The Cover to Turok #2

A few months back my old friend Matt Idelson, formerly of Marvel Comics, formerly of DC Comics and currently of Dynamite Comics contacted me about doing alternate covers for their new Turok series.  I said…..”YES!”

The first cover I had to pencil and ink in a day.  So I was unable to color it.  Therefore, I am not going to feature it here.  Instead I am going to start with #2 since I did pencil, ink and color it myself!

As crazy as it sounds coming from me, I only did one cover rough.  I had a pretty good idea for the cover and just went with it.  Matt liked it so I got away with just one cover sketch.


My initial thought was Turok was “hijacking” a pteranodon, thus the gun to the head.  Matt wanted something more dynamic like him firing the gun right at us….more or less.  I figured he was still hijacking the dino but now he was firing at another one.  Sounds good to me.

So I altered the cover slightly and came up with this pencil.


All looked good to everyone involved so it seemed the next logical step would be to ink it.  So I did.  Once again using mostly a brush.


That turned out about as well as could be expected so I scanned it as a bit map at 1200 dpi.  I then changed it to a CMYK file and reduced the size to about 800dpi and reduced the height to about 13 inches and then colored it in photoshop.


This is more or less a orange/blue complimentary color scheme.  I did push the greens into the yellow a little for the background trees as well as making the sun a very pale yellow.  I did a color hold on the sun and had it fade into the background at the bottom.  I wasn’t sure initially how it would look but upon trying it, I liked it and kept it.  I also added the stripes to the pteranodon because I felt like there was too much open space on his wings.  I thought the camoflauge would work well to hive the beast a  little more character.

In retrospect, I probably should have done a color hold on the blast flares from the gun…..

Next time.

There you have it folks, another cover bites the dust!

Commission Requests for SDCC 2017

I am officially taking show commission request and pre-show commission requests for Comic Con International in San Diego.  The show runs from July 19-23 and I will be in booth 4706.

Here’s the deal.  I am taking 3 pre-show 11X17 single character color commissions to be picked up and paid for at the show.  These will be $350 a piece and below are a few examples of what you can expect.


I will also be taking 5 11X14 single character color commissions to be done at the show.  I have never offered these before at a show, so it is a rare opportunity indeed!  These will be $250 a piece.  These will be marker and colored pencil.   Here are some of examples of what you can expect.



The color commissions will be a priority but I will take on as many 11X14 gray marker single character commission requests as I can squeeze in.  These will be $200 and you can expect something like this:



To get on the list for any of these contact me at  The large color pieces will require a deposit of $100 and the balance to be paid upon pick up at San Diego.  All other pieces will be put on a list to be completed at the show with no down payment required.

This will all be first come first basis.  This is the first year I have done it like this, so we will see how it goes.

Art I Kept For Myself Part 2

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….

Art I Kept For Myself

A long time ago another artist (can’t remember who) told me that he always kept at least one page from every issue he drew.  That was a hard discipline back when I started because I needed to make money anyway I could.  Having every original for sale was an excellent way to hopefully make some extra cash.  As a result, I have several projects that I drew early on that I now have no pages left from.

It didn’t take too many years in, however, before I started implementing the sagely advice that someone (still can’t remember who) gave me.  I started pulling my favorite page from every issue (even if it were sale worthy) to hang on to and keep forever (or at least until I die and my kids sell it).

In some cases with short stories, I have kept the entire thing.  I do have a couple of minor regrets though.  I sold a couple of pages from a short Plastic Man story I penciled and inked many years ago that I wish I hadn’t.  I also let go of a few pages from my Gen 13 Bootleg story that I wish I still had.  Oh well, bill paying sometimes makes us do crazy things.

What I want to do with this particular blog is showcase some of the pages I have kept for myself over the years.  I know many are curious as to which pages an artist would keep of his/her own work and why.  Well, now it’s time to answer that question for me.

Let’s start not at the beginning but with possibly my most recognized work, at least it will be after the next Thor movie comes out….Planet Hulk!  I’m probably going to wish I’d kept all of the pages from this series as prices will inevitably rise due to the movie.

I drew a 10 page story for Giant-Size Hulk #1 that had something of a prequel Planet Hulk story in it.  From that story that had a lot of good Hulk pages in it, I kept two.  The first was the title page.  I did the title lettering myself on the board and for that reason, I held on to it.



I would like to note that I was able to talk the great Danny Miki into inking this story and part of my run on the regular series as well.

The other page I kept from this story was this rather striking splash page.  It should be obvious why I kept it.  I almost sold it once but my son talked me into keeping it.  Ah, the wisdom of children.


I few pages from my first issue of the regular series (issue #96) found their way into my private collection.  The first is this page featuring my first drawing of the Hulk’s love interest, Caiera.  That second panel really grabbed me.


These next two pages are part of a sequence from issue #96.  The amount of detail and the Barry Smith foliage vibe, especially in panels 4 and 5 made we want to hang on to this.



The bottom two panels here again with the foliage and detail and amount of characters made me want to keep this.




This page took me forever to draw because of the amount of characters on it.  I love the first panel and the last panel.  It’s a great shot of the Hulk leading the charge and I love the Hulk’s body language in the last panel as he is turning back to see the rock slide descending on him.  I also love the face of the evil general in panel 2.




Those are the last of the Danny Miki pages that I kept.  Sandu Florea took over for Danny, mid-way through the series.  Issue #102 is where Sandu really got rolling.  As a result, I kept several pages from that issue.  The first is this one.  The body language/pose of the semi-transparent alien in panel 2 along with the shot angle and the presence of all the major characters on this page made it a compelling piece of art for me.




This page may seem like an odd choice but that shot of Miek before he goes into flashback in panel 1 is the reason.  It is a highly unusual angle and extremely difficult to pull off.  I loved how it turned out, so I had to keep it.



I love every panel on this page.  The Hulk face and figure in panel 1, the Hulk in panel 2 with the creepy shadowed Meik in the background and that shot of the Hulk with his big hand reaching toward us in panel 3.




This is the only splash page I kept from the regular series.  I think it has a Kirby sense of power to it and I love the Hulk’s expression as he pounds the Emperor.  For me, it is clearly the most Hulk-like splash page I drew.  The Hulk is smashing and that’s what he should be doing. There is a lot of detail and Sandu really pulled it together with his inks.



This might be my favorite  page from the entire series (or at least my favorite panel). The page after this has a half page splash of Caiera huddling with the Hulk as the space vampires drain his blood that I sold but this I couldn’t let this go.  The blacks and three dimensional volume in panel one is reminiscent of Berni Wrightson (my childhood idol) and the posturing of the vampires just really works.




The last of my keepers is this page.  Panel 2 says it all.  Of all the pages I have kept this is the one that was most frequently asked about.  I loved getting crazy with the distortion and detail on the Hulk’s face as he is infected with the vampire spores.  That panel would have been a great splash page.



So those are the pages from Planet Hulk that I purposefully kept.  I have to say before I sign off that none of this would have been possible without the great script and input from Greg Pak.  This story is truly a classic and I was blessed to be a part of it.

Next entry will be Wonder Woman keepers!


More Color Commissions

Well it’s that time again……me waiting on a script.  When you have nothing to do, what do you do?  You take on a few more commissions, that’s what.  Only 4 this time as I am desperately hoping to have a script in hand on Monday.

The one good thing lately about doing all of these color commissions is I have been getting great requests from people.  It’s great to be able to draw a commission for someone when the subject matter is something you really like.

All of these are 11X17 and a combination of copic marker and colored pencil.  With this batch I was able to get through the left over requests from my previous run of commissions.

The first one I did was Poison Ivy.



Second was Deathstroke the Terminator.  This is a character that I have never drawn before.  It’s always fun to tackle new subject matter.


Next up is one of my favorite DC characters.  The always popular but never translates into sales, The Creeper.  I tried to channel a little bit of Steve Ditko’s original wackiness into this piece.


And finally one of my favorite odd ball characters from the 70’s, Iron Fist.  Bruce Lee’s popularity first brought about Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu and was soon followed by Daniel Rand, Iron Fist!


Three of the four commissions are headed for Australia.  I haven’t visited there since 1994, so I definitely need to get back there!

That’s all I have for now.  As always, thanks for looking.

Is there life on Mars?

I just recently received perhaps the most unique and interesting comic assignment of my career.  A Marvin Martian/Martian Manhunter Team-up book!  What the?!

Fortunately I am a HUGE Chuck Jones and Warner Bros. Cartoon fan, so I practically leapt at the opportunity to work on such a project.  The number one challenge was to redesign Marvin Martian so he fit a little better into the DCU but not lose his classic feel.   We had to be able to look at him and know that it was Marvin Martian and yet he had to be less Looney Tune and a little more Bat-Mite.

I did a couple of drawings starting with the classic take on the character to give us all a starting point to compare the progressions too.  The first redesign took the character a little too far.


This next design hit the mark.  Clearly Marvin Martian but with just enough modernization to make him work in the DCU.


Now since I am right in the middle of drawing this book, I can only breakdown the cover art beyond this point, which is what I generally do in these blogs anyway.  So let’s take a look at the several cover sketches I did for this soon to be monumental book.

MartianA&B MartianC&DMartianE

Here’s how I viewed these.  I thought for sure that “A” would be picked, although “C” is clearly the best design but my favorite was and is “E” because it is an homage to one of Frazetta’s Buck Rogers Famous Funnies covers.  (if you don’t know what I am talking about it, google it)

So sure enough, “B” was chosen and after I finished penciling it, someone named Dan Didio discovered its eerie similarities to the cover of  Death of Hawkman #5 which I had recently completed.  I had indeed inadvertently pulled a “John Byrne” and ripped off myself.  So we decided to go with “C” which was probably the right call all along.

So I penciled the cover and actually remembered to scan it.


I was actually able to work in a nice Frazetta planet in the background.  Like I always say, “If you can’t rip-off yourself, rip-off someone else.”

I then inked the pencil almost entirely with a brush.  The ray-gun and the design stuff on the helmet and armbands was done with a pen.


You can see that I added the floating asteroid field during the inking stage.  I just really felt like I needed something else in there besides space.  I created the stars the old fashioned way…by dipping a toothbrush into white-out and splattering it on the black.

Coloring was a challenge.  In Marvin’s first cartoon appearance he wore a green top.  But in his most famous appearance, Duck Dodgers, he wore a red top.  Probably because they put Daffy in Green and they both couldn’t wear the same color!  So Marvin has been in red ever since.  So I went with red.  I didn’t go with the white gloves because I thought it might be too Looney Tune-ish.  But the powers that be saw it differently…


So I changed the gloves to white.


Then it was requested that I make his helmet and armor more shiney.  So I did that also.



So this was and is the final version of the cover art.  (Notice the groovy color hold on the orange moon behind Marvin).   This has quickly become one of my all-time favorite covers. That fact that Marvin Martian is on it might have a little something to do with it.

This book will be out in June and is a must read for Looney Tune nuts like me!

Thanks for looking!


Home Commission Extravaganza

What does an artist do when he is waiting on his next assignment or perhaps a late script? In my case, take commissions!  When I am at shows or conventions I will take commissions and draw them there.  Some times that drawing gets done in the hotel room but mostly at the table at the show.  I don’t do color work at shows (too time consuming) and I only work on 11X14 paper (anything bigger is too hard to handle while drawing on your lap).

So when I take on home commission they are almost exclusively color pieces on 11X17 art board.  Bigger pieces, in a controlled environment and no time limit to get it done and do a good job.

I have recently done a big round of home commissions because I was for 2 weeks waiting on the script to my next assignment at DC.  Still can’t say what that is but I can say I have received the script and am working on it now.  Which means the commissions are coming to end or a least a significant slow down.

So let’s take a look at some of what I have accomplished over the past two weeks.  All of these are some combination of marker and colored pencils.  In some cases a little paint to shake things up.

Captain Marvel, the first one I did.







Huntress was second.


Shrinking Violet was next.



Metamorpho was a request I couldn’t turn down.



Although I have never been a big fan of Death (who is really?)(I think I’ve used that joke before) I always seem to produce pretty good looking commissions when I draw her.  I have to admit, I stole the tattered umbrella idea from Adam Hughes.


It never hurts to work in a classic Marvel character now and again.


Plastic Man is one of my all time favorite characters and it was requested by the same guy who wanted the Metamorpho.  Clearly a patron with excellent taste.  Unfortunately my scanner broke before I could finish this one so this is a digital photograph doctored up in photoshop to try and approximate the correct color scheme.  It ain’t perfect but it is close enough.  This is probably my favorite piece so far.


Last one I will be sharing in this post is my most recent completion, Supergirl.  Again, digital photo doctored up in photoshop.



There are more but I think that’s enough for one post.  In the near future I will have to do a technique breakdown on how I do these.  Until then, thanks for looking.

Archie and Cheryl Blossom Cover

In the fall of 2016 I was approached by Archie Comics to do some covers for them.  I have to admit that I was so impressed with what Adam Hughes did with his work for Archie, it sort of inspired me to take on the challenge of doing something a little different subject matter-wise.  In other words, I happily agreed to do some work for them.

My first cover assignment from them was to do a variant cover for Archie #17.  This was the final issue of the intro of the Cheryl Blossom story line.  I was given the gist of the  the story and came up with a couple of ideas that I think captured the theme pretty well.


Quite frankly, I was excited to do either concept because I thought they were both pretty strong compositions that accurately conveyed the story.  “B” was chosen, so that’s what I drew.



I was able to grasp the more modern slant on the characters quicker than I thought I would.  Once I was happy with the expressions and the figure work, I started inking.


I did all of the inking with a brush except for the background circle.  There I used a compass equipped with an ink pen.  I scanned the piece and began coloring in photoshop.


As is the case almost every time I color, I spent twice as much time coloring the piece as I did penciling and inking it. I went back and forth on the back ground color as I also usually do before settling on the orange fade.  I knew that Cheryl Blossom and the guys were going to be warm and I also knew that Veronica would be a monochromatic cool color to push her back a bit.  So the logical choice was to go warm again for the background. This is basically a orange-blue complimentary color scheme.

I have to thank Adam Hughes for taking the time to share with me how he does his color holds, which I used on the Veronica figure in the background. It’s a simple trick of deleting the black line work and refilling it with color.

Anyway, that’s the finished cover and that’s all for now!

Death of Hawkman #6 Cover Quest

I desperately (exaggeration) wanted to get my blogging caught up (whatever that means), at least in regard to my Death of Hawkman Covers, so here I am with a another blog on that very topic.

This was a hard one.  It was the last cover to a somewhat important and definitely eventful mini-series (Death of Hawkman, duh!) so it had to be good.  What to do?  Talk about pressure!  I came up with several ideas in an attempt to capture the magnitude of the moment and here is what ended up on paper.

HawkmanAStrange#6cvrpencil1 HawkmanAStrange#6cvrpencil2

It’s not often that I draw four cover roughs and still not get it right but that is what happened here.  My editor suggested something simple, stark and dramatic.  What about Hawkman’s skull?  Great idea.  Especially great when you are in a deadline crunch and don’t have much turn around time.  So I took the concept, ran to my drafting table and did a quick marker sketch to make sure we were on the same page.



Once I got the okay, I pencilled the cover art.  And in typical Lopresti fashion, I didn’t get a scan of the pencils.  It might have seemed unnecessary to me considering the simplicity of the design.  You’ll have to trust me that I did, in fact, pencil the cover before I inked it.

Here is a scan of the inks after it was completed.  Interestingly, I added the heavy blacks around his teeth and chin after I originally thought I was finished with it.   I was getting ready to scan it and I just felt like there wasn’t enough volume to the illustration so I went in and added some black areas to create that depth that was lacking.


After completing this stage, I did indeed scan it and sent it over to Brad Anderson for the color job.  Brad once again took the black and white work and made it sing with a great color job.  The added blood splatter was a nice touch.


I think the simplistic yet dramatic design ended up being the perfect cover for the last issue of the Death of Hawkman.  See you soon when I perhaps will delve into my work at Archie Comics.  Ta ta for now!


Death of Hawkman Cover #5

Let’s take a look at my cover art for Death of Hawkman #5.

This is a cover where there was some indecision on my part as to what I wanted to do.  I got some direction from the writer and my editor and then I tried to make sense of it all and come up with a strong image.  It took me a few prelims to get there, though, and even then there were changes.

HawkmanAStrange#5cvrsketchA&B HawkmanAStrange#5cvrsketchC



Personally I would have gone with “A” or “B” but “C” was chosen with some adjustments. The powers that be wanted Hawkman and Hawkgirl moved to the front, which made perfect sense in retrospect.

So I made the flip and produced a pencil drawing…sort of.  This is really more of a full sized rough to get approval after I made the change.  This way I’m not investing a ton of time in something before I get a solid approval.



After the new positioning of the characters was approved I went ahead and put in the other elements of the cover and the character details.



I did put more detail into the pencil before I went to ink it but once again I didn’t get another scan of the fully detailed pencil.  I did scan the finished inks though (phew).  I inked this almost entirely with a brush.  (the debris was inked with a micron)



Once again Brad Anderson jumped in and colored this with a very short turn around and did another great job.



I’ll be back soon with the gripping saga of how the cover to Death of Hawkman #6 came to be!