Like a lot of fans, I often lament Steranko's truncated comics career. It's clear he had bigger ambitions than the strictures of comics would allow. Mediascene is one example. Steranko is more than a cartoonist, artist, designer, illustrator, (escape artist), he's an entrepreneur. He's a businessman. I think he's driven by a need for autonomy and for that autonomy to make him money. I don't know many cartoonists who would want to shoulder the responsibilities of being an editor, art director, and publisher of a magazine (I'm just guessing, but I think those are the roles Steranko assumed at the mag). Mediascene serves as a showcase for Steranko's work. It's a living portfolio. Not just for his work but also for his friends. It's a platform to display their best work, or at least strong pieces. I wonder how Steranko was able to get this level of quality out of them? Maybe it was giving them freedom. Maybe they wanted to impress him. Maybe he had the budget to pay them well. Whatever magic he used it worked and is woven into the pages of Mediascene. It must have been a successful venture for him as well due to the number of issues released. It nags at me though that he couldn't have channeled that once-in-a-generation magic energy during that time into telling more stories through comics more often. But comics don't pay nearly as well I'm sure.

All artwork by Jim Steranko

Benjamin Marra is the creator, writer, and artist of the comics NIGHT BUSINESS, AMERICAN BLOOD, and TERROR ASSAULTER: O.M.W.O.T. (One Man War On Terror), all published by Fantagraphics. Acclaimed writer Grant Morrison chose Marra as a collaborator on the first issue of the relaunched HEAVY METAL Magazine. Marra had two serialized webcomic series appear on His most recent book is JESUSFREAK, written by Joe Casey and published by Image Comics. In 2016, he was named one of the Art Directors Club's Young Guns. He illustrated the cover of American Illustration 35. In 2017, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his album art of Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmare, a collection of obscure 1970s post-Age-of-Aquarius Heavy Metal.