An Incredibly Self-Serving Speculator's Corner


In the early nineties, I self published a number of comics with Mike Meyer. Seven issues of a comic called Dirtbag, six issues of a comic called X-Flies. They included a strip written by one Brendon Connelly, a cover by Mark Stafford, a story written and pencilled by Fabian Nicieza (inked by me) and the first appearance of Roger Langridge's Fred The Clown (then called Bill The Clown). I loved it, but after initial success, sales took a nose dive and then work started getting in the way. Still, it was fun, it paid for me to go to San Diego Comic Con and exhibit there a couple of times, and I loved it.

And suddenly the speculators have noticed. Nothing to do with me of course, but my chutzpah even then in getting a bunch of people to contribute cover art in the form of jam sketches. So the first issue of Dirtbag has a cover by me, Simon Bisley, Dave Sim, Gerhard, Brian Bolland and Terry Wiley. Issue two has Eddie Cambell, Jeff Smith, Mark Buckingham, Gary Erskine, Eddie Campbell, Glyn Dillon, Paul Grist, Woodrow Phoenix, Duncan Fegredo and Sean Phillips. Issue three was by Bryan Talbot and Neil Gaiman.

But it's issue two's Mark Buckingham sketch of Miracleman shortly after the Eclipse series finished that's causing most interest. In that it's now being regarded by some as an official appearance of the character. And they're prepared to pay $9 plus postage for it. Considering that when I have seen it, it's mostly been in 25 cent bins and Mike Meyer pulped a good chunk of the 3000 print run (after about 1000 sales maximum), finding this in decent condition may be tricky… even for me. But even issue 1 is currently also getting bids of $9 on eBay.

I can't deny that these cover stunts were anything other than a way to get attention and drum up interest. But why now all of a sudden?

And while I don't have many copies left (if at all), I do have the original cover art…

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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