Frank Miller “Daredevil vs Bullseye”

Another dip into the ZONE vault finds this ultra-rare pencil sketch that Frank Miller did for me back in the early 80′s.  Meeting Frank was cool and because, at the time, not as many people wanted sketches, and Miller wasn’t as well known then.   I was able to sit and talk with him as he sketched it out.

I told him I wanted something iconic with Daredevil and BullseyeFrank thought for a second and then asked, “Do you care who’s winning?”  “Not at all,” I replied.  Frank then proceeded to draw the piece above.

A year or so later I saw that Klaus Janson was going to be at a show within driving distance.  I made it a point to also be at the show.  I spoke to Klaus about inking the Miller sketch.  He agreed, but wanted to wait until he had returned home to ink it.  He was in Florida for the con and staying with his buddy, fellow inker, Bob McLeod.  About a week went by and then I received a call from Klaus.  He couldn’t find the sketch.  He profusely apologized and offered to pay for the art or replace it.  I could tell that he was truly upset.  I told him, that perhaps the art would turn up and not to worry about it.

Flash forward a bunch of years later.  I had long since gotten out of collecting original art [and had yet to start on my Stallone art theme].  I got a call from my buddy, John BeattyJohn had gotten a call from Bob McLeod Bob had been preparing to move, or doing some major spring cleaning or something… and guess what he found.  Yep.  My Frank Miller sketch.  Bob was sending it back to me by way of Beatty.  Since I was no longer collecting original art I decided to sell the piece and buy a laser disc player.  Truth be told, I think I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of this xerox of the Miller sketch than I did out of the laser disc player!

7 comments

  1. Rafael says:

    Cool story Craig — the figures look like they have a Alan Weiss/Kevin Nowlan feel to them. This is definitely early Miller.

  2. John says:

    This is your version of “AH and The James!” Good thing you sat and talked Miller thru it! ;-)

  3. Craig says:

    Raf — thanks for the comment, brother.

    John — Nah, I wasn’t art directing at all, just takin’ in a master at work. We talked about comics and movies.

  4. That is a sweet sketch and cool story. I think this is the first early Miller sketch I have seen! Thanks for sharing!

  5. WOW! That’s terrific! Yeah, I can’t recall seeing such an early Daredevil sketch. There were Captain Marvel cover pencils in Back Issue #14, oddly enough provided by Bob McLeod. Was that meeting of Jansen at a Tampa Sun Con around ’83 or so? I remember trying to get a sketch from him there, but he was closing shop.

  6. Craig says:

    Gene and Rob, glad you enjoyed the sketch. Rob – It may have been a Tampa show. The year sounds right!

  7. John says:

    Yep, it was a show in Tampa.

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