Last Updated: February 25, 2016 ...
For this web site, I have found it better to scan the entire 9-pocket (a.k.a. page), rather than to put each sketch up as an individual scan. Besides for those of you who know me, I am very obsessive about how my pages are arranged .
Currently I have 10 "full" pages of Marvel Legends, Masterpieces, and Incredible Hulk 2003 sketch cards. Below, I give a brief summary of what is in each page, just to the right of the thumbnail for that page.
Note: Click the thumbnail to open a new window to see a larger-size view of the page.
Page 1: This Examples page shows an example of each of the nine Hobby boxes' "Custom Covers" that Topps created for use in the Marvel Legends card series.
Each custom cover was intended for the artist to draw character(s) related to the title on the top of the Custom Cover card. Certain artists were assigned certain custom covers; for example only John Czop drew on the Thor related Custom Covers.
There was a tenth Custom Cover for the 'Silver Surfer', that was available only in the Retail boxes. I don't have an example of that here since I didn't have room for it in the 9-pocket.
Note: The Punisher in slot 5 is not a sketch that I have. I printed out a hi-rez scan of a Pop Mhan Punisher sketch and put it on this page, just to serve as an example. I don't like the Punisher sketches enough to pay the going price for one !!
Page 2: This TRIBUTE TO JACK KIRBY Page 4 highlights one of the King's other great characters, Captain America. Cap was actually his Golden Age creation (during WWII).
In slot 1 is card #1 from the 1995 trading card set 'Tribute to Kirby and Simon', showing a young WWII-era Kirby. In slot 2 is a rather "goofy-looking" sketch of Cap by Jack's long-time co-creator, Stan Lee. This sketch card is from the 2006 Complete Avengers card series. In slot 3, I have a nicely penciled MCC98 Baron Zemo (by Warren Martineck) ... looks just like Kirby's Zemo to me, even having Kirby's details in the mask and the fur collar !!
I really like some of the Marvel Legends Don Perlin sketches, and I filled the rest of this page with those. I chose two full-body ones of Cap and one of Bucky; head shots of Bucky and Cap, and Cap's SA arch-villain, the Red Skull. Bucky met his demise at the hands of Baron Zemo during WWII, the same incident that froze Cap in the Arctic ice, until his revival in the Silver Age (Avengers #4).
Page 3: This TRIBUTE TO JACK KIRBY Page 5 has Marvel Legends sketches of my favorite Kirby characters ... the Fantastic Four, all drawn by Claude St. Aubin.
The first 7 are of the "First Family" themselves. Of note to me is the Sue in slot 2, being a classic flying on invisible force field pose; and the Torch in slot 6 shows him flying high the way Kirby would draw him on some covers. Slots 8 and 9, have the Silver Surfer and Black Bolt. These two are rarer sketches since almost all of St. Aubin's sketches were of the FF themselves.
Page 4: This TRIBUTE TO JACK KIRBY Page 6 highlights my favorite individual Kirby character ... the Mighty Thor, and the wonderful world of Asgard that Kirby created. All of these are John Czop's Marvel Legends penciled Thor sketches that I really like.
This is 'The Heroes' page, showing Thor and his allies.
I put one villains sketch here since I like the way the pair of the evil Enchantress and Executioner, looks next to the pair of heroic Thor and Sif; Czop used the same type of positioning for the characters in both sketches.
Hercules (slot 3) started out as a foe, but he later became Thor's friend and ally. In slot 4 is one half of the similar sketches that Czop drew for me for the MSA commissions (see MSA Gallery 2). I would like to find the Thor I half some day !! The colored Asgard sketch (slot 5) is probably my most-valued ML Czop sketch, since he captures the way that Kirby drew that same scene "perfectly", esp. the coloring of the Rainbow bridge !! In slot 6 is a nicely penciled "naked"(?) Sif . This is NOT how I remember Sif from the SA-era ... the SA-era Sif that I remember is more like in slot 1.
The bottom row show's Thor's Asgardian allies, the Warriors Three; Hogun the Grim, the Voluminous Vollstagg, and the Dashing Fandral.
Page 5: This TRIBUTE TO JACK KIRBY Page 7 is a second page of Czop's ML Thor sketches. This is a Rogues gallery page.
Of course one cannot have a Thor villains gallery without his evil half-brother which pretty much causes all Thor's grief !! This Loki (slot 1) is the version of him from later in the SA, as compared to the initial version with the long-horned helmet. The Enchantress (a sorceress) and her minion, The Executioner (slot 2 & 3) are other Asgardian Immortals that confronts Thor on both Asgard and Earth.
The Destroyer (slot 4) is a magical suit of armor created by Odin, but is animated by Loki to attack Thor. Ulik is a powerful Rock Troll (slot 5); Surtur is a Fire-demon (slot 6); and the monster Mangog (slot 8) are other Asgardian dwellers.
The Absorbing Man (slot 7), though a human is created by Loki, who imbues him with his powers, and of course Loki uses him to fight Thor. The Grey Gargoyle (slot 9) is the only one in this Gallery that is not of Asgardian origin. In typical SA fashion, he was originally a chemist who gains his power to turn people to stone, via a chemical accident.
Page 6: This is a continuation of the above page of Czop's ML Thor sketches.
So far I have only found these three colored "unique" sketches; cover recreation from Thor #171 (slot 1); Surtur the Fire-demon (slot 2); and one of Thor's earliest foes, the Radioactive Man (slot 3). In slot 4, I decided to get his "somewhat common" inked Thor holding-up his hammer.
In slots 8 and 9, I put Topps Incredible Hulk sketches from the other two artists that did sketches for that series, Marie Severin and Don Perlin. The IH03 Romita sketch is in the MSA Gallery 1, Page 4. Thus with the Czop's on Page 6 below, I have a set of all four IH03 sketch artists.
Page 7: This page is of 2003 Topps Incredible Hulk Czop's. For this series, Czop's sketches were only available in approximately 1:26 boxes.
Row 1 starts off with Banner being bombarded by Gamma rays, turning him into the Hulk. I chose the Hulk sketch in slot 2 since it looks more SA than the other one that I acquired. The Betty Ross sketch in slot 3 is the SA version (did Czop have me in mind when he drew this ?
Row 2 I call the "loves of the Hulk". In slot 4, I added a modern "more sultry" version of Betty Ross. I don't care for the "extreme closeup" sketches, so I would trade this one towards a Topps Hulk that I "like better". In slot 5 is the Hulk teamed with a fellow hero whom the Hulk seems to have/had "some affection for" ... Hellcat. I was not familiar with the babe in slot 6, but I am told by Czop ... 'Jarella. She's one of the Hulk's former loves. She lives in a microscopic world that the Hulk visited many times, and is considered more of a major character in the Hulk mythology. She has green skin with yellow (blonde) hair. And is also a ruler of her kingdom.' In this sketch Czop drew her crying, so this must be when the Hulk chose to leave her kingdom ?
Row 3 are Hulk "foes". In slot 7, is his long time fellow gamma-bombarded foe, the Abomination. I am not familiar with the Absorbing Man being a Hulk foe, but it wouldn't surprise me if they fought at some time over the years. And Wolverine had a classic battle with the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #181 (also one of earliest appearances of Wolverine).
Page 8: On this page are Marvel Masterpieces INKED sketches.
I was not "very serious" about collecting MM sketches. I just dabbled in them, since as a Marvel Comics sketch card collector, it was "expected of me" to collect some of these ? I decided to do at least one page of MM sketches of Silver-Age characters, preferably with a SA-style. All are SA-era characters, except for the Storm (slot 6).
Page 9: On this page are Marvel Masterpieces Spider-Man sketches.
This page is Spidey-themed, with a mix of colored, inked and penciled sketches.
Page 10: On this page are Marvel Masterpieces COLOR sketches.
This page has colored sketches that I like, and has become an X-Men themed page . I wouldn't mind trading or selling some of them for what I paid for them .