One of the seminal books in my collecting history is E-Man #6. The book tumbled into my hands at the perfect moment and reignited my interest in Charlton, an interest that has rarely dimmed since.
But what I didn't know then, is that E-Man #6 also debuted (in color at least) a brand new character and to no small extent a brand new talent. John Byrne drew Rog-2000, the first of several back up features in the already superb Cuti and Staton comic with Nick Cuti scripting. Adding that wonderful spice immediately made this the best comic book of its time.
Rog-2000 was Byrne's creation for the CPL Gang, a cluster of Charlton fans including Bob Layton, Roger Stern, Duffy Vohland, and a few others, some more named "Roger". "Rog-2000" was added to the staff by Byrne as an inside joke.
He was a mascot of sorts who first shows up atop a letters page, his crusty nature in plain view due to that delightfully evocative posture.
He showed up in a few bits of spot art.
And then he debuted in his own story of sorts in CPL #11 under a typically excellent Alex Toth cover, which also starred the CPL Gang itself. Here's that story.
Soon thereafter he popped up in E-Man #6 and made a total of four appearances in the E-Man series.And here with a splash gallery are links to the Charlton stories themselves.
He shows up on a few Comic Reader covers.
A few years later those stories were collected in a Pacific Comics magazine-sized B&W reprint, and alas poor Rog-2000 diminished into the West it seemed.
Apparently during its last years Charlton toyed with the notion of reprinting some Rog-2000 stories. This cover was apparently done for the reprint and is credited to Nick Cuti, the writer of the series.
Rog-2000 did pop up at First Comics in E-Man #1 as part of their very funny Hostess Ad parodies.
And it was rumored he might make an appearance of sorts in Byrne's She-Hulk run.
Rog-2000 is too good a character to languish, but that's exactly what has happened. John Byrne is likely right to keep Rog limited, as his shine might rub off with too much exposure. To be truthful, I'm sure I'd find his new incarnations suspect, but there's no denying the sparkle on that chrome, it glittered very brightly for a tiny time.