Unbound issue #1 was the only issue published, but not the only one drawn. I had just received the plot for issue 3 and had already thumbnailed much of the story and drawn a few pages, inking the first page, when Joe Pruett, the writer called with the bad news. The only way Image would publish the second issue would be if we gave back the income from the first. The orders for the second issue were too small to be profitable, because the shops had to order the second before they ever saw the first. The book was bi-monthly and timed so stores would have the first before ordering the second -- the hope was they'd order more if they liked it, but a UPS strike, just before #1 was to ship dashed the plans. To paraphrase Marlon Brando, "It coulda been a contenda".
Unbound was part of an experiment at Image, in black & white "indie" style books. This experiment is sometimes referred to as the "non-line". They were basically self-published books, with Image covering printing expense until the profits came in, when they'd take back printing costs plus a fee for having the Image "i" on our covers. There was no advertisement, aside from, perhaps, a house add or two (adds in other Image "non-line" books). The thought was, I believe, the Image logo was enough to sell books. This experiment was a disaster and it's not the way they do business now -- too late for Unbound.
Here, for the first time anywhere are a few pages from the ill-fated issue 2 and the first page from #3. For me, the 2nd issue would have been my first writing credit, instead I didn't have a published comics writing credit, until my 1st story for Heavy Metal. Joe, who created the series, wrote the first issue (all but part of one scene, added when he asked me to stretch the 22 page script into 23) and plotted the second, liked my margin notes suggesting dialog and said he'd give me co-writer credit. Had this been published, undoubtedly, Joe would have given the script a bit of polishing, but it would have been much like it is now -- my script from Joe's plot. The third issue on, we were co-plotting.
This painting was intended to be the cover for Unbound issue #2
Marta -- intended back cover of #2
Intended 1st page of #3
I'll add a few more pages, and what might have been the cover to issue 3, soon, depending on server space issues.
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