Sat, 30 October 2010
John Van Fleet is an illustrator and painter who's work I've enjoyed for many a year. He graduated from art school at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY alongside the likes of Kent Williams, George Pratt and Mark Chiarello. Adrian warmly refers to them as "that Brandywine crew." For me, they'll always be The Fab Four.
Van Fleet started out studying graphic design at Pratt, but hated it. After seeing what his buds were doing in comics, he decided to make the switch.
The stuff by him that you'll wanna check out weaves back and forth between full blown comics, masterfully illustrated comic covers and trading cards. I say look for Typhoid, Batman: The Chalice and Batman: The Ankh if you want some really fun comic stories.
As for single images, try his covers for H-E-R-O and American Century. You cannot go wrong. And all of his trading cards are super nice, too—he's done tons.
John lives outside of Chapel Hill, NC with his family and works from his home studio. We caught up with him there and found him to be affable, funny and pretty free wheelin' in our chat. He was a hoot!
In the interview, we cover his background and some hilarious stories from his days in NYC, how his approach to picture-making developed, the sometimes 'arduous' use of photo ref and freelancing after all these years.
**There's a really funny Easter egg at the very end of this episode. Check it out!
Also, the title of the interview is a reference to the H-E-R-O series Van Fleet worked on back in 2003. It was a new take on a Silver Age DC book from the '60s called Dial H for H-E-R-O.
Mon, 25 October 2010
All twenty three minutes of it! Today, it's just a short conversation covering some of the memorable moments at this year's Dragon*Con. We had a wonderful time, as always, and 2010 definitely had its highlights.
Many thanks to all the listeners who stopped by to say hello, to all the convention guests who did likewise and wished us well, to all the kind folks who jumped on the mic with us, and to the Sensei, Brian Stelfreeze, for putting it down as only he can.
Extra special thanks to John Picacio and Jim Keefe for their support and gifts.
And a hearty thank you to the guys and gals who run the Con and the Comics Track—Pat and Sherry Henry and Thom Trainor. We appreciate their generosity and look forward to next year. Bigger and deffer!
**Swain would like it known that the picture above and the last minute of this episode made the entire weekend worth it for him.
Sat, 23 October 2010
Podcast Episode 138: VAPN United - More Dragon*Con Audio featuring Artists DREW BAKER, PETE MOHRBACHER and CHANDRA FREE
It was basically a family affair. Attending Dragon*Con for the very first time were our buddies from the Visual Artist Podcast Network, Drew Baker, Pete Mohrbacher and Chandra Free. Three terrific artists from two terrific podcasts and we took the opportunity to pounce and get 'em on the mic.
Drew and Chandra are a part of a great show called Ninja Mountain Scrolls. Ninja Mountain is a collective of ninjas (working artists in the sci-fi/fantasy/horror fields) and the discussion on their shows is generally centered around the life of a freelance illustrator. They offer insights into their profession, advice on breaking in and staying in, and often derail into funny stories and down rabbit trails (glad we're not the only ones).
Pete does a super cool podcast called WiP (Work in Progress). He co-hosts it with three other folks—his wife, artist Anna Mohrbacher, artist Jeff Himmelman and Jeff's wife, Caroline Himmelman (Caroline's not an artist, but the brains behind the outfit). Their show is also sci-fi/fantasy based and offers a helpful and critical look at breaking into the world of freelance art and illustration.
Again, we're grateful to Chandra, Pete and Drew for stopping by our table. It was AWESOME to meet them all in person and we look forward to doing it again soon.
Mon, 4 October 2010
The convention audio drags on. Get it...drags on..? Sorry.
Cully Hamner is a near 20 veteran of the comic book business and has a pretty respectable resume, if you ask us. Besides some really excellent work on titles like Detective Comics, Black Lightning, Blue Beetle and The Ride, he and Warren Ellis collabed on a creator-owned mini-series back in 2003 called RED.
RED is the story of a retired black ops CIA agent named Paul Moses who becomes a target and ends up reactivating himself 'red'.
The book was a hit with fans and apparently movie studios, too. It was optioned by Summit Entertainment in '08 and is now set for release as a major motion picture on October 15th of this year.
The film adaptation of this DC/Wildstorm series stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker. Cully mentioned recently on his blog that he'll be leaving the New York Comic Con one day early so he can fly out West and attend the big Hollywood premiere (I know...don't hate).
Since he's an Atlantan and a regular guest at Dragon*Con, Hamner kindly agreed to sit on a panel over the Labor Day weekend and talk about all things RED. We had the pleasure of moderating the shindig and happily bring you the audio today. Hope you enjoy.