Monday, June 25, 2007

Transformers Art by Me, 1985

I'm a total packrat, a lifestyle that I inherited from my mother. As much as I chide her for keeping old papers and magazines around the house (just TRY to throw out a damn National Geographic down there, man), the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. My problem is, I can see the artistic potential in freaking EVERYTHING and I hate letting something interesting just go to waste.

Old comics with the covers tore off and gnawed up corners still have these insane ads in them that could totally go on a t-shirt one day, and if someone writes me a love letter or a christmas card, I can't bring myself to just wad that sentiment up and throw it on top of some old coffee grounds.

When I was visiting my folks a few weeks ago, I found some old drawings of Transformers I did in 5th grade. Touching them made me come unstuck in time, and I swung instantly back to my childhood bedroom in Herndon. I was sitting at that desk my Dad built for me one snowy afternoon, drawing the Transformers and listening to the Saint Elmo's Fire soundtrack on cassette. Look, it was my first tape.

Here's the art itself:

Soundwave 1985

Twin Twist 1985

I'm excited about the Transformers film for a number of reasons:

1) I was super into Transformers as a kid, and experiencing the story again reactivates memories that make me feel good
2) The movie looks cool as all hell (cool and good are two very different things)
3) It's the purest example of a sheerly commercial film that has ever existed.

Seriously. This is a movie based on a cartoon that was developed to market a line of toys that had been popular in Japan to American children. There's no originality or artistic integrity to squander here, no mythos or greater canon to honor -- it's just gonna be flames and explosions and giant hunks of metal left right and center. It's going to be the cinematic equivalent of smoking banana peels and I can't wait.

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At 10:20 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

You cut me Jeffery. You cut me deep. I was getting ready for high school graduation in 1985.

On the other hand, it's nice to know that my artistic talents my senior year of high school were on par with a freakin' fifth grader from Herndon.

Other than that, my folks have National Geographics from the 1930's in their house. So, I feel your pain.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Susan said...

Ahem, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES has already had like seventeen thousand movies and is the exact same Japanese to America toy marketing thing. In fact, I got to use them in a paper about globalization working both ways in cinema (Asia to America and vice versa). Also, I am in love with all four of them, which is weird and gross.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Tracy Peterson said...


TMNT was made by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, who to the best of my knowledge are Americans. The cartoon was made by an american animation company and the movies were made in hollywood. I'm not sure who made the toys, but my guess is an american company. Manufactured in China of course. Is that what you meant by globalization going both ways?

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous marc b. said...

I don't know, Jeff. I just learned Bumblebee is a Chevy Camaro.


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