It's been both a great pleasure and equally challenging endeavor to work on the Phantom so far. It's great because the Phantom is the original costumed comic hero and being so his ambiance and presents is replete with that stature. There is for me a tacit awareness of that specialness; there is a inescapable power that the Phantom has as a non super power super hero which he imbues. It has been a bit difficult understanding some of the mysterious repercussions of his mythological qualities like not being able to make eye contact when he is dressed as Kit; even the audience!
I prepared by studying the Phantom artist antecedents that have succeeded at drawing the Phantom so well in the past. Jim Aparo and Don Newton are my favorites. I studied the styles of my favorite comic artists from the 60s Kirby and Buscema and Frazetta. wanting the work to have a period, anachronistic aspect rather than it seeming contemporary. I collected photos of characters that resembled the various persons in the story. And I engaged in a daily drawing practice regiment on top of drawing the comic. It's tantamount to piano practice. Lots of repetition of ideal forms like scales.
This was my 1st comic so a lot was very new to me. I worked in the film industry for many years in animation and storyboarding at Bakshi and Disney Prod. as well as special effects designing and Matte painting at ILM so many parts of this art form are familiar to me. But the attention to detail and the diversity of skills needed is very challenging. One must not only be a character designer they must be a Production designer as well as a costume, and set designer as well as a Lighting director and cinematographer and Director. And the pace is at times feverish. It's the most challenging art job I've ever undertaken.
The most challenging aspect of working on this comic or any comic it to keep the strength of the drawing at it's apex. Also with a period piece like this the need for this plethora of necessary and appropriate detail is very engaging and difficult to say the least.
My favorite character to draw is usually one of the female antagonists. But of course I love to draw the Phantom! but I have especially enjoyed drawing Kit Walker. I really like to make him very handsome; so It was hard not to be able to show his eyes. Sexy girls good or bad, are my favorite to draw though.
I don't use any software at all. I'm an aesthetic luddite. So all I use is a pencil and not even a mechanical one. I use a Ticonderoga F pencil, boxes and boxes of them; with and old 1969 mechanical pencil sharpener.
I love the pin-up girls from the 50s. I like the Monroe figure. So all my girls are a bit curvy. I like the Gabor sisters too. Hollywood makes all their girls too thin for me. Mel Brook's governor character in Blazing Saddles William J. Le Petomane's busty red headed secretary in Blazing Saddles is my ideal woman to draw.
As to the Phans. I'm just beginning to get my grip on the style and look and impact I'm striving for. I'm working diligently to enhance and maximize the power and beauty of the characters I'm creating. So if I've done well enough so far the very much better is yet on the way.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Phantom: President Kennedy's Mission
The year is 1962, and the Phantom returns once again in a new adventure! There’s a possible world war with Russia looming on the horizon, and newly minted President John F. Kennedy calls upon his old friend Kit Walker for help – let the action and intrigue begin! Learn how Kit first met JFK during his service in PT-109.
In this all-new Phantastic adventure, veteran Phantom script writer Ron Goulart returns with artist Sean Joyce, a new comer to the Phantom and to comic books, but no newcomer to the art world! Joyce is best known as one of Hollywood's most talented matte painters and storyboard artists, and he is lending his talents to comics for the first time, to bring The Phantom to life in this exciting new adventure!
This five book story arc (each issue to be released every month and a half) has something for every Phan- history with JFK, Russian femme fatales, espionage, lost U.S. astronauts on a secret mission, Singh pirates, and, of course The Phantom, Diana, and Devil!
Journey back to the swingin’ 1960s with The Phantom! Issue one boasts three original covers and one virgin variant. Don't miss out!
Cover #1 was drawn by Scott Brooks, cover 1a and 1b was drawn by Sean Joyce.
It has arrived! Alex Raymond: An Artistic Journey: Adventure, Intrigue, and Romance is finally in-stock in our warehouse, and is currently being shipped out to all other buyers. If you got it from our site, expect your copy in the next week or so. If you pre-ordered from Amazon or another source, expect your copy in the next couple of weeks.
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Alex Raymond was one of the most influential comic strip artists of the 20th Century, creating action-packed art for Secret Agent X-9, the spectacular, classic imagery for Flash Gordon, and the nuanced, brilliant artwork for the detective/film-noiresque Rip Kirby. Now, for the first time, Hermes Press presents a comprehensive, definitive, art monograph covering Raymond’s complete artistic output with an authoritative text by noted comics historian Ron Goulart. This new exhaustive full color art book features over 400 images, many scanned directly from Raymond’s original artwork, and is being published under license from King Features as part of their 100th anniversary celebration.
See original artwork from Raymond’s work on Secret Agent X-9, Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, and Rip Kirby together with numerous examples of his earliest strip artwork, commercial illustration, and more.This extra large format art book is presented in a 10 by 13 inch size, so collectors can savor every detail of Raymond’s artistic genius.