Sunday, December 18, 2016

Why you need to see Rogue 1

Recently acquired items to my Star Wars mini ship collection 
No ROM related stuff for you guys this time. Going off topic here because I just saw Rogue 1 yesterday and I loved it and feel like talking about it a bit while at the same time sharing some cool Star Wars shit. Ya know, The Force Awakens was a refreshing new direction from those horrible prequels and it did have some other really good stuff going for it. But it also had a significant amount of problems to the point where it left me feeling some what less then thoroughly satisfied after I saw it.
 But not so with Rogue 1. I might feel a little bit differently after seeing it again or after I've had some time to really process it all after this weekend but for now I'm pretty happy with it. It felt like authentic vintage Star Wars. It had a well paced story line with characters that were well developed that you felt something for when they died (oops, sorry about that spoiler). Yes this movie is loaded with tragedy but it also has a lot of well placed Easter eggs from things and people you know are coming in the original trilogy story line. And praise The Force, Rogue 1 has an absolute bare minimum of CG1 aliens.

Public art in Auburn California of all places left click to enlarge
This is probably gonna do it for me as far as any new postings go till the end of the year. As for 2017, I guess we'll just see how it goes. Kinda hard to imagine it'll be a good year for anything going on that's ROM related when it comes to new shit.

World Wide Art in Castro Valley California left click to enlarge
December 31 update: I saw Rogue 1 again and it was even better the second time around. Although damn, the tragic news about Carrie Fisher kinda brought down my Rogue 1 high.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Uncovering cool 80s Dire Wraith references

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Well today was the final San Jose Super Toy Comic and Collectibles show of the year and I happened to find a couple gems from the good ol days of ROM The original or just RTO for short. Now the clip art seen above you from Silver Surfer #5 (vol.3 1987) which I found in a 50 cents box evidently has been on the internet already unbeknownst to me. Cool to find this never the less although I'm a bit disappointed it didn't include a ROM # 50 foot note which is when it was revealed that the Dire Wraiths were an evolutionary off shoot of The Skrulls.

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I also found this in the letter column of Avengers #249 (1984) which I also found in a 50 cents box. As most of you know Avengers 244 & 245 were dire wraith war cross over story lines. Did any of you out there by any chance happen to notice the clip art I used for the Trump humor from issue 245 in the previous posting? It would be interesting to know if this guy ever decided to give the ROM series a shot. And if so if he liked it or not. Hopefully he didn't try to pick up on the series after Sal Buscema left that would have been a shame. Well either way he states that he was wondering if he had been missing out by not reading ROM at the time and I would say he most definitely was. There was actually another letter from those two Avengers issues in regards to the dire wraiths but that guy was a being a real asshole I'm not posting that one.

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And in keeping with the dire wraith theme of this posting we've got the latest old school ROM fan art from Dann Phillips. This one kinda has me wondering if Hybrid would be able to survive in the vacuum of space? It wouldn't surprise me given his seemingly endless range of mental and physical powers granted to him by his dire wraith/human mutant physiology.

December 8th Update: As some of you may have guessed this clip art comes from a Marvel Age magazine calendar page. I'm glad they used a Jewish character that had been in the pages of ROM (17,18) although having Ben Grimm here to would have been pretty cool as well. Or maybe better yet, Sabra.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Doctor Strange movie review quickie and more cool stuff

Although we could all tell pretty easily from the initial movie promos that Benedict Cumberbatch was gonna make a great Stephen Strange I never the less felt that the movie trailers didn't really give you a sense if this movie was gonna be any good or not. My biggest fear was that this was gonna be one of those comic book based movies in which they handle the main character fairly well but wrap him up in a forgettable story filled with dull secondary characters a tedious special effects dog n' pony show. I'm really happy to say that was hardly the case and that this film is yet another fine edition to the Marvel cinematic universe. I don't want to turn this into a long winded review but suffice it to say this movie has most everything you'd expect from a well done comic book adaptation film. It's faithful to the source material and yet a bit different where it needs to be. Good character development, a well paced story, Easter eggs and good humor mixed in with serious drama. There were a lot of great moments but perhaps one of my favorites was what felt to me like a tribute scene to The Empire Strikes Back with Luke on Hoth. The script does a fairly good job of explaining things so you don't get too lost given the very supernatural nature theme of the film. And perhaps best of all we most certainly will see Stephen Strange team up with The Avengers some where down the road the movie makes that pretty clear. If you wanna know more just go see it. Just on a side note I wanted to mention that I knew a guy in high school named Chris Strange. Yep that was his actual last name.

Not to be confused with the Doctor Strange character, Strange magazine was a french publication which basically reprinted Marvel comics for french speaking readers ofcourse. In the case of this cover art they used elements from a splash page on page 4 and 8 of Rom spaceknight 41.

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As supposedly the more highly evolved members of the primate family we humans tend to be drawn to shinny things so in a way I guess that's kinda how I found this on the internet this morning. This is pretty bad ass but unfortunately not much in the way of information like who the artist is and what not was available. Perhaps somebody out there who knows a bit more about this can help us out with that in the comments section?

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November 11 update: My buddy Dale did a similar clip art Donald Trump meme in which he made Trump into a skrull so I told him I'd do the same and make him a dire wraith. All post election drama aside you gotta admit this is pretty funny.

Friday, November 4, 2016

My scathing letter to IDW found in ROM (in name only) issue 4

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Well you can all thank ROM curator Gary Martin Jr. for this weekend's blog posting. This letter page that Gary sent me is from a digital copy of "Rom the spacknight" issue 4. Gotta say I was pretty surprised IDW printed that one. Well I'll tell you this Mr. Ryall, I'll take the "knee high metal disco boots" over the anime style metal snow boots you came up with for your ROM in name only series. I think Ryalls reasoning for having ditched ROM's classic hardware was also bullshit. Prior to this letter being published I had several correspondences earlier this year with IDW by email in regards to my ROM re-design grievances. And each time their responses becameare more baffling I feel like we're really talking two different languages just as you see here with chris ryall's reply to my letter. I mean we might as well be a Clinton and Trump supporter debating political-ideological differences which as you can imagine would be as pointless as a tic tac toe game or a dog chasing it's own tail.
Have you seen the cover variants for that issue yet? Most of em look like shit, all these cover variants idw keep doing are the same thing over and over again do you think it would kill em to make a cover that's a reflection of the story inside the issue for a change? So now I have to deal with the dilemma of "to buy or not to buy" ROM in name only number 4. I vowed to never buy any of IDW's shit ever again after the shitty Micronauts #1 but I might have to make an exception for this issue given that it does have a letter from me giving me now a total of 4 different titles I've now had my letters published in.

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Also from Gary we've got some old school stuff. This here comes from a Comics Buyer's Guide special on HULK back issues complete with a price guide and brief review on all the issues it covered. The special also included an entry for Incredible Hulk 262 (dire wraith back story) but I'm just featuring the entry for 296 because this one has a been of interesting commentary. Gary also found some entries for X-Men 187 and 188 for an X-Men Comics Buyer's Guide Presents special. But the asshole who did those entry write ups was a real dick head with his smart ass remarks about how the dire wraiths were some kinda second rate villains and what not. I'm not posting his shit fuck him.

November 5 update: Buying a copy for the IDW Rom in name only series for me is a lot like casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential election. Most people don't want to do it but feel like they have to in order to keep the option they hate even more out of the Oval Office. In my case I don't want to give IDW any of my money but not having a copy of my letter might be a worse option then this one time only purchase. Figures my LCS (CRUSH COMICS) only had one of the shitty cover art variants in stock. Apparently the ROM in name only series is selling better then the shitty Micronauts reboot from IDW according to the owner of CRUSH.

November 6 update: This is why I like people who leave comments I basically had no idea the cover variant I picked up yesterday was done by Al Milgrom and was a homage piece to Iron Man 80. Although I think it worked much better on the Iron Man cover. And just for the record I'm not just beating up on Al I've also pooped on cover variants done by Sal Buscema and Michael Golden it just seems to me that these cover variants from IDW lately don't bring out the best in these iconic Marvel 80s artsists. Although I betcha if Milgrom had done this homage cover in the RTO (Rom the original) series it would have come out much better then this RINO crap (Rom in name only).

Friday, October 21, 2016

I guess I should be flattered but . . .

Here's a screen shot of something I saw on Twitter earlier this evening but this isn't the first time I've seen some of my ROM fan art turn up else where. On one hand when this happens I'm a bit flattered but also kind of annoyed because it seems like it's never by anyone I know or have other wise had any communication with as far as I as I can tell. It would be nice for a change if someone actually said something about the art work they're about to lift off of my site much less ask permission to use it just as a matter of courtesy. And then on top of that they never mention where they got the art work from that they see fit to use. I think there's something to be said for a some kind of basic internet etiquette. This sure ain't the 80s any more.

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October 22 Update: Well with Gary's diorama in the previous posting it seems fitting to introduce this other unique sort of arts n' craft type tribute art work. This is something I found some time last year but have been sitting on for a while now for what ever reason I don't recall now. I think this is what you would call a shadow box and it was posted by a fellow by the name of Angel Velasquez who I assume is the artist. This is pretty cool it would make for a nice display piece in the home of any ROM fan.

I did away with the previous art work I had here because what I coincidentally found this morning was way cooler. Check out how the cover art for Daredevil 126 is similar and yet different at the same time with this Strange cover you see above you ....

Monday, October 3, 2016

The ROM legacy Heroclix collection

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I've loved dioramas ever since I was a kid, and this one comes to us by Gary Martin Jr.who did a fine job on it. The top left silver figurine is Ikon with some gold color variants that are supposed to be some kind of standard spaceknight soldiers in the Heroclix universe. Along the bottom to the left we have Forge from The X-Men which I'm sure most of you ROM fans remember as having had a pivotal role as an ally to ROM in the final days of the Wraith War both in the pages of The X-Men as well as in ROM spaceknight. Moving to the right we've also got Turbo from The New Warriors although for nostalgia's sake I wish they had made that figure outfitted with the original Torpedo costume as opposed to the updated version as seen in the 2nd New Warriors series.
Moving on to the right we've got the bad guys starting with a standard female dire wraith along with the dire wraith queen Volx. Notice how Volx is made of the exact same mold but done in green. Last up in the top right corner we've got the worst of the worst when it comes to ROM's enemies. Arguably the best sculpt of the bunch that there is Hybrid. Spawned of a dire wraith father and human mother Hybrid was a mutant of sorts possessed of vast powers both mental and physical.

It also so happens that this past weekend I was at the latest San Jose Super Toy comic and collectibles show. I really like this con I've been to it a few times now over the past couple of years it's not as big as most other cons but it's not bad at all and for a measly $10 admission fee (plenty of free parking nearby to) you get quite a lot of bang for your buck as the saying goes. It was kinda cool to see a dealer decorate one of his comic boxes with ROM 18. Also, Sam Jones from the awesomely cheesy 1980 Flash Gordon movie and more recently from the Ted movies was there.

1989 Oakland CA Wonder Con convention program

October 7 Update: First off I wanted to say I'm disappointed to not see some words of appreciation for that ROM legacy Heroclix diorama which no doubt was a real labor of love for Gary. Ok moving on, here's a little retrospective when it comes to the local convention scene. I just found this in an old 1989 Oakland Wonder Con convention program I still had. Ofcourse I've sung the praises of Akin & Garvey's work on ROM numerous times here over the years but I hadn't realized until today that they had also done inks on the Micronauts (Vol. 2) as well. I don't know about the first ever Wonder Con in 87 but I know they were also guests at the one in 88. Looking back I wish I had made a point to see them while I was there but unfortunately back in the late 80s I was in a different head space. The names behind the comics I loved to read and collect were not that big of a deal to me as hard as that me be to believe in the here and now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

One more card up my sleeve

I totally wasn't expecting to do another sketch card any time soon but I saw something recently that gave me almost instant inspiration. But first things first. The closest thing we ever got to see in terms of some kind of ROM and Spider Man cross over was a cameo in ROM spaceknight 23. No doubt some kind of team up story between the greatest of the spaceknights and arguably Marvel's most popular character would have been nothing short of epic for ROM fans. So getting back to my inspiration it came when I saw this black suite Spider Man fan art by my good friend from Greece. It was one of the coolest and most creative web swinging poses I've ever seen and I knew almost right away I wanted to use it some how with ROM. I hammered this sketch card out it just one evening. Don't forget to check out part of the source material from Nikoskap ...

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And speaking of all things cool and Spider Man have a look at what I passed by just last week. This can be found in the city of Hayward at a custom plastics fabrication business called Bell Plastics (2020 National Ave.). But I'm also happy to say that Hayward has been home before to other public art of our friendly neighborhood Spider this can be found on Tennyson Road  Man

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Spaceknight in Seattle

Been meaning to add another sketch card to my collection for a while now but just hadn't been feeling very artistically inspired lately. But with my most recent trip to Seattle I got an idea based on all the souvenir and gift shops with all the Seattle this and Seattle that merchandise but keep in mind I say that with Seattle still being my all time favorite U.S. city. Too bad it's almost as expensive to live there these days as it is in San Francisco. Anyways, that's nothing that ROM would have to worry about so here you have it a silver spaceknight in The Emerald City. Unfortunately, ROM never made it up to Seattle or to The Pacific Northwest in general during his original series but it sure would have been cool. That would have been so awesome seeing ROM use his neutralizer to banish a dire wraith posing as a Starbucks coffee employee. Not too far from reality actually when you think about it given Starbuck's already fairly successful plan for world domination.

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Classic Marvel 80s ROM sketch cards collect em all!

Friday, August 26, 2016

ROM spaceknight 65 tribute sketch card and Sal Buscema in Comic Book Fever

After nearly a year delay the over sized hard cover COMIC BOOK FEVER from Twomorrows Publishing (Back Issue Magazine) finally came out. And thanks to Gary again who's already got his copy we now know about the ROM related stuff in it. It has me feeling kinda sentimental which in turn is bringing out my creative side after it's been on a bit reclusive in recent weeks. Aside from that doing something with ROM and Iron Man has been on the back burner for quite a while.

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Getting back to Comic Book Fever, it's compilation of the comic book industry from the mid 70s to the mid 80s and it includes a 3 page chapter devoted to ROM. One page is just a splash page with the doll with star field background but the other two pages are editorial and include some clip art from the original series. The information for the most part is redundant although it also has some new commentary from editor Joe Duffy about her experience with working on the original ROM spaceknight series.
Now ROM does turn up in other sections of the book and it was a chapter on Sal Buscema where I found the most interesting ROM related information. When it comes to the behind the scenes talk in regards to the original series the most interesting thing to me has always been what effected me the most as a fan and reader back in the day. And that is, Sal's departure from the series which gave way to a very low point in the art work on the in the series. The quote seen above seems to suggest that Bill Mantlo and Sal may have had some creative differences very early on in the series which ultimately came to a head a few years later. Just imagine if Sal had penciled ROM spaceknight 65 it would have made the wraith war conclusion so much more epic. You can preview some of what's inside of Comic Book Fever here . . .

August 28 update: I noticed a copy of the 2nd issue for the IDW ROM in name only series and while I was browsing through it a certain familiar name got my attention. By April of this year my enthusiasm for this new series was buried under 50 feet of shit in a casket made out of utter dismay and disappointment. But I'm still going to post Gary's letter because it's his birthday today and he's also such an all around stand up guy. Happy Birthday Gary and welcome to the published letters club.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Well isn't that cool BACK ISSUE Magazine printed one of my letters again

BACK ISSUE Magazine 88 letter column
Big thanks to ROM curator Gary Martin Jr. for finding this in the letter column of BACK ISSUE Magazine 88 (May 2016). I had actually forgotten about having written this letter which as you can see was in response to BACK ISSUE Magazine 82 which had a long article about the Secret Wars series both I and II (see blog link below). Ironically I had picked up issue 82 because that issue had a letter of mine in it as well which was feed back from yet an earlier issue featuring The Micronauts. Unfortunately all print copies of issue 88 are sold out so for now I won't be able to get a copy to add to my growing collection of comics and magazines that have my letters published in them. I didn't have any luck on ebay either that blows.

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August 20th Update: Just found this Spanish language cover art for ROM 72. Aside from the obvious (spanish and not english), notice some other differences from the original? The left hand corner art has the Beyonder instead of ROM and instead of the little Secret Wars logo dog eared in the opposite corner they have a tag line running along the bottom. For those of you who don't have a copy of the original here's a link for a quick reference to compare...

Saturday, August 6, 2016

How they could have made ROM great again

Loston Wallace
This morning I came across this cover art for one of the myriads of cover variants. This particular one is one of the few examples of the endless interpretations of ROM that IDW likes to keeping putting out there. Apparently some sense of consistency with ROM's design when it comes to these cover variants is not much of a priority. However, it so happens that this particular interpretation represents what I think would have been a good or at least acceptable updated look for a 2016 ROM spaceknight series. We'll assume he doesn't have the over sized anime feet bell bottom look going on in here but that aside what you see here is a look I could have gotten into. I'm at such a loss to understand why this kind of look couldn't have been just as marketable for a new ROM series here in 2016 same as what IDW ultimately came up with not to mention it would have gone a long way to not alienating so many of the faithful such as myself. Especially if they had stuck with the original concepts for ROM's neutralizer, analyzer and translator barring some minor design updates. And to think IDW actually had something like this at first (zero issue cover) but continued to make more design changes until they ended up with what you now see when you actually open up the zero issue and ROM #1. It just blows me away that these concepts and final decisions for this new series were made by old school ROM fans. And now, some of my favorite moments in terms of art and writing from the one and only Greatest of the spaceknights.

Damn straight!

August 11 update
Custom dire wraith figure by Chris Motito
Here's a little something from the good ol days that turned up on deviant art if you want to see more with different angles go here I'm sure Chris will be happy to tell us more photos about his latest custom including what he used as the base figure and so on. Also, be on the look out for a recent Rainbow spaceknight custom figure when you're in Chris's art gallery.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

RINO the spaceknight issue 1 has arrived

Authentic, accept no substitute!
It's so disheartening to see what has ultimately become of the legacy today of the original ROM spaceknight series. Take the term spaceknight for example. It seems like any cosmic crusader can claim that title these days from Venom to some no names in the Guardians of the Galaxy series or even by some "disavowed of Galadoria" chumps getting their asses kicked by the fake Nova Sam Alexander. As far as I'm concerned this ROM in name only "the" spaceknight is just the latest illegitimate incarnation the only difference is it comes from IDW publishing instead of Marvel.
But all that being said this posting is for the purpose of soliciting feed back from those of you who decided to buy the first issue and have read it. Did it suck? Was it surprisingly good (highly doubtful)? Not great but better then you expected? And of course I want to know the why behind your opinion. Personally I've seen enough between the zero issue and the previews pages from issue #1 not to mention my correspondences with whoever handles the letters at IDW to know this supposed ROM reboot is not for me but I still want to hear from you.

Ya know I really gotta wonder when a review of #1 is done by someone who claims that ROM has nostalgic value from his child hood but writes stuff like this "His design is a bit updated, leaving the beloved mitten hands behind but ROM’s Analyzer and Neutralizer weapons make a triumphant return". A "triumphant" return, really? It gets even better as he goes on to say "Well, this version from IDW is definitely pulling all the right nostalgia strings for me". This guy might remember seeing some ROM comics on the shelf back in his child hood and maybe he browsed through some but anything more then that I just find hard to believe

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Heart Attack! Rom spaceknight 12 re-covered

This commission fan art piece just recently showed up on the internet today. Nicely done I must say! I like fan art that takes some imagination even if it's just about creating a different way to visualize a scene. There's something a little more to it then just ROM by himself flying in space or on an action pose I'm so burnt out on that shit it's like how many times can you re-invent the wheel? Not to mention that the artist here (Kevin Sharpe) really knows how to draw people this doesn't look amateurish at all. Also awesome is that this is classic ROM not IDW R.I.N.O. Now you might be saying to yourself you'd like to see this in color but I for one like it just fine in black n' white I was never a big fan of the original Jack of Hearts costume.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Greatest of The Spaceknights sculpture finally finished in time for the weekend

Sculpture by JayandClay 

Seeing this is almost like getting hit by a super charged bolt of Marvel 80s nostalgia isn't it? Especially after having seen some of the work in progress photos first. Quite a contrast I'd say from the first time I saw hasbro's heromugg for ROM or after the first real look at ROM in the interior art for IDW's zero issue.

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Got a same day update going on right now. I just got home after having bought a 2006 Honda Civic EX 2 door coupe. And I'm happy to say I finally found the perfect spot to put my ROM sticker that Gary sent me back in November of 2014.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Need your classic ROM fix? Here you go . . .

Fan art by Dann Phillips left click to enlarge
So as you can see there's a lot going on here aside from ROM being one of the onlookers to this epic DC/Marvel cross over battle between these two major bad guys. Ironically another cosmic marvel fan art piece turned up deviant art only a couple days before Dann's that included ROM, Galactus, Silver Surfer and Thanos but that artist never replied to me me unlike Dann so fuck em they only get a link as opposed to having their stuff actually featured here in this posting. There's just something to be said for social media etiquette it's just a thing with me  . . .

On the other hand this guy did get back to me from deviant art. So guess what? He gets to have his nice work in progress sculpture featured in this posting. More views from different angles can be seen here

If you're thinking about buying all the IDW cover variants buyer beware. Pay attention to the most recent comments in the previous posting Gary has left IDW's shameless greed seem to know no limits.

July 6th update: Painted version of statue just posted

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Watchwraith custom figure by Chris Motito

Ya know it's funny, last night about a half hour prior to finding this recently completed custom on deviant art I had just fired off an email to Gary (check your email!) asking him if he had discovered anything cool out there I could post. I would have liked to have seen more of these guys in the original ROM series and I imagine so would many other fans out there.

Some clip art from the good ol days.

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Well I must say that's a cool display even with the zero issue in it given that I liked the cover art on it at least. But that t-shirt really kicks ass it's more the kind of ROM I want do you recognize the art work in it? If not this should jog your feeble memory...

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I had to do a double take when I saw this in the Hasbro Micronauts display. No way this could be some kind of vintage Micronauts box set I never knew about so I think this must be some sort of new release retro kinda thing. Look at that beautiful box art! Very reminiscent of Ken Kelly's classic renderings on not just the original Micronauts toy line box and card art but also for Masters of The Universe packaging and even KISS albums. 
Hopefully hasbro will do something cool like this for ROM and at least give us a cool toy since we're not going to get a cool comic book series. Did you know hasbro already made a heromugg out of one of the Visionaries characters? Enough with this heromugg shit already hasbro stop squandering your resources on shitty merchandise hardly any of the fans want.