Simon Furman answers YOUR Questions - Early 2011

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Simon Furman answers YOUR Questions - Early 2011

Postby bassbot » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:14 pm

Simon Furman has kindly allowed us to pitch him a bunch of questions, submitted by this forum!

A pile were submitted, please accept my apologies if yours missed out this time. They have been organized by topic/context as best is possible.

18 questions submitted in total and here today we questions 7-18!
If you want to read more of what Simon is up to, check out his blog @ HERE!

C'mon, who wouldn't?!?


ENJOY a Q+A with Simon Furman below!


IDW and Transformers

7. IDW has been holding off telling anything about your next project. Can you give a timeframe when we can expect an announcement or a hint at what it might be about?

SF) Currently at least, to the best of my knowledge, there is no next big project. I’m always ready and willing to step back in the IDW TF front, and it’s certainly been talked about, but as of now there’s nothing on the slate or even in any kind of embryonic state. It doesn’t help that I’m very busy on other stuff currently, and my available time is limited, but it’s not like I’ve turned anything down either. Watch this space.

8. What do you see for Transformers in the future?

SF) Hopefully me doing something for someone anyway. Actually, I am going to be doing a new Transformers story for Million Publishing in Japan (in the second of their two TF Generations 2011 magazines), and the entirety of the Unite for the Universe storyline (including the never-before-published part 5) will appear in the first TF Generations 2011, along with a new introduction from me. I’ll certainly be talking to Titan about their plans for the third movie in terms of origination and, as stated previously, I’m always on call should IDW find a spot for me. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the movie franchise post-Michael Bay, and, subsequently, how much TF comic material is being produced. Lots, I hope.

9. Simon - what happened to Blaster's letter answering career after issue 332 of the old UK comics? Is he still locked up somewhere with a now-very-dusty Variable Voltage Harness? And do you think Soundwave, Ratchet, Grimlock and Dreadwind are proud of their letter answering legacies?

SF) It’s funny. Though I was Soundwave, Grimlock and (for a while at least) Dreadwind, I wasn’t ever Blaster. That was well after my time on staff at Marvel UK. But I like to think he’s still there, somewhat neglected and dusty, waiting for the next pile of mail to land on the mat at Arundel House. Loved doing the letters pages (just the idea that the more dismissive and rude you were, the more people seemed to love it!). That and doing the cover designs, awful though my sketches were, were the best part of my editorial role at Marvel UK.


Other

10. Simon - you've mentioned recently in blogs about screenplays and possible film projects. What updates can you give on these, and how did you go about pitching them? Did you have to get a writing agent?

SF) I’m still working with film journalist Mark Salisbury on any number of potential film projects, but, unsurprisingly, the world of Hollywood is proving a hard nut to crack. Oh, we’ve made inroads. One option and a few direct pitching opportunities, but everything moves with a kind of glacial slowness, and there’s plenty of Hollywood tumbleweed strewn across the route. But, we’ve always got new ideas and new projects bubbling under. One in particular we’re very excited about but can’t say anything about the moment (as the saying goes, there’s many a slip ‘tween cup and lip). As and when I have anything remotely firm to announce, trust me, it’ll be plastered all over my blog! As for how we’ve got as far as we have, that’s largely down to Mark’s contacts in the movie biz. We don’t have an agent, as such. Strangely, it’s an inverted chicken and egg thing, where the agents want you to sell something first, and then they’ll represent you. It’s a strange business.

11. You do a lot more than just write Transformer comics, you are working on many different titles. Can you mention some of your current works?

SF) Right now, I’m adding to and refining the now monumental 120-page StarCraft original graphic novel, and the rest of my time is pretty much filled up with The Matt Hatter Chronicles (animated TV show), where I’m wearing two hats (as script supervisor and head writer). But I’ve also been working with friend and colleague Adam Jennings, writing web copy for various sites and projects, I’ve been doing talks (on comics and other related stuff) to kids in schools, and Andrew (Wildman) and I are developing stuff on the Wildfur front again. Again, announcements to follow as and when! Other than that, just bits and pieces like the recent Hulk vs Death’s Head story for Panini’s Marvel Heroes, my Comics Candy review column and odd bits of Transformers for Million Publishing and others. It’s an exciting, varied and different time.

12. Do you have anything new in the works?

SF) Yes, lots, but nothing I can talk about yet. Some very exciting stuff bubbling under, on the personal, movie and Wildfur fronts. Plus, the return of Death’s Head in Marvel Heroes has stirred me to start thinking in that direction again too. I’m working with an artist on a pitch that will, at some point, go to Marvel. All very speculative, but I’d love to get something going with the original DH again.

13. If we start dropping “Furmanisms” into our writing, would you be flattered or sue?

SF) Oh, flattered for sure. It’s a strange phenomenon the ‘Furmanisms’ thing. And I do now scour my writing and try make sure no ‘vast, predatory birds’ are lurking, but inevitably the odd one creeps in. I had a lot of fun with one of the recent Auto Assembly voice actor plays, wherein one character struggles for a Furmanism and has to get the audience to help him out. It worked really well on the night. I guess they’ve just sunk into fandom’s collective consciousness, which is kind of nice. I definitely encourage this kind of good-natured ribbing. It’s healthy.

14. How do you feel about the way Death's Head has progressed since you created him? Were you happy with any of that DH 2/3.0 stuff?

SF) Well, it’s still hard for me to be entirely objective about DH2. I understood and still understand the reasoning behind/need for a complete revamp, but I do feel that the essential core of the character got lost along the way and he became just another badass mech, which was never the point. Likewise, while I was happy to write it and did the best I could, DH 3.0 never felt like “my” Death’s Head. Even my vague attempt to meld 3.0 into the original was kind of editorially censored. In the end, while I was happy for the work (and thought the end product was a decent read), I wondered why Marvel even bothered with that new incarnation. The whole thing came out of a reader poll, asking fans which character they’d like to see return. All well and good, but ultimately it wasn’t that character that made it back into print. Shame, really. A missed opportunity. But it’s great to see the original DH creeping back in. Kieron (Gillen) did a great job with him in SWORD, and having him battle the Hulk in Marvel Heroes was pure joy, especially as Simon Williams (who has a special and some might say strange love for the character) got to draw him!


Personal (if you don’t mind!)

15. You can often be found in the pub after events, what is your favourite brew?

SF) Hm. Honestly, I’ve never met a beer I don’t like. But if I had to choose, I’d probably opt for Staropramen on the lager front and something by Fullers on the real ale side of things. Red wine rather than white. And Japanese sake is probably my favourite ‘treat’ tipple.

16. What is your favourite cookie (biscuit)?

SF) Choc chip. But I’m a bit of a chocolate hound generally, so anything with an integral part or covering is usually a winner. Currently sampling chocolate-covered peanut cookies. And actually, now I think about it, my wife makes simply to-die-for peanut butter cookies. Yum!

17. Other than work, what do you enjoy doing?

SF) I’m a big film buff. Love to go to the cinema, watch DVDs, read about film and filmmakers. I read a lot. What I want to (which is usually crime fiction) and what the Book Club I belong to tells me to. So it makes a nice, varied mix. Recently read House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, Worth Dying For by Lee Child, The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson and Death is a Lonely Business by Ray Bradbury (a book I’ve read many, many times and never tire of). Been watching the likes of The Killing (amazingly good Danish crime drama), Nurse Jackie, Being Human, True Blood and Wonders of the Universe on TV recently. Spending quality time with my wife, good food, good company and travel are probably my other essentials for a happy life.

18. What would you like us to know about you?

SF) Isn’t that enough? Okay, okay — I cried at the end of Toy Story 3. Happy now?



Honestly, I balled at the end of TS3 as well... :)



Huge cheers to Simon for agreeing to do one of these again.
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Postby DecepticonsRule » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:23 pm

6. The GI Joe fans are thrilled that Hama has continued the original ARAH continuity and that has sparked some of us here to ask Andy if the same could be done for TF’s. Have you given any thought to continuing the original TF continuity from the Marvel run? And an even better question is, are you even interested in going down that road?

SF) I actually would like to pick up the baton from Marvel issue #80 and run with it again. There was a lot we never got to do, that I’d like to revisit or just to take the next big steps with all that we’d set up in the previous 20 or so issues. I’d certainly rather do G1 #81 than G2 #13, as, strangely, and for no good reason I can formulate into words, I think the time has passed for G2. It was very, well… 90s.


Thanks for answering my question, Simon!!

Andy...please?????????
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Postby FDrowned » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:34 pm

DecepticonsRule wrote:
6. The GI Joe fans are thrilled that Hama has continued the original ARAH continuity and that has sparked some of us here to ask Andy if the same could be done for TF’s. Have you given any thought to continuing the original TF continuity from the Marvel run? And an even better question is, are you even interested in going down that road?

SF) I actually would like to pick up the baton from Marvel issue #80 and run with it again. There was a lot we never got to do, that I’d like to revisit or just to take the next big steps with all that we’d set up in the previous 20 or so issues. I’d certainly rather do G1 #81 than G2 #13, as, strangely, and for no good reason I can formulate into words, I think the time has passed for G2. It was very, well… 90s.


Thanks for answering my question, Simon!!

Andy...please?????????


All I have to say to Andy at this point is "Why Not?"
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Postby DecepticonsRule » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:40 pm

Super thanks to BB for coordinating all of this!!

FDrowned wrote:All I have to say to Andy at this point is "Why Not?"



We really need to continuously sticky or bump this thread until it happens. But really, now that we know Simon is willing, it seems it's up to IDW to make it happen!!!
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Postby Duo Maxwell » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:12 pm

FDrowned wrote:All I have to say to Andy at this point is "Why Not?"


The best way to make it a reality is for every Marvel fan to pick up the collected editions which have been/are being produced. If the sales are sufficiently promising, it would be a more effective persuasion to IDW than a bunch of people saying they want it.

So... if you haven't picked up any of the Marvel Transformers collection, do so now and maybe then the voices will be heard. I've ordered the upcoming volume to see whether or not it includes the omitted material from the first classic editions.
The preceding post is OK to print.
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Postby GeO » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:52 pm

Nice work BB!

Man. When IDW successfully relaunched TF with Furman 'n' Su, I never expected to be talking about their work in the past tense so soon. Miss ya Simon *sigh* :( . You'll be back though, I'm sure of it. What's that line? Oh yeah. It never ends ! :wink:
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Postby polystyleneman » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:27 pm

Thanks for that, Simon. Simon's a good man and great for conversation over a pint if you ever get a chance.

Hope to see you on a TF book in the not too distant future, Simon!
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Postby bassbot » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:42 pm

GeO wrote:Nice work BB!

Man. When IDW successfully relaunched TF with Furman 'n' Su, I never expected to be talking about their work in the past tense so soon. Miss ya Simon *sigh* :( . You'll be back though, I'm sure of it. What's that line? Oh yeah. It never ends ! :wink:



However, I wasn't sure how long we were gonna be blessed by their work too!!! We sure got a bundle from that awesome duo!
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Postby DecepticonsRule » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:31 pm

Duo Maxwell wrote:
FDrowned wrote:All I have to say to Andy at this point is "Why Not?"


The best way to make it a reality is for every Marvel fan to pick up the collected editions which have been/are being produced. If the sales are sufficiently promising, it would be a more effective persuasion to IDW than a bunch of people saying they want it.

So... if you haven't picked up any of the Marvel Transformers collection, do so now and maybe then the voices will be heard. I've ordered the upcoming volume to see whether or not it includes the omitted material from the first classic editions.


But a lot of the people saying they want it are people that already own the 80's stories in multiple formats. So to go out an buy them again in another trade may not be the best option or make sense. So those voices do count. Because those voices are potential sales. I'm sure the sales for the reprints would have to hit a certain mark, but how would IDW estimate the number of people that would like to continue that series with singles without purchasing the stories again in trade form?
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Postby RackNRuin » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:23 am

Great answers, Simon, thanks.

I've said before, and I'll say it again - I would love a continuation of the Marvel series (for me, the definitive Transformers saga), but only if Simon included references/picked up plot points from Marvel UK too. In all honesty, with IDW's release of most of the UK stories (and by the sounds of things, ALL of them starting from August) US fans probably know all they need to as well, so why not?
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Postby britesparc » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:28 am

I'm kinda disappointed he doesn't seem to have anything officially in the works. For shame! I'd love another Furman TF tale.

I'm quite pleased, though, that he'd prefer to continue G1 than G2. I enjoyed G2, but it never really grabbed me (maybe because I didn't read it till about ten years after it came out). I always felt it went a bit too far, got a bit too dark and weird, and lost a lot of the warmth of G1. As Furman says, it feels a bit 90s nowadays.

Anyway, let's hope he gets a gig again soon!
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Postby ultramagnus1 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:17 am

Simon Furman is a legend pure and simple. Top bloke.


Ive read virtually everything he wrote for marvel uk and us. Hes mr transformers as far as im concerned

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Postby vguzz2 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:22 am

5. If you could write a brand new TF continuity, free from all restrictions/concessions, how similar do you think it would be to the -ations, or even your Marvel stuff?

SF) I like to think that I’d do something different to both. What that is, I don’t know. But I try (and don’t always succeed) not to just dress stuff up differently and hope no one notices I’m (subliminally or otherwise) just rehashing old stories. Anyway, for sure it’d be big and cosmic and sweeping. I’d want to see what the war was like more on an inter-galactic scale. It’d probably be a bit of what G2 was going to be/where it would have gone after issue #12.










This man gets it! why isn't he back on Transformers yet?!?!?

ps. Nothing is > than Gen 2 nothing wrong with the 90's!
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Postby TheLegendaryAntiHero » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:25 am

I guess there are things in the Marvel US continuity that would look like a sad rehash if they were copied into the IDW continuity. Simon, if you were going to continue the Marvel universe, would you want to work with someone like E.J. Su or one of the artists from the olden days like when you wrote War Within Dark Ages?
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Postby DecepticonsRule » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:28 pm

TheLegendaryAntiHero wrote:I guess there are things in the Marvel US continuity that would look like a sad rehash if they were copied into the IDW continuity. Simon, if you were going to continue the Marvel universe, would you want to work with someone like E.J. Su or one of the artists from the olden days like when you wrote War Within Dark Ages?


My vote would be for Furman to team up an artist from the original run as well, maybe Wildman!
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