Marvel Comics Presents #139 – Pencils & Inks, Age 16 – Breaking into Comics
While I am walking through memories…. figured I’d chat a little about this too. Being, it was my first major published works, while I was in tenth grade.
I was fortunate enough as a kid when Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell moved to my childhood neighborhood when I was 14…. He would reluctantly invite me to his home from time to time during those days, and allow me to watch him and Julie paint. They were both exceptional artists, and I was a lucky kid. Luckier still when Boris called John Romita Sr., at that time an executive at Marvel Comics, and set up an interview and a first class Marvel tour for me, when I was 15.
I met Mr. Romita in NYC Marvel offices. A very nice man. He introduced me to some editors during my tour… Bob Harris, Kelly Corvese, Spencer, Marcus McLauren (sorry if I misspelled names, but its been a loooong time) and some other Marvel editors and staffers…
Marcus at that time was editor for Marvel’s Epic line of comics… so I focused on him, thinking he’d be my best bet at breaking into the Big League…
But I was wrong. I had sent him submissions for 6 months. Often. And he’d just reply with crit, but no booking! And I KNEW at that time, that my art was AT LEAST as good as a lot of the stuff being published… so I did not give up.
I instead, picked up the phone and directly called the editor of Marvel Comics Presents, Mr. Mark Powers… and mentioned I have a ton of submissions sitting at Marcus’s office, and I’d love if he’d be willing to run over and take a look.
He called me back 15 minutes later and hired me to do the 8 page story, pencils and inks, in Marvel Comics Presents #139… “Batroc the Leaper in ‘Feat First”…
Here is the first page I drew for this major publisher, at age 16… sitting in a small storage room I used as my art studio, in my parent’s home basement.
Now, the orignal art is framed and displayed in my studio.