Showing posts from October, 2008

From The Desk of Steve Englehart

Ever since The Dark Knight film came out, people have been emailing me, pointing out things they noticed that came from my stories and asking for my impressions. Well... Everyone who's seen the film has been mystified as to why it comes to an end - and then keeps going for another half hour, with a storyline that seems tacked on - where the handsome, blond, noble politician who's been the linchpin of the film that far suddenly makes a hundred-eighty degree turn to the dark side, egged on by the Joker. As most everyone getting this knows, I wrote DARK DETECTIVE III beginning in January 2006, but Marshall Rogers died tragically and completely unexpectedly as he was drawing the first issue. What happened after that was puzzling. A DC editor called up Terry Austin - not me - and said "There are some people up here who want that series dead, and Marshall's death gives them their excuse." Whereupon they cancelled the series. That in itself was not so puzzling, because D

Manifesto: Part II - Vent: A First Salvo

Before I start I'd like to say a huge thank you for the emails that have come in offering support and good wishes. I'll reply to them all and indeed have already started to. Reducing stress is the name of the game and that's exactly what I'm doing - even this rant goes a way towards my ultimate goal as it's a way to unload a lot of negative feeling towards some people, and I hate feeling negative. There's a lot of people mentioned in this article, just to be clear I have nothing but love and respect for the bulk of them, namely Norm Breyfogle and Alan Weiss, and some of the others, well I'd have a lot more respect if they'd just do the right thing. Wait and see I guess. Imagine walking through the doors of Marvel Comics in 1961 and being asked if you wanted to be part of it. Or Image in 1991. DC. Dark Horse. You name it – we all want to be there and we’re generally jealous of those who were. My involvement with the publisher A First Salvo began in 2006

More Fun With Ebay: Photocopied Original Art

Surfing the evil empire that is eBay I came across this auction . Now I've got nothing against anyone making a few bucks - hell I buy and sell on ebay almost every week - but this just sticks in my craw somewhat. Why? Because if Norm Breyfogle decided to do the same then you can count on DC shutting him down so fast his head wouldn't have time to spin. Yet they allow an dealer to photocopy original character designs and sell them in the 'original art' section. Just for the record. Norm sold these to a dealer back in 2006, hardly 'years ago' as described in the auction proper. How do I know this? Because at the time I placed the original details onto Norm's forum and even took a shot at selling the designs on eBay on behalf of Norm (you can see the original forum ad here ). Sadly back then no-one bought them via eBay, but they did sell, and knowing Norm they sold very cheaply. Buyer beware - they're not original art, to be fair they're advertised a

Manifesto: Part I - Shot Across The Bow

If I were a girl I'd be pregnant with eight kids by now. That's the conclusion that we came up with as we travelled to Melbourne for a relaxing weekend. Why would I pregnant? Because I can't say no to anyone. That's about to change... What's wrong with this picture? We travel over 1,600 kilometers just to get away from things and relax. We can't relax here, it's impossible. Why can't we relax? Because people want a piece of me. I'm not complaining, although it might appear that way. What I'm doing is diversifying. Over the past few months my work loads have increased out of sight. I'm taking on far too much at my day job, which is one of the more high pressured jobs that anyone should do, and I'm taking on more than I can handle outside of those hours. I have no time for my family, or me. My mental health has suffered. My physical health has also suffered. Right now I can barely walk, such is the tightness and pain in my back. For a few h

More Masterworks Fun: The Mystery Of The Vanishing Comp Copy

When it comes to me commenting on the line of Marvel Masterworks it's been a while between drinks. However every so often something I see just makes me scratch my head and wonder if there's anything loyal, or decent about these reprints. We now know that a good percentage of the material reprinted isn't the original art, alternatively it's art that's been re-drawn by artists who remain in the shadows when it comes to proper credit. Stories signed by Gene Colan, Steve Ditko, Dick Ayers and even Jack 'King' Kirby are anything but. In some cases they're reconstructed with some lines fixed, in other cases they're totally new creations that have been drawn either freehand or traced from the comic books. Despite the protestations of a few who believe that the practice is not only moral but also decent and not to the detriment of the original artists, there's a larger number who disagree. For those who think that the practice of redrawing art without p

Hello Marvel, DC, Dark Horse & Everyone Else: A Few Good Reasons Why You Should Hire Norm Breyfogle

As people might, or might not, be aware for the better part of 2007 and 2008 I've been working on a biography/art book about Norm Breyfogle . In a situation that appears to be the norm (no pun intended) these days the publisher, after commissioning the book and allowing me to start work, with contracts of intent in place, has gone belly-up leaving me with a book that's 90% finished. More on the publisher down the track (I've not forgotten you guys and I'm still pissed off about how you've treated not only me but others, especially Alan Weiss) as they've gone under in a very poor fashion. One of the perks of working on such a project is the art that you see. Over the past few years I've become an avid collector of Norm's art, to the point where I'm almost exclusively buying his art and no-one elses. I still get the occasional piece and there's always some artists that I'll buy (like Dave Simons!) when it's affordable and there's cash t

Happy Birthday Joe Sinnott!

Still the best there is at a young 82. Why do I love Joe Sinnott ? He's the only American artist I've ever spoken to who told me that one of his best pals lives a few miles from me, and then asked me to call him to wish him well - which I did. Why do I adore Joe? Because he's one of the kindest, most honestly open people I've ever had the good fortune to speak to. Why is Joe simply the best? Because as good as you artists out there are.... just ain't this good. Pop by the Inkwell forums and wish Joe a happy birthday. Thanks to Bob Almond Joe will be checking in and reading his well wishes, so send those greetings and some love Joe's way.

Original Art Stories: Ivan Reis's Nightmare Part II

A while back I reported on the art that you're seeing to the right, the original cover art to issue #21 of Green Lantern by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert and what happened to it. The story was one of those horror stories whereby the art was reported as being stolen in transit. One of the more eagle eyed amongst my little blog readership, Rafael Domene , saw the art in question on eBay and quickly fired down an email to let me know that it's reared it's head (so to speak) once more. The seller describes himself as being someone who is a, "...freight recovery company that specializes in buying and selling salvaged merchandise. The NPS Store deals mainly with lost, misdirected, overstocked and distressed types of merchandise from various sources throughout the United States. We currently offer merchandise." To me that sets off all kinds of warning bells, especially when you look at what happened to the art the first time around. According to collector (and the real o

Inkwell Awards News: New Forum

Finally the Inkwell Awards has it's own forum . As a committee we've been throwing the idea back and forth for a while now, but needed some downtime in which to set things up and get it all going. What's made this one ever better is that the original forum is now combined with the Inkwell Awards forum. The Inkersorg forum has been around for the better part of the past two years and it was that forum's creator, PJ Magalhaes, who initially suggested that both forms be combined (so to speak) into the one stop shop for all artists and fans alike. So what can you can expect to find there? You can just hang out and chat with people, post examples of your work to have it looked at and critiqued by professional artists, get some advice about jobs and breaking in, insider gossip about the plans for the 2009 Inkwell Awards...almost anything really. Don't take my word for it, pop on over , register and start posting.

Looking Back With Dick Giordano

This interview is a bit of a cheat. I originally did this interview via email with Dick Giordano back in 2005 and Dick had always intended it to be part of his site relaunch, which was fine by me as I saw that as an honour. Dick has since revamped his site and for some reason the interview has come down. As old as it might be I still enjoy it and felt that it'd be a good idea for people to be able to access and read it. At the time of the interview Dick was working with Roy Thomas on the Dracula mini-series at Marvel, finishing up a project that he and Roy Thomas had started nearly thirty years prior. I was busily working on the Andru & Esposito book , so that'll help explain some of the now outdated references. Dick has been a powerhouse in the field of comics for decades now. It's hard to argue with his credentials, either as an artist, writer or editor. Dick has done it all and, in most cases, done it better than the next guy. From his work at Charlton, through to

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