Monday, February 24, 2014

Cool late 70s Marvel house ad and new bullshit from Marvel to kick off 2014

Oh talk about a cool blast from the past I found this full page house ad in Avengers # 177 which also happens to be a great action packed issue ( November 1978). Here's the TV commercial for it So the deal here is if you send in some sort of proof of purchase from the packaging of a Micronauts Battle Cruiser you can get two free Marvel Comics. This was a good way of getting kids who were into The Micronauts toy line also interested in Marvel Comics assuming they weren't already which had obvious marketing benefits given that Micronauts #1 debuted January of 1979. To no surprise this was the last paragraph that appears in the Bullpen Bulletin page of that very same Avengers issue.

Alright so that was Marvel Comics back then, let's take a look at the here and now which I couldn't be less enthusiastic about.

Left click to enlarge
Well, marvel does it again. Apparently Hybrid makes a brief appearance in the first issue of the New Warriors series. As you can see he and the current Nova are having a skirmish in what appears to be some sort of govt. building in new Mexico. Needless to say we get no explanation about anything here like . . . oh let's say how Hybrid is back after having gotten blasted back to Limbo again a couple years ago in Avengers Academy. Marvel has pretty much made Hybrid into some kind of WWF fall guy now like that no name wrestler who always loses to the popular one every body roots for. We can all thank Gary Martin Jr. for taking another one for the team cuz I sure as fuck don't buy new stuff from marvel any more.

OK THIS ALSO REALLY PISSES ME OFF! I just found out that Bill Mantlo doesn't own any portion of the rights to the current White Tiger character apparently because that character is now a woman. But keep in mind the new White Tiger is actually the daughter of the original and wears pretty much the same costume and mystic amulets. Now also keep in mind that permission to conceive or use this new White Tiger was never obtained by marvel from Michael Mantlo who is Bill's legal guardian. And marvel has been using that character in both print and in it's TV cartoons for at least a couple years now if not longer. Now considering how marvel won't use the name ROM or even have Rom appear in human form you gotta ask yourself what the fuck is going on with those assholes who run marvel comics these days!?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

ROBOCOP 2014, dead or alive you're seeing this awesome movie

The first thing I realized shortly after the movie started was that the whole promotional campaign for it was really piss poor. As most of you know I was quite the skeptic. If you are a big fan of the original as I am and you're worried about taking all that nostalgia baggage into this movie don't be. This movie did an amazing job of retelling the Robocop narrative in a completely contemporary setting that deals with hot topic issues today such as media spin, drones, out sourcing, terrorism and even politics both in terms of foreign policy and domestic. But of course it pays homage to the original while showing us how it can be retold in a way that doesn't make it better, just more up to date with the world we are living in today. Beyond that I don't want to say any more about the story for obvious reasons.
I will say this, the movie had much less gore then the original which may or may not be to your liking. The cast as a whole did a fantastic job, I'd say Gary Oldman especially. This movie was also a good example of how when used properly computer generated effects can enhance a film visually instead of making it tedious as did the Star Wars prequels. Again, I can't help stressing enough how this movie is not better or not as good as the original. In a way it's almost an invalid comparison because even though it deals with many of the same issues of course it also deals with many more that weren't in the public conscience back then. Yes, there are some things that the original had going for it that can never truly be topped like Peter Weller as Alex Murphy, Kurtwood Smith as Clarence Bodicker or Ronnie Cox as "Dick" Jones (just to mention a few) and we can't expect . . nor should we that exact chemistry from this movie. But you can expect to go see it and have a great time while still appreciating the original every bit today as you did back then. So for old time's sake I'm going to wrap this up with some of the Robocop stuff I've posted here before.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I can't think of a good posting title for today

I neglected to mention that the fan art I posted last week as well as what you see above was passed along to me from Gary Martin Jr. so you can all thank him for that. Tell me this cool sketch piece here doesn't remind you of Bill Sienkiewicz's style. Or maybe Berni Wrightson from the early Swamp Thing days? It's by a fellow by the name of Shamus Murphy and after a closer look I think it's an interpretation of the first page of issue 1 in which Rom emerges from the impact point of his arrival.  
I suspect this one may have been around for a while now but just largely unknown. This one here has been around in variant versions in black n' white which I've posted here before but it just recently turned up as a color painting it's quite excellent from in terms of use of color and figure composition . . .

Did you know that the Starhawk character was co-created by Sal Buscema? Which gives me reason to believe he may have had a lot to do with the character's design which I've always thought was one of the coolest in Marvel since seeing him in a copy of  issue 10 (vol.1) of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I had back in the day. His entry was penciled by Al Milgrom who also did the cover art for numerous issues of the Rom series.
In spite of all that I've always found Starhawk's origins a bit convoluted apparently like Firestorm he's actually two people. Also, I've never been a big fan of The Guardians of The Galaxy both in regards to the original and the current group (so sue me). Still though, cool character design and great rendering by Milgrom.

P.S. I just started another brutal work schedule like I had last month. It's gonna last the rest of this week and possibly for most of February so I may not have much time for this internet stuff for a little while.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The writing is on the wall

Here's some fan art that came my way recently. Unfortunately there's not much I can tell you about it other then that the artist's name is Frankie B.Washington and even though Rom's right foot is a bit overly large I over all really like this piece. Rom is drawn really well here in terms of figure composition and body proportions which gives this fan art a very non-amateurish look. Also, you can't help but be intrigued with that giant maw he's facing and is he summoning his analyzer or sending it back into subspace in exchange for his neutralizer? Now it sounds like I'm talking about a Choose Your own Adventure book.

Left click to enlarge
I recently picked up for a couple of bucks a beat up but still readable copy of The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine 27 (1976). It has White Tiger (or El Tigre Blanco if you prefer) story by Bill Mantlo in it. I liked that character from what I've read of him in a couple of Human Fly issues that I have which he guest starred in. Anyways, it looks like Bill had some fun with this story. Aside from what you can clearly see it also says Bill + Karen which is partially hidden in this panel but can clearly be seen in another with this wall. I haven't read this just yet I'm saving it for a road trip to Monterey (CA.) this weekend which is a couple hours south.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Group hug everybody, let's enjoy some good art we can all agree on

So I think it's safe to say we've talked the Dikto controversy to death by now so I'd like to lay the matter to rest and get back to talking about something we all enjoy. I love this splash page from Rom 43. Just take a few seconds to look over the details of the scene. Just as Quasimodo marvels at how Rom's armor is a combination of living cells and circuitry so do we marvel at the combination of Sal Buscema's pencils with Akin & Garvey's inking embellishments.

Doesn't that splash page remind you a lot of this scene from an early issue of the Micronauts? Another great panel with lots of cool details both issues were written by Bill Mantlo but this came a few years before Rom 43. Damn, Karza looks bad ass here like Darkseid, Darth Vader and Doctor Doom all rolled into one. And no one ever rendered him better then Michael Golden although I must say Jackson Guice also did a pretty damn good job too. Hey, take a few seconds to check out who else does a good Karza  Phillips

Speaking of cool art having to do with all things Rom and The Micronauts I wanna give a shout out to Dann Phillips. It's very rare that any of the artists who's stuff I feature here ever come by and say hi much less actually join in on the conversations. Especially conversations as "lively" as the recent Dikto debate. For those of you out there who are smart enough to not be on farcebook don't worry you can always see Dann's latest work at his deviant art gallery. 

Thumbnail preview
And let us all rejoice that indeed there is something new to behold in Dann's gallery that was only uploaded a couple hours before I published this posting! Now there's also another piece of fan art in Dann's gallery which was added fairly recently and it features Black Bolt from the Inhumans fighting a collection of Marvel villains including The Abomination. In it there is something of a Rom related Easter Egg let's see if you can spot it.