G2 Comics: Ultimate Edition, Part 1 of 2
“G2 Comics: Ultimate Edition, Part 1 of 2”
Formatting/Photoshop: Might Gaine and ChessPieceFace
The following eight comics are the first half of the Japanese G2 comic, shown here for the first time anywhere in full color! Hence, our calling it the “Ultimate Edition.” Read below for more details!
Like Magami Ban and Ichikawa Hirofumi, Yoshioka Hidetsugu is a Japanese creator who hugely shaped the image of Transformers in Japan. Transformers at its peak drew popularity from how distinctly American it appeared, and at a time when Japanese Transformers fiction had largely reverted to a typical anime image, Yoshioka took care in his work to bring out the “American-ness” that had brought around the brand’s original popularity. He has mentioned that his designs were heavily influenced by the US Marvel comic, in some ways resembling those of Geoff Senior. This kind of import series became something of a specialty for Yoshioka, as he also did artwork for the Japanese “Saint Turtles” spin-off of TMNT.
Due to the low production budget for the G2 series, the one-page manga specific to each of the toys was produced in two-tone red/black coloring, but the originals were actually colored very lavishly by Yoshioka. Until recently, almost none of the colored originals had seen the light of day (the color Battle Convoy strip accompanied the reissue), but in the recently released Transformers: Visual Works, all of the color pages were finally revealed. Our idea for the project was to create an “Ultimate Edition” G2 manga by combining the colored pages with the captions from the original version–G2 as it was planned to be released.
Because the colored scans that appeared in Visual Works were shown at a very reduced size, graphic work involved more than just applying the captions. The two-tone version lines were used as a base with the coloring applied over it. Since all the original comics had been folded to fit inside small boxes, all the page creases had to be edited out as well. Authentic to the American comics, Yoshioka’s work tends to involve a lot of banter and wordplay while opposing sides slug it out. Probably because of the brevity and non-linear nature of the comics, later issues have individual headers providing detailed background information. I took care to translate everything as accurately as possible while preserving the humor and style of the scripts.
All 16 comics will be presented in two installments, along with Yoshioka’s recent interview from Visual Works. Enjoy G2 as it was meant to be read!