Quick Links: Fallen Angels, Gone to Amerikay, Orbiter
Comic Book Resources takes a look at my never-published Fallen Angels miniseries from Marvel! This 1980’s era project was to be a four issue, maxi series. I think each book was 48 pages. I am sure Allan Harvey will pop in and add details, because after all these years, they escape me. Someone in the comments thread postulates that deadline problems must have killed the book.
Heck, no. It wasn’t even on the schedule, and I waited nearly six months for script approval on issue 3 before I could start drawing. I drew one page of that issue, and the book was killed. And for crying out loud, that book was my bread and butter. There was no way I would delay turning in pages on that thing to kick back, lounge on the beach, and eat bon bons. I know some folks in fandom think we pros are just rolling in dough and crank this stuff out on weekends for kicks, but get some context, people.
Adult content that slipped by the initial editorial review killed the project.
The story was about child exploitation and child prostitution. One of the boy prostitutes got AIDS. Pretty extreme stuff for comics in 1988.
What the article doesn’t get into is that a major character named Pan was also to have been the focus of sexual interest from his father, that his father and mother were into S&M, and his father also had a rather intense interest in animals. As in furry love.
I hope I never have to draw another comic book panel which features a character looking intently at a horse’s rear end. (EDIT: I take it back. You will not believe some of the stuff I drew in Warren Ellis’s Stealth Tribes. Stealth Tribes is intended for grown-ups and very well written. Even if it’s pervy. About 20 pages left to ink on that one, so you’ll just have to wait to see how pervy.)
Actually, there are several panels like this, juxtaposed with pics of dear old dad looking at his kid. It’s kind of ick.
In this scene, Junior finds riding gear in mom and dad’s bedroom drawer. Get it? Passionate horse gazing cut to riding gear in the boudoir?
Anyway, this must have slipped by on first read, because when editor Bob Harras got a look at the finished art, he had a fit of apoplexy and wanted a rewrite. The writer refused. She later told me they never told her what to rewrite, but I didn’t buy that. It was pretty obvious what needed a rewrite. Bob called me up and asked me if I would stick with the book if Marvel dumped the writer. I said no. This was dumb, because Marvel scuttled the book. Something I never expected. It was an alien concept to my old small press self to toss $50,000 worth of work because about 10 pages of script make people feel funny.
And if you thought reading it made the editor feel funny, you should have seen me drawing it.
Anyway, at the time, I was PO’d, but Marvel was well within their rights and I was paid in full for my work. So no hard feelings, and I mean it. Meh. Stuff happens.
Bob Harras later made it a point to scare up work for me elsewhere, which was cool of him, but Fallen Angels set my career back a bit.
Years later, Keith Giffen got a look at the art and came up with a brilliant rewrite idea. He took it to Joe Quesada, but The Master of Marvel didn’t go for it. Bummer.
A few pages of art are at the link.
Over here, a big interview with writer Derek McCulloch, where he says nice things about Gone to Amerikay, the graphic novel we are working on for Vertigo.
Derek said they cut the part where he referred to me as “coruscant”, which I had to go look up. And now that I have, I approve.
Smart people choose the graphic novel Orbiter for academic study.
And because I am shallow, enjoy this look at the Ten Greatest All-Nude Fight Scenes in Comics. Some of them feature Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne.
This stuff used to sail past me as a kid. As an adult, I can’t overlook the subtext.
Am I a bad person?
Maybe kids reading Fallen Angels would have missed the subtext of dear old dad looking intently at a horse’s ass, but I doubt it.
Fallen Angels © ® Marvel Comics