When Jim Steranko, Neal Adams or Al Williamson Could Have Drawn a Stan Lee Silver Surfer Graphic Novel – The Jim Shooter Files

Last October's MCM London Comic Con had Jim Shooter as a guest. Former teenage writer of Legion Of Super-Heroes, Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics, writer of Secret Wars, founder of Valiant Entertainment, Defiant Comics and Broadway Comics, he is the co-creator of co-creator of Star Brand, Parasite, Archer & Armstrong, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, Rai, Shadowman and X-O Manowar.

Shooter had many, many tales to tell and regaled fans at panels and at his table, often for hours, with stories of comic books past, present and even future. But he also had some folders with him, full of memos, sketches and pieces of artwork from his long career. He said he just grabbed a few on his way of of the door but he has many, many more. He graciously allowed me to take a few photos of some of them, telling undocumented tales of comic book publishing past, and last  Thanksgiving Day Bleeding Cool shared and transcribing a few of these (use this handy dandy tag), but these are but the tip of an iceberg. If Jim Shooter is a guest at a show that you can get to and will be 'tabling' there, as the Americans have it, do what you need to do to get to his table and look through his folders – and be prepared for a conversation, a story, that may last for a good chunk of the show but will stay well with you.

And in this Christmas-and-New-Year inbetween times, we have a few more left over… such as this letter from Stan Lee suggesting artists for a new Silver Surfer graphic novel. He had already written one, drawn by Jack Kirby, Marvel's first OGN in 1978 and was looking at another. But who would draw it?

Jim Shooter Memos

Dear Jim,

Re: SILVER SURFER graphic novel artist selection… Do you think any of the following would attract a large segment of readers?–

  • JIM STERANKO
  • BARRY SMITH
  • JACK KIRBY
  • NEAL ADAMS
  • AL WILLIAMSON

Of course, I've no idea whether or not they'd be interested. The odds favor a definate "no" from Kirby, but quien sabe?

Another problem. I don't know how good Williamson or Adams are at working from a synopsis. I'd leave that evaluation up to you. I do know that Steranko and Smith (and Kirby, of course) could do a super job from an outline.

Anyway, the above is just to get your own creative juices flowing. I hope we can come up with an artist whose team-up with your humble correspondent would excite the readers. (Are there any illustrators around, like Corben or Boris, who are frustrated because they're not doing Marvel strips?!!)

One inducement that can be offered to any potential artist is, if the book is a sensation, it might be the basis for our eternally-threatened SS movie. The final story line has still not yet been nailed down.

The second graphic novel by Stan Lee, ten years after the first, would be drawn instead by Jean GiraudMobius. But here's a look at what could have been…

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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