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THURSDAY, JULY 20, 2006

COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: IDW PUBLISHING'S THE TRANSFORMERS

SAN DIEGO -- Bob Budiansky is returning to the world of Transformers, IDW Publishing announced on Thursday at its Transformers panel at Comic-Con International.

Budiansky, writer of many of Marvel Comics' Transformers stories in the 1980s, is writing Transformers Animated Movie Adaptation, a mini-series that will adapt the 1986 Transformers: The Movie, which is being released in a special edition DVD package to mark its 20th anniversary.

The four-part adaptation which will launch in October will feature art and covers by Don Figueroa.

Budiansky -- whose Marvel stories are currently being reprinted in IDW's Transformers: Generations -- told The Continuum that it was perfect timing when IDW's Chris Ryall contacted him late last year.

"I had been thinking for a while about getting back into writing -- and possibly illustrating -- comics again, so Chris' offer was easy for me say 'yes' to," Budiansky told The Continuum before the panel.

"Chris suggested several project options, including adapting the 1986 Transformers movie into a four-part mini-series, and that's the option I took. I figured it would be the best way for me to get my feet wet again in the Transformers universe, since I really hadn't done anything with Transfomers since 1989, when I stopped writing the Marvel comic book. Also, I had edited the Marvel adaptation of that same movie when it came out, so I was at least familiar with the material.

"Since the movie is a done deal--I'm not the one creating the story as I go along, obviously--I feel a bit distant from the material, as compared to how I would feel if I were writing a story of my own creation. Still, I enjoy getting into the whole process of constructing a story and moving the characters through it. Since it's been so long since I've done anything like this, it's a bit like finding an old friend. And it's reacquainted me with the Transformers, and got me thinking of some new story ideas. Nothing I'm ready to talk about, though."

Budiansky said he's added just one scene to the movie's story for the comic book.

"At the end of Part 2, I've added a page that shows Hot Rod and Kup's space shuttle crashing on the Quintessons' planet, so the issue can end on a dramatic note, and the first page of the next issue can be set up better," he said. "In the movie, I found it a bit sudden when Hot Rod winds up in the predicament he's in on the Quintessons' planet with virtually no set-up. The scene I added is actually in the movie script, but is not included in the movie itself, at least not on the movie DVD that I have.

"Oh, and at the request of Don Figueroa, I've added the fifth Dinobot -- I forget which one -- to the Dinobot scenes. For some mysterious reason, the movie only featured four Dinobots.

"Otherwise, I've stuck to the movie--there are plenty of scenes already to fill a 4-part series."

Click on the thumbnails above for the first two covers as well as five pages from the first issue.

In other Transformers news:

* The second big IDW storyline, "Escalation," will start in November.

* October's Transformers Spotlight will focus on Nightbeat, by Simon Furman and Mark Bright, with covers by Bright, Nick Roche and James Raiz.

* Future Spotlights will focus on Hot Rod and Sixshot, and all of the Spotlight issues set up elements that will be played up in "Escalation" and beyond.

* Ryall said there are big plans to coincide with the live-action Transformers movie next summer, but they will be announced this fall.

* Upcoming collections include The Greatest Battles of Optimus Prime and Megatron, The Best of Simon Furman and The Best of Don Figueroa.

* Also above are images the cover images from Transformers: Generations #8 and Transformers: Stormbringer #4, as well as pages from the first spotlight book.

* A poster of all the Stormbringer wraparound covers, by Figueroa and colorist Josh Burcham, is scheduled for October.



E-mail the Continuum at RobAlls@aol.com



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