Arthur Struggles With Pesky Sales Growth

Arthur Magazine is reporting sales of the new issue, #34, are going gangbusters a week BEFORE the official release. They’re so low on inventory they’ve taken the unprecedented move of cutting off wholesale orders and making the issue available direct to readers only through their website.  Inventories of the previous launch issue, #33, with my cover and interview, are down to their last fifty copies SOLD OUT!   So if you want to see what all the commotion is about and experience Arthur’s insanely huge format, you need to act fast.  The Arthur Store is right here.

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Postcard From Vermont

My brother, Michael Veitch, a singer-songwriter of some renown; has just released a new collection of his Vermont themed tunes.  He asked me to do the art for the release and here’s how the download card came out.  He’s giving a couple songs away as a free download.  Just head over to www.Distrophonix.com and use the code  1WWHT3IV to redeem the goodies.

 

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The Collector

Mars Will Send No More is in the throes of a Veitch/Rock retrospective. They’ve been running scans of complete short stories I did for Sgt. Rock during my student days.  The above splash is from THE COLLECTOR with a script by Bill Kelley (who I believe posed for the grinning corpse robber character).  Note the hash pipe in the guy’s helmet band.

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Stand Up Tragedy

This is an illustration I collaborated on for an upcoming play in New York City titled STAND-UP TRAGEDY.  The story concerns a teen-age kid in the Lower East Side during the 1980′s dealing with problems at home and problems at school.  The kid has some art talent and an active fantasy life built around his own superhero creation, SAGA but he’s up against some powerful negative forces.  The play was written by Bill Cain and will be performed April 13  through May 4 at Nativity Church, 44 Second Avenue in NYC.  Tickets and information here.

The illustration is a collaboration between myself and Manny Skerret, a talented young student.  I came up with the design and did the outer panels while Manny perfectly captured SAGA as he inhabits the lead character’s teen age imagination. Manny is also doing art and animations that will be incorporated into the performance.

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Drawing Steve Gerber’s Jungian Phantom Zone

Back in the mid 1980′s, DC decided to reboot its SUPERMAN character; giving it to John Byrne to write and illustrate.  This created an odd situation concerning the existing SUPERMAN continuity and books in the pipeline.  One of those titles was DC COMICS PRESENTS in which SUPERMAN had traditionally appeared with another DC character. The title was cancelled and editor Julie Schwartz gave the final issue to Steve Gerber to write. I got the assignment to pencil.  I don’t think anyone in publishing or editorial gave a hoot what was in it.

With no one paying attention, Steve turned in an absolutely nutty script in which the Phantom Zone was revealed to be a living being made of of billions of dead souls.  I don’t know what was going on with Steve at the time, but it was written in a wildly disjointed style:  “Again the self is pierced and again and again–and the begin time is now and now is the begin time and the else-ones multiply like– HATE! Fingers (what are fingers) gouging (what is gouging?) into faces (what are faces?) into–COWARDS!  WHY DID YOU PUT US TO DEATH? …death was the begin time…” and came in pieces; three or four pages at a time.  Julie was fretting, Steve wasn’t returning his phone calls and  the whole project was wildly late so I hammered the pencils out in record time so Bob Smith could get them inked.

I never got to meet Steve, so I don’t know if he was consciously referencing the Jungian SELF in his depiction of the Phantom Zone, but the connection is unmistakable with his Phantom Zone SELF being a gigantic heart shaped diamond, and I played it up as time allowed.  Since it wasn’t my finest hour in terms of the art job, I thought I’d never see the story again, but yesterday I received comp copies from DC for a SUPERMAN VS ZOD tpb that includes it.  And Amazon.com is showing a special Steve Gerber collection from DC that uses it as well.  Good news for me, as DC does a fine job of paying royalties on old Work For Hire material.  And good news for Steve Gerber fans.  As crazy as the script was (and as rushed as my part was) I think the story was direct from Steve’s heart.

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How Low Burns The Lantern?

Inker extraordinaire Shawn Van Briesen has posted a cool blast from my past.  It’s the complete 8 page flashback sequence from SUPREME #49 that he inked over my pencils.  What’s especially cool is that he reproduces my pencils alongside his inks to compare.  We were going for a 70′s look in this particular bit and I think we hit it pretty good!  Script by Alan Moore and lettering by Todd Klein.

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I Woke Up And Drew The Comic I Was Drawing In My Dream

The curvature in the line behind the guy in the second panel was very important!

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Move Over Django

One of my first solo SGT. ROCK back-ups, the 6 page GO DOWN MOSES has been posted on Mars Will Send No More.  It’s a quicky bio-story of Harriet Tubman with a script by Val Eads, me on pencils, inks and letters.  Not sure who colored it, but everything turns purple and green at the end!

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Alan and Rick by Dave and Ger

Sim skewers Moore and Veitch in Cerebus 239, with backgrounds by Gerhard and my dialogue lettered by me.

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Past Blasting!

Here I am circa 1965, maybe 14 or 15 years old,  learning to draw by copying Wally Wood figures.

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