What you’re seeing above (and click on the image for a closer look) is the final pages of Marvels: Eye of the Camera #6, drawn by the meticulous and amazing Jay Anacleto.
Not the last pages of the story, mind you, but the last pages of art to be finished. It’s pages two and three of the issue; it was simply a complex enough shot that Jay saved it for last. It’s already been lettered (from a partially-done version*), as has the rest of the issue. And most of the issue’s been colored, as well, so once this last spread is as well, the book will be all ready to go off to press, and appear in comics stores and get collected in a nice hardcover and all that. It’s been a long, long journey (even longer for this much-delayed final issue), but the end has finally arrived.
[*and I’ll throw in here that when the partially-finished version came in, my reaction was, “This is only partially finished? It looks great! Why couldn’t we just use this?” And then the finished version came in, and my reaction was, basically, “Guhh. Pret-ty.” And that’s why the difference; Jay sees more than I do, and then makes it real…]
It’ll be weird not to be working on this book any more. We started it in 2002, with the initial idea that it could be a 10th anniversary project, celebrating the original Marvels series. It rapidly became clear there was no way it could come out for the 10th anniversary, and we started making jokes about it being a 15th anniversary book. Which is what it turned out to be—Marvels #1 came out in late November 1993, and Marvels: Eye of the Camera #1 came out in early December 2008.
And the first five issues came out more or less on time. They were moved on the schedule a couple of times, but when they started coming out, they came out monthly. Except this last one, which I suppose stands as a sterling example in the “Why didn’t they get it done faster/bring in a new artist/wait ’til it was done before releasing any of them” free-floating Internet argument.
In the end, the quality of the artwork answers the “Why didn’t they bring in a new artist” option, at least—this issue looks as gorgeous as the rest of the series, and when collected together it’ll be so much better than if there was a sudden stylistic change along the way. Whether there were ways to speed up production or whether it was a feasible option to hold the whole series until now, I couldn’t say.
But it looks gorgeous, it’s finally done, I’ll be proud to have this book on my shelf…
…and after eight years, it’ll take some adjusting to the idea that it won’t be in my “Current Projects” folder any more.