitter feed this morning, Nick Roche showed off the lineart for a new print he’ll have for sale at the UK’s Auto Assembly convention. Titled “The Wake”, it’s a concise summary of everything that makes More Than Meets The Eye such an incredible comic.

The Wake

You can see the original post here, but really, if you’re not already following Nick Roche on Twitter what are you doing with your life?

Aug 07

Featured Discusson: So What’s Next?

Are we seeing the end of the Aligned universe already? What does it mean that Transformers Prime has finished without another show on the horizon?

Come on over to the forums for wild rumors and baseless speculation in this week’s Featured Discussion!

Aug 06

Preview ‘n Review: Robots in Disguise #20 [Spoiler-Free]

TF_RiD20_cvrBWith his “friend” Metalhawk dead at his feet and all Cybertronians who refused to renounce their prior allegiances exiled to the dangerous wilderness outside of the city, Starscream finally got what he wanted – control of Iacon, the last bit of civilization on Cybertron. But even in peacetime being leader isn’t easy, and Megatron’s Most Troublesome Lieutenant soon has infrastructure failures, treacherous hangers-on, and worst of all, the media to deal with, all in the course of one long night.

Continue reading

Aug 05

The BotCon Experience

It’s 1999 and I’m standing on the sidewalk outside a hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota. The sun is beating down from a cloudless sky and I’ve just embarked on one of the greatest adventures of my life thus far. My dad had chaperoned me as far as St. Paul, but now he’s dropped me off for the weekend while he does his own exploring.

I’m attending a BotCon, currently the only Transformers convention around. It’s not my first convention, I attended last year, but that was with an older friend who had traveled with me from Sweden, so I still had that kind of safety net. But this year, I’m on my own. Continue reading

Aug 02

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Third Party Transformers

ThirdPartyLove

Third Party Love.

“Third Party” Transformers – Transformers-inspired toys made in relatively small runs by fans with pretty clear disregard for copyright law – are a pretty contentious business in the community. A lot of fans draw a line between the add-on sets like iGear’s IDW-style Kup heads that require you to own an official toy and standalone toys like most of what Fansproject makes. At BotCon 2012 both types were strictly prohibited from the dealer room, though a distinction was made between them and artistic fan-works like, say, the Starscream dakimakura being sold at one table. This year (possibly due to the departure of Aaron Archer from Hasbro) there were no such restrictions.

For the first time I came face to face with these Third Party toys, and I fell into the abyss.

Continue reading