Monday, September 24, 2007
It’s 1:00 a.m. and here I am at work, spending another loooong evening waiting for other people to finish their work so I can do mine. To pass the time, as I often do, I started sketching. And, as often happens, I got part of the figure done before I even knew what I wanted to draw. I’ve been thinking a lot about Mike lately (obviously) and especially a lot about our childhood, growing up together. Not surprisingly, a lot of my memories of Mike are of him drawing with me usually by his side, imitating him. We were both usually pretty territorial about our creations and I, at least, got a little competitive about it. I tried to come up with more characters than he did as if that would prove something. Unfortunately, less is more, and Mike’s characters had a certain life to them that I couldn’t match.
As I mentioned, we were territorial about our stuff but, on one rare occasion, we decided to put our heads together. The result was this loser. Around the time we came up with this guy, I was in a weird phase where my characters were less derivative of the mainstream stuff and, well, a little off the wall. (One example was a couple of aliens trapped on earth called Tangerine and FirmJaw. FirmJaw was the gal.) The fella in this sketch was named “Tombstone.” This was well before the character of the same name showed up in Marvel’s Spider-Man comics.
Tombstone was an odd bird. He was a scrawny kid who lived in the scary part of town (New York?) and spent his days and nights cruising the streets on roller skates looking for people to rescue. Hearing a scream, he would swoop in and beat the bad guys senseless (usually fighting dirty), cracking wise the whole time. Trouble is, Tombstone wasn’t exactly a hero. In the first (and only) story we did, Tombstone rescues a little old lady on her way to the market from a group of muggers. They’ve taken her purse and pushed her to the ground. Poking eyes and kicking groins, Tombstone makes short, comical work of the baddies and hands the lady back her purse. She starts to thank him and he tells her there’s no need. Justice is his true reward. Well, justice...and the five $20 bills he’s just taken from her purse as his fee. As he laughs and greedily counts the money, the old lady chases him down the street, swinging her purse and hurling curses at him.
It was pretty dumb, really, so I don’t feel bad taking credit for most of the idea behind Tombstone. If I remember correctly, Mike drew the story and I wrote the script and designed his look. I also remember Mike and I laughing uproariously as we discussed the story beforehand, bouncing ideas off each other like a couple of pros. We thought Tombie was destined for comic book greatness but, alas, that first story was all we ever did with him. And, unfortunately, I haven’t seen the artwork in years. It’s not in my stuff and I haven’t seen it in Mike’s. That makes me very sad because it was the only time I ever recall the two of us working together like that.
Well, except for that X-rated Avengers West Coast story I drew once, but I’m NEVER posting that.
Posted by Matt Wieringo at 10:57 PM