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Top 10 Favorite Comics Artists

perezYeah, I like lists.

Anyway, in the past I’ve listed out my favorite Spider-Man writers, my favorite Spidey villains, my favorite classic and new pulp heroes & villains… heck, I even listed out my ten favorite pulp-inspired comics.

Today we’re looking at my top 10 favorite comic book artists. These are guys who always excite me when I hear their names are attached to various projects and over the years I’ve shared their work on my Facebook, on Tumblr, etc.

So let’s go!

10. Steve Rude – The Dude first came to my attention when he was working on Nexus. Loved the way he depicted the entire cast and he’s really underrated in the way that he draws facial expressions. The guy’s a master, period.

9. Jim Aparo – Aparo was the definitive Batman artist for me in the Seventies and I enjoyed his work on the Batman and the Outsiders series a lot. He also did great work on Aquaman over the years and in Brave and the Bold, he got to draw just about everybody!

8. Keith Giffen – If I had made this list in the 80s, Giffen would have been much, much higher. I adored his work on Legion of Super-Heroes but eventually his style became much more manic. I still enjoy it a lot (especially on Kirby-influenced projects) but there are times it comes off as a hot mess. Still, I’m always curious when I see his name attached to a project.

7. Will Meugniot – Will became one of my faves when he was doing DNAgents back in the 80s but I have continued to follow him through his work on Vanity and Femforce. He’s a remarkably talented guy and I’ve loved that I’ve had the chance to work with him on my own books.

6. Gene Colan – Colan was a master of atmosphere. I adored his pencils on Tomb of Dracula, Batman and Night Force. His work on other titles was sometimes a little odd in ways but I still loved his work. I mean, I would never have put him on Iron Man or Daredevil, for instance, and yet his pencils were so awesome that I didn’t even mind that he wasn’t a traditional superhero artist. He did work well on Batman, though.

5. Ivan Reis – The newest name on my list, Reis has really impressed me with his work on titles like Blackest Night, Green Lantern, Justice League and Aquaman. He’s amazing!

4. Chris Batista – I first noticed him on Legion of Super-Heroes and he’s actually my favorite Legion artist because he’s able to perfectly capture their youthful nature. I also really dug his work on Booster Gold and an all-too-brief run on Justice League. Why DC or Marvel hasn’t snatched him up for a major title is beyond me. I think he’d really rock on a New Gods revival, too.

3. John Byrne – Back in the day, Byrne was a stud. I followed him from X-Men to Fantastic Four to Alpha Flight to Superman… At some point, I think his work became somewhat less appealing to me but I still enjoy it. Aside from his work on Fantastic Four, I generally prefer him as an artist and not a writer but he’s capable of doing fine work on both sides of the creative fence.

2. Alan Davis – Captain Britain. Excalibur. The Nail. Batman. X-Men. Superboy’s Legion. I could go on and on. I am mad about his artwork. It’s fun, it’s sleek, it’s everything I want from a superhero artist. I’ve bought books simply because he drew them, even when I knew I’d dislike the story. He’s simply that good.

1. George Perez – The king of superhero artists in my opinion. He’s known for his crowd scenes — and they are awesome — but he’s also a fine character-based storyteller. Look at his run on New Teen Titans or Wonder Woman for proof. And unlike some artists, I find his later work to be just as good as the older stuff… Legion of 3 Worlds, his Avengers run with Kurt Busiek and his work on Worlds’ Finest are all fine examples of his more recent books that I think are great. For me, I’ll always associate him with the Titans first and foremost, then his work on Crisis. He also drew a fine, fine run of JLA.

Novel Updates

pulse_fictionWelcome back my friends!

I wrote a little bit on the novel this weekend, pushing the word count to over 34,000. I’m approaching the midpoint and that’s when (censored) takes place, which causes (censored) to happen and then the entire novel gets turned upside down! Yep, you’ll be reading along thinking (censored) but really the novel is all about (censored)!

Sorry for the nature of the above paragraph but I felt I had to maintain some secrecy for the sake of those who don’t like spoilers!

Pulse Fiction came out last week and it features a story that introduces a great father/daughter adventuring team. I had a blast writing it and I think you’ll enjoy it. Please consider giving it a shot if you have some spare money to throw Pro Se’s way!

I’m waiting on Tom Smith to give me the color version of Chris Batista’s latest Lazarus Gray image so as soon as I have it, I’ll share it with all of you.

Take care!

Lazarus Gray — Unleashed!

lazarus_batista_smallWelcome back, my friends!

Today I’m sharing with you the black and white version of Chris Batista’s newest Lazarus Gray image. Chris previously depicted the character in the cover to the upcoming crossover novel, Gotterdammerung. I really like this one, from the lean but deadly looking Lazarus to the lovely Samantha Grace looming behind him. Good stuff — I hope you agree. Look for a colored version soon. I’m not 100% sure where you’ll see this in print: it might slide into the fifth volume of the series or it may come to life on a t-shirt or poster. What do you think?

Things are proceeding well on all fronts, though work on the novel is still moving slowly. I did get an update about the upcoming release of a story I did for Pro Se last year, though, so I’m anxious for you guys to see it. More details coming.

Also, the audio version of Box Thirteen is finally out so if you enjoy listening to your adventure fiction, please head on over to Radio Archives and buy a copy. My story features a killer known as the Plague Doctor and I had a blast writing it.

There’s also been some movement on getting my Ki-Gor stories back out into the market and possibly my Grimarr (The Sword of Hel) stuff, as well. So lots of things are going on behind the scenes.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more — until then, feel free to ooh and aah over the new Lazarus image!

Short But Sweet

rook_perry_constantine_smallDon’t have much time this morning as I have a number of things to do before driving to a meeting — but I did want to let you guys know that I received the new artwork I’ve been teasing you all about. Drawn by Chris Batista, it’s a wonderful image featuring Lazarus Gray and the rest of Assistance Unlimited. I’ll let you see it soon, I promise!

Worked some more on the novel on Friday and hopefully I’ll add some more to it tomorrow — but the weekend was filled with family business and today is going to be just as busy.

I’m on the lookout for more guest blogs so if you know of someone who you’d like to see take the controls for a day, let me know. Heck, perhaps even you would like to share something with the folks out there? If so, just drop me a line and we’ll work something out.

Our art today is courtesy of George Sellas and features the Ian Morris Rook, who operates in the early 21st century. Percival Constantine did a great story featuring him in Tales of The Rook Volume One! Check it out, if you haven’t already done so.

A longer entry tomorrow, I promise!

Friday Fun

lady_writerIt’s Friday! The weeks have been very long for me lately, with a lot of information being driven into my brain on a daily basis. As such, I’ve been looking forward to the weekends — I’m still studying on Saturday and Sunday but I can still relax a little bit more than during the week.

Got an interesting job offer yesterday — a chance to work with a writer that I really respect. We’ll see if it comes together but it might help introduce me to a new audience and seems like a potentially fun experience. I’ll have to take a few days to look over some things to see if it’s something that we could bring together but… possibilities.

Added a little more to the crossover novel and things are going well, if very slowly.

I should be getting the new Chris Batista image any day now and I will eventually share it with all of you… not sure if I’ll do it right away or make you guys wait.

Yes, I’m a tease!

I’ve gotten a number of requests lately to bring my Ki-Gor stories back into print. I’ll approach Tommy Hancock and see if Pro Se might have any interest in this — maybe as part of their eBook line? We’ll see.

I hope everyone has a great weekend out there! Take care and have some fun.

Various Things

lg08_samantha_grace_smallWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

Pro Se Press announced an open call for a Liberty Girl anthology this weekend. I had a nice time writing the character but I have no plans to pitch anything for this follow-up book. For one thing, I have no time. And I think I’ve probably said most of what I wanted to say with Elena. I look forward to reading some great stories from others now. Pro Se also had an announcement about a horror anthology that did pique my interest but, again, the lack of time prevents me from taking part.

I continue to get very strong feedback about the fourth volume in the Lazarus Gray series and I appreciate all the kind words. It’s really nice when you feel positive about something you’ve done and the readers provide affirmation. Sometimes you get so close to a project that you think it’s great or that it sucks and the reaction from others is a surprise. But I like it best when I’m proud of it *and* people like it!

Work on the crossover novel… I add a little bit each week but not very much, to be honest. I try to squeeze it in when I can.

I expect to get a peek at Chris Batista’s new image sometime this week and I’m looking forward to it. I expect it to meet the usual high standards that he’s set in the past.

On a sad note, Jamie Dallessandro (“Jamie D”) of the Comic Book Geek Speak Podcast passed away last week. I’ve been a longtime fan of the show and really enjoyed Jamie D’s contributions. My warmest thoughts to his family and friends.

Our art today is from George Sellas and featured the lovely Samantha Grace, a member of Assistance Unlimited.

A Brief Update

RU Proof r1Welcome back, folks!

Work has continued (slowly) on the crossover novel. It stands at almost exactly 30,000 words. Still a long way to go, I’m afraid.

The second Gravedigger book should be arriving fairly soon. It’s gone through the editing process and now needs to be slotted onto the Pro Se publishing schedule, formatted and all the other back-end stuff that they do so well. Hopefully you’ll have the new Charity Grace adventure soon.

I teased a few days ago that Chris Batista will be doing another image for me and I’m pretty excited about it — obviously, I’ll let everybody know more about it as we move forward.

Not much else to talk about today… in fact, I’m considering moving to a less active posting schedule. We’ve had daily updates for years now but my time is getting increasingly scarce. We’ll see. I wouldn’t want to deprive all of you! lol

Anyway, I should be back tomorrow — so stay tuned!