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Todd McFarlane's Quasar #14 Original Cover & Thoughts

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Posted by: Matt McGloin, Editor/Publisher
created 04/14/2014 - 7:06am, updated 04/14/2014 - 7:08am

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One of my all-time favorite Quasar covers is Todd McFarlane's #14 which depicts Wendell in cosmic action.

I remember getting this, and at the time, I didn't even know who Todd McFarlane was or his work on Spider-Man or Hulk.

Great cover.

Todd took to his Facebook page stating that he found the original art work, and he also gives his thoughts behind it.

Check it out!

ORIGINAL ARTWORK FROM MY MARVEL COMICS DAYS!

I was cleaning up my office today after getting home from playing baseball, not softball, baseball (had a single, triple and four runs scored). As I was going through some of the boxes I ran across some old original artwork from my days of drawing for Marvel Comics. I will be showing some of those pieces in the coming weeks as well as walking you through some of the process of why that particular page/cover came to be. I'll be showing some Spider-Man artwork, The Incredible Hulk pages and some various other images I came across.

I will even show you some of the rejection letters I received while I was in college trying to break into the comic book industry. 

The artwork you see below was from a comic titled Quasar. He was a relatively unknown character, whose book was selling below average compared to some of the mainstay character's titles. In an effort to help prop up sales for this book, the editor at the time was asking around to see if anyone wanted to help pitch in a cover. The idea was that maybe if a string of artists would do some of the covers that would help spark things on the sales end. Since I had a good relationship with the editor (a gentleman named Mark Gruenwald), I said "Sure, why not!" This piece was done in the middle of my run on The Amazing Spider-Man comic so I asked if I could just make some high octane looking cover. To which Mr. Gruenwald said "Have as much fun on it as you want."

So here was my thinking...

The book and character were very average, I thought. when I looked at the book, there didn't seem to be a lot of BIG action or ENERGY on the pages. In fact, I remember noticing that there were a bunch of small panels on every page and it limited the idea of a guy out in the infinite area called space. I mean if you're going to be out in space why not open it up a little (ask George Lucas how that little story of Star Wars worked out). So the concept I wanted to tackle was this Quasar dude flying through the cosmos at a million miles an hour, like a meteor, with his power amulets crackling with Jack Kirby like energy effects, with space and planets way off in the distance. Though in the final coloring of the piece they made space purple not black. An odd choice I thought.

The last piece was to add the face in the bottom right of the page, which was the villain of that issue. I had basically drawn this cover to be as cool as possible , then figured out how to add the continuity of the book in later. Not the best approach, but in this case it worked out well. When I handed the cover in the editor called me and said he was actually surprised that someone could make this character this exciting. A few covers later with other artists on them help show people that no matter who the character is you can always find a way to make them exciting (ask Frank Miller about the villain Bullseye from Daredevil.

The other images are just close ups of the art so that you can see some of the detail of the page. At my end, I was always proud of this piece because it forced me have to think about how I could add something to a character I knew little about, and I only had one shot/picture to let it all out.

Enjoy. TODD

P.S.- To answer the question to my previous post: YES! Stan Lee is a super hero with REAL super powers. Here's how I know...usually I work really hard to do a post here that is seen by over 100,000 people. But my last post barely passed that mark when Stan, himself decided to share it with his followers. And BOOM! in the matter of an hour my post jumped up to 250,000 views and is now at just over 400,000. And all because Stan told folks to take a look. I am going to call that super mutation skill the PIED PIPER POWER. Thanks, Stan

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