Thursday, August 26, 2004

More than meets the eye: In Toronto's Eye Weekly, Guy Leshinski previews this weekend's Canadian National Comic Book Expo with a look at Pat and Roger Lee and Dreamwave Productions:

"This September marks the 20th anniversary of the Transformers, which began airing in the US in 1984. With their crotchety transforming noises -- a favourite DJ sample -- the Transformers were a phenomenon, pioneers of what today is the commonplace collusion of cartoons and toys. Like sci-fi Rubik's cubes, each character/figurine was a fierce robot that folded into some random object: a fighter jet, say, or, improbably, a portable stereo (complete with transforming cassette). From '84 to '88, the Transformers turned their young, TV audience into devout consumers, clamouring to be the first kid on their block to own the red and blue semi-trailer Optimus Prime or, if the block was especially solvent, the two-foot-tall Fortress Maximus.

"The ground is still fertile, a generation later, and the Lees have tilled it with skill, sowing far more than simple nostalgia. They've updated the rusting source material, taking great care to make their artwork painterly and modern. Their Transformers comics apply some of the most sophisticated digital design tools on the market, and the work achieves a breathtaking theatricality."