Like every other cartoon or toy line in the 80s Transformers had their share of spin-off merchandise. Some of it is collected, some of it discarded as simply cultural debris. Tablecloths, napkins, party favors and kids books are often overlooked, and rightly so, as it holds little collectable value.
This piece however deserves a second look.
I found this book at a garage sale in a stack of similar books, wedged between an ALF storybook and a Gremlins book. Of course I picked it up because it was transformers, but I was immediately struck by how beautiful the art was inside.
Insecticons Attack! was published by Marvel Books in 1985. It was written by Dana Rosenfeld and illustrated by John Speirs. I could not find out a lot about John Speirs, but it looks like he continues to be an illustrator to this day, illustrating some of the successful Magic School Bus books.
Below you will find scans of the art, but none of the story. You'll need to hunt down your own copy for that (ISBN:0-87135-078-5). For now, just marvel at the beauty of these paintings.
They present the transformers in a unique light. Look at Beachcomber ponder the meaning of life in his secret spot. How often do you see Grapple relaxing by a forest pool?
Also check out all the faction logos on the artwork. it looks like they were omitted in the original paintings and added in before they went to print.
The images below are not in their original order, but you can view them as they were printed in the gallery.