Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Jack Kirby interview…
Above: Jack Kirby’s Thor and Captain America.
THE COMICS JOURNAL has posted Gary Groth’s interview with Jack Kirby. The interview first appeared in print in THE COMICS JOURNAL #134 (February 1990). I have a good chunk of the recorded audio interview on two c.d.’s. The second c.d. ends when Kirby says: "Stan Lee was a pest."
GROTH: Stan [Lee] pretty much takes credit in an introduction to one of his books for creating all the characters in The Fantastic Four. He also said he created the name.
KIRBY: No, he didn’t.
Some of Jack Kirby’s comments contradict things that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko have stated concerning the creation of some of Marvel’s characters. (This isn’t new news, of course.) Still, this remains a very interesting interview.
Jack Kirby’s statements about the creation of Marvel’s Spider-man even contradicts some of things that I’ve researched in "Who Really Created Spider-Man?". Lisa Kirby (Jack Kirby’s daughter) once told me: "I'm afraid I have no information for you regarding the creation of Spiderman. I am aware of the controversy surrounding his origin. Neither one of my parents ever mentioned that my father created him, in fact I have heard my mother correcting people if they alluded to that fact."
Also, here’s a little story as told by John Byrne concerning the creation of the Fantastic Four (I can’t seem to find the direct link at the John Byrne Forum):
When Roger Stern started working as an editor at Marvel he was, of course, given a desk. He soon discovered it was Stan’s old desk, which had been recycled into general use. From this desk Roger got two things, left behind by Stan. One was what Roger calls "Stan Lee's Magic Thesaurus". The other was an ancient copy of Stan’s written plot for FANTASTIC FOUR 1. Roy Thomas even referenced this item in at least one of his ALTER EGO pieces.
Above: Jack Kirby’s MISTER MIRACLE.
I am a huge fan of the works by both Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Without these two fellas, comics would not be what they are today. Comic books might not even still be in existence if not for the efforts of Stan and Jack.
Being a comic book artist, I’ve come to be heavily influenced by Jack Kirby’s powerful artwork and storytelling. I don’t have to tell you how important Jack Kirby is to the comic book industry. I don’t have to tell you that Marvel Comics would not be the powerhouse it is today, or may not even be in existence, if not for the contributions of Kirby.
It’s clear that great tragedies were done to Jack Kirby. Hopefully, one day, the comic book industry will learn its lesson.
Monday, May 23, 2011
I like to draw comics…
Late July or in August will see the publication of my spanking brand new graphic novel. I haven’t mentioned very much about the project, yet, but I wanted to post something from the book, anyway. The above panel is, actually, a fix. I didn’t like how the original panel came out. So, I redrew it, and changed the camera angle. Oddly enough, I really didn’t pencil much of this. Most of the artwork was drawn at the inking stage with a brush and nib.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Ink Plots reception…
Way back on October 14th, the School of Visual Arts held its reception for the Ink Plots exhibit. SVA instructors and alumni gathered for a few hours to meet, greet, and drink wine.
The exhibit had been held at the Visual Arts Gallery located at 601 West 26 Street, 15th floor, New York City. Ink Plots continued until November 6, 2010.
The following photos of the Ink Plots reception were supplied by Miguel (thanks, Miguel):
Above photo: Original artwork from Will Eisner’s A CONTRACT WITH GOD.
Above photo: P.I.C. buddies Stephen Scanlon (creator of PIPE DREAMS) and Miguel Martinez Joffre (creator of TICKLE ME SILLY).
Above photo: Original artwork from NIHILIST-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS #1 by (penciler) Fernando Ruiz and (writer/inker) myself.
For more information concerning the School of Visual Arts’ Ink Plots exhibit, go here.
Above: Artwork from NIHILIST-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS #1 by (penciler) Fernando Ruiz and (writer/inker) myself. The Ink Plots exhibit also featured ten pieces from NIHILIST-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS #1 with artwork by Joe Staton, Fernando Ruiz, and myself.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #5 now on sale!
The last story in ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #5, "Mixed-up Media," is inked by myself and penciled by the great Fernando Ruiz.
First ever DC Comics and Hero Initiative collaboration: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #50...
Above: Alex Ross’ JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #50 original cover.
A collection of 100 Covers from Top artists around the world!
LOS ANGELES, CA (February 1, 2011) – The Hero Initiative, a charity dedicated to helping comic creators in medical or financial need, most proudly announces their new partnership in the Justice League Of America #50 project with DC Comics. This is the first collaboration with DC comics ever and Hero is chomping at the bit to pull the collection together. The call has gone out and dozens of artists are putting pen to paper. DC has generously donated 100 blank-covered cardstock copies of Justice League Of America #50 to Hero, and work is being created by well-known stars such as Jim Lee, Alex Ross, George Perez, Jason Bone, Jim Valentino, and many many more.
Above: My JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #50 "original cover." Click here for a larger view.
Work-Made-For-Hire, Digital Comics, and Royalties...
The Creator’s Bill of Rights includes the following: "The right to prompt payment of a fair and equitable share of profits derived from all of our creative work."
Royalties for creators is fairly standard in comics today. Now with downloadable comics, will comic book creators be seeing royalties from the sale of digital comics? I don’t know how some publishers are handling this, but in regards to Archie Comics and my work, the answer is "no."
Comixology.com is selling a downloadable version of ARCHIE ALL-STARS VOLUME 3: THE CARTOON LIFE OF CHUCK CLAYTON,…, which I had inked. I contacted Archie Comics to see if I’ll be receiving any royalties from these sales. I was told: "No, we do not pay any royalties."
Mr. Steve Bissette has already discussed Archie Comics going digital: "There’s still plenty of working creators laboring under work-for-hire, under terms with precious few perks or benefits; make no mistake, the plantations are alive and working."
Over at The Beat, Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater once stated: "I can’t speak for things prior to my being here, but things that have gone on previously with how artists were treated has nothing to do with where we are now. We support every artist, every writer, every employee of Archie. They are valued. They are treasured."
Well, I don’t feel "valued" or "treasured."
There are some comic book publishers that have made some advances in the area of comic book Creator’s Rights. Some publishers offer royalties and the return of artwork to all of its freelancers. Sadly, some still do not.
Above: Artwork from ARCHIE ALL-STARS VOLUME 3: THE CARTOON LIFE OF CHUCK CLAYTON by (penciler) Fernando Ruiz and (inker) myself.