Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Of Tic-Tacs and Transformers

Sometimes what starts out as a basic project can take on unexpected weight.

In the case of the cover I posted yesterday, the ALL HAIL MEGATRON #1 retailer-exclusive variant cover image, it started out simply enough. Mario from the U.K. comics shop Apocalypse Comics contacted me about doing this cover, and he wanted an homage to the classic Brian Bolland BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE image. (He also assured me that US fans could track the cover down through his eBay store and not pay exorbitant prices for it. With the exchange rate, they'll be available for around $6)

So I got a new artist, Casey Coller, to do it. Casey turned it around very quickly, and did a great job on it (and reading all the feedback below and at our message board, people seem to agree with me on that). Off it went to Josh Perez for colors. When I got it back, I sent it off to Casey, who loved it (as did I, and Mario, too).

And then Casey sent me this e-mail last night (reprinted with Casey's permission):

This looks amazing! Josh really did an awesome job on this, and inadvertently did something very special for me. I have to share something a little personal with you...

The day that we were e-mailing in the morning, the day I said I would have "limited access to e-mail," it was because I was going to be spending the day at a hospital with my family. My sister was in the ICU, and we were told the outlook was not good. She passed away later that day. She had battled cancer since 2001, beating it on 3 occasions. Her most recent remission was over 2 years, but the damage that had been done had taken a heavy toll on her. She recently won an essay contest for Glamour magazine. She died the day it hit newsstands. You can read the article here: http://www.glamour.com/news/articles/2008/05/essay_winner

Anyway, I did this cover for her, as much as myself. In the midst of the absolute hardest thing I've ever gone through, this cover helped serve as a distraction for me, taking away some of the grief for just a while. Today was her funeral, the same day I come home to see Josh's colors. The "AMC" that I added on the camera lens, right by the lens flare Josh added, is her initials. I figured nobody would know what it meant except for me and my family, so it would be safe to put there.

Feel free to pass any of this along to Josh if you'd like. I'm sorry to burden you with this news, but I thought it was an appropriate time. This is just another reason I have to thank you for this opportunity.

I encourage everyone to read her amazing, sad, and funny piece at the GLAMOUR link above (you'll understand why I had Tic-Tacs on my mind in this post's title), but in the meantime, enjoy Casey's tribute to his sister (final version with the logo and "Smile" balloon to come soon):

And the original Brian Bolland piece:


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of Casey's loss. The staff and members of Seibertron.com offer their condolences to you and yours.

Amazing piece. Josh really did a great job coloring an amazing drawing.

Andrew Griffith said...

Wow, again sorry for your loss Casey. She sounds like she was amazing.

You did such a great job on this cover, what a great tribute to her. I bet she would be so proud.

Great job Josh too!


Anonymous said...

A brilliant piece of work. She would be proud...

Anonymous said...

Condolences, and I wish that hadn't been the inspiration for this piece...

With the exchange rate, they'll be available for around $6

Nice. Colours are a good homage, too, and that was an inspired concept from Mario.

Anonymous said...

This cover has exceeded my expectations with every step of it's creative process.
When the pencils first came in I was completely stunned. I have been running around a convention here in the UK this weekend with a Laptop showing it off, I was so proud of it.
When the inks came in, I knew Chris had made the right choice giving this assignment to Casey. This man has more talent than a massive chunk of the comic community and totally deserves to be a major force within this industry. If the beauty of the piece isn't impressive enough, then the speed of which he finished this cover was mind blowing!!!
Soon after receiving the finished colored version (Josh Perez has amazed me with his skill. Such a meticulous eye for detail) I also received word from Chris regarding Andrea and what Casey had been going through the same weekend he had given himself such a tight deadline.
I just want to say how much I admire Casey for his spirit and dedication through such an emotionally tough time. I am so glad that he has gotten into an industry with such tightly closed doors and I am deeply Honored to be able to help showcase his talent with this stunning cover of the year candidate.

Andrea would be Proud.

Much love from Myself, Brendon, Dan, Danny and all of the Apocalypse Comics family to you and your family.


Anonymous said...

I am really humbled at the overwhelming support of everyone involved with this comic, and the response of all of my fellow TF fans. This has really done wonders to lift my spirits in such a tough time. I have to thank Chris for this opportunity, and for wanting to share Andrea's story. I am so proud of her for so many reasons, and it's wonderful that despite the circumstance, so many people are able to read something that she worked so hard on, and are able to get a glimpse into what an amazing person she was. Mario, your words are so kind, and I really appreciate it. I owe you big time as well for this opportunity. Thanks to all of you at Apocalypse comics.

Thank you, everyone, really. From the bottom of my heart.


Anonymous said...


I've said it before - you've absolutely earned this opportunity. Your work is awesome and I'm thrilled to see it coming together and to see the cover for real will be amazing. I'm pleased your talent is being recognised. Having suffered similar losses I know she'd be proud of what you've done and all you will do.


AKA the wordmongerer http://wordmongerer.deviantart.com/

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