Friday, November 13, 2015


A few months back, when I wrote about What If--? Nos 13 and 43, a conversation popped up about a very well-rendered pair of faces in a crowed scene in the panel below.

Given the obvious photo reference of the image, some speculation popped up in comments (and on Twitter) about who the subjects might’ve been. I believe the most reasonable conclusion anyone reached was that the pair might’ve been penciler John Buscema’s brother Sal Buscema and his wife. Most unreasonable conclusion was that it was John Travolta and Sandy Duncan’s little brother.

 Well, according to Damian Eckstein, it’s neither. Damian was alerted to the site by regular reader Derek M, and sent me the following story:

 “I love the time spent on trying to figure this out. My buddy Derek told me about this site--good stuff here by-the-way! The first revelation is it was the inker and not the artist who put us in the panel. My father was Ernie Chan's Stock Broker and I'm guessing my pops made some good trades for Mr. Chan. I actually got to meet him once at a comic con in the seventies and he signed my copy of What-If #13. So, the second revelation is, the two weirdly photorealistic faces are are not John Travolta and Sandy Duncan's lil' bro or Sal Buscema and his wife but from a photo booth picture of me (age 9...I think) and my dad. Once again proving the truth is always way less interesting than the speculation. “

 To help sell the story, Damian included the photobooth photo which he says comes closest to matching the poses:

Barring definitive word from the late Ernie Chan, this seems to be the closest to an answer from the source as we'll be able to get. What's your take, gone-and-forgotteneers?


John said...

I would have said young Elvis and an oddly small young Walter Koenig, but sure - why not Damian and his dad?

Johnie Long Torso said...

I don't know. I'm still seeing David Naughton and a tiny Bruce Lee.

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