Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Must Read: How Working In Comics Is Like Dating by Valerie Gallaher

This post by Valerie Gallaher is one of the funniest and most dead-on things that I've read in a long time. I'm so sorry to be so late to the game to have missed linking to it when she first posted it. Valerie is smart, courageous and damn funny. And yes, I recognize myself in some of this. It was why i created my "What do comics owe you? Anything? Nothing?" post, just to have a little public therapy.

"How working on comics is like dating" should be required reading for just about everyone who buys a badge for Comicon. You know, just to warn them.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Carnival: New Cover Pencils

Working hard to have part 1 of my new book ready for APE 2013 in San Francisco. If you're going, please be sure to stop by table 824 and say "Hullo!" to Alex Sheikman and myself.

Here are cover pencils to the new book, and, as you can see, I started to ink before I remembered that i hadn't done the scan, so a few errant inked lines are already on the page. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oh The Anger: Genesis West's Red Nails - Artist's Edition

As I hold in my hands the Genesis West Artist's Edition of Red Nails, I find that i had misgivings about certain aspects of the packaging: The one sided pages, the glossy paper used, the unnecessary slipcase, but it did not occur to me just how much this would be discussed, with such anger, online.

I should have known better.

This is what the internet is made for. And never suffer a geek, whether sci fi or comic or fantasy, not given what they want, especially if you get really, really, REALLY close to what they want. (Mos Eisley is no longer a one horse town? great, but do i have to have Han shoot second to get the bigger town? Really?)

Case in point here are the rise of the artist's editions by IDW. Never, in my life, would i have thought that anyone would get their hands on the art, get the money to reproduce comic art full size, and get enough buyers to actually not go bankrupt producing that book. Clearly I was wrong. Ever, happily, oh so wrong. That first Simonson one took me, and I think, a lot of folks by surprise. After all, someone was actually taking a chance of catering to a fairly niche market. And it worked. Yay for us.

There is a charm to the original art that, I thought, only came across when you were holding the originals in your hands, looking at the margin notes and the erasures and white-outs, and i certainly didn't think that many of us had that gene. IDW has proved me wrong on that account.

Now lets be very upfront on this: if this book doesn't come out, you and I NEVER EVER will see the Red Nails originals. And I seen and held a lot of original art, more than most, since i started collecting originals back in 1989. We would, NEVER, get to see this artwork full size in original form. So, I kept that in mind when i slipped the book out of its case.

Now, i do have some of the IDW books, and I do like that format. I don't think that the glossy paper is ideal, but its OK when you get down to it. Partly this book just suffers from IDW delivering so much bang for the buck with regards to production values and their choice of material. We've gotten used to seeing artwork on bristol and it looks "like is should". So, no, its not the ideal format in my mind, but its OK in every aspect other than the non-facing pages.

Slipcase I really don't want? Glossy paper? Borders to the artwork? Fine. But do not, on any other editions, give me one piece of artwork with nothing on the back. Its a huge waste of space and money and that is the one thing that would stop me from getting another Genesis West book. Yes, I bought this, and will love having it, but you're not getting my money again without that adjustment. This book, with facing pages, should have been "Song of Red Sonja" and Rednails and the piece that Barry did for the Marvel 1975 Calendar and then we'd be talking something worth the money.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Quick Sketch: Manhunter ala Walt Simonson

Finished my warm up sketch on my board, and i blame the subject matter all on Alex Sheikman, who is quite the Simonson devotee.

So, when last we hung out, Alex handed over a couple great Walt Simonson issues for me to read/study. Those, of course, got me to realize that it had been a number of years since i'd perused the astonishing Manhunter series that Archie Goodwin had written with Walt on art chores back in the 1970's Detective Comics.

Well, one cheap special edition later, and a number of hours poring over the amazing "Cathedral Perilous" chapter, I decided that i had to try my hand at their version of Paul Kirk.

Incidentally, I had started the initial layout on Jack Kirby's 96th birthday, and toyed with making this a 1940's Paul Kirk ala Simon/Kirby, but the modern era won out. Perhaps next time.