How time sneaks up on us! The AllSpark Almanac II (preorder it today!) is a mere twelve days away, and betwix now and then there is the juggernaut that is BotCon! So, without further ado, let's start with some previews for the upcoming Almanac.
I figured I'd start in an unusual direction; last year, the first preview images were tiny little snippets and sketches, designed to tease without giving too much away. This year, that'd be less effective; you all know approximately what the book will look like. Instead, how about some images that WON'T be in the book? Ideas and characters that we considered using but rejected for whatever reason: time, space, a better idea, etc.
Upper left: As has been reported elsewhere, we'll be covering the Cyber Ninja Corps in some depth. That seemed like a page that might be worth delving into with some interesting imagery, so one idea we had was to tell some fables in a traditional Japanese art style. To the left, The Lion and the Mouse, as told with Victory Leo and Packrat. This image would have appeared VERY small in the book, had we decided to use it.
Upper right: A Cybertronian artistic rendering of Fanzone. Obviously they got some of the details wrong. Note the strong Beauty and the Beast influence that bill allowed to creep in.
Lower left: An unused Kremzeek idea; Kremzeek as Poochie. I liked the way it came out, Bill didn't. Since Bill is the visual boss, I deferred to his judgment.
Lower right: A political cartoon about Sentinel Prime. I don't remember exactly what the idea was here; I think we were going to label the stuff he was holding.
Upper left: Animated Wheelie as a GoBot. Bill and I are both big GoBot fans, so we wanted to pay homage to the design style. Bill says that, if you look closely, you can figure out which two GoBots are Wheelie's parents.
Upper right: An Animated Jetfire based on the G1 toy. Since there already is a Jetfire in the universe, it would have been hard to work him in.
Lower left: Animated Mirage. Bill always thought Mirage looked vaguely froggish, and allowed that influence to show here.
Lower right: Animated Kup, Spotlight: Kup style. Bill and I are both huge Nick Roche fans, and Bill wanted to pay homage to Nick's design with his own version of Kup. Note there IS a hint of AHM Kup in the cigar he's holding. I love that damn cigar; it's SO him.
There you have it! Eight drawings that won't be in the AllSpark Almanac II. However, it'll give you some insight into our thought process. Next up, rough sketches of ideas that WILL be in the book!