Probably the most famous and controversial Easter egg in the history of comics was in the Universe X special called “Spidey”. The creator Al Milgrom was on inking duties in this issue around the timeBob Harras ended his career as Editor-In-Chief of Marvel. Apparently Harras and Milgrom didn’t get along very well because he cleverly hid in the background of a panel the hidden message “BOB HARRAS HA HA HE’S GONE GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD RUBBISH HE WAS A NASTY S.O.B.” !
Owtch. I can only imagine he thought nobody would find that, or maybe he just didn’t care one way or another. All’s I know is it took a big set of cajones to put that in a Marvel comic book. It ended up getting recalled too.
DC Comics decided to use Easter eggs as a great way for everyone to go out and buy every one of their New 52 #1’s as they asked every single artist to cleverly stick in their new character, a mysterious hooded woman named Pandora, somewhere in their comics.
Have you found her in every issue?! I’ll give ya a hint: she’s usually amidst a crowd of people.
Here are some of my favorite artists that put crazy and funny things in their books.
First off, we got the great Alex Ross. He has put some amazing awesome Easter eggs in his most classic books. Some of my favorites were when he stuck Popeye in Marvels, and then he cleverly stuck Hollis Mason’s Under the Hood book from Watchmen in a store window in aKingdom Comebackground. He also stuck Rorschach as an extra in that very memorable bar scene in KC (I could swear he also based the older version of The Creeper on Alice Cooper). And let’s not forget at the end of the series in that DC Heroes restaurant...there are tons of hidden gems in there.
Another guy that seems to enjoy having fun sticking Easter eggs in his comics, particularly using his awesome gift for drawing dead-on portraits of celebrities is Mike Deodato Jr. Mike has been casting famous faces as his characters for quite a few years now. The most notable one would be whenever he draws the villainous Norman Osborn in his Avengers comics. He clearly is being “portrayed by” Tommy Lee Jones. I wonder if the producers of the new Spidey movie franchise have taken notice! MDJ has also snuck in Laurence Fishburne and Morgan Freeman into cameo roles in his comics. All great actors and all are alumni in comic book movies, I may add. Who could be next?
Another guy that isn’t as well known as the last two but did some great artwork in the latest issue of Justice League is Gene Ha. If you look at his work on the Alan Moore comic, Top 10, a comic about an entire city filled with superhuman and supernatural characters, you’d find so many Easter eggs and nods to the comic book and sci-fi genre in general! Top 10 is best explained as the Where’s Waldo for comics. It’s definitely a fun book to look through for hilarious and tongue-in-cheek (and often teeny tiny so have your magnifying glass handy) easter egg gags.
Another great artist that throws in fun, hidden stuff into his comics isDarick Robertson, artist of The Boysand Transmetropolitan. In fact, “Wee” Hughie Campbell from The Boys is directly made to resemble Shaun of the Dead himself, Simon Pegg! And a ton of the characters in the book are made to resemble famous characters from all over comic book lore. Robertson is no stranger to “Easter eggery”, as he’s been stuffing his comics with hidden characters for years. The one that comes to my mind was when in a Spider-Man comic he blatantly had characters that resemble a certain normally yellow-skinned TV family terrorized by The Scorpion. It was sort of odd to see them drawn realistically like that!
I will now share with everyone a funny comic book Easter egg story:
Most recently, my good buddy Yanick Paquette drew in a panel of his critically-acclaimed comic, Swamp Thing, a character that suspiciously looked...familiar! While this zombified character was not wheelchair-bound...I couldn’t help but think that my old studio-mate threw ME into one of his panels! Yanick is a jokester and I wouldn’t put it past him.
Well, while my ego ran wild, I did a little bit of digging and well, sadly it turns out this character is NOT me...but he is indeed a hidden character! It seems there is a blogger out there that is on a quest to make himself a cult icon of sorts.
This lad named Jeff has a site called drawmein.comand he has ingeniously asked for comic writers and pencillers everywhere to add him as an “extra” in their stories! I’m actually pretty jealous that this guy (who happens to look a lot like myself) thought of this. My official eXpertComics baseball cap is off to you, good sir! Well played, indeed!
So, there’s my little look into the world of comic book Easter eggs.
There are a crapload of more in too many comics to name here, so while you are feverishly reading through your weekly stack of comics take a sec and look in the backgrounds...there may be a hidden somethin’ somethin’ in there! Happy hunting, Bleeder Bunnies!