Sunday, December 02, 2007

This One The Dire Wraiths Fear More Than All Others

You know who I love? ROM, that's who. I am the exact perfect age to remember and have been captivated by every single stage of the Spaceknight's brief career. I realize that this might be hard to imagine , but there was a time when the idea of a toy with blinking lights and electronic breathing noises was very exciting. The first Star Wars movie was still a pretty recent memory, and this toy was like owning your very own special effects!

Of course the toy was very expensive, and I never so much as knew a kid who owned it. And, in the turns-out-those-grapes-actually-are-pretty-sour department (TOTGAAPS), it was a pretty lousy action figure, having something like half a point of articulation. But, aw man, the dreams ROM inspired.

And then there was the ROM comic, a merchandise tie-in comic that had no right to be good, and by today's standards probably isn't, but in 1982 I would have fought you for saying as much. There was quite a while there when ROM was my favorite character in the Marvel Universe (which is pretty much saying he was my favorite character in all of literature). The dustbins of juvenilia contain more than a few passionately scribbled attempts to figure out what my Spaceknight incarnation would look like.

ROM's comic lasted 75 issues, and each and every one of them was written by Bill Mantlo. In 1992, Mantlo was the victim of a hit-and-run accident while roller blading, and will probably spend the rest of his life in a nursing care facility. Floating World Comics is hosting an art show to raise money for Mantlo's continued care on December 6th, which will include the above contribution. For those of us not in Portland, Oregon, a book will be available of the work donated to the show. I hope you'll consider donating, or buying a print, or a copy of the book. Do it for Mantlo! Do it for ROM!

10 comments:

f is for Fer; he forgot to floss said...

Great rendering for a great cause, Mister P.

And yeah, ROM the funny book didn't suck nearly as bad as it might have. I am thinking of other non-Marvel tie-in titles of the era like SHOGUN WARRIORS, which was incomprehensible, and GODZILLA, which never got around to Hulk v Godzilla and thus frustrated me. MICRONAUTS, on the other hand, was pretty good in the same vein as ROM -- and (he said as he looked it up) it was also scribed by Bill Mantlo. My Galadorian analyzer is sensing a theme here...

Joel Priddy said...

Fer,

Yeah, I was pretty surprised to see that Mantlo was responsible for the other Marvel U tie-in to have anything in the way of legs.

It must be frustrating to have spent so much of your career working on stuff that can't be reprinted because of cross-company copyrights.

chrishaley said...

You were present for my real life reaction to this, so no virtual comment is necessary.

chrishaley said...

That is awesome.

Dean Trippe said...

Great Rom drawing, or...THE GREATEST Rom drawing?

Joel Priddy said...

Chris,

Never be afraid of repeating yourself. At least, not when it comes to saying nice things to me. Thanks!

Dean,

It's a nice thought, but I'm pretty sure this is the greatest ROM drawing ever

stephen eidson said...

I had a buddy who loved ROM but I never got into it. I agree that this is another Priddy triumph though.

Hopefully, I'm not being inappropriate given the nature of the post. The new header pushed discretion to the wayside. I just wanted to say I read Beeswax Bound and it was great. Plenty of stuff I already knew and loved and new visual treats to boot. The Blake piece was worth the price of admission alone. Keep cranking out the goodness.

Joel Priddy said...

Thanks, Stephen! That's really nice to hear. I loved doing the Blake story, and hope to do more biographical work on him some day.

Anonymous said...

Most people would have already seen this by now, but it bares repeating;
Another (painless)way to contribute to Mantlo's medical costs is to go here- http://www.wowio.com/users/
searchresults.asp?txtSearch=%22swords+of+the+swashbucklers%22
It's free to you and you get to (re)read some great old comics. I think something like 50 cents per download goes to Bill's brother from ad revenue collected.
Scott

Joel Priddy said...

Thanks, Scott!

Man, a chance to use my comics-reading prowess for good? I'm on it!