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31 December 2009 @ 12:48 am
So, The Rocketeer finally came out on my dad's 80th birthday (December 16), and I finally got my comps on December 23. Yahoo! They printed awesomely. I'm so happy. The regular edition printed a skoosh darker than the deluxe, but it's so subtle that no one will really notice. I might not have noticed it myself, had I not had both versions open in front of me. The colors are perfect and true. I'm thrilled with the results.

There have been a lot of great reviews so far. Happily, all the reviewers seem to like the recoloring.

"[The coloring is] there to make the art look as good as possible. And it succeeds." - Augie De Blieck

"[The coloring] compliments the original work, it’s not overdone, and it gives the whole thing such an incredibly slick appearance that I’ll be absolutely shocked if this thing doesn’t take home a stack of awards next summer." - Chris Sims

(The comments after this review are wonderful. Just go read them. I love how Chris schools the "I like the old coloring better" people. Because, yeah, they're wrong, as the next reviewer sharply points out.)

"Stevens' art deserves the depth that Martin give it. It is wonderful art, and the coloring that was available in the 1980s simply doesn't do it justice. Perhaps the incorrect people who liked the original coloring more appreciated it because it made the book look more like a "comic book" while Martin's recoloring makes it look more three-dimensional and cinematic, but I say pooh." - Greg Burgas

Okay, now that the book is out, I'm going to talk a bit about the coloring process. I might break this into chapters because there's a lot to talk about, and I have to gather my jpegs, and somewhere in here I have to work. :)

When I recolored the series, I paid very close attention to both the Eclipse colored version and the Dark Horse colored version. I liked the palettes on the Eclipse stuff, particularly Joe Chiodo's propensity for cool foreground/warm background and that signature cyan-blue shadow color. I also liked the way the shading was done on the Dark Horse work. So I brought both influences into my work, but first and foremost, my constant thought was, WWDD? What would Dave do? How would he have colored this, had he had the chance? So all of that was in my head every time I approached a page: what would Dave have done, how did these colorists handle it, were they working closely with Dave or unsupervised, and how do I retain some of my own aesthetics? It's a lot to think about for 160-odd pages, and I admit, sometimes I got tired of the other voices and just listened to my own. But we'll get to that in a different post. For now, let me discuss some of the pages where I chose to follow the originals very closely.

Let's start with that Betty splash that everyone loves so much.Collapse )

Another tidbit of trivia...Collapse )

There's one more page that's lifted almost directly from Dave's original, but I'm too tired to find the files, put them together, resize them, upload them, and post them here. It's the very last page, the splash of Betty standing in the doorway. I'll tell you that story some other time, along with several others.

Oh, before I forget...I believe this appears in the deluxe edition:

In a shocking turn of events, it also showed up, already framed, in a box delivered to the studio, as a thank-you from the guys who made the book happen for Dave Stevens.

No, thank YOU, Kelvin Mao and Dave Mandel. Thank you.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
16 December 2009 @ 12:15 pm
Wow, it's been this long since I posted? How sad. Well, my buddy Tom Fiester just alerted me to the fact that Complex.com has their Top 50 Covers of 2009 list up, so I thought I'd go through it, see what I contributed. :)

47. Planetary #27

33. MY COVER!!! Uncanny X-Men #508!!

...and that's pretty much it. Most of the other covers were done by illustrators; James Jean, JH Williams III, Marko Djurdjevic, etc. So I feel pretty good about the company I'm in. :) Three other Wolverine Art Appreciation covers made it onto the list; Paolo Rivera's Spider-Man #592 was at #10, and the #590 cover was at #48. Skottie Young's Captain Britain & MI-3 #12 cover made it to #13.

SO, what's been happening in Laura-coloring-land? Well, from what I hear, The Rocketeer comes out today. I have not yet seen a copy of this book (my comp copies from IDW are in the mail), so I can't vouch for the printing, but everyone else who's seen it says it's awesome. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! Apparently Augie de Blieck seems to like it...

The following issues were completed recently, and sent off to the printers:

The Stand: Soul Survivors #3 (there will be a month hiatus between 3 and 4, as Mike & Izabella Perkins enjoy their new parent status; everyone say hello to little Natalia Perkins!)

Siege #1

...and right now, Ultimate Avengers Vol. 2 #1 (aka #7) is on my desk.

Yes, I colored Amanda Conner's cover for Marvel's Girl Comics. There's an interview with editor Jeanine Schaefer over at The Beat. And of course there's whinging in the comments. But why should we ghettoize girls into their own book? If I'm a dude, can I buy the book? Isn't the title "Girl Comics" misogynistic and stupid?? OH NOES DRAMAZ!! Whatever, all right? I'm wracking my brain for when I last colored something drawn by a female penciler, and I think it might have been in the late '90s when Joyce Chin and I paired up on a portrait of 7 of 9 from Star Trek Voyager for a gaming magazine. And that wasn't even comics. I have colored a few things inked by Rachel Dodson, and I've worked with several female writers (most notably Jen Van Meter on Black Lightning), but that's pretty much it. Why? Because I am in the superhero clubhouse. Not just the superhero clubhouse, but the big-numbers, hot-selling, VERY male-centric super-superhero clubhouse. Women creators do not often cross trajectories with this particular clubhouse, either by choice or circumstance -- so hell yeah, I'm *thrilled* to color Amanda Conner. I hope I get to do it again. I hope I get to participate in this project more than just this one cover, because I'd be working with new-to-me artists, and that's ALWAYS awesome to me.

*whew* Rant over! Enjoy your comics, kids!
31 August 2009 @ 12:28 pm
Jeez, was my last post in JUNE?! Cripes. I'll post an update during/right after Dragon*Con.

Meanwhile, this is my response to the news that Disney is acquiring Marvel:

I spoke with Marvel's senior VP of talent management, and he's assuring me that Disney's approach will be similar to their management of Pixar -- very hands-off. There aren't any changes being planned for Marvel's management or creative, far as I know. The actual acquisition process is a glacial one, so we'll see how everything plays out. I'm more excited about a possible strong link between Marvel and Pixar...
18 June 2009 @ 03:18 pm
Conventions are upon us!! I'm sad to report that I don't have any new prints to sell for Heroes. Between the HELLACIOUS deadlines and our printer going tits-up, it just didn't happen. I do hope very much that I'll have new prints for CCI, Dragon*Con and Baltimore!

HeroesCon, June 19-21: Gaijin will be in Artists' Alley, booths 601-604. I won't have the computer with me at the booth, at least not that I'm planning, but I will have my box o' markers, so if you want a sketch -- or, better yet, you want me to color in a sketch you got from someone else; I LOVE doing that -- come on over! 

Comic-Con International, July 22-26: I will be in Artists' Alley, at either table KK-15 or KK-16. Not sure which one yet; as soon as I get it nailed down, I'll edit this post with the correct info. Again: Markers ahoy! Prints ahoy! I hope to have a couple of new ones by then!

Dragon*Con, September 4-7: The Gaijinners will be in Artists' Alley, which I believe is in the Hyatt this year, at tables 77-80 -- right at the entrance! Can't miss us if you wanted to.

Baltimore is on deck after that, but I can't think that far ahead. :)

Note: I also have REALLY SPIFFY hard plastic sleeves for your precious artwork and prints. $5 with purchase of a print, $8 on their own. Don't just wad 'em up, protect 'em!

05 June 2009 @ 12:34 pm
Hi all! Just a quick post to show you the cards I've done for IDW. Sketch cards will be polybagged with a future issue of Obama comics from IDW. I believe the issue is called "The First 100 Days," but I'm not positive. Ask your LCS!

You might notice that the marker renderings are a lot more streaky here than they were on the Indy pages. These cards were coated with some sort of matte finish, which didn't take the markers well at all. But, even with that handicap, I thought they turned out pretty good. :)

I have ten blanks which I will be drawing in the near future -- and I'm taking commissions! :) Got a request? Comment here or contact me privately!

Click for larger versions!

Obama sketch cards - IDW Obama sketch cards - IDW
Obama sketch cards - IDW

20 May 2009 @ 04:05 pm
Hi everyone. I've finally put up a bunch of artwork in my gallery: ALL of the Indiana Jones Masterpieces cards (even the crappy five-minute ones!), plus some recent covers (not five-minute ones, for sure).

Click here to go to the main gallery page, then click on each image to go into the individual galleries.

A teaser:

25 April 2009 @ 02:27 pm
Quick mention of a change to my appearance plans:

I won't be at Free Comic Book Day in Charlotte. A sobering review of my work schedule for the rest of April, May, and half of June reveals that I have a whole lot of work to do and rapidly decreasing time to do it in. My hermit phase begins now, as I'll be spending many long hours at the studio.

Enjoy the Spring for me, everyone! Send audiobooks! :)
Someone just called me and told me that someone is passing off my Wolverine Van Gogh painting as their own. I can't seem to find the link to it (it was on MySpace, or possibly Stan Lee's forum? I didn't quite catch the link), but meh. There's plenty of proof out there that it's my work.

If anyone out there sees something like this, please let me know. I realize that it happens a lot to other artists, but this is a first for me, and I want to be sure I'm handling any future situations appropriately.

05 April 2009 @ 10:39 pm
Dang, it's been forever since I updated. Okay, here's what's going on.

My book is not out yet. When I have ANY announcements about it, you'll see it here, and probably everywhere else.

Planetary #27 exists and is in the process of being colored. It's 28 pages long...and it's beautiful. Loads of Snow, Jakita and Drummer awesomeness.

As you may or may not have seen, I'm recoloring the original Rocketeer series. IDW will be publishing two versions: a collected edition, and a super-awesome Absolute edition (really nice hardcover, possibly with slipcover or box or something fancy). It's a hell of an honor.

My art: I haven't drawn much lately. I did go to life drawing class a couple of times in the last month, but did nothing impressive, so I haven't posted anything. Will be sitting in on it again on Tuesday if I get caught up.

Conventions: I'll be at the FX Show in Orlando on April 17-19; (maybe) Free Comic Book Day in Charlotte, NC; Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC on June 19-21; and Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 23-26 (lord help me). Still undecided are Baltimore Con and Dragon*Con. I will have prints and, if I get off my ass, some original work. This of course requires me to get off my ass. Ahahaha.

Did you see this? (click for bigger version, then click again for biggest version)

An animaged gif of the work in progress is at this link. It's 1.3 MB; I didn't want to bog down your friendslist. Click at your own risk. :)

Check it out -- one of my sketch cards is on Ebay. Guess who's selling it? Us! This is one of the artist's proofs that Topps gave back to me. Naturally, I picked the best ones out of the set. And now this one could be yours!!

Professor Henry Jones Sketch Card

Bid early and often!
09 December 2008 @ 09:20 am
Stephanie Chan, a flatter/colorist friend of mine, sent this message to Gutterzombie.com:


Last month, a friend of mine, Carla Hoffman and her husband Lance were both burned severely and lost their home and all their possessions in the Californian wildfires. Currently, they're still in intensive care in hospital, and the doctors just started to let them come out of their comas (which were induced to treat their second and third degree burns). They're still expected to remain in hospital for several months.

With the help of a few friends, I started to hold eBay auctions to help raise money for them. A few items are up right now, including some original Archie art from the 1960s, some hard-to-find graphic novels, and a few other things:

This is just the start, I have more items to post and even more coming in from other artists, publishers, and comic fans around the industry.

Please take a look at the list and bid to your heart's content.

If by any chance you have something kicking around your place you're not using and wish to donate, please drop me an email at steph /at/ comicbookgirl \dot\ com or drop me an AIM at StephChantastic, and I'll give you further details.

At the very least, if you can spread the word about my auctions, I would much appreciate it. You can link to our blog at http://letshelpcarla.wordpress.com. This site was set up by John to keep people up to date on Carla and Lance's condition and to post new auction items.


Please check out the auctions! I'm going to look around for stuff i can donate...