IDW Publishing is offering a limited collection of First Strike #1 via Indiegogo, with an exclusive cover drawn and signed by longtime Transformers artist Livio Ramondelli.
In addition to Ramondelli’s exclusive cover, which isn’t available anywhere else, we’re offering add-ons ranging from enamel pins, sets of limited edition variant covers, gorgeous posters, and sketches from Ramondelli himself. We took this opportunity to ask Ramondelli a few questions about his experience working on the project…
Your IGG exclusive cover for FS#1 is fantastic! What are some of the things you consider when making a cover?
Livio Ramondelli: Thank you! It really depends on the specific cover. Sometimes you’re asked to portray something specific from the issue itself, and other times you’re allowed to do essentially whatever you want. In the case of this one, I was asked to combine G.I. Joe and Transformers in some way. Destro and Soundwave are two of my favorite characters, and I thought it’d be a nice companion to a prior Megatron/Cobra Commander cover I did. Whenever I set out to do any cover, I’m always trying to create a sense of mood and atmosphere. I like the idea of showing a specific moment, where the landscape or lighting around the characters can hint at a greater story we’re picking up in the middle of.
You’ve mentioned before how you were a Transformers fan growing up. Do you ever get nervous portraying the modern incarnations of these pop culture icons?
LR: Not so much nervous, but feeling very honored. The characters meant so much to me growing up, and it’s a real privilege to get to work on them now. Whenever younger readers come up and tell me how much they enjoy the IDW books or how something I drew inspired them to draw more, it’s very gratifying. All I ever want is to show these characters the love they deserve, and entertain people who are reading the comics.
Snake Eyes isn’t a character you’re traditionally known for drawing but you’re sketches came out great. Is there a character you haven’t gotten a chance to draw that you’re itching to take on?
Thanks! Snake Eyes has always been a favorite of mine too. Such a classic design. Growing up I was more a Transformers fan than a Joe fan, but the two worlds always felt so connected and iconic. I’d love to do more G.I. Joe images. I’ve gotten to do a few covers here and there for IDW, but I’d be all for working on more. In terms of other characters, I’d love to take on RoboCop or Judge Dredd. Pretty much anything sci-fi, I’m down to tackle at some point.