In my previous post I introduced you to William Clausen and Mike Kelly’s Cold-Blooded Chameleon Commandos. Anyone who is familiar with this series can see that William’s art blossoms with each issue, becoming more complex, evolving into the style he has become famous for. He took this opportunity very seriously and spent more and more time with each issue. The problem was, being a bi-monthly publication, it became increasingly difficult to balance great art with making deadlines.
And so it was that in Jan. 1987 William approached me about helping him meet a looming deadline. Since I was not involved in the regular series, it was decided that a solo issue starring RIVIT would save the day. I had one condition, while working at PENSAR I had done a six page epic poem entitled “DoubleCross” that I wished to publish at the back of the book. He agreed, and we set about dusting off an old story (Not on the First Date) I had written in junior high and adapting it to fit the main character.
My brother and I each tackled 8 pages, the rest were divvied up among several other artists in his extensive network, (Alice Clausen, John Dooley, Marilyn Draving, Richard Johnson, Michael Kelly, Jim McDivitt, Clayton Moore, and Marvin Nelson) freeing William up to deliver yet another fantastic 2 page spread plus a spectacular cover.
He (with Marvin Nelson) also tackled any incongruities that arose (which will ALWAYS occur when you have that many people working separately on something), such as explaining why all of a sudden (page 9) RIVIT has no pants!
All in all, I am very proud of this one-off issue. It contains one of the earliest examples of computer generated comic book art. I did page 1 completely on the (then new) Macintosh, using MacDraw. I also incorporated a second computer graphic (done by my ex-wife Alice) as background panels on pages 2 & 3. It’s a testament to what can be accomplished in a short period of time. The story also holds up well, being about a terrorist plot on American Soil that could easily have been published today and still be relevant. It stands the test of time, and that is the ultimate compliment one (or in this case many) could hope for.