Monday, May 19, 2008

Quasar Issue 10

I have decided that wuld do somehing here on the blog that I haven't done before and post the pencils for an entire issue of a comic I've drawn. In this case i came across the copies of the pencils for Quasar #10, which I drew I think in late 1989 or early 1990. Quasar was my first regular series as a penciler for Marvel, written by the late Mark Gruewald and edited by Howard Mackie.
I have to say I wasn't a big fan of the book, or the character, but I was a big fan of working regularly and so I dived at the chance to pencil the book. I was totally unaware of the character's history and all of that, but could see he was sort of like Green Lantern in that he could use his powerbands to create props or tools, force shields etc. hw also had the duel identity thing, sort of like Clark Kent, he even wore glasses. In fact the whole concept seemed more DC than Marvel.
I had recently moved bac to Philly after sharing Al Williamson's studio up in Honesdale, PA along with my best buddy Bret Blevins. I was hoping that this series would lead to more exciting assignments at Marvel as well.
It's funny when I think back about how different the business was then, pre-speculator-boom. It was less pressure and more fun, but already the tide was turning with guys like Liefeld coming in and what that started to do with the line that once seperated what was clearly fan level work and what was professional level work. In the coming months and the next 2-3 years it really was a earthquake in the entire business and it effected everyone who worked in it. I knew almost from the start that Quasar was a book that nobody would really think was hot, or care about, and in fact as I went along that became very apparent for some of the reasons I stated above.

Looking back at this work I like some of it and can see plenty of shortfalls to, but I was averaging 2 pages a day, sometimes 3 in order to stay on that monthly schedule as I was also inking Alpha Flight at the same time for Carl Potts office. Having spent some time basking in the glow of Al's studio, his work and amazing collection of classic comic and comic strip art my work really had a more traditional or classic feel and that was what I was really loving at that time and I see that so clearly on these pages now.

More tomorrow!


Alan said...

This is what I love about this blog: variety - all kinds of different stuff is posted here. Always interesting.

ljamal said...

Are you bad-mouthing Quasar?
That was one of my favorite books. I always hated the fact that the covers weren't by the interior artist and never realized that you were the interior artist during my favorite run of the book. I remember especially hating the cover by the Mignola guy.

Mike Manley said...

Yeah I guess I was kinda' pooping on Q-man a bit.

The covers being done by the other artists was a way to try and boost sales by the editor as the tide had turned and sales were declining issue to issue. I altered my drawing style too, to no avail. Some characters are just not going to be popular.

the worst cover was the McFarland one...good god! That was awful! I thought well, if I can't do them, at least Mike's cover was kinda' cool. But I never liked not doing the covers.