In 1982 I was 10 years old and really getting into comic books. I only had a handful and loved reading any the kids on my street had laying around. I hadn't started collecting yet, I didn't really know that was an option. Then one day at Stop N Shop, I found Team America issue 1! Wow! It was red, white and blue with motorcycles! I loved it! It seemed like only a few trips later and I found issue 6! This was like a goldmine! It was around this time that I discovered there were 2 Comic Book Stores in the area and I could buy Back Issues! So Team America was one of the first titles I really started to collect.
You never heard of Team America? Not a big surprise, it only lasted 12 issues. Team America started out as the Ideal toy company's plan to remarket their Evel Knievel line due to his bad publicity (punching the paparazzi before it was cool!). They kept the colors and Stunt Cycle and asked Marvel Comics to work up a backstory, like they did with GI Joe.
I had no idea at the time but the book was really thrown together by Marvel, pretty last minute. It got a little momentum but to a 10 year old kid, bright stories about motorcycle races and stunt shows along with fighting bad guys (even Hydra!) and a mysterious black clad member (The Marauder!) were super exciting!
The reason for this trip into my childhood is that a few weeks ago on eBay I came across a page of original artwork from Team America issue 5! Actually, I came across 6 pages, all from the same seller. Immediately, I was interested in Page 10 and I ended up winning the auction! I was really psyched and the seller let me know he would send my page out right away. He also wanted to know if I would be interested in a deal for the other pages that didn't sell!
So, I'm proud to announce that I am the current owner of 6 pages of art from Team America issue 5! One of the very first comic books that I started collecting and I now own the original artwork drawn to make it!
I've included scans of the original pages (which are drawn at 11"x17"). The dark word balloons are due to the fact that at the time, the dialogue and captions were pasted onto the original art, so that is the glue showing through.
If you search around online, there are a few interesting articles about how the Team America toys and comic book came to be. Otherwise you can just stay here and look at the awesome artwork, with me!