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Jason Cardy Hits The Decks Once More At Auto Assembly 2015!

Comic colourist supremo and Auto Assembly regular Jason Cardy, who is once again part of our Artists Alley this year, will be delighting attendees during our Saturday night show as he shows us another side to his range of talents when he brings us another one of his fantastic Transformers-themed DJ sets to close off the evening’s entertainment!

For those of you who have seen one of his shows in previous years, Jason will be doing a 45-minute set of his unique mixes blending some familiar TV and movie Transformers tracks in his own unique way. He’ll be on stage immediately after James Horan’s cabaret performance wrapping up the night with a musical theme!

Want to get a teaser of what Jason will be doing? Here’s one that you might enjoy…

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Auto Assembly 2015 Convention Magazine and Comic Update

As part of this year’s convention we will be producing an exclusive magazine and comic that we will be giving away to attendees at the event and as with all of our publications that we have produced, dating right back to the very first issue of The Cybertronian Times in 1998, these will be produced in limited quantities…

In fact, so limited that unfortunately we are not expecting to be able to provide ALL of this year’s attendees with a copy of each of these so we are sadly going to have to make these available to everyone on a first come, first served basis. In preparing for the convention we have been investigating production costs to get the best possible deals for printing and unfortunately the options that we have been presented from our regular printers are quite limited in terms of quantities and it has left us with something of a quandary.

The issue we have been faced with is that we have been forced to make a very difficult choice in terms of printing both The Cybertronian Times and our convention comic this year. We were either going to be able to print 1,000 copies – the same as the print run for our exclusive comic in 2014 – or a notably larger figure which would almost certainly leave us with a large surplus of comics after the event that we would be left with in long term storage. While we will be offering back issues of our fanzines through the website for sale, we certainly don’t want to be in a position of doing this for several years to come!

This does put us in an awkward position. Looking at the current situation regarding ticket sales, we are already ahead of last year’s pre-registration total and well ahead of where we were at this point last year. In the final month before Auto Assembly 2014 a massive 200 tickets were sold. If this trend continues then we are set to almost certainly smash the 1,000 attendee figure and with a print run of 1,000 copies for each publication it will leave some attendees disappointed.

Unfortunately, we are now in a position of having to limit both titles to the first 1,000 attendees of Auto Assembly 2015. To ensure fairness, these will be handed to the first 1,000 people who have registered for the convention so to guarantee your copy your ticket number must be 1 – 1,000. While we considered making these available on a first come, first served basis based on arrival times at the convention, we felt that the ticket number system was the fairest option, especially for those who may have booked early for the event but who may experience travel difficulties and not arrive until late or for those who have registered early but only purchased a Sunday ticket.

To get your copy of both titles, simply come along to the Registration Desk as usual when you arrive at Auto Assembly 2015 and when you collect your pass and convention exclusive postcards, you will be handed your publications by one of our team as long as you are amongst the first 1,000 people to have booked a ticket for the convention. Please note that the books must be collected in person at the same time as collecting your pass for Auto Assembly 2015. If there are any unclaimed comics / magazines at the end of the weekend, these will be offered to attendees with tickets numbered 1,001 upwards with a limit of one per person. Should you fail to have collected your books by the end of the weekend, these will be forfeit.

Tickets are still available for Auto Assembly 2015 which is taking place from Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd August 2015 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, England but if you want to secure your copy of both of this year’s publications you had better hurry as time is running out! You can get your tickets now from the Auto Assembly 2015 Ticket Bookings page.

Auto Assembly 2015 - Fire and Iron

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Auto Assembly 2015 Artists Alley Update

With just over three weeks to go until Auto Assembly 2015, we’re still working hard to keep bringing you more additions to the programme of activities throughout the weekend as well of plenty of surprises and additions to the convention and that also includes those who will be attending the event. That being the case, we’re pleased to announce the latest addition to the Auto Assembly 2015 Artists Alley… Alies Meerman.

Alies, better known as Sprite in Transformers circles, is a Dutch artist, mostly known for illustrating children’s activities for a local botanic garden, with puppetry, colouring books, book and magazine illustrations on the side. She has recently assisted on Andrew Wildman’s original comic HORIZON (go check it out, it’s great!).

A lifetime fan of Transformers, she has contributed to official Auto Assembly publications, like The Cybertronian Times and the AA2014 comic Reflections, since 2011. Her art will feature on one of Auto Assembly’s postcards this year which is being coloured by Auto Assembly veteran Kris Carter.

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Announcing the Auto Assembly 2015 Fanzine Workshop

Long before Auto Assembly began, we’ve had a track record of running events and publishing fanzines,dating right back to our first ever projects in 1989. No matter what we have been involved with, publishing has always been close to our hearts and at Auto Assembly 2015 we want to go back to our roots and we want YOU to be involved so for our last convention our publishing guru, Andy Turnbull will be hosting a Fanzine Workshop which will be running throughout the convention weekend.

With his partner in crime, Matt Dallas, Andy will be taking you through the process of producing a Fanzine from start to finish. Covering writing, artwork, lettering, editing and design and the setting up of the document ready to publish. At the end of the convention weekend the content that is produced during the workshop will be assembled into a fanzine ready for publication, produced by YOU our attendees! And what’s more, this fanzine will be available FREELY to everyone as a DRM free PDF file.

The theme for the fanzine is going to be Endings and Beginnings. While 2015 may be the end of Auto Assembly as a convention, 2015 certainly isn’t marking the end of Auto Assembly’s involvement in Transformers fandom and we want this fanzine to be a reflection of that. Issue 16 of our convention magazine, The Cybertronian Times is being given away to attendees at this years event but many don’t realise that it pre-dates Auto Assembly by two years, first seeing print in 1998! The Cybertronian Times itself is set to have a new beginning after the convention and will see a new lease of life once again as it returns to its position as a stand-alone publication.

Endings and Beginnings is a poignant theme, but one that we hope will give all of you who come and join us in this exciting workshop plenty of grist for the creative mill to inspire something truly special. Who knows, you might feel the creative urge to join our creative team for the future with The Cybertronian Times…

As always, this and all the other workshops and activities taking place at Auto Assembly 2015 are included in the admission price to the convention which is taking place over the weekend of 21st – 23rd August 2015 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, England.

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Peter Spellos returns to Auto Assembly 2015!

It’s not very often that voice actors make a return appearance at Auto Assembly. Not because we don’t want to see many of our guests come back but with a limited budget for voice actors for the convention we tend to focus on bringing actors to Auto Assembly who haven’t visited the event before so it’s rare that actors make return appearances and if they do it’s not usually for a few years. However, something rather unusual has happened for Auto Assembly 2015 and some may say that it’s something rather fishy…

In 2014 we were joined by Peter Spellos, the voice of Skybyte from Robots In Disguise. Peter made an incredible impact on all of the fans who were in attendance to the extent that immediately after the event we were asked by hundreds of people to bring him back to this year’s convention – the enthusiasm to see his return was unprecedented and something we hadn’t seen before in Auto Assembly’s 15-year history. Unfortunately as we had already booked our two guests of honour for this year’s event we weren’t able to do this but it was clear that there was an incredible amount of affection for Peter and the fans wanted to see him back. But this affection and desire to see his return ran a lot deeper than anyone could have ever imagined…

This desire to see Peter’s return has now become a reality as we are now proud to confirm that – thanks to a massive collaborative effort – Peter Spellos IS making a return to Auto Assembly 2015 as our third guest of honour at the last ever Auto Assembly convention! Peter’s appearance has been made possible because of the determination of the Transformers fan community pulling together and showing how much they wanted to see Peter return to the event and I can’t thank the community enough for making this possible.

Peter’s flight has been provided by the Auto Assembly team themselves in a collective effort and I can’t thank all of them enough for their efforts and generosity here. Peter’s additional travel costs and other expenses relating to the convention are being covered thanks to the incredible fundraiser that had been organised on Facebook by Jamie Harris on The Sharkiest Of Sharks page and I have got to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the amazing fans who have contributed to this. Jamie is also very kindly sponsoring the Skybyte postcard (featuring artwork from Ed Pirrie) that all of you will be receiving at the convention.

Finally, as a convention, we have managed to secure accommodation for Peter in the Hilton to make sure that he will be able to be with us all weekend, enjoying whiskey and ice cream with all of you and as with last year he’ll be taking to the stage for a Q&A Panel, joining Sumalee Montano and James Horan for our script reading and signing autographs throughout the weekend.

I can’t thank everyone enough for making this happen and for helping to bring everyone’s favourite shark back home to all of us here at Auto Assembly next month. It’s going to be a blast!

Simon Plumbe
Auto Assembly

Auto Assembly 2015 Postcard 030 Preview

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Kei Zama to make her guest debut at Auto Assembly 2015

While Auto Assembly is taking it’s final bow, we realise the Transformers brand moves ever onward, with new stories, characters and creative artists. It’s fitting therefore, that our latest guest announcement is for one of the brightest new stars in TF art. We are delighted to announce the appearance of the amazing Miss Kei Zama.

Miss Zama will be familiar to many of  you through her fan art collaborations, and stunning commission work, under the moniker of GOLBY2, and this has lead to her official work for IDW’s Transformers, providing the RI covers for MTMTE, TF and Windblade in September. We are confident she will only go forward, from there!

While here, Kei will be selling her sketchbook, prints and be taking commissions. Due to the following she has through the fandom, it is worth getting your request in early. To request a commission, go to Kei’s Twitter and Tumblr pages, where a price list will shortly be published, or you can email her at golbyrainbow@gmail.com

Kei is making her first journey over here, from Japan, for Auto Assembly and admits she is still picking up English. However, she cannot wait to join us and, in between her stunning work, her admitted love for Judge Dredd, ABC Warriors and all things 2000AD and her excitement for Wreckers, we think she will feel right at home.

Kei’s Deviantart: http://golby2.deviantart.com/
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Golby_mkII

If you haven’t already registered for the convention, you can book now for Auto Assembly 2015 which is taking place over the weekend of 21st – 23rd August 2015 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, England.

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Introducing the Broadcast Booth at Auto Assembly 2015!

Podcasting and toy reviewing seem to have become as much a part of the TF community as customising and fanficcing, and at this, our final Auto Assembly, we’d like to give our intrepid creative fans and reviewers some recognition, and some space to do what they do best so we’re proud to bring you the Broadcast Booth!

Available for use at the convention all weekend, the Broadcast Booth is a room that we will be setting aside that will be dedicated for all of you vloggers and podcasters to capture your feelings and thought live at the venue, and perhaps get to review some very special items… If you have a podcast and want to record a show live at the convention, got a new toy and are desperate to record a new toy review for your Youtube channel and just can’t wait until you get home, or if you just want to see how some of the more well known youtubers and podcasters our there do it, then this will be the room for you!

The room will be fully staffed and equipped with video recording equipment so you won’t need to worry about bringing your own camera and footage will be available for you after the convention via Dropbox. Recording a podcast? Just bring along your recording equipment and plug it into the power sockets provided! Want your show to be more interactive with audience participation? That’s not a problem either as we’ll have capacity for up to 40 fans to join you as you record your videos or shows!

The room will be open all weekend and is completely free for anyone to use – just get in touch to book your time slots then come along and get recording. Just remember to let us know if you want your session to be public or open to audiences to come along and enjoy your recording sessions!

Email us now to book at aareviewlounge@aol.com or come along on the day to see if we have any available time slots left!

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Fan Sales Table Returns For Auto Assembly 2015

It’s been a part of the convention for several years now, but we’re pleased to announce that – making its return for one last time – is the Auto Assembly Fan Sales Table! For those of you who have unwanted Transformers toys or merchandise lying around the house taking up too much space, if you’ve got toys that you no longer want, have things in your collection and are part of ranges that you’ve decided that you don’t want to focus on anymore then the Fan Sales Table is for you!

Running all weekend and staffed by some of our wonderful volunteers, you’ll be able to bring along your unwanted items and we’ll sell them on your behalf. All you will need to do is drop them off from noon on Friday along with a completed form (containing your details, prices etc), we’ll put them on sale for you and then you can come along and collect your money at set times over the weekend or at the end of the convention. All we ask is that a percentage of the selling price will go towards convention running costs which will either go toward Auto Assembly 2015 itself or towards funding Auto Assembly’s ongoing online presence or its planned future projects (but we’ll mention these another day!).

Further details – and all of the forms that you will need – will be announced very shortly so start getting your toys ready to bring along to the convention!

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Auto Assembly 2015 Volunteer Pack Available Now!

While we have a dedicated team here at Auto Assembly running the convention and working hard behind the scenes to make sure that the convention runs as smoothly as possible, none of it would be possible if it wasn’t for one thing – the incredible help that we get from our hardworking team of volunteers who give up their valuable time over the weekend to get involved and help us at the convention. These fans, who come along to the convention just like the rest of you, spare a few hours over the weekend in every part of the convention to make sure that every part of the convention runs like clockwork and that the entire convention runs wonderfully.

Whether it is looking after our guests, making sure that everyone picks up their passes and gets into the convention as quickly as possible, helps us get the halls set up as fast as possible, helping us run events or even overseeing activities in our Alternative Programme Rooms and helping to run the Fan Sales Tables, this selfless group are the backbone of the convention. Well, it’s that time of year again and we’re looking for volunteers to get involved and help make Auto Assembly 2015 our best convention ever.

While we can’t pay any of you for helping out, we do offer some perks for those of you who do get involved including early access to our dealers each day of the event. It’s hard work but very rewarding and while we can’t accept everyone who wants to get involved, we’d love to hear from as many of you who are interested in being a part of the last ever Auto Assembly. If you want to join our team of volunteers for the convention, first please make sure that you have already registered for Auto Assembly 2015 and then download and complete our Volunteer Information Pack and return it to us as soon as possible.

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New Simon Furman Panel At Auto Assembly 2015

Legendary Transformers comic writer, Simon Furman, has something rather special in store for fans attending Auto Assembly 2015 as he is bringing an extra special panel to the convention that will be taking place in one of our Alternative Programme rooms over the weekend.

The special panel, Transformers: the Fall of Dreamwave… the Rise of IDW will see Simon Furman introducing a very special visual tour through the last days of Dreamwave and the early days of the IDW-verse, featuring rare and unseen art from unpublished issues and behind-the-scenes design work by a host of talented artists, including Alex Milne, Don Figueroa, EJ Su, Joe Ng and more. Provisionally scheduled to take place early on the Sunday afternoon (although this may be subject to change) seating is limited to around 50 people for this rather special panel.

Please note that photography or filming is not permitted during this panel.