SAN DIEGO, DAY 2: Fortier reveals 'Transformers' plans at CCI

[The Transformers]Adam Fortier of Dreamwave Productions had some exciting announcements for a roomful of eager "Tranformers" fans Friday morning at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Before he got to that, though, he took advantage of his captive audience to point out that Dreamwave does publish other books besides the hughely successful "Transformers." "Over the next few months we are planning a number of new projects," Fortier said. "When you're a publishing studio you always have ideas for things, and the success we've had is allowing us to get a bunch of new things going. We're going to be bringing out 'Fate of the Blade,' 'Sandscape,' 'Warlands III,' 'Arcadium,' and 'Limbo City.' I don't have release dates for these yet but we will be posting them on both the Diamond website and on our own website as we get them. These are some really cool books and you should check them out."

But the big draw for the audience today was "Transformers" and Fortier did not disappoint them. "We have two titles, 'Transformers: Generation I' and 'Transformers: Armada.' 'Generation I' is ending, the trade for that series will be out this November. 'Transformers: Armada' is continuing as an ongoing monthly. We're doing a special fill in on 'Armada' #6 and 7, written by Simon Furman and penciled by Pat Lee -- it's a really cool story that we've been wanting to do and we found a way to sneak it in there."

"We're also going to be doing another miniseries," Fortier went on. "'Transformers: War Within' is a book that explains a lot about the background of Optimus Prime and Decepticon, how it happened that they became the way they are. Our view is that in these stories, the premise is that these robots have been around for hundreds of years, they're real characters now with a lot of depth, they're not just going off a program chip. As weird as this sounds, they're real people. So we're going to explore that."

Fortier went on to mention that also in the works is "Transformers: Profiles," a sort of index to the Transformers universe. It will be four issues of 96 pages each, covering every single character in the Transformers series -- over a hundred and seventy of them. "We counted," Fortier added with a laugh.

The project of which Fortier seemed proudest, though, is one that Dreamwave is negotiating with Hasbro for a mass-market, 22-page children's activity book to be distributed in toy stores. "Basically it's going to be comics with some puzzles and games in the back," Fortier said. "We think these are great characters and they're great toys. So there's really no reason that kids shouldn't be reading and enjoying these comics too. I mean, I learned to read from reading comics, and there ought to be more kids' books in the stores. Kids don't go to comic stores because there's nothing for them there, it's all for adults now. We wanted to do something that would capture that same excitement about comics that we had as kids. So we're really happy about this project. Kids are going to love it, and we'll sneak it by the parents by making it an activity book and putting the puzzles and the games in the back... you know, so it's educational," Fortier added with a sly smile.

There are also plans in the works for a "Transformers" art book and for a large lithograph print, three feet by five feet, combining various art inserts that have already been in the monthly books. "You may not have noticed it but if you put all those inserts together they form a single huge picture," Fortier explained. "That's the lithograph."

Fortier added that although Dreamwave has lots of plans for "Transformers," they intend to be very careful about their release schedule. "Usually what happens when you have something this successful is that there's suddenly five titles a month and it gets run into the ground," Fortier said. "We want to be careful about that. Our plan is to keep it to two Transformers books a month, and make sure they're good -- the best that we can do."

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