... and the Monkey King was raining shit down on autistic children until Swamp Thing arrived to save the day!
This was indeed a completed penciled cover for the series, and among my first -- though I'll defer to the seller's access to the original art, which I don't have a copy of, I'm a little skeptical about the issue #25 attribution. If memory serves (it it might not; this was after all drawn a quarter-century ago), the event depicted on the cover actually aligns with the conclusion of the Demon/Monkey King three-issue narrative arc, which would place this around #26 or #27's cover spot, not #25.
I believe this was intended to be the cover for #26, which indeed featured a livelier monster in the same basic action, or perhaps an early suggested cover for #27, supplanted after submission of this cover pencil with then-DC-cover-editor Ed Hannigan's layout with the Demon crashing through a skylight. In any case, it's a rough, a cover concept submitted to editor Karen Berger for consideration.
Note at this stage of cover rough, I didn't put a lot of detail into ST's surface anatomy. However, my final pencils were always tighter than this; that, and the vagueness of the building behind ST and the autistic boy, proves this was a tight cover rough, not full pencils completed after acceptance of the cover concept. My cover pencils were always solid, with particular attention paid to details of characters and architecture (when relevant), unless I was inking the cover myself (which was only true for a brief portion of the later Rick Veitch solo run on the title). Note, too, the logo was to be spelled out in lightening, a conceit also discouraged by DC, which preferred and enforced the use of the standard Swamp Thing logo after our printed #25 experiment with changing the logo to fit the art.
Anyhoot, bid with confidence -- this is a legit bit of art from the heyday of John's, Alan's, Rick's and my run on the book, completed during the #25-27 issue arc. It's a genuinely rare item, arguably much rarer than our cover originals. It's among the precious few Bissette pencils to survive (the inking process eliminated the pencil originals) and, rarer still, a tight penciled rough on DC cover board (per usual, I submitted roughs on tracing paper or 8 1/2" x 11" typing paper).
We had a great day yesterday at CCS, and were blessed with terrific late summer/early fall weather for our first fall semester class trip to the nearby River's Edge Stables in Plainfield, NH to draw horses from life for our debut Drawing Workshop session. It could not have gone better, and it made the week sweet, sitting in the sun and shade drawing horses amid the peace and quiet.
Kudos to CCS senior Bryan Stone for pulling the trip details together, and to the entire freshman class for jumping right into the breach. The good folks at River's Edge (especially Sonja) were terrific, and the opportunity to draw from the beautiful 15+ horses there was a rare treat. It's just the beginning of another year at the Center for Cartoon Studies...
Though I'm way behind on posting info about friends and fellow bloggers, I did want to bring to your attention
And while I'm at it,
President Bush's latest shell games -- dictating policy while claiming to be waiting for policy to be dictated by his current shills General David Petraeus and US Ambassador Ryan Crocker so Bush can then implement his own policy dictate, all while pretending to scale back military operations by removing the 30,000 troops he placed there for the 'surge' (plain English: escalation) -- are infuriating, and
As Senator Carl Levin (Democrat, Michigan), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, succinctly put it yesterday, "It creates and provides an illusion of change in an effort to take the wind out of the sails of those of us who want to truly change course in Iraq." Our own Senator Patrick Leahy was blunter: "The president wants to keep the pedal to the floor in this war, dumping the Iraq mess onto the next president's doorstep. The inescapable reality remains that the Iraqis are no closer today to any kind of political settlement to end this conflict."
The crimes of Bush, Cheney and their cronies against the world are mounting daily; their crimes against and deception of the American people is similarly without bounds.
For all the polemic rhetoric about "victory" or "surrender" (uh, to whom? There is no central government of either Iraq or Al Queda to surrender to!), and Senator McCain's endless talk of "honor," there can be no honor in this honorless war. It was a lost cause when it was willfully launched on a stick pile of cynically manipulated lies, misrepresentations and deceit, and all Bush is doing is continuing to spin, spin, spin while hundreds of thousands (there's no reliable count to cite) of Iraqis are dead and four million+ Iraqis are displaced, over 2 million of them now refugees; over 50,000 Americans wounded and the number of American dead well over the count of those killed on 9/11 (not counting those not counted -- the various contracted services employees, Blackwater soldiers, etc.); and abysmal attention is paid to the human toll, here (care for our own wounded and returned vets, the only participants worthy of the word "honor" being used) and abroad.
On the national front, we've dodged another potential bullet this hurricane season thus far, but the implosion of the mortgage and debt markets would count as a national emergency with any other administration. The American dollar continues to spiral in value as badly as American stature, the latter devaluation due primarily to this fucking war. There can be no victory in a war without defined parameters or foes that has been declared against a tactic; there can be no honor in a war without honor from its inception. As this sorry summer has proven, we as a nation have forgotten and/or willingly misinterpret the lessons hard-won in Vietnam -- thus, we are doubly damned, and tolerance of the President's ignorant Rambo revisionism ranks right down there with denial of the Holocaust as far as I'm concerned.