Yep, it finally happened! I got my hands on a ROM action figure today!!
Alas....it was only for a short while......
My friend Michael Aushenker, (cartoonist, writer, bon vivant) has a major article on the 1970s Marvel Comic ROM, Spaceknight coming up in the January issue of BACK ISSUE. He was looking for a good photo to accompany his article and I informed him that our mutual friend Steve Ross had an actual ROM toy in his collection. ROM, the toy, apparently bombed when it came out, but the Marvel Comic book based on the property continued on for over 5 years!! The series was written by Bill Mantlo with art by Marvel Bronze Age mainstay, Sal Buscema, then later by Silver Age legend Steve Ditko.
The book was definitely a favorite of mine when I was in my formative comic collecting days. The character design was unique in it's day, and the story of a man becoming a cyborg and sacrificing himself to save his planet, and traveling to Earth to eradicate the evil Dire Wraiths was for me more exciting than any sci-fi movie could be at the time (sorry STAR WARS!!).
But I digress....
So Mike contacted Steve Ross and asked if we could shoot his Rom figure. Steve said yes and so me and Mike traveled to Pasadena to meet Steve at the bookstore he works at and began to photograph Rom right there at the desk where the store does there presentations and signings!
As a kid I never saw a Rom in any store. Only the ad in the comic would taunt me and torture me for decades....
One of the really cool things about the Rom comic was whenever Rom exposed one of the Dire Wraiths hiding amongst the human race he would vaporize them with his Neutralizer! HE EXTERMINATED AN EVIL ALIEN RACE...in a kids comic!! (Okay, so he was really just vanquishing the Wraiths to Limbo, never to return again. But the way the Wraiths would fear the Neutralizer and the screams of horror they would utter when 'neutralized' was spectacular!!). The original Terminator folks: half-man/half-machine and 100% exterminator!!
It's nice to grow up and be able to give something back to the great times one had growing up as a fan. I was able to give my own homage to Rom when I contributed a pin-up to a Rom gallery show in Portland last December.
And I was fortunate enough to interview writer Bill Mantlo's brother Mike on my radio show in January. So, to all the Rom fans out there (and I know they are out there, like so many Dire Wraiths, waiting, waiting....), enjoy this little tribute to Rom, the greatest of the SpaceKnights!
YouTube ROM toy trailer!
And here's a brief clip of a song 'ROM, Spaceknight" by HB3! Go to iTunes and buy the song!!
Me, my friend Michael and our ol' buddy, Rom! (I'll remind you folks when Mike's Rom article comes out!)
Thanks to Steve Ross for sharing his cool toy with us! And great lunch, eh?