|(This was the cover to Team America #2, inked by Al Milgrom.)|
Here are some xeroxes I pulled out of my files: the issue of Team America #3 that I penciled. To my knowledge, it was never inked, and I’m not sure the book every lasted more than the first couple of issues that I did. It was a fiasco from the start.
I had been working at DC for a couple of years as a penciler, and I really wanted to ink my own work. However my efforts on the couple of jobs that I did ink myself were met with little enthusiasm, and probably with good reason. lol. Carmine Infantino hated the work and let it be known that I was only a penciler. While I had some really talented people inking my work, I wanted to develop my own style and knew that would never happen just penciling. The majority of the work I did was inked by Vinnie Colletta, who was also the art director, and who always did a very creditable job on my work. What he didn’t understand was that I had nothing against his inking, I just wanted the chance to do the work myself. Hey, I was young and egotistical.
While Marvel wasn’t offering me work as an inker, I did decide it was time to switch over to that company for a while as Jim Shooter had just taken over the reins there and it looked like there might be some opportunities. Jim immediately told me about plans he had for a new series called Team America about a group of motorcycle racers and he wanted me to be the artist on it. I was all for it, and then he asked me who I wanted as an inker. Since I was no longer at DC, I glibly said anyone but Vinnie. Unknown to me, Vinnie had also left DC to work exclusively for Marvel and his best buddy there was Jim. Jim’s face fell a bit as he announced he had already assigned Colletta to the job….but he thought I’d love it in time. I turned in the pencils and showed them to Jim who seemed pretty enthusiastic about the work and gave me a pat on the back. So I pencilled the second and third issues .
The week Team America #1 was due at the printer, Shooter suddenly decided he hated the job I did, and had a good section of it redrawn over the weekend while cursing my name. My involvement ended after the third issue, and while I continued to work for Marvel for another three or four years, it was pretty clear that I wasn’t going to go anywhere under the Shooter regime. About that time I moved to Los Angeles with my wife Annie that I had just married, and segued into animation.
So here is one the jobs I penciled for Marvel (there was also an issue of GI Joe and at least two episodes of a doomed Satana series) that never saw the light of day. Enjoy, Mike
Next week, a new Mad Mummy story. don't miss it!!