Comic Bom-Bom: Transformers 2010
“Comic Bom-Bom: Transformers 2010
Formatting: Might Gaine
Source: Comic Bom-Bom, Dec. 1986 to June 1987
Note: For this article we decided to leave the text untranslated.
When most people think of the definitive publication marking G1 Japanese Transformers, they think TV Magazine. In Japan as well, Comic Bom-Bom always existed in the shadow of the more popular Koro-Koro Comics, being eclipsed and finally disappearing altogether in recent years. I first got into Bom-Bom during the publication of the Beast Wars Second manga in 1997, but had no idea that the relationship with Transformers continued back all the way to the line’s very inception, first appearing in July of ’85.
Bom-Bom catered to a comparatively older audience than TV Magazine, especially the columns like Transformers that presented detailed character information and specs. The content was quite different than TV Magazine’s very simple sentences, which were obviously geared to early elementary school children. Although Studio Ox art was also used in TV Mag, Bom-Bom used their character designs in black and white to show an intense level of detail, often picturing characters from the back or showing close-ups of weapon and face designs. I’ll never forget how excited I was when my friend and I first discovered the content on one of my first trips to Japan in the late 90’s. There were only a couple pages of content per issue, but thumbing through the thick issues with the strong smell of pulp paper wafting up was like having discovered some magic tome that made all Transformers look completely awesome. Over the course of years and several trips to Japan, I managed to assemble the entire G1 run.
Transformers 2010 Issues: 12/86-6/87
In the 2010 period, Bom-Bom began making more frequent use of Tanizaki Akira’s pages as the “covers” of sorts for each installment, and in my opinion his work is some of the very best ever seen in JTF art. Unlike other artists such as Yoshioka Hidetsugu who remain active in TF today, Tanizaki seems to have faded into obscurity, now known by few fans and not even mentioned in Generations by name. Since Bom-Bom provided advanced information of what was happening in TF overseas, news of Convoy’s death was published in October of 86, accompanied by a grotesque imagining of the scene by Tanizaki with Prime’s entire body impaled with spikes, his leg torn off and faceplate smeared with blood (oil?) Obviously this was rather different than TV Magazine’s less disturbing take on it.
All the 2010 issues are accompanied by Studio Ox’s awesome line art, which are preserved in great detail. TV Magazine tended to use Studio Ox’s art more for action scenes and spreads, so this showcase of their prowess was very much exclusive to Bom-Bom. In this sense, Comic Bom-Bom existed as a diamond of Transformers lore buried within the rough of pulp paper that surrounded it.