Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vampi we hardly knew ye...

My buddy Davey Z asked me to show the Vampirella samples i did way back in '92 for a proposed series i was to do with Kurt Busiek.

Curt Purcell ( ) has done a very nice entry on Vampirella in his blog so Davey and he were interested in seeing my take.

Here's all i have from then-forgive the quality of the scans but these were copied way back before i ever had my own computer and scanner.

I was introduced to Harris Comics, who had the license to Vampi back then- my agent had shown them my most current work and they were interested in having me draw their upcoming DRACULA WAR storyline-this was to be a sequel of sorts to the old stories at Warren when Vampi fought the infamous Count.

it was to be written by the then pre MARVELS Kurt Busiek-he hadn't yet made his name in the industry and he and i eventually became good friends (i also became friends with their editor at the time,Richard Howell) Both Richard and Kurt were happy with the idea of me drawing the series and i started by doing some designs-a sort of audition.

The first was my own take on Dracula- unfortunately-for me- they wanted it to more closely follow the version done by Jose Gonzalez (i hope to use this take on Drac-one of many i've done thru the years-very soon)

So then i did their Dracula,with Vampi...

I also drew a few shots of our heroine to get used to the character-so far so good...

I then started on the story-i did about 15 pages of layouts-very loose storytelling-and finished pencils on the 2 page title/credits spread-it was inked and lettered (rather quickly i recall) and i continued my layouts...

...then the worm turned- i was informed thru Richard and Kurt that Harris decided my stuff was "too cartoony" for what they had in mind- not the 1st time this has happened-they wanted more of Jose Gonzalez in the style- this was of course AFTER they had approved my work (I've always felt that the inks had "transformed" my style into something different-which does happen-a different inker may have brought about a whole other result)
- Kurt and Richard were rather pissed about this decision and fought for me-to no avail-i was let go and someone else did the artwork.

Looking back on the experience i made two very close friends for life and got a chance to work on a cool iconic character-for a little while anyway- no regrets...;o)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More New Stuff!

As i mentioned in the blog about Shane's artwork we're doing some pieces for Dick Klemensen's LSOH mag-a tribute to Hammer's CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.

The 1st scan here is of some of the various "1st thoughts" i jotted down while thinking about the subject-in this case the aforementioned COF film,a pic of actor Shane Briant and something on director Peter Sasdy's work.

i eventually dropped the Sasdy piece (which i was gonna do as a montage-see last scan in this entry) as overkill (there will be so much art in the ish by other cool artists,my 4 were perhaps too much already ;o)

I'm sure after seeing part of the sketches i did on Sasdy's COUNTESS DRACULA some of you may be disappointed tho-lol

Well the next series of pix are the two major steps of each of the final four i chose to do.

First we have Baron Frankenstein preparing to restore life to the creature he made...

Then a pic of actor Shane Briant as a young medical fan of the infamous Baron from FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL...

Here is a portrait of the late Hazel Court as Elizabeth, fiancee to the Baron from COF...

Then the Baron has a close encounter with his newborn creature that nearly cuts his monster making career short...

Lastly is the Sasdy montage i spoke of- i got as far as the pencils before i decided to shelve it for another day- the subjects were TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA, HAND OF THE RIPPER, COUNTESS DRACULA and DOOMWATCH...

Until next we chat...That's All, Vokes!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shane Oakley

Shane Oakley has a blog you should check out-if only to see his artwork-my Brit bro Adrian Salmon and i have been fans since stumbling over his blog when we saw his Oliver Reed werewolf piece:

I'm very happy to say that he's also going to be in the next ish of my buddy Dick Klemensen's lovingly produced Hammer Films magazine, Little Shoppe of Horrors which is going to be devoted to Hammer's CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN:

Please go over there and see the cool art and more!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Stuff!

The 1st is a cover sketch of THE SKULL ('65-Amicus Films) for the PETER CUSHING ASSOCIATION JOURNAL's 2nd ish.

The fanzine is put out by Chris Gullo, old friend and author of the very cool book, IN ALL SINCERITY, PETER CUSHING (which has some nice little illos by some Volks guy ;o)

The 2nd is for the back cover of the VAN HELSING JOURNAL (formerly THE CUSHING CONFIDENTIAL - once published by Mr. Gullo) published by Harry Long (also one of the fellas behind the new mag SCARLET -formerly SCARLET STREET-which i am also doing a few pieces for)

yup-mine is a small world...;o)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Phil Lasorda R.I.P.

My first email of the day-July 4th 2008-was word from an old friend, Bill Cucinotta, that our other old friend and Comico publisher, Phil Lasorda died.

I then found this at Heidi MacDonald's blog:

"We’ve received word that former Comico publisher, Phil Lasorda, passed away yesterday. In addition to running the company which published such titles as MAGE and THE ELEMENTALS, Lasorda was a creator himself, with the book AZ. No further details are available at this time."

I'm very sad to hear this news-the few of you who read this blog know of my professional past at Comico Comics-Phil was a very important part of my professional life in comics- if not for him taking a chance on my still amateurish work back in '83 I may never have gotten into this biz-a job which has become a huge part of my life these past 25 years-I can never thank him enough.

Phil and I never became close friends but we did work together on 3 issues of his book AZ-they were changing their books over from B & W to color and Phil chose myself and my partner Rich Rankin to draw his series-those three 30 page issues never saw the light of day (thank goodness ;o) but they were a great training ground for me-i needed that time to hone my art and learn the discipline of monthly comic books-that time with Phil led to our doing the ROBOTECH MASTERS series for Comico.

I will never ever forget his generosity to a guy who just wanted to draw comics.

Farewell, Phil.