Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wrapping up 2014 with some old school coolness and my latest fan art

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Marvel Update was a quarterly news letter brochure that Marvel Comics Group distributed only to their in-house departments, shareholders and business partners back in the 70's through the 90's. All those early ROM costume promo appearances we've seen floating around on the internet for several years now like this one  were originally published in that quarterly in regards to the launching of the ROM spaceknight comic book series. So in a sense, Marvel Update actually had the first appearance of ROM. Ever the collector and curator of all things ROM related the following clips seen above come from a winter and fall edition of Marvel Update which Gary Martin Jr. recently acquired.

Ya know I really miss the good ol days of illustrations done on envelope like we used to see in Wizard magazine (just like you said K.o.T). I think of it as something of a lost art form.

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Dec. 18 update: I neglected to remember that Hanukkah started at sundown yesterday. So in order to atone for my absent mindedness I decided to whip up this sketch art of Sabra taking a break from putting down jihadi terrorists and super powered menaces so she can light the menorah. More possible updates for this blog posting to come before the end of the year.

And here's that first update. This fantastic Dec. 17 ROMcentric podcast throws around those common questions about what the fuck is going on when it comes to hasbro and marvel in regards to ROM as a licensed property

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday bonus pin-up special

Well as you get older the highlight of the holidays seems to be mostly about free food at other people's houses and extended weekends but back in the day it was all about the toys. So in honor of those better days let's have a look at some ROM and Micronauts toy easter eggs.

As many of you know I'm not big on howard the duck but for the sake of being thorough I'll include this link as well . . .

On the other hand, very happy holiday's to our pal Sal . . .

painting by A. Juliao

Friday, November 28, 2014

Why Bill Mantlo/ROM fans should remember Portland

Left click to enlarge interior mural from previous store location
It's hard to believe there are any ROM and or Bill Mantlo fans out there who don't know about Floating Worlds Comics by now but I guess there's still a few of you out there. In 2007 and 2010 Floating Worlds Comics hosted an art benefit auction to raise money and awareness for Bill along with some other related promotional events. That's the only comic shop I've ever known to have done something like that on behalf of Bill which is pretty crazy when you think of the kind of career he had. The promotional events at Floating World Comics had also resulted in an influx of ROM related fandom and newly created art work onto the internet just prior to me discovering for the first time the enduring fan base for the big silver guy which was some where in late 2008. So of course during my trip to Northern Oregon right after Thanksgiving Day Weekend I'll be sure to add a visit to Floating World Comics to my itinerary. You can see past blog postings about the Bill Mantlo benefit art auctions here . . .

I'll be updating this posting as soon as I get back late next week. Meanwhile, here's a couple of things you might enjoy. Written by Mantlo in the pages of HEAVY METAL magazine this is a futuristic short story about tyranny and rebellion told in an old English style of writing . . .

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Dec. 4 Update: Well I'm finally back from my trip and the ironic thing is when I flew out of Oakland on Teusday morning it was raining like crazy but the minute I touched down in Portland it was dry as a bone which was the case through out all of Northern Oregon for almost the entire time I was there. Needless to say I had a great time and I'd like to make some recommendations to all my fellow sci-fi comic book geek freinds who may some day happen to find themselves out in the Portland, Seaside and Astoria areas. Just a block down from Floating World Comics is this cool 80s retro video game arcade/bar called Ground Kontrol. Like I said it's also a bar so they do card you at the entrance. Only a short walk away is Billy's Galaxy which was one of the best vintage toy shops I've ever seen. Among the collection of awesome stuff there they had a couple of ROM dolls but I ended up buying this Gobot I used to have called Pathfinder. And on a side note amazingly even the small coastal town of Astoria (where Kindergarten Cop and The Goonies were filmed) had an 80s retro video game arcade called The Arc Arcade.

One last thing, I grabbed a copy of Incredible Hulk #258 (Mantlo / Buscema 1981) at Floating World Comics for some lite reading on the plane for the trip home and I discovered this house ad on the letters page. This is actually the first time I've ever seen this particular ROM promo in print although the 6" banner strip ad version I've had for a while now electonically thanks to Gary Martin Jr. although that version includes some extra art work in the left hand bottom corner. . .

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fan art that's worth a second look and The Torpedo's movie debut . . sort of

Yesterday this guy over at deviant art left a comment under one of my recent submissions about how cool a Deathlock vs ROM match up would be. Although it seems like the prevailing cybernetic throw down among comic book fans would be between Deathlock and The Teen Titan's Cyborg. Anyways, that got me thinking of this sketch art that was on deviant art for a while there but as far as I can tell it seems to be gone now. Fortunately I knew another source where I could procure this art work.
I think in the past I've resisted posting this because of the unfinished nature of this work. But in spite of that you can tell whoever did this has some serious illustration skills he/she hits all the major points: figure composition, perspective, foreshorting and shadowing it's a real pity they never finished this. If I recall correctly from when this art work was still on deviant art the other fellow in this sketch is Morbius The Living Vampire. I have no idea if this art work is still any where on social media but I'm going to also give it a home here where fans can see it.

So early yesterday morning I got an enthusiastic email from my good buddy Gary Martin Jr. (perhaps you've heard of him?) that included some screen shots taken from youtube videos of scenes from a Disney movie (Big Hero 6) he had just taken his family to recently. As you can see, someone who was involved in the making of this movie seemed to be really intent on showcasing a number of lesser known Marvel characters along with The Torpedo we can also see Orca, Black Talon and Sleepwalker. Although not seen in these screen shots Gary assures us that the actual movie scene does feature several seconds of a more full body view of The Torpedo. Good ol Brock Jones, gone but not entirely forgotten it would seem.

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Nov. 16 Update: Speaking of Easter Eggs, most of you know about ROM being scene briefly in that god awful ill fated Silver Surfer cartoon (episode 5) back in the 90s right? Well thanks to the wonders of modern technology (photoshop) we can now have ourselves a ROM easter egg in a good Saturday morning cartoon from marvel . . .

Friday, November 7, 2014

Superskrull vs ROM and Captain Mar-vell variant homage fan art

By Nick Baldwin
Just when I think I can go on a hiatus or other wise let this blog sit idle something else comes along that warrants a posting. In this case we have something that turned up yesterday on deviant art that was actually inspired by some of my own fan art Rather you want to consider this some variant fan art or more of a homage it's just all around cool and one Hell of a compliment.

And the cool new fan art just keeps on coming! This one by a Brazilian artist turned up on deviant art this very morning check out the full image

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Nov. 8 Update: I found myself with a surprising amount of free time on my hands today so I decided to take a jaunt up to the radical left wing shit hole (where soda now costs more then pretty much any where on the fucken planet) known as Berkeley. There's a comic shop up there I wanted to look around at and they happened to have had an October copy of BACK ISSUE! Just read the Micronauts article last night it had a couple of cool extra stuff too as you can see above but it was basically an expanded version of the Micronauts chapter of the Bill Mantlo: A Life Time In Comics tribute magazine.

Nov. 9 Update: Ever since I first published this posting it seems like something else keeps turning up one way or another so here's yet another update. Another fellow over at Deviant Art took it upon himself to color this already. For those of you who don't have an account with Deviant Art just get one already it's free and it only takes a few minutes to set up. You can see the original full size art work here . . .

Nov. 10 Update: It just seemed to be raining ROM fan art over at deviant art last week here's another one I recently discovered it's definitely worth having a look at . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Nova vs the Dire Wraiths Halloween e-comic special is here! Also, Marvel published what?

Did you know that I just realized that Marvel Two-In-One 99 was written by Bill Mantlo? Given how the issue kicks off with this fantastic splash page I thought I'd open up this posting with this 80s nostalgia given that Halloween is tomorrow.

But onto with what this posting is really about I wanted to make sure anybody who stumbles across this blog knows about the Halloween e-comic special on deviant art that is now up. The guys who put this thing together really went balls on this project to bring something really cool to ROM and Nova fans out there so go check it out and let them know what you thought of it . . .

Ok actually I've got one more thing to post that came later today courtesy of Gary Martin Jr. who found this on twitter. Apparently it's a page from the Marvel 75 Years Celebration one shot. I actually thought this was pretty cool even though it touches a nerve. I just don't get it. Clearly Marvel knows about the ROM fan base out there and they currently have merchandising deals with Hasbro who they obviously know own the rights to ROM. So why can't these two companies just work something out!!!? Other licensed properties present on this page include The Micronauts, Godzilla, Shogun Warriors and huh . . . NFL Pro.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


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I know most of you have seen this stuff already but I've met some nice people on deviant art in recent weeks and along with some of the stuff I've done recently I'm gonna give their work a bit more brag space by posting it here which I think this blog is still a good resource for once in a while now that I think about it. The ROM vs Thanos was a 20 minute sketch art piece and the other one below it was done by a nice lady up in Canada who found my recent work and got nostalgic enough to do some ROM fan art of her own.

Nice, this one just turned up yesterday (Oct. 19) on DA . . .

Ok I gotta add this also to the posting even though now it's Oct. 24. We've seen a lot of Torpedo customs over the years but this is the first packaged one I believe. According to Gary Martin Jr. this sold on ebay for only a measly 50 bucks! The altered packaging comes from Hasbro's Avengers action figure line which pisses me off to know that the two companies currently have a number merchandising deals but all ROM fans get is some stupid heromugg.

Friday, October 3, 2014

I don't want this to vanish from the net after it sells on ebay

So as the posting title suggests I'm just throwing this custom Heroclix figurine up here because this is a really nice crafted work of art (especially when you consider how small it must be!) that should remain some where on the internet because quite frankly once it sells on ebay I don't know what will happen to the image in the long run. An articulate action figure would have been ideal to commemorate 35 years of ROM but I wish hasbro had at least done a small figurine like this just like those PVC ones you see in those plastic blister packages in stores sometimes.

I guess I might as well throw this new fan art up here too while I'm at it which I posted on deviant art a few days ago. ROM spaceknight 65, how much more awesome that epic issue would have been had it been penciled by ANY artist other then steve ditko working for Marvel at the time.

Monday, September 22, 2014

ROM spaceknight issue #22 commemorative fan art ( I really miss the 80s! )

I finally got around to  getting done the fan art that's been foremost in my collection of ideas for the past couple months.

Number 22 (1981) was the first ROM issue I ever had and in effect it started a chain reaction of fandom with me from the early 80s to today. So it seems this commemorative fan art is a good foot note to end things here. Yeah that's right, in my never ending quest to curb my time on the internet and lead a more productive life in the real world (mainly for more sleep and exercise in my schedule) I've decided to suspend writing any more of these time consuming postings indefinitely. It's no big deal I'll still be sharing all cool ROM related things with those of you I correspond with through other means outside of this blog such as on deviant art and by email, but I still don't do farcebook.

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But let me leave you with some of the cool stuff I saw last weekend while I was in Alameda for an afternoon. By the way that's the same city I ran into that guy who had the cool Nova t-shirt earlier this summer. Anyways, first up I took a photo of this cool new Star Wars window display at Toy Safari which as you can see carry's among other things vintage sci-fi and comic book based toys from the 80s.

I bet you forgot about this one : )
Only a couple retail spaces down was this new place called High Scores Arcade which is a video game arcade that features exclusively old school games from  . . . . yep you guessed it the 80s! You can get a look at the inside of the place here

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NOVA 619 vs the Dire Wraiths concept fan art

I finally had a complete chill day this past Sunday and I got one of my back burner fan art projects done. A couple months ago this British guy contacted me on deviant art about getting some input about this story line he and some friends had written having to do with this confrontation Nova has with the dire wraiths. As I understand it this is supposed to be some manner of online comic with something of a Halloween theme. Needless to say I liked their script and it inspired me to come up with some art work. At this time I don't want to give too much away about it but for now I can tell you this much, the dire wraiths are masters at deception which can be a formidable weapon that even raw power can't always over come as The Torpedo* found out the hard way. For this battle Richard Rider will need much more then his Nova Prime powers. Sometimes it's your will and even your imagination that makes the difference between life and death, in particular your brain getting sucked out of your skull kinda death.

For those of you who would like a comprehensive review of Nova's origins check out this cool video and yes they made sure to include ROM #24.

* Special note: The Torpedo and Nova were both co-created by Marv Wolfman

Sept. 23 Update: I just got confirmation today that the Marvel Age Magazine #7 "Ron" misprint has nothing to do with this custom doll for anyone who's interested in knowing.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gods of Galador my ROM t-shirt arrived today!

Just got this baby in the mail a couple of hours ago! This is actually the first time I've ever bought any clothing online I've always had this standing rule about never buying anything I can try on first I'm a bit fussy when it comes to how stuff fits on me. But I had no choice Redbubble doesn't have any retail services from their San Francisco office. I don't know how they can get away with selling t-shirts of licensed characters with everything from Thundarr The Barbarian to The Shogun Warriors and even to The Micronauts but I gotta go back to S.F. early next week and now that I have my brand spanking new ROM t-shirt from these guys maybe I'll try to pay them another visit.

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This custom Torpedo figure has been around for a while but I felt like featuring it here basically because I really like it. The artist did a good job on making the Torpedo armor look very accurate to how it was drawn not to mention the transparent visor. I'm also a big fan of figures that have good points of articulation. Even when a figure has a good sculpt but is about as articulate as the original Star Wars action figure line well then it might as well just be a statue figurine which kinda defeats the whole point of producing an "action figure". Now here's an example of a custom Torpedo I'm not too crazy about for the before mentioned reasons . . .

September 7 Update: A heart warming moment from the Bill Finger Awards presentation at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con with our beloved Bill spaceknight Mantlo.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Analyze this!

Now that I'm seeing this in color I feel like this sketch card fan art by Mark Propst it begs to be one of those "caption this" kinda images. I mean just imagine what ROM would be saying to this dire wraith he's confronting. Well Gary you wanted to see this in color so here ya go bro. I'm not with Instagram but if any of you are feel free to share this with Mark so far I've never run into any artist who had an issue with me colorizing their work.
Along with New Mutants 24 I also grabbed a copy of the August issue of IDW's Rogue Trooper as part of my 3 for $1 grab a couple of weeks ago in S.F. Earlier this week I was browsing through it when I came across an IDW supplemental/promotional page with a crossword puzzle that had at least one question I knew the answer to before I flipped the page to see the answers. I retyped the clue but other wise what you see below is a scan of the puzzle key. I'm not on farcebook or twitter so if you know Chris at either of those social media sites feel free to share this posting with him.

Ya know I was thinking Gary with all these random findings lately I also can't help but wonder how much more is out there and how can we ever hope to find them all? Maybe we need something like this Wraith finder?

Well that's it for August I'm fresh out of stuff to post for now. But as we saw this month things just kinda turn up sometimes when you least expect them although I have at least one thing I'm anticipating getting in the mail (no not the mighty mugg) in the near future I think you all would like. Plus I've had this idea for a while now for doing some fan art that pays homage to issue 22 which was the first Rom issue I ever owned so ya never know.

Monday, August 25, 2014

New fan art and a mention in SciFiNow magazine

A big thanks to Gary for finding the following on Instagram. When it comes to fan art for any characters we don't get to see much in the way of water colors unfortunately. This one comes to us from artist Vince Sunico nice job bro I especially dig how you did with Rom's eyes.

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Here's a nice sketch card by artist Mark Propst (a color version featured here later this week) that may have been inspired by the iconic 80s HULK rage face close up Bob Larkin. Mark has at least one other sketch card of Rom that could be something of a follow up to this one in terms of it's theme

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Hey Gary seems I've been doing some incidental curating as of late. This past weekend I happened to be up in Petaluma and while browsing at this book store I took a look at a July copy of a U.K. magazine called SciFiNow. I noticed an article in it called Cosmic Marvel from A-Z in which every letter of the alphabet headlined a short editorial of major characters ("J" for Rick Jones) and events in cosmic Marvel story lines in recent years. It's nice to find these Rom references in old school publications from the 80s and 90s but it's also nice to find them in recent stuff as well, as seen last year in GEEK magazine and with IDW's splash page.

Update: And speaking of IDW only hours after publishing this posting I came across yet another albeit rather unique ROM reference in the recent issue of Rogue Trooper but I'm saving that one for the next posting : )

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Although I've never been much of a Dr. Who fan nor did I like the Mars Attacks movie primarily because it was directed by tim burton who's movies I always hate I never the less thought this staged scene was pretty cool.

Rather you like it or hate it one thing that can't be denied is that the ROM mighty mugg is making waves. I can't help but be surprised with how much it has been coming up in my weekly internet searches for cool new or older undiscovered ROM related tid bits. There's at least a dozen different web sites that have some sort of feature article about about it and at least two youtube videos so far. And if you're looking to buy it on ebay I assure you there are no shortage of sellers there to pick from. Hopefully Hasbro will take notice of all this fan fare and also take a chance on producing something more along the lines of what I would like to have such as a full blown articulate action figure. Even as some sort of limited edition item that costs a pretty penny I'd have my credit card ready faster then a quick draw at the Ok Corral shoot out in Tombstone. If you haven't done it already let Hasbro know you want to see more ROM merchandise

There's this dude from the Philippines who's just killing it when it comes to making spaceknight customs with just about every spaceknight from A - Z. It seems this guy left no stone unturned with customs I never thought I'd see like for Daystar and Mentus. Recently a ROM custom from this guy sold on ebay for nearly $400 bucks! You can see more of his stuff at the link below.

The company known as RedBubble has come out with yet another ROM t-shirt. Don't get me wrong it's not like I don't think that's cool I just don't know how they can keep producing this apparel for commercial purposes with out getting into legal problems with Hasbro since I'm fairly certain they don't have a current licensing deal with them. However, it turns out they happen to have an office in San Francisco (633 Howard St. San Francisco, CA 94105) very close to an area I frequent on a weekly basis so I think I'll swing by next week

Monday, August 18, 2014

Those "critters" from X-Men 187-188

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Alright it's back to the wonderful 80s today! And this time I'm hoping I found a Rom related reference that even Gary Martin Jr. or Lee Sietz don't know about yet. So this morning I found an issue of New Mutants #24 in a 3 for $1 box while I was in S.F. when I noticed these panels that make an obvious reference to the Dire Wraiths. If you recall Uncanny X-Men 187-188 was part of the story arc involving an attempted assassination of Forge by the dire wraiths which was in part prevented by the timely arrival of The X-Men and Magik (Illyana Rasputin).
The pages of the X-Men wasn't the only time Magik would find herself battling those sorceress "critters". In Rom Annual #3 she helped Rom fend off some dire wraiths and escape from Limbo after having been sent there by Hybrid. After their return from Limbo they fought Hybrid together and along with the assistance of Brandy Clark defeated Hybrid's ugly ass  . . .

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So here's some fan art (unknown artist) I've appropriated from Gary's stash for this posting. To me this is an example of some art work that was so close to being great. I like the setting the artist put Rom in it certainly plays with your imagination. I like the detail on the armor and I also like the off center slightly over head point of view that's harder to pull off well then you think trust me on that. But there's a couple details when it comes to figure composition that don't quite settle with me. Rom's forehead is a bit too high and his arms are overly robust and long. So what do you think?

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8/19 Update: So I got an email earlier today from Gary Martin Jr. "A Rom curator" with some photos he took of some Guardians of The Galaxy HeroClix play sets he ordered online in order to obtain the Rom related figurines. So here we have the Ikon spaceknight figurine and of course you've seen the Dire Wraith one already. Just so you know there's a Dire Wraith Queen Volx figurine which is just a green colored version of the Dire Wraith sculpt and there's also 2 spaceknight warrior figurines that are gold colored and basically a version of the Ikon sculpt. You may have noticed in the bottom left hand corner of the information card a ROM #1 appearance mention for Ikon I assure you that's either some sort of misprint or somebody's idea of what would sound cool for gaming purposes or what not. I'm trying to keep this posting from getting any more long winded then it kinda is already and I don't think there's anyone here who plays HeroClix any ways so if you have any more questions I'm sure Gary will be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments section.