Thursday, September 5, 2013

Usaji Yojimbo and Strangers in Paradise

Here is something new that you might not have seen me do on the blog before but the work seems very old to me.

One of the first jobs I had coming out of college at the Joe Kubert School was working in a studio that specialized in comic book merchandise like trading cards and t-shirts. From there I worked for Marvel Comics as an airbrush painter. The thing those two jobs had in common was that I was painting a lot of other artists' work.

Since re-igniting my freelance art career ten years ago most of my current work involves me doing all of the work (penciling, inking, and coloring) all on my own.

Recently my good friend Thom Zahler ( was putting together a retrospective of Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo career for the Baltimore Comic Con. Many well known artists were contributing pieces to the book and when Thom asked me to color a piece that was submitted in black and white I jumped at the chance. And the kicker was that it was a Terry Moore piece.

Terry Moore has been a hero of mine for years due to his self published book Strangers and Paradise. He was an inspiration when I was doing my first self published book, Exit 6, and continues to be an inspiration today.

I kept the coloring on the piece simple and followed Terry's lead. I didn't want to do anything too fancy and instead try and enhance what he was already doing. My original idea was to put a blood red circle behind the figures to evoke the idea of the Japanese flag but it just seemed to overpower everything. So I settled for a subtle pink and I hope it works.

I figured it would be safe to post this piece since Terry already posted the black and white piece on his own blog HERE. What I don't know is how he feels about the colored piece or if what I have colored will even run in the book. I have my fingers crossed.

But, if my work appears in it or not, if you're in Baltimore for the convention this weekend make sure you pick up a copy of the book. From what I've seen so far it looks really great.

Have a good one!

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