“I remember the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had drawn a double-page spread in one of the Strange Tales sequences featuring Nick Fury on trial by Baron Strucker and the agents of HYDRA. I had something like a hundred figures in the background, all individual figures. I wrote a note to the colorist, Stan Goldberg, saying, “Stan, color all these men individually.” Stan would probably put a sheet of blue over the whole thing, and that seemed criminal, because—although it might look good—after all I had done all that work putting in all those figures, I didn’t want them all obliterated.
I took the story up to Marvel, and Stan looked at it and said, “I’ve had it, Steranko. Do it yourself. Take it away. I never want to see you again; just take the stuff away and color it yourself.” So I started coloring all my material at that time, at $2.00 per page; later it went to $3 per page. I could only color about ten pages a day, so you can see I was losing a lot of money. I could have just been penciling for two or three times as much; but the strip emerged a more perfect marriage of concepts as a result. So I was willing to take less money, by using that time to color and thereby make the story come out better.”
—Jim Steranko to George Olshevsky, 1977