Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Original Art Stories: Alan Kupperberg's 'Chudda's Revenge', The Missing Marvel Team-Up

One of the main goals for collectors of original art is to own a complete story, that is all of the pages that were published that still exist. Such beats aren’t that easy to come across though – I’m spending a considerable amount of time and expense tracking down a few errant pages to certain stories and issues that I have the bulk of here, and it’s frustrating to say the least, especially when you have all but a few pages. The ultimate goal is to own a complete series – I only have the one, that being Norm Breyfogle’s Metaphysique, which I own all of Norm’s interior pages to and the painted covers (I had, and still have, no interest in the non-Breyfogle pin-ups). Owning a complete story can be easy when it’s only a few pages, but don’t let that statement fool you, it’s no easy feat getting all of the art in.

Even more difficult is finding the pages for a non-published story. The reasons for this are simple – if the story wasn’t published then more often than not the pages were ditched, or re-used for another story, or just not finished. I own all of the pages that exist for the Brian Postman Falcon story, but not all of the pages that were intended, as Brian only drew a handful of pages from the script provided. However I recently had the chance to get my hands on a complete story – and it’s a ripper!

Back in the day Alan Kupperberg was busy at Marvel drawing any number of titles, from Spider-Man through to Transformers through to the Avengers through to the Defenders and much more. Two of the titles that he probably did more work for were Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-In-One. The first title featured Spider-Man teaming up with any number of Marvel heroes, usually for a one-off story, and the latter featured the Thing doing the same. Some of Alan’s best work was done for these titles, including my all time favourite Marvel Two-In-One story, issue #75’s The Thing and The Avengers, which I can clearly remember buying from the newsagent when it was on sale. I loved it then and still love it now and am very happy to own a smattering of pages from that story.

During a conversation a few years back Alan mentioned how he was finishing up a cover that he started quite a number of years ago, the cover being to an unpublished Marvel Team-Up issue. Once the cover was finished I was keen to work out a deal, but Alan sent it over as a gift, something that both delighted and stunned me and still does. I resolved there and then that if any of the pages to that story ever turned up then I’d grab them. All of the pages eventually did turn up, so I got them.

“I did that Spider-Man/Thor story on spec for MARVEL at a time when I didn't have any paying work in the pipeline,” said Alan. “I took a one off story and villain from The Mighty Thor and just started drawing. I thought it came out fairly well in comparison with what I was doing back then. I believe Jim Salicrup or perhaps Roger Stern edited Marvel Team-Up.

“The story's rejection didn't hurt my feelings very much though. Marvel hadn't solicited it; I had shouldered the enterprise of my own volition. Though the story wasn't published, I was paid in full for the art and script in August of 1979. The very next month I wrote and drew Marvel Team-Up #96 with Spidey and Howard The Duck. I was surprised at the stuff I was WRITING at the time, like Spidey Super Stories.

“When you think of it, I could have submitted a two-page plot synopsis instead of full penciling a 17 - twenty page story.”

So, finally, here it is, in all its pencilled glory! Titled “Chudda’s Revenge”, this unpunished Marvel Team-Up story was written and pencilled by Alan Kupperberg nearly thirty years ago! Enjoy!


















1 comment:

Andrew Wahl said...

Wow, that was an unexpected treat. Not a huge fan of Kupperberg's work, but it's always cool seeing unpublished work like this. Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Andrew
ComicsBronzeAge.com