Monday, October 29, 2012

My latest back issue finds from this weekend

I just picked up some back issues at my local comic shop today. First up is the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (deluxe edition 1986) #15 which I picked up for $3. That issue had the complete index of alien races from the Marvel Universe including Galadorians, Dire Wraith, Thurvrians and Clavians. What makes those four races unique in the Marvel Universe is that their first appearances were in the Rom spaceknight series. Clip art of the entries for the Galadorians and The Dire Wraith (female variety) have been on the internet for years now as seen here at Siskoid's Blog of Geekery: and here: (male variety from OHOTMU Vol.1)

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I'm sure most of you remember the Thuvrians from the back story in Rom spaceknight #19. That back story should have been title "The Terminator". The Thuvrians also had an entry in the Official Marvel Universe Handbook #10 (Vol.1) alien races index back in 1983 but I'm happy to see that Marvel had updated the art work for the 1986 deluxe version.

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Then there's the Clavians who were the featured alien race in Rom spaceknight #71. To the best of my knowledge neither alien race ever appeared in the Marvel Universe again. Which surprises me that they made it into this alien index where as with Galadorians and the Dire Wraith it was expected.
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On a side note here the ALL-NEW OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE A TO Z #5 (2006) features a full page character bio for Hybrid. Even at a back issue price of $4 I probably would have still picked it up and posted it here had the featured art work not been reprinted clip art.

November 3rd update: I can't believe I'm just noticing this now. The Hibers from Rom#67 were also among the alien races profiles in this Marvel Universe issue.

And for just a $1 I found Marvel Fanfare #19 (1984) which featured from cover to cover Cloak n. Dagger written by none other then boisterous Bill Mantlo. I haven't read the issue yet because I'm saving it for next week. I'm being transferred temporarily to another ship where I will have to live 24/7 for an entire week. Yeah, so I'm pretty sure I'll have plenty of down time on my off hours. Already as you can see the art work is pretty damn good so we know that much.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Rom fan art just floating around you probably didn't know about

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 For those of you who have been following this blog for a while now you know I don't like much the majority of the fan art that was created for the Bill Mantlo benefit auction. And it seems like the least best stuff has gotten the most saturation on the internet over the years. The best example of that is the Sal Buscema at the top left there on the wall at Floating World Comics. As I posted before I know none of you had seen it before I featured it here earlier this year:
The bottom left piece has been around a lot and I think it's pretty good even though I felt Rom's head needed a bit more work. But I don't like the piece next to it at all and that one turns up a lot too all the time on the net. The top middle one gets points for over all style and design but I would have really liked to have seen Rom drawn better. But the top right one is pretty sweet yet when have you ever seen it before?
Then there's the bottom right piece which I've seen a million times now on the internet as just a black n' white line drawing. I wouldn't have even known it existed as a color version were it not for this wall art I did a screen shot of. I like it so much better in color especially when it comes to the details like on the Wonder Bread which is pretty much iconic packaging art these days. I can't even remember the last time I saw that in recent years at the grocery store but I sure remember it from back in the day.

Here's something I've been sitting on for quite a while now. Over the years ROM cover art has had the benefit of some really great talent like Michael Golden and Mike Zeck. But arguably non have been quite as stylish as the covers done by Bill Sienkiewicz. This particular piece is something of a mixed bag for me of likes and dislikes. Any of you out there got an opinion about it?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bill Mantlo's hospital room wall space

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I'm going to postpone the posting I originally had scheduled next. This screen shot image is from Michael Mantlo's facebook photo album. As some of you may remember Michael sent me a friend request last year in December. It's kinda hard to see but to the right there are the covers for issues of Cloak n' Dagger and Alpha Flight as seen here in a previous posting of mine: There is also a really nice photo on Michael's Facebook album of Bill at the hospital with a very happy expression on his face. If Michael gives me the ok I'll update this posting with it so you might want to check back here later this week. And yeah Rick the address on the letter I sent is correct I double checked with Michael before I dropped it in the mail.

Update: Well I'm glad to say Michael was all to happy to have me post this photo (which is from just 2 weeks ago) of his wife visiting with his brother. The following was part of Michael's FB message response to me " . . my lovely wife has an uncanny ability to get bill to smile (and me,, and anytime he's smiling, it's a good day in the Mantlo universe!" I also came across this early photo of Bill from a family portrait I really liked so I'm happy to share that one too with all his fans here.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A little something for Bill Mantlo and some envelope fan art

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I recently found myself with some spare time on my hands thanks to the sand blasting and paint work being done on "my ship". That kinda work on such a large vessel is pretty much the equivalent of your home getting bombed with pest control poison for about two days straight. So I'll interrupt my hiatus to share with you all  what I did recently. On a whim I decided to turn some of my past fan art into 4 x 7 photo prints which I like to do sometimes because of the difference between digital photo processing and inkjet print outs. I was pretty happy with the results so I thought it might make for a nice surprise for Bill Mantlo. Sometimes it's those little things that makes a big difference to people ya know? As you can see here I did some letter art that started off as some doodling. I dropped it off at the post office Saturday morning since I had to go there anyways to pick up the Jack of Hearts mini-series I ordered on ebay last weekend.

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What a great opportunity for Bill Mantlo to include a Rom #12 cameo flash back here on this page of issue #1 of the mini series I really wonder why he didn't. Some of you may recognize the bottom left dialogue box making a direct reference to the Marvel Team up issue in the previous posting. I forgot to mention in that posting that I really liked the sub story line of Peter Parker struggling with his decision to drop out of college I'm sure many of you out there (like me at one time) can relate.
So onward here, I finished reading the mini series this morning. I liked the first issue the most because like that Marvel Team Up issue we saw a lot of character development for Jack Hart and Marcy Kane. By the end of the second issue I wasn't so sure I liked where the story was going but I thought the end of the mini-series concluded fairly well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On hiatus

Rom spaceknight sketch sheets by Manny Clark
Rom has such a simply designed head piece but that still doesn't mean that there isn't a right way and a wrong way to draw a serious and well done rendering of him. Often it has mostly to do with the "eyes". If you fuck up his eyes it tends to ruin the rest of his "face".This guy gets it. His style here is similar to that of legendary Rom artist Sal Buscema but it's just different enough to tell the two styles apart. Here's an example of how not to draw Rom's head:
I think this one could have been a great piece if Rom's head and eyes had been done better:

And if you haven't read it already Marvel Team Up #134 (1983) which  was written by Bill Mantlo can be read in it's entirety online here:
Highly recommended reading!
And with that I bid you all farewell for a while. I started a new job as a crew member a couple of weeks ago for an oil recovery vessel the San Francisco Bay. It's a temporary gig (till mid Dec.) but if all goes well it will lead to more long term assignments. So far it's going well and I'm learning a lot but the hours are taking some getting used to. I'm working 10 hour days and some weekends. Just last week I worked 58 hours. I'm just too burnt out for blogging right now and things have been pretty quiet here lately anyways so this is probably a good stopping point for now.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Quasar #4 with Rom spaceknight tribute & the return of Stardust

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 Well we can thank Gary Martin Jr. again for this clip art from Quasar #4 (1984). The first thing I thought of when I saw it was the Wraith finder that was first seen in Rom #28 and later in Rom #52. I'm under the distinct impression that there is some sort of tribute going on here. Am I on to something here or what?
But one thing that is quite certain is that there is a much less subtle Dire Straits tribute going here. Which is cool with me because they had some great music with songs like Money For Nothing, The Sultans of Swing and Brothers In Arms. Quasar was a good series one of the things I really enjoyed about it was Quasar's (real name Wendell Vaughn) Spiderman like quips and pop culture references in the writing.

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So a couple of days ago when I first published this posting I had a splash page from the Quasar title (issue 14 or 15) that featured a small cameo panel of Stardust from Rom annual #1. But after having done some research online it turns out he had more then just a cameo. I was thinking of doing a follow up posting but then I figured why not just update this one instead.

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This is the only clip art I was able to find so with out having the issues there's no way for me to know if they included any Rom foot notes. Maybe I'll get lucky the next time I go rummaging through some $1 bins. Stardust was created by Bill Mantlo and Pat Broderick. Like Hybrid, I'm was really glad to have discover this other villain who sprang from the Rom series branch out a bit into the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Now here's some ROM t-shirts I'd like to see

I came across some online mail order site for retro t-shirts that among other things feature a Rom t-shirt design that just consisted of a photo image of the Parker Brothers doll. It made me think what shame because there's so much other Rom imagery that would have made for a t-shirt I think many of us would prefer to have. So I just dropped some random fan art into these templates to see how they would turn out. I dunno about the rest of you all but I'd buy that for a dollar.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I got your fu@#$% splash page right here folks!

This is the first time I've ever posted something that was not at all related to this blog. Truth is I just love this splash page and I just wanted to share it. It comes from ARMOR #2 published in 1986 by Continuity Comics. Seeing something like this in a comic book back in my early teens just blew me away. Pretty amazing stuff cmon folks give the man a hand.