As I press closer to making my Wraith of God graphic novel campaign a live fund-raiser, I have been offering a limited edition trading card as a carrot (so to speak) to entice people to sign up on the mailing list. I need to get as many people signed up early for the campaign as possible so I can have a reasonable estimate of interested patrons before I start. Sign up early and when you order you get a free limited edition playing card.
So what is the card? What does it look like? Is it new art or am I retreading old material? Let me answer all of those questions right now. This is original art specifically designed for this trading card. It won’t be reprinted elsewhere. So let’s take a look a what you will get if you sign up early and order when the campaign goes live.
I am very excited about this project and I am hoping you will be as well. So remember to sign up early so you don’t miss out on this collector’s item!
Way back in 1997 I developed a mini-series to re-imagine Marvel’s western Ghost Rider. I couldn’t get anyone at Marvel to even look at it. It might have been that I was a relative new comer to the industry or it could’ve been they had no interest or confidence in producing a western hero comic. Either way, their lack of interest did not deter my confidence in the quality of the project or its potential. I revamped the character and the plot and created my own character, Wraith of God.
As I continued to climb the ladder of the industry and get more and more work, my creator-owned projects got pushed farther and farther back on the shelf. Before I knew, it 25 years had passed and I started looking in my review mirror wondering what I had accomplished in the industry other than collecting paychecks and writing and drawing someone else’s characters.
As the industry main stream seems to be getting more and more unstable, it feels like it is finally time to take chance and start launching my own characters and comics. After a lengthy discussion with myself, a fair amount of prayer and drawing straws, I finally decided Wraith of God was the book to lead with.
Crowd-funding is the only logical way to proceed in this new era of comic book production and distribution. So right now, right this minute, in fact this very second, I have opened a pre-launch page and I am soliciting email sign-ups for patrons that are interested in this new graphic novel project.
So what exactly is Wraith of God? It’s a an all new 72-page graphic novel. In the American old west of 1883, The Wraith is a mysterious hero with a dark past who hunts monsters and delivers the wrath of God on the forces of evil. Along with his associate Esther, a former Salvation Army worker, they hunt a clan of Werewolves across the western states in a race to possess an ancient amulet.
There will be three cover options, two of which I have already completed, the third will be by a superstar artist in the industry but I won’t reveal his name until I get something from him to show. Speaking of showing, here are my two covers and the first 2 pages of the story as a little preview.
You might have noticed the Empire Comics logo on the covers. What’s that you ask? Well, even though my company name has always been Cold Crocodile Press, I felt I needed a separate title for my comic banner. Empire seemed simple and apropos to my goals. Build an empire of new comics. With your help, it can be done!
It’s been a long time since I have been this excited about a project. I will be writing, penciling and inking this graphic novel. If I was more proficient, I would be coloring as well. But alas, I am still a painfully slow colorist so I will be farming that chore out.
If you like what you see here and want to support this project please follow the link and sign up right now! If you sign-up before the campaign goes live in mid-August, you get a free limited edition trading card when you order.
Welcome to Kit Carter Episode 8 my continuous episodic ode to newspaper strips and sci-fi adventure from the golden age of comics! (and movie serials, I suppose). If you are new to me, this blog and/or Kit Carter, please read my previous blog post that features Kit Carter Episode 7. All pertinent questions should be answered there.
Otherwise please enjoy this latest installment of everyone’s soon to be favorite space heroine and her comedic adventures.
Story and Art: Aaron Lopresti Lettering: Warren Montgomery
Well, the exciting day is finally here. My somewhat popular (soon to be very popular) comic strip, Kit Carter: Galactic Ranger is finally back and free for you to read beginning with Episode 7! (Each episode is a single page strip much like a Sunday newspaper strip would be)
I’m sure many of you are new to this and are wondering why is the strip starting on Episode 7. Where are numbers 1-6?
Let me explain. Episode 1 was originally released as what I refer to as a Story Print. This was/is an 11X17 signed and numbered limited edition print of Kit Carter’s very first adventure. (These are still available by the way for $15 +$5 shipping)
Upon purchasing the Story Print, as a bonus, you were/are invited to a read the first six episodes of Kit Carter in color for free on a passcode protected web page. This is/was, of course, to incentivize the purchase of the print.
But now, I will be releasing the next 5 or so episodes, starting with #7, on this very webpage for free viewing by anyone and everyone. These will be released in black and white.
The big picture plan is to create enough interest in this project to launch a Kit Carter book or comic. This book or comic will include all of the web material reproduced in color along with an all-new Kit Carter full length adventure.
If and when this happens will depend on you, the audience. If you like this let me know! If you don’t, be nice and say you like it anyway or don’t say anything at all. My ego is too fragile.
So without further ado, please enjoy Episode 7 of Kit Carter: Galactic Ranger.
Since ECCC (Emerald City Comic Con) was unfortunately postponed this year and I have already cleared that weekend on my schedule, I am going to have the 1st ever AARON CON on the weekend of 3/12-15/2020. What does that mean? Let me explain.
I am going to be drawing convention commissions and selling sketchbooks, greeting cards, prints and original art with all with free shipping. It will be just like you were at the con. You can pick up your must haves without paying the extra annoyance of shipping fees.
My commission list is already full for AARON CON but any item you wish to purchase from Thursday March 12 – Sunday March 15, 2020 will have free shipping (within the U.S). Lets take a look at some of the items that will be available at my “table”.
ALL PRINTS SIGNED for $15 and shipped to you for FREE! All the prints on my website are available as well as these two new releases that are not yet listed on the site.
RAW IMAGINATION: 20 YEARS OF SKETCHES my brand new 64-page full color hardcover sketchbook comes signed and numbered and is available for $25 with FREE SHIPPING.
GREETING CARDS if you buy 4 or more you will get FREE SHIPPING.
ORIGINAL ART if you buy $150 or more you will get FREE SHIPPING unfortunately most of newer art is not listed on the site. If you are perhaps interested in Swamp Thing, Aquaman or Infinite Crisis: Dark Multiverse pages you will have to inquire about specific pages to get the price and availability.
I will do my best to have a live feed for part of each day of the “CON” on Facebook. Thursday and Friday will be in the evenings and Saturday and Sunday during the day. Check out my facebook page for times.
Well, here we are, 2020. It seems unbelievable really. Maybe it’s even more unbelievable we are not zooming around in jet cars like the Jetsons (a now obscure 1960’s cartoon reference). Things don’t really seem all that different except I am yet again, another year older. But with a new year comes the great possibility of new and exciting things happening.
Like…..my NEW SKETCHBOOK! I decided to have one more go around with a sketchbook but this time not using the smaller pamphlet format that has become so popular among many artists. No, this time I am all in with a substantial 64-page full color hardcover signed and numbered limited edition book! It’s a collection of some of my best sketchbook work over the past 20 years as well as including over 30 never before published images. It’s a great collection of vintage older material with some really nice newer and previously unseen work.
This sells for $25 + $5 shipping and you can order it right here on my website! Just jump over to the Store Page>Books>and there you are! There isn’t a preview there so I will drop one in here. There is a wide variety of subject matter in this volume but it focuses mainly on fantasy/sci-fi/adventure art.
I should also mention there is an option to get a head sketch of your favorite character inside the book. This option is not listed on the website but when you email me at: email@example.com you can request it. This option sells for $45 +$5 shipping. Basically an additional $20 for the sketch. Seems reasonable to me.
The other BIG NEWS I will take a moment to mention is the return of KIT CARTER! Since the unfortunate failure of my crowd funding campaign for Garbage Man, I have returned to working on Kit Carter: Galactic Ranger. The first 6 episodes will remain locked, with access only granted to those that purchase a Limited Edition Kit Carter Episode One Story Print ($15 + $5 shipping), however all episodes moving forward will appear right here on my blog page for everyone to read for FREE! These “strips” will be posted in black and white and hopefully at a much faster rate than the color ones appeared.
The idea is to get you, the reader, introduced to Kit Carter so I can grow a large enough audience to eventually produce a book. One that will actually sell (that’s always a good thing when you are publishing). Right now I am drawing Episode 7 where Kit finally comes face to face with the diabolical ZING the ZEALOUS! Here is a sneak peak at a couple of the panels.
I will announce on all of my social media outlets when this is finished and posted.
Also make sure you follow me on instagram, facebook and twitter. I also have a youtube channels where I post videos about once a week. It is a miracle I get any work done at all! https://www.instagram.com/aaronlopresti/ https://www.facebook.com/aaron.lopresti https://twitter.com/aaronlopresti https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUp5vMpxTXo&t=61s
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and I will see you back soon!
This may be the shortest blog I have ever written. My much anticipated Garbage Man crowdfunding campaign is live. I am amazed the amount of courage it took to actually do this. The fear of failure is a very real thing, especially with us artist and writers. I hope you will check this out and contribute. I do know the book will be of the highest quality and that’s really all I can guarantee.
Here is a little art to help draw you in. This is the pencil art to the limited edition print that will be used only in the limited edition of the book. I will be penciling, inking and coloring this.
They great comic book inker Danny Miki has also agreed to ink a piece for the book. Here is the “work in progress” of the art Danny will be inking. I’ve see the partially inked art from Danny and it is spectacular!
Thanks for stopping by and follow this link to the campaign! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/garbage-man/x/21995402#/
I have been talking a lot about it but now I am finally doing it. Garbage Man is set to launch as a crowdfunding campaign. In fact, there is a pre-launch page up on Indiegogo right now! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/garbage-man/coming_soon/x/21995402
So why Indiegogo instead of kickstarter? Or why not Dark Horse or Image? I chose a crowdfunding option rather than an established publisher for a couple of reasons. Garbage Man is arguably the best work I have ever done in comics and I wanted it reproduced in a special way. I doubt Dark Horse or Image would want to put out the book as a European sized hardcover like I want to. Also, these publishers don’t offer up full page rates in advance or as the work is completed like I ( and the other contributors) are used to getting. So I would be doing the new work appearing in the book for free, hoping to make money on the back end. I never made a dime on Power Cubed (almost all the money I got from Dark Horse went to pay my inkers and colorist) so I felt crowdfunding was the best bet for having a chance to make enough money up front to pay everyone (including myself) who will be working on the project. Time will tell.
How did I decide on which platform to use? I did a ton of research and talked to a lot of people who have done crowdfunded projects. I soon realized everyone I talked to had an opinion based on personal experience. Kickstarter guys thought Kickstarter was the best and Indiegogo guys thought they were the best. No help there. I checked with fans and readers through social media. Half of them hated kickstarter, half hated Indiegogo. In fact, there seemed to be an almost political split between the two. The animosity directed by some at the platforms was really surprising to me. Why should it matter what platform is used? Shouldn’t it be about supporting a creator and his project regardless of the platform? Apparently not. I realized no matter which way I went I might very well lose half of my audience. But I could only launch from one so…
I chose Indiegogo for a couple of reasons. They have an InDemand store that stays open after the campaign is over so stragglers can still order. Also, their fees were lower and it seemed to me that Indiegogo was more comic book friendly (although I freely admit that may be an incorrect assumption on my part). They also now offer a fixed dollar amount for campaigns. No more keeping the money if you don’t hit your goal. If I don’t hit my goal, I ain’t doing the project and everyone is refunded. No one is getting ripped off. So we’ll see how it goes.
If you are not familiar with Garbage Man I would urge you to check out my Indiegogo pre-launch page. There is a 2 minute video there that explains just about everything.
The book will be a 170 page over-sized hardcover (give or take a page). There will also be a PDF version available, as well as a couple of limited edition offers. The standard hardcover will cost $35. That seems reasonable to me considering the size and page count. The volume will include all of the DC Garbage Man material plus about 11 pages of new material added in as well as a brand new Garbage Man story and a sketchbook chapter. I am looking into adding a Garbage Man Gallery with all star artists contributing.
So that’s really about it. I hope you in the very least take a look at the project and at most buy multiple copies.
I have returned to Wonder Woman! Well, not exactly. I recently drew an issue and more recently I got to draw a cover for issue #79. In fact, I just got approached by DC to draw a couple of more upcoming Wonder Woman covers; issues# 84 and 85 to be precise. It is not a full fledged return to the character but a nice chance to revisit a little bit.
Let’s take a look at how the cover to Wonder Woman #79, my first Wonder Woman cover in years, came to together.
Terry Dodson is/was the regular cover artist for the book but apparently couldn’t squeeze in the cover to #79 amongst his other pressing deadlines so the editors called old reliable, me. I had very little time to execute the cover but I still had to come up with multiple cover sketches.
Now, taking into consideration that we were on a very tight deadline with hardly any turn around time, which cover do you think they chose? Of course, this one. I cried for about 30 seconds and then got to work.
Because of the limited amount of time to get this done and the fact that I was inking the cover myself, I didn’t feel the need to go super tight with the pencils. Let’s face it, I just didn’t have the time. But clearly there is enough here to go forward with the inking.
My usual combination of brush and pen got the job done on time. Now as I have stated many many times before, I am not a very fast colorist. This job needed a fast colorist. So who did we call? Brian Miller, of course! And as usual, he came through with flying colors (pardon the pun).
This my friends is where the story comes to an end. From start to finish I think this cover got stretched out over 4 days. Not a lot of time to think, just do. And we did. All in all a pretty nice and successful cover.
As my old commercial art boss used to say, “never turn down a job, just figure out how you are going to get it done later.”
I think it has been a while since I posted anything on my blog. Why, you may ask? Because I am only one man! I have to keep my instagram, twitter and facebook pages constantly updated and I just launched a new youtube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp4_R0gRK1c&t=727s). Not to mention I’m getting ready to crowdfund Garbage Man AND I am putting together a new 20 year anniversary hardcover sketchbook. Oh, I almost forgot, I draw comics full time. (Oh, I’m also working on Episode 6 of Kit Carter)……and now I just realized I have completely forgotten about my Deviant Art page.
But enough about me. Let’s get on with the art! Let’s take a look at how I put together/created the cover for Archie 1955 #1.
Anytime you do a 50’s era rock ‘n roll cover, Elvis has to be involved somehow. They wanted Archie as a fledgling rock ‘n roll star so I immediately thought to put him in an Elvis pose with the screaming girls around him.
Everyone liked it, so I got right to it. I found a picture of Elvis in this pose that I knew existed because I had it in my head from someplace. I used that for reference and created the pencil drawing to the cover. Sadly, like the dweeb I continue to be, I forgot to scan the pencil art and went instead right to the inks.
Here I am using a much cleaner style than I would on my superhero work because I wanted to do most of the work in the coloring process. Also, I would like to note that the girl on the bottom left is my daughter. This is her second cover appearance. Her first was Wonder Woman #25 when she was in pre-kindergarten. Now she is 17. I inked most of this with a brush, using a pen mainly for the straight end stuff and to even out some of the contour lines.
Next I scanned it as a bit map at around 1200 dpi and colored it in photoshop.
The pink and mint green seemed very 50’s to me and gave the cover a bit of a romantic feel to it. It is simple but maybe my favorite Archie cover so far.
I really enjoy working on these covers as they take me away from what I normally do and challenge me to think in more classic illustration terms.
Thanks for stopping by and I will try and be more regular in my posting.
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