THE JACK OF SPADES FUBAR FCBD 2013. Pencils and tones by me with inks by my partner in crime Steve Becker. Steve and I had wanted to do a Spec-Ops story in the FUBAR universe for a long time. It’s some of my favorite work we’ve done together. This 5 pager spawned our 2014 FCBD entry, THE ACE OF SPADES written by Chuck Dixon. I’ll be posting a preview of that one-shot in the very near future!
Mother Russia. The story of a female Soviet sniper protecting a young child in zombie occupied Stalingrad circa 1943 was one of the two stories that originally launched FUBAR back in 2009. I was overly pleased with myself for coming up with what I thought was a very clever title for a fun little black and white tale. MOTHER RUSSIA and SGT. KILROY were the first two WW II zombie stories I did and released as mini comics that’ I’d sell at conventions and signings. They both had the blank square up front for custom zombie portraits that have since become a signature FUBAR item.
The story first appeared officially as a 28 page story in FUBAR Volume 1 in 2009. It ends on a cliffhanger in volume 1 as I meant to continue it in the next volume, but life as it’s wont to do got in the way. Other projects came up and had to take precedent. I never forgot about the story and it became (in my mind) a much larger story, really the first fully formed plot that I ever came up with by myself. I had told myself maybe once a year that I intended to continue the story. Years came and went. No MOTHER RUSSIA. I often got asked at conventions when I intend to finish it and I always say “next year!” secretly knowing that probably won’t happen.
Two page spread from the original Mother Russia from FUBAR Volume 1
About a year ago I made the pledge to myself that I WOULD not only finish this initial part of the story but I would re draw what appeared in FUBAR volume 1 as It had been drawn so long ago and I felt that I had come a long way as an artist and a story teller. Over the years I had re thumbnailed the first 15 pages or so on numerous occasion and even the last 20 pages once as well, only to lose the loose papers in the mountain of papers and comic boards inhabiting my drawing area. This led me to start using bound thumbnail books which were much easier to keep track of.
Whenever I lose artwork or the computer crashes and I lose a few hours of digital work I always chalk it up to the comic gods telling me It was shit and I can do better. Well, the comic gods have been especially cruel with my work on MOTHER RUSSIA. In the end all it has done is set me in my resolve to make this book a reality. I have not given up and I am hard at work on FUBAR’s first stand alone graphic novel: MOTHER RUSSIA.
My intention is to kickstart the 88-100 page book in the very near future and use the funds to set aside my normal commercial work and dedicate 2-3 months of time to get it done and printed! My lovely girlfriend Samantha and I are expecting our first child in December, so that’s another very exciting deadline I need to hit so I can be there for both of them instead of chained to my drawing table. It’s been super fun to re-attack the work and look at how my style and storytelling have changed (for the better thank the gods!) and my philosopy on making comics in general.
I have a feeling that while I’m working on this book that great forces will rise up against me in an attempt to stop the work. The comic gods will hurl waves of doubt and great opportunities at me while I strive to birth this little tale into the world in an attempt to stay my pen. I’ll be having none of it. She’s my Rushmore and this time I’m going all the way.
I’ve been kicking around an adaptation of this scene from A Storm Of Swords since I first read it two years ago. At first it was 3 pages then 6. I thought 10 would definitely do it. Well it turns out 12 pages was the ticket. Prince Oberyn Martell, The Red Viper of Dorne is a character who is hard not to like. Very excited to see this bit play out in Season 4 of Game of Thrones. If anyone is interested I have the original art for sale HERE!
Trying to do more digital painting. Just a little take on LORD BERIC DONDARRION. He’s a little bit of what he’s described as in the book and a little bit of what I’ve seen from the clips for season three of A GAME OF THRONES. The idea of a flaming sword fight gets me all kinds of excited for this season.
Clearing out a few major projects so my mind drifts back to THE RED VIPER and THE MOUNTAIN fight scene I’ll be doing over the next few weeks for /r/ASOIF. I’ve decided to start over from scratch rather than build on this first page I did year or so ago. This short will more than likely be 6-8 pages. These are character sketches for The Red Viper and The Mountain. I’m liking where these are going.