Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Complete Ark - Five Page Preview and Review Thread

With all the attention that The AllSpark Almanac has been getting, I wanted to make sure that at least a little love was devoted to this bad boy:  Transformers: The Complete Ark, due out tomorrow, Wednesday the 26th. For those of you who have one or both of the two Ark books, you'll have a very good idea of what to expect from this collection. It's a full-sized (not digest sized as reported earlier) compilation of the two Ark books, with a little bit of extra material included as a bonus. That's 416 pages of character model goodness.  You can get it at your local comic book shop, or you can preorder it from Amazon.

For those of you who don't know, The Ark was a collection of character models from the US G1 cartoon. It spanned all four years, from More than Meets the Eye to The Rebirth. The Ark II followed in that tradition, covering all of the Japanese G1 series: Headmasters, Masterforce, Victory, Zone, Battlestars and Operation Combination. Unlike The AllSpark Almanac, the tone of the book is academic, though I tried to include interesting observations and facts that I dug up in my research when appropriate.

There was a bit of overlap between the two books, so I removed redundant pages and added in about a dozen extra, especially around the Masterforce era. I also added in a few small bits here and there when I had room, such as alternate head designs for Optimus and Devastator; some new weapons and tools for Sideswipe, Cliffjumper, Brawn and Ratchet; new angles on Motormaster, Galvatron, the Predacons, and the Sharkticon; interiors for Cosmos, the Seekers, Shouki, and Cyclonus; alternate backs for the Dinobots; and even the occasional brand new model, like another Quintesson scientist or Spike in a Space Tuxedo. There's more, but I don't want this post to devolve into a huge list.

The Complete Ark will be out tomorrow, August 26th. It's also available for preorder on Amazon.com. Here is a taste of what it's like:

I know this one isn't as new as The AllSpark Almanac, but if you pick up the collected version I'd love to hear your thoughts here.


Carlos said...

Already ordered this and the Almanac from Amazon. I love you guys xD

Javier Reyes said...

Another must buy!

This will definitely be a good resource for when I need reference for characters.

James Snelgrove said...

Just waiting for Amazon to ship mine to me. I'll be reviewing them in my blog soonish.

Jimtron said...

Hey, Al Terry. It's not an unreasonable request. Unfortunately, it's not really very feasible for me to do. There are very few strictly new pages in the book. Most of the new material is integrated into the book. In fact, off the top of my head, the only 100% new pages are the Decepticon's underwater headquarters, which I posted, and Donq and Professor Gō from Masterforce. Most of them, though, have material strewn about the page.

For instance, I got a lot of new material for Godmasters, which allowed me to greatly expand those pages. The example I like to used is Ranger. In the first book, I had the front of his human front, a headshot or two, the front of him armored form, the front of his car, and the front of his robot mode. In this book, I got a lot of extra material that's appropriate for him. I'm wasn't about to put all the backs on a second page, that'd look awful. Instead, I give one page to his human models (front and back of his armored and unarmored form, some head shots, him as a mountie, and the RCMP logo,) and one page is for his transtector (3 angles on the car, 3 angles on his robot, two head shots, two gun angles, and his interior.)

All told, more than 80 pages got something new on them. Most were not as extreme as Ranger, but still, it wouldn't really be possible for me to go through the book and pull out only the new models. Understand that I just wanted to make the best book possible, and that I've gotten a lot of new material since I did the first two books. I'm not trying to punish people who bought the first two books, just reward the people who buy this one. I hope you can appreciate that.

The other major barrier is copyright. I'm not the rights holder on this material. The images themselves are owned by Hasbro, and the actual composition is owned by IDW. Now, neither of them really minds (so far) me posting previews and addendum. However, they might start to object if I were to go through and post vast tracts of published material. If either party feels that I'm not being respectful of their copyright and financial interests, I might have to stop posting new material each week.

In any event, I hope that you don't feel I've reached this decision lightly. I completely understand where you're coming from; I hope you can appreciate my position.

James Snelgrove said...

I got my copies of both books this week, so expect my reviews soon :D

I'll shoot you a link when each goes up OR you could start watching my Blog 9which I should have more time for now that school is starting and I'm not gonna be fucking exhausted from 40 hours of menial labour a week)