Tuesday, January 19, 2016

1985 - The Mighty Thor #350 - The Story Behind The Cover

"This Walt Simonson THOR cover has a great story behind it, one that I heard at Mark Gruenwald’s memorial service. Mark was the editor on this portion of Walter’s THOR run.

"So, this cover was ready to go to press, but Editor in Chief Jim Shooter didn’t like the Thor face that Walt had drawn, and he demanded that Gruenwald get a correction done. Mark believed that. if he brought the situation to Walt, it would escalate, possibly resulting in Simonson quitting the series.

"Mark also knew, however, that Jim was going to be out of town on business the following week. So he came up with a plan. He had art director John Romita draw a new face for Thor on a piece of adhesive patch-paper. And then, once Shooter had left the building, Gruenwald peeled off and discarded the patch. If Shooter came back with a complaint, Mark intended to claim that the patch must have fallen off at some point while the cover was in transit.

"Weeks later, the make-ready for this cover came in from the printer, and Shooter called Gruenwald down to his office. Mark figured that he was going to get it, and readied his defense. And then, Shooter held up the cover as mark entered and said: “See? Doesn’t it look a lot better this way?”"

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  1. Many stories about 1980s Marvel center on Shooter, Byrne, Simonson, Miller, or one of the other big personalities/egos of the era...but the unsung hero of 80s Marvel is undoubtedly Mark Gruenwald. He was a talented writer (and artist!), a great editor, and by all accounts a heckuva nice guy. I wish he was still with us to tell these stories himself.



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