Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New York Comic-Con Review

The New York Comic-Con is hardly the place for Transformers news. I don’t know why, but there always seems to be very little information about the Transformers world, which is odd because if you wear a Transformers themed T-Shirt, you are bound to get noticed and commented. I made the most of it by picking up a Transformers: Titanium Comic-Con exclusive Menasor as well as buying an entire box of Micron Booster set 4 where I managed to get every figure with the exception of Detectus. That said, the last day of the convention, Sunday the 8th, was the day for TransFans.

At 1:45 pm, IDW held a panel discussing Transformers and G.I. Joe called “Declassified and Rolling Out” where editors, writers and artists came together to discuss the future of Transformers and G.I. Joe comics. They debuted some up-and-coming Spotlights (Jazz, Metroplex, and Drift) as well as showing us the cover art for the final issues of All Hail Megatron and Maximum Dinobots. I asked a question about if there were any plans to further flush out the Beast Era; there aren’t. I asked another question about the series Transformers: The 13, they didn’t have anything to say about it other than it will be exciting and they don’t know when it is actually going to be coming out. And that’s about the highlight there. Sadly, there wasn’t much as the panel was much more focused on G.I. Joe.

I was feeling a bit down because supposedly Bob Budiansky (the original writer of the Marvel Transformers G1 comics) was present at the convention, and I would have loved to have met him and had him sign something, but I never saw anything about him.

So, I considered leaving about an hour and a half early due to the inactivity but then I happened to see a sign saying we could get autographs by Neil Kaplan (the voice of RiD Optimus Prime and Ro-Tor)! He saw me coming and started talking to me even before I got up to his table simply because of my shirt.

Mr. Kaplan was there promoting his new Graphic Novel called “I, of the Wolf” by doing free signings of the Convention Exclusive Preview chapter 1 titled “Friend’s and Monsters”. He was also doing signings of photos of him and a nice pic of RiD Optimus Prime.

We got to talking and we ended up chatting until the convention closed. He even called up Steve Blum (voice of Darkscream, and the playable characters from the Transformers Movie DS games) but got his answering machine. During Mr. Kaplan’s ongoing conversation with me, though, Mr. Blum CALLED US BACK and agreed to speak to me and a friend of mine for a good while over the phone. Mr. Kaplan and I talked a lot about voice acting and Transformers (things like his original audition for X-Brawn that landed him the role of Optimus Prime, people’s concerns about the voice of Hawkmon portraying OP, etc…) And with that, the convention closed. It was certainly the best way to end an otherwise uneventful convention for Transformers Fans!

You can see some pics of Mr. Kaplan here, here and here. You can see Mr. Kaplan calling Steve Blum here and here. And finally, a video of Mr. Kaplan leading into his Optimus Prime voice.

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