One of my earliest ambitions as an artist, probably based on the fact that most of my earliest influences were from comic books, was to be a comic book artist. I was still planning on making that my life’s work as late as post-college and halfway through my stint as a graphic artist in the eighties. I went so far as to send samples of my work to Marvel comics in the early eighties, and got back encouraging “thanks but no thanks” rejection slips.
Sometime around 1984, after a trip to California, I got it in my head to co-produce a comic book with my brother, Tom, who was going to school in LA to become a writer. We had, as a concept, a hard boiled detective, totally out of touch with modern times with a slightly tongue in cheek sense of humor, some science fiction elements, and titled it “Steve Cobra, Private Eye”. We managed to get two issues completed, and were about halfway through a third when the project kind of petered out. We never got as far as publishing it, and the original artwork was ruined by a cat with urinary problems. I had enlisted a friend from college to help with the lettering, and she may yet have photocopies of the first issue, which I may share someday, but frankly, I imagine they were pretty amateurish and sophomoric.
Our working process was kind of strange, as we would discuss a rough outline of where the story would go, then I would rough out the sketches for the entire book, mail it to my brother in California, where he would write all the text and dialog, send it back, then go to finishes and lettering. These two samples shown here are sketches made sometime around 2008 or 2009, in a moment of nostalgia for this lost piece of history.