It is with great pride that I share this rare gem from my childhood, which I recently unearthed on a trip back to my parents’ house in Georgia: “The Gathering of the C-Men” Issue #1!
This comic that I made circa 1991 has all kinds of CRAZY stuff going on in it and is, after a considered rereading, actually pretty brilliant in it’s total lack of ability, restraint, and… well… sense.
Obviously this cover is intended to correct a problem with the X-Men comics I was reading at the time, which never explicitly spelled out exactly what the “X” stood for. Just so everyone’s clear, the caption reads “With Spider-Mitch, Samclops, and More!” which is a funny bit of marketing because I clearly knew that Spider-Mitch and Samclops would not be enough to carry the book on their own, but I hadn’t yet come up with a name for the the other fellow that’s in the Good Witch of the East bubble. Also, it’s a wonder that a comic made of torn out sheets of spiral notebook paper managed to hold together all these years with only SIX STAPLES in it.
Page one! Three intrepid explorers enter a patriotic, but otherwise nondescript rocket!
Page two: Yowza! Suddenly that rocket is a lot more descript, eh? Our astronauts seemed to be headed toward a small heavenly body or distant orifice – maybe the Moon?
Note the deft use of scale to communicate how quickly the rocket is approaching the moon and the moons massive size. Totally intentional.
What do explosions look like again? Scribbly circles? I’ll just do scribbly circles.
It took me a minute, but I finally realized that the curved line in the background is supposed to be the Moon or whatever planet they crashed on — because that’s the way you establish a sense of fucking place, kids. Two more amazing things about this page. First, I love that he says his Sam-clops power “is back” like we’re supposed to know from the preceding pages that this is a guy (apparenlty made of Play-Dough and only wearing boots and gloves) who used to have eye-beam powers, but somehow lost them and now, because his rocket ship crashed into this space ovum, he has them again. The other thing is that my lifelong friend Sam is one of the five people who reads this site regularly and I hope he gets a kick out of this.
Seem to be
Eat your goddamn heart out T.S. Eliot. Check out the way that the one dude learns to back flip — the motion lines make it look like two guys are tossing two smaller guys back and forth or something. Plus, even I don’t know what’s up with that random floating orb.
The “speed lines” intended to make it look like this guy is flying instead look like parentheses.
Lucky they found those pedestals with their names on them; now we know the third guy’s name is Air Elliot.
And who is this joker? How the hell did “Stretchy Jose” end up on this planet or whatever? You can also see a pretty classic example of my lazy art style here, in the way that Spider-Mitch is simply leaning his head into frame so I won’t have draw his whole body and all the little webs on it.
Because why the fuck not? AN EGG. They’re easy to draw, right?
And that’s it — action scenes, no follow up on our protagonists. It ends with a badly misspelled “Mork and Mindy” reference. It’s a story of rebirth I guess.
NIEC to meet you.