Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Unexpected Michael T. Gilbert

      It's not always a matter of hard-nosed sleuthing. Sometimes a gumshoe just gets lucky. This is one of those times.

      Michael T. Gilbert--famous comic artist, writer, historian, creator of Mr. Monster, and all-around swell guy--has gifted me with an unseen story pulled from his own personal files. Being the good buddy that he is, Michael T. is allowing me to share that story with you!

      "Ken: I was recently going through my files and found color roughs for an unpublished Superman story I wrote and drew. The full story behind the story is below, along with scans. I think you'll find it amusing!"

Text and art scans by Michael T. Gilbert
 © 2011 by DC Comics
[all text and artwork is presented for not-for-profit historical purposes only and no further use is allowed or implied]

Subject: Tales of Kryptonite!

In 1997 DC wanted to revive Tales of the Unexpected. Their idea was to do EC style stories featuring the DC superheroes. Naturally it was right up my alley, and I got the OK to write and draw (and color) "Second Story Man!"

I used a hunk of Kryptonite named Mort to tell my story. I figured it would work as a play on the French word for Death, as well as a tip of the hat to good ol' Mort Weisinger---the editor who popularized so many forms of Kryptonite.

There were some kind of convoluted legal problems with the book (don't ask!), and the whole project was scrapped. My story never appeared, and probably never will. But here's scans of my color roughs so you can enjoy it.

I tried to imitate the old EC Leroy lettering here, and I made the story the standard 7 page length of an EC story too.

I did this just before my "Mann & Superman!" Superman graphic novel which came out in 2000, so it's my first Superman story.

Hope you enjoy it!

page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

page 5

page 6

page 7


  1. A nifty little nugget that makes me want to hie to the Hicksville library so that I can read the rest of the anthology... Thanks, Mike and Ken!

  2. Very cool! The big surprise for me was that Clark referenced the superheroes as fact instead of them being urban legends, because it felt like this was being set in a milieu where he was just a guy.

    I'm surprised that this didn't make it into one of the later Bizarro Comics anthologies.

  3. Alas, there is no anthology containing this story, Blam! To this point, it has never seen print.

    However, there are plenty more Michael T. Gilbert gems to be found. In fact, he has sent me another unpublished find and I'll be posting it soon!

  4. No, I understand that the anthology for which this story never got published, Ken. I was making a perhaps too-obscure reference to the library in Dylan Horrocks' Hicksville and Atlas. I apologize for any confusion. 8^)

  5. ...and I'm easily confused, Blam!

    It's my fault for not picking up on your allusion. I suppose I should expand my reading list to include HICKSVILLE!