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Daredevil #171 - Unpublished Cover!

Product Details

Daredevil #171 - Unpublished Cover!


Media Type: Pencil and Ink
Art Type: Cover
Artists: Frank  Miller penciller
Peter Kuper inker
Peter Kuper inker

Okay, offered here is a fabulously fun piece of Marvel history. Please read this entire description in order to understand exactly how this piece came to be....

This is an unpublished cover for Daredevil #171. As you can clearly see in the scan on the bottom left border, the art is signed by Frank Miller in his classic signature from that time period & Peter Kuper, best known as the artist on Spy vs Spy, but also a highly regarded cartoonist at The New Yorker magazine. While I've credited Frank Miller with pencils, that is strictly to credit him for the layout/design of this cover, as it is identical to the published cover. To be absolutely clear however, Miller's original pencils are not underneath the inks here.

At the time this piece was created, Peter Kuper was a member of Upstarts, an art studio whose other rotating members included Frank Miller, Walt Simonson, Jim Starlin, Val Mayerik and James Sherman. Kuper had been inking Richie Rich from '78-80 and briefly entertained the idea of breaking in as an inker at Marvel. In order to help him, Miller provided Kuper with a couple of photocopies of his pencils, the pencils to the Daredevil #171 cover being one of them. Kuper then proceeded to lightbox Miller's pencils onto this board, which is identical to the board that Miller's published cover was drawn on, and then inked it. As is readily apparent just by looking at it, Kuper was a bit heavy handed on the Daredevil figure but did an excellent job on the Kingpin figure.

Kuper ultimately decided he would go on a different artistic path and at one of the New York Comic Cons asked Miller to sign it and he then gifted it to a friend that same year.

So to recap: Frank Miller drew the published cover to Daredevil #171. He then personally made a photocopy of those pencils, and handed it over to studio mate Peter Kuper, who then proceeded to lightbox Miller's pencils onto an identical sheet of official Marvel bristol board, and then inked it. Kuper then had Miller sign it at a NYC comic con, he signed it himself as well, and then proceeded to gift this piece to a friend.

So, while this original piece was NOT the cover intended for publication, it IS still a fabulous piece of the same vintage as the published version, created in the same time period as the published version, on the exact same official Marvel Bristol board the published version was drawn on, lightboxed from Miller's own pencils and with Miller's direct help, as a friend and studio mate of Peter Kuper. So if you're somehow still asking yourself "Did Miller even touch this?", the answer is "Yes, he held it in his hands in order to sign it. But while his DNA may still be on it, no, his own original pencils and inks are not on this board.". Still, a really wonderful piece with a great, direct connection to Frank Miller from his time as a young "Upstart" at Marvel in those early days of his career, and illustrated by an artist who went on to have a great and highly respected career of his own outside the superhero realm! Most importantly, very accessibly priced at a tiny fraction of the $175k-$250k that the published cover would sell for, which 99.9% of fans and collectors cannot afford even if it were also available for sale.

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