Image Thursday! and commentary

Thursday March 19th 2015, 1:03 pm

This week is another lesser known piece. Very early in my career I wasn’t getting work, couldn’t get anyone to pay attention to my stuff. Not until meeting Howard Chaykin, who in a single hour at a con became my advocate at the DC booth. He got eyes on my samples, forever changing my life. And from that came business cards, and from that came probably at least 80 pestering phone messages left by me to offices in NY until one day somebody decided to call me back. That somebody was Milestone, the forward progressive thinking venture that was supported by DC Comics at the time. Looking back at the quality of my work back then, I probably should NOT have been given a job, but I was. So I did my best to make it as good as I could. It was fill-in work on Blood Syndicate, a very interesting and diverse group. That lead to Deathwish for Milestone, another progressive forward thinking mini-series that partially dealt with lead character transgender issues within the frame work of crime fiction, interesting thoughtful material. Again, I did the best I could, I was improving. I loved Milestone, some really great comics came out of there, and was proud to briefly be there. I wish it had continued, it deserved to be an ongoing success, doing comics with fully fledged diverse characters works, this should be a no-brainer. It’s a bit disheartening to think that there still isn’t full on equal diversity within mainstream comics. It’s certainly better than it has been in the past, but there isn’t anything currently on the shelves as full with it as Milestone was. So I suppose that because where and how my career over time has moved, the types of stories I’ve engaged throughout, that even though my skills weren’t really up to snuff I did start where I should have. A type of thinking I believed in, that continues to this day. So the piece I’ve selected is from much later but relates in that it is from a Milestone special published many years later, now that my skills were really better. This time I was given the opportunity to pick the character, I chose Hardware, one of Milestones more famous concepts. Later I also did a Static Shock piece, Milestone’s most well known character, I’ll post that another time. With Hardware, I thought there was something about the tech-armor character interesting to the eye. I decided to go with the man in the machine aspect. But wanted to find this strange hybrid of influences coming together– a vaguely Kirby meets Moebius meets African folk-art thing– something that wasn’t the typical action pin-up or glory shot. I kept the colors bold and direct, which I think helped push some of what I was after. One of my favorite bits in the piece are the indications of little mechanical crustaceans. I have this obsession with placing references to sea life in my work where I can get it in. The image is a decent file, but if I come across a higher res version in my archives I’ll switch it out, but at least for now you can see the design intentions clearly.

5 Comments so far
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Beautiful piece, and one I had not seen before. Loved your thoughts on Milestone, I’m glad to hear they’re bringing these characters back.

Comment by Matt Horak 03.19.15 @ 6:52 pm

It definitely has a moebius feel to it along with a bit of Walt Simonson as well

Do you know if the Promethea widescreen format book will ever come out?



Comment by Alex 04.02.15 @ 10:59 am

Hey there Matt Horak
Thanks for the kind comment– and yeah, I’m glad that there are new plans for Milestone.

Comment by jhw3 04.02.15 @ 12:24 pm

Hey Alex
We’re still looking to do it– but I suggest you reach out to the publisher and tell them you want this.

Comment by jhw3 04.02.15 @ 12:25 pm

Ha! I own this piece now and uploaded it to my comic art fans gallery in 2010 shortly after buying it from you at the Big Apple convention in NYC (I asked that you bring it specifically as was so glad that you did.) “Kirby meets Moebius” is what I put in the description at the time…so you definitely conveyed that thought very well in the finished piece. It hangs on my wall next to a Kirby Captain America page (VERY low end Kirby, but The King of Comics nonetheless!)

LOVING Overture by the way!

Comment by sean wasielewski 07.08.15 @ 6:38 pm

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