Monday, December 31, 2012

The End?

According to Bob Layton's website:
"This piece, penciled by Jackson (Butch) Guice was slated to be the cover to X-Factor #2--which featured a story revolving around the Beast--Hank McCoy facing off against the powerful size-changing mutant known as Tower.  However, it was deemed unsuitable because the editors felt it was too soon for a mere, single character on the cover of a team book."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Santa Claws

We conclude our week of holiday themed X-Men art with this subscription ad, featuring Santa Claws by John Buscema.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Yuletide Greetings!

This hastily colored festive image comes from Comics Interview 76, which I featured in this post:
Scroll down for the original black and white art.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry X-Mas!

Happy Holidays to all the readers of Unpublished X-Men!  Today we bring to your attention Marvel Holiday Special #1 from 1991, which featured a short story by Scott Lobdell and the late, great Dave Cockrum.  The best part is that this story leads directly into the splash page for the now classic Uncanny X-Men #98 by Cockrum and Claremont!
Marvel Holiday Special also features a cover by Art Adams, also posted for your holiday enjoyment.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Classic X-Men Week Finale - Carlos Pacheco

 From the One Minute Later Gallery at Comicartfans:

"Recipe for a Carlos Pacheco One Minute Later:

Start with an unpublished X-Men pencil pin-up by Carlos. Find Jesus Merino (via their mutual art agent) and have Jesus ink the pin-up. Next, meet Carlos in person at Wizard World Philly 2011 and explain to him the One Minute Later concept and show him the One Minute Later sketchbook. Watch as Carlos tranforms the piece into Classic X-Men One Minute Later by adding FOUR characters (Angel, Beast, Ice-Man and Havok) and tightens Nightcrawler. Viola!!!!"

The commission was based on this piece which appeared as an X-Men poster, and a double page spread in X-Men: The Ultimate Guide.

I could not find a good scan of the poster, but this cover for Dolmen, a foreign language publication is much better in quality.  (Click for a larger version)

Here is a link to the One Minute Later gallery:

Update!  Here's a better version of the image from X-Men: The Ultimate Guide.  Right click to view the larger image, and please pardon the seam in the middle of the scan.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Classic X-Men Week - Art Adams

Here's an interesting look at the evolution of a cover:  The original version of Classic X-Men #1 by Art Adams.

The prelim sketch below was credited to John Romita.  Was he teaching Art how to tighten up his layout?

Below is Adams' second prelim, based on John Romita's poses, perhaps.

And here we have the final Classic cover!

Along with a recolored version.

Finally, we have a recent commission showing how Adams would attack this composition today!

Most of the images come from Marvel Comics of the 1980s:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Fantastic was a British comic magazine published in the 1960's.  It contained comic strips as well as black and white reprints of Marvel Comics stories.  Here are a few X-Men related pinpus from the magazine.  More pinups can be found in this Flickr gallery, courtesy of tinybatch:
While some of the images contain art from the comics, many of them appear to be original art produced for the magazine.  Feel free to try to identify the artist of each piece.

Monday, December 10, 2012

100th post - Apologies to Brent Anderson

In honor of the 100th blog post on The Unpublished X-Men, I would like to take a moment to thank all the viewers who have made this blog a success.  I'm glad to see so many people share an interest in the behind-the-scenes rarities that have I have gathered here.  I would also like to take a moment to present the original art I used for the banner image at the top of the blog.  Here is the original cover to The Marvel Comics Index by Brent Anderson.  Unfortunately, I had to make some changes to the original art to make it fit into a banner.  Nightcrawler and the logo have been moved down, and the Angel's wings were much too big to fit into the image without some tucking and folding.  The red X was removed, and the original X-Men were resized.

In addition, I had the good fortune to purchase a printer's proof of the original black and white lineart a few years back, and I am presenting it here for the first time.  Right click on the images to view them with more detail.
Once again, thanks for coming back to visit time and again, rest assured that I have many more rarely seen works of art in store for the next 100 posts! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

X-Men Animated

Steven E. Gordon did character designs for both theX-Men Evolution and the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series.  Here's a design for Psylocke.  You can find more of Steven's work here:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two Toms

The Official Marvel Index to the X-Men contained some great interior pieces which I will be featuring from time to time.  This one comes from issue #3 published in 1987.  Art is by Tom Grindberg and Tom Palmer.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ultimate X-Men

I'm not completely sure which issue this unpublished Ultimate X-Men cover was for.

Friday, November 30, 2012

All New, All Defunct

As our month of John Byrne art draws to a close, we still have several more months worth of material!  Until the next John Byrne month, we leave you with this re-interpretation of Uncanny X-Men #114's cover.  Fear not, readers, we will be back next week with much more Unpublished X-Men!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

One Minute Later

This art was actually repurposed by inker Joe Rubinstein over John Byrne's pencils for another project.  It comes to us from Comicartfan's One Minute Later gallery, a series of commissions depicting what happened just after the original cover.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Amazing Adventures

Amazing Adventures #6 reprinted the second half of X-Men #3, and featured a new cover by John Byrne.
We're also pleased as punch to present to you the original cover art!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Uncanny X-Men 113

For your consideration:  The unpublished cover for Uncanny X-Men #113, presented with the slightly different published version.
Unpublished art from:

Friday, November 16, 2012

X-Men Universe

I encourage you to click on this file to view the larger image.  Then, go to The Art of John Byrne to see the full size original art.  See if you can name all the characters!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Essential X-Men

 From Byrnerobotics:
"This piece was done during the brief period Michael Golden was Art Director (or whatever the title was) at Marvel, and when he sent out a cover sketch it was virtually a finished drawing. One from which we were forbidden to stray too far. That's why, for instance, Storm doesn't look like my Storm. The whole drawing is more akin to me inking Michael." -- John Byrne

As the lineart above shows, the back cover was used as the front cover in later editions.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Days of Future Past

 This art, credited below as the cover of a Days of Future Past TPB, originally appeared as the "chromium" cover art to Marvel Collectible Classics #2, which reprinted Uncanny X-Men #141 and #142.  All apologies for the quality of the scans, but these are far better than the "chromium" cover itself, which does not photograph well.

Monday, November 5, 2012

New New Mutants

There's so much John Byrne unpublished material floating around that instead of doing a John Byrne week I decided to dedicate a whole month of Unpublished X-Men to John Byrne material.  There's easily enough artwork to do an entire blog of just John Byrne art.  To start with, I thought I would introduce the genesis of what later became the New Mutants.

Kitty Pryde
  In 1978 John Byrne did this original character design for Kitty Pryde. Below the art John wrote this note to Chris Claremont: "My concept here is that Ariel should be not so much a new member of the X-Men per se, but rather the first member of a second team, a kind of "X-Men in training" team, which could possibly also include that black kid from F.F. 203.  They'd all (However many there are - say 5?) wear this modernized version of the original x-costume, and each would occasionally go on missions with the first team.  Should the concept prove viable, we might even do "interlude" episodes with these youngsters on missions of their own. The thing to avoid, of course, would be the "Legion of Substitute X-Men" Stigma"


In the book X-Men Companion II, interviewer Peter Sanderson asked John Byrne:  "Now, back in the days when she was called Ariel, it seemed you folks were working on a character Caliban.  How did that concept evolve?"  Byrne replied:  "Oh, I was just in a comics shop at one point and I said "Ariel" and somebody said "Caliban" and it was like, "Of course if we're going to have an Ariel, we must have a Caliban."  So- (...) He was going to be an incredibly ugly Living Cerebro kind of character, whom we would never see entirely.  We would only see bits and pieces of him.  And he would live in this dark room in the back of the mansion and Kitty would be able to relate to him for some reason.  Chris defined the situation as being that she can't stand Nightcrawler because he is "wrong" somehow, he is a human done sideways, but Caliban was so hideous and so deformed that he was a broken thing, like a bird with a broken wing, and she could relate to him on that level."

Byrne's comments refer to Ariel and Caliban, characters in Shakespeare's The Tempest.  Notice that John Byrne's description of Caliban's powers in the above image differ from the powers mentioned in the article.
Caliban appeared as a drastically different character in Uncanny X-Men #148 drawn by Dave Cockrum.

Willie Evans Jr.
Peter Sanderson went on to ask why Caliban was never introduced during John Byrne's tenure on the X-Men, and Byrne replied "Because Shooter killed the concept of a second team of X-Men, the X-Men in training, because he said it sounded too much like the Legion of Substitute X-Men, so it died right there and Kitty became the only one who ever made it into the book. (...)  Kitty, Caliban, and Willie Evans Jr, that little black kid who was in the Fantastic Four about three years ago, who made the monstrous versions of the FF, were the only ones we were sure were going to be in it."

Willie Evans Jr. was a mutant who could create and animate solid matter with his mind.  He first appeared in Fantastic Four #203 by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard.  There weren't many good images of him in the issue, because in the story he was hospitalized, and had created nightmare versions of the FF while he slept.  I have included an image of Willie and one of his creations, Grunt, from the Marvel Phoenix Force Handbook.

The New Mutants as published bears some striking similarities to Byrne's original concept, so much so that John Byrne posted in his forum:
"One slightly amusing -- perhaps even bordering on ironic -- moment that came out of the birth of the New Mutants was Shooter calling me up one day to ask if I intended to "make trouble" over this book. It seemed he actually remembered the idea had originally been mine, and wanted to know if I intended to make any "claim" on the book -- like, for royalties, for instance.  I assured him that if Chris promised to make no "claim" on ALPHA FLIGHT, which was also in launch mode at that time, I would make no "claim" on NEW MUTANTS.  (Chris' only contribution to Alpha Flight, as some of you may recall, had been the name of the group.)"
The original forum post can be found in this thread:

Of course, the concept of new students was later used in New Mutants by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod, introducing completely new characters who would form a team that Kitty Pryde refused to be a member of.  It's still fun to imagine what could have been if these concepts had been used, since at the time everything Claremont and Byrne had done with the X-Men had been a huge success!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...