Saturday, November 23, 2013

Some colorized fan art, a new custom figure and Jo Duffy on Rom

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This kicks ass, great job!

And speaking of custom figures the Rom one I had here yesterday turns out to be something I posted 3 years ago. I must have had a senior moment, but I'll leave the link for it since it features that same custom from different angles then what I had before

And here's my latest coloring job. You all remember this U-Foes fan art that was part of the art work care package for Bill Mantlo's birthday right? I also wanted to thank one of my regular commentator's RT for mailing me a copy of Daredevil #127 which featured the first action appearance of Brock Jones as The Torpedo. Who says selling insurance can't be fun?
But that's not all RT was up to last week he also made friends on farcebook with a certain Jo Duffy who was the editor for Rom spaceknight issues 1-18. I think you'll find what she had to say rather interesting during one of their correspondences.

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 "Actually, a group of us plotted the first issue of ROM, before Bill came on board. Jim was definitely an important part of the group with some critical ideas, and Bill modified them to fit his style when he took the reigns. All the toy company gave us was ROM, his name and powers, and the fact that the enemies he fought were called Dire Wraiths. I think the dust outlines of the banished wraiths was Bill and Sal's idea, but was inspired by mid-century science fiction flicks, like the Gene Barry version of War of the Worlds. The group created the young lovers who befriended ROM, and set the mandate that Steve be a sympathetic, likable rival. Bill developed them and gave them their names. The wraith's true forms were kept secret to build the suspense. And ROM sent them to limbo as a kind of prison sentence. No one wanted or could care for a hero whose idea of protecting the innocent was to commit genocide against even the worst villains."

Jo Duffy 

That's probably gonna do it for this month but we'll kick off December with some more Dire Wraith brain draining fun.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New kick ass custom figure and some cool fan art

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I really enjoy doing these side by side cover comparisons of these X-Men back issues with the corresponding X-Men Classic reprints. On this one I'm so torn because I love the original but the cover variant looks pretty damn good too especially with how they included Forge's neutralizer which was a pivotal part of the issue. An issue I'm happy to remind you all which launched a four issue story arc (X-Men 186, 187, 188, 189) of the attempted assassination of Forge by the Dire Wraiths only narrowly avoided by some help from The X-Men. But as it turned out Forge had almost as much to worry about from Storm despite her having lost her mutant powers. Here's a back posting of the side by side comparisons of the next two X-men issues

2.5"x3.5" Watercolor over inks sketch card by Danny Kuang

Now as we all know sometime not too long before the Wraith War spilled into the pages of the X-Men the Dire Wraiths had something of a "changing of the guard". In other words the females killed off all the males so they could do things they're way proving that indeed the female is the more deadly of most any species  : )
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But that certainly doesn't make this new custom male Dire Wraith from Chris any less cool. In fact it's not just merely cool it's down right bad ass. And to save you the trouble of asking the base figure was The Thing from the Fantastic 4.

It's funny when artists who are Rom fans seem to almost be thinking about the same thing at nearly the same time. It wasn't long ago I did a piece that included Rom and Acroyear and even more recently Firefall. Have a look what just turned up yesterday

Sunday Update: I think Firefall must be the spaceknight of the month or something look at this video that just turned up today

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Heroes Death

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I've known for a little while about the death of  The Jack of Hearts in Avenger 491 and I'm sure most of you know about it too so I'm not going to go into a recap of it. A Google search with key words "Jack of Hearts Avengers" will send you to sources for the synopsis and more clip art easily enough. And speaking of clip art in regards to his death I only came across what you see here fairly recently. As a hero who's father (who loved playing cards) was murdered and had led a life of torment due to the unstable nature of his powers I can't think of a better bit of writing in regards to Jack's final words. Now I can't say if Bill Mantlo would have approved or disapproved of his creation being killed off but I'm willing to bet if he were to be ok with it he would have been really happy about the way it was handled in Avengers 491.
After all Mantlo killed off The Torpedo who didn't exactly go out in a blaze of glory but at least he went down swinging. Although created by Marv Wolfman The Torpedo had his longest notoriety in the Rom spackenight series. Now I've heard, but don't quote me on this that Jack has appeared since then in the Marvel Universe. If you know anything about that please do share with the rest of us. In closing I just wanted to say that I really love the costume that Jack was sporting by the time of his death and the art here is amazing. Do you have any idea how hard it is to draw a face from that perspective? Moving on to more Mantlo inspired work . . .

This tribute page comes from the 1997 Bug 1 shot. Of course you can't list the greats of the Marvel 80s with out including The Boisterous one. On the flip side I can think of at least one name here I would have left off however.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The custom figure that's too hot to handle!

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Well this now makes the third Micronauts cover I've strategically inserted Rom's image into and I think this is a good time to post it given that it's Bill Mantlo's birthday. Thanks to Mantlo's imagination these characters would live on for many years after their respective toy lines long since disappeared from store shelves and stock rooms. It just sucks that we never got to see them together but of course we've had that discussion already here on more then one occasion.

Here's a digital project I've had in the back of my mind ever since Chris produced this awesome Firefall custom. Aside from the custom it's self Chris had an assortment of well staged photos of it that almost begged to have something like this done to one of em. You all know about the back story for Archie Stryker and the Firefall spaceknight armor I don't need to get into that right?
Good, so with that said let me move on to presenting the last of Gary's foot notes. This one comes from Nova #10 (Vol. 2). Rom spaceknight #24 sure did have some staying power given all the flash back cameos and foot notes out there for it. The art work is done by Erik Larsen who I'm not a big fan of.

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And now my latest back issue discount box finds from earlier this week . . . 

Fantastic Four Roast special (1982)
This panel comes from the 1982 Fantastic Four Roast 1 shot spoof. Did anybody else out there know about this Torpedo appearance in it that I discovered?

Avengers Academy 25 (April 2012)
Onward to some other shit I found in the same discount box that wasn't so cool. Coming right off the heels of the massive disappointment that was The Annihilators mini-series we were then treated to a shitty 3 issue (#23, 24 and 25) story arc in Avengers Academy that featured the return of Hybrid. By the time I got done reading 24 I was getting irritated with how they hadn't explained Hybrid's return as they did in X-Man 31 (1997).
By the time issue 25 came out I decided to thumb through it first and woe and behold I came across the clip art you see here. Oh man was I ever pissed! Why couldn't he have just said something like "He left Earth years ago" or "We don't know where he is and we don't have time to try and fins him". Did ya have to say Rom is dead Marvel? really!? I didn't buy that issue nor did I buy any new Marvel comic since then up until recently with Infinity and we all know how that turned out. But I decided to pick up Avengers Academy #25 for a buck just so I could share this bullshit with you all. To all Rom fans, don't buy new marvel comics it's just rewarding bad behavior and Infinity is just the latest example.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Foot notes from S.H.I.E.L.D

Continuing with Gary's foot notes and the S.H.I.E.L.D. theme from of the last posting. You all remember this charming little scene from Rom #43? Back in the day I felt like I could just stare at this page for hours. Yeah S.H.I.E.L.D almost lost their helicarrier that the Dire Wraiths had had it with all the panzy ass infiltration games they'd been playing with S.H.I.E.L.D since the beginning of the Rom series.

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And it seemed like the Wraith War had taken it's toll on S.H.I.E.L.D in more was then one as mentioned in the Incredible Hulk 298 clip art above as well as in the Incredible Hulk 297 clip art below. By the way I dunno if the agent shooting the Hell Hound in the mouth is supposed to be Gabriel Jones or just the token black S.H.I.E.L.D agent on that page but either way he should have had a dialogue bubble saying "EAT THIS!" (that's from ALIENS).
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Doctor is in, time for some Strange foot notes

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Alright it's time for some more of the Rom foot notes from the collection that Gary Martin Jr. sent me some time ago. Here we have one from Incredible Hulk 305 with Dr. Strange and as you can see I also included some corresponding clip art which ironically happens to have a foot note of it's own. For a synopsis of Incredible Hulk 305

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The above clip art comes from Dr. Strange #75 (vol. 2) which is retelling part of the story line from Fantastic Four #277. For those of you who don't have that issue all the panels on the top half of the page told the story of the confrontation between Ben and Johnny who had started dating Alica Masters already. Although unknown to either of those two dudes back then she was actually a skrull : ) So anyways, the conclusion of the Wraith War spills into that troubled love triangle as most of you know.
Mean while the bottom panels of the issue tell the story of a battle with that bastard Mephisto against Reed, Sue, Franklin and Dr. Strange. As you can see Mephisto was somehow drawing power from the Wraiths but as the war turned against them so did his power start to wane. I'm sure you didn't miss the little Rom #65 foot note there.

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And last up we have a flash back cameo and foot note from Dr. Strange Annual #2 (Vol. 2) in which Dr. Strange again faces and old enemy known as The Dweller in Shadows. When Rom fought him he blew him away with his neutralizer but it wasn't really that clear if he was sent to Limbo or some other crappy dimensional Hell hole. Rom gave The Dweller one of those go back to where ever you came from kinda pronouncements but I'm not sure if that was meant to be taken literally. The other panel comes from Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme #2 (Vol. 3) and I'm not sure about the context of the clip art but I believe that's supposed to be a Dire Wraith but don't quote me on that.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dust in the wind

Actually the posting title probably should have been Stardust in the solar wind. There actually is something as solarwind astronomically speaking Google it. But I'm hoping someone out there picks up on what I'm referencing with my posting title as it is. So moving right along, what we have here is the latest custom figure by Chris which I'm sure most of you have seen already but here it is just in case for you followers who aren't on farce book or deviant art. We first saw Stardust in Rom annual 1 but he again made a brief appearance in the Quasar series.

Although he wasn't able to get it to me in time to include in the Bill Mantlo fan art birthday package I sent off last week you'll be happy to know we made sure this fan art by Zhaanman never the less will be getting to Bill in time. And moving on here we have some more foot notes from Gary Martin Jr. Ya know it seems like there's two different types of foot notes and here are some examples of what I'm talking about.

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Doesn't it seem sometimes that foot notes are more about promoting other titles then having to do with a truly relevant tie in? Take this clip art from Captain America #305. We saw Cap. in both Rom #65 and 66 and even though it was mentioned in 65 that heroes from every corner of the globe had come to fight in the final battle of the Wraith War Captain Britain never makes an actual appearance.
On the flip side here's a foot note from THOR 354 with Beta Ray Bill who did appear a couple of times in Rom #65 as well as on the cover
That one makes a lot more sense to me, so does this one from The New Defenders.

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Oh boy Gary Martin Jr. "a Rom curator" just saw my posting and called me out on my latest misinformation fuck up. Indeed Captain Brittan did appear in Rom #65 and on the very same page as did the Defenders no less. But there he was sporting his red costume as we knew him in the 80s. More foot notes on the way.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A package full of fan art for Bill Mantlo's birthday

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So before I dropped all this stuff in the mail for Michael Mantlo I decided to take a snap shot of it all for you good people. So I'm sure you recognize my latest fan art which I made some high quality laser prints of. I wanna thank Randomnerd for sending me her copy of  geek magazine from last month which allowed me to make that very readable quality xerox copy. My buddy Randy whipped up some fan art of the U-Foes which first appeared in Incredible Hulk 254 ( Bill & Sal ). We should be seeing a color version in the near future. And from one of my regular commentator's (Joseph) we have something from his ten year old son who loves both the Hulk and Rom and also has half the Rom series but swears who will have them all some day.

There was a little bit of trash talk about the Power Pack series in the comments section of the last posting. But in all fairness I did have at least one issue back in the day. Ironically it wouldn't be for about 27 years later that I would learn the very same issue I had contained a Rom foot note. I can thank Gary Martin Jr. "a Rom curator" for that and in the next posting we can all thank Gary for some of the other Rom related foot notes I'll be posting.

And we're back with some more Dr. Doom even though unlike What If #39 (Vol. 2) this clip art is totally unrelated to Rom or to Bill Mantlo's birthday but I love it so much I'm adding it to this posting anyways. This is such classic Dr. Doom the dialogue and so in keeping with what makes the character so awesome. For the low down on where this clip art is from
Ok so look, since Dr. Doom mentioned the Sub-Mariner (or Namor if you prefer) I'll stop my childish posturing and throw in this other foot note into the posting I just got from Gary recently that comes from Incredible Hulk 277.

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More classic 80s and 90s foot notes next week!