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Transformers Convention News

In a series of tweets Fub Publication have announced that this years Botcon comic Dawn of the Predacus will be produced by IDW Publishing. The comic has been written by John-Paul Bove with art by Corin Howell

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

Tweet 4

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: quartz - on: Friday, 4th March 2016 at 14:46:39 GMT | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

The team at TFNation have announced the fourth guest for TFNation 2016 which takes place in Birmingham UK on August 19th to August 21st 2016.

The latest guest is another Transformers comic artist, and one of the most popular artists in Transformers comic history, Guido Guidi.  Guido joins Paul Eiding (voice of G1 Perceptor), John-Paul Bove and Kei Zama in what is an ever growing lineup of great guests.  The full press release follows

TransmissionID: 000009 

Operation: All Hail Guido

TFNation is delighted to welcome artist extraordinaire Guido Guidi to its inaugural convention!

An exceptionally popular comic artist who has worked with Transformers since the Dreamwave era, Guido has lent his talent to the smash hit All Hail Megatron, the fan-favourite Last Stand of the Wreckers and of course the ongoing books, The Transformers and More Than Meets The Eye.

In addition to his comic work, Guido has also provided artwork for various Transformers DVD covers, box art for toys, trading cards and publications around the world. If you’re a fan of Transformers, you have certainly enjoyed his artwork!

Guido has most recently applied his talents to the video game Transformers Devastation, where he provided not only the game’s box art, but also served as a concept artist for the game’s characters.

Outside of the Transformers franchise, Guido has worked on IDW’s Dungeons and Dragons and publications for Marvel, such as the Super Hero Squad books and short stories for Marvel Rampage Magazine.
For a glimpse of his work, take a look at Guido’s deviantART page (

Guido will be signing autographs and selling artwork from Friday 19th until Sunday 21st August 2016 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel at TFNation 2016 – we look forward to seeing you there!

Further transmissions to follow.

Where all are one


Guido Guidi 

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Friday, 27th November 2015 at 20:48:36 GMT | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

IDW have sent out their solicitations for June which you can read below.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #18
John Barber (w) • Atilio Rojo (a) • Rojo, Casey Coller (c)
SURVIVOR'S GUILT! After the shattering events of the past two issues, we can't tell you who's alive and who's dead. But we will hint that one CYBERTRONIAN has to reconsider her worldview—while she comes face-to-face with some old enemies. We won't mention any names, but she's in for the fight of her life!
*2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

  • Expected in-store date: 6/5/13
  • Variant Covers: Phil Jimenez variant cover!
  • T-Minus 4 months to the event that will rock the TRANSFORMERS to their core!

IDW Transformers Robots In Disguise Issue 18 Cover

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #18
James Roberts (w) • Alex Milne (a) • Milne, Sean Chen (c)
"DON'T LET THEM TAKE SKIDS!" The crew of the Lost Light left CYBERTRON before they could hear those words—part of a message from the future warning of terror and catastrophe and a threat to the entire Cybertronian race. Can the AUTOBOTS do anything to stop the beginning of the end?
*2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

  • Expected in-store date: 6/26/13
  • Variant Covers: Nick Roche variant cover!
  • This is the big one—everything since MTMTE #1 has been leading to this story!
    Heroes will fall—and revelations will change your perceptions of everything, ever!

IDW Transformers More Than Meets The Eye ISsue Issue 18 Cover

Transformers: Monstrosity #1 (of 4)
Chris Metzen & Flint Dille (w) • Livio Ramondelli (a) • Ramondelli x 3 (c)
MEGATRON'S DESCENT! In the early days of the war on CYBERTRON, OPTIMUS PRIME puts everything on the line to unify the planet—but not everyone agrees that this new Prime should be in charge! Meanwhile, the fallen DECEPTION leader, MEGATRON, begins a journey that will change everything. Plus—what is the terrible secret of the DINOBOTS?
*3 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1-to-1 ratio
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

  • Expected in-store date: 6/5/13
  • Exploding from the screen to your comic shop!
  • The sequel to the amazing AUTOCRACY!
  • Written by Chris Metzen (one of the main creative minds behind Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® universes) and Flint Dille (writer on the original TRANSFORMERS cartoon)!

IDW Transformers Monstrosity Issue 1

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #2
Mairghread Scott & Mike Johnson (w) • Agustin Padilla (a) • Ken Christiansen (c)
THE WORLD BELOW! Deep beneath the surface of CYBERTRON, the last vestiges of life struggles to survive. Their only protectors: GRIMLOCK and his loyal DINOBOTS—who find themselves at the center of a dark mystery!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

  • Expected in-store date: 6/19/13
  • Variant Covers: Animation art variant cover!
  • Ties in to the smash hit TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS television show as seen on the HUB!
  • The creative team from the critically-acclaimed TRANSFORMERS PRIME: RAGE OF THE DINOBOTS is back!

IDW Transformers Prime Beast HuntersIDW Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

Transformers Regeneration One #92
Simon Furman (w) • Andrew Wildman (a) • Wildman, Guido Guidi (c)
CRISIS ON CYBERTRON! A whole society, wounded and reeling after SCORPONOK's genetic manipulations, teeters on the edge of anarchy and uprising, a situation SOUNDWAVE is only too happy to exploit! When the newly recovered BLASTER uncovers the truth, he finds himself on the endangered species list—courtesy of the all-new, all-deadly MAYHEM ATTACK SQUAD.
*2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

  • Expected in-store date: 6/19/13
  • Variant Covers: Geoff Senior variant cover!
  • CYBERTRON: The last line of defense!
    Continuing the story of the original 1980s TRANSFORMERS comic book series!
  • Non-stop action in the Furman/Wildman manner!

Transformers: Movie Collection, Vol. 1
Simon Furman, Chris Ryall, Kris Oprisko, & Chris Mowry (w) • Don Figueroa & Alex Milne (a) • John Nizzi (c)
From CYBERTRON, to Earth, and back again… the quest for the Allspark begins here! Volume 1 contains the TRANSFORMERS Movie Prequel, the TRANSFORMERS Movie Adaptation, and the comic sequel TRANSFORMERS: Reign of Starscream.
TPB • FC • $29.99 • 324 pages • ISBN 978-1-61377-692-6

  • Expected in-store date: 6/5/13
  • Now available in paperback!

IDW Transformers Movie Collection

Transformers 30th Anniversary Collection
Jim Sorenson, Bob Budiansky, Simon Furman, Mike Costa, James Roberts & More (w) • Andrew Wildman, Geoff Senior, Pat Lee, Don Figueroa, EJ Su, Alex Milne, Nick Roche, & More (a) • Alex Milne (c)
It's a celebration 30 years in the making! Relive the landmark comics that helped define the legacy of TRANSFORMERS and read along with the creators that made these great comics as Jim Sorenson provides insight from a range of writers and artists that breathed life into the denizens of CYBERTRON. From Marvel to Dreamwave to IDW and other iterations in-between, this book is a must have for TF collectors!
HC • FC • $49.99 • 320 pages • 7" x 11" • ISBN 978-1-61377-662-9

  • Expected in-store date: 6/19/13
  • Celebrating 30 Years of TRANSFORMERS comics!

IWD Transformers 30th Anniversary BookIWD Transformers 30th Anniversary Collection

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: quartz - on: Saturday, 16th March 2013 at 10:26:00 GMT | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

We promised you more guests for Auto Assembly 2013, and we can now confirm that Regeneration One colourist John-Paul Bove is making a welcome return to Auto Assembly. As with all of our comic guests, he will be on hand all weekend in our guest area and no doubt will be on stage at some point during a Q&A Panel with some of our other guests… For more details of who else will be at the convention with him, check out the Auto Assembly 2013 Guest List.

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: quartz - on: Friday, 8th February 2013 at 13:25:28 GMT | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

Full Metal Hero have some preview images of the upcoming Transformers Robots in Disguise Annual which continues on from the previously released MTMTE Annual, this issue picks up the story of the Metrotitan and events on Cybertron.

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Tuesday, 25th September 2012 at 18:26:49 BST | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

Amazon US, we have some new IDW Trade Collections listings go up in the last few days

Regeneration One - Volume 1
The Transformers comic that began it all is back - with a vengeance! 21 years have passed since Cybertron was restored to its former glory, and finally there is peace. But, after millions of years of bitter civil war, can all ever truly be one?
132 pages. 5th February 2013

Robots in Disguise - Volume 2
104 pages. 18th December 2012

GI Joe/Transformers - Volume 2
248 pages. 18th December 2012

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Wednesday, 29th August 2012 at 07:39:08 BST | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

DINOBOTS enter the TRANSFORMERS PRIME world for the first time ever!

San Diego, CA (August 15, 2012) – IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Activision, and High Moon Studios are thrilled to welcome the launch of the new digital comic series: TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON! Announced at Comic-Con International San Diego last month, and beginning today, this new series will offer fans an exclusive look at the story that precedes the explosive new game.

In the days leading up to the events of Activision and High Moon Studios’ TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON video game, we see the origin of the fearsome DINOBOTS as they encounter a secret DECEPTICON plot and take on a slew of enemies including SHOCKWAVE and the INSECTICONS!

"It's a lot of fun to have a chance to play in the sandbox of the Fall of Cybertron game. I'm lucky enough to get to write one of our Transformers ongoing comics, and edit the rest, but doing these stories in this setting... well, it's a real blast!” said writer JOHN BARBER.  BARBER continued "I sat down with Dave Cravens, the head writer of the game at High Moon Studios, and we plotted out the whole comic one afternoon. It was great to get to work that closely with somebody so intimately involved in the game, so we could really make sure this comic actually fits in with the story the game is telling--and plays into the larger TRANSFORMERS mythology. Plus, anybody who knows me knows I love me some Dinobots, so it was a thrill to get to write them!"

Don’t miss TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON, a prequel to the much-anticipated videogame, written by Barber (Transformers: Robots in Disguise) with art by Dheeraj Verma (Escape of the Living Dead)! Issues #2-5 will also include exclusive preview pages from TRANSFORMERS: THE ART OF THE FALL OF CYBERTRON, coming soon from IDW!

The series will run for six digital-only installments on a bi-weekly schedule, and will be available all digital platforms including Apple iOS, Android, and online.

TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON ($0.99, 8 pages; full color) will be available in August in IDW’s Apple iPad™, iPhone® and iPod touch®, apps – Transformers Comics and IDW Comics, and on the Web at The series will also be featured in the Comics by comiXology platform for iOS, Android, Web and Kindle Fire, and Comics + by iVerse.

TRANSFORMERS PRIME – RAGE OF THE DINOBOTS #1 ($3.99, 32 pages; full color) will be available in November 2012.

Visit to sign up for updates and learn more about the company and its top-selling books.

About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Toho’s Godzilla; Wizards of the Coasts Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons; and the Eisner-Award winning Locke & Key series, created by best-selling author Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints, and Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.

IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot, while Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony are bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film.

About Hasbro

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company providing children and families around the world with a wide-range of immersive entertainment offerings based on the Company's world class brand portfolio. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with well-known and beloved brands such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY. The Company’s Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for markets around the world. The Hub TV Network is part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), in the U.S. Through the company's deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies.” Learn more at  © 2012 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Friday, 17th August 2012 at 07:10:23 BST | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

The Allspark ran a Q&A session with Simon Furman regarding the new

Snippet (click the link for the full Q&A)

 MrBlud: "Did you add Leadfoot to the Wreckers because of his appearance (and membership) in DOTM? "

Simon Furman:
My intention with RG1 was to kind of absorb the whole 27 or so year history of the franchise and bring diverse elements (that have a resonance outside the narrow world of the original G1 US comic) into the mix. So yeah, Leadfoot being a Wrecker is a part of that (but not limited to DOTM). There’s also the G2 link, elements and characters of which are being folded into RG1 on a regular/ongoing basis, and the fact that Leadfoot featured in the IDW-verse too, in my Spotlight: Galvatron, so I really wanted him to be a part of RG1 because of all those influences, not any single one.

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Wednesday, 18th July 2012 at 07:22:13 BST | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

Here's a roundup from the SDCC IDW Panel from yesterday

* GI Joe: Current story will conclude in issue #16.
* "Target: Snake Eyes" begins in October for six issues. Oktober is coming...
* Dille wants to return Hector Ramirez. Would do it on GI Joe if he gets the chance.
* Larry Hama: he would make the stories up as he went along for years. He never plotted anything out. He's never seen the cartoon or read any of the comics he wasn't involved in. They would just create stories just from a cover. Covers were based on what toys he was looking to promote
* No influence from MASH working on Joe -- Hama.
* Baroness created to show a reaction to Cobra Commander. No mask, so you can see facial expression.

* Transformers starts now.
* August is Dinobot Month.
* Grimlock in MTMTE.
* Nothing new really...
* In RG1, Grimmy will return to Nebulos to try and regain transformation abilities.
* 2012 Annual is called "Primus". Written by Barber, art by Guido Guidi. Will tie into the ongoings.
* FOC Art Book by Mark Bellomo.
* FOC digital prequel coming in August.
* "Transformers: Prime - Rage of the Dinobots" will tie into season 3 of the show. Mike Johnson & Mairghread Scott to write that.
* Still robots on Cybertron. Dinobots amongst them.
* Question is will Dinobots be in season 3 of Transformers Prime? Not necessarily, you'll need to check out the comic for details.
* No info on Tranformers/GI Joe crossover.
* Will do hardcover GI Joe Collection a la Transformers.
* Talking about more female Transformers.
* Flint Dille did Autocracy on the back of his work on Diablo. Happy to be doing Transformers again.
* UK reprints will continue.

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Friday, 13th July 2012 at 07:06:35 BST | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

Full Metal Hero have been sent a few pages of Transformers Regeneration 81 in preperation of tomorrows big release.  This will be one of only a few IDW Comics that we'll actually be looking to buy, as we ran out of space for comics years ago, but we're certainly looking forward to getting back into the Transformers comic lore.

NOTE: The pages include spoilers

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Tuesday, 10th July 2012 at 07:18:24 BST | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

Just six days now until Transformers: Regeneration One #81 hits comic book stores and download outlets (Wednesday, July 11th, to be exact), and Simon Furman's pre-release teaser-fest continues with Regeneration One #80.5 — DECONSTRUCTED, pt 3.

Page 8, panels 1-2: Nova Point. A distinct doff of the hat to the first ‘continuation/expansion’ of the Marvel G1 saga that appeared in a 1992 UK Annual as ‘Another Time and Place’, an illustrated text story. In that story, Nova Point is described as being ‘hewn from a mountain of metal’, and I kind of took that description and turned it into ‘a towering, almost monastic retreat perched on a mountain of melted and reformed metal slag overlooking the city.’ As if it’s been made of old bits of war-torn Cybertron, the future and the past again, twisted into one. Pretty much just a throwaway line, but Kup’s flippant mention of a ‘tactical upgrade’ opens a door to some character refinements, should we wish to implement any. And here he is — Ultra Magnus, making his US continuity debut. He was a regular feature of the UK stories, and I’m now not sure why I never crossed him over into the US comic. I kind of took that UK incarnation (‘Cybertron’s greatest warrior’ – a description that actually gets a dialog nod in #81) and the more recent IDW ‘galactic lawgiver’ model and mushed them into one. I thought would be interesting to see what a character like Ultra Magnus becomes in peacetime. Frustrated, mostly, but we’ll get to that in a few issues time.

Page 8, panels 3-5: Again, lots of scene to set in this issue, and of paramount importance to me was establishing Optimus Prime’s current state of mind. So already Kup and Ultra Magnus’s dialog has alluded to Prime having rather cut himself off, in almost self-imposed exile, and Hot Rod reemphasises it a moment later. There’s a lot to come in terms of development for Hot Rod. We all know that in the animated movie he becomes the next Prime. And I wanted to feed off that and have Optimus Prime (who — in his own mind, at least — is more in the twilight phase of his time at the top) actively involved in kind of nurturing (or mentoring) his successor. But again, things aren’t necessarily going to play out according to TFTM or any other established storyline. It really is going to be tough ‘being the chosen one’. Hot Rod, though, is quite a pivotal character in RG1 (arguably the most pivotal), but his path is going to be rougher and more convoluted than any previous counterpart version. We finally get to Optimus, who’s standing, well, much as he is at the opening of ‘Another Time and Place’, staring out at Iacon from a raised observation platform. From here, it all goes in a very different direction from that Annual story, but it deserves acknowledgment.

Page 9, panels 1-4: And right from the get-go we understand that Optimus is not in a good place. In modern parlance, he has issues. Terse, brusque — it’s not the Prime we know and love. But I wondered what it would feel like to be dead, and then wrenched back into the land of the living, without so much as a by your leave. Would you be happy or kind of resentful? Something as traumatic as that must leaves deep, deep mental scars, and this reluctance to listen to the likes of Kup is what will drive the entirety of RG1′s first arc, and end in catastrophe. Oh, and death. #85 isn’t pretty. You have been warned. From Magnus’s speech we get the idea that there have been ‘incidents’ already. Clearly Soundwave and Co. haven’t been idle. And now Kup wants to send in the Wreckers. Yes, the Wreckers! Another UK mainstay (collectively) making the crossover into the US continuity. The intervening 21 years have kind of melded Kup with the Wreckers in my mind, so while he’s probably not ‘a Wrecker’ as such, he is very closely linked to the group. We’ll meet them all in #81. And one of the members (or is that two?) has a distinctly UK flavour.

Page 9, panels 5-7: As mentioned, Optimus’s reluctance to risk any kind of re-opening of hostilities (a kind of head in the sand attitude for sure) is going to have consequences. Even as quickly as the end of this issue. The Megatron’s ‘glorious second coming’ line kind of reiterates what I was talking about earlier, and how Soundwave is just holding the fort until his return. Probably using it to keep the faith. And Prime finally name-checks Soundwave’s mob as neo-Decepticons. As if the original Decepticons have just kind of conveniently vanished. It says a lot about Prime’s attitude and the attitude of the Autobots as a whole, if the whole concept of Decepticons can just be erased. Made into a footnote in Cybertron’s history. As if.

Pages 10-11: Our third flashback spread. And a chance to reprise two of my favourite scenes from the early stages of the US comic: Shockwave’s victory and the Autobots hanging from the rafters like sides of meat, and the Dinobots (and Ratchet) taking on Megatron (and winning by default). Or is that foot fault? Then I press fast forward, condensing some 40 issues into three panels, hitting the main note I wanted which was the evolution of the conflict and the Transformers themselves. Very important evolution is to the whole RG1 vibe. Among those ‘evolutions’ is one group who’ll make a big impact on RG1, especially in the second arc, ‘Natural Selection.’ And we wrap this spread with Starscream decimating the ranks of the Autobots and Decepticons alike (from #50). We know what happened to the Autobots who bit the dust in the Underbase storyline, they got pumped full of Nucleon and revived. But what about the Decepticons??

The final 5 pages soon, keep watching…

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Thursday, 5th July 2012 at 09:33:29 BST | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News

Amazon has published a listing for an IDW Trade Paperback, launching on 11th September 2012, called featuring the G.I Joe and Transformers crossover comics. Volume 1 is set to cover the original Transformers/GI Joe Cross Over.

The worlds of G.I. JOE and The Transformers combine in this first volume of crossovers. Contains the 4-issue G.I. JOE and The Transformers limited series, plus issues #139-142 of Marvel's G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero. Megatron and Cobra versus the JOEs and the Autobots - who will come out on top?

Transformers GI Joe Crossover

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Tuesday, 20th March 2012 at 09:34:15 GMT | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention News has listed a new pre-order for Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 1. The trade is priced at $19.99 and scheduled to release on July 31st. Unfortunately the cover art has not been revealed yet.

Volume 1 of IDW's other Transformers ongoing title Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is also available for pre-order and scheduled to release on June 26th.

Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Tuesday, 21st February 2012 at 09:25:23 GMT | Share: | Discuss: Read on

Transformers Convention NewsAs many of you will be aware Auto Assembly 2009 will feature an exclusive version of IDW Publications All Hail Megatron, with a brand new cover featuring the talents of Nick Roche and Liam Shalloo. ­

The cover is based on the end scene from Jurassic Park (Steve White would be proud) and features Grimlock in the Auto Assembly ha­lls.

You can see a small preview of the cover below, and a larger image by clicking on that preview picture. If that wasn't enough we've also got a little interview with one-half of the AA crew, Simes, to fill you in on the going's on.­

­ ­­ ­
­­Auto Assembly 2009 exclusive comic­
Click on the image for a larger view

­­­ Interview with Simes of Infinite Frontiers organisers of Auto Assembly­

TFATM: The 2009 Auto Assembly Transformers convention is taking place in a new location compared to the previous 3 years.Could you tell us why you decided to ­change location and what benefits / features this brings to the event?

Auto Assembly: There were a few main reasons for the move to the Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre from the Clarendon Suites. Firstly, and obviously, doing a two-day convention really meant that we needed to hold Auto Assembly in a hotel so all of our attendees could stay on-site and it gave us the flexibility in our programming to run the type of convention that we simply couldn't run anywhere else. It's allowed us to offer a convention with activities running on well into the early hours of Sunday morning and there's no issue for us about the venue not having staff on site at any part of the day or night.

However as I'm sure many people noticed last year, even if Auto Assembly had still stuck with the one-day format we would have still relocated to a new venue this year. We had countless problems with the Clarendon Suites in 2008 before and during the convention - concerning payment for the hall, the time we were allowed access for set up, the time we had the hall itself on the day which the Clarendon Suites tried to change on the weekend itself - and for both of these they denied that we had clearly stated what we needed in advance, despite having used them two years running before and wanting the same arrangements then. There were countless other issues but ultimately if AA2009 had been a single day event and there was ONE member of staff NOT working at the Clarendon then we'd probably had considered going back, but the Holiday Inn is a much better venue for facilities, access (being right in the city centre) and has friendlier staff!

TFATM: Auto Assembly is celebrating its 9th anniversary, and is the 8th convention of the same name.Over this time AA has broken several records, the UK attendance record twice (409 in 2005, 423 in 2008) and this year will see the first 2 day Transformers event in the UK, and only the second UK Transformers convention too feature 2 guests (the first being OTFCCE 2002).What are your hopes for this year's event?

Auto Assembly: Okay, I don't want to be picky but first I have to correct you on one point. Auto Assembly 2009 is the third two-day Transformers event that the UK has seen. I'd love to lay claim to running the first, but that honour goes to BotCon Europe in 1999 which had its activities spread over two days, and this is the second weekend long Auto Assembly convention that we have run. Saying that, if you include the Friday programme, then you could say that it is the UK's first ever THREE day Transformers convention...!

Seriously though, as for my hopes for the convention I want to set out to do everything bigger and better than ever! I want to give fans a weekend of Transformers fun that they will never forget. A guest line-up that they will want to meet, activities going on all weekend that will keep people entertained and busy non-stop, and offer a weekend of fun!

TFATM: Really?I only remember BotCon Europe 99 being one day (and a rather expensive one) - lol.

The event features two guests, Gregg Berger and Ian James Corlett, which spans the first three Transformers series (Generation One, Beast Wars and Beast Machines).How do you decide which guests you'd like to invite and do you find that being outside of the UK limits the guest opportunities.

Auto Assembly: It's always hard to decide who to invite to be honest. Sometimes actors will approach us and ask if they can attend (in fact, a G1 actor contacted me recently about appearing this year but I had to turn him down although I haven't ruled out AA2010...!), others I've built up a fairly good rapport after emailing them because of our charity auctions so after a while I can get a fairly good feel for what they are like as a person and whether they'd make for a good guest or not.

Obviously, if we get a lot of requests for specific guests, I'll look into them as well and do plenty of research to see what reaction they've had from other convention appearances but usually I try to see what the person is like from contact myself rather than agents before making a final decision.

The only real limitation we have in terms of actors living outside of the UK is cost to be honest so we can only bring a single actor to the UK for a one-day event or two at most for a weekend convention unless we get sponsorship and even then I have to do a lot of heavy negotiating to keep costs down! I'd probably say that about 65% of our total budget this year is going on guest costs, if not more!

Saying that, I guess events like BotCon and TFCon would say the same when it comes to all the UK comic guys!

TFATM:Do you have anything special planned for Saturday evening for the event, as many fans may be wondering what to do when the convention halls close.

Auto Assembly: Absolutely! The "main" convention will end at about 6:00 pm on Saturday for all attendees and we've then got a mad rush to re-arrange the hall for the Saturday evening programme. The plan is to re-open the hall at about 7:00 pm so it will give everyone time to go and grab something to eat - either in the hotel or McDonalds or somewhere and then once everyone's settled and had a chance to grab a drink from the bar we'll kick off with the entertainment...

We've got three main things confirmed so far... first up is a special script reading featuring our guests of honour. Simon Furman is writing a brand new script for us and this will be performed live on stage by Gregg Berger (as Grimlock), Ian James Corlett (as Cheetor), Simon Williams (as the Narrator) and a few Auto Assembly attendees playing other roles!

Following that, we have a rock concert by Next Of Kin - a three-piece band from Essex. They will be doing a 60 minute show based mainly around covers of tracks from the original animated Transformers movie. We think it will be a cracking show and if you want to get a taster for what the show will be like, you can see them in action here -

We are also looking into the possibility of adding something else to the evening as well but we're working on it!

After that, the evening will wrap up with a party / disco running on until about 1:00 am, naturally with a bar open until late! Of course, all of this will be exclusive for weekend attendees only!

TFATM: Do you have a schedule planned for the convention yet, or could you give us a rough idea of what attendees can expect to see / do over the two days?

Auto Assembly: We've had a rough programme up on the website for some time which we're tweaking pretty much on a day-by-day basis as new things are added to the event and as we find new items to squeeze in! However, because of the new Alternative Programme Room that can be booked by fans and websites for use to run activities in there, I'm expecting lots more activities to be added right up to the weekend itself and we've already got some workshops and fan run activities in there already!

TFATM: After last year's convention you reached out to the Transformers fan community for ideas and suggestions on what attendees would like from a convention.What type of feedback did you receive?Were any of the ideas taken up for the event and did you encounter any issues / problems in doing this?

Auto Assembly: There were some great ideas that came forward from the surveys and we had some great feedback from everyone, even the criticism! While we know that we can't please everyone all of the time, it's a fantastic way to be able to hear what people think so we can see if there are real issues that need to be tackled.

Probably one of the most useful things was for the dealers as we asked about merchandise and what people want to buy and we're sharing this information with dealers to help them plan what stock to bring to the convention.

Also, the suggested list of activities that we proposed has helped us identify what our attendees are actually interested in so we know where to focus our efforts and other attendees have even made suggestions of their own for things to add to the programme and you may find a few of these cropping up over the weekend...!

TFATM: Not all fans are able to attend both days, due to work or other commitments.Are you going to be offering 1 day passes and if so do you know the costs of these, and are they going to be specific for each day?

Auto Assembly: We have released a limited number of single day passes already and that is going to be the plan this year as the focus is on weekend ticket sales. What we intend to do is offer single day passes in small blocks at a time and then release more only when those allocations have completely sold out.

We have a maximum cut off for attendance of 550 for the convention per day and that will be made up of a mix of weekend and one day attendees so our potential total will be a lot higher. However, we do need to keep a balance of numbers so when it comes to one day tickets, we are not opting for a "free for all" so for every Saturday ticket we must sell a Sunday ticket.

Anyway, the first allocation was released at the beginning of April and the Saturday passes sold out fairly quickly and while the Sunday tickets haven't sold out yet, they have sold steadily. They are £25 each for adults with reductions for children, students etc. and they are fixed for each day. They do give you full access to the convention for each day (including the talks, autograph sessions, workshops etc), and do include the goodie bag, but the Saturday passes do NOT get you into the party/concert/script reading session.

TFATM: You recently mentioned on The Allspark that you were looking into the possibility of a comic for Auto Assembly.How are things progressing with this?

Auto Assembly: It's an idea I think we'd been toying with for a while to talk to IDW about producing a variant cover of one of their comics as an Auto Assembly exclusive. I know TFCon in Canada had done it a couple of times with Dreamwave and DDP and now seemed to be the right time for us to try something. I knew we weren't going to get anywhere with Hasbro for a toy, but this would give us a chance to get an officially licensed exclusive for the convention.

Anyway, I got in touch with Chris Ryall to see how we would need to go about doing an exclusive variant cover for the convention and basically he said that we'd need to a Diamond account. Problem number 1... no Diamond account! I spoke to Mario over at Apocalypse Comics and they're working with us to make it happen through their Diamond account. Once we sorted that problem out we had to decide on the print run. The question was to either have a 1,000 copy print run of a new book or - to do a reprint of an old book - we needed a 4,000 copy print run! Naturally, there was no way we would be able to sell 4,000 books so we're going for 1,000 copies.

As for the issue, it is going to be All Hail Megatron #13.Sadly, since IDW decided to renumber the series, it's not going to be an Issue 1 which is what we first hoped for, but because it's two short stories, it will make it more accessible. Also, with one being written by Simon Furman and feature Prime and Ironhide, that's an added bonus!

As for the artwork, it's being done by Nick Roche with colours by Liam Shalloo and is very Auto Assembly focused featuring Grimlock as you can see from the preview artwork which I can reveal EXCLUSIVELY here for Transformers @ The Moon visitors! As I said, it is being limited to just 1,000 copies and will be on sale on the Apocalypse Comics table and will be limited to just 2 copies per attendee while stocks last so if you want to grab thiis, then you'll need to get your copy as soon as you can!

TFATM: There are even more guests than normal this year, and several guest panels planned.Were there any guests that you wanted to attend but couldn't?

Auto Assembly: Always! lolWe do invite a lot of the UK comic guests each year who aren't able to make it for one reason or another and for the last couple of years Lew Stringer hasn't been able to attend (Lew was supposed to have been our first ever guest back in 2001!). Hopefully this year he will be able to make it! In fact, I have been approached this year by a couple of G1 voice actors who wanted to attend and I have had to turn THEM down simply because we haven't had the funds to bring them over, there is another UK comic guest on hold because I don't know if we can afford them or not, and I have had to say no to Bob Budiansky simply because our overseas guest budget has been allocated with Gregg and Ian even though he is up for attending.

As for the panels, with the number of guests we have, and possibilities for extras depending on talks I am having with sponsors right now, I may have to add extra panels over the weekend so expect to see more panels each day as the programme gets updated!

TFATM: The last event suffered from a poor sound quality in the room; will this be resolved with the new location?

Auto Assembly: Absolutely! We're hiring in a brand new dedicated AV system for the convention this time so we won't have any problems. Plenty of microphones, LOUD speakers everywhere and plenty of flexibility to do everything we need!

To be honest, the system we used before simply "died of old age"! We had been using my hi-fi system for quite a long time (since the early days from our Star Trek fan club) and for a long time it did pretty well as it's a fairly powerful amp and speaker set up. However, over the last couple of years we were pushing it further and further to - and beyond what it was really designed for and at AA2008 we actually blew one of the speakers (which I found out when I tried to connect it all back up when I got home!).

TFATM: As the event is in a hotel, what disabled access is there for the convention?

Auto Assembly: Because of the advent of the Disability Discrimination Act back in 1995, hotels (along with other public buildings) had a duty to be adapted to be fully accessible. While a reasonably timescale was placed on alteration works, that has passed so rest assured that the Holiday Inn does have full disabled access throughout.

TFATM: Can you tell us which dealers / organisations will be in attendance at the event?

Auto Assembly: I think we've got a cracking line-up this time. From a dealers point of view we have T-4-E, Spacebridge, SF Collectibles, Toy-Fu, Xybertoys, Apocalypse Comics, Maz, Toyz and Gamez, Kapow Toys, and the Official Transformers Collectors Club (sorry if I've forgotten anyone!). From the fan side of things, there will be displays from Transmasters UK and yourselves with your stunning display of Lucky Draw toys which already has a lot of people talking online... Naturally, most of the artists will also be bringing prints and original artwork with them for sale as well and many will be doing sketches throughout the weekend.

As for other organisations, we're working on this and hope to be announcing some soon...

TFATM: A local television crew was in attendance at last year's Auto Assembly convention and you had some coverage on the BBC website last year as well.Has there been any media interest in this year's event?

Auto Assembly: The BBC will be covering the convention again. They are sending a reporter along quite likely with a camera crew and there will be advance coverage on the BBC website and radio. We will also be targeting local press and hopefully local ITV coverage. If we can, we'll be getting in touch with as many specialist press as possible too, unless they contact us first.

TFATM: How are the registration figures looking at the moment?Has the economic downturn, and increased prices (due to the two day event) impacted at all?

Auto Assembly: Quite the opposite to be honest! At the time of writing this we had over 260 pre-registrations. At the same time last year we only had just under 180 bookings and that was with tickets going on sale in late November 2007. Now with Auto Assembly 2009 we didn't open bookings until 1st January! That in itself is an impressive figure but when you think that over 90% of our bookings this year are for the full weekend, which are 3 times the cost of last year, then I'd say that the current economic climate hasn't really had an impact on the convention at all.

TFATM: We'll ask the next question, already knowing the answer, but it has to be asked.A UK Exclusive Convention toy ... do you think it would ever be possible and what do you think would need to happen to make it so?

Auto Assembly: I'm probably going to sound like a broken record on this one but we'd love to do an exclusive toy but it's really out of our hands. The only way we could do one is through Hasbro UK and we're getting no-where fast. Even if we could manage to get close, I think we'd need to arrange for a production run of around 2,000 toys and I dread to think what sort of cost we'd be looking at.

I guess we'd probably need to get a partner in the same way we have with the comic but then it's a question of whether Hasbro would offer a good enough quality toy! lol

TFATM: The event is taking place after the release of the Transformers Revenge of the Fallen movie.Did you not want to run the event closer to this media spectacular, or are there other reasons for the timing of the event?

Auto Assembly: Timing for us has to be based partly around our own personal schedules so we can have the time to run the convention without too much pressure personally, but from an event point of view we need to maximise attendance. For a UK event, that means running it during the school holidays and from a Transformers point of view keeping a reasonable gap between ourselves and BotCon so people in the UK/Europe who want to attend both can.

Also, from the hotel point of view, August is a traditionally quiet time so it helps us with negotiations for venue hire and gives us more control in getting our costs down!

TFATM: Roughly how long does it take to organise each event, and has this year's event planning thrown any new spanners in the works?

Auto Assembly: It always takes an incredible amount of time to plan each convention and work pretty much started as soon as AA2008 had ended with the questionnaires you mentioned earlier being the starting point. The first stumbling block we had was finding a new venue - it's not easy finding somewhere big enough in Birmingham without resorting to sports halls that can handle the sort of capacity we need these days!

We had narrowed our search down to three venues in the city centre - one turned out to be an empty shed in an arts complex (even though the photos on the website gave a different impression to that!) and it was about a 15 min walk from the main part of the city centre. The second venue, a hotel, was a bit further out so we ruled that one out for distance and the third was the Holiday Inn...!

There are so many things that need to be done though ranging from guest negotiations (that can be anything from a single email to extensive months of discussions and contract signings!), arranging sponsorships deals, booking dealers, venues, arranging for production of merchandise, handling bookings, promoting the convention online almost 24/7, updating the website.... I lose track of the amount of time I put into it almost daily and how many jobs I end up doing!

Obviously trying to add the Saturday evening with the band, script reading, disco adds more complexities to the mix, as does the comic, but I love the challenge of trying to make it all happen and I think the end result will make all the effort worth while. Rather than seeing any stumbling blocks as a problem, I'd rather see them as just part of the job that I just need to try to take in my stride and cope with as best as I can! After the hassle from the last venue, anything else is a doddle!

TFATM: Anything else you'd like to add?

Auto Assembly: All I can say really is that this is one convention that you are not going to want to miss! If you live in the UK and are free that weekend, please come along and celebrate the best that Transformers has to offer! Whether you can make it for the weekend or just one day, you won't regret it!

If you've already registered, please spare a few minutes to complete the survey we have online to help us give you all the convention that YOU want and if you can help us during the weekend, we need as many volunteers as we can to make this the best convention that Europe has ever seen!

Hope to see you all in August and keep your eyes open for more announcements soon...!


Category: Transformers Convention News | Submitted by: Moonbug - on: Tuesday, 5th May 2009 at 19:31:03 BST | Share: | Discuss: Read on

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