Saturday, 31 December 2011

Approved by the Cosmic Code

I've just found a proof that designer, John Tomlinson had signed for me back in the day. As for which day, I can't seem to be able to find a reference to it anywhere online. Whether it was a test proof I just can't remember. It's American comic-book size but I can't imagine it being published with an 'Approved by the Cosmic Code Authority' stamp on it. I'll have to check with Mr Tomlinson and add an update. Perhaps it's more scarce than I thought!

UPDATE: John Tomlinson solves the mystery...

Wotcha Steve –

The proof is a one-off and was the result of a plot by Richard Starkings and myself to persuade the Marvel US editor-in-chief at the time, Jim Shooter, to release Captain Britain (then a Marvel UK monthly) in the States. It wasn't intended for publication – I cobbled it together in US size and format using existing Captain Britain artwork by Alan Davis. Richard supplied the 'IN HIS OWN FULL COLOUR COMIC AT LAST!' caption. Mr. Shooter regarded the proof with polite interest and no detectable display of enthusiasm (maybe we should have spelled it COLOR), and that was the end of that. Or at least, it was until 1987 when the Captain actually did debut in the US with Excalibur, the X-Men spinoff by Alan Davis and Chris Claremont. So we hadn't been the only ones trying to crack the States. The 2008 copyright line is a mystery though. I can only assume it was an in-joke – you know, like 'maybe in 2008, eh? >SNORK!<'. A pointless and terrible gag to be sure, but the most likely explanation. In 1988 Richard edited and designed a full colour Captain Britain trade paperback, collecting the UK stories and featuring an original Alan Davis cover that bore a more than passing resemblance to the proof (see above). I'd like to think it wasn't coincidence! Great to see it again anyway.

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