J Michael Straczynski’s gorgeous kitty Buddy was the model for Mystery the Cat in The Book of Lost Souls, a graphic novel I illustrated for Joe at Marvel’s Icon line.

This is one of my favorite covers ever, and I can’t think why we weren’t allowed to make t-shirts of this.

I sold the original art and now regret it. I absolutely loved this cover. At least it went to a very appreciative home!

Joe uploaded a gallery of photos of Buddy, and posted the story of the kitty rescue here:

When I looked down the vertical tube, which had somehow lost its cap, I saw a kitten, maybe 4 weeks old, two-thirds of the way down the tube, where it had fallen. I reacted instantly and reached in to grab the kitten, shoving my arm into the tube as far as I could reach…and I could just barely touch fur. I tried to pull my arm back for another try…and found that I was stuck. Badly.

I believe Book of Lost Souls is out of print, but you can buy it in new condition it at Amazon from resellers at very reasonable prices. I guess I’d better get a couple for my archives!