Things have been crazy-busy behind the scenes at Fedora Monkey Studio of late. Several projects that have been incubating for a long while are finally up and running, and there's been some beneath-the-hood tinkering here, as well.
[Edit: I forgot to mention CODENAME: BITE, a project I referenced a couple updates ago, has been announced: VAMPIRELLA #1969, which includes a story I wrote, illustrated by the astonishingly talented Brett Weldele.]
So, first things first.:
NEW VECTOR ART
A while back, I set up a small digital storefront for selling vector art for personal/commercial use.
I'm happy to announce that I've added not one, not two, but three new sets to the inventory, and that necessitated an adjustment in the organization of this very website.
So, first off:
Fedora Monkey Art vector art sets FM003, FM004, and FM005 are now available. It's a three "volume" set, of "tech circles"--graduated circles suitable for use in HUDs and user interfaces, or as design elements in computer screens for print or web and so forth.
As is my custom, I've also set up a free sampler which contains a few vectors from each set, as well as five vectors not found in the "main" sets. F003: TECH CIRCLE SAMPLER can be found in the newly-minted Vector Art Store, in the Free Vector Art section.
And that brings me to the slight re-organziation here; the Downloads section has been scrapped, and the Vector Art Store has been added. The other art pieces, audio files and sample scripts are now broken out into their own sections.
Anyway: new cheap (and free) vectors! Go forth! Download! Tell your graphic designy friends!
Coming soon, Lazarus #20. The "Poison" story arc continues, and—as a sucker for good war comics—I've been enjoying watching the story unfold in my inbox week to week.
This is a good 'un.
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Michael Lark with Tyler boss
Colors by: Santi Arcas
Cover art by: Owen Freeman
Book design by: Eric Trautmann
In stores October 28, 2015
Image Comics | Mature Readers | $3.50US
BLACK MAGICK #1
I've also been hard at work finishing up my tasks for the upcoming Image Comics release, Black Magick.
It's a supernatural/occult/crime/police story, set in a fictional Pacific Northwest city. Written/co-created by Greg Rucka and illustrator Nicola Scott, it's a complete change of tone and pace from Lazarus.
I got to create not just the logo but the entire trade dress (incorporating the Image logo in way I haven't had an opportunity to yet, and the design elements are definitely much more "me." It's been a challenge (the deadline was, frankly, brutal) but we did it!
Plus, in addition to the regular sized comic (which features some cool additional material—a new letter column, the first installment of some serial prose which will continue with each issue, and some in-universe "artifacts," similar to stuff I've done for Lazarus—there's a variant cover edition (from Jill Thompson), and then there's the magazine.
The Magazine Edition is gloriously oversized, and clocks in at 64 pages, so it includes all of the aforementioned bonus material, plus a complete process chapter—from script to sketches to painting to final art—and a large character design sketchbook. An excerpt from a guide to the fictional city of Portsmouth, is included as well. It's a hell of a package for six bucks.
BLACK MAGICK #1
Created by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Nicola Scott (with Chiara Arena)
Cover A by: Nicola Scott (with Eric Trautmann)
Cover B by: Jill Thompson
Magazine Cover by: Rick Burchett
Regular and B cover: $3.99US
And finally, Rotten, the highly-acclaimed political-commentary-disguised-as-zombie-western, returns!
My friend, Mark Rahner, created and wrote/co-wrote the series (along with Robert Horton), and it ran for eleven issues through Moonstone. At some point, Mark reclaimed the rights to the book, and has re-released it, after a long absence, on ComiXology—a low-cost digital backlist of the 56+ page issue one, and two low-cost ($11.99) digital collections that comprise the entire series (plus some incidental/hard-to-find/rarities).
As part of the relaunch of Rotten, I redesigned his logo and trade dress, and did a general spiffing up of the book layout and design, which I previously mentioned as CODENAME: BRAND. Immodestly, I think it looks damn fine.
It's a terrific series. It's nasty, political, angry, passionate, and super-incisive, and well worth your time. Plus cowboys and zombies.
To find Rotten, visit ComiXology and choose pick your poison, pardner.
Created by Mark Rahner and Robert Horton
Written by: Mark Rahner and Robert Horton
Art by: Dan Dougherty
Logo and Digital trade design by: Eric Trautmann
So, yes, it has been a busy time.
In addition to all of the above, my wife's store has been busy hosting charity events and large gaming tournaments; hopefully things will be settling down for a little bit.
then it's the holidays all is doom pah-rum-pah-pah-pummmm.
I'm endeavoring to be a little more prolific here, so…UPDATES.
BLACK MAGICK issue 01 looks amazing. I can't wait until you guys see it. Nicola and Greg definitely bring their A-game to this one. And it even got written up in Entertainment Weekly!
CODENAME BITE final art just came in. The illustrator is the amazingly talented Brett Weldele (Surrogates, Pariah) and man do these pages look good. Hopefully, I'll be able to talk about it more soon.
Some new business: CODENAME GLYPH is an interesting design project that just wandered into my inbox, doing some graphic design work for a Super Sekret batch of books Dynamite is cooking up. It's minor work, but looks like it'll be fun and fast.
More new business: CODENAME GIBSON is some floor plans/schematics for a forthcoming magical cyberpunky roleplaying game supplement from Catalyst Game Labs. Something different, and it's odd to be dipping my toes back into dice-and-paper gaming work.
Even more new business, and then we're past the "TOP SECRET I CANNA TALK ABOUT IT" stuff: CODENAME BRAND. I've been quietly cleaning up a buddy's old comic (the original publisher did a terrible job with prepress on it), so he can relaunch it via ComiXology. This included a complete, ground-up revamp of the trade dress and layout, and I think it looks damn fine if I do say so myself.
Okay, so talking about the things I can't talk about: sorted.
Just got my comp copies of Lazarus #18, which means it is on final approach for stores next week.
The book has shifted tone a bit—it's still the same lovable grim meathook future dystopia, but now it's also a war comic. Michael Lark's style is so perfectly suited to this kind of story.
So, here's the details:
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Michael Lark with Tyler Boss
Colors by: Santi Arcas
Letters by: Jodi Wynne
Layout and book design: Eric Trautmann
Cover by: Owen Freeman
“POISON,” Part Two.
Hock forces have engaged Carlyle troops on the shores of Lake Superior, and to turn them back Forever must take her place on the front...where the enemy is waiting for her.
IMAGE COMICS | Color | 32pgs. | Mature Readers | $3.50US
I'm pleased to see the oversized anthology issue, Red Sonja #1973, hitting shelves tomorrow.
It was a fun project: write a short Sonja story in the same vein as the classic Marvel run from the early 1970s. Since my 25-issue run on the title was basically a giant homage to that, it felt a bit like a homecoming (and I also got to write was is essentially a prequel to the short piece I contributed to Red Sonja #100.
I have a final chapter in mind, so if you dig it, tell Dynamite you want more.)
Hopefully folks enjoy the book; I just got my comp copies, and I have to say, it looks quite good. My story features are by Ivan Rodriguez and a really nice, subtle, stark coloring job by Marcio Menyz. They do excellent work (as evidenced by the preview images below.)
RED SONJA #100
Written by: Eric Trautmann ("The Raiding Party"); Roy Thomas ("For Whom The Bell Trolls"); Luke Lieberman ("Simple Life"); Gail Simone ("The Hanging Tree"); David Walker ("The Arena of Dread"); and Cullen Bunn ("Silent Running")
Art by: Ivan Rodriguez; Rich Buckler; Rod Rodolfo; Kewbar Baal; Bilquis Evely; Jonathan Lau
Cover by: Ed Benes and Dinei Ribeiro
Since her fearless debut in 1973, the She-Devil with a Sword has redefined the fantasy genre thanks to the efforts of acclaimed writers including Gail Simone, Roy Thomas, Luke Lieberman, and Eric Trautmann! Joined by first-time Sonja writer Cullen Bunn and a handful of amazing artists, these titanic talents each contribute tales of derring-do to this supersized, action-packed anthology. Everyone's favorite red-tressed heroine battles monsters, rivals, and ne'er-do-wells in Hyborian adventures retro-tinted to capture the flavor of her classic comics era!
Dynamite Entertainment / Color / 48pgs / Teen+ / $7.99US
Just announced at Image Expo: Black Magick, a supernatural police procedural (and family drama, and a few other cool things) by writer Greg Rucka and illustrator Nicola Scott, will be released soon (October-ish, I believe, but don't quote me on that) by Image Comics. (I referenced it earlier as CODENAME CONSTABLE, but the witch's familiar is out of the bag now, so…)
As with Lazarus, I'm the series graphic designer; I designed the logo and trade dress, will be handling the typesetting of the letter column, the design of a special "magazine size" first issue, and various other behind-the-scenes bit of gee-whizzery.
For more info, visit Comic Book Resources.
CODENAME CONSTABLE (an upcoming Image comics project I can't tell you much about…yet) is coming along nicely. Logo design is finalized, and the first issue is basically completed as is issue 2.
Another new project, CODENAME BITE, will be announced shortly, too; it's a Vampirella-related item, and it marks the first time I'll be working with a particular artist I greatly admire. The project is still floating around the schedule a bit, but as soon as that firms up, there'll be more blather about that, too.
Settling in this week to knock out the last couple Frost: Rogue State scripts (knock wood), so maybe the end of the story will see the light of day in my lifetime. Who says I'm not an optimist?
And finally, my pal Matthew Sturges (writer of Jack of Fables and JSA All-Stars back in the day, among other things) has a new original graphic novel coming out soon from Devil's Due and a revitalized 1First Comics. It's called The Four Norsemen of the Apocalypse and among its many virtues, God is the narrator, so there's that.
I designed the logo for Matt after another design fell through for some reason, because Matt's a friend. Doing that logo rekindled my longing to work on more graphic-y projects. Here's a link to some of the book's press (and preview pages)* and another to a detail look at my logo for the project.
* It's a Bleeding Cool link, so you've been warned. Personally, I enjoy the fact that they misspell the book's title in the article headline, which is right above a prominent picture of the cover, with the correct spelling of the name.