Early in 1976, renowned comics
historian/fandom sparkplug David Mruz hosted a meeting of the Minnesota
Comics Collectors Association.
Bona fide comics legend C.C. Beck
happened to be in town, and he showed up to display and talk about the
wonderful papier mache rayguns and swords he was designing and creating.
It was there at Dave's house that we
(oblivious to each other, as is pretty much the case to this day,)
first appeared together in the same room.
The formal introductions were performed
later that year at a Minneapolis comics convention, Microcon 3, by
cartoonist/collector/bon vivant Larry Becker:
"Steve...Rich. Rich...Steve. One or both
of you may just want to turn around and walk away right now."
We were working individually as
advertising artists, but--by night--Steve was indulging a longtime
obsession with Harryhausenesque monsters. Rich, not even coming close
to earning the $35/page they paid him, was drawing ghost stories for
At some point (alcohol may have been
involved--kids, try to learn something here!) collaboration seemed like
a viable idea. It was the proverbial match made in Hell, but all for
the best. More or less. As it turned out.
There's been a lot of water under the
bridge and a lot of art through the transom in the last 28 years. We
continue to draw the occasional chubby, cleavage-free kid for corporate
entities who'd just as soon they weren't mentioned by name, no offense.
But our hearts, as you've probably
figured out by now, are with the strangely discomfiting melange of
babes and monsters you see around you. That's not likely to change.
Even though C.C. might not exactly