I was already a comic book fan when I discovered Jim Starlin’s work on WARLOCK and CAPTAIN MARVEL– but his cosmic existential epic psycho-dramas set my young mind on fire. One of the first comics I bought as a kid was CAPTAIN MARVEL #50. The creator on the title at that time was Al Milgrom…. and it was a team up with THE AVENGERS against the SUPER ADAPTOID. I was immediately enamored with the Kree soldier who had defected to earth to become its protector. I became a regular reader of the book. At the same time I was buying new comics on the news stand, my folks would take my brother and me on regular trips to downtown Lynchburg, VA to a used book store on Main Street (my whole family have always been voracious readers). This used book store also sold old comics. They were displayed in big stacks on tables around the store. We could just go through them stack by stack to our heart’s content. That’s where I discovered the Jim Starlin issues of CAPTAIN MARVEL that had been published before my first purchase of issue 50. I was immediately hooked on Stalin’s work. High-concept cosmic dramas were Starlin’s forte, and I was more than happy to go along for the ride. I just couldn’t get enough of his depiction of the good Captain. Unfortunately, since I was already buying the new issues, I knew it was a brief stint…. but I still found every issue he did and loved them all and yearned for more.

Thankfully, Starlin had taken his show to another character in ADAM WARLOCK… and for me, that was even MORE mind-blowing amazing. Starlin brought THANOS from his CM stories over to pit him against WARLOCK… and with a fascinating supporting cast with characters like PIP the troll and the beautiful GAMORA, I was again immediately hooked. Starlin gave THANOS a lust and love of DEATH– and gave DEATH a living embodiment for the mad Titan to court. The goal of THANOS was to bring death to the entire universe, and WARLOCK was determined to stop him. This was the ultimate battle between good and evil, and I just couldn’t get enough.

I often get asked about influences on my work… and I can never point to any creator who’s work has made a huge impact on my own drawing. I figure an influence is something that shows in the work you do… like an imprint that bubbles to the surface naturally (but I could be entirely wrong…). I certainly can’t count Starlin as someone who’s art influenced my own, though I loved everything he drew as a kid and spent a lot of time trying to emulate his work. Perhaps that’s the essence of an influence. I don’t know. I DO know that his work, both visually and in story, helped to fire my brain and imagination– and gave me a love of big, epic …. and especially COSMIC… stories. I’ve had the honor of meeting Jim Starlin and have seen him at many shows over the last few years. I made sure to tell him how much of an impact his work made on my love of comic books… and I’m sure he’s heard it all before. I could never express to him how much his CAPTAIN MARVEL and WARLOCK comics thrilled me without coming off as a kook.

But then… that’s the kind of passion that fun comics inspire.

OK… have a great weekend.

This is Entry 346.


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