From the "Draw Wizard #100 Cover Contest" (1999)
Wizard contacted me the summer of 1999 to inform me that I had been selected as a front runner in the contest. In fact, the contest had become a two man race between myself and another artist from Mexico. I was contacted by them a day before the 1999 San Diego Comic Con and while I was in attendance at the SDCC, I met with someone from Wizard who gave me the assignment to draw/design 4 Thor covers. They would compare my designs with the other artist and then pick a final winner for the contest.
I remember being very excited about this “big break” into one of the most difficult businesses to break into. The contest was no little thing too. Apparently they had received thousands upon thousands of entries. The winner would get flown to New York to meet, greet and get their portfolio reviewed by the top comic book publishers in the industry with all expenses paid (in addition to getting to draw the #100 cover of Wizard magazine!) In fact, I couldn’t wait to get started on them so I ended up drawing the 4 covers in the car on the road trip home back to Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
I was later informed via phone that they had chosen the other artist as the contest winner. However, since collectively the power that be at Wizard had a very hard time deciding who to choose, they would like me to do a more finished piece to be featured inside the book. I also remember the guy on the phone throwing in the joke, “We just couldn’t decide …so we decided to put it up to a coin toss (laughing).” Then he must have realized that I was not laughing with him. In fact, I was pretty crushed that I had my big break taken away, so he painfully backtracked.
I took the request to do a more finished piece pretty seriously and colored the thing myself with the sheer determination to make them regret to have not picked me…lol.
It was very cool to see my work published inside the #100 issue on page 126. But drawing the cover would have been sweet. Getting the all expense paid personal interaction with the major publishers (outside of a convention) would have been even sweeter. But alas it was not my path.
I never got my original colored art back too which to this day still kind of urks me. I think Wizard lost it or maybe threw it in the trash as they never ever returned any of my messages.
FYI: The cover never ended up being Thor as Wizard changed it to Hawkman (or knowing Wizard, probably got the artist to redraw it as Hawkman). The artist I was competing with ended up being the talented Carlo Barberi [link] who DC hired to work on Young Justice! I totally understand why Wizard picked him over me too. In the late nineties, artists like Joe Madureira, Tim Townstead were ‘ubber hot’ as the more anime influenced style was selling books like crazy. I think Barberi’s style was way more marketable than my own and he has grown to be a very talented comic book artist. Heck, I don’t even know what my style is… I am still trying to figure it out…lol.
Also: I have recently gone back and revisited the piece using Photoshop (12 years later) to give it even more dynamics and incorporate a little more meaning of Deadpool breaking the 4th wall. Let me know what you think.