Archive for January, 2009

All The Young Kubes

This is a page of sketches of some of my fellow Kubert School classmates circa 1976. Memory cells are in short supply from those halcyon times, but I think I remember doing these as a class activity on a day when the model didn’t show up for Life Drawing.

Starting at the top that’s Tom Yeates (who went on to a stellar career in comics) with Sam Kujava to his right and “Binky” Brown just below. Bottom left is Ken Feduniewicz (who became a Marvel staffer and publisher of THIRD RAIL). To his right, Steve Bissette (who, with Alan Moore and John Totleben, helped relaunch the ailing comics industry a few years later with SAGA OF SWAMP THING).

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Dragon In The Rough

Here’s one of the concept roughs I submitted for the recent cover of WNET’s NATURE COMICS. Have you been over to the PBS site to download my free dragon story?

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Inky Dinky Parlez-Vous?

Here are the finished inks on the “CHIPPY picking up GREYSHIRT in a bus station” commission. I found this request quite enjoyable!

And yes, the commission window is still open. Shoot me an email if you are interested.

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It’s A Jungle Out There

I did this from a photo, direct to sketchbook, back in 1996. But y’know, it perfectly sums up what we small comic book publishers are feeling right now.

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But Rick–What About The BRAT PACK Hardcover You Announced Last Month?

As soon as I put up the announcement yesterday that King Hell was soliciting a new edition of the BRAT PACK trade paperback, the emails started to come in asking about the INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH BRAT PACK Limited Hardcover I announced earlier. The answer is, I’m delaying it.

The problems we are facing in comics publishing and distribution are big and still evolving. Things look tough right now but it is entirely possible this is only the beginning of a major sea change in the comics business. I’ve spent the last couple years collecting all the material for my 300 page hardcover, and it will be a great but really expensive project. Here are the hard facts: if the market implodes with my money and books in the system, King Hell might not survive the financial hit.

While the new trade paperback edition is not a cheap project by any means, I’ve got the print bill already covered so I know if the whole Direct Sales Market goes down the tubes, I’ll be okay. Hopefully, everything will hang together over the next six months and then I can get on with the big version. But until we have a better idea of the direction the market is taking, the Limited Hardcover is on hold.

Above is Page 2 of BRAT PACK. Pen, ink, wash and airbrush, 1991.

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Still Kickin’–BRAT PACK!

My BRAT PACK trade paperback has been out of print for almost a year and King Hell is proud to announce a fresh new edition is in the pipeline! It sports an all new cover with interiors remastered form the original artwork; printed on the best glossy stock to bring out every twisted detail of this notorious superhero classic.

Eisner nominated for Best Series and Best Graphic Novel when it came out, BRAT PACK is a fierce and darkly comic dissection of the hoary old ‘kid sidekick’ genre that’s as harrowing as it is hilarious; subversively subtle and completely over the top. And it’s arguably the great grandaddy of the “Twisted Superhero” genre.

On THE BEAT, Heidi Macdonald said: “For those not familiar with it, BRAT PACK completes the troika of immortal works dissecting the superhero genre, with the other two being DARK KNIGHT and WATCHMEN. Indeed, for those brave readers looking for a follow-up to WATCHMEN, BRAT PACK could be just the thing. We were flipping through a copy the other day, and it’s just as disturbing and horrific as it ever was.”

BRAT PACK is an edgy and unforgettable dance macabre that is a must for every graphic novel collection. 176 pages. $19.95 Introduction by Neil Gaiman. Look for it in the March 2009 issue of PREVIEWS!

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Sub-Underground Comix

Here’s another blast from my comics creating stone age. It’s a collaboration with my brother, Tom Veitch, done while I was still in high school; a couple years before we started TWO-FISTED ZOMBIES.  I was just learning to ink with Rapidograph and brush and lay down Zipatone.

This 31 page story, starring our characters OLD MAGIK and CRAZYMOUSE, actually saw print in Tom’s self-published poetry journal, TOM VEITCH MAGAZINE #4.  The plot involved a giant tapeworm curled up in the heart of the Earth.

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Make Mine Retro

There’s more in my retro bag of tricks than just Jack Kirby. When given the chance I like to ape the style of all kinds of artists. Here’s a splash page from CAPTAIN AMERICA #50 in which I was asked to provide the look and feel of one of my favorite draftsmen, Gene Colon. And with none other than Tom Palmer on the inks, how could it miss? ©Marvel Characters

Anyone interested in owning this beauty, get in touch.

UPDATE: We have a buyer.

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Wang Dang Doodle All Night Long

Sometimes you start doodling and all you get is a screaming face. Other times the results are a little more finished. Marker in sketchbook, 2006.

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The Good Old Pre-Monopoly Days

With all the talk these days of Diamond cutting off relists and upping the sales threshold for independent publishers, it’s worth remembering what the Direct Sales Market was like when there were competing distributors. Before Diamond got a monopoly lock on comics distribution, the playing field was more level, in the sense that it didn’t matter if you were DC or King Hell; everyone’s titles got an equal portion of basic space in the catalogs. Distributors were eager to promote all books and competed to get exclusive content from publishers to spice up their catalogs.

Here’s a good example of the kind of thing I’m talking about. In 1995, Capital Distribution offered me two pages in their catalog to tell their readers why they should be reading RARE BIT FIENDS. I did the following strip (which I’ve reformatted a bit in Photoshop to fit into the vertical blog format) in a sort of Winsor McCay style and it was win-win for everyone: boosting my sales while entertaining the readers of their catalog.

These opportunities in distribution may be long gone, but the message is still fresh. You should read my dream comics!

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