INTERVIEWS
Glen Hallit & Dan Khanna
@ Hasbro's Collectors Event

Stormrider: When can we except to see Prime Evil Dawn?

Glen: Primevil Dawn, as it is now, has to be scrapped. Because what we are going to do it take Primevil Dawn, independently with the Wreckers, independently with Transformers Universe, and kinda of combine it all into one story... but it's going to take a year to do that.

Dan: There are a lot of separate thoughts/threads going on with each of these stories which will be addressed. But right now they are going to be 3 separate stories.

Glen: For now... Then we will start condensing. We have to focus on Transformers Universe at the moment, so the size of the book is going to be big. So we have to postpone the Wreckers and kinda kill Primevil Dawn. So we can focus.....

Dan: There simply isn't the time to do Transformers Universe at this juncture and do the Wreckers and do Primevil Dawn.

Glen: Too much... way too much. We wouldn't be able to do it. So they suggested that we just kinda of push this off to the side and work on Transformers Universe, which is fine, and then we will be bring everything else in over the course of the year.

Dan: And you will be seeing more involvement. People have waited for Primevil Dawn for 2 years now. In terms of the story line with the Wreckers and Primevil Dawn... you're gonna actually have these coming out at a more regular basis.

Glen: ...It's going to be quarterly.

Dan: Yes.

Glen: Actually Primevil Dawn Part II will be in the Fall Quarter. Part III will be in the Spring and Part IV will be in the Summer.

Dan: Then you will have Transformers Universe with one debuting at Botcon. Additional installments coming quarterly.

Aerosurge: Will you be doing all the work Dan? I know Dreamwave helped you do the coloring last year.

Dan: I am doing everything this year.

Aerosurge: I didn't know if they wanted to become more involved with it or not....

Dan: Dreamwave? NO. They have enough on their plates.

Glen: Yeah, they kinda opted out. So that's good. We got some exciting stuff.

Dan: And in terms of the quality of the product. We will have some really, really nice stuff.

Aerosurge: This all sounds great. I have always been a fan of your work Dan.

Dan: Thank you.

Glen: It's going to be cool. Unfortunately, they will have to wait for Primevil Dawn later and the Wreckers will have to wait a little bit. But we are doing a website revamp right now that will take a couple of more weeks. And we are going to start putting new content on there.

Dan: And also because we know we are delaying Primevil Dawn, and we know peoples attention span can only hold for so long. They are going to have online Transformer profiles coming up at a fairly regular clip of the various characters from the Wreckers and these various other story lines. So that people are actually getting new content. It's sort of our way on the net to compensate people for the fact that Wreckers and Primevil Dawn... and Transformers Universe will be on-line.

Glen: Well we actually have a lot of artwork from last year but we didn't have time and we didn't have space.

Dan: We actually have like 8 entries from last year that we couldn't use because of time constraints in terms of putting the books together. We just didn't have the time to lay it out.

Glen: At the same time I want to get the website redone, revised and launched will all that new stuff. Again, we are hoping to do that by the end of the month.

Dan: We will actually have new content coming at a steady clip in terms of the website.

Aerosurge: Glad to hear it. I have been looking forward to the things you have on your plate for a while.

Glen: Its been delayed for various reasons.

Dan: If you look at the stuff we have planned for release in 2003/2004, which should actually be a lot of content that will be coming out.

Glen: It's some pretty cool stuff. And what we're going to do it modify the Transformers Expanded Universe logo we did last year to become Transformers Universe. Actually, Hasbro wanted to use Expanded Universe first but they didn't like "Expanded" part. It makes sense for a whole audience. It's the same concept. But now it's like well....

Dan: Incidentally, the Transformers Universe first wave toys you will be getting a Dreamwave Mini comic. It going to come out....

Glen: I think that might actually be the thing they are talking about on the CD.

Dan: It's going to be on CD?

Glen: Yeah I believe it is going to be on a CD.

Dan: You are going to be getting a Dreamwave mini-comic which will actually be a story which is pretty much a condensed story.

Glen: Its not going to be the actual story. So your going to have 2 different versions of it.

Dan: Your going to have the on-package stories, then you will have the actual Universe story.

Glen: The real one. heheh We are still hammering out the details.

Dan: The Botcon Exclusives are going to be integrated into the Universe. Along with many others...

Glen: Botcon, Botcon Europe, the fan club stuff...

Dan: What else... Wreckers...

Glen: Eventually they will again its going to take some time.

Dan: Again. We are not forcing it to marry. Wreckers have their own story line, Primevil Dawn it's on story lines.

Glen: It will take a year but when it happens it will all make sense. Eventually it will just take sometime.

Stormrider: You seem very excited and really hyped about all this. That, in conjunction with being in Chicago this year, really makes it look like Botcon is taking off in bigger steps then it did before.

Glen: Chicago has been wanting us to stay for 2004, so we have been looking at that with a different set of rooms and a bigger event. We are going to see how people respond to that.

Dan: The idea is to have Botcon in a larger venue. And now, because Transformer are big, we want to put them in a big venue instead of in a small town.

Glen: We have to do it bigger to get more people to attend.

Aerosurge: Not only that, but we wanted to do it in a larger location where it is much easier to fly into.

Dan: We have been to the hotel. The food is great. The hotel is great, the accommodations are great.

Glen: Also, one of the bigger problems that we have had over the last few Botcon's is that the walks in have pretty much have stayed constant. The amount of new people that we are seeing are increasing as far as younger demographics. So we are hoping that Chicago, being a bigger city, will bring in more families and more kids. So that more people come in so that... not that I am saying I don't want to see the same faces, but I want Botcon to grow. I don't want to be plateaued, I want to see Botcon get larger.

Dan: Yeah, you don't want to keep recycling the same people over and over. And the way you grow is with location. The hotel is located 10 minutes outside of O'Hare Airport. So we are in a very good location.

Glen: 'Cause there are a lot of people out there.

Dan: With the 20th Anniversary we would also like to do something special.....

Glen: Hmmm... lets see what else. We have the paint sample for all of the Botcon Exclusives this year. We have had some difficulties. We will not have a collectors plate this year because Hasbro has been instilling some new royalties requirement sort of things and its cost prohibitive to do the plate.

Dan: We are going to be focusing on our core products that most people are into like the comics and the toys. We are going to be focusing more on the basics.

Stormrider: Will you be continue to offer non-attendee packages like you offered this year?

Glen: Depending on how well it is received. So far this year for Botcon we have only received 3 or 4 non-attendee packages from outside of North America. So I think some people might be loitering and waiting, like they always do, for registering... which is one of the most annoying things on the planet. But for Europe, even though we only had it open for a week, we had 109 non-attendees for Europe. So I would like to continue it. It's kind of a cool thing and stuff. So hopefully, we can do that.

Stormrider: I think this is an impressive program that allows people who can't afford to fly into this country the opportunity to participate in Botcon in at least this one small way.

Glen: A lot of people are getting upset with us They are like... I can't come but I like live in Illinois or Indiana. That is really not the point. We want to encourage those who live in this country to go. Obviously, for people who live outside of this country there are issues because plane costs are pretty expensive. Another thing I find sort of funny is for the non-attendee packages. At Botcon this summer a lot of people were complaining about pricing and such. After looking out what our costs is and how we were pricing it out at an such, the overcharge was upwards to like $100 or something like that. And people were still complaining about it even though they are living in America. The thing I wanted to say to people was "If you can find me from Europe to America for $100 I would like to buy it." Because I would bring a lot more European guests. Right now, even in advance (the tickets) are like $300, $400, $500 bucks. So looking at just the plane ticket just to get here... that was the motivation for the non-attendee packages. People are always going to complain about pricing. I am always trying to keep it as low as possible but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way.

Aerosurge: I would love to ask you more about Transformers Universe story line but I know you really can't get into it.

Dan: I will say this about Transformers Universe... Primal, Silverbolt, Black Arachnia... toys that are redeco'd those aren't renames. Those are the characters. That is Silverbolt. That is Black Arachnia. So keep that in mind because that will be in the book obviously.

Aerosurge: It makes me wonder how it works with them already on Cybertron.

Dan: Its going to be a really cool story I think. We mapped out some stuff regarding this. If it goes ahead as is, the fans will like it. Some people say it is kinda lengthy, but is actually a really very cool story.As you see with the Universe, it's bridges 3rd and 4th generations. So you will see some pretty neat stuff which you wouldn't normally see.

The Wreckers will keep doing their own things. They have will have their own story lines which we will coming out in a pretty regular clip. We actually have talked about extending the story line. We have, thus far, had to condense a whole lot into the past issue of the Wreckers. I wanna pace the stories. We want to be able to tell the story at a more regular clip, which will actually extend it a bit... so we are not forcing 20 lbs. of ingredients into a 10 lbs. cake. So you are going to see a lot. There will be character bios for people who are complaining these characters are arbitrary. They are not really giving the writing enough credit. You know what's going to happen. We aren't just arbitrarily introducing these characters so we can kill them off, or introducing this or that just to kill them off.

Aerosurge: That does tend to happen a lot...

Dan: You also have to keep in mind these are the Wreckers, and yes there are fatalities that is the nature of their business. Some people complain you are killing off Daniel and Wheelie. The same people will get a Simon Furman book where he kills off half the G1 cast and will be "AH that was a GREAT book!" Arbitrarily can we kill off anybody? Is that OK? Is that a problem? Well yes... people die.

Aerosurge: The thing I think is that a lot of people have not read the UK comic's where the Wreckers are involved.

Dan: In the G1 comics, Simon kills off half the freak'n cast. It seems like every page someone is dying. I mean, come on. So you know it happens. Yeah they get killed... they are the Wreckers. Look to what happened to the Wreckers in the UK Comic, in Time Wars . Ummm... the Wreckers get demolished by Galvatron and Megatron in Time Wars. I mean as such it's going to be a high fatality sort of job. But that's the meat of it.

Stormrider: Will there be anything new at Botcon this year?

Glen: Yeah. One of the biggest things that I am still ironing out details on is a voice impersonation contest with the guest being the judges. We will pick 2 winners and on Saturday night... remember the in '98 when we did the voice live acting thing? We are going to have the guests, plus 2 of the winners to do a script. That's going to be Saturday night. So we will have more fan involvement with people doing that just for the fun of it. So if your good at voice impersonations... Again I still have to work out all of the details with each of the voice actors, but we will have the professionals and the fans working together on stage to read this script. It's going to be fun! And Vince is going to come and do his music again.

Aerosurge: That's going to be great! I am glad to see Vince is going to be there this year.

Glen: We are ironing out details, but we are supposed to have new musical content but we are having issues with licensing at the moment and Hasbro. So we are working on that. Basically we are working to make Botcon more streamlined. I know because of the split many fans are taking a wait and see attitude with us and that's fine. I have no problem proving myself. I have no problem with waiting and seeing how things turn out in 2003. When the fans see that they haven't lost anything and things are actually getting better then they will wonder what happened...

Stormrider: Thank you gentlemen for a wonderful interview and for your time.