Unique Marvel UK Death’s Head art by Walt Simonson goes under the hammer this week

Coming up for auction on Heritage Auctions this Wednesday is Walt Simonson‘s Death’s Head cover for Marvel UK’s STRIP Issue 20, the line work believed to have been coloured by John Burns (not to be confused with artist John Michael Burns).

This original is painted over a print of Walt’s line work.

Strip was a fortnightly anthology aimed at older readers and containing highly-regarded content, including “Marshal Law“, “The Chronicles of Genghis Grimtoad” and “Death’s Head“.

Many of the strips that featured were creator owned, including “The Man from Cancer” by Glen Dakin and Phil Elliott (you can read a feature on this strip by Luke Williams here on downthetubes) and a number of strips Dan considered for limited mini series, including “Rourke of the Radlands” which I co-created with Green Lantern and Wonder Woman artist Liam Sharp.

“When Simon Furman and I were in New York in 1987 (or 88), Tom DeFalco offered to take us to a Broadway play (starring Judd Hirsch and Cleavon Little) and said we could invite any American creators we wanted to meet,” recalls former MUK Editor in Chief Richard Starkings of the cover’s origins. “We picked Walt and Weezie [Louise Simonson] and they joined us for dinner and the show.

“A little later I reached out to Walt to draw the cover of Death’s Head #9, which featured the Thing. Walt later featured Death’s Head as an agent of the Time Variance Authority in his Fantastic Four run and Simon (or Steve White) reached out to him again for this piece about a year later.”

You can bid on this rare STRIP cover art by Walt Simonson here on Heritage Auctions

UPDATE Friday 10th September 2021 – this art sold for $552 (£399)

With thanks to David Roach for highlighting this, Richard Starkings for information, and Walt Simonson for drawing the art!

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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