You may remember that in the 90s there was a boom of theme restaurants, like Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock cafe and a zillion others. In 1998, Marvel decided to get in on the act and opened "Marvel Mania Hollywood" on CityWalk alongside the Universal Studios theme park in the greater Los Angeles area. Creative services asked me to draw some character shots for the restaurant's menu and provided me with a template of odd shaped panels to place them in. Here's the results, inked by Scott Koblish -
Marvel generally wanted the characters to be "on model" and provided me with current reference for some of the characters. I'm certain, for instance, that the Fin Fang Foom drawing was based on John Romita Jr.'s version. The Sinister Six illustration on the other hand, was obviously based on Ditko's versions of the characters, which I'm sure was my own decision since, as I've stated before, it was my favorite comic as a kid. Anyway, I did the drawings, sent them off, and never heard anymore about them.
Flash forward 10 years to Christmas 2007. I received The Marvel Vault as a gift. It's full of reproductions of various collectibles and little seen memorabilia from throughout Marvel's history. I didn't really get a chance to look through it too much until last week when I was sick, and guess what I found on page 169? If you said "the Marvel Mania menu", then you were obviously actually paying attention to this rambling post. Here it is, in all of it's full color glory -
The restaurant only lasted about 2 years, so I never expected to see this long forgotten art actually in print. It was a nice surprise.