The Real Story
When I was young, I like many Gen-Xers adored Sci-Fi TV shows such as Transformers, GoBots, Robocop, and Star Trek The Next Generation. Loving to draw and styling myself an "artist", I started to draw my own characters and write fan fiction loosely based on The Transformers television show. During my teenage years, I created over 160 different characters and wrote numerous stories about their world inside my head. They were the Zapbots, a variation on The Transformers with subtle inclusions of Star Trek storylines. The drawings, artwork, and stories were my distraction and survival--my outlet for growing up in the '80s and '90s.
When I reached college in 1994 the majority of this work was placed quietly on a shelf as my academic studies occupied the majority of my attention and time. The Zapbots were occasionally brought out to show my references to perspective drawing or used as an inside joke amongst my college friends. On occasion, my references would be included in my artwork during my course work, but I had grown disinterested in Transformers by my late twenties. I did start rewriting the saga stories in college providing a much-needed grammar and spelling upgrade but stopped in 2000 due to just life duties taking over priorities. The last story I wrote in 2000 was Robot Trek II, leaving half the saga incomplete.
I've moved the Parody discussion to a separate page, as this really was just a quick 15-minutes of fame idea and doesn't reflect the way the Zapbots were in the past, or how they are today.
Rebirth (Non Parody) 2005
Around 2005 I started a Transformers Podcast for [Tformers.com]. A friend of mine who was a fan of my Podcast (Dual Mirror Gridwork aka Doug) inquired about them and I started to pull out all the various sketches I had drawn to show him. He was quite impressed with my work.
I was impressed with my younger self as well. Besides being amazed at the amount of work I created in my youth I was actually surprised at the vastness of my imagination. There was still a “story” here, and it was actually not half bad. While a lot of the ideas were lifted from Transformers/Star Trek the scope of it was not. It was a whole saga I had created in my head and it was pretty darn good for a 14 years old!
Since I had gained some fans based on my work in the TFormers Podcast field, I garnered there might be a way to actually present these ideas to the public now. There was now a forum for the stories and concepts from my younger self. I now had the ability to share them with those who would most appreciate them.
So I started this wiki around 2005, to provide the basic information about the Zapbots, as well as the ability to publish the numerous drawings from numerous sketchbooks and pieces of paper that rendered many color pencil kits to nubs. I presented to the world, the story of the Zapbots in their original format (with minor spelling and grammar corrections). This was all the original art, released with the original stories. This can be viewed as somewhat of an alternative timeline of The Transformers if perchance Hasbro was run by a 14 year at the time.
(You can also view this like how the Orville is a different take from Star Trek.)
Sadly 2005 came and went and once again I got busy with life drama and never really got around to finishing the Zapbot wiki.
In 2013 on plane flights back and forth from California I wrote a new Zapbot story called ‘Reboot’, picking up the saga several years in the future. While I had stories that I needed to finish rewriting between these two stories, at that time, I wasn’t sure how I was going to complete them since most of those stories were slightly lifted from existing influences (Star Trek etc...) So I picked up the Universe several years later to give some breathing room for an idea I had in my head. The Rebooted story follows the Zapbots' reawakening in 2013 and coming back to Earth after being away for many years.
In 2020, with the CoronaVirus pandemic and a lot of free time on my hands, I decided to revisit these stories I wrote as a kid and finish the wiki. I reread all the original saga, and then reread the revised saga. Then I started drawing and writing again, picking up after Robot Trek II with Robot Trek III. I know knew how I wanted these stories to end.
In 2021, I completed the new stories basically finishing the rough idea of the saga. It was now time to go back to the original revised stories that started in 1994 and give them some much-needed upgrades as well. (So if you are confused by this I highly recommend you check out the Story Comparison wiki article. This will give you some idea of when what stories were written etc...)
In short, started in the middle of the saga, finished the new stories, and then went back to the beginning to polish the old stories up as well, completing the whole written saga. The stories themselves were open for Public consumption for anyone to read from my wiki. My partner Daniel even read these gave them his official rating on a scale from 1 to 5.
With the stories completed, I set out on the task to redraw all the characters...
After finishing updating the stories the next logical step was to redraw ALL THE CHARACTERS. Yes we're talking about 200+ characters... By September 2022 I had half of the Zapbots redrawn using my iPad this time and my updated Art skills, they look a lot better than when I tried to draw everything with a ruler.
DONE!!! Over a period of about three years, I was able to redraw all the characters. A massive feat indeed! With the Zapbot written saga complete and the characters now in a more updated format it's time for mhmmm mmm Marketing!
The next goal is to start writing Season 3 stories once I get some spare time... as of right now I'm concerting more on my music, but am occasionally drawing a new character here and there. When winter comes I might do some writing on Season 3. We'll see how this plays out...
So you're probably wondering 'and what do I do with this?' Well, if you are a fan of Transformers, Star Wars, Star Trek etc... (which I presume you are,) start reading the stories. They will give you the background behind the saga. Each story has a synopsis page but I recommend you download and read the PDF first. Then you can use this wiki as a reference to what the characters look like and dive further into the universe.