Friday, May 14, 2021

When Comic Books Come To Life

In case you missed it, the new Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage trailer is out.

I'm excited for it.

Way back in the mid 2000s I was collecting comic books more than anything relating to sports.  I became friends with the artists and writers as I began to take the convention circuit with many of them from New York to Philadelphia to Orlando (MegaCon) to Chicago.  I never made it out to San Diego and got out of the comic book scene around 2009 (basically when Marvel was beginning their cinematic universe).  I wrote about the origin story of how I became CollectingCutch here and I discussed my love of comic books several times over the duration of this blog.  There are several comic book characters that I have always enjoyed, but Gambit, The Flash, and Daredevil will always be my top favorites.  

I had long boxes filled with near complete runs of all those characters, but sold everything about 10 years ago.  

The joy of original comic art is still a collecting itch I get from time to time, but I haven't done a whole lot about scratching it other than an occasional sketch card of Andrew McCutchen here and there. 

The comic book style has never been married to my sports card collection until now.  

When it comes to iconic comic book covers there are a few that stand out above the rest.  I think of many silver age comic covers and a few bronze age covers when I think of all time greatest covers.

One of the most iconic is Amazing Spider-Man #50 by the great John Romita Sr.
The issue was originally published by Marvel Comics July 1967 with a cover price of 12 cents.  It saw Peter Parker walk away from being Spider-Man and also introduces readers to the 1st Appearance of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin.  Fisk is the crimelord of the underworld, taking on the role of a seedy mobster type background.

You may be familar with Kingpin from the Netflix series, Daredevil.  He was played by Vincent D'Onforio
Kingpin was also played by Michael Clarke Duncan in the 2003 Daredevil film starring Ben Affleck. 
Despite Kingpin being my favorite villain in comic books, he actually doesn't appear on the cover of his first appearance.  That doesn't stop this comic from being one of my favorite comics I ever owned in my collection and I think it is the cover art that I always enjoyed about this historic comic issue. 

So a few months ago, I got a crazy idea to merge my 2 favorite hobbies into some new wall art.  I looked over some of my favorite comic book covers to figure out how to do it and who I might be able to make it a reality.  I noticed that one of the artists that drew a single issue of Gambit from his first ongoing series was taking commissions via eBay.  He is more well known for his work on Spider-Man, then it hit me.  Amazing Spider-Man #50, the first issue to feature my favorite villain and one of the greatest Spider-Man stories ever told. Perfect!!!

I contacted Joe St Pierre to do a comic cover homage, but make it Andrew McCutchen centralized.

I knew there would have to be homages made to the original Amazing Spider-Man #50 so here are some things that I requested

First and foremost I wanted the title to say Andrew McCutchen instead of The Amazing Spider-Man
You may also notice that I had the Spidey image in the box corner art to be modified to the Uncle Larry persona that Cutch created last year, made famous on his Series 2 short print swagger card.

Speaking of box corner art, here's a look at some other changes I requested
Rather than 12 cents I asked for it to say 22 cents (a reference to Cutch's jersey number).  And instead of the issue number and month of publication I requested 13 MVP to identify the year Cutch won the NL MVP. 

Now for the main image of Spider-Man I wanted a fully dreaded version of Cutch in his Pirates black alternate jersey turning his head similar to the way Spidey is turning.
In the foreground of the comic is a very somber Peter Parker walking head down towards the reader.  I wanted a different look for Cutch to represent the Peter Parker side of him.
I requested Joe to put Cutch in the fist clinching excited moment of his walk off homer in the 14th inning against the Dodgers while in his 1st week with the San Francisco Giants.  In case you forget that moment here is the video.  What an epic at bat!!!!
I think it's safe to say all us Pirates fans wanted Cutch to stay a Pirate for life, but when he was traded to the Giants prior to the 2018 season he was forever a Pirate in our hearts, but a Pirate No More on the field.
Cutch will forever be my favorite athlete regardless of what team he plays for.  

So I think I've hinted around the final drawing enough.

Above is the result of a truly talented artist taking my love of comic books and baseball and perfectly blending them together.

Joe sent me pictures along the way and even made a revision after seeing the initial black and white image he sent.  I thought it would be cooler to get Cutch in a Giants uniform instead of Phillies uniform so Joe was gracious enough to do it for me.

How fricking awesome is that?

This has definitely made a new thing for me to collect.  

Here are some other covers I am thinking about turning into Cutch themed covers
Joe Mad! is one of my favorite comic artists and Gambit is a favorite character of mine.  I need to figure out a way to have a deadlocked Cutch holding baseball cards.

The Cutch of 2 cities.  Classic Pittsburgh Cutch and the Cutch of Philadelphia both coming to save someone.

The Phillies have basically brought back the same team as the past 2 years and are still thought to be favorites in the NL East.  This might be a fun one with JT, Bryce, and Rhys with Cutch in the corner box art or maybe go with Cutch, AJ Burnett, and Russel Martin as the team that brought the Pirates back to the playoffs.  I'll have to give this Jim Lee cover some more thoughts

I think getting something with Cutch and the Uncle Larry persona would be fun in this homage to Incredible Hulk #1.

We'll have to see if I progress forward with any of these ideas or if they just stay buried in my head.

What do you think of my first Andrew McCutchen comic cover homage?  
Should I proceed with another and if so what cover would you suggest?  Are there any comic book covers you can think of as being iconic that might lend themselves to getting a baseball update?

Please give Joe a follow on Twitter or view his website
Twitter @Joe_StPierre


  1. Whoa, that is very cool! I don't know enough about comic books to suggest, but this is a very cool concept.

  2. That's awesome! St. Pierre did a fantastic job. Congrats!

  3. Fantastic piece of art. Although I enjoy picking up a comic book or two here or there, I don't know enough covers to offer suggestions. But I'm sure any of the ones you've shown in today's post would come out fantastic.

  4. This was wonderful to see how it was all put together. Excellent job!