Greetings Dieselfunkateers! HAPPY JUNETEENTH DAY! You know, I choose Juneteenth for a reason. This Day represents the End of Slavery in the United States…and the liberation of Million of Souls to strive to reach the Stars. For me personally, High John Conqueror is an attempt to reach further by innovating in a new form while paying homage to what came before.
HIGH JOHN 1: Dixieland, The Old West & The Dirty Brush
Greetings Dieselfunkateers. As the Juneteenth launch date of HIGH JOHN CONQUEROR approaches we are feverishly working to get everything in place. Part of this process involves informing the public of the genesis of this project and what the intentions for the future will be.
Our first post is all about the Art. I fully concede my work will likely never be in the contemporary style or level of the crosshatching Image guys…sadly. Hey, we all want to be sexy. But I have to face facts; I yam what I yam. Thusly, I LOVE OLD COMICS. I love the pen and ink work of Harold Raymond, Frank Frazetta, Hal Foster and Burne Hogarth. Those cats had it down. So my every effort has been to seize control of my brush…albeit digital, and bring as much power and lushness to my work as possible…like those before me. But in my OWN WAY.
More specifically, High John Conqueror is a HOMAGE to my love of Western, Crime and Sci-fi comics.
Moebius and Charlier’s Blueberry
Bernet’s ‘Torpedo 1936′
and last, but absolutely NOT LEAST…David Mazzuchelli’s Rubber Blanket
Now I’m not going to even suggest I’ll be as good as those guys are. But for HIGH JOHN CONQUEROR…That’s the standard for the attempt.
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! ANNOUNCING the newest Dieselfunk Studios Bang UP. A FREE Social Media Graphic Novel…
As stated in earlier posts, Dieselfunk Studios has been doing a from the ground up retooling of our operations. Part of running a company is about doing a constant reassessment of opportunities and reality. What does that mean? Well it means that the tried and true, Matty’s Rocket, will continue and Issue 3 will be available for purchase any day now. However, Matty is not all we’ve got in the arsenal. Next up is HIGH JOHN CONQUEROR.
Take a Western, Jules Verne, Star Wars and Glory, mix them together and you’ve got HIGH JOHN CONQUEROR!
Further, High John Conqueror is a Social Media Graphic Novel. This is an experiment to see if the present 3-4 Billion users of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter WILL GET INTO A FREE COMIC THAT COMES TO THEM, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. (More on that as we go along!:-)
Additionally, expect to see a more modern delivery of content via our in the works vlog, presently being constructed printing operation and of course, our soon to air Youtube program’ The Dieselfunk Show. Standby for further news and announcements!
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! Alex Simmons’ BLACKJACK is back in two upcoming side by side adventures, Blackjack: Trial by Ice & Blackjack: Trial by Fire. My long collaboration, this time in the form of cover art, continues with writers Alex Simmons (Creator of Blackjack) and Chris Ryan (Creator of City of Pain, City of Woe, City of Sin). Blackjack, aka’ man of action Arron Day, is featured in stories that defy the imagination, yet put him within a definable time and place.
This began as an over the phone description by Alex of the basic cover design. But in this case I took it further by wanting to do a double cover. So the sketch was literally done in five minutes.
From a personal point of view, I’ve taken to doing the character as a way of imprinting my take of classic pulp covers while hopefully adding something new. This can often appear in the form of a homage. I’ve always loved the Greg and Tim Hildebrandt cover of Blackjack. I decided this would be my inspirational starting point
I’m not the most accurate of artists. But after spending time with an illustration, I take a break and go back to an image with fresh eyes. This can be repeated over and over again until I end up with an acceptable design. In this case, while the initial idea was fine, the cross handling of Arron’s colt handguns obscured his face.
I tried different poses. Admittedly, this was a fun diversion but I knew the asymmetry would not work for a double cover.
Ultimately, the decision was made to go back to the original idea but have Arron hold the colts side to side allowing the emotion in his face to communicate properly. I preferred this as it took the spirit of the original homage and went in a slightly different direction. I collected reference for lighting and design. Each job is different. The deadline was tight because the stories were being written as I was working. Thusly, the basic composition of Arron dominating the double image yet being off to the side in the split images was the direction. I would fill in the background later. I began with a relatively tight pencil rendering.
Then work proceeded towards doing a tight rendering of Arron. Taking the fire and ice motif would suggest light and shadow. This was further aided by making sure I had ample reference.
At this point Alex and Chris had provided story elements so I could go into filling out the background space. One of the stories takes place at the Olympics with Russian elements. The other story takes place in the snowscapes in Europe. So a google search run was most definitely in the cards. Several hours, photo shoots, and layer blending later I had a finished image.
Standby for more information on these new stories. Very proud to have provided cover art.
Also, It’s been a good long while since I’ve posted an update. Please know that MAJOR CHANGES are afoot in the way and mode that Dieselfunk Studios does business. Standby for further news.
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! A quick post. Work continues on projects as I progressively focus to improve in multiple areas, specifically INKING. Over the weeks I was reminded of this project I did way back in 1988 for a Hunter College student Newspaper called The Shield. My editors, starting with Mary Kay Penn, and Carol Webster, allowed me to do my thing in a project titled “WALKMAN”. I tackled the ideas of race and misrepresentation in the late 80s NYC. I wanted to do something cool visually and thought of this art style that would be a blend between Bourne Hogarth’s silhouette ink style, Wally Wood, Spain Rodriguez and R Crumb. After 4 episodes of Walkman I moved on to other things but always felt I would use that art style again.
But then Frank Miller did Sin City. It’s not who does i first. It’s who delivers to market first. HA!
Or at least that was my thought as a younger dude. Now, I wear Dad jeans without shame (I think I own Dad jeans:-) So decided to take a stab in a bit of reverse engineering…with MARV
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! Work in the labs continue. Another Black Comics creator image. Quinn McGowan’sPROJECT WILDFIRE is an AWESOME yet heartfelt take on the reluctant hero, Will Watson III, rising to the cause.