Get Your Pens Ready, yes? Draw Death’s Head Day is Coming!

Coming up this week, on Tuesday 22nd March 2022, is Draw Death’s Head Day – your chance to celebrate Marvel UK’s robot bounty hunter (or rather, as he calls himself, a “freelance peace-keeping agent”) – and wish his co-creator, ace writer Simon Furman, a Happy Birthday, too!

Marvel fans worldwide are encouraged to post your drawing of the character on social media and tag it #DrawDeathsHeadDay.

It’s a fun celebration of the character, “born” 35 years ago this year, who started out as a giant-sized bounty hunter that killed Transformers (Transformers UK #113, cover dated 16th May 1987, drawn by Geoff Senior), crossed paths with The Doctor (Doctor Who Magazine #135, April 1988) and got shrunk to human size; and got his own series, Marvel UK establishing their ownership of the character with a one-page strip, “High Noon Tex”, drawn by Bryan Hitch.

Death’s Head’s first appearance in “High Noon Tex”, a strip published in a number of Marvel UK titles in the 1980s, written by Simon Furman, drawn by Bryan Hitch

Since then, he’s gone on to have many adventures, making appearances in several Marvel US comics, including Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, S.W.O.R.D., written by Kieron Gillen, and the final issue of Captain Britain and MI13, written by Paul Cornell.

Art by Alies Meerman

More recently, in 2019, Marvel published Death’s Head: Clone Drive, a four-part miniseries by Tini Howard and Kei Zama, where he met the Young Avengers.

He was also reworked as Death’s Head II, created by Paul Neary, Liam Sharp and Dan Abnett, as part of the Marvel UK Genesis 1992 project, this iteration considered a different character entirely by Simon Furman. The huge sales of Death’s Head II titles – a revamp Marvel UK pushed ahead with, despite being advised robot characters didn’t sell, by unnamed Marvel US editors, according to Neary – led to other “Death” characters, which unfortunately quickly diluted the revamp success.

Celebrate 35 Years of Death’s Head!

Former Marvel UK editor Richard Starkings has already gotten this year’s celebrations moving with a post featuring a mind bending Marvel cover from a parallel universe.

“Many of you won’t remember Death’s Head’s first appearance in #DAREDEVIL waaayyy back…” he told his followers., “even Simon might not remember it! Look it up! #drawdeathsheadday”

To help you gear up for #drawdeathsheadday, Simon Furman has been posting some highlights of Death’s Head’s colourful life, including the tidbit that he was not intended to survive his first storyline, effectively a spaghetti western in space – he was just a stock ‘bounty-hunter’ character in the vein of Lee Van Cleef!

“DH’s verbal tics (yes? eh?) were added after we saw Geoff Senior’s art, in a re-dialogue pass,” he also told followers last week. “We knew he was going to be more than more than meets the eye, yes?”

Death’s Head #9 – cover by Walt Simonson and Mark Farmer

Simon also happily shared the fact that when Death’s Head #1 was published the Marvel UK editorial office received a letter from Stan (The Man) Lee, praising it. “I have dined out on that ever since,” he enthuses. And why the heck not, yes?

• Post your Death’s Head art to social media and tag it #DrawDeathsHeadDay | Register your interest on the Draw Death’s Head Day 2022 Event Page | Have fun, yes?

Follow Simon Furman on Twitter

#DrawDeathsHeadDay 2022

Here are just some of the artworks posted

Death's Head by Jim Stafford, who offers Simon Furman a big happy birthday, "along with thanks for getting me into comics 36 years ago. You owe me about £15,000 by my rough calculations."
Death’s Head by Jim Stafford, who offers Simon Furman a big happy birthday, “along with thanks for getting me into comics 36 years ago. You owe me about £15,000 by my rough calculations.”
"#DrawDeathsHeadDay is a bit outside my usual comic-wheelhouse (I’m more of ‘men in suits in a smoky room’ kind of a guy)," says Martin Stiff, "but I’m working on a book with Death’s Head creator  @SimonFurman3  (about men in suits in smoky rooms) so thought I’d take a stab at it this year!"
“#DrawDeathsHeadDay is a bit outside my usual comic-wheelhouse (I’m more of ‘men in suits in a smoky room’ kind of a guy),” says Martin Stiff, “but I’m working on a book with Death’s Head creator Simon Furman (about men in suits in smoky rooms) so thought I’d take a stab at it this year!”

Death’s Head copyright Marvel

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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