Fun Publications has officially announced the dates and location of BotCon 2015: It’ll be held June 18th-21st in Chicago…sort of.
The actual location of the convention will be the Pheasant Run Resort, which describes itself on its own web site as “less than one hour from Chicago”. The “Beautiful 250 acre setting in historic St Charles Illinois” features “18 holes of championship golf including a resort course, driving range, golf academy and pro shop” but no mention of the sort of amenities the 20-to-30-something Transformers convention-goer actually wants, such as “cheap food” or “maybe a Target”.
Is this a swing at TFCon, who is holding their first US convention this weekend near Chicago at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare? Or does Brian Savage just want to get in a few rounds of golf?
For an American, knowledge of the Transformers fandom outside of the United States in the ’90s was fairly limited; not so surprising when one considers how limited the information about the line itself outside the US was, mind you, but the twin barriers of language and fledgling global inter-connectivity made foreign communications rather dicey all around. In particular, Japan was a cornucopia of mysteries, with brief English episode synopses and thumb-sized pictures of the country’s various toy offerings being the norm.
There was, however, a contingent of Japanese fans who made regular sojourns to the North American BotCons of the era (among them Fumihiko Akiyama), and through a process I can only guess at, eventually a pair of Japanese Transformers fan comics – doujinshi – ended up for sale in English at BotCon 1998. One of these was “Epoch of the Cybertron” by Makoto Ito (who is not Makoto Ono), a fan whose art had previously made a trip across the Pacific for BotCon 1995. Included in this fan comic is an essay I’ve always found fascinating, describing Ito’s dissatisfaction with the domestic handling of the property circa the late 1990s. For your viewing enjoyment, I’ve reproduced the essay above.
Unfortunately, I did not scan Ito’s survey when I scanned the essay, and at this point I’m not entirely sure where my copy of “Epoch of the Cybertrons” is. Well, always something to dig up later, I guess…
Have you seen the sweet “Wreck And Rule” and Maccadams tees in this summer’s convention pics but couldn’t make it to a con to pick one up? Now you can finally get them online!
The woman behind the tees, Aimee (@ladyofwreck on Twitter and co-host of the Underbase podcast), has opened an Etsy shop to make these shirts available to everyone! These are printed on super-soft, 100% cotton American Apparel shirts and will quickly become your favorite tees – trust me, I have one! Click the logo below to get your own!
(Full Disclosure: …Actually, this was in no way solicited or paid for, I just think this is a great project and felt it deserved a plug.)
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…
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 The BotCon Experience→
“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.