Sometimes I will work on a one-shot or short story and I will think to myself, “self- you should just keep all of the art to the story”, so I do. It’s not necessarily because I love every page but maybe that I just like the whole story as a unit. Or sometimes it is because I penciled and inked the story myself (rare, but it does happen) or I want to sell the whole story together but then later change my mind.
Unfortunately, I have a few of those stories that I sold a couple of pages from before deciding I should keep the whole thing. I’m not going to show every page from every whole (or near whole) story that I have but one or two of my favorite pages from each. (let’s face it, I’m too lazy to scan every single one and not every single one is worth featuring).
Years ago in the late 90’s (I think) I got the rare opportunity to write and draw a two-page MASK story for Dark Horse. It was part of a my bigger jam book called, “Mask: Virtual Surreality” – I think. Here are the two pages with word balloons on the page!
I have to point out on the last panel of the first page, I should have made the Mask’s tongue much much longer. Laying on the rocks in the foreground. These are the things that still bug me.
One of the heartbreaks of early in my career (and there are far too many) was the story I did for the once infamous Elseworld’s 80 page giant. I did a story that featured Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent as Detectives in the 1930’s investigating some cultish murders. I penciled and inked the story and it was the lead story in the book, a real showcase for me at a time that I desperately needed one. However, do to the now classic “Superman’s Baby-Sitter” story by Kyle Baker the book got recalled shortly after a few hundred copies got shipped to the UK. As a result, the book never got released in the US and became an instant collector’s item. But because of the inevitable moral decline of the United States, the book was finally reprinted and released a few years ago by DC.
It is a 10 page story and here are pages 1 and 9 my two favorites from the story. The title page (I like the design) and the page where Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face and the villainous cult leader is revealed to be (spoiler alert) Metamorpho!
You’ll notice the inks are a bit heavy handed. I was still developing and learning my inking style at this point.
I think not long after the Elseworld’s story I got the opportunity to do another 10-page story, this time in the Plastic Man Special. For some inexplicable reason I sold two of the pages from this story. I have the other eight but I wish I had those two back!
You can see the improvement in the penciling and inking from the Elseworld’s story. I was on a fast learning curve during the 90’s where my work greatly improved in a short period of time. You might be able to see some Kevin Nowlan influence in the first page inks.
To wrap up this blog I am going to revisit my 2-part Gen 13 Bootleg I did for Wildstorm. This again was a late 90’s effort, during a time where regular work was fleeting and I needed as many considerations from my friends in power as I could get. It was Scott Dunbier, who was EIC at Wildstorm, who let me do this project. Originally it was going to be written by Karl Kesel but he dropped out and I took the story idea we had discussed and fleshed it out to a finished plot. The Simonson’s were brought in to dialogue in the hopes of boosting sales. So I penciled and inked the pages and sent them to Walter to dialogue. He was unable to do the second issue and Weezie stepped in and dialoged the second issue using my notes as a guide. I’ll also say that Hilary Barta came in to ink a couple of pages when I got behind.
The pages featured here are all inked by me. If you haven’t read this story (Gen13 Bootleg #’s 11 and 12) you should pick it up. It’s a Scooby-Doo/Island of Dr. Moreau mash-up that features appearances by Shaggy and Marlon Brando as Dr. Monstreau (get it?) The story features some really good art and some of my best layouts and story-telling devices I have ever done.
I could have easily picked 15 pages to feature from this book but settled on these four for no other reason than expediency. Once again, I unfortunately sold 5 or 6 pages from this story that I wish I had back.
That’s it for this time. Next blog will focus on my Garbage Man story. Technically it fits into this blog’s category but because the volume of pages from the project is so great, I think it deserves a blog of its own! Until then….