- Were you in NY when you did this cover?
- What else was happening at Marval at the time?
- Who did you work with on this issue?
- What kind of team were The Defenders... for those of use that mostly know about the X-Men, FF, Avengers, Alpha Flight, and X-Force.
- This is pretty diverse cover: man, woman, animal beast, alien beast... was it hard making it all "work?"
Carl Potts was the editor on the Defenders book, a buddy from our days at Neal Adams' Continuity Studios, and if I recall correctly, he pretty much gave me free rein on the cover, letting me do a "symbolic" representation of the group. That is, the scene I came up with didn't have to depict any actual event in the issue.
Even by superhero standards, the Defenders was a weird-ass group. I could never get a read on that book (though, yes, it might have helped if I had actually read any of the stories.) The original creators took the most unlikely characters and tossed them into the same title. And the composition of the group seemed to change with mind-spinning regularity. Fortunately, I was under no pressure to include all the team members on the cover and so I cherry-picked, selecting the ones I thought would work well together visually.
Alan Weiss did another stellar job inking my pencils and I colored it, as I did all my covers.
Years later, a fan commissioned me to do a recreation of the cover. This practice might sound odd to the uninitiated, but fans who missed out on buying the original of a favorite cover sometimes hire the artist to "recreate" the work for them. I have mix feeling about this idea. On the one hand, redrawing a piece gives you the chance to work out all the annoying flubs you committed the first time round. On the other hand, given my propensity for spending an absurd amount of time worrying about minutia, reworking a piece until I get it right isn't a good idea. When I'm at the board sometimes, late at night, I imagine myself some retched character from an Edgar Allan Poe story, neurotically reworking details no one will ever notice on a drawing that'll never be finished.
Though I did improve some of the drawing in the recreated version of this cover, my preference is for the original, largely cause Alan's inks are just so gritty and rich with texture.
Defenders #124-related images from Sandy's archive are below