Friday, 16 May 2014
Rog 2000 was one of John Byrne's really early characters, and one that he happily still seems to have a lot of affection for.
Rog appeared first in a fanzine called Contemporary Pictorial Literature ( also known as CPL ), put together by Byrne and fellows future pro's like Roger Stern, Bob Layton & Duffy Vohland.
He was the zine's mascot, usually to be found adorning the top of the letters page, until eventually graduating to his own one-off strip in the mag, full of in-jokes and cameos from the production team.
After he made it into the semi big leagues with The Wheelie Bunch for Charlton, Byrne and Rog were offered the back-up slot in E-Man, for an all too short but very sweet series, also scripted by Nick Cuti.
Rog was a tough talking but kindhearted cabbie in New York, a spiritual brother to Ben Grimm, who just couldn't help falling into adventures, though you suspected that he'd really rather put his feet up with a good stogie and a copy of Hustler.
Rog was a great likeable character, who trod that fine line between parody and comedy expertly, ( in the same way that the second series of E-Man over at First, to pick one example, didn't ) and it's kind of a shame Byrne has never brought him back.
Here's his first appearance, alongside the time he had the opportunity to find out what it means to be human, and what a drag it is.
While here he is hawking sugar coated snacks to teenage America.