Sunday, August 26, 2018

A salute to John McCain spaceknight

   Like so many other people all over America yesterday I was shocked when I heard the news about McCain's passing yesterday I just didn't see it coming this soon after his decision to stop his cancer treatment. John McCain was on my short list of republican politicians I actually respected although it's not like my list of dems that I respect is all that long either. And when I woke up this morning it occurred to me that John McCain and the ROM spaceknight character actually had a lot in common. Just look at the obvious similarities.
   Both were soldiers who understood the meaning of sacrifice and lived by a code based on honor. They were very empathetic toward others and felt conflicted at times when they did not feel like they were living up to the ideals they espoused to. And they both fought for something bigger then themselves and almost always put what they fought for first before anything else including self interests. In short, they both embodied everything that donald trump is lacking as a human being and as a president. Case and point, here's a typical trump supporter from the white nationalist rally in DC a couple weeks ago. So fucken stupid!
   McCain's death is made even more tragic seeing as it happened on the heels of another larger then life iconic American taken from us, Aretha Franklin. Other notable deaths this year so far I think are worth mentioning here would be Barbara Bush, Anthony Bourdain, Margot Kidder and Harlan Ellison. All these people have either done some work that I liked and or were just celebrities I remember growing up with. If you're a life long science fiction fan as I am then I bet at one time or another you've either watched something or read something that Harlan Ellison had some part in writing or producing. Issue 286 of The Incredible Hulk written by Bill Mantlo and penciled by Sal Buscema was loosely based on a time travel episode written by Ellison (Soldier) for the classic Outer Limits TV series. It turned into a bit of a copy right infringement matter but was quickly and easily settled out of court between Marvel and Ellison. I talked about this before on this blog actually back in 2013. Where does all the time go? Pun intended.

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Aug. 29 Update: As something of a follow up to the previous posting about racial matters that Marvel Comics has tackled over the years I decided to show case this panel from Secret Wars 8 (1984) from the classic original series. Interesting how it juxtaposed Reed Richard's color blindness with Victor Von Doom's racist attitudes as seen in the previous posting. Even as a kid back in the day not even quite into my teens I recognized what a cool and thoughtful moment this was. Kinda thinking Reed Richards would not have likely been a trump supporter : )

Monday, August 20, 2018

The greatest of the spaceknights vs nobody's favorite superhero and how comics tackle racism

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This guy I used to know on social media who was both a ROM and Captain Atom fan used to call Captain Atom "Nobody's favorite superhero". Can't seem to recall what exactly he meant by that but unfortunately he's disappeared off the grid and now hasn't been seen for years now so I guess I won't ever get a chance to ask him again. Those of you who saw my last posting will no doubt recognize the source material for this art. I had some down time recently so for the Hell of it I decided to print out the sketch and try out adding some color to it. Can't imagine what kind of scenario would have these two heroes unleashing holly Hell on each other like this but it's not like we've never seen this sort of thing before right? But it's never the less interesting and creative and it's just the sort of fan art I like to post here.

Allow me to pivot here. I saw Blackkkklansman on it's opening weekend and I loved it and I hope some of you will see it while it's still in theaters. I thought the movie did a great job of telling a fascinating story based on a real life situation back in the 70s while drawing a straight line to today's troubles in race relations and political partisanship. There was also a lot of great humor but aside from all that I thought it was very interesting and unexpected with how it dealt with Adam Driver's character. For some people (some "very fine" people I'm sure) this Spike Lee joint might have been a bit too heavy handed or even over the top. A minor issue at best, this was never the less a great film on many levels with much contemporary relevance.

Fantastic Four 278 (1985)
Black Panther Civil War TPB 2007
Speaking of the history of taking on racism in artistic forums I had some thoughts about the world of comics. It's interesting when I look at comics of the 80s and how the writers seemed to take on racism in it's more blatant forms. But clearly in more recent years writers have become much more sophisticated with putting a spot light on the more subtle forms of racism. I think that's very commendable, especially during times like this with all the dog whistles, assault on the truth and pretenses to national security to what are largely policies and statements motivated by this culture war of race politics.

Monday, August 6, 2018


I saw this commission fan art of ROM and Bug from The Micronauts by artist Steven Butler this past weekend. But whoever posted it had this really faded and washed out looking version of it which I thought was a damn shame because this art work is supremely professional quality and deserved better representation. So I copied it and brought it into photoshop where I was able to darken the line work and even give the image a little bit of contrast so it visually pops.

It so happens the last few days of last month and the first few days of this month came and went with me coming across some really cool Star Wars Rogue 1 related stuff in my particular little area of the East Bay. My apologies for the glare and reflection on these first two photos but I had to take the pictures through display windows. The Rogue 1 Painting is from a frame and art shop in Castro Valley.

Over at a comic shop in Union City I saw these absolutely amazing statues. The one of Grand Moff Tarkin is especially impressive the likeness to late actor Peter Cushing is nothing less then uncanny. Next to him you've got the Star Wars Christmas animation special version of Boba Fett and Jyn Ursa just behind him. To the left there was some Star Wars cosplay that showed up at Relay for Life event in Hayward. That's the imperial shore trooper armor from the Battle of Scariff in Rogue 1 which I still affirm is the only all around good Star Wars movie to have come out since the original trilogy.

August 10th Update: Once in a great while I like to post some newly discovered public art that I think is really cool and unique. In this case we have this particular image of Bruce Lee from a large mural in downtown Oakland which chronicles the city's history and culture. That's the thing about The San Francisco Bay Area even if you've lived here all your life you'll still discover something new and amazing from time to time. Lee was born in San Francisco but lived in Oakland for a while and had set up one of his martial arts schools there.

August 17th Update: As many of you know I'm a big fan of ROM related fan art that is not only conceptually creative but also of a more professional caliber in terms of drawing skills. This ROM vs Captain Atom sketch certainly fits that bill. I can only hope that the artist who goes by Breez Evahflowin on farcebook sees fit some day to finish it up so that it can be happily displayed here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Spaceknight and an Avenger walk into a bar...

Fan art by unknown artist, caption by yours truly

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  Don't you just hate it when you find an image during a Google search and want to know more about it but clicking on that image just directs you to an error page of some kind? That's what happened here, so I don't know who did this cartoon or what the premise is because it certainly looks like the sort of art work with a story behind it. So, I decided to come up with a caption that for me at least fit the scene.
  Also, here's some 80s nostalgia I bet most of you haven't seen before. I actually stumbled upon this years ago during a random Google search but lost the image when I accidentally closed the search window and was not able to find it again to save my life. I believe this is some sort of poster insert or possible splash page from Strange Magazine. Although the Strange art work here is original I'm pretty sure I know which classic ROM spaceknight issue was probably the direct inspiration for it...


I just wanted to open up the second half of this posting by saying that I'm not into Young Blood or anything else from Image Comics for that matter. But I do have an interest in Jewish super heroes in comics so I think this back story from Young Blood Strike Files #6 featuring Massada (code name taken from the biblical desert mountain fortress in Israel) is worth taking a closer look at. In this story a friend of Masada's goes awol (away with out leave) from the Israeli Intelligence in order to go on a personal crusade and take out an anti-Semitic hate preacher (Hashim) who is obviously based on the real life anti-Semitic hate preaching piece of pig shit louise farrakhan.

Concerned that her friend (Sibbechai) is going to get himself into some serious trouble while making a martyr out of the hate preacher she tries to track him down before he makes his move. Needless to say she has some mixed feelings about going after her fellow Jew especially if it results in saving the life of a filthy Jew hater like farrakhan . . . er I mean Hashim. Think of it in terms of Luke Cage being in a similar situation over david duke or a Mexican superhero with trump.

After a failed attempt to apprehend Sibbechai, Masada attempts to warn Hashim but he dismisses her warnings as part of some grand "Jewish conspiracy" to silence him.Ultimately she's forced to use her powers that enable her to enlarge her size (like you saw with Ant-Man in Avengers Civil War and more recently in Ant-Man & The Wasp) she manages to thwart the assassination attempt leaving the hate preacher only lightly wounded unfortunately. But as they say, haters gonna hate so ofcourse Masada having saved his miserable life does nothing to change Hashim's paranoid Jew conspiracy delusions. A bit of a predictable ending but pretty accurate none the less I'd say.