It's an ANIMATION MODEL BOOK about Transformers, and a darn good one in English.2009/9/30
Tiffany T. Wong
First time readers may be disappointed that all this book contains is just black and white pictures of the various Transformers, locales, weapons, and miscellaneous from the early years of the franchise's cartoons. HOWEVER, what readers have to take into account is that what this book contains are animation models that aren't seen often outside of animation or broadcasting studios, short of certain types of magazines. ESPECIALLY the fact that the other half of the book contains animation models from the Japanese-exclusive Transformers series such as "The Headmasters", "Masterforce", "Victory", and "Zone". Why such importance? It's extremely useful as reference material, whether it be for those looking into the animation industry, graphics, comic artists/writers, and even writers that focus on words only! Another factor is the condition on some of the models, sometimes those from 1984 where depending on how it was store, could take hours to clean up so it can be presentable. English-speaking fans were less likely to see such material, even today, whereas Japanese fans were luckier as they have several magazines and various artbooks to showcase the models.
If you already have "The Ark" and "The Ark II" that came out prior to this, it's a good idea to pick up the Complete Ark as it has additional pages that weren't in either volumes. If you haven't picked up the first two volumes, then it's still highly recommended to pick this up.
What Jim and Bill did here is a something of treat for Transformers fans, because Transformers isn't just about the toys - it's also about the characters and how each new generation changes over the years. You don't see this type of transforming history often in the West.
They're Animation Models!2009/9/30
A lot of the criticism this book is getting fails to recognize what the book's supposed to be in the first place. This is a historical document. We're getting to see the actual animation models used for the Transformers characters in the cartoons of the 1980s. That may not be everyone's cup of tea, but as an archive of information not previously collected elsewhere (except, arguably, in the previous Ark volumes done by this very pair of authors), it does the job admirably well.
Great book of animation models2009/9/30
This is a great book of animation models from The Transformers animated series from the 1980s. It contains exactly what is in the product description: animation models. I'm not sure what the negative reviewers were expecting.
Hey, Where Are All The Girls?2010/11/25
This is an awesome drawing reference for those who want to be future Transformer artists. The scaling was a surprise--I hadn't realized Ratchet was bigger than the Lamborghini brothers! The Autobots and Decepticons are exactly as I remember them, and there is even an alternate reference sheet for those characters who, apparently, had reference changes during some of the episodes, namely Hauler/Grapple and some of the combiner members. The Dinobots even had both their comic references and the more simplified episodes' reference.
Heck, they even have an extremely detailed and ironically beautiful Unicron, his planet form, and some details of his insides, too. They have The Ark, the Autobot's control room, a detailed reference of the Decepticons' underwater base, and some parts of the insides of The Victory (the Decepticon Base). They have details of Cybertron, Iacon and Shockwave's base, the Ark before it crashed, after the crash, and scenery of the mountain they crashed in (they do a lot of crashing, don't they?).
My only complaint: the missing female transformers. No Elita-1, no Nightbird, no Chromia, no Firestar, no Moonracer only poor lonely token Arcee and the Japanese character Minerva (the second half of this book, Ark II, has all the Japanese characters from those series, as far as I know). Seriously, they put in Slugfest and Overkill (do you know these two off the top of your head; they're cassettes and they showed up for two seconds in the episode 'The Primatives'), and Twintwist and Topspin, yet they left out Optimus Prime's love interest? Fangirls should feel insulted.
Books don't come this AWSOME often!!2009/10/18
Duel Mirrored Gridwork
Hello "Transfans"...Now where to begin...oh yes, this awsome book!!
This book is about the never before seen model sheets that our beloved TV series came from, from G-1 to Battlestars (the Tf Japanese Manga book series). This book explores ALL that and more. This is where the "cartoon characters" art is based on from those "series models" art for reference, and these are done in black and white first, AND THEN the color scheme is added in later for the corresponding series. this is the reason the book art is in black and white, ITS A MODEL DESIGNS BOOK!!
Yes I know this makes this looks like a coloring book (the Idea did cross my mind a few times, but in no way would I use it for that , this is why we have photo copiers for....go to your local kinkos and start your kids off right and early folks!!).
And for those how would like the scale of things the authors have included a "scale chart(s)"...(OH YEAH!!, thats what DMG is all about!!!) so you can see just how tall selected TF cast members are displayed here side by side and the complete book has even more of them in it. as I have seen before this review of mine some like it and some don't, as it has been typed before, this is a piece of TF history, a hardly ever seen before behind the cartoon frames, unless you have the Book "Transformers Generations Deluxe" (which I do own), you don't know really what to expect. Yes, some of the early works were in the Marvel Tf books "Transformers universe" many, many moons ago, so maybe the "die hard" fans out the have a clue to the book, and the complete book and some little know facts about the series, not just the American series, but the Japanese series as well .
Also one of the authors has a website to the material they did not have room to "fit" in the previous book(s) the site is called "Disciples of Boltax" ..go check it out.. it has some rather neat things in it like the "Ark Addendum" it has some of the Transformers transformations step by step. I have colleted them all as far as I know.(and want to print them out someday)
Many Excellent podcasts ([...], Moonbase 2, and TFW 2005) have all singed there praises about this book and others that IDW have came out with here of late (EX: the allspark almanac and the first two ark volumes, as well as some of the trade comics and a Beast wars source book), if your a DIE HARD TF fan and you don't own these books , you are doing you self a Grave injustice.... and you don't deserve a energon goodie for it.
I hope that in the near future that IDW and the authors of these fine book(s): Jim Sorenson and Bill Foster will come out with more of the same, and maybe they will do some soubooks (like for Energon, and Cybertron)..these would be really cool to have come out and to own, I feel that the source books are the "backbone" to the series we watch and read about, me I LOVE reading all the history and the Tech fact AKA "TECH SPECS" to all the Characters...and let it be known... we all love the Transformers in someway or fashion, because well ALL can relate to AT LEAST one of them.
`Comon this franchise is going on its 26th year.. and its not just about the toys folks, its more than that, at least it is for me.
In the end the bottom line is: what are you waiting for, go out and pickup/order this book up ALLREADY!!