Archive for January, 2013
A while back, I ran a few scans from this little gem I assisted Joe Kubert on back in 1976. You can peruse the whole thing now as 20th Century Danny Boy has the complete book on-line. MAGAZINELAND USA was a special promotional comic book created by and for the printer of almost all comics books in North America, World Color Corp. The story walks the reader through the printing plant,and since I was the studio guy who was pretty good with machinery, Joe had me pencil most of the backgrounds for this. And I think did the color guides. Looks like Elaine Heinel’s lettering.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the wording of the Marvel rejection letter seemed so final that I was sure no one up there saw any redeeming qualities to my samples. I was so destroyed over this I barely noticed that Marie Severin had taken the time to write me a lovely note with some wise words of encouragement. She seemed to dig TWO-FISTED ZOMBIES! She’d snagged the copy as a gift for her brother John Severin! She added a PS with a quick and honest assessment of my stuff that offered hope!
Any other young artist trying to break in would have begun sending fresh samples to Marie on a regular basis; maybe even traveled to New York in hopes of getting a meeting. But I was so torn up by the formula letter from John Romita’s assistant that I was blinded to what Marie was offering.
Things worked out for me in the long run, of course. The Marvel samples were included in the portfolio that got me into Kubert School. They came in handy when I applied for a CETA grant to pay my way. But man, what a dope I was at 23!
At least now, all these years later, I can send a big belated thank you to Marie Severin.
A pile of 38 year old mail found its way back to me recently. In the stack was this rejection letter from Marvel Comics circa 1974. At that time, I’d spent many months working up pencil samples which I’d mailed in to the Marvel offices in hopes of getting into mainstream comics. I included a copy of TWO-FISTED ZOMBIES, an underground that was my only published work from the previous year. I was 23 years old and I remember being crushed and convinced that my dreams of breaking into comics would never be realized. I was so crushed, in fact, that I didn’t pay attention to another letter someone had slipped into the package being returned to me. I’ll post that tomorrow.