Friday, December 20, 2013

Marvel Comics Bullpen Bulletin July 1993 on Bill Mantlo

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As most of you know by now we can all thank Gary Martin Jr. "a Rom curator" ( and as you can see he lives up to that title) for bringing this to us. I believe this Bullpen Bulletin came from Alpha Flight 122 (1993) and you'll notice that issue is in the check list box at the bottom. Anyways, so we have at least one source that proves that Marvel did officially acknowledge what happened to Bill and his amazing work history with Marvel. Although I feel like a side bar column seems a little lacking in compared to the scope of the tragedy and Bill's contribution to Marvel 80s. But I suppose this was better then nothing as the saying goes.

For all you fans of Bill's work on The Hulk or just fans of The Hulk in general might want to have a peek at the Smash Tales FB page. Be sure to be on the look out for the monthly Hulkcast

That's probably gonna do it for the rest of this year but of course I wouldn't dream of starting off 2014 with out a new posting you all can count on that.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy holidays with new sketch cards & custom figures

I found this sketch card earlier this month on ebay and thought I'd save it for the right time to post. As I said before I've never been a big Hembeck fan but I've been kinda digin these Rom sketch cards by him that have been turning up lately. Also, gotta give it up to Hembeck for Marvel Age #89 (1990) and his NOVA chronology two page spread. In the last panel there is a direct reference made to ROM #24. Ya know something is missing in a a Nova origin story if it doesn't cover the events of that issue

Nova 17 volume 2 (1995)
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And moving on it's time to spread some holiday cheer with some stuff from Gary Martin Jr. that I've had for a little while. This is the first appearance of the Dire Wraith Queen Volx (Nova 17 vol. 2). Nova 17 and 18 chronicles how she managed to get to Earth as a stowaway on a Xandarian transport ship that has Richard Rider on it. After taking on the identity of one of it's pilots she is never the less discovered and the ensuing battle causes the ship to crash land on Earth and "Richy" narrowly avoids getting his brains sucked out by the timely arrival of the current Nova Prime back then. Interestingly enough that Nova series was cancelled after issue 18 as described in that editorial page. However, the cliff hanger that #18 ends on (Richy's attempted suicide) picks up in the opening pages of New Warriors 60

And last up we have the latest custom figure from Chris. Now there have been customs made of Jack of Hearts but this one is truly unique because it features the costume he was sporting at the time of his epic "death" (Avengers 76 vol.3) which I actually like much more then his original. And just think, up until a few weeks ago Chris hardly knew jack about Jack

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The challenges of digital coloring

Here's some of the latest fan art by Dann Phillips that recently showed up on deviant art. I usually only like to color art work that primarily consists of bold and fine line work on a white back ground. Fan art that consists of heavy shading in multiple darkness to lightness values represent a lot of coloring challenges that can make what normally would take me well under an hour to taking me half the day to do.
But on a whim in between breakfast, listening to the news and working out I tried something new out on this piece. Of course I used photoshop to do this in so I'll put it in Laymens terms. Basically, it deals with making multiple copies of the entire art piece and assigning an individual color swatch to each one. Then you just lay them all on top of each other and remove what you don't want from each one until the full picture appears. And then there was a little touch up work done using the more common photoshop features like the air brush and color fill tools.
I may end up tweaking it some more over the next couple of days but for now I'll post how it came out initially.You may notice that the this new coloring method doesn't produce the more vibrant colors as seen with the type of fan art I more typically color. The U-Foes coloring job from a few postings back is a good example that. Never the less it's always good to expand your horizons a bit from time to time.

When it comes to the well fare of your children trust no one other the greatest of the spaceknights to get the job done.

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Just a little something for shits n giggles I whipped up in photoshop and decided to throw in here as an after thought. I'm sure the inspiration for this is pretty obvious.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Easter Eggs, fan art, custom figures

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Most of you will recognize this FF 216 splash page with the ROM Easter egg as something I've posted before. But thanks to this Fanatastic Four trade I had from the library I was able to get a nice color scan of it. Take note of all some of the staff listed in the credits like Torpedo creator Marv Wolfman and of course Bill Mantlo. We also have the late Mark Gruenwald who's first wife (Belinda Glass) offered the inspiration to Bill and Sal for the Sabra character which is Marvel's first Israeli superhero.

Here's something of another type of Easter Egg from Incredible Hulk 472 (1999) which Gary Martin Jr. picked up fairly recently. Can you find what it is our resident Rom curator spotted here?

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I whipped this up a couple weeks ago but I think most of you have seen it already on deviant art. All the custom figures of spaceknights from ROM #26 that Chris has been making lately I think partly inspired me to sketch this scene.

And speaking of custom figures check this out. This Ikon spaceknight custom comes from Italy and was on ebay earlier this week with a starting bid of $100. Thanks for the heads up Gary this is pretty damn sweet I sure wish we could have scene some where along the line Ikon mix it up with Terrax like some of her 1st generation brother spaceknights did.

However, not to be out done by any other custom figure designer I proudly present the original greatest of the spaceknights custom by Chris

And if you haven't seen this yet check it out. The only thing that would have made this cooler is for Buzz Light Year to get tongue spiked through that glass dome by a Dire Wraith. Something like that happened on page 18 in X-Men 186 where a guy gets it through his front wind shield

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Foot notes, dire wraiths and mutants

Now I was talking in another posting recently about the Wraith War spill over in X-Men issues 185, 186, 187 and 188. So to find this footnote (thanks Gary) in a future issue (#225) with Rogue's reflections on the X-Men having saved Forge from a Dire Wraith assassination attempt was not at all surprising.

But I was having some trouble with this X-Men foot note in Iron Man 190. I've been sitting on this clip art for a while now but I recently did a double take on it . . . .

X-Men #181? Well I checked out some online reviews on that X-Men issue and as far as I can tell it's got nothing to do with anything that Wanda is talking about in the clip art. In fact it's pretty much just a Godzilla tribute story that takes place right after the events of the first Secret Wars mini-series. But I later found out by commentator RT who does have the issue that there's some mention of the mutant registration act or something like that. But it still seems to me X-Men 184 or even 185 would have been a more appropriate for that foot note.

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But just in case you didn't know, or forgot Forge's first ever appearance in the Marvel Universe was in X-Men 184. Thanks to an online review I discovered recently along with some clip art from the issue provided by Rom curator Gary Martin Jr. I now see that this X-Men issue is an important tie-in to the Wraith War story line in the Rom series. Not only do we see the hand held neo-neutralizer prototype for the first time Forge also makes a direct Rom and Dire Wraith reference.
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On a side note here it's too bad we never got to see Forge's neutralizer used on Hybrid that would have been interesting. We've seen it's effects on dire wraiths and homo-superior alike and even though the X-Men's computer Cerebro identifies Hybrid as a mutant he's still in a class all his own.

Monday, December 2, 2013

So much cool new ROM stuff from the fans lately!

I've shared a lot of this recently discovered stuff with those of you I know from Farce book and Deviant Art but for those of you who I don't know through those social networks I'm gonna make a special posting today. First up there's this re-edited version of the ROMfall video it's got some cool extra added footage as you can see from this screen shot

And speaking of Deviant Art, not just one or two, but three new pieces of fan art just turned up by a certain artist that I'm convinced at this point has an addiction to illustrating ROM related fan art. The new stuff includes other spaceknights, The Torpedo, Jack of Hearts and Nova!

On a not so high note as far as new ROM fan art goes here's the latest page on the Rom #1 remix project. There's an obvious aspect about it right away that makes me feel less then thrilled about it can you guess what it is?

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Wednesday update: I'm just adding this catalog photo image here today because it's just so rad and brings back some great memories. I used to have that Micrnoauts play set and oh my God do I wish I had had that Space 1999 Eagle 1 shuttle both the play set and die cast version. I also had one of those giant Shogun Warrior dolls but not that awesome Raydeen as seen here. So much cool stuff in this catalogue except for maybe item B or D, but that's just me.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Zombies aren't the only things that want your brains

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Well our resident Rom curator Gary Martin Jr. does it again. What you see here is the first of three pages featuring the Dire Wraiths in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Handbook A-Z update issue 1 of 5 (2010). I'm only featuring the first page for a reason which I'll get back to. As a whole the entire entry is pretty thorough in regards to the long history of the dire wraith in the Marvel Universe I have to say I was impressed. It's all stuff long running Rom fans pretty much know about but it does act as a reminder of interesting tidbits (page 2) that even they may have forgotten such as the tension between dire wraiths born on Wraith World in The Dark Nebula and those born on Earth. We also are reminded of how dire wraiths forged documents like birth certificates for their new cover identities when they first arrived on Earth which apparently started prior to but increased during World War II. Page 3 concludes with a series of head shot images of notable dire wraiths among then such as Dr. Dredd, Agent Kraller of SHIELD, Rachel Sweet of Project Safeguard, Most High One, Jacob Marks (Hybrid's father), Woodcrow Cather (Avengers #244), Kattan-Tu (Hulk #262 back story) etc.
But what I really like about the first page is that it appears to feature some new clip art quite possibly developed just for this updated Marvel Universe Hand Book entry. I'm speaking of course of the very well done dire wraith female there by Gus Vasquez which I don't at all recognize from any already existing clip art in the Marvel Universe. We also learn on the first page how a sect of dire wraiths came to find themselves as part of the Universal Inhumans.
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There also seems to be some varied interpretation as to what male dire wraiths really like but I just leave that to individual speculation. I say that because in the 2006 over sized hard bound Marvel encyclopedia the dire wraith entry clearly describes the natural state of the males and females as looking different where as on the 2010 Marvel Universe hand book page seen above you it implies males and females all look like the red skinned non-humanoid version. The 2006 encyclopedia also includes entries for The Torpedo, Turbo and makes a ROM and Dire Wraith mention in the Skrulls entry. No entries for Galadorians or spaceknights unfortunately. I wanna thank our resident custom figure guy Chris for the Marvel encyclopedia loner.

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