- Had you done work for DC prior to this?
- Were you still in NY when you did this?
- Were you a fan of the Spectre?
- Do you recall if you did a lot of sketches for this?
- Were you trying to convey any particular 'message' with the art?
I'd done some work for DC before I got a call to do this cover. Neal Adams helped get me my first job for the company. He had this deal with them -- if they gave a script to an aspiring artist he thought had promise, he would ink the resulting pencils, thus guaranteeing that even if the guy turned out not so promising, Neal would save the job with his inks.
I think I had moved to Ohio by the time I'd received the assignment and never did meet the editor. We didn't establish the best of relationships but I don't remember the reason for the friction. Deadline issues? Quality? What I do remember is this: a couple days after the cover hit the stands, I got a phone a call. Picked up the receiver and a very distinctive voice came through the other end, "Hi, this is Harlan Ellison."
Fans of science fiction of the late 60's through the 80's will recognize that name as a preeminent writer and media critic of the time. He was/is a tremendous fan of Golden Age characters and wanted to buy the original. I happily obliged. And thus, whatever the editor thought about the cover, I was feeling pretty smug, having received validation from such a esteemed fan favorite.
I did a fair number of roughs before I managed to come up with something that expressed what I felt was the intrinsic nature of the character- an awful (in the biblical sense) instrument of divine judgement and retribution.
Spectre Vol 3 #3-related images from Sandy's archive are below