|From the Artist
by Gedeon Maheux
Delving once again into the cartoons of my childhood for inspiration,
I decided to try my hand at one of my all-time favorites - The Transformers.
For the uninitiated among you, the Transformers were a toy line, comic
book and television series that aired both in Japan and here in the
US back in the early-mid 80's. The show followed two sets of robots
who could change their appearance or "transform" from one
shape to another. The good guys were the Autobots, lead by the heroic
Optimus Prime and mainly resembled vehicles in their "earthly"
shape. The bad guys were called Decipticons and they were lead by
the evil Megatron. The Decipticon's angle was that they tried to blend
in with their environment for stealth purposes, so their "earthly"
shapes were anything from planes, and weapons to everyday objects
like cassette players and insects.
The show aired in the US for two years prior the the 1986 release
of "Transformers: The Movie". The movie moved the story
of the TV cartoon to a different level via the death-transformations
of the main hero and villain (Prime and Megatron) into the more modern
"Rodimus Prime" and "Galvatron". The show continued
in the US for one more year and additional incarnations sprouted up
in Japan and in comic books. Transformers are still around today from
Hasbro, most notably in the form of Beast Wars and the newest addition
- Transformers 2000 coming soon from Japan. A DVD release of Transformers:
The Movie is tentatively scheduled for an October 2000 release.
The Transformers were the initial wave of the now familiar "toy/TV
show" tie in marketing that so often bombards today's kids. But
unlike today's shows where toys are based on the cartoons, in the
case of the Transformers, the toys came first and all the hype came
later. I remember playing endlessly with the Transformers I had assembled
thanks to careful management of my weekly allowance. I mostly collected
the smaller robots like Huffer, Hound, Cliffjumper and Jazz. Occasionally,
for special events like my birthday or Christmas, I was treated to
some of the larger Transformers like Optimus Prime himself and eventually,
to the best one I ever owed - Jetfire. I remember how my cousin owned
all six of the constructicons and how much he enjoyed taunting me
that I didn't. He would gleefully combine all six together into the
larger, more menacing, Devistator and kick all of my Autobot's collective
The attached collection contains 30 icons from the hit kid's cartoon
The Transformers. I've attempted to bring you some of the major characters
from the TV show and the movie, as well as some of the smaller, less
remembered Transformers. There are far too many individual robots
to tackle the entire bunch, the creation of the icons you see here
were dictated by my ability to get good visual references more than
anything else. If you're favorite Autobot or Decipticon isn't shown
here, don't loose heart, just try to enjoy the ones I did do and remember
what it was like to be a kid all over again. Enjoy!
Thanks: A special
thanks goes out to Richard May who provided me with an invaluable
service... identifying all the Transformers I couldn't remember. There
are so many of them that knowing who they are just by looking at them
is quite a feat. Thanks Richard for all your help, it was appreciated!
Thanks also go our to Justin Dauer of www.pseudoroom.com and Rick
Roe of www.icons.cx for their personal contributions to this collection.
You can find more Transformers goodies at their individual sites,
but its nice to know that other iconists love the Transformers as
much as I. Thanks guys!