Sunday, April 24, 2016

A reason to feel a bit more optimistic about IDWs ROM reboot

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From the pages of Comic Heroes Magazine issue 27. Allow me to bring your attention to the paragraph inside the red square. Perhaps there's some hope in regards to the questionable ROM redesign as seen in the Previews clip art that had everybody (myself included up in arms) up in arms. But again there's no way to know for sure until the series comes out so ultimately the jury's still out on this but in about two weeks from now (FCBD) we should be able to get into more serious deliberations.

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On the flip side the IDW Micronauts series has generated next to no controversy and as far as I know will be turning up on comic book shelves on new comic book day this upcoming Wednesday. I have every intention of making it to the store that day to get a copy of issue 1. For which I will most certainly update this blog posting with after I get done reading it so be on the look out for that. Years ago I came across a letter to the editor in an old issue of Marvel's Micronauts with a good question a reader had that Marvel had no answer for but gave a "no prize" recognition for. If a person traveled to a planet much larger then Earth they would be subject to some serious gravitational pull they wouldn't be used to. So how come visitors from The Microverse to Earth don't seem to be impacted by what most certainly would be for them the higher gravity? I think I'll throw that physics question at IDW in a letter and see if and how they respond to it since eventually even the rebooted Micronauts will find themselves on Earth.

My impersonation of Gary Martin Jr. A ROM curator
If there's any confusion about this photo spoof please refer to the comments section. I remember back in the 80s how they used to rope us into buying more new comics with countless references being made by characters with all those asterisks * referring to the footnote boxes with the see this issue or see that issue and as told in the blah blah and so on. Today's comics seem to do the same thing with all these goddamn cover variants and with these cover prices! Although to be honest I don't mind these cover prices as long as the product is what I'm looking for. I mean really what's $4 or even $5 a month for a new ROM series that turns out to be a pleasant surprise? Same goes for The Micronauts. But ofcourse I'm just speaking as someone who's interested in just following the main story for which I don't need to buy multiple covers or any publication that even makes a ROM reference. That can really add up as we can see. It kinda reminds me of popular cities with notorious tourist trap area and attractions.

The following April 28th update will just consist of a copy and paste of my latest letter to WTF Publishing.

When IDW released online all The Micronauts cover variants earlier this year I have to say I was very pleased with what I saw when it came to Acroyear and Baron Karza. For Acroyear, there had just been some minor design updates that I felt were done in good taste just like with ROM on the cover of his zero issue. And as for Baron Karza it pretty much looked like you guys just went with his classic look which I was cool with because like Darth Vader that look works just as well in 2016 as it did in the 80s. But it all became a different story once I read Micronauts #1.
With Acroyear you guys stayed consistent as far as character design goes with the interior art but what is up with Baron Karza!? Why did you guys find it necessary to change his head/helmet design like that? I also don't like the new look for Space Glider, as you did with Acroyear I would have much preferred a design that looks something closer to the original Mego figure. And especially that "tail" on this new Space Glider suite that has got to go! I know part of my negativity here has to do with my weariness from all the controversy earlier this year surrounding the first clear look at ROM spaceknight as seen on page 3 of the zero issue preview but all that aside I'm sorry guys this new series is not off to a great start in the opinion of this old school Micronauts fan

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Transformers ROM team up and G.I.Joe ROM team up variant covers

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Well I would certainly like to hear from you all about this. Even I can't help but be at least a little bit excited about these even though we're not going to see any of it beyond the covers for at least another 3 to 4 months. ROM looks a lot more like he does on the cover art of the zero issue then he does in the interior art of that issue which as you all know I really hate so it makes me wonder what is ROM actually supposed to look like? Notice how on the fist bump Transformer 55 cover how ROM's armor design is more like the interior art of the FCBD day zero issue? Well at least he looks pretty cool on these other covers. By the way Micronauts 1 should be coming out next week but IDW hasn't had much in the way of any sort of sneak peaks beyond the endless cover variants ofcourse so who knows how that's gonna turn out. Looks like there's gonna be a lot to talk about on the weekend of FCBD not only will the ROM zero issue be released but that's also the weekend of Avengers Civil War which I plan to see. And by that time Micronauts 1 will have been out so there's that to. So what do you think folks are we going to be in for massive amounts of disappointment? A lot of great shit to look forward to or will it be a mixed bag on the first weekend of May? It seems IDW Publishing has become the contemporary Marvel 80s when it comes to toy based licensed properties.

April 20 Update:
Oh and just when you think you've seen it all with all these ROM cover variants I posted here it gets even more ridiculous . . .

Except for this one. This is pretty cool . . .

Hey Gary, I feel sorry for you bro. As a ROM curator you're obliged to buy all these cover variants for your collection. And don't forget, the Comic Book Fever book from Tomorrows Publishing is coming out around the same time with it's section on ROM so that's gonna be almost $40 bucks out of your pocket in addition to all this IDW shit. I guess there goes your kid's college tuition, or maybe a second mortgage on the home is an option?

Zack Howard
April 22nd Update: So I'm sure by now most of you all have figured out that all these ROM themed cover variants for other IDW titles aren't actual ROM guest appearances. The cover variants are strictly for promotional purpose only for now. The actual first issue of ROM ofcourse will have it's own series of cover variants which will result in Gary probably having to give up a kidney or lung in order to raise even more money. I think all the #1 cover variants suck including the one by Michael Golden and the one by Sal Buscema isn't all that impressive to me, but there is one exception. The one you see above you is pretty cool not just because it's drawn well but also because ROM looks most like what I expected him to based on the zero issue cover art. If this is what he would have looked like on the inside art I could be way more into this ROM reboot.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bill Mantlo benefit art auction left overs in Portland

Shitty art work from past benefit auctions
Just got back from a weekend get away in Portland and paid a brief visit to Floating World Comics while I was there. They had some of these 11 X 17 glossy prints on pretty thick paper stock of some of the art work from the past benefit auctions. Sadly none of them were of any of the good art that came out of those auctions. Most of the art work that came from those auctions were really amateurish and down right bizarre much of the time. Too bad, a high quality print of some of the better art work would have been a nice thing to take home with me. Those prints were only going for around $5 and there's no sales tax in Oregon.

So moving on to more satisfying matters. Just before I left for Portland I got a copy of Excalibur 121 in the mail which I bought on ebay. I think you can all guess why I wanted that issue and it came just in time to give me something to read on the plane even though Oakland to Portland isn't a fairly short flight. Some of the highlights is the opening sequence with the debriefing of Sabra by her superiors over a mission she under took with Excalibur.

When the story back tracks to the before mentioned mission we find out that Sabra doesn't play well with others here. Even when it came to fellow mutants she has a common heritage with (Kitty Pride ofcourse) things got of to a rough start. But toward the end of the mission Sabra gets a lesson in the value of team work which in turn may help explain her being more of a team player (especially with Storm) in the pages of future X-Men issues.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Astonishing Tales 2009 One Shot starring Sabra part 3 of 3

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Well at this point the story pretty much speaks for it's self. Yeah that's a pretty nice perspective in that top panel like I said in part 1 of this blog posting series the art work in this issue is just absolutely amazing. I would love to see this artist pencil ROM, Hybrid, The Torpedo and the dire wraiths I know he would make them all look so awesome.

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And that city is Jerusalem, probably the most contested piece of real estate in the world. In the near future I should be doing some flying of my own to both Greece and Israel where hopefully I'll have a couple cool photo opportunity ideas that Bill Mantlo & Sal Buscema will get a kick out of. Ok one last thing . . .

Avengers 101 mighty facts
Here's something that I found in an Avengers special edition magazine by Wizard (1999) I picked up from a con in a dollar box a few weeks ago. I've been sitting on this because I wasn't sure if it was worth blogging about because quite frankly it's a bit ridiculous even within the fictitious comic book universe of ROM spaceknight. I've never read the original Avengers #10 but I'm pretty sure somebody came up with this concept long after that issue and indeed long after ROM #1 was published.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Astonishing Tales 2009 One Shot starring Sabra part 2 of 3

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So obviously if you were thinking of Samson & Delilah toward the end of the last posting you were right. Samson, who's great strength comes from his long hair is betrayed by Delilah who cuts his hair while he's sleeping. To further debilitate him he is also blinded and eventually put on display by being chained to the pillars of a temple. Thinking he is helpless his enemies party around him and mock him in the process but with his last bit of remaining strength he manages to pull down the pillars he is chained to quite literally crashing the party. Ofcourse this kills Samson but at least he takes his enemies with him.

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I also like the whole concept of Sabra being saved by the Israeli army as opposed to her being sprung by some other superheroes or something like that. It underscores the whole point of her story to Yael about how every body in the security apparatus (from the Israeli Defense Force to Mossad*) of the tiny country of Israel have each others back.

*Mossad, the Israeli secret service that Sabra operates under.

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Next up, the conclusion.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Astonishing Tales 2009 One Shot starring Sabra part 1 of 3

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Over the past few years there's been a handful of obscure random single issues I've been on the look out for. In recent months I've been able to get my hands on just about all of them from discount back issue boxes except for this one. Couldn't find it online either as far as hard copies go but a friend of mine who had a account was able to hook me up with a digital copy so now at least I was able to read the entire story as opposed to just some of the random clip art found here and there all over the web. I really wanted to make this story available in a more complete format for any Sabra fans out there so I'm going to make this 3 part posting series.
First off, as you can see the art work is nothing short of amazing thanks to Brazilian artist Adriana Melo. But aside from that it's very interesting about who the writer is. Matt Yocum was actually a US Air Force liaison to the Israeli Air Force and has spent quite a bit of time in Israel over the years. And obviously he's also a writer and a big comic book fan. In a nut shell, the story takes place at a diplomatic function in Jerusalem in which Sabra runs into her old friend Ronit who in turns introduces Sabra to her daughter Yael. As an important side note in the story it turns out Sabra and Ronit's fathers served in the Israeli air force back in the day. Notice how in the flash back panel Sabra is featured in her original costume (but with her early 90s hair style)? As you can see from the clip art above Yael is having some anxieties about her impending military service for which Sabra proceeds to give her a pep talk of sorts.

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The story has some nice touches to it such as the Old Testament references that even non religious folks should be able to pick up easily as Sabra faces this Pacific Rim style Hydra robot.

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In the story of David and Goliath every body knows how the young King David brought down the Philistine warrior Goliath with his sling but David also decapitated him which may not be as commonly known. That's just what you did in those days after you take down a mother fucker.

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Sabra's disposition during her captivity with Hydra mirrors another Hebrew fable from the Old Testament although in Sabra's case things didn't end nearly as tragically but we'll get into that in part 2 of this blog posting mini-series.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sabra by Dann Phillips!

Mozel Tov! Every body raise your glass Dann and I just had a baby. But in this case the "baby" came in the form of an upload yesterday on deviant art. Now the baby thing is because I had been pestering Dann for some untold months about doing something with Sabra. The thing is I can always draw something myself (previous post) if I really want to see it but every artist brings some different to a character or scene based on their style and imagination and some times it's just nice to see another artist's interpretation for a change. I hope you all enjoy this it certainly made my weekend.
Nothing new on the ROM front I hadn't really planned on any more postings in the foreseeable future and I'm trying not to think about the new series because I'm burnt out on it already. But since I posted this new Sabra fan art today to give it some more exposure I might as well pass along some other fan art to you. Speaking of strong female characters created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema this is some of the best Starshine fan art out there although The Defenders cover concept doesn't make much sense to me but that aside this is pretty damn good . . .

And finally, here's a color version of that recent Acroyear vs ROM fan art piece which is over all really good although ROM's neutralizer still looks like shit. It really is the proverbial fly in the ointment as the saying goes . . .

March 14th update
Actually there's one more thing Ptor from The Sanctum Sanctorum gave me a heads up about a custom Torpedo that just recently sold on ebay. The seller also had this on deviant art where  he comes off as kind of an asshole but hey whatever.