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Bob Layton, was born on September 25, 1953, and learned to read comics from the age of four, explaining that his "older sister Sue became bored with reading the same comic to me about fifty times. (It was a Showcase issue featuring The Challengers of the Unknown.)" After leaving high school, he began "playing comics dealer... selling them out of his apartment in Indianapolis,"through which (in 1973) he met Roger Stern, while the latter was working for a radio station in Indianapolis. Ultimately, the two began publishing a fanzine called "CPL" (Contemporary Pictorial Literature) out of Layton's apartment.
CPL rapidly became a popular fan publication, and led to the two forming an alliance with Charlton Comics to produce and publish "the now-famous Charlton Bullseye magazine." During the mid-1970s, both Marvel and DC were publishing in-house "fan" publications (F.O.O.M. and The Amazing World of DC Comics respecitively), and Charlton wished to make inroads into the superhero market, as well as "establish a fan presence", leading to the alliance with CPL to produce the Charlton Bullseye.This led to Charlton giving Layton and Stern "access to unpublished material from their vaults by the likes of Steve Ditko, Jeff Jones and a host of others." This association with Charlton (and Bill Pearson, production manager) in turn led to Layton becoming acquainted with the legendary Wally Wood, with whom he apprenticed. This apprenticeship led to work for Charlton (on anthology titles, but not working from the Charlton offices), Marvel and DC, while still publishing fanzines.
Layton's work continues to be collected in multiple trade paperback collections. In 2006, he produced a number of variant covers to issues of Superverse Comics' Zoom Suit, written by John Taddeo, and in 2007 his work was featured in issues of Marvel's encyclopedic All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update. Layton is currently working for Marvel as a freelance artist and writer on several projects including Iron Man: Legacy of Doom mini-series, Iron Man: The End, as well potential Hercules projects.
He continues to enjoy "doing commission work," writing:
"How often do you, as an artist, get an opportunity to revisit a drawing and correct your mistakes? It’s also a lot less work that doing a monthly, 22-page comic. And occasionally, the fans come up with some great concepts fore me to execute."
He says that he "miss[es] telling stories," and to that end has showcased unpublished issues of Future Comics properties on his website, where he also presents his "new, serialized comic" Colony, with art by Giordano, and which "is a project that [Layton has] been developing for 10 years and is currently making the rounds in Hollywood." Other potential film deals for the Future Comics characters are also reportedly semi-ongoing