Here’s something new I’m trying: LOGO SKETCH CARDS. Sketch covers are popular now, comics with a blank cover except for the printed logo and trade dress that artists do marker sketches on at conventions. I thought, why not do marker sketches of logos on cover size art paper that people could buy and use to get sketches from artists? Each card is on Strathmore 400 Series drawing paper cut to cover size. The logos are drawn with Sakura Pigma markers which use waterproof, chemical resistant, fade proof, bleed free black ink. Both paper and ink are pH neutral, acid free. Logos are all black line work except for Batman, which has a gray india ink wash. If you’re getting a color sketch from an artist, the open areas can be colored by them. If you’re getting simply a marker sketch, the logo matches, and the entire card is original art, nothing printed. Each Logo Sketch card will come on an acid free backing board in a crystal clear comics bag. I’ll be at the Baltimore ComicCon this October 18-20 as a guest, and plan to have them for sale there for $30 each. If you’re going to the con and would like to commission a particular logo, message me on Facebook or email me and we’ll work out the details. Let me know if you like this idea! Thanks. More below.Continue reading
When I began lettering comics in 1977, nearly every interior page was lettered on pencilled original art. Cover lettering was done on separate paper, then photostatted and pasted on the cover art along with all the other trade dress.
Some time in the 1980s, art began to be lettered on vellum overlays at least some of the time. There were two main reasons for this. One, if it was painted art, there was no other option. Two, if the artist was running late (very common), the lettering could be done on vellum laid over photocopies of the pencilled art, allowing the lettering and the inking to be done at the same time. When the DC Production department had the finished art and the lettering overlays, they would photostat the lettering and paste it onto the art. This became more and more common as time went on. Originally a premium was paid for lettering on overlays, possibly as a way to discourage editors from doing it by adding extra cost to their budget, but that went by the wayside over time. By the early 1990s I would say at least half of my lettering was on overlays.
In the early years of overlay lettering, when asked if I wanted my lettering vellums back, I would say, “No, just throw them away.” Some time around 1993 I decided to start accepting them back as art returns with the idea that I could sell them at conventions or by mail. Over the next ten years or so I accumulated several thousand pages of these lettering overlays, and did sell some from time to time, though they were never in any kind of demand.
When the switch came to digital lettering, of course, hand-lettering on either original art or overlays declined, and I think the last ones I received were from around 2003. And I never made a point of asking for them, but if someone decided to return them to me, I’d take them.
When I launched my website in 2007, one of the categories on my BUY STUFF page was vellum overlays, in lots of 5 or 10 pages. Originally there were about a dozen titles offered, plus grab-bags of miscellaneous items. They sold steadily. As of yesterday I was down to two titles. Today I received a large order for these overlays that essentially wipes out my remaining stock. A few examples from DEATHBLOW #11 (cover dated Dec. 1994) are above. They’ll go out to the buyer Monday, and vellum overlays will no longer be offered on my website. End of an era!
“I’ve been purchasing your Alphabet print series since it started so many years ago and, up until now, they’ve just been in sleeves because I didn’t have any place to put them, having lived with my parents and friends until recently. When I got my own place, one of the first things I did was display them above my fireplace, and I just wanted to thank you for making such great art and to show you how good they look together.”
Thanks, J M, you made my day!
Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein has been a favorite of mine since I began finding his books in our grade school library in the mid 1960s. I also read him in the science fiction digest magazines on the newsstands at the time, like “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction,” and others. Book publications of his work listed original copyrights from pulp magazines like “Astounding Science Fiction” beginning in 1939, and when I started going to art school in New York City in 1969, I was able to find some of those first publications still on the shelves of used book stores. Also in 1969 I bought “Heinlein in Dimension” by Alexei Panshin, a commentary on the man’s work which gave chronological lists of the stories and where they were published, which helped me find them. There were also pulp magazines for sale at the science fiction and comics conventions I attended beginning in the mid 1970s, including Midamericon in 1976, where I got to see Heinlein speak and acquired a book signed by him. I continued to occasionally add to my Heinlein pulp collection into the 1990s, after which the issues I wanted were either impossible to find or too pricey. I’ve decided to put this collection of 13 Heinlein pulps on eBay beginning next Sunday, April 24th, and thought I’d show them here, after having one last look through the issues. Continue reading
Images © Todd Klein
The first signed print I did was with Alan Moore, “Alphabets of Desire.” I had no idea how well it would sell. I priced it at $16, and the initial 500 copy print run sold out in about a week. I did a second printing of 500 that sold more slowly, but eventually that went, too. In the fall of 2008 I did a third printing of 500 copies, and that has sold gradually since, I’m down to about 150. Each printing was signed in different colored ink by Alan, and the second and third printings also say that in the small type on the lower right edge. As with all my prints, I made a few extra copies for myself, and I have one of my own first printing copies on eBay this week. The link is HERE. The last one I sold went for lots more than the starting price.
My fifth print in the alphabetical series was “Each Beast At The Feast” in 2010, written by me with wonderful animal art by Mark Buckingham. The print run was 500 copies on pale orange paper, and Mark signed them in orange marker. That version is HERE. I thought it would be cool to do a much shorter edition on paler paper which I could paint with watercolors when I had time. I made 50 of those, as seen above. Mark signed them in black marker and I signed in brown. Painting them was fun, but took lots of time. An article about the process is HERE. In the winter of 2010-2011 I painted 20 copies. I priced them at $50 each plus shipping, and they sold pretty quickly. Earlier this year I painted 10 more copies. I offered them first to my mailing list, and sold six that way. I’ve put one of the remaining four on ebay HERE. The starting price is $29.99. No one has bid on it yet, but I don’t expect that will last too long. Hope you’ll have a look. There’s one other print on eBay this week that’s not so rare, and not published by me, but I did the lettering and design. It’s “In Reilig Oran” by Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli, printed in full color by Neverwear (Cat Mihos) in 2011. That auction is HERE.
Sorry for the commercial, back to regular blogging soon.