Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Last Jedi Review and so much more cool shit

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First off I thought I'd open up this posting with some awesome kick ass recently discovered art work that spans the Star Wars continuity between Rogue 1 and The Empire Strikes Back. Been looking for an excuse to post this stuff here for a few weeks now. So with out any further adieu, on with the review.
Basically, I think whatever you felt about The Force Awakens is what you're going to feel about The Last Jedi. It was over all a mixed bag with some good moments in the spirit of the original trilogy although at times they seemed to be trying a bit too hard with that schtick. There was also some shit that was way too derivative of things we know from reality with everything from World War II B-52 bombers to Las Vegas. We never did get to find out who the fuck this Snoke guy is and then there was this one scene in particular on this planet where the rebels were making their last stand on that had to do with salt that went absolutely no where or other wise made any sense to what was going on. We also got our fair share of logic and plot gaps even within the realm of sci-fi fantasy and too much goddamn CGI effects as well I don't know why the fuck they keep doing that. And speaking of which, there was a Yoda ghost scene with Luke where Yoda's looks were a bit off. It bugged me, I was like come on can't you people at least make a ghost CGI Yoda look like how we remember him from the original trilogy!?
Some of the high lights included a couple of genuine surprises in the story line as well as finally getting a bit of back ground about what happened between Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. Poe Damron was something of a stand out in the story but Rey and Fin were just there and not much more. Chewbacca was also a bit under used but I did for the most part like the late Carrie Fisher's reprised Liea role although I'm still not too sure about her would be death scene. The Phasma character like in the last movie was a completely useless and worthless character again. They introduced a new Rebel character by the name of Rose who I didn't much care for and toward the end of the movie she does something that I thought was bullshit and made me wish she had died. Sorry folks, The Last Jedi was no ROGUE 1. That classic Star Wars magic just wasn't there.

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Early this year I posted a photo of myself from the summer of the year before knee deep in mud at the Dead Sea in Israel with a copy of ROM spaceknight 38 (Mantlo, Buscema, Akin & Garvey) I ended up giving that copy to a friend of mine in Israel and he recently sent this cute photo of one of his kids with it. Reminds me of when I was that age sitting at the kitchen table and drawing with some open comic books nearby to help inspire my creativity.

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Was just feeling a little nostalgic one day where I had spare time on my hands and on a whim decided to color this panel. Actually this is more concept art then a panel per se. It has to do with a proposed 6 issue Marvel mini-series continuing the story line of the original ROM spaceknight run that Brian Douglas Ahern came up with some years ago. I read the script a while back and it had some aspects to it that I liked and others I wasn't too crazy about. As you can see among other things it features another Hybrid return, ROM back in his spaceknight armor and Danny Jones taking after his old man with the Torpedo suite.

Saw this on an ebay auction at the beginning this month and thought it wasn't bad. I think Spider-Man actually came out a little better then ROM did but still, over all not bad and at least this art work features some imagination.

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I recently went on a weekend trip to Pismo Beach and got these shots of my dog (Chevy) at this really cool seas side park. I loved em so much I just had to share. Now as you can see she's so cute but like a T-Rex or Velociraptor she's a little monster around any unattended food that she can get at. We were reminded of that when we accidentally left some pastries in the car while we were inside some place we stopped at for a few minutes. There you have it the world's first dinodog a Chevysaurus.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's my dick in a box

I have a lot of new stuff to get through so let's get started. Yeah I know what's up with this posting title? Well I thought it was funny and extra points to you if you get the reference.  So it's not my dick in a box but it is something that I have of value that I did put into a box. Of all the collectibles I have, I felt like I should provide a special means of storage for my ROM Hasbro figure. First off I had to find a box that was just the right size. But I just couldn't have it be any old box so I had to customize it.

Now here's something I stumbled on while looking at some random ROM related stuff on the internet. No doubt you're wondering why I would bother to post an IDW cover to what has now become the IDW ROM series reboot fail.The some what "cartoony" style of this cover art is not quite my preference but in spite of that what I really like about this cover is that the ROM interpretation you see here is what I thought IDW was going for after we got our first look at the zero issue cover art. This is the updated kind of look I could have been into.
If you compare what you see above to the classic 80s ROM you will notice some minor design difference in the details of his armor. He's a bit more streamlined with an over all more "organic" look that feels some what less robotic. But at the same time, it's a tastefully done updated look that is still very much faithful to the original. Now I say that with the understanding that any version of ROM that does not exist in the Marvel Universe or has fingers instead of mittens would have just never gone over with some of the hard core fans but those particular things I could have gotten used to. We'll never know if this version you see of ROM here on this cover art would have resulted in a more successful reboot but I do know that I would have at least given it a chance. I will never understand what chris ryall and the rest of IDW were thinking with the shit they came up with.

I am not a Michael Bay fan and it's nothing short of a miracle that he was able to pull off a good movie with the first Transfomers film but every one since then has been shittier then the one before. So shitty that I don't even remember anything about the First Knight trailer or even it having been in theaters so I have no fucken idea about who or what this thing is from the movie. But I couldn't help but notice the uncanny resemblance it has to Ikon. Purely coincidental I'm sure. A character that I always felt had potential to do at least some justice to the ROM legacy with continued story lines involving Galador's spaceknights in the MCU but Marvel managed to eventually fuck that up to.

Fan art by John McCrea
This however is not fucked up. In fact it's pretty damn cool unlike most of the Rom related fan art I come across on the internet which is generally very amateurish and or lacks any imagination. Here we get to see a really nice visual concept of an encounter that sadly never happened.

One last thing, a quick round up of recent movies I've seen. Blade Runner was an all around let down but Thor Ragnarock turned out to be better then I expected despite the problems it had. Just saw The Justice League yesterday and despite the cautious optimism I had going into it I was pretty happy with it here's a short non-spoiler free review I wrote if you're interested . . .

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Captain America vs nazi scum david duke

It seems appropriate to open this posting with this bad ass Sabra splash page (Patrick Zircher) from New Warriors 59 that I've been looking for an excuse to post for a few months now.

I gotta say I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I only recently learned about a twitter feud between Chris Evans and the piece of shit Jew hating trump supporting kkk nazi asshole david duke going all the way back to February of this year. Talk about missed by the mainstream media! I'm not gonna bother to post the actual tweets here because they're easy enough to find through a Google search but suffice it to say the feud started over duke expressing his disapproval of the sort of women Chris Evans has been known to date. Being the classy guy that he is, Evans responded to duke's white supremacy fueled ramblings with some heart felt and thoughtful rebukes as opposed to the more straight up ad hominem attacks I would have unloaded on duke.
Now that being said, I certainly hope the obvious irony here isn't lost on any of you. Captain America, who is a virtuous symbol of American idealism is a character that was created by a couple of Jewish guys. And as you all know he's been fighting his entire super hero career against every incarnation of nazi ideology from the 3rd Reich during WW II to Hydra and The Red Skull. So now you've got Chris Evans, who as a person seems to be almost as virtuous as the character of Captain America he plays. Who also happens to have had a series of heated twitter exchanges with a real life nazi based on their ideological differences. Chris Evans may only be a regular guy in the real world but he's no less of a hero then the Avenger he plays so very well.

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So let's close out this posting with another match up that's a little less ideologically charged. Hopefully most of you remember the classic ROM vs The Herculoids 4 page sketch story arc from Ron Joseph a couple years ago. Some other artist on deviant art did a fantastic job of coloring the last page. Hopefully we'll get to see the other pages in color in the not so distant future.

The original uncolored Ron Joseph pages....

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I LOVE THE 80s...and the late 70s

I know I've said this before but I'll say it again anyways but where does all the time go!? Here it is November first already and you know damn well Christmas is gonna be here before you know it. The late 70s and the entire decade of the 80s was so awesome for so many reasons even though we didn't have the internet or smart phones back then. But there was so much other cool stuff not to mention the original ROM spaceknight series. And even though some of that stuff may be a bit dated here in the early 21st century it's still cool in a vintage kinda way if you know what I mean.
There's some cool things that came my way last month I felt like sharing. I was watching an episode of The Greatest American Hero on one of those retro TV show channels last weekend and it was an episode I don't remember seeing back in the day. I even at one point had the vinyl 45 record of the show's theme song (Joey Scarbury) which every body loved back then. Cheesy as it was by today's standards I still had fun watching it as William Katt takes on some neo-nazis conspiring to sink a U.S. naval vessel bound for Israel with an arms shipment. That plan didn't work out for them thanks to our hero so they went to plan B which was to see that donald trump get elected to the White House and after wards go for a walk in Charlottesville with tiki torches.

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Also, on something of a whim a couple of weeks ago I bought on ebay the Hotwheels version of KIT from the iconic 80s TV show Knight Rider starring The Hoff. Never hassle The Hoff.

There's an artist I've run into on more then one occasion at the San Jose Super Toy Comic and Collectibles show. I saw this awesome Godzilla vs Mothra piece at a September show but opted to buy it later on which was last week after I found out the artist lives in the same city as I do. There's a certain somebody I know who loves Godzilla that I think this will make a great holiday gift for. Although I think I should see about getting it framed.

Godzilla vs Mothra and ROM vs Dire Wraith art by Gazbot

Even though this is one of those idw fan art mock covers I still like it though since Gazbot went with the original ROM spaceknight. I also really like the classic dire wraith here, he did an especially good job on that part of this piece. Over all it makes me miss the original series again while at the same time driving home why the reboot sucks so bad. By the way I'm sure you all by now have heard that the upcoming issue 14 of idw's woefully disappointing ROM reboot series will be the last one. Not the last time we're going to see this ROM in name only character in the pages of idw comics. They're gonna milk that shit for all it's worth after all they need to get a return on their investment. Along with the specific contract details wouldn't you just love to know how much exactly it cost idw to acquire the rights to publish ROM (or at least their shitty version of him) from Hasbro?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

ROM vs Maximilian by Jeff Slemons

Well here we go I'm happy to have discovered some new ROM fan art again so soon after my last posting. Fan art that is really well illustrated and conceptually creative as well I might add. As a kid I really liked The Black Hole but it doesn't hold up well in the here and now but never the less it's still classic late 70s sci-fi with a merchandising campaign that went well into the early 80s. Back in the day I had a number of Black Hole stuff including a couple of the figures, a puzzle and the read along record book.

I still think Maximilian was pretty bad ass and back then to a kid who was only around 8 or 9 he was so imposing and menacing. I even featured my old action figure of him in a previous posting He was big, had the scary red visor panel and the whirling blades but in spite of all that not really a match for the greatest of the spaceknights in an actual show down.

A quick same day update here. Saw this tweet about 7 hours after I published this posting and felt like I needed to address the statement made in it. No dude, ROM is the guy in the Slemons art work. You're the fake ROM "the" spaceknight from idw. The same fake ROM that didn't make it past 14 issues and one annual where as the real ROM ran for 75 issues and 4 annuals. But all that aside thanks for posting the link.

Speaking of cool 80s memories here's a couple of gems I recently dug up from my child hood as something of a continuation from update of the previous posting. Look at all those M.U.S.C.L.S packs not to mention the G.I.Joe Mauler tanks. You can't see it well in this photo but on my left wrist I'm wearing one of the many CASIO digital watches I owned through out the decade I really wish I had kept at least one even with a dead battery.

Oh how I used to love my Castle Greyskull play set and those lazy Saturday mornings in my TRON pajamas. God bless the 80s.

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One last thing, Blade Runner 2049 comes out tomorrow although I'll have to wait to see it until this weekend for which I may add a short review (please don't suck!) to this posting. If you happen to be wondering why I have this here old cassette tape insert (love the art) from Iron Maiden's Somewhere In Time Album (1986) it's because of the band photo. If you look carefully they have one of the flying police spinners in it from the original Blade Runner film. All that aside it's one Hell of a great album.

Since this is a heavily awesome 80s themed posting and in light of the recent tragic celebrity death I gotta have something in here for Tom Petty who just passed away at 66. This video was one of those classic MTV 80s magic moments.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dogs love Spaceknights

Ya know I gotta be honest with you guys, the vast majority of ROM fan art that turns up on twitter sucks. But once in a while something good turns up like this one from Preston Asevedo.
Couldn't find the artist's name so that I could accredit it accordingly but perhaps it'll turn up later for me to update this posting. This guy has got some real illustration skills both ROM and the dog are drawn really well nothing amateurish about it. I also dig the back ground to, it's a nice touch.

It reminds me a lot of this part of ROM spaceknight #2. A good moment early in the series that helped establish ROM's humanity to the readers. Ya know how it is when you see a dog get killed in the movies or on a tv show you gotta be some kinda dick for it not to choke you up a bit. Then there's those SPCA commercials.

Thought it might be fun to throw on my ROM t-shirt and try to get an impromptu selfie with my wife's dog for this posting. She's a 12 year old corgie and beagle mix named Chevy. As you can imagine it took several attempts to get this shot ya know how it is when trying to take pictures with pets the challenge of getting them to hold still for two damn seconds. Just for the record I also like cats I used to have several when I was a kid I wouldn't mind having one today again but I'm afraid Chevy just wouldn't have it.

October 1st Update: Just got back from the San Jose Comics and Vintage Toy Show at The Santa Clara Fairgrounds where I saw this. Tell me that is not one of the funniest things you've ever seen. On a side note here I didn't run into any loose Hasbro ROM figures I was kinda hoping to just to see what dealers would be asking for it. Makes me all the more happy I snatched up the one from ebay for the straight $43.

Any body remember these little pink figurines called M.U.S.C.L.E.S? They certainly had their 15 minutes of popularity back in the 80s. Usually today you find em at collectible shows or in comic shops going for around 2 -3 dollars apiece. They usually came in a package of about 5 or 6 figures and if you can still find an intact package that can go for a pretty penny. This one in particular was always my favorite as far as I can tell he was supposed to be some sort of futuristic cop or something along those lines. I don't believe these figures had any sort of back story to speak of.

The 80s will never die. And I ain't just talkn about Cons and comic shops check out this new GEICO commercial.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Len Wein...and now Harry Dean Stanton

Bill Sienkiewicz
Ya know it's ironic that this tragic news about Len Wein's passing should come just over a week after I fished this issue of Comics Interview 32 out of a quarter box. Which as you may have guessed I grabbed because of The Swamp Thing article inside. Cheesy as the early 80s Wes Craven film was it seemed really cool to me at the time and it was actually my introduction to The Swamp Thing character. And then one day I saw an issue at a drug store some where and that would be the beginning of what was a pretty big Swamp Thing collection. I even had this Swamp Thing action figure at one point it was actually kinda cool it had this detachable hand with a line attached to it that pulls the hand like a fisherman's reel.
As for Wolverine, I was a fan long before it was hip to be a Wolverine fan in the 80s I collected every appearance I could find. Back then a Wolverine appearance in a non-X-Men title was always guaranteed to bump up it's value but I didn't care much about that I just wanted to read more Wolverine and seeing him interact with other Marvel super heroes from Captain America to Spider-Man and even ROM was beyond awesome. Ofcourse Wein's body of work went far beyond just co-creating Swamp Thing and Wolverine and I think it's nice to know all that will still be around for future generations to enjoy.

September 15th Update: So now we have it happen again this week. Another big name from our child hood as comic book and sci-fi fans has passed away. This time it was Harry Dean Stanton who died at 91. Stanton has had a long career on both the big screen and small spanning for decades. I knew him best as Brett from ALIEN and as Brain from Escape from New York. And don't forget about Stanton's brief appearance in the first Avengers film where he plays a security guard who finds Bruce Banner amid a mass of debris caused by him falling through the roof of an abandoned building while he was The Hulk.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

From the pages of Wizard Magazine issue 114 March 2001

Grabbed a random Wizard magazine issue today out of a quarter box for some lite reading and woe and behold look what I found in the back pages. It's a nice little find but at first I had a bit of trouble trying to understand this graph but then it sunk in. Interestingly enough here's another one of those examples where a publisher with out the property rights printed ROM's likeness with out any legal fuss. Anyways, getting back to the graph. Notice how the amount of titles published by Marvel were on the rise all the way up to the early 90s only to make a nearly 50% drop over the course of the next decade and quite literally leading into the new century? I wonder if something similar was the case for DC? If so, the 90s must have been something of a down turn in the comic book industry.

Ya ever been to either a comic shop or a convention and saw something that you used to have but totally forgot about it even though it's as cool now as it was then? I had one of those moment when I saw this movie poster through the window of this collectibles shop. Brings back good memories my dad got this for me back when I was a kid I'm glad I was able to at least find a descent image of it on the internet to post here. When you think about it I'm a lot like Dr. Jones. He hunts for ancient relics that usually end up in a museum or government warehouse. In a way I do the same thing when it comes to little known ROM related relics which usually end up in a posting.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ROM the action figure arrival for 43 dollars

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Well here we go folks my figure just arrived in the mail. Yep, I just decided to say fuck it and hit that "Buy Now" button on ebay when I saw it for only $43 with free shipping. That was by far the cheapest deal I had come across after having looked around for the past couple weeks. I didn't really see much point in waiting another two weeks or a month on the chance it turns up by another seller for a few bucks less I just wanted to see what the figure is like beyond photos on the internet sooner then later. Plus the seller I bought it from very quickly answered my questions before I committed to the purchase which pretty much was the final selling point, customer service really can go a long way with prospective buyers. As for the dealer you might be interested to know according to him he purchased two of the Hasbro sets for the express purpose of breaking them apart and selling off the individual pieces. So now that I have it I'm pretty happy with it despite what ever imperfections it might have. Shit, I don't understand why there aren't any better photos of this thing on the internet it's virtually as articulate as a Micronauts or G.I.Joe figure. As an over all product for a ROM fan it is still profoundly more satisfying then the the poorly handled ROM related continuity from marvel in the past 17 years and more recently that horrible mighty mugg doll and ofcourse IDW's Rom in name only series. Coolest ROM spaceknight merchandise I've gotten since my T-shirt from Redbubble a while back . . .

Any of you out there watch The Defender's first season yet? I went through the whole season last Sunday and damn I have to say it was pretty good. I know the whole independent heroes becoming reluctant allies thing in the Marvel Universe might be a bit of a cliche at this point but it's still fun as hell to watch if it's written well as was the case also for The Avengers. The chemistry between the characters is great and the quips gave me more then a few good laughs. The other strong selling point is that the series seems to have found a really good balance between the original source material and the NetFlix reinterpretations of the characters and that includes Elektra. And it some ways that especially goes for the Misty Knight (SO HOT!) character you'll be like "holly shit" when you see what happens to her in the final episode. The only little bit of a let down I had was that I was hoping to get a Punisher appearance some where in the season even if it had just been as part of a cliff hangar at the end of the final episode. Can't imagine him not showing up at some point in the following season or seasons of The Defenders.

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I thought this might be a good time to share this from The Fear It's Self series a few years or so ago. The dire wraith appearance in this story line never was explained or other wise made any sense but this was kind of a cool moment with Luke Cage.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

ROM vs ROM in The SD Comic Con Universe

So I feel like it's time for me to weigh in on this. Have you noticed how many of this loose ROM SDCC figures which are originally part of a Hasbro set have turned up on ebay already!? The price range seems to be between 50 to 60 dollars. Makes you really wonder where the Hell these people are finding these things but I'm sure the answer to that is multifaceted. Now as for the figure it's self I'm not sure why, but I'm glad it fundamentally is based on the original ROM spaceknight design as opposed to IDW's version which I really hate as you all well know.
For some old school ROM fans the fingers alone are gonna be a deal breaker but I've never really minded the concept of an updated version of ROM having fingers so that's not much of a problem for me. I do wish however that it twisted or other wise moved at the waist which it does not appear to do upon close inspection of larger resolution photos on the internet. But still, what a massive improvement on all accounts over that stupid ass hero mighty mugg whatever bullshit from the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con. That thing was garbage and it was sad to see some ROM fans out there be in denial about it just like some Star Wars fans when The Phantom Menace came out. So at least now there's actually some none comic book ROM merchandise worth buying out there....for the right price that is. And that might take some patience and time. Trivago might be able to help you find the right hotel for the best price but when it comes to a loose SDCC ROM figure you're on your own.

Side walk chalk drawing at Calicraft Brewing Company Walnut Creek 
August 7 update: Just as an after thought I thought I'd add some cool images of public art I've spotted in The San Francisco Bay Area in recent days, enjoy.

Public art on city utility station, Hayward

By Preston Asevedo
Aug 11th update: A bit more of a thorough job of inking would have gone a long way to giving this scene a bit more depth but this is other wise some pretty solid fan art for both ROM and Starshine. Brings back some good memories of the good ol days.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Seattle 2017

Just got back this past weekend from my latest trip to Seattle and I had a few things I wanted to share with you all. Seattle is hands down my favorite city in the entire United States of America. I feel like it has the best of what The San Francisco Bay Area has to offer with less of the things about The S.F. Bay that get on my nerves but in general there's just something about The Great Pacific Northwest that makes me feel most at home.

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I got some great photos of The Space Needle which is Seattle's most recognizable land mark. Built in 1962 for The Worlds Fair I've always felt it was one of the finest examples of the best of both worlds when it comes to engineering and elegant design.

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For many years the Aurora avenue bridge has become a haven for drug addicts so the city had this giant sculpture commissioned, it's known as The Fremont Troll. Don't know if it was intended to have a scarecrow like effect or if they knew it would become a tourist attraction. But I suppose it worked, I can't imagine stoners or meth heads wanting to get high around here with all the people climbing around this thing at all hours of the day.

This picture of the police spinner from Blade Runner is actually from my 2014 trip to Seattle at the museum of music history and sci-fi. I'm such a big fan of the original Blade Runner film I really really really hope the sequel that comes out later this year doesn't suck. We'll find out soon enough I can't believe it's August already where the Hell did the first half of this year go!?

By Cesar Hernandez
August 2 update: Just happened to find this last night before I hit the sack. Ironically only 3 days after the previous blog posting this They Live inspired commission piece with Squirrel Girl (a character I admittedly know of but really nothing about) holding ROM's neutralizer was posted to deviant art.

But before I went to bed I whipped this up in photoshop for the sake of a little fun with this whole They Live theme.