Yesterday I wrote about a 3-issue story arc from Todd’s and my run on SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN that teamed the Web Head with DOCTOR STRANGE. Today, I’m looking back at another favorite arc of mine from that time– another three-issue story (15-17) that sent SPIDER-MAN to the SAVAGE LAND where he met up with KA-ZAR and SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL. Jonah sends Peter to the Savage Land (aided by SHEILD) to cover a story involving the melting of the ice caps surrounding the bowl-shaped territory. While there, Peter sneaks off and meets KA-ZAR– and aids him and SHANNA in evacuating the peoples of the Savage Land from the rising flood waters inundating their homelands. In the meantime, the melting ice frees a long-frozen STEGRON, who begins to command the dinosaurs of the Land to attack all the humans he can find. Also added into the mix is the INCREDIBLE HULK, who gets in a tussle with an ancient creature called the CHICKEN COW, and in their pitched battle in a network of underground caverns, they end up smashing their way into the Savage Land. It turns out that the ROXXON corporation, brought in by SHEILD to help stem the melting of the glaciers is actually speeding up the melting in order to flush all the inhabitants of the Savage Land from their homes so that they could exploit the rich oil reserves they had discovered there. Of course, SPIDER-MAN, KA-ZAR and SHANNA as well as the HULK all team up to tackle this mess together. All these various elements come together to create a wonderful story that moved at breakneck speed and was a ton of fun to draw.

The CHICKEN COW monster came from a song with the same title that was born from the mind of a fellow named Wesley Willis. He suffered from schizophrenia– but this debilitating affliction also led to him creating some of the most bizarre and entertaining songs I’ve ever heard. They were truly strange– but very funny and bright in their own way. Todd turned me on to the Wesley Willis experience and sent me a tape filled with his songs. After hearing it, and talking with Todd– we came to the conclusion that we just had to find a way to get the CHICKEN COW (one of our mutually favorite songs from WW) into the Savage Land story arc. Unfortunately, Wesley Willis passed away at age 40 from leukemia…. but his music lives on.


This story arc ended up being so much fun to work on– KA-ZAR and SHANNA, THE HULK, STEGRON and tons of dinosaurs– and a bizarre monster named the CHICKEN COW. This one had it all– and it was a wonderful playground for this humble artist. I don’t know if the story sold out quickly, or the folks high-up at Marvel just really enjoyed it– but they quickly collected the three issues into a mini-trade. And the toy division (TOYBIZ) also created SPIDER-MAN and STEGRON action figures based on how I drew them. That was a huge thrill to see… and I still have fond memories of the whole experience.

This is Entry 273.


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