The Eight Immortals! Inside Cover!Here's the inside cover to The Legends of the Eight Immortals. Matt inverted the color and placed the title and credits over this page.
I urge you all to click on the artwork to get a larger view, it will make your enjoyment of the book possible, especially when it gets to reading the text in the main body of the comic.
I was showing this stuff around in 2002, and while in the waiting room at DC comics an old college friend of mine, Phil Jimenez, was passing through. We talked and he took a look at this piece, originally intended as the cover to the book, and said "I thought you were better than this." Glancing through the interior pages, he looked visibly relieved and said "well this stuff is much better than that cover."
So there's the big reason this is not the cover to the book. This is a warts and all presentation of this work, so bombs away.
This art has the final, better version of what the Holy Fool would look like. He's the top center character. The color would have been coded to each Immortal's totemic color, green for the General, red for Iron Crutch, white for the Sage, etc.
At the time, the waiting room at DC still had the giant Superman statue leaping out of the phone booth. I think I looked at that thing cumulatively for a whole 24 hour period, since it never seemed possible to get an editor at DC to pick up the phone and find out that I was in the waiting room - waiting.
I know on more than one occasion I have waited over an hour, making small talk with Margaret, the secretary (who used to be the secretary at Marvel, so we knew one another reasonably well). It's a great system - you can sit there and greet a vast cavalcade of former employers, lovers and friends as they walk past - too busy, too angry (in the former lover's case) or too embarrassed to acknowledge your presence. The only person who was ever nice to me while I was stuck out there waiting was Steve Bunche. He was let go a few weeks later.
So, if asked, I really prefer the current method of sending my work through the ftp system. Much easier, much more calming. Although, if I hadn't been stuck there waiting, this would have been the cover to the book, so maybe there's advantages. You decide.