Boy did I enjoy doing the sample though. They asked for an 18th Century woodcut style and gave me not much else in the way of direction, so I immersed myself in the work of Gustave Dore and just went for it. (BTW where has Dore been all my life. He makes every comic artist I ever admired look like a total pussy.)
The upshot is that I was able to use this as a sample for a t-shirt illustration job that looks like it is going to happen, so it wasn't all in vain.