Here’s the story of a hidden gem.
Last year, this site hosted “The 13 Days of Pan-demonium”: a promotional event used to help launch the first Pandora Zwieback novel, Blood Feud. It involved thirteen artists (including me) doing interpretations of Pan and her monster-hunting mentor, Annie. (As you can see from the navigation bar up top, there’s a separate page that warehouses all the images, for your viewing pleasure.)
One of those artists was Dave Hoover, an artist who’d worked for Marvel and DC Comics in the 1990s on superhero projects such as Starman, Fantastic Four Unlimited, and Captain America, and as an animator on films and TV shows including Fire and Ice, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Men in Black: The Series. In 2011, he’d just finished a run as the penciler of Zenescope Entertainment’s comic series Charmed, based on the popular TV show.
When I started making plans for the 13 Days, I contacted Dave through his DeviantArt page and asked if he’d be interested in drawing my teen Goth heroine. He was, we negotiated a price, and the result was a spectacular illustration of Pan and Annie that I used for Day Four.
The big surprise, however, was when I received the actual 11” x 17” art. I’d been dealing with so many digital artists by this point that I’d assumed his pinup existed only as a Photoshop file—but no! When I tore open the package—one Dave had never told me he was sending—I found the hand-colored final piece inside. I was thrilled beyond belief!
Sadly, Dave passed away on September 4, 2011, at the age of 56. When I heard the news, I pulled the illustration from the art drawer and just sat awhile, admiring it. Such a fantastic artist, and now I’d never have a chance to collaborate with him again. I started to put the drawing away and did something I’d never thought of doing in the three or four months I’d had the art: I turned it over.
What you’re looking at is Dave’s original blue-pencil sketch, before he came up with what he no doubt considered a better composition. Still, as great as the final art is, I think this one would’ve made a helluva pinup, too.