Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hellboy: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish notes

Now that the book is out and many of you have had a chance to see it, I wanted to mention a few things.

I really need to publicly thank Mike Mignola for caring enough to write a Hellboy story specifically for me to draw. I don't know what I did to deserve this gift from a guy like Mike but I'm very grateful to him. He thought my lack of enthusiasm after he described the story was nonchalance. Now that it's all over, I can admit that I was just afraid I couldn't pull it off. No one can draw Hellboy better than Mike and I really didn't want to let him down. Turns out that really wasn't the most important thing. There are so many quirky, oddball visuals in the story – as well as a fair amount of rustic, rural Americana – that I had fun drawing ALL of the pages, not just the ones with Hellboy. I don't know how Mike knew I'd enjoy drawing all those cow faces. It's scary to think that a writer can know something about me that I don't know about myself.

Mike hasn't spent much time in the Midwest or hung out with Kansas farmers but like Alan Moore before him, he somehow got just the right amount of twang in the voices of the locals.

Dark Horse was more than accommodating and let me do my own colors and seps. With most jobs, by the time I finish the inks, I have a lot of very specific ideas about how I'd like the art to be colored. Passing it off to someone else to execute that final layer of the art just never feels right. I was running a little late with the pencils and inks but the coloring went so fast that I actually finished the book a few days ahead of the deadline. Scott Allie and Mike were concerned that I was coloring everything too bright after they saw the first few pages. I went back in and toned down the daylight scene a little but the bulk of the story takes place at night or inside a dark space ship so that problem eventually took care of itself.

Anyway, this was the most fun I've had in years and I'm really grateful for the response to it so far. Thanks to all of you who bought the book and/or took the time to email, call or tweet about it. You really made my day!

Kevin

18 comments:

  1. Great work Kevin. First comic I read in a long while. Lots of fun stuff and great visuals. I enjoyed the pacing very much. The alien probe page is my favorite. I also loved the "Making of a Cover". Reminds me of one of my favorite blog sites :).

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  2. This was such a fun book. This is going in my box of comics to reread over and over.

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  3. Bravo, Kevin! You are a one-of-a kind talent that can do it all in a manner that few can hope to compare, and your work inspires an innumerable bastion of fans and artists alike.
    Thank you, sir!

    PS- gotta love all the cows!

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  4. Yaay....can't wait to get to the comic store this weekend. Been waiting YEARS for this comic to come about.

    **Grumbling that I didn't get there already.

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  5. That was truly inspired high weirdness! I bought four copies, including Mignola's variant cover. Two I've stashed away in The Vault, one I'll read the heck out of, and the last copy I'll have down the road to pass on to a worthy soul who missed out. Glad to hear you had fun doing it because it sure was a blast to read!

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  6. Man, what a great read! loved the colors, glad you didn't have to pass it off. Those purples really pop!! great stuff all around:)

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  7. ....a nowlan comic!!! and not just the cover the whole thing!!! yeah!!! by coincidence, this morning, I reread your issue where Robin meets Superman for the first time. It's in my stack of best issues by artists that I look over for inspiration when starting a new project...and I'm a photographer...LOL. The rooftop scenes with Supes, robin and Commish illuminated solely by the Bat light is colored perfectly!!! and with no rendering!!...I don't care...I will make the long drive to town to get this...can't wait!!! You are too humble...Mignola and Allie should be bowing to the you, the Master!!!

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  8. I went to a cafe, had a burger and read this through three times - a joy. And now I think about it a double cow experience. Ditto to the comments above, Nowlan pencils, Nowlan inks and Nowlan colours.... oh, what's that I can see in the distance, far, far away... I can't tell for sure... but yes, I see it now it's a bar being raised!
    Also a nod to the paper stock and the sumptuous gloss which shows every line as it was meant to be seen.

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  9. The Full Nowlan! It's like The Full Toth. Really, it was a joy to see a book penciled, inked, colored and lettered all by you Mr. Nowlan. It's great coming across a comic book where it seems worth way more than the handful of bucks you paid for it. Bravo!

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  10. It was a really, really fun read. Always great to see the artist having fun--it always makes for great art and that's what I saw.

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  11. Kevin, just saw your awesome illustration of Frankie and Vampirella here at this blog:

    http://frankensteinia.blogspot.com/

    Just an fyi.

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  12. Just picked it up yesterday, Kevin. It looks gorgeous--and like it takes place one town over (and maybe not even that far) from Jack B.Quick.

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  13. The book oozes fun, I'm sure you and Mike had a blast crafting it!
    I love it, and now I wish there was a Jack B. Quick anthology. Has this been considered?

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  14. I finally got ahold of a copy. What an enjoyable comic . . . great work!

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  15. I just read through my copy yesterday, and I had a blast! Great looking art and I like the colors! Thanks for such a fun issue!

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  16. Read it as soon as it came out, was very impressed with the art, but hadn't seen any of your other work. I was a latecomer to the Goon, and just finished up TPB number ten this morning, and saw your contribution in the back of that, then came across your blog while searching for images of pencils from the goon. I have to say you are a fantastic draughtsman and you do terrific work. really really love the pencils from the good noir, I will definitely be picking that up asap. the pencils on goon's back as bruno busts in, just fantastic.
    I also remember, when reading buster oakley, thinking "damn, those reds are bright!" Not in a bad way, of course, It was just something i remember thinking.

    anyways, great art, love it.

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  17. Hi do you take commissions?

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  18. when are you going to start posting again Mr.Nowlan? I miss your art and words.

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