Robot 6

Behold the Geof Darrow Superman cover that never was

I did some for DC Comics and they didn’t run it. I did a Superman cover and they gave me—the editor was a really nice guy, but he gave me some reason why they didn’t run it and I was like “Come on!”

That was recently?

Oh yeah yeah. I liked it. I thought it was funny. It was this whole thing, Superman is on a walkabout, kind of rediscovering America. They asked a bunch of guys to do like—Kevin Nowlan was one of them and they said, you can draw whatever you want. Superman, that’s the thing. He’s rediscovering America. You just can’t show him in New York. So I thought about it. I thought, “Well, flying in front of Mount Rushmore, all this stuff…” I said, “I know!” I drew him having tea with this cat lady in this room, she’s like a little old lady and she’s serving him tea and cookies and he’s sitting on her couch having tea with her and there’s all these cats around and all these pictures of her family on the wall. I thought it was funny! That’s kind of America. They didn’t run it. The issue was supposed to run and they had to change it, it was Lois Lane-centric and they had pffft! I was like…and the editor was a really nice guy, he was very “We’re going to use it someday and blah blah blah.” But I don’t think they ever will, because I’m sure someone will say, “Wait a minute…”

[laughs] “Nothing’s getting hit!”

The other ones are pretty much what you’d thought they would be, him flying with clouds—and they’re all beautiful, I just thought mine was kind of funny. But it’ll never see the light of day.

Hard Boiled and Shaolin Cowboy cartoonist Geof Darrow reveals his lost Superman cover to Inkstuds’ Robin McConnell. Looks like the Crazy Cat Lady is one villain not even the Man of Steel could defeat.

In all seriousness, though, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of McConnell’s career-spanning interview with Darrow, originally conducted and aired in February and recently transcribed in full on the Inkstuds website. Darrow has stealthily become one of the most influential comics artists in the English-language comics world — recent works by Chris Burnham, Brandon Graham, James Stokoe, Rafael Grampa, Nate Simpson, Ulises Farinas, and Sam Humphries & Steven Sanders all bear his imprint in one way or another — and McConnell’s interview is a treasure trove of anecdotes about Miller, Moebius, Métal Hurlant, The Matrix, and more.

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Comments

8 Comments

Awesome! I was looking for that cover when Darrow mentioned it on a podcast a while back.Love how he took the concept and ran with it…very inventive take on the cover assignment. Love it!

This cover was way too good for Grounded. Hell, even John Cassady’s covers were too good for grounded.

This is the greatest cover never published. With the number of pets Superman has had over the years, I think he would fit in great with Crazy Cat Lady.

This is a damn shame. It would have made Grounded at least a little worthwhile.

Editorial made the right decision. No self-respecting cat lady would have DOGS. It would destroy the carefully built verissimilitude of Superman’s world.

Hard to tell from the tiny pencils, but the loos look of the suit makes it look less like a Superman cover and more like a picture of a crazy cat lady having a tea party with her loner grandson who lives in her basement and just likes to wear a Superman costume.

Another great cover that never got published was Daniel Clowes’ cover for Bizarro.

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