Before he was known by millions as the creator of characters like Deadpool, Cable, and Domino, the legendary Rob Liefeld had a brief stint as a Levi's-wearing commercial-starring heartthrob. At the height of the booming comics industry in beginning days of the Modern Age, Liefeld was at the top of his game as one of Marvel's go-to artists and the fashion industry was quick to notice.
Beginning September 13, 1991, Levi's began showing television ads promoting their 501 jeans (with the button fly) nationwide and as fate would have it, one of the commercials featured a 23-year-old Liefeld. As Liefeld mentioned in a social media post commemorating the 28th anniversary of the debut, he initially entered a contest to land the spot.
"I had answered a contest from Levi’s to 'pitch your job that you do in your 501’s,'" the creator revealed. "After initially setting up to film it at my office in Fullerton, a week prior to shooting they told me that they were going to stage it at Spike Lee’s studios in Brooklyn."
In the same post, Liefeld goes on to mention how his shyness around the camera nearly derailed the shoot before Spike Lee — yes, that Spike Lee — re-grouped the team and totally switched things up. After Liefeld was initially supposed to speak some comic book dialogue out loud while drawing, he admits he was a bit intimidated. That's when Lee decided to switch the format and interview the artist instead.
"I was thrilled to pivot and they reset the cameras and Spike went on to talk to me about comics, casually for about 20 minutes," Liefeld mentions in the post. "He improvised using all his comic book knowledge, he’s the real deal. Following the interview portion he asked me to draw him as a super hero."
And that drawing is seen in the end result as Spikeman, the hero wielding a camera on his head. The spot ended up running the remainder of 1991 through 1993 on all kinds of national networks. The full spot can be seen above.
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.
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