By Guest Contributor

I can’t tell you what an honor it was for me that Fred Hembeck agreed to do this story.  I love Fred’s work.  From his strips in The Comics Buyers Guide to his FantaCo comics, to The Fantastic Four Roast, to of course, Marvel Age, where my internship took place in this story. It couldn’t be any more perfect that he illustrated this piece.

Fred broke the fourth wall, added humor to characters that didn’t naturally exhibit that trait, and of course, placed himself in his strips, (realizing as I type this) quite possibly making him the first auto-bio cartoonist I ever read. Before Pekar, before the Canadian trio of Chet, Seth and Joe, before anyone!

It was such a thrill to see Fred’s pencils for the first time, with my curly-cued kneecaps, I can’t even tell you!

I would also like to add a shoutout to Adam Walmsley who did a champion’s job on the classic coloring in this piece. Particularly the way he handled the page with the rainbow bridge!

The inker of that Romita Sr. page was none other than Joltin’ Joe Sinnott! He was the perfect guy for the job.  Romita let him have the original art and I REALLY wanted that cover piece, but I believe Joe promised it to his grandson or something.  I wonder whatever happened to it?


Before Jonathan Baylis wrote auto-bio comics, he interned at Marvel Comics, Valiant/Acclaim Comics, and was an Associate Editor at Topps Comics. His comics have been published locally in New York City in Free Comics NYC, The Comical Magazine, & The Comedians Magazine. “So… Only Nixon Could’ve Gone to China” was the first comic story to be published in The Florida Review. His first fiction story with David Beyer was published by Arcana Press in Dark Horrors 2. Jonathan & T.J. have two-pagers that were published in the Random House/Three Rivers press collection edited by Julia Wertz, “I Saw You… Missed Connections”, as well as Poseur Ink’s “Side B: The Music Lover’s Comic Anthology”.

Friend Jonathan on Facebook
Follow Jonathan at Twitter

This story and more can be found in So Buttons #4 and can be ordered at