Wednesday, August 19, 2009

AllSpark Almanac: Reaction Thread

Howdy, gang! This post is the official reaction thread for The AllSpark Almanac. Feel free to write reviews, ask question, air criticisms, discuss among yourselves, whatever. I'm eager to hear what you have to say. If you have especially strong opinions, reviews are especially helpful in getting the word out to casual fans.

I'm going to bump this thread to the top of my blog for a while so it doesn't get lost.

Marcelo Matere, the supremely talented cover artist, posted both the clean cover and the line-art over at his deviant art page. Check it out!

Meanwhile, people are twittering about the book. My favorite quote to date?
"I am going to lock myself in my room with the Allspark Almanac and MAKE WILD PASSIONATE LOVE TO IT" - David Willis
Mildly disturbing on one level perhaps, but flattering on another level. More tweets!
"My god... the AllSpark Almanac is GLORIOUS." -Michael Ivey aks GeneralTekno
Here are some non-tweet that I rather like, over at the IDW Forums:
"Epic succeed." - Michael Priest aka Thunderwing

"This shall go down as one of the greatest pieces of Transformers reference ever produced. Well done guys, worth every penny and then some!" - Shaun Knowler aka Beachcomber
Lots of love, over at the AllSpark forums.

"I'm still reeling from the awesome. Seriously, I was gearing up to attempt a review but then once I read the whole thing it's like sensory overload and now I just need to lie still in the afterglow for a while." - Thylacine2000

"I just can not put this book down... Loving it so so much!!! if you have any kind of soul at all you need this book! " -Geoff Sproul

"This... is quite possibly the best fan guide that I've ever read. I have spent two days going through it page by page, and I cannot wait to get back to the beginning and do it again. Every single page has some new fact, a reference, a picture, SOMETHING that makes me happy I bought the book. Every damn page." -Luke Thompson

"That's it, I'm just going to abandon all pretense and just start masturbating over this book right now." -Chris McFeely
As for that last one, um, you know, guys, when I set out to make the seminal guide to Transformers Animated, I didn't mean that quite so literally ...

In one of the most flatteringly possible tributes I can imagine, the aforementioned Chris McFeely has spent the last week or so making The AllSpark Almanac Annotated. You might want to check it out and, hey, possibly help him fill in any gaps.

There have also been seven reviews on as of today, 8/25/09, and so far all have been 5 stars.

Thanks for all the love, guys and gals of the interwebs!


James Snelgrove said...

I'd love to give an official reaction to the book, but I have miine bundled with The Complete Ark with so they havent shipped it yet...speaking of The Ark, when is that hitting?

Jimtron said...

Complete Ark is out next Wednesday! Looking forward to hearing your reaction, James.

James Snelgrove said...

I promise I'll give them both a torough read-through and then blog about them :D

General Tekno said...

In a certain alternate Twitter account belonging to a certain zealot of a Decepticon, a comment has been left on this book.

Myself, I REALLY hope we get a Volume 2. This thing is AMAZING and blew away ALL my expectations.

Sam said...

I bought it, I love it, please do a volume 2, more drawings, more sketches, more unused concepts, more Cybertron, more, more, more! Great work Jim! Great book! Thanks for writing it :-)

lonegamer7 said...


Brian said...

I assume there will be copies to buy at the book signing this Saturday? I hope so! I will bringing my copies of Ark I and II for sure and am looking forward to checking out this book as well! :)

Jimtron said...

Hey, Brian. Sure, we'll have copies for sale. I look forward to seeing you.

D.M said...

I wish I could believe that David a.k.a Walky a.k.a Anti-humor was joking, but... he's demented enough to actually do it.

Fanbot said...

Looks sweet jim. But how come this listed as 20 Sep?

Jimtron said...

Hey, Fanbot. I hardcoded it in the future so that when I make new posts, this one stays at the top for a while. I figure this supersedes my reviews and whatnot.

Shaun K said...

Congrats guys! I've been having trouble putting it down too.

Btw, I'm the "aka Beachcomber" ;)

UTK007 said...

This book is my favorite thing that IDW has ever published. You are to be commended sir! I do have a question though. Why are the two Starscream clones that were used as bombs on page 82 assigned those long numbers? Were those numbers originally used to reference the stolen protoforms used to make the clones?

Jenny Son said...

This book is awesome. I love it, and I think I love you, Jim.

My only complaint is that I wish there had been MORE art, and this is saying something because every available corner has already been crammed with it! Specifically I mean the sketchy early stage concept-ish sort of stuff that's in the inside of the covers, and storyboards, and maybe larger images of the cartoon's backgrounds. This stuff is gorgeous and I want to sink my eyeballs in it!

A second volume to cover season 3 is the only logical course of action from here. Yes yes yes yes yesssssss.

Jimtron said...

Hey, Shaun! I should have known you were Beachcomber. Thanks for the awesome quote.

Glad to hear it, UTK007. As for the numbers, yes, I figured that Starscream had plenty of protoforms, and each would have a unique, large number. Mostly calling them Clone 1 and Clone 2 didn't feel right to me. (Unless I tried to turn it into a Cat in the Hat reference.)

Jenny, glad to hear that you dug the book. I didn't have all that much in the way of sketches, but I should have enough to do another volume. Derrick also has some fun stuff that didn't make it into the show - pirate Bludgeon, Sentinel Magnus and more. I'd love to showcase them, he's an amazing artist.

As for the backgrounds, aren't they beautiful? Some of them I thought didn't need to be particularly large. Others, though, I tried to make as big as I possibly could. Things like Sumdac Tower, Omega Supreme's bridge, Dinobot Island, some stuff around the bases I used as large as possible. The trouble becomes the aspect ratio. I generally didn't want to split an image across two pages, since parts of it would get lost in the binding. (I made an exception for Sumdac's lab, since all the interesting bits are on the right, but most of the images have the focus in the middle.) That meant that for horizontally oriented images, I could only have them be as wide as a page. I still think most of them work well.

If I get to do a second volume, I expect that the chapter devoted to Cybertron will feature a lot of large background images. Things like MacAddams, Fortress Maximus, Metroplex, Yoketron's Dojo deserve to be as large as possible.

Jenny Son said...

Ah yeah, that does make sense. I'm still happy with the job you guys did though, because it was so... hot damn.

Here's hoping for another book! The stuff you mentioned sounds awesome.

Ani Blackout said...

I can't put this book down. I'd like to echo UTK007 and say that this is the best possible thing IDW could publish. Great to hear you can use Mr. Wyatt's artwork of unused characters. Would such artwork include the characters on his blog? I'd really love to have Omega Spreem, Botanica, the Doctor/Scalpel, and Flip Sides included in a second volume.

Keep up the great work!!!!

UTK007 said...

Thanks for the answer. I have one more question if it's OK. Are you open to including the homage repaints such as 'Elite Guard Bumblebee' and 'Roadbuster Ultra Magnus' in a second volume? And if so, would you keep them as the core characters as described on the toy packaging, or would you use them to expand the Animated universe and portray EG Bumblebee as 'Goldbug' and RB UM as 'Roadbuster?'

Jimtron said...

Thanks, Jenny!

Ani Blackout, I'd definitely use whatever Derrick gives me permission to use. He's already given me copies of all the April Fools characters and Omega Spreem. I'd want to feature them in some way. I don't have The Doctor, but if he's interested in it showing up I'd love to include it.

UTK007, it's hard for me to answer that question without an official green light. If we get permission to do the book, one thing I'd love to include would be all the box and card art from the toys - in that way, I'd like to cover those repaints. I probably wouldn't try to invent new bios for the redecos in the way you suggest though.

Shawn said...

I just got my copy today, or should I say copies, due to a shipping accident. Really loved the book. It's filled with hours of art, info and a ton of references from the well known to the obscure. I especially liked the nod to the Skyboom Shield and Dr. Jones, being a fan of the Unicron Trilogy (I'm sure there's more but I found those two at first glance). It was also very interesting to see the section on Transformers Heroes and the section that showed the evolution of characters. I also liked the creative pages for TFA the Arrival. I would certainly jump at the chance to have another book of this calibre. I'd also love to see a section in a new volume that shows characters that could have made it in the show.

Ravings of Ki said...

Fantastic work! Everyone involved put a lot of love into this book and it really shows. It's a terrible shame the show has (as far as we the fans are to understand it) ended, but it's wonderful to have in print such a monument detailing and celebrating Animated.

I truly hope that you'll get the go ahead, if you have the continued interest and the time, to do a second volume covering the third season. The fanboy in me begs to see the character models and bios for Rodimus's and Strika's crews.

If at all possible for the next volume: a complete size comparison chart of Autobots and Decepticons.

Again, awesome work!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I don't normally reply to blogs, but I just had to tell you how much I really enjoyed reading the AllSpark Almanac. It's just so great! The bios, the episode summaries, and all the background info done in the characters' voices, you've really put a lot of time and effort into this terrific book.

With that said, I'm sorry to report that I found two errors in it that almost ruined the book's total awesomeness for me. I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to tell anyone about them, but I'm not sure if it's just my copy or all the other books have them. So should I try to contact IDW about them, or could you inform them for me?

Jimtron said...

Hey, hecate-19. Drop me a line and let me know what you've found.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for taking so long to reply. I got sidetracked by a family visit.

Anyways, there were two errors that I found in the book.

The first was on Page 133, which was the summary for "Ep. 16: Megatron Rising, Part 2 by Marty Isenberg", written as an Autobot Incident Report by Optimus Prime. In the third paragraph, part of the last sentence was repeated. It goes: "(In retrospect, I should have tried harder to recruit the
Dinobots as allies, but I was so angry at Prowl's deception that I have tried harder to recruit the Dinobots as allies, but I was so angry at Prowl's deception that I handled that badly.)"

The second error that I found was on Page 145, which is a recap of "The Arrival #6: First (and Second) in Flight by Marty Isenberg", written as part of Ultra Magnus's memoirs. Part of the very last sentence was cut of, so it went like, "Would that all of our"... It was very disconcerting for me to turn the page, expecting a continuation of the recap, only to find myself reading the summary for "Ep 26: Black Friday".

Jimtron said...

Yes, that first issue was a problem with the text layers that unfortunately slipped by our copyediting. If we do a 2nd printing, we'll try to fix that up.

The second, though, isn't really an error at all. Since that's nominally an excerpt from an autobiography, it didn't make sense to me that a chapter would only be one page. By trailing off the sentence, I'm indicating that Chapter 39 of Memoirs of a Magnus goes on ... just, we the audience are not privy to it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry again for taking so long to reply. The router at my place broke and we had to wait a week for it to be fixed.

So how often does a second reprint happen?

I see what you mean about the memoirs having to be longer than a page, but still it is disconcerting to read an incomplete sentence and expect it to be finished on the next page, only to find something completely different that what one expects. Also, I just realized that the "c" is left out of "First (and Second) in Flight" in the title box.