Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Doctor Strange movie review quickie and more cool stuff

Although we could all tell pretty easily from the initial movie promos that Benedict Cumberbatch was gonna make a great Stephen Strange I never the less felt that the movie trailers didn't really give you a sense if this movie was gonna be any good or not. My biggest fear was that this was gonna be one of those comic book based movies in which they handle the main character fairly well but wrap him up in a forgettable story filled with dull secondary characters a tedious special effects dog n' pony show. I'm really happy to say that was hardly the case and that this film is yet another fine edition to the Marvel cinematic universe. I don't want to turn this into a long winded review but suffice it to say this movie has most everything you'd expect from a well done comic book adaptation film. It's faithful to the source material and yet a bit different where it needs to be. Good character development, a well paced story, Easter eggs and good humor mixed in with serious drama. There were a lot of great moments but perhaps one of my favorites was what felt to me like a tribute scene to The Empire Strikes Back with Luke on Hoth. The script does a fairly good job of explaining things so you don't get too lost given the very supernatural nature theme of the film. And perhaps best of all we most certainly will see Stephen Strange team up with The Avengers some where down the road the movie makes that pretty clear. If you wanna know more just go see it. Just on a side note I wanted to mention that I knew a guy in high school named Chris Strange. Yep that was his actual last name.

Not to be confused with the Doctor Strange character, Strange magazine was a french publication which basically reprinted Marvel comics for french speaking readers ofcourse. In the case of this cover art they used elements from a splash page on page 4 and 8 of Rom spaceknight 41.

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As supposedly the more highly evolved members of the primate family we humans tend to be drawn to shinny things so in a way I guess that's kinda how I found this on the internet this morning. This is pretty bad ass but unfortunately not much in the way of information like who the artist is and what not was available. Perhaps somebody out there who knows a bit more about this can help us out with that in the comments section?

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November 11 update: My buddy Dale did a similar clip art Donald Trump meme in which he made Trump into a skrull so I told him I'd do the same and make him a dire wraith. All post election drama aside you gotta admit this is pretty funny.

Friday, November 4, 2016

My scathing letter to IDW found in ROM (in name only) issue 4

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Well you can all thank ROM curator Gary Martin Jr. for this weekend's blog posting. This letter page that Gary sent me is from a digital copy of "Rom the spacknight" issue 4. Gotta say I was pretty surprised IDW printed that one. Well I'll tell you this Mr. Ryall, I'll take the "knee high metal disco boots" over the anime style metal snow boots you came up with for your ROM in name only series. I think Ryalls reasoning for having ditched ROM's classic hardware was also bullshit. Prior to this letter being published I had several correspondences earlier this year with IDW by email in regards to my ROM re-design grievances. And each time their responses becameare more baffling I feel like we're really talking two different languages just as you see here with chris ryall's reply to my letter. I mean we might as well be a Clinton and Trump supporter debating political-ideological differences which as you can imagine would be as pointless as a tic tac toe game or a dog chasing it's own tail.
Have you seen the cover variants for that issue yet? Most of em look like shit, all these cover variants idw keep doing are the same thing over and over again do you think it would kill em to make a cover that's a reflection of the story inside the issue for a change? So now I have to deal with the dilemma of "to buy or not to buy" ROM in name only number 4. I vowed to never buy any of IDW's shit ever again after the shitty Micronauts #1 but I might have to make an exception for this issue given that it does have a letter from me giving me now a total of 4 different titles I've now had my letters published in.

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Also from Gary we've got some old school stuff. This here comes from a Comics Buyer's Guide special on HULK back issues complete with a price guide and brief review on all the issues it covered. The special also included an entry for Incredible Hulk 262 (dire wraith back story) but I'm just featuring the entry for 296 because this one has a been of interesting commentary. Gary also found some entries for X-Men 187 and 188 for an X-Men Comics Buyer's Guide Presents special. But the asshole who did those entry write ups was a real dick head with his smart ass remarks about how the dire wraiths were some kinda second rate villains and what not. I'm not posting his shit fuck him.

November 5 update: Buying a copy for the IDW Rom in name only series for me is a lot like casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential election. Most people don't want to do it but feel like they have to in order to keep the option they hate even more out of the Oval Office. In my case I don't want to give IDW any of my money but not having a copy of my letter might be a worse option then this one time only purchase. Figures my LCS (CRUSH COMICS) only had one of the shitty cover art variants in stock. Apparently the ROM in name only series is selling better then the shitty Micronauts reboot from IDW according to the owner of CRUSH.

November 6 update: This is why I like people who leave comments I basically had no idea the cover variant I picked up yesterday was done by Al Milgrom and was a homage piece to Iron Man 80. Although I think it worked much better on the Iron Man cover. And just for the record I'm not just beating up on Al I've also pooped on cover variants done by Sal Buscema and Michael Golden it just seems to me that these cover variants from IDW lately don't bring out the best in these iconic Marvel 80s artsists. Although I betcha if Milgrom had done this homage cover in the RTO (Rom the original) series it would have come out much better then this RINO crap (Rom in name only).

Friday, October 21, 2016

I guess I should be flattered but . . .

Here's a screen shot of something I saw on Twitter earlier this evening but this isn't the first time I've seen some of my ROM fan art turn up else where. On one hand when this happens I'm a bit flattered but also kind of annoyed because it seems like it's never by anyone I know or have other wise had any communication with as far as I as I can tell. It would be nice for a change if someone actually said something about the art work they're about to lift off of my site much less ask permission to use it just as a matter of courtesy. And then on top of that they never mention where they got the art work from that they see fit to use. I think there's something to be said for a some kind of basic internet etiquette. This sure ain't the 80s any more.

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October 22 Update: Well with Gary's diorama in the previous posting it seems fitting to introduce this other unique sort of arts n' craft type tribute art work. This is something I found some time last year but have been sitting on for a while now for what ever reason I don't recall now. I think this is what you would call a shadow box and it was posted by a fellow by the name of Angel Velasquez who I assume is the artist. This is pretty cool it would make for a nice display piece in the home of any ROM fan.

I did away with the previous art work I had here because what I coincidentally found this morning was way cooler. Check out how the cover art for Daredevil 126 is similar and yet different at the same time with this Strange cover you see above you ....

Monday, October 3, 2016

The ROM legacy Heroclix collection

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I've loved dioramas ever since I was a kid, and this one comes to us by Gary Martin Jr.who did a fine job on it. The top left silver figurine is Ikon with some gold color variants that are supposed to be some kind of standard spaceknight soldiers in the Heroclix universe. Along the bottom to the left we have Forge from The X-Men which I'm sure most of you ROM fans remember as having had a pivotal role as an ally to ROM in the final days of the Wraith War both in the pages of The X-Men as well as in ROM spaceknight. Moving to the right we've also got Turbo from The New Warriors although for nostalgia's sake I wish they had made that figure outfitted with the original Torpedo costume as opposed to the updated version as seen in the 2nd New Warriors series.
Moving on to the right we've got the bad guys starting with a standard female dire wraith along with the dire wraith queen Volx. Notice how Volx is made of the exact same mold but done in green. Last up in the top right corner we've got the worst of the worst when it comes to ROM's enemies. Arguably the best sculpt of the bunch that there is Hybrid. Spawned of a dire wraith father and human mother Hybrid was a mutant of sorts possessed of vast powers both mental and physical.

It also so happens that this past weekend I was at the latest San Jose Super Toy comic and collectibles show. I really like this con I've been to it a few times now over the past couple of years it's not as big as most other cons but it's not bad at all and for a measly $10 admission fee (plenty of free parking nearby to) you get quite a lot of bang for your buck as the saying goes. It was kinda cool to see a dealer decorate one of his comic boxes with ROM 18. Also, Sam Jones from the awesomely cheesy 1980 Flash Gordon movie and more recently from the Ted movies was there.

1989 Oakland CA Wonder Con convention program

October 7 Update: First off I wanted to say I'm disappointed to not see some words of appreciation for that ROM legacy Heroclix diorama which no doubt was a real labor of love for Gary. Ok moving on, here's a little retrospective when it comes to the local convention scene. I just found this in an old 1989 Oakland Wonder Con convention program I still had. Ofcourse I've sung the praises of Akin & Garvey's work on ROM numerous times here over the years but I hadn't realized until today that they had also done inks on the Micronauts (Vol. 2) as well. I don't know about the first ever Wonder Con in 87 but I know they were also guests at the one in 88. Looking back I wish I had made a point to see them while I was there but unfortunately back in the late 80s I was in a different head space. The names behind the comics I loved to read and collect were not that big of a deal to me as hard as that me be to believe in the here and now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

One more card up my sleeve

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I totally wasn't expecting to do another sketch card any time soon but I saw something recently that gave me almost instant inspiration. But first things first. The closest thing we ever got to see in terms of some kind of ROM and Spider Man cross over was a cameo in ROM spaceknight 23. No doubt some kind of team up story between the greatest of the spaceknights and arguably Marvel's most popular character would have been nothing short of epic for ROM fans. So getting back to my inspiration it came when I saw this black suite Spider Man fan art by my good friend from Greece. It was one of the coolest and most creative web swinging poses I've ever seen and I knew almost right away I wanted to use it some how with ROM. I hammered this sketch card out it just one evening. Don't forget to check out part of the source material from Nikoskap ...

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And speaking of all things cool and Spider Man have a look at what I passed by just last week. This can be found in the city of Hayward at a custom plastics fabrication business called Bell Plastics (2020 National Ave.). But I'm also happy to say that Hayward has been home before to other public art of our friendly neighborhood Spider this can be found on Tennyson Road  Man

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Spaceknight in Seattle

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Been meaning to add another sketch card to my collection for a while now but just hadn't been feeling very artistically inspired lately. But with my most recent trip to Seattle I got an idea based on all the souvenir and gift shops with all the Seattle this and Seattle that merchandise but keep in mind I say that with Seattle still being my all time favorite U.S. city. Too bad it's almost as expensive to live there these days as it is in San Francisco. Anyways, that's nothing that ROM would have to worry about so here you have it a silver spaceknight in The Emerald City. Unfortunately, ROM never made it up to Seattle or to The Pacific Northwest in general during his original series but it sure would have been cool. That would have been so awesome seeing ROM use his neutralizer to banish a dire wraith posing as a Starbucks coffee employee. Not too far from reality actually when you think about it given Starbuck's already fairly successful plan for world domination.

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Classic Marvel 80s ROM sketch cards collect em all!

Friday, August 26, 2016

ROM spaceknight 65 tribute sketch card and Sal Buscema in Comic Book Fever

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After nearly a year delay the over sized hard cover COMIC BOOK FEVER from Twomorrows Publishing (Back Issue Magazine) finally came out. And thanks to Gary again who's already got his copy we now know about the ROM related stuff in it. It has me feeling kinda sentimental which in turn is bringing out my creative side after it's been on a bit reclusive in recent weeks. Aside from that doing something with ROM and Iron Man has been on the back burner for quite a while.

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Getting back to Comic Book Fever, it's compilation of the comic book industry from the mid 70s to the mid 80s and it includes a 3 page chapter devoted to ROM. One page is just a splash page with the doll with star field background but the other two pages are editorial and include some clip art from the original series. The information for the most part is redundant although it also has some new commentary from editor Joe Duffy about her experience with working on the original ROM spaceknight series.
Now ROM does turn up in other sections of the book and it was a chapter on Sal Buscema where I found the most interesting ROM related information. When it comes to the behind the scenes talk in regards to the original series the most interesting thing to me has always been what effected me the most as a fan and reader back in the day. And that is, Sal's departure from the series which gave way to a very low point in the art work on the in the series. The quote seen above seems to suggest that Bill Mantlo and Sal may have had some creative differences very early on in the series which ultimately came to a head a few years later. Just imagine if Sal had penciled ROM spaceknight 65 it would have made the wraith war conclusion so much more epic. You can preview some of what's inside of Comic Book Fever here . . .

August 28 update: I noticed a copy of the 2nd issue for the IDW ROM in name only series and while I was browsing through it a certain familiar name got my attention. By April of this year my enthusiasm for this new series was buried under 50 feet of shit in a casket made out of utter dismay and disappointment. But I'm still going to post Gary's letter because it's his birthday today and he's also such an all around stand up guy. Happy Birthday Gary and welcome to the published letters club.