Fans of Transformers who have not yet committed suicide after four straight childhood-destroying movies from cinematic despot Michael Bay were delighted yesterday to learn that fan favorite artist Phil Jimenez was coming on board with writers John Barber and James Roberts to provide cover and layouts for issue #1 of the new Transformers series, Transformers: Dark Cybertron. Jimenez, famous for work on dozens of high profile Marvel and DC titles as well as his collaboration with Grant Morrison on Invisibles, will also draw variant covers for the rest of the twelve issue super-mega-crossover event. However, before the first issue has even made it to the printing press, the whole project may found itself in jeopardy thanks to an unpaid intern entrusted with coloring the book.
"They tell me to color pages for 'dark' book," said Vlad Kozinkerov, who recently left his internship at Marvel Comics after blowing the entire Infinity production budget on a 69 second trailer for the first issue of the comic. "So that is what I do."
Unfortunately, due to Kozinkerov's inability to comprehend the certain nuances in American English, he took the title of the book literally and colored all of the pages as if they took place in total blackness.
"It is like cold winter night in Siberian wilderness," explained the stone-faced Kozinkerov. "It is so dark, a young man cannot tell if he is snuggling for warmth in his mother's bosom or the clutches of a large, angry bear."
He punctuated his story with a grim stare..
"In the end, they are the same," he shrugged. "Man finds comfort within himself. Giant robots probably have technology to see in the dark, da?"
"This is a disaster!" panicked IDW's Editor in Chief Chris Ryall. "The book has to go to the printers next week, and we don't have time to get another colorist."
Ryall promised he'd have Kozinkerov working around the clock, constantly tweaking the brightness slider in his copy of Photoshop in an attempt to make the images usable. It could take a very long time. Kozinkerov is thorough.
"I take pride in my work," Kozinkerov explained, matter-of-factly.
Before Vlad ruined the pages, IDW had this press release prepared, so we might as well post it, even though the book may never actually see print:
San Diego, CA (August 21, 2013) – Darkness falls on the AUTOBOTS this November in the comic book event Transformers: Dark Cybertron! This series pushes the TRANSFORMERS characters to their limits, but they’ll have the help of some creative superstars on their journey. Joining writer and IDW senior editor John Barber and fan-favorite scribe James Roberts in a top-secret meeting earlier this year, the artistic force of Phil Jimenez helped plan Dark Cybertron from the start! “I’ve been a fan of the TRANSFORMERS brand since I was 13,” said Jimenez, “and this was a fanboy dream come true. The beauty of this story is it plays to the strengths of the characters and to my strengths as a storyteller; epic, world-shattering scale as well as those beautiful character moments that make readers care about a bunch of giant ‘Robots in Disguise.’”
The war between the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS is over—but when the relentless SHOCKWAVE enacts a scheme millions of years in the making, yesterday’s nightmares tear apart today’s peace. “OPTIMUS PRIME, RODIMUS, BUMBLEBEE, even STARSCREAM—all these characters believed war was behind them, for better or worse,” says Barber. “The big question—other than who will survive—is whose side will the DECEPTICONS be on?”
The twelve-part series starts in Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1, then alternates between the monthly TRANSFORMERS titles Robots In Disguise and More Than Meets The Eye, concluding in a finale issue in March. This is the first time that both Transformers series have crossed over. “It’s thrilling to see the two casts crash back into each other’s lives,” says Roberts. “Fittingly, given the scale of SHOCKWAVE’s ambition, this is a massive, galaxy-spanning story—and one that shakes everything up.”
Co-written by Roberts and Barber, superstar artist Phil Jimenez provides layouts and covers for issue one, and variant covers for the whole series—as well as doing the art for the GENERATIONS action figure releases from Hasbro and planning the event from day one! Jimenez is joined by a who’s-who of Transformers artists, including Robots in Disguise series artist Andrew Griffith, who provides finished art on the lead-off issue. According to Jimenez, “the script for #1 was probably one of the best I’ve worked from in years. Totally awesome stuff —I just hope people don't mind me butting in and adding my own two cents (or three) to this super cool universe. I think it all worked out pretty seamlessly, actually!”
This is an exciting time to be a fan of Transformers, with multiple series from IDW, fantastic toys and more from Hasbro. In that spirit, and in an unprecedented publishing move, Dark Cybertron comic books will be included in select GENERATIONS action figure releases from Hasbro, following their initial release from IDW. This is the first time that an entire mega-event has been distributed in such a way. “TRANSFORMERS fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated—but many of them have never seen our comics,” says Barber. “Dark Cybertron will introduce these fans to the world of comics—and we can’t wait to bring these new readers into the fold.”