STAN LEE MEETS the SILVER SURFER hits the stands at comic shops today. I drew the lead story that was written by Stan “The Man” Lee himself… and it was a unique experience to be able to work on that story. It’s special in that I can say that I worked with Stan Lee on a comic book story (albeit a very short one). Carrying the thread over from Monday’s post– that’s not something I ever envisioned myself doing when I got into this business– if for no other reason than that Stan had, by and large, left comic books for the more star-studded world of Hollywood to represent Marvel there well before I became a pro. It’s also a first for my career in that I got to draw the SILVER SURFER in panel-to-panel continuity. Up to this point, I think the only time I’ve drawn him was for a ghostly flashback image floating above Reed Richards’ head in an issue of FANTASTIC FOUR. That makes yet another major Marvel icon I’ve gotten my grubby pencil on since I started in this business. Stan’s plot was incredibly brief in length… and so I had to do a lot of extrapolation for the 10-page story… but that gave me a little taste of what it must have been like back in the early days of the “HOUSE OF IDEAS” when the stories published then were more often than not the result of a short phone conversation between Stan and his artist about the overall theme of the book they were working on– and the artist would then draw the story in its entirety from that conversation. What a different working world it was then compared to now– where the writers control the everything about the story in stiflingly detailed complete scripts…. the number of panels per page, shot selection, lighting, pacing and even wardrobe. There’s very little left for the artist to contribute beyond bringing the writer’s vision to life on the printed page.

I didn’t do Stan’s likeness in the story much justice, I’m afraid. For some reason, I just couldn’t really get it down. I thought that I did a much better job the first time I had to draw him in a story back a decade ago when Todd and I did our issue of the FLASHBACK stunt on SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN. I don’t know what was different this time…. but Stan looks pretty generic in my story.

Let me know what you think if you happen to pick it up and read it.

OK… that’s it for today.

This is Entry 311.


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