Bill Mantlo didn’t create the titular star of the much-beloved ROM Spaceknight, but he did help define who ROM was and what he was about in the early 1980s. A group of supportive comic creators and fans have come together to bring new attention to Mantlo’s work in light of his recent medical troubles. How? By recreating, page-by-page and panel-by-panel, ROM Spaceknight #1, originally illustrated by co-creator Sal Buscema.
This new project, titled the ROM Remix Project, has 20 individual artists each drawing a page of the original story, from the 18 story pages to the Frank Miller cover, and even the Hostess ad in the back of the original comic. Organized by Rob Harrington, it’s intended to be a public art project as well as a way to bring renewed attention to Mantlo’s situation.
“Now don’t get me wrong, the main goal of the project is to create an entertaining comic for people to enjoy, but if we can also give a little back it’ll be all that much sweeter,” Harrington said. “Needless to say, the original creative team, Marvel Comics, nor the current copyright holders of the ROM property (whomever that might be) have nothing to do with this project. It’s purely for fun, borne out of a love for the ROM comics.”
Hasbro owns ROM, for the record, and in 2012 filed a trademark on the property.
Above: Cover by Martin Szymanski and Dee Cunniffe