One quick blog related note: I’m a bit behind on blogs at the moment. I should have a few new ones up this weekend including reviews of Hugo and The Muppets, as well as a review of the KO Toys Transformers Dial and Zaur set, and probably a couple of things I’m not remembering at the moment.
Anyway. Onward to far more important things.
Last Friday night, I got an e-mail from “Bumblebee”.
Yes, I’ll admit it. That was the thought that went through my mind when I saw the name Dan Gilvezan on an e-mail I’d received. “Bumblebee” sent me an e-mail. Silly thought, I know. But when I was 10 the only thing in the world I wanted was to be Spike Witwicky and spend my time hanging out with Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. So you’ll need to forgive me if for one split second, it felt like that dream had come true.
Yes, I know. I’m ridiculous, and I’m pretty sure that if you’ve been reading my blogs that’s not really a surprise to you.
Dan was contacting webmasters of Transformers fan sites to let them know about his new book, “Bumblebee and Me: Life as a G1 Transformer”. He offered an advance copy of the book so we could evaluate it and post a review or announcement. Of course I said yes.
I received the book on Tuesday afternoon, and late that night, I decided I’d just read a page or two since I had to get up early the next day for work. What happened next? Well, I think Bumblebee said it best:
“We’re being sucked into it!” – Bumblebee, Transformers: The Movie
I was, and I read the whole thing. Now, it’s only 52 pages (plus the cast list and episode guide, which was not included in my proof copy) so it’s a pretty quick read. Good thing, because I couldn’t put it down.
I attended Botcon 2004, and while I did not get to attend Dan Gilvezan’s panel, because I was stuck at my dealer table, I did attend Peter Cullen’s panel. The best part of that panel was his sharing memories of working on the show. Sadly, I’m not good at remembering a lot of details from events like that, and the only story I really recall seven years later was the one about a fire in the recording studio.
What I love most about “Bumblebee and Me” is that it is like going to a panel at a convention. But it’s better, because you get to take it home with you. I no longer feel like I missed out on his panel at Botcon 2004. I feel like I got to attend it seven years later, and if the details fade, I can just read it again.
For all those fans who’ve wanted to go to a convention, but never have been able to, this book is that chance to capture one of the best parts of any Transformers con. (And at $6.95, it‘s a hell of a lot cheaper.)
Covered topics include, how he got the job, the process by which Bumblebee’s voice was created, toys, Transformers: The Movie, and much more. Dan Gilvezan’s writing is witty, and I laughed many times. There was also a few times when I teared up. When he talked about Chris Latta, for example, and when he talks about how it all came to an end.
I cannot imagine any G1 fan not loving this book. Will it appeal to fans that remember Optimus Primal, Rattrap, and Cheetor as the characters of their youth who made them love this franchise? Maybe not. But if they give it a read, maybe they’ll understand why us “old timers” hold onto G1 so vehemently. I love Transformers in all its forms, but no matter how long it lasts or what new idea they come up with, there will never be anything like G1 again. This book is a chance to experience a piece of that.
One last thing. I don’t recall if I’ve ever heard this before, but one of the things Dan talks about is how there was no wrap party when the series ended. I think that’s terrible. I think someone owes the cast a wrap party. Heck, if I could afford it, I’d throw it for them myself. Least I could do for all they’ve given me.
Oh well, maybe it will occur to Hasbro that they should do that. Get the cast together to give them the wrap party they never got. I mean, if it wasn’t for Peter, Frank, Dan, and all the rest, Hasbro’s stock would be worth a lot less than it is.
Thanks for reading!