Monday, March 7, 2011

Um...yeah, I didn't draw this.

Recently, NEWSARAMA ran a series of articles about the history of C. C. Beck’s Captain Marvel character. I noticed it because they used a blog sketch of the good Captain that Mike had posted on his site years ago. To tell ya the truth, it gave me a little bit of a thrill. I love seeing Mike’s work pop up from time to time and they had some nice things to say about Mike. Several installments in, they posted another drawing I’d never seen before that appeared to be inked by the great Jerry Ordway. But there was something familiar about the face so I clicked on it and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was another Mike drawing! I clicked the “like” button and thanked NEWSARAMA for posting the drawing.

Well, that started a long Facebook thread with Mike's friends about a wonderful drawing that Alex Ross whipped up of Mike lamenting his (sort of) famous decision to not draw an offered Captain Marvel series for DC at the time. (I vaguely remember Mike telling me he’d turned it down and that some folks were not very happy with him for doing so. But that was the extent of my recollection. Sometimes, folks mistakenly think that I'm an authority on Mike's career. I wish I was but we were living 100 miles apart for years and I only knew what he told me. Often, I would see covers he'd drawn on the stands and was as surprised as any other fan.) I mentioned that I remembered seeing the drawing shortly after Mike’s passing but that I couldn’t remember who’d shown it to me. Someone pointed out that it was not the kind of thing Mike would give away and asked if I’d checked in his art stash.

So I dove in to the artwork that we had stored away and there it was. I’d obviously realized what it was because I'd taken the time to put it in a protective sleeve. But, as I told everyone on the thread, I was in a different frame of mind back then so I hope I can be forgiven for forgetting about the drawing.

I love this drawing. Mr. Ross so perfectly captured Mike’s likeness and an eyewitness told me that he did it purely from memory. I’ve watermarked it because I have no way of contacting Mr. Ross and asking permission to post it. I hope he doesn’t mind. (Mr. Ross, if you see this and want me to take it down, just let me know.)

I’ve only met Alex Ross one time. Mike introduced us waaaaay back when MARVELS had first come out. It was at Heroes Con and I think it was Mike’s first Heroes as a pro. (I've had a rough week. Can someone do the math for me?) But I was so excited to see Mike and there was so much going on that, though I was gaga for MARVELS, the name didn’t quite sink in. I shook Mr. Ross’ hand and I didn’t exactly ignore him but, admittedly, I wasn’t very friendly. I only had eyes for my bro. Later, I saw Mr. Ross and Kurt Busiek together in the hotel bar. As I walked past the small table where they were seated, I noticed Ross was sketching on a pad. I may be misremembering but I believe it was some concept art for ASTRO CITY. But I recognized the art style immediately and slapped my forehead. “THAT Alex Ross! Crap!”

Okay, that's all I've got. Hopefully, I’ll post again soon with some of my OWN artwork. I’ve got a sketch in the works that’s going pretty well but my new work environment is really not conducive to frequent drawing.



DonsSword said...

Awesome post Matt.

Its funny what bubbles up from the past sometimes--this one is definitely a gem.

Brian said...

Great art and an even better story.

Thanks for sharing.