Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AllSpark Almanac II: Reaction Thread

It had to happen sooner or later...  The AllSpark Almanac II (order it today!)  is out in stores today.  Let me know what you think, the feedback is one of my favorite parts.  Yes, even if you didn't like something; constructive criticism helps me hone my craft.

Oh, and don't forget to head on over to Amazon and leave reviews there, too.  I credit a lot of the success of the Almanac I to the twenty-nine of you (yes, twenty-nine, I'm humbled and flattered) who took the time to inform the more casual fans of what you thought of this book.

One item of note: some of you have noticed the crossword puzzle in the book.  This is, indeed, a real, working crossword puzzle.  Bill has been working on something special, so if you think you've solved it completely, send us a scan the solved puzzle, tell us what the answer to the Good Tool question is, and send us a picture of yourself holding the book.  The first person to send us those three things will get a hand-made prize from Bill.  Sadly, it's been reported that we have a couple of glitches in the crossword.  Sorry, guys. It was REALLY hard to make, so please forgive me my flubs.  However, flubs aside, I'm pretty sure it's actually solvable.

BTW, reviews are starting to pop up.  While we don't have any Amazon review yet (hint, hint!), plenty of folks on the internet have had nice things to say.  Over on Ozformers, user Stompy writes:

I have to say it's a nice swan song for the series. Vol.2 is much much better than Vol.1. It covers all the bit players and cameos with write-ups and all of season 3 covered and completely dissected. Eg. The members of Prowls old dojo (Cyber Ninja Corps) broken down, size comparisons of all major characters, a board game in the middle of the book, all the different "Supremes", all locations given all the minuteast of detail. Nothing was left untouched. The back end of the book touches ont he toys with pictures and a LOT of prototype shots of existing and non existing molds. This book satiated my hunger for more Animated with every speck of the lore covered.

TFA fans this is a MUST have. G1 fans will get a kick to see all the tributes and Animated versions of oldies.
 Cheers for that!  Kal-el Prime does a rather flattering You-Tube video:

Wow!  Very high praise indeed.

Over on Twitter, VicegripX writes:

Next on the to-read list is Allspark Almanac II, flipped through it and one huge nerdgasm after another, why did TFA have to end?
On one of my favorite TransFan sites, The AllSpark (no relation), Rosicrucian writes:

I think it's official now. The two Allspark Almanac volumes are now the must-own books for a Transformers fan. If you don't like them, you're dead inside.
Incidentally, that's part of a thread that's some 400 entries long about the book.  A lot of the thread turns into a debate about some of the minutia of the book, but it's still great to see so many people so passionate about the work.

There's no shortage of love for the book over on the IDW Boards.  Some highlights include:

  • Jeysie: Whoo, I seriously can't wait until I can pick this up. So looking forward to all the cameo bios and episode tidbits. 
  • bassbot: man, those preview pages are SICK! looks like a surefire pick up for me!
  • Stringycheese: That Yatter page is hilarious! It's amazing how funny and creative the Animated crew is. I can't wait to grab this book.
  • Huffer's Stuntdouble: Got it ... love it! Very nice job all round!  
  • Darth Bombshell: The book makes me appreciate the cameo appearances in Season 3. That alone is a mighty achievement. I still don't like that they happened, but at least I can get them now.
Nice stuff.  Very nice stuff.  And let's not forget good old TFW2005, where 140 or so posts have been made about the book.  Atrayu (love the name) writes:.

The book is totally awesome. It actually makes me very sad (and pissed off) that 1 - we still don't have season 3 on DVD (which is beyond my comprehension as to why) and 2 - that we never got this season 4. TFA was hands down the most well thought out story arc in all of TFs IMO. Very thankful for the book but it's a damn shame that the powers in charge won't give it the time of day.

PS - this book is a MUST have for any TFA fan, period!

On the same thread,  Mechadoom had this to say:
Every second page of this book contains nuggets of "AWW MAN, WHY WAS THIS CANCELLED?!?!?" I am really happy they made the book, but I'd be even happier if the series was continued.

Buy this book. Even if you hated Animated, because it's actually a good insight into the process of making a cartoon show/toy line.
On the international front, we had a lovely review in Chinese.  The game board was that author's favorite part of the book, though the posters seem to gravitate towards the star charts.

So, thanks to everyone for chiming in.  Oh, and amidst all the Almanac II hype, the Almanac I has finally sold out.  Hope you got your copy while the getting was good!


Anonymous said...

Easily the best book I've never read! Can't wait to get mine >.<

Anonymous said...

How about Amazon actualy get their stock due?! My pre-order is shipping freaking July 13!

General Tekno said...

I have to say - I am LOVING this so far.

And all the additional character headshot designs strewn throughout the book are incredible. Inferno's especially is awesome. Plus, I NEVER for the life of me expected full profiles for Straxus and Scalpel, and we got them!

And that crossword is murder. I've taken it upon myself to be the first one to finish it, and accomplishing that is gonna be the death of me.

The toy sheets of stuff we didn't end up getting filled me with rage now that we know about them, and that picture of Earthmode Ironhide (and how to kitbash him) is gonna inspire a LOT of people.

One final note - I thought this book couldn't get any more awesome. Then I found Octus. To sum up just how much I'm loving this, I got home with it, and before I got out of the car I decided to flip through it. 45 minutes later I was still in the car, reading the thing - and I still have to do a PROPER readthrough. Case in point, I JUST found the Great War boardgame and was amazed.

Anonymous said...

General Tekno, thanks for your feedback. I had a lot of fun adding in those head shots. I am glad you liked Inferno. I have a lot of early sketches of him we will someday show. It's for people like you we make these books! you honor us! Enjoy! -Bill Forster

lonegamer7 said...

Jim and Bill, you magnificent... *censored*. :D

RazorFire said...

Cool! I don't have the book yet, (B&N shipping it on the 13th...) but I'm looking forward to it! By the way will you post pictures of the thing Bill made and the solution to the crossword puzzle after someone wins the contest?

General Tekno said...

You might not have to wait long, Razorfire, provided I get these last few clues. :)

Caitlin said...

another awesomely excellent tome!

Couple of questions though.

Is the image opf the rodimus toy supposed to be almost black on that page?

and the head images on the game map and the macaddams menu pages...are they from proper wyatt sketches or someone else?

you missed a trick with yor 'travel machine mkIII' *coughdalekcough* shouldn't it have had an eyepatch so theres only one eye? or at least some Davros homage in the bot mode?

Shaun K said...

Congrats guys! I'm gonna be pouring over this book fer ages!

Jimtron said...

Thanks for all the kind words! I don't know when Amazon will ship... hopefully before the 13th, but I can't guarantee anything.

General Tekno, good luck with the crossword. We did our best, but I know that there are a couple of typos in there. Hopefully they don't mess you up too much.

Razorfire, we'll definitely post the crossword pic, that's why it's a requirement for winning.

Caitlin, I haven't actually seen the book, but the Rodimus toy is supposed to be cleanly visible, just like all the others. Head sketches vary from sketch to sketch, and Octus is not just a Dalek but also my alter ego, so I didn't want to give him an eyepatch.

Shaun, thanks for dropping by and giving me such a warm reception.

General Tekno said...

Jim- re: the Rodimus toy, it's not a problem with your pic.

Issue is that Hasbro photoshopped the promo pics to death so he almost looks black. It has nothing to do with the picture in the book at all.

jeff p said...

Got my notice from Amazon that they shipped yesterday and it arrived at the local hub this morning. Looks like it'll be delivered either today or likely tomorrow.

I moved so the good news is that I no longer have to worry about my mailman stuffing my books (including hardcovers) in the mailbox. The bad news is that my new mailman has a habit of just dropping boxes on the front step when it rains. It's supposed to rain tomorrow so I'm glad this one is coming via UPS.

I think I know what I'm going to be doing most of this weekend.

jeff p said...

Now I want a Dalek Transformer.

From what I've managed to get through in the past 24 hours, I'm thoroughly impressed. I had certain expectations from the first book and this definitely surpasses every single one of them.

Anonymous said...

Finally got this book! Simply amazing through and through. I absolutely love add-on books like these that give us additional insight. Animated was a perfect series for these!

Hngh, I would have died to see the 'Starscream's Fantasy" short... just from the two storyboard pics it looked hilarious.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find the new info on Dirge and Thrust! Though... not sure why Dirge's colors were changed from his toy package and his personality from 'greed' to 'gluttony'.

Ravings of Ki said...

Jim, not sure what caused the distribution issues in these parts, but I finally picked up AA2 at my LSC, and I am dumbfounded.

It seemed impossible that you guys could top the first book, but you did. Incredible, fantastic, the best any one could ever hope for any series as an archival document of THE best sub-line to the Transformers franchise. I was surprised by how thorough the last section about the actual toys was; you included the box-art!!!

Infinite thanks!!!