Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bill Mantlo and his toy inspired Marvel titles, ROM Spaceknight & The Micronauts

I wonder why Bill Mantlo never had a cross over between these two titles. Both of which were inspired by toys that stirred Mantlo's fertile imagination. Each title has crossed over with numerous mainstream Marvel characters and teams through out the 80's. An early issue of The Micronauts even had the Man-Thing make an appearance as a nemesis. That always struck me as an odd cross over. I just think some sort of adventure that had brought ROM and The Micronauts together would have been cool at some point. Written by Bill Mantlo with art by none other then Mike Golden. What a classic that would have been! Not to take anything away from Sal Buscema cause you all know how much I love Sal's work. But having ROM featured in an issue that Mike Golden penciled would have been a nice change up. Golden was the regular cover and interior artist for Micronauts 1 - 12 and continued as the cover artist for the next dozen issues or so. He was also the cover artist for 9 of the first 19 issues of ROM.
The ironic thing is that I loved The Micronauts toy line and thought the comic book wasn't bad for the most part. Where as I was/am a huge fan of ROM the comic book (obviously!) but outside of the electronics not really all that into the doll. Where as the Micronauts were shiny, articulate, detailed and even had interchangeable parts where as the ROM doll had none of these features. But I can certainly understand how in each case a guy like Mantlo would have looked at these toys and started to see personalities, a background story and adventure. I've been wanting to blog about this for a long time now but never felt like I had the ideal visuals to go with it until I came up with a sketch a few days ago which I digitally colored. Although not inspired by a toy line, Bill Mantlo was also the creator of the Marvel superhero duo Cloak & Dagger.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

ROM spotted in Portland Oregon! Auction update.

Hey check out what I just found! Somebody actually made a home made ROM costume. Even though it's not exactly a state of the art fabrication I think part of it's charm is that you can easily tell even in this photos that it's made out of card board and tin foil. As I'm sure you've all guessed by now this appearance by "ROM" at Floating World Comics is part of a promotional move on behalf of the Bill Mantlo fundraiser art auction. Speaking of which the biding results art interesting thus far to say the least. Based on comments left on my last posting and on emails I received there seems to be a general concensus that most of the art is pretty bizarre. Yet, so far it's many of these odd pieces that seem to be getting most of the bids. How refreshing to find that the art scene of an 80's comic book character from a series that has been over for more then 25 years has it's own avant-garde click. I certainly hope hope the sarcasm in that last sentence wasn't lost on all of you. I've never followed an Ebay auction before so I guess we'll see how things develop over the next couple days. Maybe there will be a surprise or two yet?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My personal favorite five illustrations from the Bill Mantlo art auction

I was just taking a look at the latest auction pieces posted to the online gallery Spacenite 2 http://romspacenite.blogspot.com/ . Seeing that I've got a blog that's titled "Blog for ROM fans who aren't dicks" it's questionable judgment on my part to have this particular posting but here goes anyways. To be honest, I'm not too crazy about most of the items in that gallery. A lot of it is weird abstract stuff that really is lost on me. Then there's others that have some good aspects to them but ultimately overall went into a direction artistically that wasn't working for me. Aside from the five that you see here which I thought were great, there are probably about 15 or so others in the gallery that I would say are fairly good. If you go to the gallery you can see who the artists are and the comments I left for them. Just a head's up there was a time where I used to go by the screen name of "The Dude" ( yes as in The Big Labowski) with a little ROM icon to go with it. I sure hope this posting doesn't make me a ROM fan who's being a dick. But either way, rather they are the illustrations I like or dislike I hope a lot of that stuff sells for lots o money and in return gives the Mantlo family some relief from those shitty medical bills.

The Spacenite 2 blog that acts as a gallery of all the auction pieces has a link under each one that will take you to the ebay page if your curious to know how the biding is going. The auction runs till December 28th.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New ROM zero issue cover concept

I'm sure most of you recognize this art work as being the sketch that ~P~ from the Sanctum Sanctorum blog did for the Bill Mantlo fund raiser auction which I took the liberty of coloring. I figured since I colored it i might as well see what it would look like as an actual cover. Unfortunately having all the elements that make up a typical retail Marvel comic book cover of the 80's does hide some of the coolness of ~P~'s sketch but I think there is still enough of it revealed to make for a pretty damn cool ROM cover. I think one of the things that make this sketch work so well as a cover concept is the balance to the drawing. Rom is clearly the center piece with all the other subjects in the picture being very nicely distributed around him. Nothing feels visually too "heavy" or lopsided anywhere, it just works.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marvel micro heroes featuring ROM

Well I came across something else that was pretty cool today I hadn't seen before. This guy has a website that features all these Marvel & DC characters as these little bobble head doll looking caricatures. That's really nice how among all these main stream Marvel characters that he also did one of ROM. Speaking of bobble heads wouldn't that be also cool if they ever made one of ROM? Heads up to all you out there who also follow my Suicide Squad blog I'll be having a posting up in the near future on there too of this guy's work. To see more micro heroes go to: www.oocities.com/microheroes/Avengers.html If you go to this site and happen to notice that the ROM figure on it looks a bit different from the one in my posting it's not because your eyes are playing tricks on you. As I said before I like this guy's work but I felt like a couple of things on ROM here could have used a bit of fine tuning


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bill Mantlo Auction sketch by ~P~ of the Sanctum Sanctorum now in color

So I just want to start off by saying that this is a sketch that was done by ~P~ from the Sanctum Sanctorum for this year's Bill Mantlo art auction that I just merely colored in photoshop. Why? Because like many of you I wanted to see what it would look like in color and I'm just not the most patient person in the world as many who know me will tell you. ~P~ has a very demanding job in an industry that I'm all too familiar with, he and his wife run and animal shelter, he's writing a script for Marvel Studios for a feature film starring Dr. Strange, ROM and The Man-Thing all together plus he'll be running for office in 2012. With all this I just don't think he'll get around to coloring his sketch in an acceptable amount of time for me. Of all the things going on in this sketch the hardest character to color was ROM himself. As the center piece of a fairly busy drawing you want to make sure ROM isn't overwhelmed by the other elements around him which are actually more colorful then he is. Silver is not really a color after all. We take it for granted but it's quite clever how the colorists over the years have used bold black line work and heavy shading along with some strategically place touches of blue tones to create that silver looking spaceknight armor that is ROM. So he's not really silver at all, he just appears to be. Admittedly I did take one artistic liberty aside from the color. I removed the boobs on the female Dire -Wraiths. As a big big fan of human female mammary glands the thought of the Wraith women having anything along those lines was just too disturbing for me. ~P~, I hope this doesn't piss you off that I did this and posted it you know of course your welcomed to a file of the colored sketch. And Dan, I know your looking at this I believe you owe my something along the lines of some ROM related art? To see the uncolored sketch go to
http://sanctumsanctorumcomix.blogspot.com/2010/12/rom-spaceknight-illustration-final.html

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bill Mantlo finished tribute piece

Well here it is folks as promised. So the scenario you have here is the Dire Wraiths making a bee line for what they think will be refuge among the stars as they leave their watch-wraith servants to keep ROM occupied. It took me basically 48 hours to get this piece done which is an 8 1/2 X 11 water color with fine point colored markers. I want to thank all of you who both left comments and emailed me words of praise and encouragement while I was working on this. All that really remains now is for Floating World Comics http://www.floatingworldcomics.com/main/ to reply to my email inquiry a couple of days ago so we can take the next step to getting this into the auction and hopefully raise some money for Mantlo's family who no doubt are struggling with his medical care. If there is anybody out there who has any info. on Bill Mantlo's current condition please do share it with the rest of us by leaving a comment. Last I heard his condition wasn't that great and didn't seem to offer much hope for improvement. But perhaps unknown to most of us things have made a turn for the better since then. By the way if your curious what has been part of the auction in the past go to Spaceknight 2 in the blog roll. The first six to seven works from the top down have appeared in the last week and I can only assume are works for the up coming auction. To be honest I'm not sure what to make of most of the new stuff so far but again I'd certainly like to hear other people's thoughts rather you leave a comment here, on Spaceknight 2 or even with an email to me directly.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bill Mantlo tribute piece - sketch

Any body remember the Watch-wraiths? They were these constructs that the science Wraiths developed as sentinels and body guards. We only get to see them 3 times through out the ROM series but I always liked em and wished we could have seen them more. Especially if they maybe had shown them in flash back sequences during the Galador-Wraith war fighting other Spaceknights.
Now over to Transformers II which was the return of Michael Bay to his usual over the top pander to pop culture shitty movie making style. But even this peice of shit did have it's moments like the forest fight scene in which Optimus takes on almost all the Decepticons on his own cause he's bad ass that way when he has to be. Even though he's too modest to admit it, which is really what makes Optimus Prime so awesome more so even then him being a great warrior! Besides, as Yoda said in ESB, "Wars not make one great" and I'm sure Prime would agree. There's this one point where Optimus climbs on the back of a Decepticon that's bigger then him and gets his "meat hooks" into the Decepticon and literally rips his fucken face apart! It was a great scene in the midst of a sequel that was so very inferior to the first TF movie. Here it is to the sound effects of the epic kick ass film 300.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak_SvePnFXM
So anyways that's where I got the inspiration and idea for this sketch which I'll hopefully have colored by the end of Friday or Saturday. The dude at Floating World Comics wants this by Sunday for the Bill Mantlo art auction but I'm hoping he just wants to see something having been done and not the actual work in his hands. Shit I just found out about this on Tuesday afternoon and it's Thanksgiving today. Stay tuned folks I'll have the finished work posted as soon as it's . . finished. Sketching stuff always takes me longer then to color it so who knows I might have this done by tomorrow night. All I got going on tomorrow is I'm heading to S.F. in the morning with some friends to cause some trouble with the lunatic left wing fringe. They're going to be staging another pro-terror demonstration in the middle of the busiest shopping square in S.F on Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ROM pin-up illustration by Glove Studios

I'm going to be working on piece for an auction to raise money for Bill Mantlo's medical care today and tomorrow. I wish I could say this is what I came up with because this is some pretty amazing work! It reminds me a lot of the kind of fantasy illustration style I might see on the cover of an issue of Heavy Metal magazine. But in actuality this just happens to be some more random art I discovered on the internet I had never seen before by some artist at Glove Studios. The details are also quite exceptional so if you have the means to enlarge or magnify this image please do so since I posted it at a fairly high resolution. This illustration also came with the following information you might find interesting:

It's been a while since I uploaded anything that wasn't Transformers, so I thought I'd upload a pin-up I did recently as sort of a commission for IDW Publishing's Editor-In-Chief Chris Ryall. Chris is a big fan of the 1980s character ROM who was a toy that was developed into a Marvel Comic. Unfortunately the rights to ROM are caught up in limbo (which is ironic if you are familiar with ROM fiction) so any future tales of the Galadorian Spaceknight are very much in doubt. However, I was able to at least have some fun with the character.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Amazing ROM rendering by Jeff Slemmons

I randomly came across this art last night while I was trolling around the internet. This one of the most coolest renderings I've ever seen of ROM. I mean I've come across other stuff in my time online but much of it I've seen repeatedly in multiple sites so I don't see much point in putting it here too especially since I started this blog to be filled with more unique content of ROM related art work and news. I love this piece! (which I think is done in pen & ink). The dramatic perspective, the excellent foreshortening just knocks it out of the park. I don't know if this artist spent much time in figure drawing classes or not but clearly he has an eye for human anatomy at different angles.
Jeff, if your out there I sure hope you don't mind me posting this but if you do don't hesitate to contact me and I'll remove it or add some more specific info about it if you want. I'm betting that there are a lot of ROM fans out there who haven't seen this yet and I'd like to make sure they have an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Like Will Smith said in the movie Hancock, "good job".

Monday, November 8, 2010

X-Man 31 extended review: Saving Jimmy Marks

Ever since I learned about the existence of this issue of X-Man (1997) and how it featured the return of the most fearsome foe ROM ever faced I knew I'd have to get the full story somehow. Well thanks to ~P~ from Sanctum Sanctorum Comics (see blog role) I now at least have the electronic version of this issue which gave me access to all the clip art I would need to put together a more complete review of this issues story line then I have seen online thus far. I'd like to open things up by mentioning that this issue had a dedication to the original creative team of ROM Spaceknight Bill Mantlo & Sal Buscema. The main character of X-Man is Nathan (Nate) Grey.

Nathan indeed is related to Jean Grey and is also a powerful mutant with telepathic and telekinetic powers. Nathan is haunted by a series of nightmares in which he is trying to protect a young boy form the X-Men who are not at all acting as the heroes they are. One day Nate randomly comes across an article in the paper about an explosion at an orphanage in Clairiton West Virginia which happens to feature a photo of the boy from Nate's dreams and who also happens to be the sole survivor of the blast. Knowing for sure now that something is up Nate travels to Clairiton and learns from the authorities that the boy prior to being sent to the orphanage was found on an empty road in a traumatized state of mind with apparently no identification or memory of how he got there. So next, Nate travels to up state New York where the boy was sent for psychiatric treatment. Once he finds the boy Nate speculates that he must be some sort of mutant and proceeds to find out more by entering the boy's mind which he describes as being "splintered" and seemingly containing duel personalities. At this point in the story the readers are treated to a flash back of the entire back drop story of Hybrid leading all the way up to the last time he was supposedly vanquished by ROM's neutralizer. It turns out that the boy in front of Nate was Hybrid who had again escaped Limbo but did so at the cost of not having been properly reformed in body and mind and so ended up manifesting himself as his Jimmy Marks persona with the Hybrid psyche marginalized in Jimmy's subconscious. The dreams that Nate was experiencing was the Hybrid psyche reaching out to him as a way to lure him to Jimmy. At this point Nate realizes he's made a big mistake by
probing Jimmy's mind as it has made it possible for Hybrid to pull his psyche fully back together and once again Jimmy Marks is replaced in body and soul by the horror known as Hybrid. Hybrid shape shifts into his true self and attacks Nate who quickly finds himself on the defensive against Hybrid's telekinetic and psionic assaults. Nate puts a up a valiant fight but Hybrid eventually gets the upper hand. It looks like Nate is all but doomed when he takes a different strategy to fighting Hybrid by going back into his mind but this time to find the psyche of what remains of the Jimmy Marks's persona. After some probing he finds Jimmy deep within Hybrid's subconscious and makes contact with him. Nate then rescues Jimmy by absorbing his humanity. This has the effect of causing pain and disorientation to Hybrid while adding to Nate's Power and gives him his second wind in a manner of speaking in regards to his battle with Hybrid. On top of this Nate is pissed and now the full realization of Hybrid's evil and the tragedy that was Jimmy Marks causes him to cuts loose with a powerful psi-blast that literally blows Hybrid away. Presumably for good this time. Although in the aftermath Nate speculates that it is plausible that Hybrid could reform his atoms again as he has done before through shear force of will thanks to his inherit mental abilities and unique physiology.

Something of interest in this issue also is that during the fight Hybrid mentions ROM by name which I thought Marvel was unable to do for legal reasons given the licensing issue with Parker Bros./Hasbro. I suppose it's possible the writers wanted to slip that one under the radar for the sake of making this tribute issue more authentic figuring it's hardly likely after all these years since ROM's regular series that Parker Bros./Hasbro is liable to go after Marvel for some minor infraction. For more clip art from this issue go to http://beholdthegeek.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html

Friday, October 29, 2010

World War Z authur Max Brooks talks about his love of ROM comic book in MTV interview

This article was sent to me from It's a Dan's World ( see blog roll ) this morning. What a great find and a great way to kick the day off. The article got me thinking about those iconic 80's MTV commercials I watched as a kid. So the idea for an image on this blog posting to go along with the article came to me quite naturally of course.

MTV: I know you're a longtime comics reader, but now that you're a comics writer, is there a project or a character that you're dying to tackle?

BROOKS: I've always loved comics — especially being as dyslexic as I am, comics were a great way to read for me. They sort of opened the door to reading for me. I think the first thing I ever read in my entire life, comics or otherwise, is the very first "Rom: Spaceknight" annual.

MTV: Seriously? I'm amazed this hasn't come up earlier. I'm sort of a big "Rom" geek myself...

BROOKS: You know, "Rom" is the only comic that I've ever seriously collected. I've never been a collector really, but with "Rom" I was there. When I was a little kid and that moment happened when first read something start to finish, that was so empowering. It was like that "Back To The Future" moment when George McFly punches Biff in the face, and he's like, "Wow, look what I can do!" That's how it felt.

But once again proving how my finger is not on the pulse, all my friends growing up were into X-Men, Justice League, and Superman, and there was "Crisis On Infinite Earths" and all that, and there I was reading "Rom." Now that we've seen what special effects can do for "Iron Man," though, I'm like, "Come on, folks. Rom. Let's do it."

MTV: Wow. I can't argue with you there. Go Rom!

http://splashpage.mtv.com/2010/10/29/zombie-survival-guide-world-war-z-movie-the-walking-dead-rom-spaceknight/#more-42959

MTV commercial clip of planting of the MTV flag on the moon from the dawn of the 80's. You remember how that music goes right?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=182oUgBfoLE&feature=related

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Optimus Prime, Robocop and The Greatest of the Spaceknights together for the first time, sort of

Well how about this! Somebody out there who would prefer to remain anonymous felt bad about my farewell post and sent this to me. This is cool for a number of reasons. First, you have three of some of the coolest characters in sci-fi represented. Plus, this is an intriguing and just all around clever way of bringing them together (in a manner of speaking). Robocop exiting Optimus Prime who happens to have a ROM custom paint job, now that's pretty original. As I understand it this was originally just Robocop and Optimus. A version that included ROM was later created for my benefit. It should also be noted that rumor has it that Robocop was actually based on a combination of ROM and Judge Dredd. It's not that crazy when you think about. The adherence to the law or a code, and an unwavering sense of duty, justice and order were trademark personality traits of all three characters. And it just so happens that the same obviously can be said for Optimus Prime as well. Another cool thing worth mentioning and about why I like this is that drawing the parallels between ROM and Optimus Prime was the very first posting to kick off this blog.
http://romspaceknightart.blogspot.com/2010/04/before-optimus-prime-there-was-rom.html

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good grief where is my head at!? I almost forgot October is breast cancer awareness month

This posting came as an after thought since my farewell posting early this morning. My earliest recollection with my fascination of women's mammary glands was from the first Swamp Thing movie (I was about 11) with Adrienne Barbeau running around in this white torn up dress she was barley wearing. I've matured some what since then, so today I understand fighting breast cancer is first and foremost about saving lives. But, if we can save some breasts in the process I say all the better. At the end of the ROM series he and Brandy got to be together as human beings for the first time. They've been through so much tragedy and we all want them to live happily ever after ( at least in our imaginations ). So especially with ROM about to get laid for the first time in over 200 years we don't want anything spoiling the quality time for this special couple. So just give a little to the cause at the supermarket, Walmart or where ever you see a breast cancer research donation opportunity this month.
Right click to enlarge
And if what I said before doesn't raise your social consciouses, here are some photos of Comic-Con costumes that may give you guys some extra added incentive to dish out a couple of bucks for this noblest of noble causes. Just think, any one of these lovely ladies could be breast cancer survivors who were able to avoid any sort of invasive procedures thanks to the advancement of cancer research. This is no laughing matter. For a lot of guys who go to these conventions this is as close to being with an actual woman as they'll ever get with out an up front payment.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"And like that - poof, he's gone"

Pretty much from the beginning until issue 20 this mysterious fellow was the head honcho directing all Dire-Wraith operations on Earth. As you can see here they always referred to him as "Most High One". Not too be taken in a Bob Marley kind of way but more like the elder most powerful vampire among much younger vampires kind of way. We also never got to see his face since Sal Buscema always drew his face hidden by shadows or obscured in some other way. He had an array of powers including energy discharge, hypnosis and the ability to summon a Death Wing at will. But as of issue 20 in which he collaborates with the evil spaceknight Mentus in a scheme to lure ROM back to Galador we never see him again. I don't know maybe this guy was really Kaiser Soze from "The Usual Suspects" or something. At any rate it's a shame given the character's high standing among Wraith kind and the mystery surrounding him I think there was some real potential for the Most High One to stir up trouble for Rom and Earth's heroes later in the series. If it were up to me I would definitely revisit this character in any future story lines for ROM Spaceknight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkJqKOb0ZhY&NR=1

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SALE! SALE! SALE! on ROM & other Marvel titles

For any of you fans out there interested in your very own set of ROM comics, I have one I'm parting with. The comics are all in F-NM quality, all bagged and boarded and ready to ship. Issues are 1-75 + 4 annuals and I'm offering them for $100 + shipping, so I'm trying to undercut that and make you a deal. On top of this I also have lots of F-NM random issues, so if you're missing any issues to complete your collection, I'll make you a deal. Beyond that I also have over 2,000 assorted, The Hulk, Dr. Strange, Batman, Superman, Wolverine, X-Men . . .If you're looking for anything in particular or have any questions drop me a line or leave a message in the comments section! If your looking to have that one of a kind item of your favorite character or just need the perfect gift for someone special I also do commission art jobs. I can be reached at: rush3rd@gmail.com

"I'm ROM, Greatest of the Spaceknights and I approve this message"

Monday, October 11, 2010

ToyFare Magazine - ROM action figure arrival issue

Ok I'm still sticking to what I said about the Torpedo figure in my last posting but I have to admit this ROM figure is a close second. Plus I thought it would makes for a good cover shot (especially with a little photoshop enhancement) . I don't really know much about it other then that it's creator is someone by the name of Alyosha and that he had it on ebay around June last year. Presumably it sold because according to a blog posting by Eclectic Lee (see blog role) it was going for up to $66 at one point. Sure a bit pricey for an action figure but hey, it's a one of a kind sorta thing not too mention all the work that went into it. And if need be you can always get by on bread and water for a week or so. Not really that big of a deal especially when you consider David Blaine went with out food for nearly a month in yet another one of his acts of insanity . . er i mean endurance. You can find out more about how it was put together:
http://www.toyark.com/news/custom-toy-news-47/marvel-universe-rom-spaceknight-of-galador-custom-1125/

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekend double header posting featuring ROM & The Torpedo

Q-S: ROM
I'm sure this front & back cover splash page from Marvel Universe #9 should help out any of you out there who may have had some trouble finding our silver spaceknight in my last posting. I was at a 7 11 with my dad when by chance I first saw this issue . It blew me away to run into comic book title that featured ROM so prominently> on it's cover. This was long before I had my own money so I had to hit the old man up to buy it for me which he was glad to do cause he new how much I loved all things ROM.
Imagine my disappointment a few years later to discover the deluxe version of Marvel Universe's page for ROM drawn by Steve Dikto who portrayed ROM in human form wearing an outfit that looked more like something to be worn by Galador's official court jester then by it's ruler. As if that wasn't bad enough ROM was also completely absent on the front and back covers. "So f#$% you Marvel you can blow me for that issue!" Sorry folks for that vulgar display of profanity but I really needed to get that off my chest. And so, moving on . . .

The Torpedo Custom Action Figure

Now I know not every person who's a ROM fan is also a fan of The Torpedo but as ROM's unofficial side kick I think he deserves some attention too, especially in light of his untimely demise (see issue 50). Here is a guy many of us can relate to. A family man trying to juggle his career and being a part time hero so he can remember what life was like before marriage. And with a name like Brock Jones who knows what sort of life he had back then. Rather ironic I think that Brock would some day become a super hero known as The "Torpedo".
I came across this figure online by chance and I have to admit it looks pretty damn good with the detail and all. And as much as I hate to admit it, it looks better then any of the ROM custom figures I've seen floating around out there thus far. So rest in peace Brock and take your place among the fallen heroes in the Marvel Universe. Even though you had the misfortune of having had your brains sucked out of your head through the barbed tongue of a Wraith at least some fanboy out there made a cool action figure of you. For a recap of issue 50 go to :
http://siskoid.blogspot.com/2009/04/spaceknight-saturdays-50.html

Friday, October 8, 2010

Forget Waldo, where's the silver spaceknight?

Remember those stupid picture things that you were supposed to stare at for hours and an image was supposed to materialize in your head like a sail boat or some crap like that? Never worked for me. But I sure didn't have that problem the first time I picked up a copy of the Marvel Universe issue that covered the "Rs". You couldn't miss the big silver guy on that cover! See how long it takes you to spot him on this Jackson Pollock like Marvel master piece.

If it just isn't coming to you don't fret, my next posting in a couple of days will include a cheat sheet that happens to be some of the coolest ROM art of the 80's ever! The 80's, can't lived with em anymore, but can't live completely with out em either. No comments please that will give his location away. Think of it as talking about Darth Vader being Luke's father as you walk past a line of people waiting to to see the next showing of The Empire Strikes Back.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

MARVEL FANFARE starring Dr. Strange & ROM

I came across a photo of ~P~ from Sanctum Sanctorum in a full on Dr. Strange costume (winner of the Wizard mag. 6th Annual Halloween costume contest) and I just knew I would have to do something with that! So along with some ROM costume clip art I found online I came up with a way to re-introduce The Greatest of the Spaceknights and the Master of the Mystic Arts who have teamed up on more then one occasion.
When you think about it, ROM#65 should have had Dr.Strange play a pivotal role in winning the Dire Wraith war much like Forge did. Especially when you consider the mystical nature of the impending apocalyptic Wraith World Merge, not to mention the appearance of virtually every other Marvel super hero. The issue opens up with ROM under some sort of spell that had him immobilized. Maybe instead of a kiss from Brandy like something out of a Disney fairytale, Dr. Strange arriving on the scene to caste a counter spell might have suited the story line a bit better I think. He didn't even make a token appearance like maybe one of those panels where you barely see him in the back ground some where amongst other heroes. http://itsadansworld.blogspot.com/search?q=rom+65 Just one of those stupid over sights I guess that happens once in a while. But since Steve Dikto penciled this issue it was pretty much f@#$%* anyways from the get go (see Aug. 22 posting).

Friday, October 1, 2010

ROM #26 cover spotted in TRON Legacy trailer

A special thanks to Andrew Cosson for bringing this to my attention. You are not seeing things. If you've managed not to get distracted by the gorgeous red head in the Black Widow costume I had open in photoshop when I took this screen shot you'll notice that indeed that is ROM#26. Now that's what I call staying power for a 80's Marvel character who's series ended 25 years ago! Given how nicely staged everything is in that seen with the Black Hole movie art and the Rubix cube I'm thinking it's not a coincidence that a ROM issue is in there too. It's too bad they didn't have the len's view so that we could see a bit of the "ROM" title but that might be because of the letter box format. To theck out the trailer go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEndyAOpI8A

Thursday, September 30, 2010

ROM #76 - "If you will it, it is no dream"

He awoke to the sound of machines, his conscious mind peeling away layers of reality that had filled his mind for what seemed like an eternity. Was it all a dream? Gone were the visions of his life which he had come to accept as reality, yet not completely. Even now, bathed in the dim glow of fading electronic light, he somehow had always known his world was not real. Some intangible urgency had pressed at the back of his mind, forcing him to secretly question everything around him. The dreamer had awoken and sat motionless as the dream faded away. What of his home world Galador? What of his wife and children? And where are they now? “I am . . .Quasimodo,” a mechanical voiced breathed away weakly from the darkness. Feeling the energy slowly returning to his body. “I,” the dreamer spoke in an attempt to respond. “am ROM. Greatest of the Spaceknights”.

The following is the hypothetical opening in a plot line by Rush Montgomery for a continuation of the ROM anthology, beginning with issue 76 entitled ‘Reboot”. ROM discovers that the life he "lived" since striking the bargain with Quasimodo (see issue 42) was not reality. That "life" was merely the result of Quasimodo's computer manipulations of ROM's subconscious. Now ROM is awake, and in desperate need of answers to make sense of it all.
We are hoping for feedback from YOU ALL for the possibility of the ROM 76 project. Please leave a comment and share your opinions for this hypothetical premise ( likes, dislikes, ups, downs, pros, cons we want to hear it all from you ). Artists who might be able to contribute are also encouraged to contact us to find out more. For a recap of ROM #42 go to: http://siskoid.blogspot.com/2009/02/spaceknight-saturdays-dream-come-true.html

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Claudio Cavallote presents - ROM, aside from beautiful women one more reason why Brazil rocks!


Just wanted to open up this posting by letting everyone know I've been to Brazil 3 times and each trip was a blast! Now I'm happy to say that one of the followers of this blog is from Brazil. Sao Paulo (St. Paul) specifically which is a huge city that I spent a lot of time in and had some adventures. One time in particular comes to mind when I almost got into a fist fight with some drunk guy from New Zealand who was being a real dick at this party in high rise building in downtown Sao Paulo.
But I digress, what your seeing here is the comic book issue that began Claudio's life changing experience of becoming a ROM fan. And also what you are looking at is some drawings that he did as a kid obviously inspired by reading ROM. Much better stuff then the crap I was drawing back then I might add. Now I know what you all are thinking, what does that cover say?
My Portuguese (no they don't speak Spanish there) is a bit rusty but I can make out pretty much all the words. But the grammar presents a bit of challenge and I'm afraid if I try to write it in English something might get lost in translation. So hopefully we can all expect to see a comment from Claudio soon who can help us out with that cover and share with us any other info. about this stuff like how old was he when he got that comic and did those drawings.

Hey ladies, win a date with HYBRID!

I sketched this ultimate "bad boy" to pass the time during a black out in my town Saturday night. Later after the power came back I scanned the sketch and colored it in photoshop. When I think of Hybrid I think of that famous line by Arnold in the first Predator movie after the Predator removes his helmet and starts kicking Arnold's ass. Out of all of ROM's enemies arguably Hybrid had to be the most deadly. Born of a human mother and Dire Wraith father he possessed incredible power. Power enough that he could go toe to toe with ROM with out the use of Wraith science or magic. He survived getting blasted by ROM's neutralizer more then once and took out Colossus of the X-Men with out lifting a finger. He basically pimp slapped the Torpedo away after the Torpedo collided into him at full speed. Later in a confrontation with the Brother Hood of Evil Mutants he almost literally made Rogue his you know what despite Rogue possessing Ms. Marvel's powers and having just recently beat the crap single handily out of most of the Avengers ( see Avengers Annual #10). Hybrid had a thing for ladies of the mutant persuasion but from what we could see he was about as equipped for some "lovin" as a Ken doll, so maybe that explains why he had so many issues with women. During Hybrid's final appearance he made a joke of the New Mutants (well that's no big deal even I could take them I've been working out) and even overwhelmed professor Xavier in the mental department (ok now that's impressive!). And for his final and best trick he reversed the spell that made Brandy Clark Starshine and put her in some sexy lingerie. All along he had kinda this Joker (Heathe Ledger - R.I.P) way about him the way he taunted and toyed with his victims in a humorous manner. Just close your eyes for a minute and picture lines like these coming from Hybrid, "You remind me of my father . . . I hated my father!" or " Why-so-serious!?" It's a shame the Hybrid character never crossed over into other Marvel titles that could have been something given how formidable he was. Even a What If story about him could have been promising. Oh the possibilities.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bill Mantlo Tribute Piece by Andrew Cosson

Here we have one other brave soul who has stepped forward and offered to grace my blog with some cool art. More specifically art that was sold to help raise money for Bill Mantlo's medical care which as I understand it he will be needing for the rest of his life. I would have really liked to have done something of my own for Bill's health care but unfortunately I was largely out of the loop at that time in regards to the goings on in the comic book biz.
From what I can see here we have The HULK, Box & Snowbird from Alpha Flight. There's ROM & Starshine of course. Next to them is Bug, Marionette, Acroyar and Huntarr from the Micronauts along with Microverse aliens Antron & Membros complete with glowing brains. And then we have a purple female Dire Wraith looking like she's ready to party with these guys. And just below Acroyar's sword arm we've got Hybrid who's got a thing for single women from the mutant community. Now don't quote me on this but I believe the purple winged fellow is an artificial creature known as Dragon Man.
When I first posted Andrew's piece I provided some inaccuracies in my summery. The comments section for this posting covers that and also provides additional information about how Andrew put this awesome rendering together.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Now this is what I call "change we can believe in"

Who better then Greatest of the Spaceknights to not just save the Earth from the Dire Wraiths but to also clean up Washington D.C. from other menaces such as lobbyist and corrupt politicians. Yep, he is just the man . . . er i mean cyborg we need to neutralize the bureaucracy and banish all those assholes from both parties who spend more time fighting each other then trying to get shit done for the country. A special thanks to Tony for inadvertently giving me the idea for this campaign art work in a comment he made in my ROM "What If" posting. This is one of those rare times where I was able to come up with something more abstract or otherwise outside the box artistically speaking as opposed to the more straight forward type of stuff I tend to do.

The ROM "What If" issue . . . what if?

If Marvel had ever done a What If issue for ROM I think it would have been over the final showdown for Earth in issue 65.
And who knows maybe the cover would have looked something like this photoshop hatchet job I did tonight. For a very comprehensive and funny recap of ROM 65 "The Final Conflict" go to:

http://siskoid.blogspot.com/2009/08/spaceknight-saturdays-lets-get-this.html

Of course there are a lot of other What If themes from the ROM anthology that would have been interesting to see ( What If Brandy Clark had never become Starshine or What If FireFall had become Greatest of the Spaceknights ) but with out a doubt the events in issue 65 had the biggest impact on the mainstream Marvel Universe.
So if the Wraiths had gotten the drop on ROM and put him down, would Earth's heroes have been able to the task of thwarting the Wraith's "World Merge" apocalypse plan? A plan that would have brought Wraith World and it's black sun into Earth's orbit causing horrific environmental damage that would make BP & Exxon look like green energy companies. And don't forget, back in ROM # 27 Galactus ( "The big G" ) tried and failed to devour Wraithworld and it's sun and received an ass pounding as a result that would have made a stay in federal prison look like a trip to Disneyland. As always, if you have any thoughts on other ROM "What If" scenarios or on my cover concept please do share them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

There's no 72 virgins in Limbo!

As you all know the Dire Wraiths are alien invaders with the goal of conquering the earth. As shape shifters they hide among us and when they strike it usually results in death and destruction of innocent people. Unfortunately, there is an enemy in the real world that has much in common with the Dire Wraiths. And there's no such thing as ROM's energy analyzer ( used to detect Wraiths regardless of what shape they assume ) to reassure us who is a terrorist and who isn't. Sometimes we discover that too late such as in the Fort Hood massacre or the Oklahoma City bombing . But when we do discover these terrorists it would be nice to banish them to Limbo ( an inter-dimensional hell hole of a prison ) just like ROM does with the Wraiths and let them spend eternity reflecting on their past misdeeds and enjoy the company of alike minded vile creatures. I usually wouldn't think of mixing politics with something like a blog about the world of sci-fi and comics. But I'm making an exception in light of it being the first 911 since I started this blog for ROM fans who aren't dicks.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The zero issue that never was

With the use of Photoshop & Illustrator I dressed up some original art by Scott Rosema in order to create a cover concept for what might have been a zero issue. I'ts too bad Marvel never did something like this after the series finale before the Parker Bro's licensing was yanked. Some kind of issue back tracking to tie up some loose ends would have been nice.
Especially explaining crap like that "snow globe" sphere thing that was salvaged from Termintor and magically turns ROM from a cyborg into human form. Or maybe something that explains how ROM and Brandy start to repopulate Galador from their . . . ahem limited gene pool shall we say? It seemed plausible to me that other Galadorians could have been hiding out in other parts of the planet. Kinda like in the Terminator films in which there were pockets of human resistance hiding through out the world.
In ROM #14 there is a cut away story about how ROM's girlfriend (Ray-na) was killed on the the planet Agricon during the Wraith invasion of the Golden Galaxy. So apparently Galadorians lived on off world colonies which makes sense. It's a common theme in science fiction concepts that deal with technologically advanced space faring civilizations. It would have stood to reason that many of those Galadorians would have wanted to return to Galador to help rebuild. Also maybe to help figure out those surviving spaceknights who's humanity got trashed might be able to become human again. Did these brilliant Galadorian scientists ever think about cloning perhaps!? I mean I know the process that Quasimodo used was some what less then perfect but cloning worked pretty good in that mediocre sci-fi flick with Arnold ( The Governator ) "The Sixth Day". Like I said before it would have been nice to have something wrap all that up in light of the rag tag ending I felt the series had. And by the Gods of Galador have any body else pencil it but Steve Dikto please!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm tired of all these mutha$#@%&* wraiths on this mutha$#@%&* planet!

Take a second to read the dialogue in this panel to the left . . . . . . . It's from issue #41 (1983) in which ROM with the aid of Dr.Strange takes on some manifestation of Wraith magic known as the Dweller on the Threshold. Now I don't know if someone at Marvel was temporarily possessed by Samuel L. Jackson or just decided to indulge in some office humor at the time. Who can say for sure? However, as I understand it an X amount of these issues made it to press before the mistake was discovered and corrected. As such, a limited number of these "misprints" made it to comic shops, corner stores and several 7-11 locations alike. I'm at a loss how any of these made it past the Comic Code Authority but there you have it. Rather you think this is B.S. or not I suggest any of you out there who have this issue in your collection might want to find it and check it out. This could redefine the whole concept of what makes any particular issue a "classic".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's time to play guess that Spaceknight!

Left click to enlarge
I was just making some sketches to pass the time tonight and woe and behold a pretty good drawing started to materialize. The two Spaceknights in the foreground are easy to figure out. The 3rd one in the background might be a bit tougher unless your a a nerd of epic proportions and I mean that in the nicest way really. And just so you know this indeed is a Spaceknight with a name that made an appearance in the original ROM series. First correct guess gets a door prize!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ant-Man fixes his daughter's ROM doll

I just stumbled across this two panel image of something I had never seen before. What we seem to have here is ROM appearing in the Marvel Universe as the Parker Bros. doll instead of as a interactive character. As we all know Ant-Man and ROM have appeared together before but not quite like this. At least now for all of you collectors out there who still have the doll now know who to go to if it gets busted. But were not talking about Henry Pym here. Apparently this was an ex-con named Scott Lang who had a daughter and was Ant-Man for a while. I think it would have been an extra added nice touch to make the anatomy of the figure in the drawing look like the Parker Bros. one for authenticities sake.
 January 2013 update:  http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/marvel_team-up_103.shtml
Also, the full issue can be read here: http://mailittoteamup.blogspot.com/2012/08/marvel-team-up-fro-to-z-marvel-team-up.html

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Raiders of The Lost Torpedo Suite

I haven't see much info. out there in the ROM cyberspace cult following about matters having to do with the Torpedo. The Torpedo suite was presumably destroyed in a fire sometime after Brock Jones was slain by the dire wraiths. The wraith who took Jone's identity was in turn killed by some Skrulls who then torched the Jones home.
It turns out some years later the Torpedo suite is being worn by an Asian woman who at one point was part of the New Warriors team under the name of Turbo. Turbo, along with the rest of The New Warriors would come to fight the
dire wraith "queen" by the name of Volx who has traveled to Earth for revenge in regards to Earth's victory over the wraiths as seen in ROM # 65. However, Volx looks more like something from John Carpenter's brilliant remake of The Thing then what we remember of the wraiths from the 80's. I dunno maybe it's because she's supposed to be the queen or something. For a more complete background of Volx and Turbo go to:
http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/volx.htm

Funny thing is they refer to the Torpedo suite as The Torpedo "armor". Which is funny cause in this picture to the left the suite looks more like something that was spray painted on her. Not that I'm complaining mind you!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How Steve Dikto all but ruined ROM for me as a kid


Click on image to enlarge

Steve Dikto started taking over as penciler in ROM # 59. Fortunately his influence wasn't too pronounced thanks to the assistance of contributing finishers up until issue 64. I think of Steve Dikto as having been a man/artist for his time which was back in the day when Marvel was just getting started. But those days of Steve Dikto had long since passed as of the early 80's as far as I'm concerned. As a kid, to see the transition of the visually dynamic style of Sal Buscema ( original ROM penciler ) to Steve Dikto which to me was goofy by camparison almost broke my heart at the time. Feel free anyone out there to weigh in on this issue of mine. Also, there is a great youtube video about the career of Sal Buscema which has a mention of ROM in the narration and also features the first page of ROM # 1 and later the cover of ROM # 36 in the video's conclusion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stjni_4lYbw