Run The Table
Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI members. Thank you sincerely for all your comments towards this new column last week in regards to Finch’s X-Men Second Coming covers. I am glad to see it was well received! These runs are fun aren’t they? There always seems to be “The One” (to borrow a term from the great Adam Lebednik) from a set of issues that kicks off interest in obtaining all of them from that particular set. In recent memory Frison’s Wonder Woman # 23, or Middleton’s Batgirl # 23 are examples that represent the Crown Jewels of the run. Always nice to know when you have that book secured and the rest are gravy!
In speaking to a “gem” of the run, let’s turn our attention now to Run the Table # 2. There are some iconic Batman covers of the years that have gained well deserved notoriety or attention. One cover in particular has become iconic, even within the mainstream public eye. It’s been featured on women’s dresses, Converse shoes, and a myriad of other items. I am speaking to the brilliant Detective Comics # 880 created by Jock. So let’s take a dive into all his covers from that run, and some interesting tidbits along the way…
Believe it or not Jock is a pseudonym for the British comics artist Mark Simpson. I always wondered where that name came from? Anyways, he gained a strong recognition on Vertigos THE LOSERS. I addition, how work can be seen throughout a lot of DC projects including Nightwing, Catwoman, and of course Batman. This Bats run is truly something else. You see, Jock’s edgy style mirrors perfectly with the Caped Crusader. There’s an emotion, a bleakness that accentuates his work. Without further ado, here Jocks Batman Detective Comics covers starting in the early 2000s.
Good God that is some serious talent there with those covers!. Each one unique in its on way, and tells a story. In speaking to stories, I was curious if when Jock finished # 880 if he knew what he had on his hands, in being the humble man he appears to be it was quite the contrary.
Here is an exchange from an interview he had a few years back in regards to that very topic – Detective Comics # 880
Jock: No. I thought it was okay, but I didn’t really think much of it, and I sent it to a friend and I was, ‘I’ve got this, but I don’t know…’
I was thinking it’s a bit dull, it’s just his head, and, ‘Should I crop it like half and half and just his head off and something?’ He was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. Honestly, trust me, it’s great. Keep it as is.’ I went, ‘Oh, okay.’ Then I sent it to my editor, Mike Marts at DC. I said, ‘Oh, here’s some progress on the cover. How’s it looking?’ He replied straightaway, ‘The best cover I’ve ever seen.’I put it up online, and I had ‘at’ replies for three days, just solidly about this cover. The first 10 – 15 minutes after I posted it, I mean, for one I’ve never had anything like it, and just all the replies from people that I hugely admire in the industry as well, just all going, ‘Whoa, f*cking hell, man, that’s amazing.’ Just everyone.
For ten minutes, I was at my computer, just watching all these people, and it was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I remember distinctly thinking at the time this might never happen again. It’s not like it was viral literally, but for the comics industry, it was a bit viral. Then it was, ‘this is unbelievable.’ So no, that was a long-winded way of saying that no, I didn’t think at the time that it was any better than any of the other covers.
Great story huh? He realized very quickly he caught lightning in a bottle after the release. We all appreciate praise from our peers. It seems as if he got the recognition he deserves immediately.
Here’s a few more bonus picks from Jock. Both you won’t find in cereal boxes or at your local LCS. That Batman Europa # 4 has a familiar feel to it doesn’t it? Also, I am not sure if you are collecting this Mondo movie posters, but that Halloween is flat out amazing and already going for big money on eBay. The attention to detail in this piece has you finding new things within it each and every time you view it. There are some pure gems in this Mondo world that are very scarce and would make great collection pieces if you want to play in that arena.
Bonus Look # 1
Bonus Look # 2
Mondo Halloween Poster: Limited to 350
That’s it for this week’s installment. There’s some great books to grab, that can be had for cheap. Good luck out there and as always, thanks for reading!