Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On my way to St. Louis....

I've spent all day packing and sorting items to take with me to the Kitbuilders' Monstrous Weekend (see Oct. 11 post).  Here are some pics of the boxed sets of my FREAKS AND ODDITIES, bagged individual figures, and all sorts of models kits and such from my collection that'll be for sale at my table.  Hope I can get it all in the Cruiser!  Hope to see some of you blog readers there. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Today's commissions

Comic art collectors are certainly keeping me busy with all these commissions -- and here's the latest.  One of the loyal few -- my long-time Wild Dog fans -- wanted to see the Wild one teamed up with the Kyle Rainer Green Lantern -- and though I'm a Hal Jordan man myself, who am I to refuse a fan's request?  This image patterned after the cover of "Hitman" #12 -- at the fan's request.   That's followed by the Thing versus Thor  - Kirby style (of course).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Miniature Sideshow Banner

Above is the miniature sideshow banner print (on 8.5 x 11 canvas paper) I'll be including as an extra for anyone who purchases a complete set of my carnival sideshow figures (shown below).  I'm getting closer to having everything set so I can offer these for sale.  I should have some with me at the Kitbuilders show in St. Louis.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tura Satana gallery show

Above is Mitch O'Connell's poster for the upcoming Tura Satana-themed art show at the Tattoo Factory Gallery in Chicago.  If you don't know who Tura is, where have you been hiding?  My relief sculpt triptych, "Tura: Black and White and Red All Over" will be part of the show. A long shot of the triptych is seen below, followed by close-ups of the individual panels.  Each panel is about a foot square. These are cast in resin, from a polymer clay sculpt mounted in a vintage frame.  I won't be at the show, darn it all -- but Tura will.  If you're anywhere near Chicago on the 30th, please stop by and see what promises to be an extraordinary collection of pieces from a remarkable line-up of artists.

I will get to meet Tura, however, as she will be a guest at the upcoming Kitbuilders' Monstrous Weekend Oct. 24-26 in St. Louis -- and I'll have a table there, showing my sculpts and comic art.  

And yes, it does look just a little bit like Ms. Tree, doesn't it...?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

FallCon sketches

These commissioned drawings will be delivered to their buyers at FallCon this weekend.  From the bottom up,  we have Green Lantern vs. Sinestro, Wild Dog and his unwanted "sidekick," Wild Pup -- and maybe my best Ms. Tree sketch ever.....

The Batman Strikes... out!

It seems odd to be writing this post.  I just got my copies of The Batman Strikes #50 -- the final issue of that series.  Above is the art for the cover (though a version I found on the web with coloring I actually prefer to the version that was published -- I'm just not a fan of a lot of the modern color effects being used today -- give me flat traditional comic book color any day).  Anyhow --For eleven years I've been inking the animated style Batman titles for DC Comics -- and, for now at least, I'm done.  The animated series upon which The Batman Strikes was based has run its course -- and the comic book has followed suit.

There's a new Batman cartoon in the works -- and there will be a comic book version.  Whether I'll be working on that, only time will tell.

So, lets' take a walk down memory lane, shall we.  Here are some of my favorite covers/issues of the various Bat-books.

Chris Jones and I only got to draw a handful of covers for The Batman Strikes -- but for my money, they're the best ones the series had.  here's a quartet of them -- some in B&W, shot from the original art, others showing the printed color.

Batman and Robin Adventures #18 was the first issue of my long run on Batman.  I'd been hired to fill in for inker Rick Burchett, who was taking a break to draw the first half-dozen issues of Superman Adventures.  When Rick returned, he did so as penciller, and I stayed on as inker.  The cover of #18 is by the ever-wonderful Ty Templeton. 

One of my favorite cartoonists, Joe Staton, pencilled a number of issues of  the Bat-comics -- and I always enjoy inking Joe's pencils.  Here's the cover of our adaptation of the animated film Sub-Zero, minus any distracting cover copy.  This got reused for a freebie mini-comic in packages of microwave popcorn.  How odd it was to walk into a grocery store and see this image on the popcorn box!

Bob Smith and I collaborated on many covers for both Gotham Adventures and Batman Beyond.  This is my favorite of our cover images.

Under this great Bruce Timm cover lies my favorite collaboration with Joe Staton.  This Paul Dini-scripted adaptation of the Superman/Batman film won us an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Novel in 1998
 Another great Bob Smith pencil job.  This for Batman Beyond -- a series I particularly enjoyed.  
I may be digging into my files and posting some more Batman images if you'd like to see them (let me know).  I had a great run on these titles and got to work with some really talented, wonderful writers, artists and editors.  I won't try listing them all here, as I'm sure I'll miss someone -- but I want all my collaborators to know that I sure enjoyed the ride and would enjoy working with any of them again.  

Will I ever work on Batman again?  What's next for me in the comics world?  Stay tuned and I'll let you know....  

Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane

My old pal, and sometimes collaborator, Max Allan Collins, was in the Twin Cities recently, promoting several of his latest projects.  Shown above are the covers for The Goliath Bone and The First Quarry.  

Fans of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer novels should be thrilled with The Goliath Bone.  When Mickey passed away, he left several novels in various stages of completion -- and left them to Collins to finish.  This is the second posthumous Spillane novel to see publication (the first was Dead Street from Hard Case Crime) -- but the first of the new Mike Hammer books. The Goliath Bone is not a retro flashback to the Mike Hammer of the '50s -- but a modern post 9/11 novel of a close-to-retirement Mike -- and Velda.  Max did a wonderful job on this book, using Mickey's extensive notes -- and which portions are Max and which are Mickey I'd be hard pressed to tell. It's a terrific read -- and a great gift to his fans from the late great Mickey Spillane.

The First Quarry IS a retro-flashback -- not to the '50s, but to the early 70's.  Quarry is a hitman, not a hero -- and Collins' tough crime novels about him have been favorites of mine for years.  In this new release from Hard Case Crime, Max flips the switch on the Way-Back Machine and gives us the never before told tale of Quarry's first hit.  Whether you're a long-time Quarry reader -- or this is your first encounter with him -- this'll have you on the edge of your seat. 

And keep your eyes open for festival screenings of  The Last Lullaby, a film based on the Quarry books, staring Tom Sizemore (yes, that Tom Sizemore) and co-written by Max.  Check the official website for more info.