1982: The Complete Rog 2000

The Complete Pacific Comics Re-Reading Blog Series presents:

The Complete Rog 2000

by John Byrne, Nicola Cuti &c

The Complete Rog 2000 (1982) #1

This is a 40 page magazine sized black and white comic book printed on crisp white paper, reprinting John Byrne’s fanzine creation Rog 2000.

It’s a bit odd that they reprinted the material in this fashion, since it originally was published in standard comic book size (and form factor).

Roger Stern and Nicola Cuti both provide introductions.

The first story ran in a fanzine, and it reads as if it ran in a fanzine. I realise that this is just a bunch of kids goofing off, but it’s not, like, good? You know?

Well, except that joke.

The rest of the book is reprints from E-Man, published (and apparently copyright) Carlton Comics. Rog 2000 ran as a back-up feature, and Cuti (the E-Man writer) wrote the stories. These are more coherent, but there isn’t that much more to recommend them. The art chops Byrne got later that earned him a pretty big fan following aren’t much in effect yet.

The jokes are pretty corny, but we’ve all seen worse, right?

That one even made me chuckle.

Hey, I’m easy.

So there you go: A $3 (an outrageous price at the time) reprinting of stuff that didn’t sell in the first place.

I guess Pacific Comics thought they could make some money out of it now? Because it’s hard to imagine that there’s a non-mercenary reason for dumping this in the marketplace.

In Amazing Heroes Preview Special, Fantagraphics announced that they were going to do a six issue (!) reprinting of the series:

Writtenby NICOLA CUTI; Illustrated by JOHN
BYRNE; edited GARY GROTH
6.issue series; 32 full-color pages; $2.00; bi-
monthly from FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
“Essentially, what I want to dot” says
Rog-2000 cover artist Don Simpson, “is
bring Rog-2000 back to the basics.”
Simpson, who has agreed to do the
covers for Fantagraphics Booß reprint-
ings of the old John Byrne-created
Charlton series, feels that the earliest
Rog-2000 stories-the ones reprinted in
Rog-2000 the “real” Rog-2000
stories and he’s basing his interpre-
tation of the character cn that.

This didn’t happen, thankfully, but Fantagraphics did a Doomsday Squad reprinting (another Byrne Carlton series) instead.

I was unable to find any contemporaneous reviews, but here’s a recent one:

A pretty nice package collecting all of the Rog 2000 stories in one place. The series is not a serious comic by no means, but it is highly entertaining and a chance to see John Byrne’s early artwork before he hit it big at Marvel Comics, and later at DC Comics.

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