Thursday, January 8, 2015

THE STF 1000th ISSUE SPECTACULAR!


Welcome to the Super-Team Family 1000th Issue Spectacular!  

When I started this blog back in April 2010, I had no idea how long it would run - I figured maybe a year or so.  Now here we are, after 308 Brave and the Bold covers, 200 Marvel Two-In-One covers, and now 1000 Super-Team Family covers. I am at 1508 covers, with more to come!  As promised, this post includes a bunch of extras:







  • The never before told Secret Origin of the Lost Issues!
  • The Best of Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues!
  • The Best of Marvel Two-In-One: The Lost Issues!
  • The Best of Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues!
  • What are... The Lost Lost Issues?
  • A special peek at what the interiors of a Lost Issue might look like!
  • step-by-step tutorial on how a Lost Issue cover is created!

  • (Since the images here are larger than in my regular posts, please note that you can click on them for an overlay image, or right click to open in a new tab if they are not displaying properly on smaller monitors)

    My love for comic characters and crossovers goes back as far as I can remember.  As soon as I could draw, my interests were clear:


    Like many kids, I decided to create my very own comic books.  I made up my own character, Alastor the Avenger.  Alastor only made a single solo appearance in his debut origin issue.  My love of team-ups was alive even back then, and I decided to pair him up with a superhero from the comics I loved for each issue.  And as you can see, I was already pairing Marvel and DC characters together in the same tale:


    I made 15 issues of Alastor and I am glad I kept them around, they always remind me of happy childhood times when I look them over.  I kept on doodling as I grew older, and in 1992 I decided to make a complete 50-page comic as a Christmas present for some members of my family. This story featured the Justice League of America (currently disbanded in the comics, I made a tale to reunite the original cast).  My mind was still on inter-company crossovers, and that was definitely an element in the story, here are a few pages:


    And yes, the Justice League invited Alastor the Avenger to join their team by the end of the issue! Believe me, I have never had any illusions about becoming an actual comic artist, I just enjoyed drawing and creating stories for my own personal enjoyment.  The Idea of crossovers kept rattling around in my mind, so a few years later, I decided to start a new epic adventure.  This one would be a massive Marvel/DC crossover, featuring all of my favorite characters.  I wrote a 100-page script and loosely penciled 50 pages before I got busy with other things and put it aside.  I will present about half of them for you here - if you have ever wondered what the interiors to an issue of Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues might look like, well here you go!  Oh, and don't bother squinting to read my overly-wordy text, the story is basically this:  Darkseid and Doctor Doom discover each other tampering with a nexus between realities and use it to trap The Watcher and The Spectre.  Using energies from these two, they gather villains from the DCU, disguise them as DCU heroes, and have them wreak havoc on the Marvel Earth.  They do the same with Marvel villains, sending them to cause chaos on the DC Earth.  The real heroes of each Earth then gather at the summons of The Spectre and The Watcher (still being controlled by Darkseid and Doom) and after being fed misinformation, decide to set out to defeat the heroes of the other Earth, who they think are villains. While DC would travel to The Marvel Earth, villains from both earths would conquer the now hero-less DC Earth.   That's as far as I got with the first 50 pages, the rest of the story involved various battles, each with a clear winner.  At the height of the battles, Doctor Strange and Doctor Fate would have realized the ruse and notified the heroes.  The Heroes who won the battles would assemble to defeat the villains in the DCU.  In a panic, Doom and Darkseid send Galactus, Brimstone, Sentinels and other giants in to turn the tide.  The heroes who lost the earlier battles recuperate and arrive as the cavalry.  The story would have ended with a merged Earth - not like Amalgam, but with characters from Marvel and DC operating on a single Earth.  Yup, a very silly, wonky story - but it was never meant to be read by anyone.  I just wanted an excuse to draw as many heroes and match ups as possible.
























    I got out of the habit of regularly drawing after that, only very occasionally putting pencil to paper - but when I did, there was usually a crossover element:


    One day, I was thinking about The Brave and The Bold, how I loved those Batman team-ups and was sorry to see the series end, despite enjoying Batman and the Outsiders, which replaced it, as well.  There were so many cool characters Batman hadn't met in the series, Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter, Starman, etc.  I wondered what it would have been like had the series continued, so I decided to use MS Paint to make up some imaginary covers.  At first I was very strict, using only DC characters that appeared during the years that B&B was published with Jim Aparo artwork wherever possible.  Soon enough, though, my interest in inter-company crossovers came through and I began adding heroes from Marvel and elsewhere to team up with the Dark Knight Detective.   I posted these on a comics message board, and it was suggested that I start a blog featuring them.  I thought the quality of these early covers was pretty rough, but what the heck, some folks might get a kick out of them.  Thus began The Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues!  

    I have often been asked what my personal favorite B&B Lost Issue covers are.  I looked them over and narrowed it down to my top 12:





    People seemed to like the covers, so I decided to keep things going by switching to Marvel-Two-In-One: The Lost Issues! It was fun to use Ben Grimm as an anchor, he is always enjoyable to write for.  Here are my personal top 12 MTIO Lost Issues:





    When the time came to switch to another title, I decided to blow the doors wide open with Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues!  This time I decided to present the issues with chronological numbering, rather than random as I did with B&B and MTIO.  While I was happy with what I had been able to accomplish with a simple program like MS Paint, I felt it was time to kick things up a notch.  After 350 issues or so, I bit the bullet an bought a copy of Photoshop, which really allowed me stretch creatively.  Here are my personal favorite top 24 STF covers:









    Believe it or not, there are actually Lost Lost Issues! Here are a couple of covers I did as commissions years ago, back in my MS paint days: 



    Now to fulfill a request that I often receive for a tutorial on how to create a Lost Issue.  I posted one of these for my MS Paint techniques a few years back, and here I will present how I currently use Photoshop to make a cover.  We'll use yesterday's issue, #999, a relatively simple one:












    I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit this blog over the years, especially those who have left comments letting me know how they feel about my covers.  Thanks also for all of the great suggestions - I may not reply to each individual team-up request (because the answer is always the same - "Maybe"), but I am constantly taking notes and many suggestions eventually make it to the blog.  Thanks to everyone who has shared my blog with others, helping the audience grow.  A big thank you to the good people at Near Mint Radio, The Clobberin' Time Podcast and Compton After Dark for inviting me to be interviewed on their programs.  Thank you very much to Michael Eury of Back Issue Magazine for giving me an awesome plug in a recent issue! Last but certainly not least, A giant thank you must go to the folks who have lent support to the blog by advertising here or with donations be it one-time or as a patron!  Every little bit helps and I can't say how much it means to me.

    If you would like to help support the blog, there are a few ways to do so - by advertising (still dirt cheap, my ads usually go for a few pennies a day), by making a one time contribution by clicking on the "Donate" button at the bottom of the page, or by becoming a Patron.  The blog of course will always be free and the easiest way of showing support is by visiting and commenting.  Thanks again for 4 1/2 fun years!  Keep coming back, there will be a new cover every single day!

    This is Ross, signing off!

    59 comments:

    The Groovy Agent said...

    Congratulations, Ross! What a milestone! And what a fantastic blog! Time doesn't allow me to comment often, but I visit every day. Your blog is one of the all-time coolest and most unique comicbook blogs ever! It's a thrill to see what team-ups you come up with and then it's another thrill to see how well you compose a cover for that team-up!

    As for today's post, I have to say--man, if you'd create some comics, I'd sure buy 'em! I really dig your art style! You've already proven yourself as a writer with this blog, but I had no idea what a powerful pencil you have! Wow!

    Keep up the superior work...and keep on truckin', baby!

    Ross said...

    Thanks! I've found many an image on Diversions of the Groovy Kind for use on this blog, so your site is a regular visit for me as well! It's been a couple of decades since I drew regularly, I don't even know if I could do it anymore!

    Walaka said...

    Congratulations - quite an achievement! Thanks for all the good times. Now - 1000 more?

    Ross said...

    Thanks Walaka! I'll try...

    stakkalee said...

    Wow, congrats on hitting 1000! I've been following your blog for a while and I think it's awesome!

    Ross said...

    Thank you, Stakkalee!

    Bob Greenwade said...

    Congratulations on your milestone,
    Ross! You've done excellent work overall. I check in almost every day, even if I don't leave a comment (occasionally I forget, but it's easy enough to catch up). So far the only turkey you've done was #124 (the cheesy Supergirl/Storm crossover), and I'd call that a pretty darn good record.

    Your big epic story looks interesting enough that I'll probably sit down and read through it some time over the weekend.

    I do want to say that your later sketches (Galactus, Punisher & Spectre, "BatGhost") look almost good enough to be used professionally. Maybe you could try drawing a cover out from scratch some time, even if you have to have someone else ink it. That would enable you to use some of the characters that you've wanted to use, but just haven't been able to find good images for. (Maybe for your next birthday... or April First.)

    Anyway, good job in reaching the four-digit range (which I don't think any real-world comic has ever done), and here's to the idea of reaching five!

    CWMartin said...

    Your pencilled comments were awesome! I tried doing that a few times, but was never the artist you are. Bravo, sir!

    Ross said...

    Thanks, Bob - I always thought my characters looked a bit stiff and had a tough time not making the females look too butch, but I appreciate the compliment. And say what you want about my Supergirl/Storm cover, Red Sun lightning is a concept worthy of Bob Haney ;) Thanks for being such a regular commenter here!

    Ross said...

    CWMartin - Thanks a lot... those pages have been sitting at the bottom of a drawer for years!

    John Platt said...

    Happy 1000!

    Ross said...

    Thanks, John!

    Anonymous said...

    I am a big fan. keep up the great work and here's to 1000 more covers.

    Doug said...

    Ross --

    Daily stop for me as well, and many of our readers at Bronze Age Babies. Your imagination is wonderful, and all of us are in your debt for what you share each day. Keep doing what you do, and thank you!

    Doug

    Ross said...

    I appreciate it, Doug!

    Greg Morrow said...

    Well done, Ross!

    I am always amused and often amazed by your work. I wish I lived in the world where these stories were published!

    Ross said...

    Many Thanks, Greg!

    Mr. Acer said...

    Those pages are pretty neat! You should have someone digitally color them, they'd pop!

    Ross said...

    Thanks, Acer - I wouldn't envy the colorist, I drew some pretty crowded stuff!

    Anonymous said...

    I join the many fans in saying congrats and thanks for all the great work! You have great creativity and imagination, glad you seem to find the right images to make it all work! Can't imagine how you can do such quality work daily!
    Keep it up!

    Anonymous said...

    Wow! Congrats on the dedication! Love the work you do. Also enjoyed the penciled story work of yours. If there is any more to it, please post it.
    Ordinaryguy2

    Richard said...

    Ross : Congratulations on the 1000th 'issue'. I only found about your blog quite recently, and like you, love a good comic crossover.
    Today's entry was very entertaining and informative. Your artwork was impressive, and you have an exceptional talent and have a strong eye for imagination.
    I'm looking forward to the next 1000 issues !
    r.

    Richard said...

    Ross : Congratulations on the 1000th 'issue'. I only found about your blog quite recently, and like you, love a good comic crossover.
    Today's entry was very entertaining and informative. Your artwork was impressive, and you have an exceptional talent and have a strong eye for imagination.
    I'm looking forward to the next 1000 issues !
    r.

    Ross said...

    Thanks - I only posted half the pages, I picked what i thought were the better ones. Maybe one of these days...

    Ross said...

    Thank you, Richard!

    John Mundt, Esq. said...

    Congratulations on 1000 awesome Super Team Family mash-ups! You never fail to remind me of what made me a lifelong fan of comics in the first place, and for that, I am so grateful! Thank you!

    Ross said...

    I appreciate it, Thanks!

    Andrés Sigalat said...

    Those pages may have needed a little polishing, but they look amazingly professional for something you did to amuse yourself. I was in the habit of drawing my own characters when I was young, but I wish I could have made something that looked so nice.

    Ross said...

    Thanks, Andres. Makes me glad I took those pages out of the drawer.

    Anonymous said...

    Salutations and congratulations to you oh artistic one on a job done well but hopefully far from done altogether...
    You make it look so easy everyday and heres hoping you continue for many more...
    I have way TOO many faves to list them all, however a few are...
    Batman and LOST, the Black Knight, the Blue Falcon, Captain Action, and Jack Bauer...
    Thing and the Thing(s), the Beatles, Wallace & Gromit....
    all the Herculoids, Doctor Who, JSA, LOEG, and of course many of your original teams such as the Union Suit Squad, the Lightning Bolts, and the Cat Squad...
    Thank Ross for all the DVD extras you included today...hours of fun...
    Where can we order our tee-shirts???
    Great work and good times as always...
    Thank you over and over....
    the jack-el

    Ross said...

    Thank you Jack-el, sounds like you have been following the blog for a while! Unfortunately, the nature of this blog - using existing images of licensed characters - makes it impossible for me to sell anything with images of my covers on them.

    Reno said...

    From a daily visitor but infrequent commenter... Congratulations and Happy 1000th!

    Ross said...

    Thanks for visiting, Reno!

    Mark said...

    Totally awesome! Glad you put the JSA in this milestone, and all of the extras really make this special. Keep up the great work!

    Ross said...

    Thanks, Mark - I'll try!

    Michael Jones said...

    As far as I'm concerned you have already won the Interwebs for the year 2015.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how you're going to top yourself.
    ps. I hope we don't need to wait another thousand issues before we find out the conclusion of that DC vs. Marvel milestone your created!

    theotheradamford said...

    Congratulations Ross. Always a thrill and a pleasure to drop by, which I do on a daily basis. How do you manage to crank out so many of these wonderful images so often?

    The thing that comes across in all of your covers is your love for these comics - your interpretations of all of these characters is note-perfect every time.

    I would be hard-pressed to pick a favourite, though I have a few that I've turned into desktops from my computer that I love, like Thing marries Betty and Veronica, Superman and Supergirl meet Super-Skrull, that glorious Spider-Man vs. Metamorpho cover and the similarly excellent Spider-Man Judge Dredd team-up...

    What can I say? Big fan. Thanks for all the joy.

    - Adam

    Ross said...

    Michael and Adam: Thank you very much!

    Bob Buethe said...

    Wow. Just... wow. And congratulations!

    Like the others, this blog is a daily stop for me (along with Engrish, CakeWrecks, and NotAlwaysRight) even if I don't always comment. But I am always impressed.

    Ross said...

    Thanks a lot, Bob!

    Anonymous said...

    Let me be the (forty-) first to congratulate you, Ross! When I was kid, watching those Saturday morning team-ups on THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES (especially the two now-classic ones with Batman and Robin), I also often fantasized about DC and Marvel characters interacting. But, with the concepts you were talking about, both DC and Marvel should be paying _you_ royalties.

    Congratulations, once again, and I will see you at issue # 1001, very shortly. :-)

    Anonymous said...

    You are my first stop in the morning when I wake (in Australia they get put up about midnight.) Congrats on reaching 1000 issues, and to a thousand more.
    Love your self created comics above, can't wait for the second part, and your step by step process.
    I am know as anonymous (for some reason when I try and link you and my accounts my phone freezes and I can't enjoy your blog.) So I will continue to enjoy your blog, continue to comment.
    Thank you again for a great wake-up.

    Ross said...

    Thanks, Anonymouses!

    A Mindful Webworker said...

    Spectacular, indeed.

    Enjoyed seeing the evolution of your artwork. That crossover saga was especially impressive.

    Now, howzabout another thousand?

    (The Public - never satisfied for long.)

    Ross said...

    Thanks< Webworker - and thanks for being a regular commenter!

    ukeguy said...

    As someone who has discovered you only recently this was an awesome look at the evolution.

    Ken Roskos said...

    Congrats! Your Photoshop demo is especially helpful.

    Merricles said...

    This is truly amazing. Since I found this site, probably around 2 years ago, I have craved seeing what's new each day. I resist the urge to check on my lunch break and wait until the evening when I'm not rushed. It is always the second site on my dailies. I'm not sure if you've done it before, but you should do a fan poll to see what covers come out as favorites.

    Ross said...

    Uke, Ken. Merricles -

    Thanks, guys! I appreciate it!

    Anonymous said...

    HI Ross, I've always been amazed of the time and effort you've put into this blog. Clearly it is a labor of love. You're talent and passion are obvious to anyone fortunate enough to see your work. Many congrats on you 1000 blog post. As always, I eagerly await the next masterpiece that comes out of your imagination. WELL DONE!!!!

    Gregg

    Ross said...

    Thank you for all the kind comments, Greg!

    Snapper Carr said...

    Five stars and two thumbs up.

    Ross said...

    Thank you snapper!

    John Pitt said...

    I've GOT to add my ( belated ) congratulations on your 1000th, Ross and what a post! It must have taken you ages!!
    As I said at Christmas I collect all the covers and have been following the blog right from the brave and the bold days. Anyway, long may it continue and thanks again for giving 4 hours of your life to us every single day!

    Ross said...

    Thanks, John, and thanks for all the comments over the years!

    pblfsda said...

    An earlier commenter asked about comics series reaching #1000. At 1500+, you might be unbeatable (I'd have to look into foreign language publications), but there are two weekly anthologies over 1000 that spring to mind: 2000A.D.(UK) and Dell's Four Color Comics. Neither, however, had a single editor for those durations, so you can claim that pretty comfortably.

    Ross said...

    To be fair, they produced complete issues!

    The Irredeemable Shag said...

    Ross - Somehow I missed this 1,000th post before now! Love it, love it, love it! I'll be sharing this on FIRESTORM FAN on Friday.

    Your daily pieces bring me so much joy. I was thrilled to see we now have a chance to support you through Patreon. I just signed up to support! Looking forward to many more pieces in the future!

    Ross said...

    Much appreciated, Shag!

    Support STF: The Lost Issues!