Now that it’s a new month, I’ve got clearance to reveal the last two of those images I teased you with previously. These will both be appearing in the FCA portion of the upcoming August cover-dated issue of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego (available starting in July, so you don’t have to wait all that long!).
First up is my FCA cover, done as a tribute to Golden Age artist Marc Swayze. While the original order to give Billy Batson/Captain Marvel a sister may have come down from the Fawcett front office, the job fell to Mr. Swayze to bring her to life. He designed Mary and drew at least her first couple of appearances, before being moved on to other jobs. So I think it could be argued that Marc Swayze deserves the title of Mary Marvel’s honorary father.
This FCA issue is appearing in the month which would’ve been Mr. Swayze’s 100th birthday. Though he didn’t quite make that milestone, it’s still a worthwhile moment to pause and give tribute. FCA readers know Mr. Swayze had a long-running column there, entitled “We Didn’t Know…It Was the Golden Age!” Written in a very appealingly gracious and humble style, the reader got the privilege of looking in on snapshots of reminiscence taken at different moments in Mr. Swayze’s life. It wasn’t all about the comics; this man lived a very full and rich life. Hence my inscription. He and his contributions to FCA will be missed.
I was hugely honored to be asked to do this tribute cover, and wanted to be sure to do right by Mr. Swayze. FCA Editor P.C. Hamerlinck and I batted a number of ideas back and forth before we settled on a concept we both liked and felt was fitting. My first inclination of course was to try to just flat-out mimic Mr. Swayze’s style, make it look like maybe he drew it himself. But P.C. made it clear that wasn’t what he wanted. He was after my version of Mr. Swayze’s Mary. I hope I’ve done them both justice.
The second image (at left) is a header for a new regular column debuting in FCA the same month. You can see the title there in the art. This column will feature the writing and reminiscences of writer Otto Binder, a creative dynamo who had an enormous hand in shaping not only Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family for Fawcett, but he later made huge contributions to Superman’s mythology as well! And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. I’m looking forward to reading these columns and finding out what he has to say.
Your usual outstanding job, Mark. Not only does Mary look great, appropriately Swayze-ish but original simultaneously (I don’t know how you do it, but you do it!), but that tome she is reading is one we’d all love to own.
John, thanks for stopping by! I’m very glad you like this one. Like you, I too would love to get the chance to read a bio/auto-bio of Mr. Swayze’s life. Perhaps someone will be able to assemble and publish something like that one day!
Very nice. Almost dream like. As always you do the original character justice!
Thanks, man! Mr. Swayze had a way of drawing Mary that made her look light, graceful, and perhaps dream-like. So it’s good if I’ve been able to capture a little of that quality.