Thursday 12 July 2012

...the Replacement Heroes - ZORCH!...

While attending either the Bristol or Birmingham Comic Convention a while back, Dave Evans of Futurequake Press offered me a third script to draw. Thanking him I asked what it was about - he said ' know - giant monster/reptile causes chaos in Chicago, hero and his mentor enter the fray to confront threat and eventually defeat villain'. 
Again, I said thanks - but have you got anything else to draw, I don't know if I fancy superheroes? Yeah, and me having drawn only two short stories up to this point - whaddaya talking about?

'It Came From Somewhere...' page 8 Story Michael Moreci, Art Andy Scordellis, Letters Jim Campbell

As it happens writer Michael Moreci had created 'The Replacement Heroes some time ago and had pretty much consigned them to comic script limbo, until I turned up with thumbnails and sketches. If I remember correctly just as we were getting the Futurequake strip going, events at the time pushed this script back into limbo.
The event in question was the 'Reading with Pictures Anthology' project. 
Michael explained the 'Getting Comics into Schools, and Schools into Comics' ethos of 'Reading with Pictures' and asked if I was interested in getting Butch and Talbot into the book of the same name. Of course I said yes, and with the help of the editorial team, letterer Jim Cambell and colour artist Chris Beckett, we produced the 5 page 'Civic Service' which became The Replacement Heroes first appearance. 
Time passed and Michael and I eventually returned to the production of the story now called 'It came from somewhere...' 
Good or bad, the considerable length of time between the strips I draw normally shows a huge jump/improvement in quality compared to the previous strip, which at the time is always your best work - well that's the general idea. 
Following a rewrite or two, the dialogue was added to the finished inked pages by Letterer Extraordinaire Jim Campbell. Owing to just too many good stories, the strip appeared in a later copy of Futurequake than planned. Unexpectedly Butch and Talbot were to confront their reptilian foe in the final story in the book, which lead to Editor Dave asking me at the last minute if I could provide colour artwork for the last page. 
Of course my first reaction was panic. 
Sure I can mess about in photoshop, but had no idea how to colour a comic page. I had to remind myself that for my illustrations I do work in pen & ink and watercolour. 
It's obvious - copy the line artwork to watercolour paper - paint - scan - job done. 
And thanks to the Queen's own printer Dolphin Graphics for a great scan, and Jim for relettering page eight - we made it to the last page in time proving that every cloud has a silver age lining.

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