The fifth grade academic enrichment program at Eaton Elementary School was outstanding. At least it was for me. Whenever I would finish whatever assignment was at hand, I was told I could go get a piece of paper and draw. And what I would draw were cartoons. Cartoons about various action heroes, and chief among those heroes was an outer space swashbuckler named Starbuck Jones. He was part of a clutch of characters that I created back then, but he was always my favorite. I even created a little comic book publisher for these heroes called Batom Comics.
Several years ago I had a story arc rolling out in Funky about Funky’s son Cory who was deployed in Afghanistan. I had done a story about Cory’s experiences as a soldier, and, as I was about to revisit the thread, I was looking to do something different. I wanted to do a homeland story. I wanted to deal with the tensions and apprehensions for those left behind, but I didn’t want it to be a relentlessly dark story. My way of bringing light into it was to have Cory’s mother Holly complete a run of one of Corey’s favorite comics. I’d need about seven comic book covers for her to seek out, and, not wishing to become intimate with the lawyers from Marvel or DC comics, I time frogged back to my own creation from the fifth grade, Starbuck Jones. In order to simulate the real experience, I decided to reach out to friends and heroes of mine from the ranks of the pros who actually create comic books and have them create the covers for me. With the likes of (in order of appearance) Joe Staton, Ron Frenz, Bob Layton, Norm Breyfogle, Neil Vokes, Michael Gilbert, Terry Austin and Michael Golden on board, the result was a clutch of amazingly fun and stellar covers. Holly chased the covers through the likes of Nick the Geek to Chester the Chiseler Hagglemore, eventually scoring the penultimate comic a San Diego Comic-Con International, and the final one at Tony Isabella’s Garage Con.
These are the covers that make up the Komix Korner covers that you’ll find here. You’ll also see some of the cover roughs that led to the finished piece, and I’ll even include some of the of the ‘early’ fifth grade strips that led to it all. When all was said and done, the covers were auctioned off to benefit of the Lisa’s Legacy Fund for Cancer Research that was established with University Hospitals of Cleveland following the publication of Lisa’s Story. Up first in my next post will be the cover created by Joe Staton. I hope you have as much fun with these covers as I did coming up with them.