Comics Alliance recently ran/possibly-even-created (still not sure on that) a car insurance infographic feature that purported to show the original Transformers from the eighties cartoon alongside the vehicles they transformed into.
But even a rudimentary knowledge of Transformers (and that’s what I have) would have clued you in from the very beginning that the Optimus Prime vehicle used was the movie version, not the cartoon version.
The litany of errors flood down the page, as artwork used comes from toys and images of more recent years and vehicles mismatched and misdated, and Transformers fans fill the page’s comments with criticism of research.
But more seriously is the use of uncredited/non-paid fan art. Yes, it appears that rather than going through the likes of Hasbro, they simply went to Google Images. I do it all the time, but generally not when created an advertorial where money is changing hands.
DeviantArt was mined… so a fan creation of a character Auceps Prime by Steve Woodhouse, suddenly becomes the character Goldbug.
That’s if you know what a 1994 Beetle is doing on a poster about characters in the eighties cartoons. And what 1994 Beetle is anyway. And when Goldbug was just a rebuilt Bumblebee for a while and not based on the 1998 VW Beetle. But back to the fan art. A fan-redesign of Windcharger by Eddy P is also mistaken for the real thing.
And there seem to be plenty more. Both on Comics Alliance’s comments, Transformers sites and the comments on the individual DeviantArt pages, people appear up in arms. Which then transform into laser guns.
The piece is credited to CA Staff. But as the post was published, editor Laura Hudson announced she was going on her first holiday for two years from the internet and would not be dealing with work or comics. Neither Caleb Goellner or Andy Khouri filling in for Laura have made comment yet.