I had a lunch meeting with my ex-Batman Adventures editor, Scott Peterson, while visiting NYC in April ’93 (during the period when I was illustrating this comic). He advised me that it might further my career to imitate more popular artists, such as Neal Adams and Bernie Wrightson. I informed Scott that I was profoundly influenced by Neal Adams; I just don’t imitate his surface mannerisms or his reflexive character design stereotypes. It’s the same with Kirby.
At the same time I was studying Jack Kirby’s art as I never had. What I was trying to do was take Kirby to the next level: what if Kirby took the time to design different faces and body types instead of re-using the basic 3 or 4 templates (for each gender)? What if Kirby occasionally practiced life-drawing, sketched the people and settings of the world around him, not just pulling from his memory and (boundless) imagination? (I was really jazzed to see the publication of his early 70’s work on the abortive “Soul Love” and “True Divorce Cases” in Jack Kirby Collector #23 where he drew real people doing real things, relatively speaking) What if Kirby studied Alex Toth’s graphic design style and Milt Caniff’s inking technique? Then, I suppose, he’d be ME and not Jack Kirby.
This is page 17 for "The Mark" issue 2, volume 2, otherwise known as "The Mark In America", published by Dark Horse Comics in January 1994. Written by Mike Barr, drawn by Brad Rader.