Once upon a time, a top level editor at DC Comics didn’t like my work. He’s not there anymore.

But when he was there, my work was declared girly, inkers were ordered to make my art look more masculine, and any stray signs of estrogen were rejected outright. Including an entire issue of The Legion of Superheroes I was to write and draw (story approved, art killed in progress,) and this rejected cover art for the Wonder Woman: The Once and Future Story graphic novel, circa 1998.

I was so certain of my cover design, I did this super-tight comp thinking I’d get straight approval and go right to finals. Instead, this was summarily dismissed, and another cover design ordered, something more butch. I was allowed to do a painting, which was then rejected, and replaced with an inked version of the alternate cover drawing. (The editor credited on the book is not the editor I mean here. A higher up guy. And now gone. Neener neener.)

Anyway, shop and compare.

This was the cover painting I did after, which was also not used. This is flawed work, to be fair. For obvious reasons, it was a rush job. And I was told to try making it look more like Alex Ross. I failed miserably. (OK, I think the headshot looks nice.)

And this, the final cover.

No offense, but I’m not thinking either revamps are an improvement over the first version.

For the record, since this editor has not had any influence over my destiny at a comics publisher, it’s been smooth going, my beloveds. And I get to ink my own work now.

Anyway, Wonder Woman: the Once and Future Story by Trina Robbins was a wonderful tale, and since it involves an ancient Irish version of the Wonder Woman legend, I simply must mention my upcoming graphic novel for Vertigo, Gone to Amerikay, written by Derek McCulloch, a story of Irish immigration.

For those who complain that there are no positive, female-centric superhero tales, this is highly recommended. Wonder Woman confronts the problem of spousal abuse. You can get copies of this book at very reasonable prices. Hope you’ll check it out.

Also, click on the WONDER WOMAN tab for more of my art from this book, and some of my conceptual art for Wonder Woman as well.

The original Wonder Woman cover drawing is now for sale in my ebay shop. Seems strange to have put it away long ago as a failure. Because it looks good to me, now.