Monday, May 21, 2007

ROM, Spaceknight


Back in the day, I was a huge ROM fan. My brother was into more sophisticated, philisophical fare like Jim Starlin's CAPTAIN MARVEL and WARLOCK and Claremont and Byrne's UNCANNY X-MEN. But I was always partial to the simpler, plot-driven stuff like NOVA and MACHINE MAN. And ROM. I don't remember if I had the action figure yet but, when our father brought home the first issue, I snatched it up and was hooked. It was drawn by Sal Buscema, my favorite comic illustrator (then and now) and written by Bill Mantlo. I've read online that Mantlo wasn't very...appreciated...by his contemporaries as a writer. Whether that's deserved or not, I don't know. But I've enjoyed an awful lot of his work and ROM was certainly no exception. I bought every single issue as they came out and devoured the tales of the valiant Galadorian on his quest to rid the galaxy of Dire Wraiths. I've always wanted Marvel to reprint the old books in an archive edition with modern printing standards but, with the publishing rights in (heh) limbo, I guess that's not going to happen any time soon.

With this illustration, I tried to achieve that loosey-goosey, carefree inking style that Sal Buscema has. I barely penciled the drawing and skipped the underdrawing stage altogether. I don't think I pulled it off. It ended up just looking rushed and, as someone mentioned in one of their comments, like Gabe from Penny Arcade drew it. I used to be pretty good at mimicking other artists like my pal Sal but I seem to have lost the knack. Oh well. Hopefully, I've at least brought back some pleasant memories.

And, in case my devotion to ol' toaster-head wasn't apparent enough, try this on for size. One of the first projects I worked on upon learning Lightwave was a brief 3D animation of a (clunky) ROM model I created. It's crude and clumsy but it was kind of exciting to see our boy come to life, though ever so briefly. To check it out, just click this link:

http://home.comcast.net/~mafus/romflex.mov

4 comments:

Mike Wieringo said...

Ah, ROM....

It was a fun comic... but I still can't help but feel that his design was one of the most uninspired ever. Toaster head is RIGHT....

Matt Wieringo said...

Well, if you've seen the toy the comic was based on, you'll appreciate the comic version even more.

Ink Blatt said...

Did the toy have a blender head or some other mundane appliance?

My brother was into some Rom and I used to sneak 'em from time-to-time. The Dire Wraiths were quite frightening to me as a child. Guess that's why I liked toast so much and still do to this day—as long as there's a toaster around we're all safe from the Wraiths.

The Dude said...

ROM fans, there's a new blog in town with fresh art and innovative posting topics that won't disappoint you: http://romspaceknightart.blogspot.com/