Archive for June, 2010

Magdalena #2 Preview

I have two books hitting stores this week: Magdalena #2 and the Witchblade Vol. 7 trade paperback. First up, Magdalena, the opening sequence of which you can see by clicking the simply amazing Ryan Sook cover pictured below.

Response to the first issue was pretty overwhelming and extremely gratifying. We got a wealth of positive reviews, and the issue sold out at the distributor level within a week or two of release. Issue #2 picks up pretty much right where we left off, with Patience and her mentor Kristof confronted by a demonic presence on the island of Elba. The rest of the issue takes us inside the Vatican, including a glimpse of a hall that isn’t part of the usual visitor tour.

The art is by the regular team of Nelson Blake the 2nd (pencils), Sal Regla (inks) and Dave McCaig (color). As great as I think issue #1 looked, I’d venture to say issue #2 looks even better, as the artists get a little more used to the book and to each other. We’re just getting started on Magdalena, so I hope you stick with us for the duration.


Colorful Indy

A brief addendum to the awesome Indiana Jones pages by Luke Ross I posted earlier this week. Here’s the first of those pages in glorious color, courtesy of Mike Atiyeh, whose color work has graced books from Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, as well as CrossGen.

Mike was one of the first CrossGen colorists hired. Besides being one of my best buddies there, we worked together on The Path, Mike coloring both the Bart Sears and Matthew Dow Smith issues. Mike has been a regular contributor to the Dark Horse’s Star Wars line, which is fitting since he’s one of the biggest Star Wars fans in this universe or any other. Obviously there’s a whole lot of love for Indy as well, as this page shows. Hope you like it.

I’ll be working with Mike on a future project, something that won’t debut until 2011, but we’re starting on it now. More details about that later on, maybe about the time of the San Diego convention…



Making a Banks Deposit

I’m asked fairly often what my Green Lantern collaborator Darryl Banks is up to these days, because he’s not terribly visible in the comics market. Darryl is mostly working in commercial art these days, including designs for toys and statues and collectibles. But he makes room in his schedule for the occasional cover and commission pieces.

I pulled the above covers for The Phantom out of the files and thought I’d share, as I doubt many people saw them on the issues of the Moonstone series. I’m truthfully not even sure which issues these covered, but I do recall them being colored pretty dark. So here’s the glorious line work – pencils by Darryl, inks by Terry Austin.

You can check out Darryl’s Comic Art Fans gallery here.

The gallery includes a wealth of gorgeous commission pieces, including a lot of Green Lantern. But there’s also a pretty wide range of stuff, everything from Batman to Red Sonja, Adam Strange to Doctor Strange. I’m particularly partial to the Doc Strange pieces, especially the one with Doctor Fate. And, of course, the Kyle pieces. There’s really no one who draws Kyle’s costume (and mask) quite like Darryl.

I’d love to work with Darryl again, whenever our schedules will allow. Hope it comes to pass soon. Besides the obvious, what project would you guys like to see me and Darryl on?



Black And White – The Ghost Who Walks

The last Indiana Jones post got me in a pulp kind of a mood. I’ve always liked pulp-style characters – and Indy is most certainly a pulp character, regardless of his “date of birth” – from originals like the Shadow to Doc Savage, to modern interpretations like the Rocketeer. I’m very intrigued by DC’s First Wave books, even if the results have been somewhat uneven.

The Phantom, created by Lee Falk, made his debut as a comic strip, rather than in a true pulp. But he’s a pulp character in every other way. The Phantom was pretty high on my list of characters I wanted to write at least once. Happily, I’ve been able to get to a number of them: the Phantom, Hellboy, Tarzan, Red Sonja.

I was able to scratch my Phantom itch via Moonstone, which held the license before its recent move to Dynamite, by talking them into a Phantom Annual (the first ever, apparently). It was a generational story told in chapters, each chapter starring a Phantom of a different era. I pulled in a number of my writer friends, including Chuck Dixon, Tony Bedard and Mike Bullock, to pen chapters. On the art side, I collaborated with my sculptor/artist/animator buddy Ruben Procopio on the first chapter, recounting that era’s Phantom facing down the pirates of the Singh Brotherhood.

Ruben contributed a very Toth-inspired black-and-white variant cover (pictured above), while inker Terry Austin talked his pal Bret Blevins into penciling the main cover (pictured at the top of the post). I had a notion that we should have a simple back cover image, and Lee Moder stepped up to contribute this great shot (pictured below) of the Phantom and Devil, which was then inked by Terry Austin. But for whatever reason, Moonstone decided it wasn’t a suitable image, and it went unused. It’s appearing here for the first time ever, as far as I know. Shame it never got used. But who knows … maybe we’ll find a place for it sometime.


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