100 Letters

I sent my messages into the past and I got replies! More replies then I could have hopped for. I’m so excited to tell you about the results.

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The people who’ve contacted me as a result of mailing out 100 letters to Transformers fans listed in the Marvel Transformers comic books of the 1980s.

Of the 100 letters I mailed out a few weeks ago, 10 people have responded to me.  39 of the letters have been returned. That leaves 51 floating out in the either somewhere. (I will update these numbers as more information comes in.)

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Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting my interviews with those who’ve responded to my letters. Sharing their story with you.

This was a really fun project and the fact that I got any responses is amazing to me. I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.

100 Stamps

I believe time travel is possible. I will prove it with 100 stamps. 100 stamps and 100 letters are all I need to send a message back to the 1980s. I think my odds are good that I’ll hear back from someone too.

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I’ve just finished reading and reviewing all 80 issues of Marvel Comics’ Transformers. A comic series which started in 1984 and ended it’s run in 1991. After reading each issue, I looked forward to reading the letters section in the back called TRANS MISSONS. Fans of the Transformers comic would write in and share their thoughts of the most recent issue they had read. Many of them shared their mailing address in hopes of becoming penpals with like minded fans. A neat idea that didn’t always have the intended results.

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Over the last few years I’ve posted my reviews of these comics, I also posted the letters section. Of course, I omitted peoples addresses, but that didn’t stop a few of those writers (Christine L. Leddon, Steve De Anda, and Jeb Hoge), from contacting me.

This gave me an idea. What are the chances that any of these writers (or family members of these writers), are still at these original addresses? It would be like reaching through time and asking, “Hello? Is anyone home?”

Because I was reading and reviewing these Transformers comics at a decent clip, I was able to enlist YouTube toy reviewer, Peaugh, to help me collect addresses from these old comics. Because of his help, I was able to jump on this project the moment I finished my review of all 80 issues of Transformers.

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Out of the 100 address that have been collected from the backs of these Transformers comics, I say my odds are good that at least one of them will come back to me. Of course, I hope I hear back from more than one. I would like to conduct more than one interview like I had with those writers who had contacted me previously.

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So with letters written, envelops addressed, and stamps applied. I send forth a message to the 1980s.

“Hello? Is anyone home?”

Mail Art: A Guide For Making Comic Book Envelopes

Lets start off with a list of items you will need to create these envelopes.

  1. Comic book(s)
  2. Internet Access
  3. Envelope (3-5/8″ X 6-1/2″)
  4. Sharpie
  5. Scissors
  6. Glue Stick
  7. Labels (I use ‘Avery’ labels. 1″ X 3″. I got a pack of 72 for $1.12.)
  8. Double Sided Scotch Tape

Step 1. Comics!

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Get yourself a comic book or two. You can find them in grocery stores with an average cover price of $3.99 or you can go to your local comic book store. Comic book stores often have a fifty cent bin or a dollar bin of comics books. You can find comics with great art work for cheap at these places! You could also find inexpensive, oversized art books at a used book store. I have found that these are also great for creating envelopes.

Step 2. Internet Access!

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Check online comic book price checkers to make sure the book you have isn’t some rare or valuable book! Trust me. You don’t want to be known as the person who cut up a piece of irreplaceable history. So, once you get home with your comics, especially those you might have gotten from the dollar bin of your local comic book store, check their value. Don’t destroy rare or valuable comics!  Chances of this happening are slim to none, but as a comic book fan myself it would be remiss of me not to suggest this. I’ve used online free services like Comic Book Realm or Comics Price Guide to help me determine if a book was valuable.

Step 3. Envelope!

Box of Envelopes

Get a box of envelopes with the measurements of 3-5/8″ X 6-1/2″. These are the square or rectangle shaped envelopes which I find work a lot better than the triangle envelopes when lining up the image on the comic book you want to be the focal point of your envelope.

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Once you have one of these envelopes you want to gently pull it apart at the seams so you can lay it out flat. This will be your envelope template

TIP: You can cut out the center of the flattened out envelope so you can see where your image is going to be on your new envelope. You can also use your flattened envelop template to create a stronger template out of cardboard if you would like.

Step 4. Remove Staples!

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Once you have picked out the image on the comic book you want to be on the front of your handmade envelope you’ll want to remove the staples from the comic book and and just pull out the one page that you want to use for the envelope. I have always been able to use my finger nail to remove the staples, but you can carefully use tweezers or even a butter knife if you like.

Step 4. Sharpie!

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Trace around your template on top of the comic book page you want to be the focal point of your envelope using your pen. I would suggest using a sharpie or a marker here to make it easier to cut.

Step 5. Scissors!

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Grab your scissors and cut around your outline.

Step 6. Folding!

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Using your envelop template as a guide, fold all sides of your envelope. First the sides, than the bottom and finally the top flap. Once all the sides have bin folded over the ruler, remove the ruler and finish the fold my pressing down on it with your finger so it is flat.

Step 7. Glue Stick!

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Uncap your glue stick and apply the paste to the left and right folds. Next, lay the bottom fold across the left and right fold tabs so that it sticks. Do not glue the top flap. Your letter needs that open so it can be inserted into your envelope!

At this point I like to put the envelope under a book for several minutes to help the glue stick better.

Step 8. Labels or Stencils!

Lables

There are two ways I’ve found to address these envelopes. The easy way is to get yourself a pack of Avery labels sized, 1″ X 3″. Take two labels. On one label write down the recipients address and then apply it to the front of the envelope doing your best to not cover up important parts of the image. One the second envelope write your address. This will be applied on the back flap of the envelope.

Examples

Recently however, I’ve been using a combination of stencils, Black Sharpie Ultra fine point pens and white gel pens. (Here is a Link to the Stencils I use.) I like this method of addressing my envelopes because it does not cover up as much of the image as a label would. I still uses a label on the back of the envelope for the return address.

Step 9. Double Sided Scotch Tape!

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Once you have written your letter and put in the envelope you can apply double sided scotch tape to the flap so that you can seal the letter closed. I like to use three small strips across the flap.

Don’t forget to stamp the envelope before you put it in a mail box!

Below are several envelopes I have created.

ADDITIONAL TIPS & TRICKS!

  • Use your ruler and a pen to draw out faint guide lines on your labels for writing your address. That along with writing slowly will allow you to write a very legible address on your labels. Once the ink is dry you’ll be able erase your guide lines without smudging the writing.
  • The envelope side used in this guide is perfect for correspondence size paper, or A5 sized paper. I prefer to use paper without guide lines. My personal favorite paper to use is Tomoe River Paper.
  • Here is a great guide on how to write a letter.

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  • Sometimes you want to create envelopes of different sizes or all kinds of reasons. If that is your goal I want to suggest that you pick up the, Kuretake Handmade Envelope Template – Japanese Version. This template makes nice small envelopes for gifts as well as letter sized envelopes for mailing larger A5 paper. For me this template arrived quickly and packaged well to survive a rough trip through the mail. It’s a pretty great  solution if you want to create different sizes of envelopes.

Bring Back the Transformers Generation One Cartoon as a New IDW Comic

SIGN THE PETITION if you want to see a new IDW Transformers comic based on the G1 Cartoon Universe!

IDW g1 cartoonEver since IDW Publishing ended the original Marvel Transformers comic book storyline with Transformers: Regeneration One, earlier this year, we’ve been left without any Generation One comics to read. Not only do fans miss having a Generation One comic book, but comic book artists miss having one as well.

Two artists who’ve been missing a Transformers book for G1ers are John-Paul Bove (Writer and Colorist) and Casey Coller (Comic Book Artist). They not only miss having a Generation One comic book to read, they have expressed their personal interest in working on such a book as seen in the Twitter thread below.

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I was so encouraged by this twitter thread that I went right to work on drafting a letter to IDW Publishing, creating an online petition, and getting Casey Coller and John-Paul Bove to come on the TransMissions Podcast and do an interview about wanting to work on this Transformers Generation One, comic book.

First, I drafted up a letter to IDW where I explain that since the end of Transformers: Regeneration One, “sentiment has been building on social media for a new Generation One comic. A book that takes place within the original Transformers Generation One Cartoon”. Once it was completed, I hand wrote out six copies of the letter to send to who I felt were key people at IDW Publishing.

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G1 Envelopes

Next, I put together an online petition where fans can sign up and to not only show support for the idea of a new Transformers Generation One comic book that takes place in the original cartoon universe, but pledge that they will buy this comic book each month that is published. I want to encourage each and everyone of you to lend your name to this petition and help me tell IDW that we want this book to be a reality!

Lastly, the TransMissions boys and I put together an interview with Casey Coller and John-Paul Bove (0:40:19), where we talk with each artist on their desire to create this book and fill a void that was left open from the end of Transformers: Regeneration One. It’s a great interview and I encourage all of you to take a listen.

If you love Transformers like I do and want to see a return of a Generation One comic book, please take a moment and fill out our online petition. After we have gathered as many signatures as we think we can get, we will submit the petition to the folks at IDW Publishing and make sure our voices are heard.

If you want to do more, you can send IDW Publishing a letter, a postcard, or even a tweet asking them to create a new Transformers Generation One comic book. Be sure to use the hashtag #BringBackG1.

Thank you all. With your help we can make this a success campaign and hopefully get a great Transformers Generation One comic book that takes place in the original 1980s cartoon universe.

 

FAQ:

Youseph Transformers MailboxQ: Where’s the link to the online petition?

A: Right here.

Q: Are you a comic book writer/artist pitching this to IDW?

A: No.  I’m just a Transformers fan like you.  But if IDW sees that there is a large interest from many people who want to buy this comic, they’ll listen.  Writer/colorist John-Paul Bove and artist Casey Coller have expressed interest in this idea, and they are also Transformers fans who would love to see this book become a reality, but there is no concrete pitch from them or anyone else on the table.  This is entirely a grassroots campaign to show IDW that there is support for this idea.

Transformers mailbox 2Q: Didn’t we already get this with Regeneration One?

A: Regeneration One was a continuation of the original Marvel Transformers comic series, with one of the original writers (Simon Furman) and original artists (Andrew Wildman, Stephen Baskerville) returning to give a definitive conclusion to that series.  This new series would focus on the universe of the original cartoon series, in particular the 20-year gap between the end of Season 2 (that takes place in 1985-86) and the 1986 animated movie (that takes place in 2005).  There is limitless storytelling potential in this 20-year time period for an ongoing comic series to mine.

Q: I’m not a fan of G1 and haven’t seen the original cartoon.  Why should I support something like this?

A: The G1 cartoon series defined the characterizations of many of the Transformers, and laid the groundwork for a lot of concepts that continue to be part of the mythos.  I think it would be amazing to see what modern comic book writers and artists who are also Transformers fans could do with many of the original stories and plot threads that were never continued.  As an example, see these 2 one-page stories John-Paul Bove wrote for the Transformers Mosaic project a few years ago: “The Year is 2004” and “Beyond Great” Also, the G1 cartoon series is currently available on Netflix USA if you’re curious.

Q: The Transformers comics market is saturated with already great product.  There’s no room for this comic.  Why should I give up RID, MTMTE, Windblade, Transformers vs G.I. Joe, etc. for this?

A: We’re not asking IDW to cancel any of its current Transformers titles or change any of their current plans.  We are all fans of IDW’s current Transformers comics.  We do believe that there is still room for a comic that focuses on classic G1 stories that particularly derive from the original cartoon.  Many Transformers fans grew up on the G1 cartoon and have never been interested in the comics.  This could be a gateway for them.

Q: Why should IDW listen to you about what Transformers comics they publish?

A: IDW is a very successful company and we are not making any demands on them.  We want to show them that there is widespread support for this project and a new potential market for them.  If we are wrong about that, so be it.  If IDW is not interested, so be it.  But we think getting 5,000 people to pledge their support for a new comic might be convincing.