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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #6!

STATUS: True

In 1985, Marvel had an interesting contest.

Called the "Marvel Try-Out Contest," it was a twenty-dollar purchase (which was a lot of money in 1985). It was a standard Spider-Man story, only every once in awhile, something would drop out.

Like a page would have no colors.

Or a page wouldn't be inked.

Etc.

And then whatever your skill is, you would fill that in.

The comic was then to be published (which never actually happened).

The pencilling winner of the contest was future comic book superstar, Mark Bagley.

Here is Bagley on the topic (courtesy of Comic Book Resources)...

I thought it was a gimmick...something Jim Shooter came up with, and I didn't buy it. Luckily, Cliff Biggers, the guy who publishes Comic Shop News, was a friend of mine. He owned the comic book store that I went to at the time. He told me, "If you don't do this, you'll hate yourself." So, he gave it to me. And, I won first place. That got me a trip to New York and a chance to meet all the editors. I went, and they threw me out of their offices. The last editor I saw on the last day I was there said, "Hey, I bet you'd like something to draw, wouldn't you." I said, "Yeah!" That was, I think, Mike Higgins who was editing the New Universe which was kind of winding down. He was desperate for people to work on it, and I was desperate for work. I did 4 or 5 jobs for him. After about a year and a half of doing it, I was able to quit my regular job and do comics full time. And, I've never looked back.

Other interesting trivia from the contest.

The inking winner was Doug Hazlewood (currently John Byrne's inker on Doom Patrol).

The lettering winner was Robin Riggs, who is currently a professional inker as well.

The second-place winner among the pencillers was Mike Worley.

That's it for this week!

Feel free to tell me some urban legends you have heard, and I will try to confirm or deny them!

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