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Jim Steranko

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Author Topic: Jim Steranko  (Read 206 times)
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« on: July 27, 2007, 11:41:27 pm »

Breaking into comics

After first attempting to find work at Marvel Comics in 1965, Steranko entered the comics industry the following year through editor Joe Simon at Harvey Comics, where Steranko created or helped create the characters Spyman, Magicmaster and the Gladiator for the company's short-lived superhero line, Harvey Thriller. Shortly afterward, he showed his "Secret Agent X" proposal to Paramount Television's animation unit in New York City (nothing became of it), and met with Marvel editor Stan Lee. Steranko inked a two-page Jack Kirby sample of typical "Nick Fury" scenes (first published in 1970 by Supergraphics in the extremely limited edition "Steranko Portfolio One" and then again thirty years later in slightly altered form in the 2000 trade-paperback collection Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.; see "Collected works", below), leading to Lee's assigning him the "Nick Fury" feature in Strange Tales, a "split book" shared each issue with another feature.

Future Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, then a staff writer, recalled Steranko's arrival at Marvel:

I met Jim [in 1965]; he brought his work up to Marvel then, I think, but it wasn't considered quite pro quality yet. The next year ... he came up to the office again I presume he had an appointment and I was sent out by Sol [Brodsky] to look at his work and basically brush him off. Stan was busy and didn't want to be bothered that day. But when I saw Jim's work, which was even better than what I'd seen the previous year, on an impulse I took it in to Sol and said, "I think Stan should see this". Sol agreed, and took it in to Stan. Stan brought Steranko into his office, and Jim left with the 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' assignment. ... I think Jim's legacy to Marvel was demonstrating that there were ways in which the Kirby style could be mutated, and many artists went off increasingly in their own directions after that
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