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John Darling – Take 7

posted on November 30, 2015

John Darling - Take 7

This is the first of a long series of satires on TV sports coverage that Tom and I would do in John Darling. I’m happy to report that due to our scathing skewering, things have improved tremendously 🙂

Flash Fridays – The Flash #119.6

posted on November 27, 2015

Flash BW Art

When The Flash artwork arrived from National Comics it was a revelation. First, it was huge. It was the old 2-up size, a size that truly allowed the artists to be artists. At that proportion, the art really made an impact and the detail was amazing. Second, the pages reeked of cigar smoke. I would later learn that this was probably Carmine’s doing, but it just made the pages even cooler. From there, the pages became a graduate course in comic book art production. You could see the underlying pencils, the beautiful feathering of Murphy Anderson’s brushwork, and, lo and behold, mistakes. There was one page where Murphy must have knocked the ink bottle over or something because a third of one of the panels was covered with white-out (So that’s how you fixed mistakes). These gods were human. They could make mistakes (And big ones!) just like I did. You have no idea what a relief it was to see that. Turn the pages over and there were more Carmine drawings, a great look behind the curtain at his pencils as he tried out new faces and room designs. Also on the back was the Comics Code stamp where someone had signed off on the page. One day down the road, I’d run into the Code head-on in my first attempt to gain some purchase in the comics field. To a budding comics artist, the pages were manna from heaven and, for once, the interminable wait between issues was made more than bearable.

Match to Flame 9

posted on November 25, 2015


 Marvel Treatment

The summer I graduated from Kent State, I flew to New York City with an illustrated story and several story treatments in an attempt to land a job at DC or Marvel comics. As my plane circled over the city, I was suddenly struck by the realization that I had just crossed a line. If I didn’t make the attempt, I’d never fail; but it was too late for that, and the prospect of failure was now a part of the equation. I met with an editor at DC Comics who ripped not only my work up and down but me as well for having had the temerity to show up at his office with it. He must have felt a pang of compassion, though, because as I got up to leave he handed me a piece of original DC art and said, “Here! At least do it at the right size!” But it was only a momentary lapse, because as I reached the door, he yelled after me, “And don’t go telling everybody that DC is giving away free art!”

My reception at Marvel was much more gracious, and associate editor and writer Roy Thomas deserves a shout-out for knowing how to treat a neophyte cartoonist with a much gentler touch. (I should note here that Roy was a fellow letter hack from the pages of The Flash.) Although he told me basically the same thing that the DC editor had, he left the door open with an invitation to submit more work, and I left feeling more optimistic.

*From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. One


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