28 May, 2012

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As mentioned I also have the cover to #231. However previously I’d purchased a bunch of Transformers stuff that included #231’s cover brief:

Stapled to this brief was a rough version of the cover.
Lee wasn’t sure who had drawn this, though he narrowed it down to either Simon Furman or Euan Peters. I later checked with Simon who told me he was pretty sure it was Euan as "I was no longer on staff at that point, and anyway, my cover sketches were terrible. This one's pretty good."
Lee said that this made sense, though added “Simon's roughs were actually very good - typically modest.”

Anyway here is the inked Lee Sullivan version:
And here’s what it looked like on the final issue:
Whilst Lee provided the art for the story and the second cover, #230’s cover was drawn by Andrew Wildman. 23

I checked but the art for the cover had been sold.
However a short while ago I learned that Wildman’s frequent Transformers collaborator, inker Stephen Baskerville was doing commissions (including cover recreations). So naturally I went for a recreated #230 cover.

It should be noted that Baskerville did not work on the cover originally. As he explained “it'll look slightly different, (how it would have looked if I'd inked it).”

And here it is:

The Big Shutdown! was later reprinted in #330-331 in colour. This version was then reprinted in the 1993 Winter Special.
The original black and white version was reprinted by Titan Books in the pocket book sized ‘Perchance To Dream’

Lee Sullivan
Simon Furman
Andrew Wildman
Stephen Baskerville
‘The Big Shutdown!’ at the Transformers Wiki


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Along with the artwork Lee was kind enough to chuck in some extras. The best of which (and most relevant for this article) were Simon Furman’s original scripts for both parts.


Although both are undated, the script for part 1 has some deadlines written on the top, indicating pencils were due 29th May and inks on 5th June – two months before #230 went on sale.
The panel descriptions are interesting to read and there are other interesting things such as hand-written corrections and these notes:


The dialogue in the script differs on several occasions to what finally appeared, though often it is a rewording rather than a complete rewrite.


In the panel on the right, if you look carefully at the wall, you can still see some of this original dialogue:


The final panel of part 1 is interesting as the script does not feature Thunderwing’s line about being “heir apparent to the Decepticon throne”.


And in part 2 Hosehead explains that Thunderwing is hoping to become Decepticon leader. At least in the finished comic he does. In the script Thunderwing is aiming a little lower and just hopes to become controller of Cybertron’s Polyhex region.


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