Above you will see my rejected submission for Robert Goodin’s awesome blog “Covered”. That’s right, I’m the one who rejected it because I was 6 years old when I drew it. I can try harder these days… and, maybe I will.
[Original Hulk #199 cover by Rich Buckler and John Romita circa 1976, in what I think is a swipe-free Buckler image… feel free to prove me wrong.]
You’ll notice that the indecipherable title on my version is “La Masa” instead of “The Incredible Hulk”. I swiped it from an early 80s Spanish reprint of the same issue. I’ve been looking for that Spanish version for decades. I’ve tried everywhere. I even went to a bunch of comic shops and bookstores in Madrid, Spain a few years ago looking for this and many other titles. That drawing of La Masa opens the floodgates of nostalgia. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna make a frequent thing of posting my early childhood drawings; that’s as obnoxious as telling baby stories. This is IT for me, I promise.
Anyway, another thing that I’ve been looking for since I left all my cool stuff in Spain long ago was a set of trading cards called “Otros Mundos” [Other Worlds]:
Otros Mundos was a trading card series from 1984. These things were crack in the form of trading cards for me. I made my grandma buy me packs at this huge street fair in Madrid every weekend. I moved to the States, these got lost in a move, and Garbage Pail Kids became my new crack. Anyway, the Otros Mundos cards had an accompanying album where you glued the cards to the matching profiles. These things creeped me out but left a great impression. I never completed the 200 plus card series, but some I recently discovered this fantastic Spanish website/blog featuring tons of them!
Another item on my “Wish List” was a rare old video that I couldn’t find anywhere until a couple of weeks ago. “The Masters of Comic Book Art” (Rhino Home Video 1987) randomly appeared on Ebay and tons of people were selling used copies! Seriously, I was looking for that video for over 10 years and just like that… it was there. So I got it, naturally. And I saw it, naturally. And it was a little disappointing. For some reason I thought that this comics documentary had Gilbert “Beto” Hernandez and Alan Moore. It doens’t, but it does have Steve Ditko reading his comics and Bernie Wrightson, a voice I’ve never heard before, talking a little about his approach to comics. They were great. In fact, all the contributors were interesting and on point: Kirby, Eisner, Kurtzman, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Moebius, Spiegelman and Sim.
I assume that the doc/video was ideally directed at people unfamiliar with comics, but it’s impossible to get any sort of accurate portrayal of The Best in comics and explain WHY they’re considered the best in a 1 hour video. The only way, I would think, is to make it a slick, hyper edited, made-for-TV mass appeal kinda thing that skims and hints at the greatness of comics. Nothing like that exists (and should it?) This documentary was a little unfocused and felt slapped together, to tell you the truth. Is this why most comic documentaries fail at converting any significant amount of people? Is it because they’re made by fans for fans and fans don’t have the editorial savvy to pull it off? Or is it a subject too wide to accurately document?
I don’t know why “The Masters of Comic Book Art” (a Ken Viola Production) is still out of print, but if it’s based on the overall thrust and quality, I can see why. Comic Book Confidential (1988) is the only exception I can think of. It’s got a relatively well rounded roster (I heard they excluded Beto, though!) and produced rather well for the times. Do we need a modern day CBC?
Here’s a cool, recent find (now that Moebius has been mentioned): an 8 page Ratman story in Penthouse Comix #7 (May/June ’95). I didn’t even know about it! It reads and looks like a stream of consciousness… more than usual.
What else is on my “Wish List”? Let’s see… uh, how about the UK magazine “Daredevils”? I want to see those old Miller DD comics in black and white. Add Flex Mentallo #2 in there. I don’t care if it’s beat up, I just want to read it. Let’s not forget the truly impossible to get Rubber Blanket #2. Oh, and anything by Suehiro Maruo from Japan.
One more thing to add… I want comics to have more covers like THIS:
Can you get me all those things? Can you make it happen? Thanks!