In the Fall of 2013, I needed some comic book covers for a story arc I was writing and I didn’t want to use any actual covers. So I reached back to when I was in the fifth grade and a character I created then called Starbuck Jones. He was a space opera, blood and thunder-picaresque hero whose exploits I recounted in primitive, but heartfelt cartoons of my own at the time.
I wanted these new faux covers to look like actual comic book covers, so I thought, why not commission some covers from comic book pros who I admired. It was at an Akron Comicon that I approached Joe Staton about doing the first cover, and I couldn’t have made a better call. He really got into the spirit of things. Not only did he create a terrific cover, but he created the look of Starbuck Jones as well as his Star Wars inspired logo along with a couple of sidekicks – a robot and a little blue furry creature. And they were all perfect!
In creating all of this, Joe basically teed things up for every other artist that I would eventually approach. Joe was so wonderful to work with that we even engineered a crossover between Funky Winkerbean and Dick Tracy, the strip he was working on at the time. Working with Joe also opened the door a lot of fun that would be even better than I had imagined
As an added bonus, here’s my original fifth-grade version of Starbuck Jones.