Writer. Creator. Large mammal.

Submission Hold

In a corner of the Marvel Editorial office sat a huge pile of unopened mail. There was so much of it you couldn’t describe it as a stack or a pile. More like a weary mountain, sort of leaning into the corner for support. If someone walked by quickly the air turbulence might cause a small avalanche, one or two envelopes sliding and bouncing down from the summit to the piedmont.

“What’s all that?” I asked.

Submissions, I was told. People were always sending in samples and submissions.

“What do you do with them?”

Nothing, someone said. Hold onto them for a while. Sometimes, when Stan was out of town and his secretary got bored, she’d return some, unopened. If the pile got too big, they’d just throw them all away.

I asked if I could take care of them. Answer, words to the effect, “Knock yourself out.”

It was 1976. I was brand new associate editor, fresh from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. All my friends were back in the “Burgh. My girlfriend was back in the ‘Burgh. I didn’t have a lot to do after work except more work. And, occasionally hang out with the other new guy, Roger Stern. So, every night, I took a dozen or three of those submissions home with me.

Home was the YMCA. Not the nasty McBurney Y downtown. Past experience taught me not to trust that place. I stayed at the Vanderbilt Y on East 47th Street, a much nicer place.

The Vanderbilt YMCA on East 47th Street, NYC

It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford an apartment—after all, I was making a cool $11,700 a year—even though rents in New York were absurdly high compared to Pittsburgh. The rent for a cramped, fifth floor walk-up dump in Manhattan that had no hot water was double what I paid for a nice, big, modern one-bedroom in Pittsburgh. Okay…I reconciled myself to that fact. But, still, finding an inhabitable, available walk-up dump, bribing the super, who you’d never see again and thus, snagging it before the other million people desperate to have it was a problem. Seemed like that was going to take some time.

The room at the Y was small, just barely big enough to fit a narrow little bed, a small dresser and what they called a desk. The bed took up most of the room. You couldn’t open the dresser drawers because there wasn’t enough room between the dresser and the bed. Couldn’t sit at the desk for the same reason. The bathroom was down the hall.

They limited the time you could stay there. No more than six days in a row, I think. They didn’t want people living there for extended periods.

Fine by me. The Y wasn’t so bad for my purposes, actually. I took the bus or, once in a while, a plane (stand-by discount!) 400 miles back to Pittsburgh most weekends. The return bus left Pittsburgh at midnight. I went straight to work from the Port Authority Terminal Monday morning and Monday evening checked back into the Y.

And it was only seven bucks a night!

A few times, on weekends when I couldn’t afford to go back to the home town, I had to check out of the Y and sit up all night at Chock full o’ Nuts drinking coffee, waiting till the next morning when it would be okay to check back in. One time I couldn’t hold up, and I took the cheapest hotel room I could find. At the Shelton, on Lex, I think. It broke my heart to part with the $18 it cost, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.


And, oh, the relative comfort of the good old Shelton Hotelton!


On a typical evening after work, I’d grab some cheap eats somewhere—you could eat at the Y for under two dollars if you weren’t fussy about food—go to my little closet-room, sit on the bed and start in on the submissions. I wrote answers to each and every one. Short and as upbeat as possible to the crayon-on-paper-bag kid submissions, but sometimes long, detailed critiques to the rare submitter who showed some real talent.

All those letters were hand written. I didn’t have a typewriter. Not even at work. And I couldn’t type anyway. Still can’t, unless you count this two-fingered pecking I do as typing.

Slowly, the mountain eroded away.

I remember one submission, a detailed story plot, from someone in England that was beautifully written, intelligent and thoughtful. The guy just needed to work on the architecture a little, plotting 101 stuff. But aside from those few structure quibbles, man, the thing was good. I sent him the most encouraging letter I could without a promise of work (which I had no power to make).

Never heard from the guy again, don’t remember the name on the sub. Sometimes I wonder if it was Alan Moore or one of the other British Invaders who turned up years later.

Almost every day I’d come to the office and drop off a bunch of envelopes at the mailroom. The people I worked with thought I was nuts, bothering with submissions. But, I’d gotten my first job in comics by sending an unsolicited submission to Superman editor Mort Weisinger. I had tremendous respect and great sympathy for those who packed their best efforts into manila envelopes and sent them off to the home of their hopes and dreams.

I lived out of a suitcase at the Y for four months. Then one day this guy walked up to my desk at Marvel and said, “I heard you were looking for an apartment.” He introduced himself. It was Dave Cockrum. He had a huge three bedroom out in Bellerose, Queens. He explained that he’d just split up with his wife, and without her salary he couldn’t afford the place unless he got somebody to share it.

It had never occurred to me that living in a borough other than Manhattan was a reasonable alternative. Queens, huh? Commuting by bus and subway…?

Sure. You betcha. Had to be better than the current situation.

I took it sight unseen and moved into the back bedroom at Dave’s place a few days later. It was six times the size of the closet-room at the Y, and the living room, kitchen, etc. we shared were modern and nice. We had a terrace! It overlooked the lot where they parked the Good Humor trucks, but still…. Wow.

By that time I had finished with the mountain and it was fairly easy keeping up with the incoming. I still took subs home once in a while. It was a lot more pleasant answering them on the comfy couch in the living room than sitting on the lumpy bed in that coffin-like Y room.

Many years later, late nineties, I think, I was at a convention in Ramapo, New York. I think it was organized in association with a school. They had an amazing number of professional guests for a small town show. I got to meet the great Kurt Schaffenberger at last. Never met him while working at DC.

Jerry Ordway saw me sitting at my table and came over. Out of his pocket, he pulled a very old, well-preserved, hand-written, long letter explaining the fundamentals of inking.

“Remember this?” he said.

Nova #8 Cover Inked by Jerry Ordway
NEXT:  A Jerry Rice Needs a Joe Montana


Animal House


Slight Delay


  1. Urk

    Hi KintounKal

    Have a nice day.

  2. KintounKal

    Mars Bonfire,

    I'm saying Urk didn't help the Dark Key cause and I doubt his finances are so strained that spending $3.73 per month will cause his daughter to go without anything essential.

    Can't you see the clear parallel to my hypthetical example above? In that case, switch the imaginary disease to something real like cancer. Nobody is suggesting Urk's priorities are misplaced if he can't or won't spend X amount of dollars on a cure for cancer. Regardless, I have the right to wish everyone pitched in to help elminate cancer in that sceneario. If someone was harrassing Urk for not donating money, he'd be allowed to tell me to shut up. As it is, he's acting persecuted for no reason.

  3. KintounKal


    I'm getting real sick and tired of you repeatedly claiming I'm incapable of understanding your motivations and commitments. That falls under the category of arguing so you're a liar to say one post is your final word on the subject and proceed to keep replying. No matter how you want to spin it, you were unwilling to spend less than $4 a month to ensure Dark Key succeeds.

  4. Urk

    dude- I'm not arguing with you. I'm sorry you thought that last post was argumentative. You obviously don't get where I'm coming from and that's ok, you don't have to. I'm glad your passionate about buying comics. Have a nice day.

  5. @Kintounkal, you wrote

    "If he stumbled across surplus money, he admits it would probably go directly towards pampering his daughter."

    I'm confused by this. Are you criticising Urk for doing his best to be a good father? I cannot fault Urk at all. Or have I misunderstood?

    As an adult I appreciate the sacrifices that my father made to ensure that me and my siblings had the sweets, toys, books, comic books & treats we always, and unthoughtfully, demanded (well, most of the time – budget permitting). He could've said no, that this week he was going to the cinema every night on his own and we had to do without (like he did before marrying and having to support a wife and three kids). He sacrificed the full pursuit of his pastimes and pleasures for his family. A matter of responsibilties and priorities.

  6. KintounKal


    Insisting that you're done arguing and then continuing to do so is pretty pathetic. Your own posts reveal that you've "been out of buying comics regularly for a decade". I don't care in the least what your priorities happen to be.

    This debate is not that complicated. Imagine for a second that Jim Shooter is stricken with some preposterously unlikely disease that prevents him from writing. His fans learn about this predicament and want to help however they can. Then, it turns out a risk free cure exists which he can acquire for a limited time if everyone pitches in X amount of dollars.

    Some people are affluent enough to mail a check overnight. Unfortunately, there are those who can't spare any money at all. In this scenario, Jim is not given the cure and therefore never writes another story again.

    Some members of this blog then proceed to voice their frustrations. Maybe it starts with one person saying "I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it's frustrating that more comic book readers weren't made aware of Shooter's disease."

    Then, someone else replies "I share your frustration. In an ideal world, you would be preaching to the choir and everyone reading this blog would already be sending money to Jim."

    Let's suppose a bystander then jumped in and said "I really don't think that what anyone else spends or doesn't spend money on is any of your business."

    Personally, I'd say that last guy is way out of line. No one was judging him for not donating money. Rather than feeling offended at every opportunity, maybe you could just acknowledge the reality of the situation.

  7. Urk

    its just priorities man. Its not literally $4. a month, its the commitment, making it a priority. If you disagree, or don't get it or whatever, that's ok, you don't have to. I'm glad you do make the commitment, I'm glad you're passionate about comics. Over and out.

  8. KintounKal


    I have no doubt that's what you wanted to say but the way you phrased your opinion is grammatically incorrect. You typed "About what KintounKal and Chris were saying… I agree the Darkhorse Gold Key revival stuff I've seen has been pretty fun to read." I wasn't discussing the quality of the Dark Key titles so it made no sense whatsoever to agree with me.

    The Gold Key line launched on May 1st, 2010 so it's been continuing for over 15 months. Purchasing every comic minus variants and trade paperbacks cost just 56 dollars so far. Dividing that number by 15 results in $3.73.

    If someone is too poor to set aside less than 4 dollars per month, they really shouldn't be splurging their limited resources on access to the internet. Besides, did you not bother to read Urk's last post in this thread? If he stumbled across surplus money, he admits it would probably go directly towards pampering his daughter.

  9. @KintounKal:

    I agreed people should check out Shooter's recent work as it was pretty good. I *did* buy them in trade form (since I was unaware of them in issue form and don't have a time machine to go back to last year/whenever and buy them) and they were worth it.

    I also agree with you about readers of this blog and I will say it now–SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR NOT SUPPORTING JIM SHOOTER'S COMICS! BAD! BAD READERS! I don't want to hear you sob stories about having to pay rent or for your kids education/whatever. GO OUT AND BUY THEM NOW!!!

    Satisfied? 🙂

  10. KintounKal


    I didn't view anything you said to me in your previous post as condescending. I took issue with your claim that I was lecturing which suggests I was looking down upon others. If you haven't bought a Gold Key revival title as a comic book or trade paperback, you have not supported the line. That's just a fact.

    I'm not saying you make bad choices with your finances. I'm simply pointing out MRF for instance was cancelled because not enough people bought it. It's not my fault if you choose to interpret that as me questioning your credentials as a fan.

    I never described you as a cheapskate. If you feel that label applies to yourself, that's beyond my control. Since you feel compelled to desrcribe to share your thoughts on me, I'll be equally honest and describe your line of talk as insufferably whiny.

  11. Urk

    Chris, no biggie- I'm feeling silly for saying anything. but, in for a penny, in for a pound…

    KintounKal- I wasn't intending for anything to come across as condescending. I admire comics as a form and I admire the people that create and support that form. That was me, most of my life & when I finish the dissertation and/or have a full time job, that'll be me again. If you read anything I said as claiming some kind of superiority for having fallen out of comic buying*, then you're misreading. I don't feel that way at all. As far as being a cheapskate: I'm 46 and I've been making part time money for a long time. I have a 5 year old and i'd rather she have toys and clothes and books (and comics – she's starting to get superhero fever!) than have comics and CDs for myself. And its not like this is some kind of hard and fast rule, but each month, if there's any money lying around, it usually gets spent on her, not me.

    I'm glad, sincerely, that there are people like you who have a passion for good comics and are in a position to support hardworking creators like Shooter. You're an important part of what keeps this industry from turning into a subsidiary of the movies and toys that are merchandised out of it. Without knowledgeable, energetic and committed fans, the tail wags the dog. I thank you and applaud you for what you're doing, but I won't be lectured about whether I'm doing my part or not or what my part ought to be.

    I also won't be arguing about this anymore. If we were in a comic store and you were telling someone else they weren't doing their part in terms of their buying habits, I'd probably ignore you and I should have done the same in cyberspace. You weren't addressing me, and no matter how aggravating I thought your line of talk was, I should have minded my own business.

    Carry on y'all, sorry for the distraction.

    *a long story involving the loss of a beloved comic shop and a cross country move, but really even more boring than that sounds.

  12. Dear Joe,

    Don't we all. : ) Joe, I forgot it was you in the Cap suit on that cover, Team-Up #128. You made a great Captain America. I hope you're well, and all is copasetic.

  13. KintounKal


    Luckily, it's not my job to type comments aimed at entertaining you. If I replied to every cheapskate boasting that they've kicked the habit of buying comics in a condescending way, that would qualify as lecturing. Instead, I was very vague as to who I was talking about.

    Then, Thunder flatout agreed with me which gave the impression I had said something totally different. I felt I was allowed to clarify my stance on the topic. For my post to have struck a nerve with you, I think it's safe to assume you didn't buy all the Dark Horse Gold Key titles in comic book format as well.

    There's a fine line between encouraging someone to try a title and pestering them to do so. Personally, I find repetitive comments like that far more aggravating. Except for Urk, I doubt anyone was sensitive enough to get their feelings hurt from a post that contained no insults at all.

    Besides, I wasn't attempting to bring more readers to the Dark Key series. I was lamenting the fact that their days are numbered. I did my part to suppoprt them. So did Chris. If you're upset at me just for implying some people did not do their part, that's all the more proof that it's true.

  14. I dropped off a submission package with the receptionist at 575 Mad when I was a junior in at the High School of Art & Design. I picked it up a week later along with a really involved critique by Romita Sr.. It was so encouraging. I worked on everything he suggested and within a year of graduating sold my first cover to Marvel. I don't think most guys who do those critiques realize the impact they have on the appreciative recipients. Of course, I have my horror stories of on site conventions critiques I've done over the years, as well. LOL

  15. Urk,

    I apologize if my exchange with KintounKal came across as browbeating. I was posting my thoughts for his benefit but didn't take into account how many others would read those same words.

  16. Urk

    I must have written it and then jumped off the page before submitting. My mistake & thanks for letting me know.. Thanks for the work you all put into this site.

  17. I've deleted two comments that were clearly spammers a couple of months ago, but other than that, no. No comments deleted.

  18. I don't think we delete posts. Do we JayJay?

  19. Urk

    Let me also say that I find everyone who is energetically supporting quality comic work through pre-orders, etc. to be admirable. Depending on your situation, that can be a big commitment and as a long time fan of the form itself I am glad to see people continuing to make that commitment.

  20. Urk

    Hmm- either my last post was deleted or I didn't post it. I'll try to be nicer and shorter: It's a pleasure to come here and read about both the history of the comics and newer work by Jim Shooter (and others). This site has reignited my interest in comics in a way that none of the titles I've picked up on and off over the past decade have been able to do. Its a lot less of a pleasure though to be lectured about whether I or anyone else here is doing enough to support this work. I understand the impulse and agree that encouraging everyone to support Jim's work is good, but I'd personally find that more pleasant if it was kept to encouragement. In the end, that's more effective at bringing readers to books than the threat of disapproval for not doing enough, IMHO.

  21. I had put all the Dark Key titles on my pull list at the comic shop, but I somehow missed hearing about Mighty Samson or didn't realize it was part of the Dark Key universe until after it came out. I'm a lapsed comic book reader and just go back for a few special titles like Dark Key, Next Men and Larry Hama's continuation of G.I. Joe, so it's easy to overlook things like this sometimes. I imagine orders for Samson were lower because unlike the others it was a new name not carried over from the Valiant era and some of us didn't realize what it was.

    To put in another plug for Jim's recent writing, when I heard Jim did new short comic stories as part of the recent Harbinger and Archer & Armstrong hardcovers put out by the new owners of Valiant, I started looking for the best deal out there to pick them up. The prices on them seem to fluctuate on Amazon and don't go under $25, but a site called Dreamlandcomics.com has both of them plus the X-O Manowar hardcover in stock for $16.22 each, plus free shipping if you throw on something else to get your purchase up to $50. I just got shipping confirmation on my order. They're listed under the following titles on their site:

    Harbinger the beginning hc

    Archer armstrong: first impressions hc

    X-o manowar: birth hc

  22. Urk

    Hi KintounKal

    I'm just a bystander here, but I really don't think that what anyone else buys or doesn't buy is any of your business. I've been out of buying comics regularly for a decade. I have a daughter (not old enough for comics…yet) to support and, because I'm an idiot, I'm in grad school. Money is tight. Finding this blog has gotten me more excited about comics than I have been in a long time, and I'm definitely going to go out and take a look at some of Jim's newer work, pick one or two up and see if it takes. I'm excited about that. But its not your job to tell me or anyone else whether I'm "doing enough." that's not encouragement, that's irresponsible guilt tripping, and, tho I should probably just ignore it, I did want to voice my opinion. No hostility intended, but coming here, reading, and commenting should in no way be taken as a license for you to determine whether I'm doing enough or not. I hope that makes sense to you, because I sincerely am not trying to start an argument. thanks for listening.

  23. KintounKal


    In what way do you agree with us? Chris and I were talking about Shooter fans (who read this blog) neglecting to do their part in supporting Dark Horse's Gold Key revival. Your previous posts clearly indicate you haven't been buying these comics either.

    You waited for trade paperbacks to be available. That's helpful of course but the line was already cancelled days before Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom: Troublemaker TPB was published. At this point, there's no guarantee a Mighty Samson TPB is forthcoming. Did you ever look at the sales figures for Mighty Samson?

    They were about two thousand lower than IDW Publishing's least popular G.I. Joe and Transformers series. Mighty Samson just barely sold more copies than Savage Dragon. The topic being discussed was did everyone commenting on this blog do enough to sustain these 4 titles. I think the answer is no.

  24. About what KintounKal and Chris were saying… I agree the Darkhorse Gold Key revival stuff I've seen has been pretty fun to read. If anyone else on here wants something of Jim's to read that's easy to get into and self contained enough to make sense, check out the TPBs (I Got Doctor Solar and Magnus, Robot Fighter. Both are very good).

  25. Dear Frank,

    I already did. It's nonsense.

  26. KintounKal,

    I'm surprised whenever I see a blog "regular" who isn't reading Mr. Shooter's Gold Key books. This blog has quickly become one of my favorite stops online each day. The daily entries lessen the pain of the sporadic publishing releases for the books, but I'll continue to support them as they materialize.

    I don't have a local shop, so I pre-ordered all the Gold Key books through DCBS and got them for a good deal off cover. I don't usually go for variants, but I did get at least one variant for each title where applicable, and I went for multiples of the signed book that was offered (Mighty Samson #1), so my total for the line still came to over $56 though.

    Speaking of signed books, I just want to say how much I appreciate Mr. Shooter's own efforts to promote the line by signing books for pre-orders, signing the Dark-Key project, and doing the rounds on Free Comic Book Day.

  27. KintounKal


    I share your frustration. In an ideal world, you would be preaching to the choir and everyone reading this blog would already be buying Dark Horse's Gold Key titles. Unfortunately, more than a few people posting here admit that they don't buy any comics anymore.

    I can't really fathom that mindset. If someone is entertained by this blog, wouldn't they want to support Jim's latest endeavors? So far, only 17 Gold Key revival issues are available and one of those was given away for free. That means owning the whole line in comic book format cost only $56 + tax.

  28. The blog below reprints some of the Bullpen pages. None of the Shooter years but over a 100 of the earlier one. Unfortunately it has been updated since 2007. Still a good place to find the old Bullpen pages.


  29. Anonymous

    Jim – I was re-reading last night an interview with Doug Moench in COMIC BOOK ARTIST magazine circa 2000 in which he said you'd issued an edict around 1984 that all lead characters in all Marvel superhero books were to be killed off, and replaced with new ones. Can you comment on that in one of your columns?

  30. Jim – I was re-reading last night an interview with Doug Moench in COMIC BOOK ARTIST magazine circa 2000 in which he said you'd issued an edict around 1984 that all lead characters in all Marvel superhero books were to be killed off, and replaced with new ones. Can you comment on that in one of your columns?

  31. KintounKal,

    Thanks for explaining, even though I should have understood you before.

    Outside of the Marvel mention with the incorrect data and a big banner on Comic Book Resources for Doctor Solar early on, I haven't seen or heard of much promotion for Dark Horse's Gold Key line. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it's frustrating that more comic book readers weren't made aware of it. When it was announced it was the most exciting convention news of the year to me.

    Also, I generally like BWS's work, I had just said that sometimes the faces seem a little off, and the featured Kull cover didn't really grab me. I usually love his sword & sorcery/fantasy stuff; Conan the Barbarian #4 was one of my first comic book introductions to the genre and I remember trying (unsuccessfully) to recreate the cover often as a kid.

  32. Just want to add my name to the list of folks who found the "Double Vision" plot in his/her files.

    I'm happy to say I have no desire to draw the plot now.

  33. Dear Jim,

    More post-Marvel stories coming up.

    I think I have an eye for artists and writers with potential. So does Don Perlin, who worked with me at VALIANT and had a lot to do with finding and developing artists.

    Thanks for the kind words.

  34. KintounKal


    You're overthinking a bit. I wasn't attempting to correct you or anything like that. Your previous post suggested that Dark Horse's Gold Key relaunch hasn't been given a lot of support.

    So I pointed out that at least a recent Marvel Premiere Classic volume promoted Dr. Solar for no reason. It was just a joke. The humor lies in the fact that most Shooter fans realize Phil Seleski should not be confused with Phillip Solar. Obviously, someone at Marvel doing biography research isn't too familiar with the Valiant Universe.

    I wasn't aware that you disliked Windsor-Smith's artwork. Personally, I view him as the perfect artist. If he ever collaborates with Jim again, that would be a dream come true. I won't hold my breath waiting for it to happen though. In last year's Graphic NYC interview, Jim described Barry as "a pain in the ass" so it sounds like a longshot.

  35. Jim

    Jim – Nothing about this post per say, but reading your blog got me interested in re-reading a lot of the stuff you were involved in again. I picked up a complete run of Broadway books and in the process of getting the Defiant material. I have some of the early Valiant work under your leadership in hardcover here and there.

    What I want to know is more about after the Marvel years and more about the later years, which is why a book would be great so I can read the whole sage in larger chunks.

    Second I know David Lapham was a major talent you had at Valiant early in his career and then I get Broadway books and lo and behold J.G. Jones – was drawing for you before he was JG Jones. What was your method in finding new talent, because you definitely could scout talent.

    Anyway great blog and it is great re-living some of those times as comics again since I have been a reader, fan and once a retailer for 50 years (yikes).

  36. KintounKal,

    If your post was in reference to mine, I'm a little confused. Are you saying MPC #71 says BWS did not work on Doctor Solar, the Dark Horse Gold Key version?

    If so, I'm aware of that. I know he did Solar for VALIANT, and I know I was a bit critical of BWS's art in a previous blog entry, but the "substandard" art I was referring to on a few of the earliest issues on one of the latest Gold Key characters had nothing to do with BWS. His art would have been an enormous improvement getting out of the starting blocks.

  37. KintounKal

    Anonymous Chris,

    I was reading Marvel Premiere Classic Volume 71: Lifedeath last night and I discovered something unexpected on the dust jacket. Barry Windsor-Smith's bio incorrectly claims he worked on Doctor Solar.

    So at least Marvel is promoting the Gold Key multiseries program a little bit. 🙂 Of course, they also include Ninjak among Barry Windsor-Smith's credits and that's totally false. He's never drawn anything featuring Colin King.

  38. ~P~

    OK. Last comment by me (about the "Double Vision" plot).
    I took a chance and cracked open a long-box to see if I had the issue of ASTONISHING TALES where it was published.

    So, I took a look at the finished job and compared it to the written script/plot.

    The answer to how to fit it all into 6 pages is to not draw everything that the writer asks for – or at least to rearrange/combine some things.

    And by all means – as Jim Shooter had mentioned in an earlier post – stick to a basic grid (9 panels at max) per page. Nothing too fancy that wastes space. That was my biggest problem (aside from some bad drawing – sheesh). I got all creative with the panels and page layout.

    IF I had eliminated some actions, combined a few others, (and drawn it BETTER, dang it) I think mine might have been worth looking at.
    In the status that I drew it originally… eh… not-so-much.


  39. KintounKal

    On Friday, I sent a tweet to @JerryOrdway asking if he's read @JamesCShooter's latest blog since there's a nice anecdote mentioning Jerry at the end.

    Last night, he replied "Hey, I think Jim misremembered, from the Ramapo con. I thanked him for an art critique he gave, not for inks." Jerry also wrote "Jim was very nice to give me and Mike Machlan zeroxes of asst. Marvel artist pencils, on an office visit in 1977"

  40. ~P~

    Well, I found out who wrote "Double Vision" – Tom DeFalco.

    I had thought it an unpublished inventory story, but as it turns out it WAS published – as a back-up in ASTONISHING TALES v2 # 12.

    I'd love to track down a copy to see how the art team handled this insane 6-page tale.

    Re-reading the script now (amazing that I do still have it) I can see ways around the problems that flummoxed the much younger me (aged 20 or 21).

    Ah, well…

  41. The "Double-Vision" script?!? God, I remember going over that and wondering how it could possibly fit into 5 pages :-). So funny, haven't thought of that in years.

  42. Jim Shooter wrote: "…We gave out that 'Double Vision' plot to lots of aspiring artists whose samples showed some promise. I thought it was five pages…. I can't remember who wrote it. Yes, it was an over-packed plot. That was one of the 'tests.'…"

    I never received that plot, but when Marvel was holding a talent search (more like a contest, really, than an actual search) in 2001 at the WizardWorld Chicago Comic-Con, they used a Wolverine plot that I could tell was a test, as well. I even asked an editor about it, because it asked the artist to do a number of tricky shots and such. He confirmed that it was meant to test us aspiring artists.

    The sad thing for me was that this editor and another Marvel editor seemed to genuinely like my work, but at that point in time Marvel was leaning more toward the manga-like style, and my work looked more traditional (as in the 1980's era). The editor told me as much, as he seemed sincerely disappointed in trying to relay this to me. Oddly enough, I see more of a traditional look to the art these days, as that manga-influence on mainstream superhero comics has waned.

  43. OK, thanks for the response. I know you care about grooming new writers, because back in the DEFIANT days you sent me a complete sample script when I expressed an interest in becoming a writer. I'm still working slowly on realizing that ambition, in a variety of media…

  44. Dear Tue,

    What I said was misleading, sorry. There were plenty of writing submissions, but very few that warranted special attention. I can't think of anyone who became a regular writer based on a submission. We usually hired writers who had experience elsewhere, or we trained staffers who showed promise. Jim Owsley started as an intern and learned on the job. Peter David started as a sales assistant. Ann Nocenti started as my secretary. Her first script was for the Smurfs. Many assistant editors developed into full-time or part-time writers, like Mark Gruenwald and Mary Jo Duffy. Getting good writers was always a problem. I believe it still is.

  45. Anonymous

    Add me to the list of early '80s rejects! I sent Marvel a bunch of really pointless pictures of Barry Smith-style Daredevil leaping around buildings when I was 18. Such masterful storytelling…

    Sure enough, I received the 'Not up to snuff' rejection letter.

    Devastated, BUT I had Jim Shooter's autograph!

    Good call there, Jim 🙂

    Pete Marko,

  46. Wow! All these submission stories are really familiar! The story of my life. I used to have a file of rejection letters. Eventually, I went to small publishing route, which I'm still doing. I did sit next to Dave Cockrum at the Ramapo con in the 90s. He was a great guy.

    Marcus Kelligrew

  47. Dear P,

    We gave out that "Double Vision" plot to lots of aspiring artists whose samples showed some promise. I thought it was five pages…. I can't remember who wrote it. Yes, it was an over-packed plot. That was one of the "tests." By how the artist dealt with that we learned a lot about how he or she thought. Storytelling in general and working Marvel style in particular is about so much more than drawing.

  48. Jim, you said there were hardly any submissions from writers. So how did Marvel find new writers when it needed them? Or were there always enough people in the existing writer pool?

  49. ~P~

    If I can tell a side-tale – I ALMOST worked at Marvel as an Assistant Art Director for their Marketing division – some time in the mid 1990's.

    After replying to a "help wanted" ad, I had somehow got an interview with the then-head of the department; Vito Incorvaia, and he was so impressed with my knowledge of the characters, and of the spec designs that I had worked up for the new Wolverine trading card set (set 2), along with some other ads I worked up, that he unofficially "guaranteed" me a spot as a junior Art Director (since, at the time, I didn't have the computer chops – having been an old-school artist up till then. He said my knowledge of the properties more than made up for it, and the software could be taught. The love of the characters could not).

    He had to hire two other "senior" Directors, but would get back to me soon.

    Elated, I canceled my plans on accepting an invitation to storyboard for the REN & STIMPY show from GAMES ANIMATION (who took over the show after SPUMCO was let go).

    Seeing as how I'd rather stay in NY and work at Marvel (my lifelong passion) rather than relocate to California, I passed on the REN & STIMPY gig.

    So, tragically, when I heard from Mr. Incorvaia that due to the high pay rate of the primary 2 Directors, there was no room in the budget for a Junior, I was then left with nothing.
    No Marvel. No Ren&Stimpy.

    Alas, within time, both positions would have been lost anyway, as Ren & Stimpy was canceled, and Marvel not too long thereafter succumbed to bankruptcy – firing entire departments.

    I've kept at it since then, with some successes – and many, many more connections with failed enterprises or companies that soon went belly-up, but never lost my desire.

    My passions ebb and flow, depending on the whims of fate (the current economy downsized me over 2 years ago, from my last really good position as an illustrator for a NY corporation) and now, even though I am about to start driving a school bus, due to lack of any kind of work to be found aside from the occasional freelance gig, I have my aspirations to write and draw again.

    (I have my own children's book ideas I'd like to produce, along with my own creator-owned comic concepts that maybe I'll just work on and digitally publish online.)

    I know that I'm not going to be drawing big-time professional comic books any time soon – maybe never (need to regain my chops – as I am RUSTY), but I know I'll still have the DESIRE to do so.

    I'd like to think that someone like Jim Shooter will be there to help make it happen.

    Thanks for letting me reminisce.


  50. ~P~

    I, too, bought the TRY OUT book, but it was just too intimidating, and while i worked up many different thumbnail pages, the big, OFFICIAL MARVEL COMICS paper just stared into my soul and found me wanting.

    One of my aforementioned (in my earlier comment) submissions was on a visit to the Marvel offices, and after looking over my pages (by Don Perlin? – John Romita was out that day) I was given a script that they said was the "official submission test" for those who got to my level (or just somehow got past the receptionist).

    Called "Double Vision", it was a 6-page story of a plane hijacking and THE VISION had to choose between beating the bad guys or saving an old man who has had a heart attack.

    There was SO MUCH going on in that script that it was impossible to draw it without using a million tiny panels.

    I can't recall who wrote it (the writer's name isn't on the script. Curious, I pulled it from my files. I have it here right in front of me) but I do recall years later reading an article BY that writer who apologized for the script, saying he knew it was insanely, tightly packed and never dreamed it would be used as a test for young hopefuls.

    Needless to say, I drew it, agonizing over some sub-par pages (so much action, with so many panels on page 4 that there's no room for word balloons) and received a reply that said essentially; "sorry, not this time".


    oh well…

  51. Your attitude of respect for submissions must have rubbed off on the staff, as can be attested by this runny-nosed little boy who rode the elevator up to 287 with his dad, unannounced, while on vacation in New York in the early 80's. We found (I believe) a young Bob Harras covering the front desk, who very kindly looked over my samples and made good on his promise to send me one of your sample Spider-Man plots. Later that day my dad accidentally left my sample pages on the Circle Line, but I couldn't care less, I was over the moon. That plot was obsessively worked on and re-worked over the course of several years. I don't know if I still have it, but I know I could lay it out from memory in a heartbeat!

  52. I submitted to Marvel during the brief Epic revival in the early 2000s. Rejected, and turned it into an Image Comic after a brief fling with TokyoPop.

    Still haven't done anything with them — yet — though I've been published by DC, twice.

  53. Dear Dusty,

    The Try-Out Book is up next.

  54. Thought I'd add my two cents worth.

    I submitted a four-page sampler of pencils, I think when I was in high school. I included Johnny Storm, the Human Torch; The Mighty Thor, The Vision, and a gal looking like a good-looking girl from school. My plot had two god-like creatures playing a game that ended up testing the heroes. They passed.

    I sent my submission with a slightly undersized SASE, that was still padded with bubbled-pop. I don't remember a response when it was returned, thankfully, but there may have been something general, hand-written, but I'm suspect an intern just returned it, slightly cramped in the SASE. This was around 1980-82.

    It was definitely before the Marvel Try-Out Book from 1983 (which doing that, revealed a lot of enthusiasm, but not enough practical technique and consistancy, oh well).

    Years later, I got the chance to do the pencils for a local educational comic book (samples at http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrishlady/with/354385215/ ). I did that while finishing up a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, at the University of Manitoba. I never did submit another sample to Marvel, I don't think. I guess I figured I wasn't doing what they were expecting.

    I did another sampler after two San Diego visits in 1989 and 1990, that I sent to a bunch of publishers, but nothing emerged. I did some volunteer stuff for a local university student newspaper, and tried to self-publish, but couldn't find the market.

    Oh well. I still draw, because I love it. I may be trying another project, just to see if I got what it takes. Who knows? Maybe I'm a late bloomer.

    Regardless, the joy never leaves. Here's to comics … 😀

  55. My wife bought me The Try Out Book. I couldn't do it. It felt too much like taking a test so I just ended up just looking at it.

  56. I'm surprised nobody has brought up the Marvel Try Out Book. If it was brought up, I missed it. I remember that Mark Bagley won the pencilling contest. Jim, you were very heavily involved with that. Wasn't it a success? I remember a second badly promoted Try Out book came out sometime later featuring an X-Men story, and that was all for the Try Out contests. I would have thought something like that would have been great for submissions. Hopefully the Try Out Book can be a future blog!

  57. Anonymous

    I never submitted to any of the bigger publishers. I wanted to start and learn my craft at the smaller publishers and work my way up. I eventually got published both as artist and writer, separately; one paid me fairly, the other never paid (maybe they were paying with copies of the published work but they never told me that).

    –Rick Dee

  58. That's pretty cool! In 2003 at Wizard World Chicago, I had a story idea for DC and approached Mike Carlin asking how to go about submitting it. He told me, very nicely, that DC does not accept fan submissions. One of the reasons were legal, one of the other reasons that stood out was that they felt eventually, their people were creative enough and if it was a good idea, they would eventually hit upon it.

    I guess that had some truth to it as my story involved the return of the Red Hood and DC eventually did that. They just did it very badly and not for the reasons I wanted to do it :^P

  59. Jim: I really like it when a lifelong fond belief is confirmed. 🙂

    That rejection letter was also the reason why I never believed all the things that were said about you after you left Marvel. Because that rejection showed you cared, both about people and about the craft, so…

  60. Dear jensaltmann,

    If it's my name on the letter, I signed it. I never had anyone sign for me.

  61. Anonymous

    Put me down for a copy of your book whenever it comes out, Mr. Shooter. I've said for a long time that I'm on board for whatever project you're working on, but sadly all the more recent projects have been cut way too short.

    I hope you can continue to write the Gold Key characters. I wrote a letter in to Dark Horse recently to voice my displeasure with the way they've left fans in the dark with the future of that line, but these days I don't really expect a response. I'd like to imagine somebody read it. I had really hoped after the introduction they gave you that you'd have a lot of support, but, between some substandard art in the early going to delays and lack of mentions at cons, I really feel sorry for you. You'll continue to have my support with whatever you write.


  62. I never sent a submission to Marvel, but I did send one to Charlton Comics, (what can I say) because they published ghost stories which was more in line with what I was reading at the time. I got a nice reply from Nick Cuti, the assistant editor, who said I wasn't ready.

    Years later, I took my work over to the SDCC in '87 on a Sunday (it was the only day I could attend). I showed my portfolio around. What one editor liked from one company another editor from another company hated, but liked what the other editor hated and so on. I remember thinking nobody really knew what they wanted and I could drive myself to frustration trying to please everyone (Jim wasn't one of the editors, btw). I ended up throwing the pages away when I got home (they were really terrible in hindsight, although the storytelling was there).

    The only person there to give me constructive criticism was the late Peter Ledger (he colored Marvel's Warriors of the Shadow Realm beautifully and died way too young). Going forward, It made a huge difference to me on how to approach my work. While he's very underrated (if not entirely forgotten by comics fans) I still find inspiration in his work.

  63. Been reading this blog for the past two months, and now it's a daily stop… sometimes more just to read your responses to comments. As a lifelong wannabe artist, this was definitely the most personally moving and inspirational one. Thanks, Jim.

  64. I still have my rejection letter from you, dating to when you were the EIC. Not only was it the most encouraging rejection I ever received, it also gave a couple of concrete reasons for rejecting that I saw that you (or, after this post, whoever had signed it in your name — but the signature is in ink, not stamped or printed) had actually taken the time read it and think about it.

    When I found out a few years later how you got your start, I figured it was probably because you remembered that and felt a sort of kinship with teenaged boys sending in submissions.

  65. Great story:) Thank you!

  66. By the time I became Editor in Chief, the volume of submissions was too great for me to handle. We had to go to plan B. We'd found that it made sense to use form letters for many subs, because we found ourselves saying the same things over and over in responses. We had at least 12 different form letters, one for each of the most common types of responses. Even those form letters usually were given a personal touch — a signature by hand, a brief hand-written note added…. Interns sorted through the subs first and separated out those obviously done by little kids and, with help from my secretary Lynn and her assistant, responded. Assistant editors usually sorted the remaining subs and selected the proper form letter. Many didn't fall into a category covered by a form letter, and those got custom-made replies from assistants, art staff, editors or me. When a submission that was really outstanding turned up, it was shown to me. If I thought it merited special attention, I'd turn it over to John Romita or one of the editors to handle. I must have turned yours over to Carl, who was great with new talent. So was Milgrom. Owsley was great with writers, though few of those turned up. Hama was great, too. And John Romita, of course.

  67. ~P~

    Count me as yet another young hopeful, whom, after bleeding art and story on paper, I would swaddle my creations and send them "down the Nile" to the Marvel Submissions Office.

    In the mid 1980's I had sent in a few samples of "panel-by-panel continuity" (as the office called it) and always received some encouraging replies (even though they were rejections). They may have been signed by YOU, Jim.
    (I saved these letters for many years, but think they were lost in a relocation.)

    One time in the late 1980's, I sent in an original submission (an originally conceived horror story – no superheroes, just various types of architecture, creepy settings, and some nasty doings with top-hatted gentlemen, rabid dogs, rats, a burning castle and a vile succubus at the end).

    The reply that I later received in the mail was photocopies of practically the entire volumes of some of Andrew Loomis' books; "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" and another about film techniques and direction.

    The letter included in the packet told me that they thought that I had a lot of "very close, but not quite there yet" talent, and that I should cram on the pages of the photocopied volumes.

    While I would love to state that you were the correspondent, instead, the reply came from Carl Potts.

    The only other time I received such deep, encouraging replies was from Mike Friedrich, to whom I had sent samples after being told to do so by Norm Breyfogle,after his seeing my work.

    Neither venture led to any work, or any further contact past that point. Much of the blame falls upon my own shoulders, for not hammering out sample after sample (while striving to improve myself at each go-round).
    Truthfully, I felt that I didn't want to "make a nuisance of myself" and avoided trying to jam my foot in the door (which, I guess would have been the better way to go).

    Anyway, while I did manage to get a few independent comics under my belt (as writer and illustrator), the implosion of the 90's sort of shut the door on that.

    But, I will ALWAYS be grateful to ANYONE who takes the time to actually LOOK AT and REPLY TO (hopefully, with encouragement) the blood, sweat and tears of hopeful talents.

    These days, there are reality shows dedicated to trying to find the "next big thing" but when I was younger, no one wanted to even look at you.

    Thank you, Jim.
    And thanks to any like you who know what it's like to be on the outside looking in – waiting… waiting… for a chance.


  68. Anonymous


    Collecting them in a book? What could be more appropriate for a comics legend than to publish their memoir serialized?


  69. Marvel's submissions policy must have changed a little by the early 1990's. I was in art school at the time and I sent in some penciling samples and received a very nice rejection letter on some cool Spider-Man stationary. I still have it. I actually kind of prize it in a weird sort of way. It had been my dream since I was ten years old to become a comic artist for Marvel, and it was nice to know that someone had bothered to at least take the time to look at my artwork before rejecting it.

    I later took Will Eisner's class on "Cartooning and Sequential Art". (A great man and a great teacher, BTW). Around that time, I took some samples with me to a convention and got some very nice feedback from Karl Story and Jason Pearson. I really appreciated the effort they took to really talk to me and give me their feedback.

    I'm sure the people you wrote to very much appreciated that you took time to acknowledge their work as well. Not knowing if anyone ever even got your submission is worse than a rejection letter, believe me.

    I never did become a comic-book artist BTW, but it's probably for the best. Because, to be honest, I can't really think of one comic being published by Marvel or DC today that I'd even want to draw.

  70. DJ

    Years ago, I went to one of the only Comic Cons I've ever attended, down in Bristol (I live in Glasgow, Scotland). I had written up a Mr Mxyzptlk story, and a Wonder Woman Plot, plus I took some of my art samples. I never got up the courage to submit my story ideas, I wasn't sure of who to show them to anyway, but after much badgering from my friend, I joined a queue to show my art. It wasn't long, and it was fairly quick moving. There were two people looking over artwork, Mark Chiarello, and (I think) Mike Carlin (?). Mark Chiarello was most gracious and pleasant as he looked over my stuff, being positive about the good bits, and constructive about the bad, then he came to a story I had drawn in a Commando Book style – for the uninitiated, Commando comics are small 64 page B&W square bound 6×4 inch comics – the normal layout of these is two panels to a page. Mark was fascinated by this, and thought I was being very creative. Feeling guilty, I had to explain what a Commando Book was, and it's importance in the British comic scene. Mark seemed very interested, and attentive throughout my story, and at the end, he tapped the artwork, and asked who my influences were. Not expecting this I blurted out Kirby, and Ditko. He stood puzzled, looking at this almost photo realistic B&W art that I had done, then slowly closed the portfolio, and told me to stick at it (or words to that effect. I'd never heard of Mark Chiarello before, but always looked out for his work after that. I'll always remember his kindness, and the fact that he spent that amount of time with me, must have been close to fifteen minutes, and I returned home inspired to make my mark. Never did, too lazy.
    I imagine a letter encouraging you to keep trying would be just as inspiring, especially if it from a big name such as yourself Jim. Believe me, us little people (and I'm Six Foot, so it's not that often I get to say that) appreciate it.
    David J.

  71. Jim-

    No matter what anyone says about you or your Marvel reign, I tell them this tale:

    I sent you my (terrible) X-MEN pencil samples in the summer of 1985. I also committed the unspeakable sin of sending my originals. Both to you and to whomever was the sub boss at DC.

    You took time to not only send my originals back, but wrote a custom (and very encouraging) note to me, telling me the samples were "not quite up to snuff," and to hang in there. You took time from your busy day to do that.

    DC did not.

    I heard a few years ago, from Joe Rubinstein, that Marvel was using my submissions for protective filler in packages. I stopped really sending stuff these past few years. Sigh.

    Best to you!

    Al Bigley


  72. Anonymous

    I received one of those form letters at the age of 10 (summer '81), along with a two sentence hand-written note that amounted to "you've got a lot of promise, keep trying." I think it was signed Jim Shooter. My submission was just plain awful – only just above crayon-on-paper-bag – but that reply kept my interest in art and comics going through some rough times.

  73. Anonymous

    A project I undertook, nearly 20 years ago, was to rip out a Bullpen Bulletin out of my most under-appreciated Marvel Comic from each month of your reign as EIC. Stapled together, they told the tale of a vibrant comic company, who's creators were every bit a character as those they created (I especially remember enjoying Bob Layton stealing control of the Bulletin). I wish Marvel would produce a Jim Shooter's Bullpen Bulletins Omnibus, or have you reprint them here.
    Not to be too nerdy, I just felt as a thirteen year old, that Marvel wasn't speaking down to me. The excitement I felt reading these stories seemed to emerge from an excitement from the creators. Grant Morrison seems to exude this energy, others today seem to be more interested in being clever. I dunno..
    Wacky Wally

  74. When I was a lad of about 16 (1980?) I sent samples into Marvel and got a rejection letter. It started out "John Romita asked me to reply to your submission . . " and the rest was form letter. That's more than I was expecting, honestly.

    Jim Shooter really is a nice guy.

  75. Actually responding personally to submissions is quite a change from their current method of "we don't want to see it. Don't send it. Don't even talk to us. Oh, but *do* be sure to spend your money on the crap we churn out endlessly." 🙂

  76. Dear Colin,

    Thanks. A book? Maybe someday.

  77. VALIANT stories coming soon.

  78. Good, we wouldn't want you to become a "typer", as so many are.

  79. Dear Marc,

    I returned originals with my letters and discarded photocopies, unless I had marked them up with comments.

    I can't think much faster than I can two-finger type anyway, so…. : )

  80. Mr Shooter,

    I apologise if this has been asked before (I try but don't always get time to read all the comments), or indeed if its out of place to ask but I really enjoy your blog and the wonderful behind the scenes nosey into a world I have great interest in. I mean really enjoy it.

    Okay so buttering up aside what I was wondering is whether you have, have had, or could have plans to organise all these great stories into a book. A definitive, if singular perspective, on your time in comics. As individual stories they make wonderful reading, as a collected biography they would be dynamite.

    Not sure of the market for such things but I've read enough slightly lifeless looks into comics history to believe yours would surely add something a bit more compelling to the mix? Heck if nowt else I'd buy one…

    Regardless thanks for all the great reading both in the comics and here.



  81. The respect that you have for those folks who packed their best efforts into manila envelopes and sent them off to the home of their hopes and dreams was always apparent to me when I would bring my portfolio to conventions for review.

    A lot of times, you'd wait forever in a portfolio review line for Marvel or DC, and at best they'd glance at your work and politely blow you off. An in-person version of a form letter, basically.

    Shooter, on the other hand, would actually look at your work, and give it to you straight. At Valiant, Defiant, and Broadway (and even beyond that)– this guy would give you an honest, insightful critique– and it wasn't sugarcoated, either.

    I know that I am a better artist today because of the advice that you gave me. So thanks, on behalf of all the artists that you responded to when you didn't have to.

  82. Dear Rick,

    In Pittsburgh, at my parents' house or at my girlfriend's place. If necessary I had them laundered at the cleaner which also offered laundry service and gave them back ironed on hangers. Not too expensive, surprisingly, in NYC.

  83. Dear Tom,

    I don't remember the name of the street, but I remember the ice cream trucks. Pontiac Street could be right. I moved out in late 1976 or early 1977 and got my own place in Queens Village near the intersection of Hillside and Francis Lewis. I'm not sure when Dave (and Paty) left that address. Two or three years later, maybe.

  84. Dear Jim,

    Wow, about ten years after you sent in your submission, you chose to be in Weisinger's shoes, evaluating submissions. Full circle!

    Your handwritten letters must have really brightened the days of their recipients. I feel sorry for all the folks who sent submissions that were unanswered and discarded. Did you mail back their submissions along with your comments?

    Marvel currently does not accept unsolicited submissions. Did such a policy start while you worked there?

    Thanks for all the details concerning housing in NYC. I've never lived in a big city and didn't realize how difficult it would be to move to one. I've stayed in group rooms in a youth hostel in Washington, DC, so I imagine the YMCA room as being similar but private.

    Jerry Ordway's early fan work was published alongside one page of your "Falcon, Knight of the Quest" from 1967 in Fandom's Finest Comics #1. He's come a long, uh, way!

    A shame there isn't more of "Falcon." It looks as if you were creating fantasy adventure comics three years before Marvel's adaptation of Conan!

    Dear Sanjiv,

    If Jim could touch type, he could write scripts for two comics universes simultaneously!

    I used to type with two fingers too. After a while, I got a sense of where the keys were so I could sort of touch type.

  85. Anonymous

    By the way, Jim, if the room at the Y was so cramped, where did you iron your shirts? I'm not kidding with this question. I haven't ironed in decades, but that's because I hang my shirts as soon as they come out of the dryer.

    –Rick Dee

  86. The cover came from Nova (vol.3) #8, which would've come out December 1999, except the series was cancelled at #7.

  87. Sanjiv Purba

    I'm surprised to hear that you can't type!(the two finger jabbing isn't typing) Your output is substantial as it is. Imagine what it would be if you took a typing course!!

  88. Anonymous

    Hi, Jim. Long time reader, first time poster. Is there any chance you can share with us some stuff about your work at Valiant Comics? Thanks in advance!

  89. Anonymous

    Hi backatcha, JayJay.

    No wonder I was so confused.

    Cheers, all.
    –Rick Dee

  90. tom

    I grew up in Bellerose, NY. I had a paper route on the block where the ice cream trucks were parked probably around 1980. I wonder if I delivered Newsday to you or Cockram? Pontiac Street, if I recall?

  91. Hi Rick,

    That's just some random cover I found, but I liked it and I thought the inking was very nice, so I used it.

  92. Actually I can relate. Every time Mr. Shooter responds to one of my comment I feel like I'm being talked to by God himself.

  93. Anonymous

    Dear Jim:

    When was this cover done? From the Erik Larsen signature, it must've been after the mid-80s. At first glance, I'd say the hands are too big and the arms too long. Maybe it's just the size of the picture.

    –Rick Dee

  94. Nice story. When in Manhattan I stay at the Y on W 63rd. Nice place…tiny rooms and the roaches only come out at night.

  95. That's a great ending to the submission story. Pittsburgh breeds a unique class of civic virtue. (Pittsburgh expat since 2001)

  96. I attended the Ramapo cons every year as a kid. Such a terrific show. It still sets the bar for me. I met you, Jim, during your Valiant days at one. Good memories.

  97. Anonymous

    I still remember heading out to New York to try and break in at Marvel in the mid 80's. My buddy Don Drake made it into your intern program, he loved you, but I wasn't heartbroken that I didn't make it. I hated New York and couldn't imagine living there but I got to talk to John Romita on the phone when I came back home, he actually called me to tell me that I still needed some work but there was something in my art he liked. That was good enough for me!

    Frank S.

  98. Jerry Ordway – one of the best inkers around. Thanks for showing us this, Jim!

  99. Anonymous

    Very cool. It must be very gratifying to know that your encouragement helped develop such a talented artist.

    John Harris

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