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.

Left click to enlarge
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 . . .
http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=95_94&products_id=1195


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.

16 comments:

  1. That magazine seems very interesting, and more so if there's behind the scene info.I know Jim Shooter claims that he took Sal out of the book because he basically wanted to give Steve Ditko a job, he felt Marvel owed him much and treated him badly in the past , so he pledged to always offer him jobs as long as he was editor in chief.

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    1. if there's any truth to that about Shooter then i have one more reason to not like him. however, it seems the main reason was because of creative differences on the series between Sal and Bill in issue 16 of BACK ISSUE Magazine again we Sal talking about it in an interview http://romspaceknightart.blogspot.com/2015/01/why-our-pal-sal-left-rom-in-his-words.html

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  2. No, I can at least appreciate the sentiment if that's true, seeing as that wasn't a commonplace practice even back then, but the art was horrible tho, and didn't justify the job. He no longer earned a gig, which is sad but truthful to say.

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  3. Dale, what were you referring to exactly by "commonplace practice"?

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    1. The practice of looking out for vets/legendary creators that weren't currently working either for the big two or in the industry in general, and giving them a job/work.

      Not every editor-in-chief or editor did that.

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  4. I just finished issue #2 of the new series and saw Gary's letter at the back too. I am thoroughly convinced the new look for Rom and the Dire wraiths has to do with trying not to violate copyrights with Marvel. They can't even use the name Galador for Rom's home planet. I am loving the 'They Live', 'I come in peace', 'Body snatchers', 'The Thing', and 'Terminator' movies mixed with witchcraft vibe the series is taking. This new series does not replace the old one for me , but I feel this new series is worth a look for old school Rom fans.

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    1. Well I appreciate your input here but the copy rights issue with marvel is something I just don't agree with. Marvel doesn't own the likeness or name of the character they only had a deal with Parker Brothers at one time to publish him. Now hasbro owns Rom and they have a deal with IDW to publish the Rom name and likeness marvel is completely out of the picture from a legal stand point. Besides, haven't you seen the rob liefied cover variant? He drew Rom exactly as he appeared in marvel and there's at least 3 other cover variants where Rom also looks pretty damn close to the original. i'm not trying to be a dick here but I think the powers that be at IDW just simply thought this would be a good updated look for Rom.

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    2. I respect your opinion, but some covers by guest artists isn't enough to convince me that IDW could use the design of ROM that was uniquely Marvel's (when compared to the original toy) inside the actual issues. We'll agree to disagree on the likeness, but the tone of the story is very much ROM to me with added elements from my favorite sci-fi movies. I'll try not to bother you with any more about the new ROM series, but it would be nice to come to this blog to discuss the new series too. Anyways, I appreciate what you have done with this blog and continue to do concerning classic ROM.

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    3. Well you can always send an email to IDW asking them directly in order to settle the matter. I'd do it but I think they've heard enough from me over Rom's new design but I will say this their replies never made any mention of legal limitations with the marvel series. As for this blog being a forum for the new series i honestly dont see that happening I intend on keeping this an 80s version blog for as long as this blog keeps going. There's more alike minded people with you on farcebook and Twitter that's always an option for you I suppose. All that said thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts here.

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  5. I noticed the awesome Gary letter yesterday as well in my issue that came in the post. Happy Birthday Gary! The is issue was ok. It ended on a real nice cliffhanger.

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  6. "Rom in name only"

    Outside of a name changes & an updated design IDW ROM is exactly like the Marvel ROM, He's an alien in a cyborg suit, He's fighting a race of aliens that can disguise themselves & that only he can see, He's apart of a greater group sworn to hunt down this race, He exist in a fantastical universe (though instead of Super-Heroes it's Hasbro toy products), & the first Human he meets in the series is a woman.

    The only way that the "in name only" tag applies is if the character was radically different in origins & premise which in this case they aren't.

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    1. the horrific updated design alone makes it Rom in name only for me. it reminds me of some kind of weird interpretation Rom fan art by someone who's really into Japaneses anime. it's just a look that doesn't work for me at all and further more i feel mislead by IDW since our first look at Rom (zero issue cover art) was basically a case of false advertising. if you're into it that's cool i'm not here to talk you out of anything but this new series is just not for me.

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  7. My son pointed out to me after reading oh look dad a grizzly bear is part of the the sol star order. He was excited.

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  8. Still don't get how he's "Rom in name only". I get that he's not got the same design any more, but, you know, neither does Iron Man, or any other character that was around in the 70s-80s. In my opinion, even if the design update could've been done better, it should've been entirely expected and shouldn't outweigh the fact that in spirit this is very much the same Rom from before, brought back for 2016.
    Frankly, your repeated use of "Rom in name only" makes the title of this blog feel like something of a misnomer, eh?

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    1. So because I don't like the updated design direction IDW came up for Rom and express my displeasure on my own blog that makes me a dick?

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    2. Somebody finally called you out on it.

      Character design aside, you have spewed a good amount of hate and insults out there. Just go back and read through your own posts. It's why I dropped your blog from my reading list.

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