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.”
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, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.