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Old 08-23-2005, 06:11 PM   #1
chris stevens
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my comics journal

with out a lot of introduction i thought i'd just jump into things. this is about comics and creating them and the life you live while doing so. i ran this by dj a month or so ago and he thought it was ok, a running journal here in the creator community. i apologize beforehand for any elements of self-promotion but it's hard to seperate the work from the work, if you know what i mean.

so , pictures, thoughts, work...

http://img379.imageshack.us/img379/9...ure0114fa1.jpg

that's me, my wife merrily snapping away as i realize , reading through email, how much farther i have to go...but i just got off the phone with art adams and now i'm a little bit closer. we talked about nick bradshaw coming in and finishing up our story, about how intimidated arthur was years ago coming in to finish up a kaluta story, about how different styles sometimes make for the best work. regret and wonder usually mingle, or at least i tell myself so.

here's some pure art adams...
http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/8...ture0435vl.jpg

i'm going to post here a lot. i miss being an active part of this place. i tried doing this on a blog, on other boards, but somehow here feels best. feels right. so i'll post everyday and try not to be too thin-skinned or thick-headed, and just talk about creating comics and getting by.

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Old 08-23-2005, 07:11 PM   #2
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Really looking forward to this, Chris. The picture with the piece of art Adams did looks fantastic. The picture with you could use some work.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:34 AM   #3
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Why is the art unfinished?
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljamal
Why is the art unfinished?
Because he's not done with it yet?
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:48 AM   #5
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Fromt he look of the photo the art had been shipped, so the question was why had the art been shipped unfinsihed.
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Old 08-24-2005, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljamal
Fromt he look of the photo the art had been shipped, so the question was why had the art been shipped unfinsihed.
Amateur detective? Encyclopedia you never miss a beat.

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Old 08-25-2005, 05:18 PM   #7
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i've just been commenting on threads here at dw about two different artists:

grendel, or ted wing; the impressionist, moody, super-hero challenging grendel, as talented as anyone, as a young billy the sink, deep as anyone, but seemingly stuck in neutral in terms of advancing in the comics game.

and matt wagner, a master. accused of hacking it out for dc on batman. well, i bet it's safe to say he isn't putting his all into those covers and that he's making a fair piece more for them than the $700 or $800 someone mentioned. so is he hacking it? i'm biased here, i give guys like wagner, who've done great things but still need to be men who make a living, i give guys like him slack. to be honest, i dig the cover in question. it was simple. it 'explained', effortlessly, a batman book. and there's no validity in the 'what if it was done by someone unknown named blank-blank-blank...' if it was it wouldn't be matt wagner, for better or worse.

listening to mars volta. very alive and full of making-music and spirit. good stuff. ambitious and loose. dramatic and personal.

there's a 'post your workspace' thread going on here that i enjoyed and posted in. always interesting to see other folks enviroments. devia's was pure artist. loved that. mine is bare and underway, i'm still getting used to not being poor. and to be married. my wife leaves her stuff all over, her creams and potions on the desk, her shoes upstairs, her candies and math books all around...her mirror on top of my art adams originals...such is life. i'd be worse off without her.

so, art adams. to answer jamal's question, stuff i'm posting from my story with art, 'seven seas', is before nick bradshaw provided finishes over it. when i can i'll post the finished pages, in full color, but for now here's a look at a finished page some people might have seen before. the original, which this is a shot of, is sick. white-out water bubbles, cross-hatching which practically rises off the page in perfectly placed waves, immense detail and care to provide light and shadow, form and movement. it's easily the most impressive original page i've seen and held. there's just a ridiculous sense of workmanship and constructed wonder in it. my prize.

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Old 08-25-2005, 05:25 PM   #8
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FINALLY more art adams. I'd almost thought you disappeared. I still really wish I could get his art (even a sketch) or commision him for a story. Lucky dog!
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Old 08-30-2005, 12:44 AM   #9
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so i start my new post office job in the morning.
6 a.m.

i'm a guy since he was six used to staying up until 2 in the morning. so i'm looking for the little pleasures right now...

last night i talked with my friend farel about the new job and its attendant prospects. 'stability', i said. he said how much it was like bukowski, which is wrong, and to which i answered, 'no, it's like harvey pekar, minus the drinking.' which is to say bukowski, a great writer, drank a lot, and pekar, a great creator also, did not. or does not. now, i do drink a lot, to my wife's dismay and the consternation of my family and best friends and, although i'm divided on the fact of the matter, perhaps to the detriment of my writing. but i don't ever feel like harvey pekar, whose comics i hated as a kid but who now i admire, or bukowski either, who was so brilliant at times yet lived such a purposefully brutal lifestyle there's really no example to be glimpsed except the distant signs of don't-go-there. tantalizing, those.

but what probably put farel in mind, i hope, of bukowski was the kerouac story we did together. here's that story in b+w...also some thoughts on the story and what we're doing with it from a prievious blog attached for the sake of completeness. the below dates to late may 2005...

interesting ten days, as i mention above...i got to talk to ann charters...ann is a professor at the university of connecticut and as sweet a lady, from what i can glimpse, as there is. we came together thru jack kerouac. she's been kerouac's editor/bibliographer/champion and her deft, compassionate delivery of his two books of letters into the marketplace holds a special place in my heart. you could always tell she loved jack, really cared for him, but she never sensationalized her accounts of time spent with him, she was never blindingly sympathetic to the tragic nature of his thirties and forties. it seemed, to me, that she told it how it was.
i contacted ann because i did this kerouac-inspired short story with farel dalrymple and i guess i thought she might be interested. this short, 10 pages long, is a variation on jack's 'dr. sax' material, mainly the 1962 poem. i thought it turned out great, very true and uncomplicated. i hoped she would find in it a spirit familiar enough that there must be some relation to the original source. she did. she pledged her future support for the project(the project being the comic anthology i'm putting together of which the kerouac story is part of), calling the short, titled 'castles', 'wrenching and beautiful'.
that made me happy for a minute.

http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens01small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens02small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens03small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens04small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens05small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens06small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens07small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens08small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens09small.gif
http://www.fareldalrymple.com/images...ens10small.gif


and hey, greenie, i missed you, too,





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Old 08-30-2005, 12:52 AM   #10
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Hey, Chris -- you know Dalrymple did the second part of Mignola's JENNY FINN, right?
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Old 08-30-2005, 01:13 AM   #11
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I'm still in awe of the way you put that story together, Chris. If the rest of the anthology can keep to that level it'll be brilliant.
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:51 AM   #12
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hey, ed. funny thing about jenny finn, and i don't think farel would mind me talking about this, although he might just happen to, out of boredom, google his name and wind up here and think out loud ' that prick! talking about my business.'
but i doubt that, and anyway, it's in the interest of comics and their lore.
but right before jenny finn farel had come out to visit me and work on the story i posted. he was working on new pop gun war stuff, one very cool and hopefully to-see-the-light-of-day pitch with cartoonist jay sacher, he was, as i think he always is, swimming in visual luxory idea after idea, but there were no 'payoff' type gigs. and this was after dc's caper, and a bizarro story, after lots of acclaim and pro recognition and awards. i think anyone would be frustrated a bit.

i had no phone, no cable, no internet at the time. about ten days into his stay i got 2 out of 3, phone and internet. farel checks his email. there's one from jonathan lethem, author of motherless brooklyn and fortress of solitude and a man set dead-center in the aim of marvel comics. anything you want.
that's what lethem gets. farel and omega. i've seen pencils for the first issue, and it's great, observant, delicate superhero comics without trading in the vim and vigor of the good stuff superhero comics do naturally when they're working.

a week later, after meeting with lethem in nyc and getting that ball rolling, there's mike mignola asking do you want to finish this with me? farel loves mignola and it's mutual. i saw that firsthand last spx. now he's working with him, to finish one of modern comics great unsolved riddles, troy nixey/jenny finn.




glad to know you're checking in, ed. thanks for the forum and for everything you do for comics. here's a few more related pics...a ball-point pen sketch done in preparation for 'caper', and a few shots of farel's room where he worked on the story i posted above. and that above shot of a crazed chris stevens? not my finest moment but a damn good representation of how i felt at the time. farel doodled that in his sketchbook as i sat across from him on the floor, no clue he was drawing me, nervous as christ three days into this guy being here from halfway across the country and i have no script. but i wrote it that night, and it's just a good story now, a lesson learned. but at the time it made my eyes shift, my shoulders fold in, my hair line rise magnetically and pull from my widow's peak and away from the heaviness in my mind. eventually, images formed.





<a href="http://img259.imageshack.us/my.php?image=20050503image00025xz.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/7003/20050503image00025xz.th.jpg" border="0" /></a>


i'm this close to finishing up a script that's my baby and the one to break me. 7 pages left, aimed at tomorrow evening. after that, i'll feel relieved and hopefully be able to post some new art. writing here is a help.

and thanks, mike. but you dance with the girl you came with, and farel was the perfect date. i got lucky. i just bought the corsage.
honestly, the rest of the book is just as good. it's different, for sure. but from max velati and jungle jane's sheer joy in telling a tale in comics for everyone to enjoy to nate powell handling a very personal, raw story of my youth to jae lee and june chung on a myth/poem , art adams and nick bradshaw on an action-packed epic-in-the-making...plus a few surprises and lots of extra material. should be a nice package. thanks for your enthusiasm, mike!
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:32 PM   #13
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wrote one page in three days. a good, finished page. but at that pace me and jay anacleto could do our own short in dwp just in time for the 75th issue. stretched thin has only one letter of remorse left in it.

spx looms. not sure if i'll go for the weekend or just overnight. last year was awesome, my personal best comics experience on those terms, so i'm leaning to the weekend stay. this show is everything good about comics as an art form, a means of expression.

read lots of comics last month, mostly big two books...exceptions like larry young's well-executed 'black diamond' teaser included. book has a huge hook, should be a decent low budget flick. but that's just hollywood, young really swings through the opening narrative in an offbeat, engrossing manor, disjointed enough to make the most of the potential of the medium but linked as not to lose the thrust. and the twain/tesla book looks super. that's good for comics.

local folks/guys i know whose books i picked up out of respect include 'ant', 'western tales of terror', 'new warriors', 'wildsiderz', 'invincible'.

'ant' has lots of potential starpower but needs refinement. it's fun but needs to get past its obvious influences to actually carve out its own niche. and am i crazy, mario, or was the new image #1 cover by you the same as jeff campbell's from the original? or do i have that wrong? this is a strange, fascinating property...on one hand i think this was poorly executed but on the other i see huge potential for hannah and the book. there's something inherently exciting about the character, the costume, even the half-assed origin. best of luck.

'western tales' had one of the year's finest covers, kieron dwyer's riding the dragon. the kind of cover that bumps a book up a whole other level.

'new warriors' is ridiculous. my hat's off to zeb wells and skottie young. this is one of the funnest books on the stands, and probably the biggest surprise of the season. at least to me. these guys are nailing it, nothing else like this out there...

even 'defenders'. fun book, but it feels worn. and can anyone believe theat surfer bit got through marvel's hellbent-for-hollywood realism editorial gauntlet.

more comics later....
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:15 PM   #14
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so, of course, like any creator worth his salt, i hide most of the dirty stuff away from here and skirt over the ugly details of doing business with both your heart and head occupying the same space. that's the vast difference between publisher and creator, even when, admittedly, both are just trying to get the job done.

but needless to say, where creation wanders, destruction walks.

there is no rational.

at spx i'll have a color page to show from my story posted above with farel. here's some of his work from the last few months, work that's entranced me, lifted from his live-journal...

<a href="http://img326.imageshack.us/my.php?image=junesketchbook01small0vx.gif" target="_blank"><img src="http://img326.imageshack.us/img326/782/junesketchbook01small0vx.th.gif" border="0" /></a><a href="http://img326.imageshack.us/my.php?image=junesketchbook02small5rd.gif" target="_blank"><img src="http://img326.imageshack.us/img326/4301/junesketchbook02small5rd.th.gif" border="0" /></a>



<a href="http://img326.imageshack.us/my.php?image=junesketchbook044ow.gif" target="_blank"><img src="http://img326.imageshack.us/img326/6030/junesketchbook044ow.th.gif" border="0" /></a>


<a href="http://img326.imageshack.us/my.php?image=junesketchbook060ct.gif" target="_blank"><img src="http://img326.imageshack.us/img326/2281/junesketchbook060ct.th.gif" border="0" /></a>

Last edited by chris stevens; 09-12-2005 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:26 PM   #15
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chris stevens is just really nicechris stevens is just really nicechris stevens is just really nicechris stevens is just really nicechris stevens is just really nicechris stevens is just really nice

<a href="http://img326.imageshack.us/my.php?image=junesketchbook060ct.gif" target="_blank"><img src="http://img326.imageshack.us/img326/2281/junesketchbook060ct.th.gif" border="0" /></a>











<a href="http://img326.imageshack.us/my.php?image=junesketchbook153zr.gif" target="_blank"><img src="http://img326.imageshack.us/img326/4763/junesketchbook153zr.th.gif" border="0" /></a>





<a href="http://img117.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture1191ce.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img117.imageshack.us/img117/7730/picture1191ce.th.jpg" border="0" /></a>

that last one, the colored one, i own. really tugged at my heart and that's the reason i wanted it, its sentimentality and, at the same time, its sense of moving on. all wrapped up in strip form, 6 panel grid...brilliant.

Last edited by chris stevens; 09-12-2005 at 08:36 PM.
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