Saturday, May 21, 2016

ROM spaceknight 27 tribute fan art

Left click to enlarge
I just got this fan art by Brian Douglas Ahern from Gary this morning. I'm sure he'll be leaving a comment any time now with all the details as to how he acquired it because there's some history with this art work. I actually discovered it back in March of 2013 when I saw it in an online photo up on the wall at the old Floating World Comics shop in Portland. Although never featured in any of the forums for the Bill Mantlo benefit auction it was apparently part it but don't quote me on that. The only version of it I had was this grainy blown up thumbnail I posted March 2013 . . .

Having recognized this as being one of the better art pieces from that auction I contacted the owner of Floating World Comics to see about getting a copy but it seemed my request fell on deaf ears. Remember my posting just over a month ago from my last Portland trip? Why couldn't they have made a nice large format reprint of this art from the benefit auction instead of the garbage they had available!? If I had seen this as a nice 11 X 17 print on some good paper stock for only $5 I would have been like score!
It sure feels good to be getting back to postings with some old school ROM stuff again. However I anticipate this being my last one for the month although I may have an update coming later today or tomorrow. Next posting should be right after I come back from my trip to Greece and Israel which should be June 4th or 5th. I sure picked a swell time to do some international flying between that terrorist shit in Belgium recently and this current mystery of the downed EgyptAir 804 flight.

May 22nd Update:
Yesterday I swung by my LCS and had a look at Micronauts #2. From a story stand point it looked like a marginal improvement from the first issue. But I'll say this about it the art work is way better then what we saw in the ROM zero issue. You can preview the first six pages here and see what I mean . . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

ROM and Dr Doom face off in Strange magazine

Ok enough of all this IDW shit for a while it's time to get back to some old school stuff again. This comes to us from Gary Martin Jr. proving once again he is a ROM curator through and through. I'm actually a bit sketchy on the details here but I believe this comes from the activity section or page of the Marvel mostly reprint French magazine STRANGE issue 166. Interestingly enough notice how the rendering of ROM here has him with fingers instead of mittens? This will most likely be my last posting of the month but as I've mentioned to some of you I have another posting idea for early next month that involves some exotic locations on the other side of the world I'll at starting late next week.

One other thing. I wanted to thank EVERYONE who's come to visit this blog recently especially if you left a comment. It's been a LOT of fun for the past couple weeks with all the back and forth here with those who share the same opinions or have a different point of view rather it be about the zero issue or Civil War and whatever. I know some folks over the years have had issues with everything from my sarcasm, cynicism and even the very blog title it's self. But if nothing else I keep it pretty interesting here much of what I post you won't find on other blogs, twitter or farcebook with ROM fan boys. That was my primary mission when I started this blog actually. But even more importantly you will not be ignored here or have your comments go unanswered. I've just always thought that's a dick move.

Monday, May 9, 2016

IDW digging in their heels on their version of ROM

Two things I want to get to but first up here's a sketch I did earlier today as a way to further illustrate something closer to what I would have preferred as an updated ROM design. This is actually more what I thought a full view of ROM would look like based on the cover art for the zero issue when it was released on the internet late last year. As you can see this look has some obvious updates from the 80s version but at the same time doesn't deviate as far from the original as IDW's design. And best of all it's devoid of any Japanese anime influence and in general is less clunky looking. Basically, this is an updated design concept for 2016 that feels more like "ROM" to me.

The following is a copy and paste of the letter I fired off to IDW early this morning and their reply which came only a few hours later. I'm kinda thinking they're not gonna print my letter : )

I'm an old school ROM fan who had given up long ago on any hope of Marvel bringing back our favorite spaceknight by the time IDW Publishing had made it's ROM come back announcement last year. At the time I certainly thought a ROM revival by some fellow old school fans at IDW would be the next best thing, now I'm not so sure. I'll get straight to the point about what has disappointed me specifically with IDW's new direction. But first, in general the art work in the 13 page zero issue story was very flat, uninspiring and in some panels looked almost down right amateurish. 
I also think you guys went over board with ROM's armor redesign for 2016. The cover art of the zero issue suggested something that was less drastic and done in better taste then what appears to be the finalized version as seen in the interior art in which he looks too "clunky". There's even a ROM#1 cover variant that features him stepping from a fiery crater which like the zero issue cover art also reflects a redesign that looks closer to the original but with updates done in good taste. I also don't like the new design of the neutralizer it looks like some kind of bizarre kitchen appliance or a high tech back massager from an infomercial. The new concept for ROM's energy analyzer as being these HAL from 2001 A Space Odyssey looking electronic red eyes on his wrists also doesn't work for me. I understand that the success of the new series won't depend alone on the fans who grew up with the original series but was it really necessary to so drastically change the character from a visual stand point in order for this new series to have broad readership appeal!?

 See, the changes to us don’t seem that drastic at all. Some changes were necessary or required but we tried to keep the spirit of the character as much as possible.
And if you miss the old Neutralizer, well… hope you stay tuned, at least til issue 2...

IDW Letters

May 15th Update
Why couldn't those assholes from IDW make ROM's armor design look like this when it came to the interior art!? Instead this is just for a full page promo ad for the series coming in July and for those of you who have seen Chris Ryall's twitter feed lately you'll see ROM #1 has more of the same shit from the crappy zero issue. And speaking of which for a more insightful review of the zero issue allow me direct you all to . . .

Saturday, May 7, 2016

ROM zero issue FCBD and Avengers Civil War

Left click to enlarge

What a thoroughly underwhelming introduction this zero issue was for this supposed revival of the greatest of the spaceknights. All those months of hype, controversy and even anticipation and this is the result. There's really not much point in summarizing the 13 page story it's pretty much what you'd expect. ROM makes planet fall, encounters some local cops and the military . . turns out the military are dire wraiths . . .fight ensues . . human cops get a reality check. Not much more to it then that and the couple little nuanced stuff in it is really not worth talking about.
Well, like Micronauts #1 the ROM zero issue is DOA. I still hate the way his armor looks they should have left the design concept alone after releasing the zero issue cover art. Hate this neutralizer it looks like something you'd see in an infomercial. But not the good kind like slapchop more like a shakeweighty kind. The new analyzer concept consists of these ruby red eye looking things on his wrist, that's also stupid the people at IDW are trying waaaaay too hard to make this new ROM concept uniquely IDW. The art work isn't ditko bad but it's pretty unimpressive as well it feels very flat and in some panels really looks much like some of the mediocre fan art we've seen over the years.

Now for those of you who are about to reply with a "well it's just the zero issue give it a chance you can't judge it yet oh and somebody come change my diaper . . " and so on. I challenge you all to grab your copy of ROM #1 (Sal and Bill ofcourse) and give it another look. That was done in 1979 and it kicked ass in every way from ROM making planet fall to when he blasts for the first time a pair of dire wraiths. And this is what IDW came up with after all these years here in 2016. It's hard to believe this is what some old school ROM fans came up with given all the resources at their disposal as a major comic book publisher.

There's a full page add in the back of the issue for ROM#1. It has the the following tag line in it "The beloved galactic warrior is reborn for a new generation!". They're very much right about that, because from what I've seen so far this stuff IDW has come up with is not for my generation and further more Micronauts#1 and ROM zero has served to remind me why new comics are just not for me any more. I'm not gonna twist any body's arm here but I'll be writing a short and not so sweet letter to IDW and if you feel the same I would recommend you take a few minutes to do so as well. Because if you find yourself around 6 months from now seriously missing having a good ROM series to read you only have yourself to blame

Moving on to the better half of my day, Avengers Civil War. I liked the first Avengers film and Age of Ultron seemed to get better and better the more times I watched it. But I gotta say, it was a nice change of pace to not see The Avengers fighting another CG army of aliens or robots. This was a really well done film especially the way it handled all the character development. At no point in the movie do you ever question the motivations behind everybody's actions. This was not just due to good screen writing but also due to the exceptional effort by all the actors involved. There's a lot going on in the movie just by virtue of the massive cast ensemble but it's all handled in a cohesive story line that flows well.
They also did a good job with just the right amount of screen time for the new characters into the Avengers cinematic universe such as Spiderman and Black Panther. Again, we understand why they are on Iron Man's side and we see and understand it in a way that doesn't feel rushed or added into the script at the last minute. Ofcourse we're treated to a lot of great action, drama and shocking revelations that further fray some of the relationships. It also appears that Avengers Civil War is in part a set up for the future Black Panther movie which I'm more excited about now thanks to the Black Panther character having been handled so well in this movie. An all around good film off hand I have nothing to nit pick at I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

Avengers Civil War fan art by Nikoskap

So a big thanks to the Marvel cinematic universe for giving us yet another epic film to enjoy for years to come. However when it comes to the more mainstream Marvel print universe I say yet again fuck you marvel. I present to you this lame ass response from Marvel to a fan of the original ROM spaceknight series. We know all about those "all new all different spaceknights in the pages of guardians of the galaxy" by now don't we? This comes to us from the letter column of Venom spacewhatever 006. So thanks Gary yet again for taking another one ($) for the team.