Absolutely Sweet Marie

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.


  1. Irene Vartanoff February 15th, 2013 9:44 am

    Sorry to hear you were so crushed. I tried to personalize the form letters I was asked to send, but I guess that didn’t mean much when the message was “No.” I wasn’t Johnny’s assistant but at that time I was tasked with sending the rejection letters on all submissions. Lucky me.

    What you probably don’t know is that story submissions weren’t looked at, period, just rejected out of hand. People did look at art submissions. They got handed around the office and anyone with an eye got a say. So you were way ahead of others.

    Yeah, you totally did not understand the value of someone with Marie’s talent giving you feedback.