“Hey, let’s get Ron Lim and Terry Austin to illustrate our dopey phone line money grab…”
Ron Lim could invest even the degraded “Cripes, Thanos put me in a dog collar” Silver Surfer with a certain degree of shiny dignity, and Terry Austin’s inks graced any number of classic comics. Yet here they found themselves illustrating a poster with a haphazard assembly of characters, one that was supposed to entice kids to call a 900 number. Granted, it was a flat fee to play the phone line’s contest (it looks to be a variant on the “Where will the cow crap?” county fair grid game, but with trivia), and there’s the usual disclaimer on getting parents’ permission to call (how many times was that sanction really sought?), yet this carries an unseemly taint. A money grab — pretty certain this wasn’t done for charitable ends.
The big prize you could win with your phone call? The poster. That’s it. No cash. No vacation. The poster. Never mind that it was a bit more nicely colored in the non-grid version. (You can find pictures of the finished product on eBay, with many listings trying to sell it for inflated prices.)
And by the way, for your “cramming characters into a rectangle” dollar, nothing beats the George Perez/Alex Ross Crisis poster.