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CSBG Archive

David Mazzucchelli’s Back Pages

Every day this month I will share with you the first (at least as far as I know) U.S. professional work by a notable comic book creator. Here is an archive of the creators who have been featured so far.

Today’s featured creator is David Mazzucchelli!


David Mazzucchelli is one of the most acclaimed comic book artists of the past 25 years. After first gaining attention as the regular artist on Daredevil with writer Denny O’Neil, Mazzucchelli drew even more attention during his association with Frank Miller on the classic Daredevil storyline, “Born Again.” Mazzucchelli left Daredevil to work on the even more famous “Batman Year One” storyline with Miller.

Mazzucchelli then left superhero comics to work in independent comics (as well as illustration and design work), with perhaps his greatest work to date being his brilliant 2009 graphic novel, Asterios Polyp, which he had been working on for years. Everyone is dying to know what Mazzucchelli will produce next!

In his early days, though, like pretty much every other artist, he had to take any assignment he could get, which leads to his first two comic book assignments that I’ll show you today.

First, a February 1983 fill-in issue of Master of Kung-Fun #121…

And then, a February 1984 fill-in issue of The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #14…

That nebbishly looking guy causes trouble for Indy later on in the issue…

Look how strong his storytelling skills were right from the start!

Two months after the Indiana Jones issue, the 24-year-old Mazzucchelli began work on Daredevil and the rest was history.


David Mazzucchelli: Never less than great from day one. Must be nice.

The Saint on inks? Who dat?

Pete Woodhouse

March 20, 2011 at 9:18 am

@ The Mutt: Simon Templar, of course! Could be Mazz again, like “Michael Dee” was Barry Smith in one of his Back Pages shown the other day by Brian??

PLUPSH: that’s the sound I always make when I jump in the tub!

Oh Lord

The Mazz was great from his first professional work !!

He also did an issue of Star Wars sometime in ’83 (that’s where I first saw his work).

Wasn’t Mikey Dee a pseudonym for Mike Esposito? It looks like Vince Colletta is the inker on at least the first few pages of that Indy story. Not sure about the latter pages. Some of it looks like Colletta, but other parts don’t. Perhaps The Saint was actually a bunch of inkers?

Wow… That Indiana Jones stuff is really, really good.

I also love how Shang-Chi has orange skin.

Wow. That’s really fluid. Other than a couple panels that don’t quite mesh, this is some solid visual storytelling

Oh crap! That was one of the first issues of Master of Kung Fu I ever owned… I had no idea that was Mazzucchelli! (or at least his name didn’t mean enough to me at the time to retain it)

I remember that issue of TFAOIJ very well, too…

Pete Woodhouse, in Barry Smith’s Back Pages entry you said apropos of nothing “I guess Michael Dee is a pseudonym for Barry Smith.” No particular reason or anything. Now you’re stating it in other Back Pages as a confirmed fact. That’s how false rumors start.

Michael Dee, as someone else pointed out, is actually a Esposito pseudonym. Why would Barry Smith use his real name on pencils only to use a pseudonym for inks?

Also, I agree, those first few Indy pages are definitely Vince Coletta inks.

Man, that Indy Jones story really reminds me of how much I dislike Michilinie’s annoying habit of stretching a sentence across two panels, using the second panel just for the last word of the sentence. In those pages I see 4 instances of it.

Pete Woodhouse

March 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

T – my apologies – I didn’t know Esposito used that pseudonym as well as ‘Mickey Demeo’. I bow to your superior knowledge, sir!

Vinny C. shows up like a bad penney too diminish another artists work.Sorry…thats my opinion.

“First, a February 1983 fill-in issue of Master of Kung-Fun #121″

Well, I suppose it is Master of Kung-Fun, too. But that’s being a little overly punny, I think.

What issue of Daredevil was his first? I have DD #225, is that the one? That is a perfectly drawn comic.

twin1todd: Right on. Colletta was about the only inker known who could make Jack Kirby look average. If Sinnott made bad pencilers look good and good pencilers look great, Vince was his opposite number.

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