Friday, April 30, 2010

Original Comic Artwork (5th in a series)
"DEFENDERS" - 2002


As I have done a few times this month, today's post showcases some old comic art of my very own.


For ALL of the installments in this series, visit these links:


Today, we reach the end of this series (for the time being) wherein I have been showcasing old comic book style artwork of my own.

Artwork that has featured Doctor Strange (and others, including; Man-Thing, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Clea, the Ancient One, Dormammu and Nightmare
- check the links at the top of this post for those exciting images!)

Today, we add to that list of characters. Including Dr. Strange (natch!), this entry features;
Namor: the Sub-Mariner, The Hulk and the Silver Surfer
- The Dynamic DEFENDERS!


As opposed to the earlier entries in this series, wherein I was going backwards in time with the dates of production, this entry brings the artwork back into the 21st Century, as these were done in 2002.
(The reason for this temporal shift? Well... I kinda forgot about these images, or they'd probably have been posted first! oopsie!)

Drawn specifically for the 'Defenders Message Board', these were banner header images which graced that forum's site. They feature some of my very first attempts to use Photoshop to colorize my artwork.

As usual, I will be splitting the artwork between here and my "MIDNIGHT IMAGES" art blog [HERE].

I'll show the black and white pencil art here - as well as a few teasers of the COLOR versions!
(But don't forget to go to the MIDNIGHT IMAGES art blog to see everything , both the black and white and colored works - complete! As well as a BONUS piece - a pencil sketch that got the ball rolling on this DEFENDERS banner set!)


* click pics to make more DYNAMIC! *

The black and white line art doesn't really tell much of the "stories".
Each image is a one panel "scene" and the backgrounds and coloring help to tell the tales.

Here are some teasers!

These images can be seen in their entirety over at my MIDNIGHT IMAGES blog.


Are you still here?
What are you waiting for?
Go check out the goodies over at my MIDNIGHT IMAGES art blog!

Tamam Shud!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Original Comic Artwork (4th in a series)
"Doctor Strange" - 1980 - 1989

As I have done a few times this month, today's post showcases some (really - REALLY) old comic art of my very own.


For ALL of the installments in this series, visit these links:


Today's entry is not as formal as those previous installments, since it doesn't deal with a "story" or anything more than a few relatively unrelated single images.

Still, it's some Doctor Strange "goodness" (and I use that word very loosely)... as I showcase some of the earliest of my Dr. Strange artwork.

The years represented in these images range from 1989 to as far back as 1980!

One of them was a rough stab at trying to draw in a "comic page" format, and others were either pin-up's that I had drawn or rough sketch work-ups for some of the previous entries in the series.

As I have in the previous entries in this "series", for the content the post here on the Sanctum Sanctorum Comix blog, I'll only show a few teaser images here... instead linking to my other ART blog (the Midnight Images blog) to show the full pages and the story behind the images (which can be found [HERE] - or click the Midnight Images logo at the end of the post).

However, I will confess that ONE of the images (and I won't tell you which one - not here anyway) was even critiqued, in person, by John Byrne himself (back in 1983 - which kinda gives away which image it might be).
I'll spill the beans on that little tidbit on over at the the Midnight Images blog (now you GOTTA click over there, right?).

*click these image details to see more details *

These, and a few more embarrassing tidbits, can be seen in their entirety over at my MIDNIGHT IMAGES blog.


Are you still here?
What are you waiting for?
Go check out the primitive "art" (and I use that term loosely) over at my MIDNIGHT IMAGES art blog!

Tamam Shud!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

CLEA LOVES SEX - 5th in the series :
(hugs and kisses)


This post is the fifth in a series of entries wherein we take a look at Clea's desire for physicality - previous input in this series can be found at these links:
1st entry , 2nd entry , 3rd entry , 4th entry


In this entry - from
Doctor Strange; Master of the Mystic Arts # 39,
Chris Claremont (story) and Gene Colan (art)
reveal that there is more to a deep and lasting love than just the wanton, carnal pleasures.

Clea's love for Dr. Strange has always been the major factor in her characterization.
More so than her study of sorcery, more still than her responsibilities to her home dimension...

It's always been about her love for Stephen Strange.

While, in many instances (as shown in the other entries of this series - with certainly more to come) that has manifested in her outright craving for Strange's "magic wand", it also has been shown in much deeper, more meaningful ways, such as this.

*click pic to "feel the love" *

In the midst of yet another world-threatening menace, Clea can feel Doctor Strange's burden, and her empathy longs to find a way to alleviate some of it - if even with something as simple as a kiss.

It's not "sex" in any typical or widely perceived manner, but it is at the heart of what sex is all about: the deep, touching of another's heart and spirit.

Many times such a simple act of a hug and/or a kiss can make one feel more "as one" with their partner than any naked sexual contact.
Even more than this, her feeling of his pain and her wishing to alleviate it in some way, is an even deeper example of "intimate" contact.
The brain is the biggest erogenous zone, y'know.

Certainly, she'd much prefer something a little more... physical, but she understands that there aren't always the times that such activity is possible. Some times, all that one can hope for is a little "presence" of that intimacy.

Strange, like many powerful and preoccupied men, sees her gesture of an offered hug and a kiss, at first, as a childish interruption - or as a "foolish womanly" notion.

He states, "And that will make all right with the world, eh, Clea?"

To which her reply of, "I don't know about the world, but it might make you feel better," seems to show that she does understand the nature of making the world seem right.

As the caption reads:

'The moment is rare, beautiful, supremely precious and too quickly over.
Both wish they could have more such moments.'

That is how you make "all right with the world"...
One person at a time.
With love.

Starting, of course, with the one that you love.


Don't worry - I know this feature has many fans (this series frequently gets more hits than just about any others that I post) and this "sensitive" side-track isn't some "new direction".
Rest assured, the next installments in the series will return to the kind of content that the internet has come to crave.
(As we all know there is a lack of sexual content online.)

There are still many more occurrences in the Dr. Strange canon to continue.
Because as every Doc and Clea fan knows...



"Tamam Shud!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I'm a bit of a tree-hugging, animal-loving, Earth-protecting kind of guy and while thinking of how to best express my feelings for Earth Day (well, EVERY DAY is "Earth Day" for me) in keeping with my Dr. Strange habit... well... this sequence came to mind.

From Dr. Strange Master of the Mystic Arts #'s 6 - 9.

* Click to make Giant Redwood Forest sized *


Gaea; Mother Earth calls to Clea for aid...


... because Dormammu has imprisoned her...


Mother Earth is not totally helpless in her captive state, however.


But, even still, Dormammu violates her, in order to...


...BIRTH himself anew from the womb of the Earth
(via not-so-subtle imagery?)


Yet, with the aid of Clea, Dr. Strange and ALL the LIVING THINGS on the PLANET...
(including comic-reading geeks like you and me - as shown in the last "panel")




You can be the protector of the Earth as well!
Be kind to your planet!

"Tamam Shud!"

Monday, April 19, 2010

Original Comic Artwork
(3rd in a series)
"Doctor Strange" - 1989


As I have done a few times this month, today's post showcases some (really) old comic art of my very own.


For ALL of the installments in this series, visit these links:


Today's entry is a 6 page "Doctor Strange" submission sample that I had "written" (a plot only) and penciled waaaay back in 1989 (although, it might have been drawn in 1988... I'm not 100% certain of the date/year).

As for the content of this post, I'll only show a few teaser images here... instead linking to my other ART blog (the Midnight Images blog) to show the full pages and the story breakdown (which can be found [HERE] - or click the Midnight Images logo at the end of the post).

However, I will confess that it was even critiqued, in person, by Stan "the Man" Lee himself.
(I'll spill the beans on that little tidbit at the end of this post - and on the art blog as well, where the actual 6 page story is shown.)

It's a quick little hit-and-run story, making sure to touch upon most of the big players in the Doctor Strange mythos:

Doctor Strange, The Ancient One, Clea, Dormammu, Eternity and a brief appearance by Nightmare.

It's "Atmospheric".
It's "Pan-Dimensional".
It's "touching".
(And not just because Doc and Clea embrace, kiss and end up in bed. *)
* (although, since it's not an official "story" I couldn't rightly include it into the "Clea Loves Sex" series)


However, I will share for you now, the brief tale of my meeting with STAN LEE.


I'll wrap up this entry with an anecdote about how I met STAN LEE (he who co-crated much of the Marvel comics characters, like the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk and many others... including Doctor Strange) and how he gave me a portfolio review.

(That day, I also met JACK "KING" KIRBY - the man largely responsible for co-creating much of the same characters and worlds that Stan would write about - if not even more of the visual nature of comics themselves - but this isn't the time for the story of that meeting.)

From a period of 1988 - 1992, I would frequently travel to various comic conventions and have a table set up in either the dealer's room or, later, in the professional's "Artist's Alley".
One such convention both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were in attendance!
(For some reason, I seem to think this was either in Chicago or Boston - except that if both Stan and Jack were present - it was more likely in New York City.)

It was announced that Stan Lee would be conducting portfolio reviews for a few hours that day, and so, many artists in attendance registered, were assigned a time-slot and then had their own private freak-outs while waiting for their time.

When it was finally my turn, Stan was as boisterously pleasant and friendly as his public persona has always been. Quick with a smile and a handshake.

I sat down and he flipped through my book - I recall it being fairly daunting that many of the images that he was seeing - mostly pin-up style drawings - were of characters that he co-created with some of the greatest comic artists ever known.

Luckily, I didn't freeze up or panic (or worse... "geek out"). Stan made it easy to just be at ease.
As Stan flipped, and had a few "Ah... good." and "This is nice." comments, we finally reached the portion with the actual comic artwork.
The only problem is that, by now, the almost surreal nature of this meeting was starting to get to me a little.

When he reached this sample, and he got to page three, he simply said; "Ahh... Doctor Strange! His legs are too thin."

All I could say was..." No. I don't think so." (because I was thinking that as a sorcerer, Strange should be leaner and less bulked up - as opposed to the traditional "superheroes" in comics).
However, I immediately realized that my own, personal thoughts on the proper handling of a magic-user character, were not appropriate for this meeting, and so I quickly added, "Really? Hmmm... Well, I guess so. YOU would know, right?"

He took my gaff in stride, but I didn't hear anything else he said during my time with him.
I was far too shaken by my own hubris and kept repeating the blurted words over and over in my head.
Finally, we reached the end of the portfolio, he smiled and told me to keep up the good work ("Marvel needs up and comic young artists like you!" - or some words to that effect, were the last thing he said to me.)
We shook hands again (and I think he gave me his business card - I mean I have one of his for his then California offices - how else did I get it?) and I walked back to my booth.

Looking at these pages now, I know that Stan was being far too easy on me.
To only pick up on the fact that his character's legs were thin was a kindness!
It could have (should have) been much worse of a critique.
But, Stan was being nice to an idiot young guy.

(I can pick a multitude of flaws from the pages - all of which glare at me now.)

To this day, that small snippet of our meeting is the only thing that I can remember with clarity.
And even though, I really DO feel that Doctor Strange should be portrayed as a more "wizardly" character (spending more time reading dusty old tomes than getting out to walk - and when he does battle it isn't usually done physically) I learned the valuable lesson that unless you are being granted artistic license to do so, it is best to write or draw trademarked characters as they are - not how you think they should be.

At least when showing them to the guy that pretty much created them anyway.


And that's it for now... don't forget to head over to my Midnight Images Art Blog to see the story and read up it all in greater detail.

Are you still here?
What are you waiting for?
Go check out the FULL 6-page story art over at my MIDNIGHT IMAGES art blog!

Tamam Shud!

Friday, April 16, 2010

America's Next Top Wizard
-starring Dr Simon Strange? (Stephen Cowell?)

Seen in a very short clip on "UGLY AMERICANS" (season 1 episode 5) - a "copyright liberated" version of Doctor Strange is cast as a judge (dissing a pseudo "Harry Potter" lookalike) on a game-show "America's Next Top Wizard" (episode 23)- (obviously a mash-up of "America's Next Top Model" and "American Idol").

Check out the short clip of his appearance.
(I make no comment on the nature of his manner and behavior.)


"You call this a potion? More like SNOREcery."

Oddly enough, I take this as an addition to the current expansion of society's exposure to Doctor Strange, and his inclusion into the modern cultural zeitgeist (as I described in this previous post [HERE]).

It's no secret that Strange is a fave of oddball and weirdo artists, as the creator of this animated series, most delightfully must be.

(Thanks go to Howard "wrong dimension boy" Hallis for the find!)

Tamam Shud!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lo! The TAX-MAN Calleth!
Financial Wizardry - 2010

Perhaps no arch foe in all of the world is as fierce, unrelenting and utterly evil as...

...The TAX MAN!
He who rides a steed as dark and sure as DEATH itself!
(But unlike Death, leaves you writhing in agony, never granting you a final release from his miserly grip as he picks the flesh from your bones, day after day, year after year... until his darker companion finally takes you away.)

While Doctor Strange isn't frequently seen filling out his 1040's, 1099's (those are U.S. tax forms for those wondering readers overseas), and his IT-203 (NY tax form) he has had a run in or two with those who would require payment - for bills, repairs, assessments, and even employees.

Good thing Strange is solvent and only one time is required, in order to bring his Sanctum "up-to-code", to pawn off his possessions (just how much does a "Wand of Watoomb" go for on the secondary market?)...

*click the pix to read the fine print *

"That flaming brazier of Faltinian flames is a fire-code violation!
And board up that bottomless pit of eternal darkness! Or at least put up a "warning" sign."

Starting first in Strange Tales v1 147 Stan Lee (taking on the writing chores full-time, once Steve Ditko left the title) with artist Bill Everett tried to insert some of Stan's time-tested; "hero has money woes" into Strange's life... to... mixed results.
It's a FAIL at Doc failing, still, it establishes that Strange has secret caches of jewels and trinkets worth a fortune.

So, perhaps Strange's next cash-withdrawal method might be brought into question. It seems at least, unconventional, and at most... illegal.

(Wong had always suspected his master of cheating at board games. He suddenly knows just how Strange always has the cash to buy Boardwalk and Park Place and afford all those hotels in Monopoly.)

Strange Tales v1 # 151 has Stan (and Bill) fly the money-woes idea up the flagpole again... but seemingly realizing that it wasn't a good fit, shows that Strange can just conjure funds from out of thin air.
(How come that little trick isn't in the "Professor Wonder's 1,001 Party Magic Tricks Set" that I ordered in the mail?)

Possible theft or mystical counterfeiting methods aside, Strange will not have to call again on the "ATM Card of Aggamon" any time soon, for the next time he is questioned about his finances, we see that Strange is all-up like Fort Knox!

"Yes, Sara. I am loaded. That's how I can afford this fine vintage bottle of Courvoisier."

Dr. Strange (v2) Master of the Mystic Arts # 42, writer Chris Claremont and artists Gene Colan and Dan Green have Strange hiring his neighbor, Sara Wolfe, as his business secretary, and despite Doc's bank account being at near zero, he shows her that he is the King of Bling.

So, while the rest of us have to do what we can to eke out a living, and have the TAX-MAN banging on our doors to collect "their share", rest assured that Doctor Strange is financially secure.


A Public Service Announcement:
Don't forget U.S. residents, today; APRIL 15th is Income Tax Day...
you have until Midnight tonight to file... or Beware the wrath of the Terrible TAX-MAN!!!


Tamam Shud!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Something Old - Something New!
(In Search Of... Doctor Strange # 200!)

I'm in the middle of several series of posts this month so I really wasn't aware of the fact that I've now hit my...

200th POST !

However, I didn't want the occasion to pass without any notice...

and so, I am using this occasion for two things:

1) Showcase the new 3-column format for the blog.
(I DO plan on making it more cohesive and design-friendly, but for now, this will do.)

2) to commemorate what would have been Doctor Strange's 200th issue...
(as you may know, Doc had never actually had a 200th issue... heck, he never even made it to 100... but as Marvel does when it wants to pump up a character's/title's issue number count, we'll do a cumulative count of all the various volumes that Doctor Strange has had and add up the totals until we find what issue would have been # 200.)

Well, let's see... adding Doc's "titles" is a tricky bit of business, as he's popped all over the marvel landscape at one point or another - with his narrative being distributed fairly uniformly amongst the various titles with which he's been associated.

So, the question is...
"What constitutes an actual 'Dr. Strange' comic?"

Do we include ALL of his "sequential" issues?

  • Strange Tales v1 (#110, 111, 114 - 168)
  • Dr Strange v1 (# 169 - 183)
  • Marvel Premiere (# 3 - 14)
  • Dr Strange v2 (#1 - 81)
  • Strange Tales v2 (#1 - 19)
  • Dr. Strange v3 (#1 - 90)

Do we only count comics that bear his name - and/or do we omit anything that isn't a "full-issue" (where he shared the title with another);

  • Strange Tales V1
  • Marvel Premiere
  • Strange Tales v2

What do we do then with self-titled mini-series?

  • Doctor Strange : Flight of Bones
  • Strange v1
  • Doctor Strange : The Oath
  • Strange v2

What about issues of comics that are in sequence, but only a portion of the issue is "important"?

  • Marvel Feature # 1 (2nd story, "The Return" - wherein he regains his use of magic)
(although the primary story in that issue is the formation of The Defenders, and while "important" isn't a part of his true narrative)

But if we add the issue where he regains his magic, should we not include the issues wherein he forgoes his use of magic? Even if those issues were cross-overs with part of other character's titles - but where his narrative resumed after his 1st volume was canceled and before his return?

  • Sub-Mariner # 22
  • Hulk # 126

But if we do that then we would need to include issues where his comic crossed over with continuing stories, like:

  • Tomb of Dracula # 44
  • Man-Thing v2 # 4

So, no. We can't take those into consideration.

And then what about "special" cases, like his "Giant Size" or Annual issues?

  • Giant Size Dr. Strange # 1
  • Annuals # 1 - 4

And what about his own graphic novels - or special all-new content issues:

  • Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa
  • Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom : Triumph and Torment
  • Spider-Man & Dr. Strange : The Way to Dusty Death
  • Strange Tales (deluxe format, acetate cover) # 1
  • Doctor Strange: "What is it That Disturbs You, Stephen?"
  • Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange # 1
  • Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange # 1

Obviously, we can't use mini-series where he might not be named in the title, but is truly a/the star of the show - can we?

  • Black Knight
  • Thor : Vikings
  • Witches
  • X-statiX presents : Dead Girl
  • (and the new) Spider-Man : Fever

And we certainly do not use reprint volumes:

  • Strange Tales v 1.2 (a 1973 "continuation" of the title) # 182 - 188
  • Doctor Strange -vs- Silver Dagger # 1
  • Doctor Strange Classics # 1 - 4
  • Dr. Strange / Ghost Rider Special # 1
  • Dr. Strange -vs- Dracula # 1
  • Marvel Watch # 0
  • Marvel Milestones : Strange Tales # 1
  • Marvel Milestones : Doctor Strange / Defenders # 1

And, there's no way we should count ash-can editions:

  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme ashcan
  • Dr. Strange: Sorcerer's Apprentice ashcan (came with limited editions of his animated DVD)

Heck, we certainly can't (but should) be able to count:

  • Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 2 (a truly awesome Spidey - Doc team-up special by Steve Ditko - although it was reprinted in dr. Strange v1 # 179, so... at least the story "counts".)


This undertaking will only allow for a possible two (or three) "true" results.

At best we should omit anything too extraneous, such as non-named minis, graphic novels (no matter how awesome. (And no collected volumes or books, as it should go without saying.)

Obviously we need to ignore things like 'Marvel Team-Up', 'Marvel Two-in-One', 'Marvel Fanfare', 'Marvel Comics Presents' and even the various incarnations of 'Defenders' or 'Midnight Sons' (or especially not the 'Illuminati'), and we can't even take into account comics or issues that feature Strange as a regular in a stable of rotating features, like "Over the Edge", or even treat him as a solo star like his issue of "Uncanny Origins" ... because we're not looking for his 200th appearance, but his 200th "published issue".

So, to this end we are left with either:

ONLY full stories of comic titles that bear his name...


ALL sequential comic runs.

Let's run it down:

IF ONLY full stories of comic titles that bear his name:
  • Doctor Strange v1 - (# 169 - 183)
  • Dr. Strange v2 (Master of the Mystic Arts) - (#1 - 81)
  • Dr. Strange v3 (Sorcerer Supreme) - (#1 - 90)
... but that only leads up to 196 issues?!?!

So. then we need to add what is considered to be Dr Strange v4

(at least according to checklists and price guides)
  • Dr. Strange : Flight of Bones (mini-series) - (# 1 - 4)

Which would make FLIGHT OF BONES # 4 ...

Doctor Strange # 200!

However, if we take into account ALL sequential comic runs:

  • Strange Tales v1 (#110, 111, 114 - 168)
  • Dr Strange v1 (# 169 - 183)
  • Marvel Feature (# 1) * (do we count this or not?)
  • Marvel Premiere (# 3 - 14)
  • Dr Strange v2 (#1 - 81)
  • Strange Tales v2 (#1 - 19)
  • Dr. Strange v3 (#1 - 90)

We would find that either

Doctor Strange v3 (Sorcerer Supreme)

# 16

* or *

(if we do not include Feature # 1 into the count)

to be...

Dr. Strange # 200!


This entire enterprise should confirm what we die-hard Doc-fans have known all along...

... it isn't easy being a Dr Strange fan.

Sadly, he may never get an issue #200... but as a "Founding Father" he most certainly deserves one, so I'm giving him MINE.

Happy # 200, Doc!

(Hey! Did I do the math right on this? Any Doc fans out there want to posit an argument or counter? LMK)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Original Comic Artwork
(2nd in a series)
"Secret Defenders" - 1993

A few days ago (in a post seen [HERE]) I showed a little "mathematical equation" featuring a two-image teaser of Doctor Strange and Man-Thing as drawn by yours-truly.

That teaser was to hint at the contents of this post, which, while more revealing, is in itself but a teaser of the real content that can be found on my other - art blog - the MIDNIGHT IMAGES blog - found at this link ([HERE] - or click the Midnight Images logo at the end of this post).

Now, before you get upset at my shunting you onto my other blog (which is really the proper place for my artwork - like my Doctor Strange - Wizard magazine cover art samples that I presented here only a few days ago [HERE]), I will ask you...

How can you NOT want to know what the heck is going on with THESE image samples?

* click images to make more... "strange" *

Yeah... that's right.

Doctor Strange, Man-Thing, Scarlet Witch and Spider-Man in my very own "Secret Defenders" story.

It's odd. It's twisted. It's touching.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be glad you clicked this link for my "MIDNIGHT IMAGES" blog.

Are you still here?

What are you waiting for?
Go check out the FULL 11-page story art over at my MIDNIGHT IMAGES art blog!


For ALL of the installments in this series, visit these links:


Tamam Shud!

Friday, April 9, 2010

- or -
It's my (birthday) PARTY, and I'll ROM if I want to - AGAIN.


Just how awesome would this costume / playset be?
Especially the Neutralizer!

This "costume" was inspired by those old
"Ben Cooper: plastic mask and
old Halloween costumes.
(For those who don't quite know what I'm riffing on, I had showcased the complete sets of Dr. Strange Ben Cooper costumes way back [HERE])


It's my birthday today and, due to a strange series of events, I find myself able to address an item that was discussed in my birthday post of last year (in a mega-awesome entry - found [HERE]). An item has been found and a burning question is now answered - one that has plagued me for nigh unto two decades!

It deals with ROM : SPACEKNIGHT, and specifically, with the ROM "action figure!"

In last year's birthday post, I showcased - quite extensively - not only the history of ROM : SPACEKNIGHT as a toy and a Marvel comic book title, but also of my epic journey of acquiring my own ROM figure(s).
(I ALSO posted a video that shows how the ROM figure worked - if you haven't seen it or read last year's ROM mega-post check it out after you read this one.)

Looooong story short, I mentioned how one day, sometime in 1990 (or so), after seeing a ROM figure on display in an antique toy dealer's shoppe (oddly enough on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village, NYC), I was talked out of buying it right then and there by my oldest, dearest friend; Adam.

I then told the story of how the next day, as a birthday gift for that year, he presented me with... a ROM figure!

He swore to me that despite my protestations about accepting it, that he hadn't spent his own money to buy that same figure we had seen the day before - an action that would not have been beyond his generous nature - but that he was bequeathing to me the ROM figure that he claimed was HIS as a youth.

Like the ROM in the toy store, the ROM he gave me had no box.
It was also missing the NEUTRALIZER gun, but was perfect and complete in every other way.
He said he probably had used the gun in an experiment or something (also, a very likely possibility knowing him - as he was always up with the science!) and had misplaced it.
(I had no idea if the ROM in the store had any of its accessories or not.)

I would never go to the toy shoppe again to check his tale (because it would have been rude to do so) and over the many years since, whenever the subject would arise, he never once deviated from his "story" that the item was his own from his youth (even after he read last year's post).

A more nebulous guy than Adam you may never meet, so I was always left with an air of uncertainty as to the veracity of his claim. Instead, I treasured the gift and admire it to this very day.


Jump ahead to a mere few days ago, and while visiting Adam and helping him take care of some family matters, we were clearing out his family's home of his old stuff.

While clearing out a desk, we opened a drawer and in the midst of a bunch of random bits and bobs of gadgetry I saw... THIS!


It was hard to suppress the sense of childlike joy that I felt as I saw this.
With the discovery of this one simple piece of plastic, a mystery would be solved ("I told you it was mine." Adam said immediately afterward) - and my beloved ROM would be made whole.


Whole and Complete-ly awesome!

It's not that I didn't believe that it was his ROM, but I knew that it was even more likely that due to his kind and generous nature, he might have purchased that one from long ago.

Yes, as I mentioned last year, I do have a 2nd ROM. One that I found and purchased complete, in box, several years after Adam presented me with (what I now know for a fact was) his own.
But, while that 2nd one sits, "unloved" in a display case, nothing could ever replace the treasured gift my friend gave to me. A gift that I do take out of its case and "play" with every so often.

It makes me quite happy, even more so now, that I know that as a kid, my friend and I shared yet another comic-book-related interest - without ever knowing it.

(Remind me to tell the tale of how, as stupid kids, we actually tried to get into the super-hero biz...the tale is "polarizing"!)


Remember to check out last year's ROM birthday post [HERE] if you haven't yet.
You won't be disappointed.