Friday, November 13, 2009

Legends of the DC Universe #6, page 10

So here's the story on this one:  I was eating breakfast one morning back in 1998 and, inexplicably, my eight-year-old daughter started to ask me about work.  I played along and told her about this job.  "DC just sent me a story to ink, but I'm probably going to send it back."  "Why?"  "Well, the layouts aren't really finished enough to ink, I'd have to spend a lot of time finishing the pencils before I could ink them." She took this all in, thought about it for a bit, then said, "I think you should do it".

Needless to say, I was a little surprised to get unsolicited career advice from an eight-year-old, but I took it to heart.  I called the editor, Scott Peterson, and he agreed to send the layouts back to Dave Taylor for a little more refining.  Dave and I talked about what specifically was needed and he explained that he didn't have any experience working this way and wasn't really clear on what exactly constituted a "layout".  He was also in the middle of another job and didn't have time to do much more than a little touch-up here and there.

Okay. Well, I tried.

Dave's a terrific storyteller and most of his compositions are still intact but other than that, there's not much of his work left on the pages.


  1. Mr. Nowlan, yes you butchered that one. awesome work. it just goes to show the more room you leave for interpretation, well you get "Nowlanized". i'd take this over what was origanially laid down. it seems the 8 year old knew what she was talking about...

    peace out

  2. Hey Kevin do you care if I forward this to Bob Almond? The inkwell people are trying to put together an examples page for layouts/finishes & what that constitutes.

  3. Well, it's a really bad example for the reasons stated but no, I don't care if you forward it.

  4. A great page and a gem of a story, Dave did good and your daughter's intuition is clearly something very special.

  5. Oh, PS, Kevin, if you have any pages from this story or the Legend of the Green Flame for sale do let me know! I'm sure they are all long gone. I'm the Nick from the UK (Brighton). Thanks.

  6. Sorry, Nick. I don't have any of those left.

  7. Really interesting that the original is pretty gay, fey, effete, and your version is "macho'd up." Both posing a bit but in different ways. I like both for different reasons (though there's much more solidity on your finals). I always love seeing layouts and finishes side-by-side.

  8. Hi Kevin,
    If I may, I'd like to add my side of the story...
    I was asked to do this job as fast as I could due to my other work schedules at the time. I remember only having a few days to get the whole thing done. I was told to do the "least possible" so that you could "do your thing". I was happy to do this and thrilled to be working with you. I should add that I knew exactly what I was doing, having done a similar job for Klaus Janson.
    Without wanting to start a debacle the fact is that we were both told conflicting stories by our editor. I was under the impression that I was doing you and him a favour by getting the job done so fast and that you'd be happy to do most of the work, that you preferred this. Obviously I was mislead! Despite the editorial contradictions you did an amazing job and it was a pleasure to see the result.
    Thanks for letting me tell my side.
    Best wishes.

  9. Thanks for the comments, Dave. I don't doubt that this is a real "Rashomon" situation, where each person involved probably has a very different recollection of the events. It turned into a favorite project of mine and I've probably been a little defensive about all the changes I made.

    But I'm very glad to hear that you were happy with the results. Hope there are no hard feelings.