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Introduction to Blackthorne Transformers comics

Blackthorne Comics were a company who specialised in what could be termed novelty comics, especially titles that used 3-Dimensional special effects. These were achieved by means of cardboard glasses with red and blue lenses, and art rendered in blue and red ink. A bit like Eclipse, without the pretentious baggage (i.e. Cat Yronwoode) anf fluking on to Miracleman. Blackthorne possibly paid people, too.

A number of titles were given this treatment, including Robotech, Star Wars and GI Joe. Blackthorne also arranged to make a Transformers in 3-D series, seperate from the Marvel series. Like Blackthorne's other series, the Transformers series ran differently to more conventional comics. Blackthorne would publish 3-D comics numbered as part of the Blackthorne 3-D series, and each sub-series such as Transformers or GI Joe would also be numbered individually. Transformers in 3-D #1 was published Fall 1987, and was #25 in Blackthorne's 3-D series. Issue 2 would follow in December 1987, as #29 in the 3-D series. A third issue would follow in March 1988, numbered #37 in the 3-D series. Each issue came with a pair of cardboard 3-D glasses.

The series would follow no real continuity, even within itself, though the third issue would start a three-part storyline. The creative team changed every issue, with Blackthorne staffers handling the duties. The idea wasn't really to make any sort of challenger to the Marvel comics, with the draw being the 3-D effects rather than the ongoing story. However, issue 4 failed to emerge for reasons unknown - possibly poor sales, possibly licensing issues, or possibly costs.

Blackthorne also produced 'How to Draw' books, showing step-by-step guides to drawing characters, producing series for Robotech and GI Joe. Transformers was naturally suited to this, with at least four issues published. Several online listing services give up to six issues, but without any covers or details.


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