This post features a Transformers™ fan project, but I wrote about it here because it can mean something for Robocity World as well, as you’ll see. The post was not sponsored; I wrote it because of a personal, emotional attachment to this fan project. ;)
The problem with comics and written books is that, unlike movies, you never get to use your ears to listen to what your favorite characters say.
Sure, you have mental ears and a big imagination, but it stays inside and you can’t share it with others, even if you wanted to. Nobody can listen to your mental voice.
It’s why these days many publishers have audio-books in addition to written books. They makes the fictional experience more real and it also offers a way for visually impaired people to enjoy their favorite books instead of reading braille or getting someone to read for them.
The Transformers: MTMTE (More Than Meets The Eye) comic doesn’t come with official IDW audio-books and that’s where Audio Knights Theatre comes in — a group of fans who are even great voice actors volunteer together to bring MTMTE to life. You can listen to the full audio versions of the first four MTMTE issues via their website and YouTube channel.
Voice actors include such great people like Chris McFeely, content moderator at TFWiki.net and Brian Shearer, author of the web comic William The Last. Of course, this is a not-for-profit project and, as the site owners say, it’s a “labor of love, for fans, by fans”.
I honestly think this is one of the most complex yet rewarding Transformers fan-projects ever started. It is complex, because voice acting is not just reading— it’s acting, it’s lending your voice, mind and emotions to that specific character.
Yeah, I know, I’m not a voice actor so I can’t say, but I role play some Robocitans on blogs, letting them tell their stories themselves; I can’t use voice, but my mind and my typing hands and theirs right there, that precise moment. It’s not me anymore, until I stop. :)
If you enjoy voice acting, you can submit your audition for the MTMTE voice over project here. Good luck!
What has this all to do with Robocity, then?
Robocity World started in 2001 as a very, very personal Transformers AU, an imaginary place where I could pour my feelings for these giant robots freely, without having to stick to ‘canon’, and where the Transformers themselves would find human-built “mirror versions” of themselves and learn from the Robocitans that they can live in peace.
Then Robocity became something special, original, a work of robotic fiction that’s pretty much an extension of my heart and my love for robots. However, it never lost that “spark” of Transformers love.
I’ve been a Transformers fan for 21 years and I’m going nowhere. :) If anything, Transformers and Asimov’s books, together, shaped my view of robots and even my love for them.
But that’s not all about it; there are other two reasons why RobocityWorld.net supports the Audio Knights Theatre:
- It’s Robocity, the town, community and refuge where scrapped robots and robots looking for a second chance come to build a new life for themselves. It’s a place of human (and robotic) compassion and a strong will to help each other, always. In that spirit, it’s no wonder RobocityWorld.net is always going to support beautiful projects that need a shout out and a signal boost.
- I’m learning so much from this fantastic fan-project that I wish — and hope — I’ll have one day the means to do the same for Robocity, to bring a few of its Tales to life.
And now your turn!
What do you think about the Audio Knights Theatre project?
If you like it and also like this post, I would appreciate a social media share. ;)
You can follow the fan-project on Twitter at @TAKTonline if you have an account.
This entry is more about Transformers™ than Robocity World, but as you read it, you’ll understand why I posted it here.
When I did I start reading Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye?
You see, that was something I’ve always wanted to see in Transformers— a chance for Megatron and the other Decepticons to redeem themselves.
And it’s true– when Robocity was still a small fanwork, that was the feeling that permeated it. Even as original work, you can still perceive that feeling in the very spirit of Robocity.
In a way, I see James Roberts — writer for MTMTE — as a kindred soul. Wish we could have a talk about story writing, character development and other things, but of course I would be asking too much. :)
So– I liked the MTMTE previews so much that I borrowed the issues from a person and I tried to see if I could get them through the comic book shop here in my town. Unfortunately that wasn’t possible and I would have had to rely on online shipping with crazy fees, so I took advantage of the Humble Bundle these days to buy all 37 issues of MTMTE and then I ordered a paper version of issue #38 from IDW (crazy postage *sigh* $3.99 + $12+ of shipping).
Note: you can still purchase the Humble Bundle if you are interested! Follow the link above. (Disclosure: the link does NOT contain affiliate IDs)
Hope to get a chance to buy the next issues digitally without DRM, because buying paper comics is way too expensive here.
But let’s move on. :)
Why I love MTMTE so much
Okay, MTMTE and Robocity could be long-lost siblings. Seriously. That was the first reason I started to read MTMTE and I can imagine my Robocitans reading it with me, discussing it together. I could go as far as to say that my Robocitan Transfer developed a soft spot for MTMTE Brainstorm, because both of them were bad guys once but could never get to kill anybody. On the right, here, is a rough sketch of Transfer reading a MTMTE issue and getting teary-eyed (aww) and Shotfire telling him “Told ya it was interesting. Yes, Shotty, we know. ^^
MTMTE has everything I’ve always wanted to see in Transformers. I mentioned this already, but I had childhood dreams of seeing Decepticons turning (or at least, trying to be) good guys. I also wanted to see Transformers showing affection for each other — hugs, romantic love, true friendships, etc. — and I found it in MTMTE. I wanted to see more sociology, philosophy, education and the tackling of social issues– and I get all of these in MTMTE.
I told James Roberts:
@jroberts332 I created Robocity 'coz I wanted to see OP and Meg being there for each other instead of fighting; my dream. & MTMTE 36 is.. :)
— Luana Spinetti (@LuanaTF) February 25, 2015
MTMTE is a dream come true. :)
Everybody in the fandom seems to have found a piece of themselves in this storyline. I mean it. I’ve been watching and reading MTMTE fans all over DeviantART and Twitter over the last month and I heard beating hearts all over the place. It’s amazing. I think MTMTE has connected more people than the writer and artists are currently aware of. Hope that brings fans together in respectful ways, too. There’s plenty of diversity, here. I mean– human diversity. There’s a place for everybody in MTMTE.
Well, I promised James Roberts a comic page about Robocitans reading MTMTE and discussing it. Just a tiny tribute involving my (absolutely excited) characters.
The convo’s here:
@jroberts332 Absolutely! You and the artists ROCK! I might draw a short comic strip with my Robocitans reading MTMTE ;-) Would be my tribute
— Luana Spinetti (@LuanaTF) November 7, 2014
I swear– it’s going to take a while before I complete the comic, because I’m often sick, busy (with work) and kinda rusty when it comes to comic scripting and drawing.
I’ll make it, though. :) I promised one of my favorite writers (yes, James, you’re only second to Isaac Asimov now).
And I can’t wait for MTMTE #39 now. I’ve fallen in love, irreparably. (But of course, I’ll wait.)