Below are some sample pages I began but never finished that were intended to get me work at Marvel circa 1983-84. Ostensibly a Fantastic Four story (with Doctor Doom and Daredevil), it was no doubt an update of FF #73, a battered copy of which I had in those days. It was one of the few mainstream superhero comics I had lying around, having sold my collection of well-read comics I'd accumulated as a reader in the 1970s; by the 1980s, I was into undergrounds, French Les Humanoides Associes or Heavy Metal science fiction, and classic reprints of EC, American newspaper strips, and so on. (That copy of FF #73, by the way, sacrificed its price and issue box as well as the Comics Code seal for a mock Megatropolis Quartet cover in Megaton Man #1.)
Judging from the page numbering, the story was originally to run to six or more pages; no other notes, thumbnails, roughs or anything else exist but these three pages (2, 4, and 6), and since these are unfinished, it leads me to believe I never even started the others. The penciling looks so tight in spots as to appear traced (a good example is the Daredevil figure in page 4, panel 4); if so, I would have been working from some kind of rough layouts (now lost). Maybe pages 1, 2, and 3 were sold long ago to collectors; I honestly can't recall at this point.
All three pages are on Strathmore one-ply Bristol, also evidence that I was tracing roughs, but where I would have had access to a light table in those days is a mystery, since I didn't own one. (Perhaps former roommate Mike Kazaleh permitted me to use his animation table? He was still living in the neighborhood within walking distance from my Detroit apartment on West Forest.)
What is evident from looking at the art is that I was using white Zip-a-Tone (like over the space ship in page 2, panel 1 and the Sue Storm figure in page 2, panel 3), a regular Zip with scratched highlights on Doc Doom (page 2, panel 4). These techniques were employed on the early issues of Megaton Man (see #1-4), and I might have assayed these samples after completing Megaton Man #1 and awaiting to hear back from publishers in the spring of 1984.
Also of note is the use of white-out and the panel borders on page 4, the corners of which await cleaning up. (British artists, I understood at the time, ran their borderlines past the corners and whited out; I didn't often do that after I turned pro.)
Why I didn't complete them is unclear. The most probable reason is that Megaton Man #1 found a publisher, and ongoing issues kept me busy. But I was conflicted about work-for-hire for the big publishers anyway. Whether my interpretation of the characters or my style would have sold to any of the Marvel editors is anyone's guess; whether I would have been satisfied as a mainstream freelancer is also an open question. While I set these aside unfinished, I did attempt other samples years later (mostly for Marvel), many of which I have published elsewhere on this blog.
Characters that are not my property are ™ and © the respective owners. All other character names, likenesses, words and pictures on this page are ™ and © Don Simpson 2021, all rights reserved.