The Origin of Walt Simonson
This fan art page from Gold Key’s Magnus Robot Fighter #10, May 1965, is interesting for the identity of the young chap who sent in the image at bottom right. Yes, that squiggly signature could mean only one person—future comics superstar Walter Simonson! This would appear to be his first published work in comics, and it is, naturally enough, easily the best piece on the page (click the image for a better look). Simonson was in his late teens at the time, and would make his proper debut as a professional comics artist at DC Comics around eight years later. He quickly went on to wow us with his masterful illustration of the Archie Goodwin-scripted Manhunter series in Detective Comics, then the fabulous Dr Fate revival in First Issue Special #9, and thence all manner of wonderful comics. His 1980s run on Marvel’s Thor remains a high water mark in comics history, and his 25-issue Orion series around 2000 proved he was one of the few able to successfully handle the Fourth World concepts created by Jack Kirby.
At college Simonson was initially studying to be a paleontologist—his life-long interest in dinosaurs producing the stylized signature so familiar today—but we can be grateful he ultimately chose a different path. And it all began here.
From small acorns, eh?
Image ©2012 the copyright holder