Saturday, January 4, 2014

1994 Marvel Bullpen Bulletins: Sal Buscema

Left click to enlarge
If there's something out there that's been published with the name Rom on it you can always count on Gary of finding it some how. This was found in Warlock 32. Ya know it really irritates me how even when people concede that Steve Dikto's run on Rom was clearly inferior to Buscema's but still feel compelled to qualify or other wise validate him having penciled the series after Buscema left (after issue 58).
When I open a comic I want to see two things, a good story complimented by good art. Your reputations doesn't mean squat to me if I open up a comic and your penciling sucks. Case and point, have a look at what this guy says in reference to the clip art with the two dire wraiths at the bottom of this page for Rom #58 and #59 review

Incredible Hulk #297
I hope you all checked out that link it's quite ridiculous it's like yeah this new artist on this book I enjoy reading sucks but I'm glad he's doing th eart work for it anyways . . .WTF!?
This latest footnote comes to us by none other then  . . guess who? This panel (Sal Buscema & Bill Mantlo) with Gabriel Jones corresponds with Rom 53 in which Rom, Starshine and Nick Fury convince Ronald Reagen to go public about the dire wraith menace. As always thank you all for 2013 it was fun with you guys here. I know for some of you 2014 has gotten off to a rough start I sure hope things get better sooner then later.

Major props to The King of Thessaly for bring this song to my attention I dunno why I didn't post this last year. This song is funny as Hell here's how it starts, "Stop talking about comic books or I'll kill you . . I don't care if the Hulk can defeat the man of steel . . I'll rearrange your face if you continue to debate whether Logan's claws can pierce Steve Roger's shield . . . "


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    1. Yeah- I've seen it before too, not sure in what issue. I thought those were in every issue of every Marvel comic that came out that month/month-and-a-half? Because I see the same ones all the time in different books.
      I should have Quasar #47, Nights of Vengeance #1, and / or What If? #50. They'd still be in my long-boxes at my Parent's house, though. Next time I'm there- I'll check.

    2. There was a time when you could say a particular Bullpen page could be found in every Marvel of that month, in the '80s. Not sure yet when it started but by '93 the Bulletins changed every week. Probably necessitated by the checklist growing too big; a week's worth of releases was as long as the whole month's back in ROM's era. It's nice that '90's Bullpens could diversify the columns more often...Mark's Remarks, Stan's Soapbox, etc....but it sure makes it a p.i.t.a. to try to verify a list of issues where you can find a certain one. You'd think that the comics on a Bullpen's checklist would all have that Bullpen? Think again amigo. If there's a good resource for such information I have yet to find it, though some sporadic help was gained from various comic database sites: the two best I know are with searchable scheduled release dates (not always actual), and with lots of extra contents info (but far from comprehensive). Someday I want to go through all the Bullpen Bulletins post-ROM, so if anybody knows those are already collected somewhere please let me know.

    3. All I know is: It seemed I'd see that same damn Coolometer in every damn book I picked up for a month and a half (huge checklist and all- like you said... soooo many titles). I hated the Coolometer SO much- yet I was always so happy to see a new one. -Then I'd read it and hate myself again.
      Overall- I was never really one for that stuff; the bullpen, the letter-columns. I'd skim over it all, sure- but I was largely uninterested at the time, in my teens...
      I do remember Savage Dragon and The Maxx making it fun to read over every inch of the books! -Even the small-print! They threw stuff in everywhere- made it so much more interesting. It was like- Marvel's gimmick was to pretend they cared. But Larsen and Kieth really, really did. Their letter columns were just as interesting as the book...

  2. Hey, I love 'Our Pal' Sal just as much as the next guy... okay, probably a lot more; but you have got a serious hate-on for Steve Ditko, man! Hahaha- forever bitching about that guy...
    I dunno- maybe it's because I've liked Spider-Man since before I could read, or the fact that Speedball was one of the first comics I ever bought at The Dirt-Mall, or my love of The Question, Nobody's favorite Super-Hero: Captain Atom, Machine Man, and ROM, but... ...I just can't hate the guy. Sure, maybe he wasn't the perfect fit / followup artist for ROM: Spaceknight. But he wasn't bad at all. Just different.
    It's like when Erik Larsen followed McFarlane on Amazing Spider-Man; it was great, but people were foaming at the mouth with hatred just because it WASN'T McFarlane anymore. Then- on the flip-side; people STILL give Greg Capullo shit for the way he just mimicked McFarlane's art when he took over penciling on Spawn from him. You can't win!
    The same people can't work on every book forever (sure- it would be nice sometimes) and it seems fans will get mad if they make it different, and mad still if they try to keep it the same... I know- that's hardly a new revelation. But I'm killing time before the stores open.

    1. well i think you nailed it back in one of your videos when you were reviewing that Speedball issue done by Dikto and described his pencils like "Archie comics style". you pretty much said it sucked with out saying it out right.
      as a kid reading Rom i just will never forget how bummed i was seeing the art change from the classic dynamic style of Buscema to that goofy looking in comparison of penciling from Dikto. i was in my early teens so i took art at face value back then i didn't look at it through the spectrum of an artist's reputation or legacy.

    2. Yeah, I did... see- and I still feel bad about it! I mean; he's Ditko! I should go flog myself now. -I'm a terrible comics fan!

  3. Hahaha! -Noice! Ookla The Mok are AMAZING! Everyone should check them out. You can search YouTube for songs they have on there. Their MySpace has music you can listen to still: -Doctor Octopus feat. Venom rapping is GREAT! Arthur Curry is a pimp-ass song about Aquaman and his badassness! Home is a great Star Trek song:
    And they have a website:

  4. Completely agree King re: Ookla The Mok! Arthur Curry is my favourite - that stuff's golden. Every Monday on my site I post a song that has a comic connection to it. Back in October I did 'Stop talking about comics' because the Kraven the Hunter aspect edges it out, but Arthur Curry is still in the to-do list. Great seeing it pop up here!

    I miss the Bullpen - it's odd that Marvel whose difference between them and DC for so many years was that Marvel was a club with 'Make Mine Marvel!' and Stan speaking to you from the Bullpen seemingly directly have dropped that aspect of the company almost entirely. It worked so well, you'd think someone would try to keep it going...

    As for Ditko, the early issues of Spider-Man will always see me tip my hat to the dude, the villians he designed alone are just wow, and the Spider-Man costume is alot better than the one Kirby originally designed for the guy - and I'm a MASS fan of Kirby, so that's saying something.

    Even though Speedball was pretty far out for me with the bouncing cat and all, and ROM didn't quite cut the mustard, he's still a pretty talented dude. The biggest artistic change for me has always been whoever follows George Perez on a book. Whoever it is just can't do it the same and always makes it feel like you should pay less than you did the month before.

    1. well mate, at least you admitted that his work on Rom sucked.

    2. He does not suck- he's just not Sal! ...well, I guess that does mean he kinda sucks by default. Still- who would you rather have taken over penciling duties?
      -John Buscema would have been my pick... but at the time he was doing Conan, I believe- and taking a break from "superhero comics"...

    3. @Dan W: -And I'd be lying if I said My Secret Origin did not make me tear up a little... My apologies for not checking out your site sooner. -Any friend of Sleepwalker etc, etc...
      I was just reading Galactus The Devourer tonight and I was surprised/forgot they were still doing Bullpen Bulletins in 2000. Stan's Soapbox, and those awesome strips by Chris Giarrusso and all...
      Niels the bouncing cat was awesome! -You hush! But yeah- no one can follow George Perez. Hahaha- you should have to pay less after! You're definitely getting less book.

  5. back then if John Buscema had taken over the pencils I would have never noticed the difference. same goes for Ron Frenz probably. Michael Golden or Allan Davis would probably have been my first pick but John Byrne, Jackson Guice, Mike Zeck (Secret Wars) would have been great too. even Al Milgrom who I thought was the least of the Marvel 80s comic artists would have been better then Dikto to take over Rom. literally, I think pretty much any other artist other then Dikto would have been preferable.

    1. Well, John Buscema draws a MUCH prettier woman than Sal does... That's how I can always tell the difference.
      Ron Frenz would have been great too!
      I did not know this- but apparently Guice ghosted for Pat Broderick on the first Rom Annual.

  6. Well he was no Sal but i do like some of Ditko work on ROM. Many readers at the time were split and expressed both the like and dislike of the change in spacenotes in "worldmerge" issue 64 and " the day after" issue 66. I for one liked his art for the most part towards the end.

    1. I'd like to know what exactly you liked about Dikto's art in those issues of ROM? characters and objects had less detail giving them a flat and washed out look. the movements and postures of characters were often awkward looking and it absolutely drove me crazy the way Dikto used to draw Rom's eyes. he just made two red dots as opposed to the more dynamic and expressive starburst style.all the clip art from issue 65 is an especially good example and the way he draws Ursa Major is down right ridiculous

    2. So, Shlomo- I'm confused... You're saying you DON'T like Steve Ditko?

      I can't speak for Joseph, but here is what I like about it: It's like a ROM cartoon. Those character designs could be used to model a cartoon series as they are. Everything; the colors, the poses, the eyes- It looks like a cartoon of the time-period.

      Is it amazing? Should the book look like a cartoon? Well, it IS based on a toy.

    3. fuck that "Rom cartoon" bullshit. you have ROM 45 don't you? go get it and open it up. just take a moment to study the clip art for issue 45 penciled by Sal Buscema and beautifully inked by Akin & Garvey. every panel is a master piece so bold, detailed and dynamic it almost feels like the images fly off the page or like you can feel a texture at you finger tips. THAT"S WHAT I WANT WHEN I READ A COMIC! in case you don't have that issue. . .
      Dikto's work in comparison like in issue 65 looks flat, bland and lacks detail. take a close look at the panel that has the Soviet Super Soldiers especially. I fucken hated Dikto's "cookie cutter" looking character drawings and especially the way he drew Rom's eyes!!! anyways bro it's back to Hell work week for me starting at 5 A.M. tomorrow i'll get back here whenever I have a free second in the next couple of days.

    4. Hahaha! You mad, bro?
      No, wait- I got this: Haters gonna hate...
      I'm not saying Ditko is better. I'm just saying I appreciate his style because it's different. And really, in the end- would you rather ROM stopped when Sal left? We still got Mantlo. It's STILL ROM. I'd rather have some cartoon-ish art than nothing at all, know what I mean? Do you just not like cartoony art, in general? Did you hate Ed McGuinness and Mike Wieringo on Superman? Joe Madureira on X-Men? Mike Allred on X-Force? Humberto Ramos on Spider-Man? Those were all very cartoon-like takes, very different from the previous pencils on said titles, and I loved every one of them.

      Shit, dude- those hours SUCK! Good luck!

    5. Though the book was some what lacking in art when sal left it only kept getting better with Bills story. Its easy to say now how this guy or that could have been better after sal left . we got what we got .plain bike reflector disks eyes yes but more ROM . So maybe thats why many give dikto a pass. I know thats why i do.

    6. my work schedule sucks like like Dikto's art in ROM. plus I'm having some internet issues on top of everything else. i'll catch you guys later.

  7. The two page splash on page 21 ,22 in issue 66 is sweet. I agree about the eyes though i hated the eyes he often did or sometimes the shape of the head.issue 73 with john Bryne seems better all around then both the issue before and the final one. I quess i like Ditkos in space art the most but not over Sal.

    1. now that comment makes more sense my friend. perhaps one can find some redeeming qualities in the composition with in his panels but his drawing style for objects or actual characters was inferior to the great artists of the late 70s and 80s. I think i'll include some side by side comparisons of characters like Baron Karza, Ego The Living Planet and Ursa Major as drawn my greats like Michael Golden, John Byrne and Sal of course.

  8. So shlomo....tell us how you really feel about ditto on room. I think it is ok..But far inferior to sal.

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  12. THE 7/19/1994 BULLPEN BULLETINS WITH "PROFILE: SAL BUSCEMA" is VERIFIED in the following TWENTY comics:

    Avengers #378
    Deadpool v2 #2
    Doom 2099 #21
    Excalibur #81
    Fantastic Four Unlimited #7
    Ghost Rider 2099 #5
    Incredible Hulk #421
    Justice: Four Balance #1
    Marvel Tales Featuring Spider-Man #289
    Morbius The Living Vampire #25
    Nova v2 #9
    Rocko's Modern Life #4
    Sabretooth Classic #5
    Secret Defenders #19
    Spider-Man #50
    Transformers: Generation 2 #11
    Warlock and the Infinity Watch #32
    What If v2 #65
    X-Men #36
    X-Men 2099 #12

  13. The only book left to check that was scheduled to be released within a month in both directions of this Bullpen is Break The Chain #1, a Marvel Music comic that probably doesn't have any ads. I'll come across it someday. Except for the additional possibility there's some other random thing that was delayed from long before that landed with this Bullpen, I say the list above is finished.