Justice_League_Task_Force_game_coverCustom comics are comic books created specially for (usually) corporate clients. DC Comics has been doing them for as long as I can recall. Back in the olden days, Joe Orlando’s department handled the creative end of these projects. Years later, in the late-1990s/early-2000s, I was an editor in the Special Projects department that produced them for DC, where I worked on comics featuring a variety of DC’s superheroes for clients including the U.S Post Office, Schering-Plough (for Claritin), NASCAR, and the Doris Day Animal League. In between, I wrote a handful of these babies myself, for Radio Shack (for both DC and Archie Comics), Play-Doh, and for the 1995 Justice League Task Force video game by  Sunsoft.

I never received a printed copy of this mini-comic which was, I believe, packed in with the game itself, but recently came across these scans of Xeroxes of the original art. The cover was drawn by Kerry Gammill and Jeff Albrecht, with interior art by Brad Rader and Mike DeCarlo.

And so, without any further commercial interruption, I present this, well… 10-page commercial interruption:


JLTFmini02 JLTFmini03JLTFmini04 JLTFmini05 JLTFmini06 JLTFmini07 JLTFmini08 JLTFmini09 JLTFmini10


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11 Comments on We Called ‘Em “Custom Comics”

  1. galschwart@gmail.com says:

    Hi Paul,

    A big fan of your stories.

    I’m also a big fan of Kerry Gammill’s DC work –
    any chance you could clue me in about the whereabout
    of the original art of the Kerry Gammill cover ?

    I’d love to try and make an offer to buy or trade it…

    And speaking of “custom comics”, have you ever seen the
    finished version (or more pages) from this thing
    (supposed to promote reading in schools):

    My e-mail for contact is:

    Thanks for posting this column and for years of inspiring tales…

    Gal Schwartz

    • Thanks, Gal! I have no idea where the original to this cover landed. You might try comicartfans.com, or contact Kerry direct on Facebook. The reading promo piece looks familiar but offhand I don’t recall where I’ve seen it. –Paul

      • galschwart@gmail.com says:

        Thank you for replying ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ Paul !

        If you have more examples of those ‘custom comics’ in your vault, I know I’d love to see them (style guides as well…)

        Thanks for sharing !


  2. Thank you for posting these pages. It was interesting seeing them after all these years. I had inked them myself, and, as I recall, the editor was unsatisfied with the results and had Mike DeCarlo re-ink them. Actually, looking at them today, I’d say his inks are pretty good, though at the time (1994 or thereabouts) I thought they were an abomination. In fact, I had a copy of these pages that I ceremonially shredded and burned. Now… I’ll trade you a set of scans of my original inks for a set of Mike’s. How about it?

  3. Speaking of “Custom Comics”, I did another comic for DC’s merchandizing department during this same period; a Batman Animated story for a bubble gum company (I think). I never received a comp copy of it, or saw what it looked like inked or lettered. Do you have any leads on this material?

  4. Brad,
    You’re on. I’d be real interested to see the original version. Never did see a copy of the printed book.

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