Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tuesday... Old Godness by Me and Hester, and Even More Old Goodness by Buckler and Janson!

First up today is something I just rediscovered while scouring my hard drive for art scans. About a decade ago, Phil Hester and I worked on a Vertigo book called BRAVE OLD WORLD. To be perfectly honest, I don't remember much about the book. I believe it was written by my old Wonder Woman collaborator, William Messner-Loebs. I also seem to recall that Guy Davis provided layouts (as much as I respect Guy, a silly role considering the storytelling prowess of my pal Hester).

Anyway, Phil and I produced one really memorable piece of work during the Brave Old World run. We're not really known for our detailed settings or fine rendering, but we manage it pretty well, I think, in this 2/3 tier of a two-page spread.

Sadly, the original art for this piece was lost somehow. The production folks at DC made a stat (copy) pasteup of this spread, which was returned. The original art, though, was never seen again by Phil or myself. I wonder what became of it? Anyway, the digital version is still alive and well... enjoy!

I assume this Brave Old World stuff is still owned by Vertigo/DC.

The year after I moved to Philadelphia I went to my first big, East Coast comic book convention. Turns out, it was one of the biggest comic conventions ever, in a certain context. I believe the event was held in late 1991, shortly after the launch of Jim Lee's X-MEN comic, which sold something like 7 million copies... enough for each and every comic book reader in America to own about 20 copies each. These were the heady days of comic book speculation. Marvel had gone public, comics were being ordered by truckload by sports card store owners, and the gravy train was never going to stop rolling... right? Hell, the publishers were putting out so much crap that even a kid from Kansas who didn't really know what the hell he was doing could get inking work! Well, that was the hope, anyway.

At any rate, in that over-crowded hotel near Madison Square Garden, I spotted a pile of original artwork for sale on a dealer's table. The price tag for everything in this stack? How about four freaking bucks?! Well, I wasn't loaded, by any stretch, but I did have twenty dollars burning a hole in my pocket. I walked away with a Shogun Warriors page by Trimpe and Esposito, a Human Fly page by Lee Elias, a Superboy page by Brown and Giordano, a Rom page by Buscema (Sal) and Sinnott, and a Battlestar Galactica page by Buckler and Janson.

Presented today is a panel from the Rich Buckler/Klaus Janson page. It's not a stunning panel, but there is a valuable lesson here. That lesson is: There are valuable lessons to be learned even by careful study of seemingly pedestrian work. In this case, despite some odd storytelling choices here that may have been the writer's fault, the composition is clear and strong, the figures are solid and gestural, and the inking is ballsy as all hell. I won't go on and on (yeah... too late). Just look at it for a minute... study it. You can learn a lot by checking out how these two old pros got the job done.

Okay... enough outta me. Enjoy the gen... okay, I can't really go with genius here. I don't think Rich or Klaus would mind if I say "Enjoy the deadline-driven solid workmanship!"


I have no idea who owns the publishing rights to this old, original Battlestar Galactica stuff. Let's just agree that it ain't you, okay?


Jamie S. Rich said...

I dunno, man. That panel makes it look like Apollo and his buddy are suddenly feeling the effects of some bad Cylon chili.

Dude, a Vertigo series by Messner-Loebs, Davis, Hester, and Parks? I've never even heard of this thing, but what a line-up!

Ande Parks said...

Ah... give Buckler a break. The poses he was swiping from superior artists didn't quite match the script, but he did the best he could with it!

Seriously, I know there is some funky storytelling here. The balloon tails are all over the place, and the bad guy is cropped oddly. But, with old Marvel-style books, you never know who to blame for shit like that.

By the way, just read the latest Love the Way You Love, and it was charming and delightful. Good work.


Jamie S. Rich said...

Hey, you took the panel out of context, and that is what it looks like. Besides, I don't blame Buckler, it's clearly the inker's fault. Just like always.

Glad you liked the book. It was fun to write "light" for once.