Summertime Coloring Book

Story by Suzanne Lord
Art by Carlos Garzon

This book was published by Marvel Books with a copyright of 1985. ISBN 0-87135-033-5.

The scans live here: Browse them at your leisure. "FC" is the front cover. You can use the summertime-all.html file to load all the pictures on one page (may be slow). These scans were sent by prince among men, Derik Smith.

Artwork notes:
[ The oddest-looking Cybertron ever. ] I really don't know where to start. This book appears to cop designs from several sources, including other coloring books. Most obviously, this book's first page of story shows Bumblebee and Huffer's designs from "Decepticon Patrol". These designs do not appear again in this book. This sets a precedent for inconsistency which is quite unexpected in a 1985 book. The very next page shows us a really weird-looking Cybertron. Hound and Jazz usually appear in their cartoon models, as do Ironhide and Ratchet. But, compare Hound on page 32 with p23 of "The Deadly Fuel Shortage" (artist unknown). Huffer appears on three pages (not including his non-named appearance at the beginning), twice in his cartoon design, and once as... well, I don't even know (on the two-page spread where he's furious at Starscream). Aside from one toy-based introductory portrait, Bumblebee appears with a model seen in other 1985 coloring books, including "Bumblebee's Dangerous Mission" (also drawn by Garzon) and "A Message From Outer Space" (drawn by TF comic penciller, Frank Springer). Megatron wears his older, round helmet. On pages 34 and 35, we see Rumble twice, first in his cartoon form, then in a weird toy-based form (reminiscent of "Search for Treasure Under The Sea", which Garzon worked on). Also, the Seeker on the last page bears a striking resemblence to those on page 15 of "The Deadly Fuel Shortage". And of course, page 3 is bizarre beyond words.

Story notes:
The actual story in this book is pretty normal, but there are a lot of strange bits and contradictions with the artowrk. For example, along with the page captions, this book also features brief speech balloons on some pages. At times, these two pieces of text are redundant, or even a bit non-sequiter. It states that the Autobots and Decepticons "have always been enemies", which, depending on interpretation, could have interesting implications in the TF origin story in the coloring book universe. ^_^ It twice makes mention of Optimus Prime's three components, and actually utilizes Roller as a spy. Apparently Roller's refueling hose doubles as a camera. Mirage casts an illusion, rather than turning invisible, as in his other coloring book portrayals on this site.

This book starts out with a few pages of character introductions, and then jumps into the story. The Decepticons have created a "molecular transfer device" which allows them to teleport fuel directly from storage tanks and vehicles into their own reserves. Using Roller, the Autobots learn of the plan and go to stop them, resulting in the Big Fight At The End (BFATE). Eventually Bumblebee sneaks into the transporter's control room and uses it to remove the Decepticons' fuel, winning the battle for the Autobots.

The good bits:

[ Megatron confuses some humans with his troops. ]Page 3 shows us that Cybertron has two suns, and is populated largely by people wearing cheesy sci-fi spacesuits who like to sit in lounge chairs outdoors. Also, Prime can fly by replacing one arm with the turret used later by the Beast Machines Tankor toy.

Page 6: "Decepticons, we should rule the Earth," says Megatron. While there are, indeed, Decepticons there, he isn't looking at them. He appears to be addressing a group of humans standing in front of a cityscape.

It portrays Ironhide with a propensity towards growling, sometimes growling out his words, sometimes just growling.

As the Autobots roll out to the Decpeticon headquarters, they apparently need Hound's tracking abilities to find it, even though Roller had just been there a few pages prior.

The second time that Prime "splits into his independant modules" he is clearly shown in vehicle mode with all three components still connected; the combat deck is open, sure, but he's still hitched and Roller is just sitting there.

[ Sideswipe prepares to plant one on Ironhide. ]Near the end, Sideswipe sweeps Ironhide off his feet. (At least, it looks that way.)

On the page that says the Autobots and Decepticons have always been enemies, Soundwave is standing right next to Prime as they repell an attack of Decepticon Skyraiders.

Pages 35 and 36 have had their artwork mistakenly swapped.

The door to the molecular transfer device's room has a paper sign loosely affixed which reads "TOP SECRET".

As the Autobots prepare to return the stolen fuel to humans, you can see Gears loaded up, and next to him is a larger truck, clearly not a Transformer, which has been clerverly drawn at the edge of the page so you can't tell it's just a generic truck that the Autobots happen to have found and decided to use.

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Last updated on 2003-Oct-17.