We’ve been having a ball lately with hauling out unseen work from my brief stint(s) working at Marvel. (A stint that included Mad Dog, Ren & Stimpy, Avengers United, and a few other “seen” projects that I haven’t mentioned in this blog at all.) But I don’t want my fine friends at DC to feel that I don’t love all the unpublished work I’ve done over there either…so today, a face off of unseen odds and ends I found while “going through the pile”.
Seriously, does NONE of my artwork ever get published?
Well, the image of Spidey and enemies ended up being the “biggest” published version of my artwork EVER, even if it never appeared in a comic. It’s a piece of art for what I THINK was a set of ads for local TV guides around North America to promote the 90s Spider-Man TV show. It’s also possible this was meant to be some sort of toy ad, as there’s so many villains in the piece, it seems like they’re on sale. Of course, to the very cynical amongst us, animated super-hero shows ARE toy ads.
But here’s the fun thing…the image of Spider-Man was culled from this art, turned upside-down, and used in TONS of places, T-Shirts, bus posters, billboards, I was seeing it all over Toronto, and it was kind of fun. Then, one day, they blew the central image of Spider-Man to about fifty feet tall, and glued it to the side of the building MY STUDIO was in, five stories up in the air! (Technically it was attached to a building NEXT to my studio, but the buildings shared a common wall. Truth nitpicker Ty!) I heard this was done in a few cities across Canada at least…Somewhere in the mass of photos of my life, is a bunch of photos of that building with the giant Spidey on it and my family posing in front. As the pile gets gone through, those will come up.
Above is the only version I have with the script on it (can’t find the script, or the lettered artwork, for some reason, click on it to enlarge and make it readable) of the GRAY GHOST strip I did for ConEdison’s internal house magazine. I’m going to say this was about five years ago I did this, and I WISH I could recall the specific reason ConEd thought that the Gray Ghost was their perfect mascot, saving the city’s electrical grid like this… But it was in the same box as the original art for the Spider-Man piece, so it comes out this end of the brain hole. I WILL find the final version of this, as god is my witness or I’ll never go hungry AGAIN! Or words to that effect.
These particular strips I DO remember the details of. They were created for AOL’s homepage during a particularly bad flood period during the summer of 2006, and put up to help kids understand flood safety. A heck of a worthy cause. There’s five of them in total (still have all the original art and sketches for these), and I’m happy to share ’em with those folks who weren’t on AOL at the time, and never got to see them. (I don’t know if I still have the final colour versions, but it’s something else I must find).
We leave with a “seen” piece, but not seen in a story I drew. It’s a prop, used in a Paul Pope Batman Black and White story from GOTHAM KNIGHTS, I’ll say around issue 20, but I’m probably wrong. This post card was carried around and featured in the story in four or five panels, but the editors wanted the card to look silver age, and that often means my phone rings.
Next: As promised, the way coolest toy story a boy could have….and of course, a Hoverboy Friday, that will SHOCK AND AMAZING YOU!!!
Ty the GuyShare:
I think that post card (I’ve never seen it colored… beautiful!) was used in the Tony Salmons story (Gotham Knights #4 or 5?). I remember picking it up and thinking “Oh, wow, KEWL! A new Templeton story!”… but no it was only the post card. Since I LOVE Tony Salmons as well, though, it all worked out.
However, for some reason, I think I’ve seen that postcard used in other stories. I think in the Batman B&W 2 collection, that Salmons story is back to back with Pope’s story.
Uh, do I get a No Prize?
In regards to your Marvel work, didn’t they send out comps of the merchandise you’d design for? Not even a TV Guide? Jeez…
I will certainly bow to your memory that it was a Tony Salmons story, and that Paul Pope was the NEXT story in the collection. My wife, Donna, will tell you I have a memory like a sieve. Wait…I mean my wife KEIREN! That’s it…yeah, Keiren.
That Batman postcard is wonderful, it was in one of the better stories in Batman B&W vol 2. Michael, congrats on the no-prize.
Ty, single Spidey looks familiar, and that villains piece is a fun flashback to his 90’s run in print and TV. As always- thanks for sharing!
Did you ever dig up the rest of the AOL flood strips? I’d love to include them in a series of blog posts I’m doing on the long tradition of DC public-service-style comics!