From around 1995, Tatters was a one-shot written by Steven Jones and drawn by me, published by Caliber Press. Tatters was kind of an odd duck of a comic, part gothic superhero book, part government conspiracy story, with some sci-fi elements and a dystopian future thrown in for good measure. But the book will always be known to me as (as far as I know) the first comic to model a character after Samuel L. Jackson. Pulp Fiction was hot at the time, and so I drew in Jackson’s and Travolta’s characters from the movie as the comic’s hard-luck hitmen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, as a joke. (The characters are named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. You can figure out what happens to them.)
As I understand it, editorial at Caliber wanted to avoid legal problems with celebrity likenesses, and so a goatee was added to the Travolta character, drawn directly onto my artwork. But Sam Jackson in all his Jules-ian glory remained unaltered, and therefore I think I can brag that I was the first to use Jackson as a comic character. In these days where nearly every mainstream comic has celebrity stunt casting, and where a Jackson-based character became such a mainstay of an entire comic book line that Jackson himself had to play the movie version of that character (I’m looking at you, Ultimate Nick Fury), I feel totally vindicated.
Maybe later I’ll put up a scan of the Jackson/Travolta caricatures, but right now, here’s the opening prologue of Tatters. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger scans, taken directly from my original art, inked entirely oldschool with a combination of brushes and Rapidograph pens, and lettered by hand. Pasteups by rubber cement.
(Sorry, I had to split pgs. 2 and 3 due to WordPress file size limitations. They’re meant to be seen as one piece.)