For the Image Superfan Only

The ashcan format is typically used to pitch to publishers. An aspiring creator makes a miniature version of his or her proposed comic, typically with 10 or fewer pages, and presents it to an editor in the hopes of being noticed. From a legal standpoint, printing it out is useful down the line if someone tries to steal your intellectual property. You can say you’ve published it (the law doesn’t see much difference between mass printing and a run of 30 at Kinkos) and own the rights.

Ashcans are also used as promotional items. Or were for awhile. I don’t see it nearly as often anymore. Maybe it’s because people aren’t really interested in looking at a tiny, shitty version of an upcoming comic when they can just look at PDF’s of it online.

Here’s some ashcans from third-tier and largely forgotten Image books. Why would you want something that is already mediocre in a format that furthers its shittiness? Direct that question to the guy asking $124.99 for a PITT ashcan. Wow. Thinking about that just made me giggle. I want one-billion spacebucks for my copy of Web of Spider-man #50 (featuring Rocket Racer) that my dog peed on.

Oh Pitt, we hardly knew thee.

A very necessary SECOND Pitt ashcan. This advertising blitz won me over. I have to take my hat off to the seller here. Not only is he/she asking way too much for something barely cool, he/she also has the balls to only provide a blurry photo. This person is bold. I respect it.

This one I had to Google. What the hell is Darker Image, you ask? It was a four-issue series intended to introduce us to such crucial characters as… whoever that guy on the right is. But it only ever made it to one issue. Come to think of it, that’s probably all the introduction needed.

Mixed feelings well up inside me here. Larry Stroman, to me, is one of the best artists of his generation. Totally undervalued. But, without the benefit of a strong editorial staff, he ties himself to some unreadable material.


  1. b. murphy
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Dude. Deathblow. Get into it. Jim Lee and Brandon Choi. Very Vietnam vet style warrior, think super dark Punisher meets Suicide Squad.

  2. Posted November 13, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    What B. Murphy said. Deathblow, the guy on the left on that /Darker Image/ cover, was a good comic. It started with Jim Lee doing a great Frank Miller impression, and then Tim Sale started drawing it and it looked even better.

    The guy on the right is a character Rob Liefeld created to parody Lobo.

    I miss the Larry Stroman of back then. His strength was solidly-constructed, well-rendered figures, not storytelling, so /Tribe/ was pretty confusing at times. The fact that the first character in the comic can create glamour illusions and the next can turn invisible doesn’t help, and even worse, /everyone/ in the comic thinks in caption boxes, so you have no idea who the hell is speaking at any time. Good art though!

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