Wednesday, 3 June 2015

SEEING DOUBLE: THE STORY BEHIND THE COVER TO THE SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #14...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

You're looking at the 1990 cover of The SENSATIONAL
SHE-HULK #14, pencilled by MARK TEXEIRA and inked by
HARRY CANDELARIO.  However, it was originally supposed to
be drawn by BRIAN BOLLAND, but the comic appeared with the
one you see above.  I seem to recall reading an explanation for what
went wrong at the time, but I no longer remember where.  There-
fore, all I can do is relate whatever faint vestiges of the facts
yet remain in the back of my cavernous cranium.

It goes something like this:  After submitting a 'rough' of the
cover and getting approval for it, Brian Bolland drew the finished
version and sent it in, only for it to get lost in the post or mislaid in
the MARVEL offices.  With deadline looming, a substitute had to
be created, and, using Bolland's cover rough as reference, Texeira
and Candelario produced their own version of it, which was
the one that was printed on the published comic.

Then Bolland's original art turned up, and was released as
a wraparound giveaway in comicbook shops, so that #14 could
be fitted inside - thereby making things as they were supposed to
be from the start.  At least, it's something pretty much resembling
the scenario I've just described.  If you know the precise details,
let me and your fellow Criv-ites know, frantic ones.  You
wouldn't want us to lose any sleep over the matter.

And, as you've guessed, that's Brian Bolland's version
below the following splash page, so that you can compare
them and decide which one you like best.  I've got a feeling
I already know what your preference is going to be.

******

I've just checked Brian Bolland's site to see if there was
any info about the cover, but there doesn't appear to be.




17 comments:

Arfon Jones said...

As a man that has both Savage and Sensation She-Hulk in his collection and a massive fan of Brian Bolland I am staggered! I had no knowledge of this and being quite fond of that cover (I also have Howard the Duck in my collection) I adored seeing Bolland’s version of it. Are the wrap around(s) early to come by sir??

Kid said...

Don't know, to be honest, AJ. They were easy enough to come by at the time they were released - one simply picked them up in comic shops - but now? If you like, I can scan all four pages and send you them, and perhaps you can construct your own copy. Either that, or eBay is the only other option I can think of.

Arfon Jones said...

Hmmmm...can’t see any, I genuinely had not heard of this before, it somehow slipped by both my She-Hulk and Brian Bolland radars! Love some scans sir, if only to look closer at the details! Thank you :)

Kid said...

Send me your email address again, AJ. Don't worry, I won't publish it. I'll send you the scans the moment I receive it.

DeadSpiderEye said...

The Bolland one's nice, the pose is a good example of his subtly with feminine figures. Rather than relying on a curvy torso, he's chosen to emphasise detail and use highlight, to produce a distinctive allure.

Kid said...

I think that platform they're on somehow lacks depth 'though. Needs shadow at the bottom perhaps.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Well, Bolland's indicated a shiny surface with his line work, which is not that detailed in that area. Shadow's a bit out of place on a shiny surface, not always but the usual technique, is to indicate form with high lights or reflective detail, like that on the right, rather than modelling in shade.

The problem is that the colourist has chosen to colour it more or less flat. There is a muted highlight which likely indicates the colourist was forced into a compromise, so as not to shift focus from the figure with a eye grabbing highlight. Or it could be he's adhering to the Marvel house style for covers, which always seems to avoid white to render objects as far as possible and keep the colour uniformly dense.

Kid said...

Not sure I buy that explanation, DSE. It's a curved bottom, so a shadow indicating such wouldn't be out of place. The way it is, the bottom looks one-dimensional. The colourist could've compensated for that 'though (as you suggest), but didn't. Whatever the reasons, however, it looks flat and it shouldn't.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I'm speculating Kid, I really don't really have any way of knowing what the intention was. Yeah, sure you can use shading but it depends how you want to render an object and the details of your style and technique. Bolland always goes pretty much straight to black, with limited stylised moderation, that's the accepted idiom in the context of comics.

I think it's supposed to be pharmaceutical capsule, they're about as shiny as a snooker ball. By coincidence, I have illustrated that subject myself (a long time ago) and I did use shading, I'll dig it out if I can find it, but it was muted shading and I used to colour overlay to render it. I also put a white highlight in. This is a slightly more complex subject though and there's a need to balance the composition, is a fully modelled platform the highest priority? Certainly there's room for discretion, I think I would be happy Bolland's solution.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Oops it's a salami, more tea vicar?

Kid said...

Milk and sugar, Lady Susan? It just looks underdone to me, DSE, and kind of flat-looking. It needs a little shadow near the base (even if only done in colour) to suggest the 3D curvature of the object as it disappears underneath. It looks flat and it shouldn't look flat. Apart from that it's fine.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Well I was completely wrong on what it supposed to represent, so what do I know?

Kid said...

Ach, that was the artist's or colourist's fault, DSE (on both versions), so don't beat yourself up over it.

oriel goch vanderlugt said...

I need the corrected cover ! Is anyone selling it?
Please contact me if you do !

Kid said...

Not selling mine, OGV, but maybe someone will sell theirs. Your best bet is to try eBay.

oriel goch vanderlugt said...

Yeah thnx anyway.
Nothing on eBay :(

Kid said...

One's bound to turn up sooner or later - probably when you least expect it. Don't lose hope.

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