Saturday, November 21, 2015

Damn, both my letter and fan art made it into Onyx

Onyx #3 November 2015 left click to enlarge

I seem to be on a roll lately with discovering my letters turning up here and there. First it was Avengers Academy 27 from 2012, then earlier this year it was BACK ISSUE Magazine 76 and this week it's with Onyx 3. The funny thing is I never wrote a single letter back in the late 80s when I was at my comic book collecting peak. You can get a better look at the art work here . . .

Monday, November 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Bill Mantlo

Damn, is it November already!? Where did 2015 go? It's not to say that it hasn't been a pretty good year and that there's certainly things to look forward to in 2016 but really it just feels like the years go by so fast in the last half decade or so. Anyways, you'll no doubt recognize the clip art here from the calendar back side cover of Marvel Age magazine.

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Here's an editorial cartoon from Skull Slayer #5 I bet many Bill Mantlo fans haven't seen yet. Turns out that was another title Bill wrote for a while not to mention one where he and Sal worked on together. I assume that's Sal at the drafting table but I'm not 100% certain for more information for Bill and Sal on that series go to

Fantastic fan art by Gary Martin Jr. left click to enlarge
On an interesting side note today also happens to be the birthday of the daughter of my biggest contributor to this blog. Here's to a very happy birthday for both Emily and Bill. As for  the rest of us, it's Monday I guess it's time to get on with the work week.

Nov. 10th Update:
In response to some complaint emails I sent to IDW about the excessive lag time between Onyx issues and my concerns about the new ROM and Micronauts series next year possibly suffering the same problem I got this today . . .
"Correct—Rom #0 is already under way and will launch on Free Comic Book Day, the main series in July. We’re going to have multiple issues done before launch and ship every issue on time. We have two art teams, too, so no worries there. Gabriel on Onyx is just a unique situation."

So? Thoughts or opinions on this? Cmon folks when I don't hear any feed back for a while it makes me feel like I'm just talking to myself with these blog postings. Except talking to myself is much less work and less time consuming.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Welcome to Clairton West Virginia

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Ya know I was thinking the other day if I keep making these sketch cards I might eventually have a enough for a deck. Kinda like those collectible of trading cards in the late 70s and 80s that used to come wrapped in that waxed paper with a strip of bubble gum inside.
In case anyone is wondering I do know about the ROM doll appearance in the recent Comic Book Men episode. It would have been nice however if they hadn't been whining so much about their conflicted adolescent feelings back in the day and maybe kept the focus more on ROM. Perhaps even share their thoughts about the new series next year? Just sayin.
So moving on, this weekend I'll be flying down to LA with my wife for a race she wants to participate in she likes running more then Forest Gump. We'll be staying in the down town area and thanks to a Google search yesterday I discovered about 3 to 4 comic shops within a five mile radius. And since we'll have a rental car and a few hours to kill I'll try to check at least a couple of them out. If I find anything new and cool that's ROM related I'll be sure to update this posting accordingly. One of the near by comic shops is called Mega City One how cool is that!?

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Oct. 25th Update: Well it just goes to show you as the old adage says "What's in a name?". Mega City One was much to do about nothing as far as good comic shops go. However, Golden Apple Comics was a pretty damn cool comic shop however, among other things they had a pretty large stash of discount back issue boxes so I had plenty to read at the airport and on the plane even though LA to Oakland is a pretty short flight. Unfortunately I didn't find anything there cool that was ROM related I didn't already have. But on a high note in regards to my visit there my ROM t-shirt which I was wearing was very warmly received by some of the staff and customers alike. All the chatter about what made the series cool and the high hopes for the 2016 re-launch was the next best thing to finding something like my letter in that Back Issue magazine earlier this month.

Rom Annual 2 cosplay cover variant courtesy of Gary Martin Jr.
Halloween weekend update: Well I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween. Halloween is still fun but it's not quite what it used to be back in the 1980s. An all around better decade where we had a new issue of ROM to look forward to every month, Marvel didn't suck and it was safe for kids to go trick or treating with out adult supervision.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Spacenotes and Micromail in BACK ISSUE Magazine 82

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So yesterday I was in downtown Berkeley with some friends and I needed a mental break from all the gibberish they were talking so I slipped into a near by comic shop I like to frequent when I happen to be in the area. By chance I thumbed through a copy of BACK ISSUE Magazine #82 (Aug. issue) just for the heck of it and decided to buy it because it had some articles about the original Secret Wars I and Secret Wars II (with plenty of ROM & Micronauts references) series that looked pretty interesting. Plus I wanted something to read it didn't look like there was gonna be shit on TV last night.
Well imagine my surprise when I got to the letters page toward the end of the evening and found my letter there although I don't remember entitling it "Mantlo Booster" I think that's something they added. Plus it seems like they also may have tweaked my letter a bit to. In fact I had totally forgotten about the letter altogether seeing as I wrote and sent it back in December 2014 in response to a Micronauts article for BACK ISSUE Magazine #76 published October 2014. As far as published letters go this is the second one I've discovered this year back in May I learned about a 2012 Avengers Academy issue that printed my letter as well. Ironically I was giving them shit about some Avengers Academy issues which were written by Christos Gage who is slated to co-write the 2016 ROM series.

BACK ISSUE Magazine #82
Rather big or small BACK ISSUE Magazine once again showing they don't give a shit about copy rights issues when it comes to printing ROM. As many of you know there have been a number of reprinted material over the years in which Marvel removed ROM's likeness including in a color version of this poster art.

All the ROM and Micronauts stuff aside there were some pretty interesting topics in those articles being discussed. Apparently there was some kind of "disconnect" in the deal between Mattel's Secret Wars toy line and Marvel Comics. Ever wonder why Mattel came out with accessory toys like The Doom Roller or Captain America's Turbo Cycle which were never in the series? Or better yet why did they never make any figures of any female characters like She-Hulk or Enchantress? Or why would they make a figure for Kang who was "killed" off by issue #4 but never a HULK figure who was pivotal through out the series? Not to mention the figures that Mattel made like Daredevil, Iceman or The Constrictor who were never in the series in the first place. It's funny according to the Secret Wars article the comic book series was a huge hit which I certainly remember being the case back in the day but apparently the toys line was some what of a marketing failure much like the Parker Brothers ROM spaceknight doll. That certainly wasn't my impression at the time I had a few of the figures and they seemed to be fairly popular at the time although not quite as much as Masters of The Universe, G.I.Joe or The Transformers. However, just like the ROM doll the Secret Wars action figure line have become highly sought after collector's items especially the ones still in their original packaging.

Monday, September 28, 2015

ROM & Wonder Man team up sketch card

So in recent weeks I've been able to make it to a couple of comic shops not too far from me that have a pretty extensive collection of back issue discount boxes. A couple issues really stood out to me let's start with Wonder Man 1 (1986). Aside from the Kerry Gammill pencils and the Bill Seinkiewicz cover art what also made this issue cool was that it showed a very every day people side to the Wonder Man (aka Simon Williams) character we can all relate to. Struggling to manage his not so successful career as an actor with being a full time Avenger he finds even a cab ride is a luxury he can hardly afford. No Uber back in the 80s, too bad.

As I was reading this issue it occurred to me that Wonder Man was one of the many Marvel superheroes who appeared in ROM 65 sporting his signature leisure suite style costume. So all that combined with a nice and relaxing weekend made me feel like doing some art work and I thought it might be nice to do a sketch card for a change.

Avengers 226 letter column
I also picked up Avengers 226. Truth be told I haven't read the issue yet but based on some browsing I've done in it already it doesn't look like it has much going for it story wise. But the issue's letter column is another matter as you can see here. And check out the name of the dude who wrote this letter!
Avengers 221  Left click to enlarge

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The giant sized Micronauts ROM cross over annual that never was

A big thanks to Gary for giving me a heads up about this commission piece by Brian Douglas Ahern for what I would assume is for a big time ROM and Micronauts fan. Most long time ROM fans will recognize the guy who's menacing the Micronauts as marvel's first evil spaceknight, Mentus. I like the creative aspect of this as a concept (taken from Micronauts 8) although I do have one little bit of criticism as far as the art work goes. I think the inking on ROM and The Micronauts is a bit too lite they lack depth but this is other wise a solid piece. There's also an interior page to go with this cover concept to help give it a bit more context  . . .

Sept. 24th Update: Also just in from Gary who found this in the October issue of PREVIEWS comic book catalog magazine. Some of you may remember Christos Gage as the writer of the ill conceived 3 issue Hybrid return story arc from Avengers Academy a few years back. Well at least his heart was in the right place because he is something of a ROM fan. Plus we've seen this sort of thing before among marvel writers who like ROM like Abnett & Landing (The Annihilators) and Johnathan Hickman (Infinity).

Rom spaceknight 32

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

ROM sales pitch for DirectTV

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Marvel Age Magazine 34 Jan 1986
have you folks seen those NFL Direct TV commercials? I don't give a crap about football but those commercials are pretty funny none the less. I was talking to this dealer who looked like he was in the same age bracket as me about ROM and the last convention I went to a couple weekends ago. He was also telling me about how he hated the ditko art in ROM back when he was a kid but over the years learned to appreciate it or some shit like that. I told him fuck that it sucks now every bit as it did then. But this guy is another example of someone who hated ditko's work when he saw it at face value but later got caught up in ditko's legacy and now all of a sudden has a "new appreciation" for it, whatever. However there was one upside to ditko's work. It made the cancellation of ROM a lot easier to deal with I will say that even though at the time I thought it was being cancelled because readers were walking away from the series because of the shitty art.
I read Onyx#2 just before I went to work today it was pretty good. The story is definitely taking some interesting twists n' turns and you'll be happy to know Gary it does have some more ROM mentions in the back pages if you haven't discovered that already. I tell ya what would be cool if they inserted a ROM Easter egg some where in the story kinda like how they did in the first Predator movie with that one commando (Hawkings) reading a Sgt. Rock comic issue in a couple scenes.

September 13 Update: 
I just felt like adding something  to under score the point of this posting all humor aside. When you do a side by side comparison with an example of typical clip art from the pre-ditko era on ROM the contrast is almost shocking. So to all you "ditko mania" sycophants out there this is your wake up call.