Thursday, March 1, 2018

ROM and the spaceknights of Galador vs Ronan The Accuser epic cosmic throw down

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Here's my latest 3 1/2 X 5 sketch card fan art after months of not feeling motivated to actually produce anything despite some of the ideas I've had rolling around in my head. Some of those ideas included a hypothetical encounter between ROM and Ronan the accuser and doing something (as a separate piece) with one of the most bad ass looking spaceknights ever, Gloriole. So I decided to just put it all together as one scene and later added Firefall which I thought was a nice touch. This would have been so awesome! Almost as much as Terrax The Tamer mixing it up with Galador's spaceknights in ROM 26 (thank you Bill and Sal!) when Galactus showed up to make Galador his latest meal. Just as Terrax was forced to contend with all those different spaceknight powers so to would Ronan in some other type of confrontation scenerio. Like I said it, would have been awesome.

The official handbook of the Marvel Universe #9 back in 1983 was actually my first introduction to the Ronan the accuser character. Quite literally over the decades I've seen him evolve from what basically was a Fantastic Four villain to a much more complex character and ultimately something of a anti-hero  in Marvel cosmic story like The Annihilation Wave and War of Kings.

March 3rd Update: A little something interesting I found today in regards to some of Bill Mantlo's thoughts on the cancellation of the ROM series. Issue 66 was the official end of the Wraith War on Earth but the series went on for another 9 regular issues and 1 annual. As those of you who have read the series know the story concludes with a post apocalyptic situation on Galador in which a new generation of spaceknights went rogue and turned on the rest of the population in a "Skynet" kind of way.

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March 4th Update: I recently added another blockade runner to my growing rebel fleet. This one has more of a blue stripe color scheme and is with out the battle damage detailing.

Hayward CA
March 12th Update: Mondays suck as we all know. Finding these awesome Black Panther and Okoye PVC figures on my door step went a long way to getting over a case of the Mondays. And just for the record, even before I heard the unfortunate news about the Toys R Us chain closures I would have been happy to buy these at my local Toys R Us store had they carried them. That Hayward store has been around since the early 80s and I used to go to that Chucke Cheese as well back in the day when it was full of video games.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Legion of Marvel 80s action figure super heroes and a candid look at what's going on in America

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Recently came across some cool photos of some pretty bad ass collections of Marvel 80s themed super hero action figures. You look up there at the top and they've got the ROM Hasbro figure along Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. They even have their pet dog from the Saturday morning cartoon (probably the best of all the Saturday morning cartoons with The Hulk being a close second) can any body out there remember her name? And to the left we've got a couple nice customs of ROM and of Acroyear from The Micronauts.

This is kinda interesting. This might be some sort of concept or promo art by Al Milgrom that was never published for what ever reason. It's obviously based on the whole Archie Stryker Firefall story arc early on in the series. Curious about the two distinctively different looks for the dire wraiths.

It's certainly been a while since I've come across some new Sabra fan art. This beautifully illustrated piece comes from artist Leo David who also goes by Leo Jr. on deviant art.

Did you all get a load of the insanely juvenile twitter tirade that trump went on last weekend? My God he went after every body from Oprah Winfrey to Hillary (yet again) to the FBI (also yet again) and even his own National Security Advisor for daring to publicly acknowledge the fact that russia fucked with the 2016 election. What the Hell is wrong with this guy he really reminds me of one of those eccentric James Bond villains. I mean what ever happened to the days where we argued about emotional issues like same sex marriage and abortion instead of fundamental facts such as something like if the world is round or flat.
I some times feel like trump supporters live in this alternate reality where all this crazy shit coming from The White House is some how normal and that the internet some how provides some kind of bubble between realities where these trump supporters can communicate with non trump supporters who see all this crazy shit like from this past weekend as the crazy shit that it is. And I say all this as someone who disdains the radical left and is well aware that they inhabit another kind of alternate reality that is largely devoid of facts. All these anarchists, communists and 911 conspiracy moron social parasites who glorify every islamic terrorist as a freedom fighter and every 3rd world tyrant as a defender against "American imperialism" fuck them to.
Rather it comes from CNN or FOX news, we should all care about the truth above all. And don't just care about the facts that fit into your comfort zone have the courage to accept all the facts surrounding a given issue rather you like them or not. Remember all those women's marches addressing gender equality issues right after trump took office last year? CNN covered em quite a bit and that's fine with me the protesters had a lot of legitimate grievances both toward trump and with society as a whole. But CNN dropped the ball on an important fact that FOX pounced on. Did you know that one of the main organizers of the marches was a convicted palestinian terrorist (rasmea odeh) who was freed from an Israeli jail in a prisoner swap and later lied on her entry visa about her criminal record in order to get into the United States? She got busted last year and in a plea deal to avoid jail time in a federal prison she agreed to deportation.
If you care about America, then trump's unwillingness to accept the fact that russia fucked with our election should bother you every bit as much as Obama's inability to utter the words "radical islamic terror". But if you only have a problem with one and not the other, well then you're just a hypocrite not a patriot. You can't have it both ways on that matter.
But getting back to you trump supporters, I just don't get you people. How long can you people keep looking at yourselves in the mirror and telling yourselves that a lie is the truth? Rather it's petty shit like the crowd size at his inauguration ceremony or the accusation about Obama having wire tapped trump tower that he promised he'd provide proof of but never did I mean seriously where is your breaking point when it comes to your intelligence constantly being insulted? Remember "alternative facts"? I mean seriously WTF!? Are you capable at all of being at least somewhat objective when you look at and analyse what comes out of trump's mouth or on his twitter account or is it just easier for you to write off all the criticism of trump as simply just "left wing media spin"? What happened to critical thinking!? And it's not just my fellow Americans who are guilty of this, some of my friends in Israel are just as overly simplistic in their thinking just because trump is not Obama.

Yes, critical thinking. Like the kind that allows me to see at least a couple of bright spots in the trump administration despite my loathing for trump himself. Nikki Haley, who was not shy about her sharp criticism of trump during the election and probably still doesn't like him much on a personal level today never the less has been hitting it out the park as the United States Ambassador to the United Nazis, or just U.N. for short. The U.N. is a deeply flawed organization loaded with self interest agendas, hypocrites like you wouldn't believe and almost complete ineptitude and it's well past time we had an ambassador who called em out on all of that in plain language.
And if you're a trump supporter that read the original ROM series did you learn nothing from Bill Mantlo's writing? The dire wraiths didn't have twitter but they had their shape shifting powers and sorcery to distort the truth to others. Based on what you know about the ROM character just ask yourself, what would the greatest of the spaceknights think of president trump? Or Mantlo for that matter if he still had his health today? Let that sink into your brain for a while.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Always bet on black...Black Panther that is

   I'm going to give away one, just one spoiler because in some ways this was the coolest part of the film for me. The Black Panther opens up in Oakland California which is right here in The East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Oh I can just imagine how audiences in theaters in Oakland must have reacted to that. And on a related side note the director of Black Panther (Ryan Coogler) was born in Oakland.
   So now that I got that out of the way how was the film? It wasn't great like Civil War but overall it was pretty good. We're treated to a lot of that Marvel cinematic universe humor we've become accustomed to along with the continued development of Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther which Civil War did such a great job of getting started. Also, a lot of good supporting characters that you actually get into fairly early on in the film. I liked how Black Panther featured so many strong black female characters with out it ever feeling like they were some kind of mandatory tokenism.

   Now all that being said it was kinda hard to see Michael B. Jordan (Killmonger) as a bad guy. I've had my eye on that actor for years now and he was superb in movies like Chronicle, Creed and Fruitvale Station. I'm so used to him playing a hero or some sort of sympathetic character as opposed to being a real dick of a villain but he certainly demonstrated his acting range here. Now make sure you keep your butt in your seat for the end credit scene even though it's a bit of a slog having to wait through the entire credits scroll. The end scene has the most significant Avengers tie-in moment and quite frankly the movie would have been incomplete with out it.
  Pretty sure trump isn't going to be in any rush to see this movie. Too many black folks in it, not to mention all those empowered female characters. But if he did manage to see it in between his FOX News binge watching schedule he would probably end up tweeting that Wakanda was just another shit hole country.

As I've said before, the vast majority of new ROM related fan art that turns up every month is amateurish looking crap as far as I'm concerned (especially when it comes to twitter) but once in a while something worth posting here comes along. Found this at some obscure site I'm not familiar with and unfortunately I couldn't find the artist so that I could accredit it accordingly. The biggest strengths of this piece are the way the dire wraiths are drawn and the over all colors they really pop. He or she did a fair job on ROM himself but making the neutrilizer bigger would have helped.

The Defenders 62 left click to enlarge
Here's a little random something from the tail end of the 70s which was basically the lead into the awesome 80s. This panel I believe is the only real moment of action with The Torpedo during the some what silly Defender For A Day story line.

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When I saw this I just had to post this here also this is pure political satire genius. Hopefully, you're someone who's watched The Rocky & Bullwinkle show and know the always conspiring russian characters Boris and Natashia. The Rocky & Bullwinkle show wasn't a Saturday morning cartoon like Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends or one of the ones that came on in the afternoon like The Transformers, G.I.Joe, Thundercats, Voltron, Robotech for example. I remember it being on early in the morning before school. If only the writers of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show could see what was going on today with the russians.

And finally here we are with more of my photoshop trickery. I did this years ago but just posted it here for the Hell of it.

Just a couple of days I was at one of those dollar stores looking for some cheap snacks when I saw this little E.T. Lego set. The E.T. figurine in particular just gave me this on the spot rush of nostalgia. I loved this movie like so many other kids back then. And ya know what? I caught part of the movie on some channel a few months ago and I gotta say it doesn't hold up too bad even these days. I had a number of E.T. memorabilia items back in the day including a garbage can this is the only photo I have of it. Ofcourse you also see my old X-Wing ship and on the wall a mini Star Wars poster featuring The Millennium Falcon and some tie-fighters I wish I could remember where I got that from.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Holy shit is that Captain America in Hayward California!?

Highway 580 Hayward California
So all the stuff you see below this opening photo was stuff I was planning on posting along with a Black Panther movie review which I already have tickets to see on opening weekend. But when my buddy Sammy (fellow comic book/sci-fi fanboy) text this photo from earlier today while he was cruising down 580 I was like fuck it it's time for a new blog posting right now. According to Sammy this guy was really hauling ass but I betcha even a minor accident would have been a quick wake up call to this idiot that he's not a super soldier with an indestructible shield on his back. Among all the cities in the San Francisco metro area Hayward is certainly not one of the ones that you're likely to see some thing cool like this but once in a while you get lucky kinda like I did last fall when I saw the Batmobile at a down town vintage car show . . .

Ya know it's funny, probably a third of the back issues I buy from discount boxes are of comics I had back in the 80s but some where along the way over the years lost or traded away. Sometimes I think it's worthwhile to pick something up again and give it a second look with a fresh pair of eyes.
One such issue is Avengers 253 which was kind of a cool issue aside from the ROM connection. In it, The Vision's conscience enters a number of global computer networks around the world in an ill conceived plan in order to take over the world and make it a better place. There's clearly some elements of TRON in that concept as well as the computer intelligence taking over the world narrative which have spawned a ton of sci-fi movies like The Forbin Project, The Terminator, I Robot or The Matrix.
For those of you who've read ROM 43 remember that The Living Computer Quasimodo had possessed ROM's armor but was driven out by the mind controlled Brandy Clark who was merged with the Starshine armor at the time. Now they never really explained after having been driven out what happened to Quasimodo his conscience represented as this ghost image just kinda disappears in the air and keep in mind all that shit happened at some kind of secret base in The Soviet Union (or call it Russia if you prefer but who gives a fuck same difference).

Avengers 253
Back in the mid 80s when I first had this issue I completely missed this. Despite the absence of a foot note (dumb ass writing over site) it's pretty obvious Quasimodo is making a reference to ROM 43 which I was able to confirm on the Quasimodo entry page in The Ultimate Marvel Universe Handbook (issue 10 Vol. 2).
Avengers 252
Oh and look at this clip art from the previous Avengers issue. Even though it was written in 1985 talk about no truer words ever spoken in the current political climate of this country. Chris Evans has done such a great job with the Captain America role it makes me want to see him run in 2020. Pretty sure unlike trump, Chris Evens wouldn't get an endorsement from that racist and anti-Semitic piece of shit david duke.

In case you didn't happen to have seen this before. Oh my goodness how could you not love the 80s? Poly bag sets, spinner racks, comics at your local liquor store and 7-Eleven not to mention none of this $2.99 and $3.99 cover price bullshit.

Also pretty cool in case you didn't happen to have seen this before. Now I know what some of you might be thinking right something along the lines of "hey wait a minute those are dire wraiths from IDW and you had that ROM in name only reboot".
Yes that's true, however the dire wraiths from Marvel were shape shifters as well so if we stretch our imaginations a bit one might say this is the original ROM busting up and banishing these fools. Anyways, I found this on deviant art and the guy who staged this has a bunch of other cool toy scenes based on comic book clip art. Especially cool if you're an 80s Transformers fan . . .

Ok it's back to more Star Wars stuff. I recently recovered this old passport (long story don't ask) I had as a kid I totally forgot about it. It was valid from 1978 to 1983. I'm guessing I was around 8 or 9 when I did this Empire Strikes Back doodle and clearly at that age you don't understand that it's not legal to be drawing fan art on federal documents.

Monday, January 1, 2018

It may be 2018 but here it's always the totally awesome 1980s

Happy New Year from ROM's man cave (location unknown).

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January 2nd Update: Speaking of totally awesome 80s stuff let's get back to Star Wars when it was good. My rebel fleet has gotten a bit bigger today with the arrival of my hammerhead corvette in the mail from ebay. Now I'm ready to ram the nearest and preferably disabled star destroyer. I'm sure most of you remember that epic scene from what as far as I'm concerned now is the only good Star Wars movie made since 1983.

January 3rd Update: I wanted to throw something else unto this posting more on the comics end of the 80s as well. Marvel Team-Up 130 (1983) features some really fantastic classic Sal Buscema art. If you're wondering what's going on here The Vision's android body has been temporarily taken over by some villain named Necrodamus. Not to be confused with Dave Chapelle's Negrodamus mind you. The clip art I posted here is just a sample of the action packed dynamic pencils by Buscema as Spider-Man and Scarlet Witch trade blows with the possessed Vision until they finally figure out a way to drive Necrodamus out of Vision's body.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Last Jedi Review and so much more cool shit

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First off I thought I'd open up this posting with some awesome kick ass recently discovered art work that spans the Star Wars continuity between Rogue 1 and The Empire Strikes Back. Been looking for an excuse to post this stuff here for a few weeks now. So with out any further adieu, on with the review.
Basically, I think whatever you felt about The Force Awakens is what you're going to feel about The Last Jedi. It was over all a mixed bag with some good moments in the spirit of the original trilogy although at times they seemed to be trying a bit too hard with that schtick. There was also some shit that was way too derivative of things we know from reality with everything from World War II B-52 bombers to Las Vegas. We never did get to find out who the fuck this Snoke guy is and then there was this one scene in particular on this planet where the rebels were making their last stand on that had to do with salt that went absolutely no where or other wise made any sense to what was going on. We also got our fair share of logic and plot gaps even within the realm of sci-fi fantasy and too much goddamn CGI effects as well I don't know why the fuck they keep doing that. And speaking of which, there was a Yoda ghost scene with Luke where Yoda's looks were a bit off. It bugged me, I was like come on can't you people at least make a ghost CGI Yoda look like how we remember him from the original trilogy!?
Some of the high lights included a couple of genuine surprises in the story line as well as finally getting a bit of back ground about what happened between Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. Poe Damron was something of a stand out in the story but Rey and Fin were just there and not much more. Chewbacca was also a bit under used but I did for the most part like the late Carrie Fisher's reprised Liea role although I'm still not too sure about her would be death scene. The Phasma character like in the last movie was a completely useless and worthless character again. They introduced a new Rebel character by the name of Rose who I didn't much care for and toward the end of the movie she does something that I thought was bullshit and made me wish she had died. Sorry folks, The Last Jedi was no ROGUE 1. That classic Star Wars magic just wasn't there.

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Early this year I posted a photo of myself from the summer of the year before knee deep in mud at the Dead Sea in Israel with a copy of ROM spaceknight 38 (Mantlo, Buscema, Akin & Garvey) I ended up giving that copy to a friend of mine in Israel and he recently sent this cute photo of one of his kids with it. Reminds me of when I was that age sitting at the kitchen table and drawing with some open comic books nearby to help inspire my creativity.

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Was just feeling a little nostalgic one day where I had spare time on my hands and on a whim decided to color this panel. Actually this is more concept art then a panel per se. It has to do with a proposed 6 issue Marvel mini-series continuing the story line of the original ROM spaceknight run that Brian Douglas Ahern came up with some years ago. I read the script a while back and it had some aspects to it that I liked and others I wasn't too crazy about. As you can see among other things it features another Hybrid return, ROM back in his spaceknight armor and Danny Jones taking after his old man with the Torpedo suite.

Saw this on an ebay auction at the beginning this month and thought it wasn't bad. I think Spider-Man actually came out a little better then ROM did but still, over all not bad and at least this art work features some imagination.

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I recently went on a weekend trip to Pismo Beach and got these shots of my dog (Chevy) at this really cool seas side park. I loved em so much I just had to share. Now as you can see she's so cute but like a T-Rex or Velociraptor she's a little monster around any unattended food that she can get at. We were reminded of that when we accidentally left some pastries in the car while we were inside some place we stopped at for a few minutes. There you have it the world's first dinodog a Chevysaurus.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's my dick in a box

I have a lot of new stuff to get through so let's get started. Yeah I know what's up with this posting title? Well I thought it was funny and extra points to you if you get the reference.  So it's not my dick in a box but it is something that I have of value that I did put into a box. Of all the collectibles I have, I felt like I should provide a special means of storage for my ROM Hasbro figure. First off I had to find a box that was just the right size. But I just couldn't have it be any old box so I had to customize it.

Now here's something I stumbled on while looking at some random ROM related stuff on the internet. No doubt you're wondering why I would bother to post an IDW cover to what has now become the IDW ROM series reboot fail.The some what "cartoony" style of this cover art is not quite my preference but in spite of that what I really like about this cover is that the ROM interpretation you see here is what I thought IDW was going for after we got our first look at the zero issue cover art. This is the updated kind of look I could have been into.
If you compare what you see above to the classic 80s ROM you will notice some minor design difference in the details of his armor. He's a bit more streamlined with an over all more "organic" look that feels some what less robotic. But at the same time, it's a tastefully done updated look that is still very much faithful to the original. Now I say that with the understanding that any version of ROM that does not exist in the Marvel Universe or has fingers instead of mittens would have just never gone over with some of the hard core fans but those particular things I could have gotten used to. We'll never know if this version you see of ROM here on this cover art would have resulted in a more successful reboot but I do know that I would have at least given it a chance. I will never understand what chris ryall and the rest of IDW were thinking with the shit they came up with.

I am not a Michael Bay fan and it's nothing short of a miracle that he was able to pull off a good movie with the first Transfomers film but every one since then has been shittier then the one before. So shitty that I don't even remember anything about the First Knight trailer or even it having been in theaters so I have no fucken idea about who or what this thing is from the movie. But I couldn't help but notice the uncanny resemblance it has to Ikon. Purely coincidental I'm sure. A character that I always felt had potential to do at least some justice to the ROM legacy with continued story lines involving Galador's spaceknights in the MCU but Marvel managed to eventually fuck that up to.

Fan art by John McCrea
This however is not fucked up. In fact it's pretty damn cool unlike most of the Rom related fan art I come across on the internet which is generally very amateurish and or lacks any imagination. Here we get to see a really nice visual concept of an encounter that sadly never happened.

One last thing, a quick round up of recent movies I've seen. Blade Runner was an all around let down but Thor Ragnarock turned out to be better then I expected despite the problems it had. Just saw The Justice League yesterday and despite the cautious optimism I had going into it I was pretty happy with it here's a short non-spoiler free review I wrote if you're interested . . .