Thursday, January 18, 2018
Home  >  Features  >  Mighty Fan Spotlight: Josh Van Reyk

Our spotlighted comic book fan Josh van Reyk


As part of our Spotlight series, MightyVille is celebrating comic book fans with our Mighty Fan Spotlight, which shares what fans enjoy about comics and how they are expressing that interest. For our first Fan Spotlight, we are delighted to feature Josh van Reyk, a comics fan who translated his love for Transformers into the major fan-community project Transformers: Mosaic and a co-writing opportunity on Transformers Spotlight. Read on to find out more about Josh and get inspired by his experience turning his enthusiasm for fan-fiction into an opportunity to contribute to his favorite comics property.


When did you start reading comics? What were the first comics you got into?

It was during the early days of the initial G.I. JOE comics when Marvel had the license. It was the only comic I was reading at the time, and when it finished so did my interest in the genre.  It wasn’t until Dreamwave picked up the Transformers license that I got back into them, and it’s slowly grown into an obsession since then.

Why do you love comics?

Because there’s no limit to what you can do with them. For me, they’re just like a great novel, except there’s amazing art to go along with it, and they do tend to err more on the ‘fantastical’ side. There’s such amazing diversity in the format now that there’s definitely something for everybody, and with the advances in technology, they’re so easily accessible now.


Transformers Mosaic page Prime co-written by Josh van Reyk

You started a fan-community project called Transformers: Mosaic. Can you tell us a bit about it and what inspired its inception?

It was really born out of my first exposure to fan-fic on the IDW Publishing forums back when they first picked up the Transformers license. I remember being blown away by a number of one-page stories that had been produced on a different fansite and after speaking to a few other members on the forums, starting asking the question, “why can’t we do this, too?” I was able to wrangle a few people into working together, and we set out to produce a small number of one-page stories of our own. It quickly migrated to a number of other fansites and soon gained quite a following and interest amongst the online community.

Five years later, we’ve produced over six-hundred one-page stories that regularly appear on various fansites and social media websites. We were also lucky to have a number of stories printed as bonus material by IDW Publishing in their official Transformers comics for a short-time, too.

You were able to leverage the success of the project into co-writing an issue of Transformers Spotlight. How did that make you feel?

For lack of a better term, it was a dream come true. I’d been able to develop some good lines of communication with the (at-the-time) editors at IDW Publishing through the project, and had the opportunity to pitch some ideas to them. It was really a case of right idea at the right time that ultimately lead to it all coming to fruition. Going into it, we were very weary of the community’s thoughts and preconceptions regarding fan-writers making the leap to official status, and I remember being extremely apprehensive before reading comments regarding the issue when it was released.

It was a big relief to see that, for the most part, it was enjoyed by the community as a whole, as well as the individuals I had gotten to know through the Mosaic project. I’m still humbled by the opportunity to officially contribute to the property.


Page from Transformers Spotlight: Jazz co-written by Josh van Reyk

What comics, comic-based movies or games, figures, etc. are you currently into?

I’m trying to read as much of everything as I can at the moment - there aren’t really any specific titles or properties that I’m into more than anything else. It’s certainly easy to get caught up in the characters that are featuring on the big screen as of late, such as The Avengers, Batman and Superman, as it’s probably more socially acceptable to admit that you’re ‘into them’ than some of the other less-known series out there.

Will you be attending any comics-related events this year?

Unfortunately, as I live in Australia, it’s not easy to attend any comics-related conventions, but I am hoping one day to make the trek to San Diego for Comic-Con one year.


- Favorite comics of all time: The Red Robin series leading up to DC’s New 52.

- Best comics series out now: Can’t go past The Amazing Spider-Man.

- If you haven’t read this graphic novel, you’re really missing out: Who is Jake Ellis?


More Spotlights on MightyVille:

Mighty Creator Spotlight: Joe Martino and “The Mighty Titan”

Mighty Retailer Spotlight: 30 Years of Lee's Comics


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