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Simon Furman

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Simon-Furman

But... but Swoop is neither vast nor predatory nor even a bird! What is he playing at?

Probably the most well-known of all Transformers comics writers, Simon Christopher Francis Furman was editor and author for much of the Marvel UK run, and began writing for the Marvel US comic after writer Bob Budiansky left.

Since then, Furman has also written Transformers comics for Dreamwave Productions, IDW Publishing, and 3H, and scripted the final episode of the Beast Wars cartoon, "Nemesis Part 2". His IDW run is notable for being the only instance where he has actually created the mythos from the ground up. Every other series has had Furman coming in after someone else had already set everything up.

He has also written and created many non-Transformers characters, including Death's Head with Geoff Senior and "Brute Force" with Jose Delbo. He is an editor at Titan Books, which publishes collections of Transformers comics, among other material.

Furman is a highly prolific writer and well regarded in the fandom. As a result, he is often the first, last, and occasionally only resort in penning Transformers literature, with a deep involvement in a wide variety of product. Notably, he penned Transformers: The Ultimate Guide, a book which described the background of several continuities which he was not particularly involved in crafting. This book has seen significant criticism for being biased towards comic canon (particularly that which he penned) and, in places, inventing continuity wholecloth without any precedent in prior fiction. In such instances, it has since been assumed that Furman was filling in neglected areas of the (at the time underdeveloped) Dreamwave continuity.

Contrary to the popular opinion that he is an outspoken critic of the Generation One animated series, Furman has stated in an interview that he loves the series. He explained that when he was involved with the Marvel comic books as a twenty-something-year-old writer, he thought the show was pitched a little young and that the stories were simplistic and had huge logic flaws, but conceded that he saw them from a different perspective than the generation that grew up watching the cartoon and buying the toys as kids, and so he concentrated on his work, which he believed was more "adult" in tone. He added that, in hindsight, he went back to watch the series and now really enjoys it, particularly Season 2's strong character stories. When he wrote for Marvel comics, he was averse to episodes that dealt with the character back-stories because they clashed with his own back-stories and also caused him to worry that he wasn't presenting the characters as intended. But now he has the freedom to take the series as a viewer and admire the way they were building upon their own mythos.

In the same interview, he thought the animated movie was "fantastic", and one of his stated reasons was that "characters died." [1]

These days, he's a big fan of Transformers Animated, saying it's the best cartoon since Beast Wars. [2], despite a relative lack of violent deaths. He's also a fan of West Ham United football club [3], which perhaps explains his bloodlust.

In his spare time, Furman enjoys drinking Corona and killing off hordes of background characters. And Nightbeat.

Alternate mode

When Furman became the editor of the UK Transformers comic, it opened up a dilemma, as Marvel policy, enforced by Marvel US editor-in-chief Tom DeFalco, frowned on editors serving as their own writers. To circumvent this problem, it was agreed that senior editor (and frequent Transformers letterer) Richard Starkings would serve in an advisory capacity on Furman's own strips.[4] When an editorial credit for the comic as a whole was required, Furman used the credit "Chris Francis", derived from his middle names.[5]

Fiction

Unicron Trilogy continuity

The flesh creature known as Simon Furman pleases Unicron with his accurate depiction of Unicron's omnipotent magnificence. The End

Note: In the final issue of Dreamwave's Armada comic, Unicron used his ability to gaze across parallel dimensions into a world where he was only a comic-book character and answer letters from readers. He was apparently unaware this issue ended with his defeat.

Titan Magazines

According to Starscream, Furman is a Maximal disguised as a "strategically shaved ape. Especially on his head." Transformers Comic issue 7

Comic bibliography

Marvel

  • Marvel UK #13–21, 29–32, 45–50, 59–65, 74–88, 96–104, 113–120, 125, 130–138, 146–153, 160–161, 164–173, 182–189, 198–205, 213–332
  • Marvel US #56–80
  • Generation 2 #1–12

Dreamwave

IDW

Titan

Notes

  • It is generally accepted that Grimlock is Furman's signature character, although a case could be made for Nightbeat.
  • He spent at least some time as the writer of the UK comics letters page, setting the precedent for having a Transformer "host" reply to the kids' letters, but without patronising them. This tradition has been followed up on in other UK comics.
  • If his last words before dying aren't "...never did want to live forever", there will be much sadness.

See also

References

  1. Simon Furman's interview on Madman Entertainment's Beast Wars Season 3 DVD set
  2. http://simonfurman.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/a-touch-animated/
  3. http://transfans.net/interviews_furman3.php
  4. Starkings, Richard "Prophetic Words" in Dark Designs Trade paperback (London; Titan Books, 2002), page 4.
  5. Unknown author "Transformers UK" in Second Generation Trade paperback (London; Titan Books, 2004), page 6.



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