Happy Birthday, Ernie Colon!

Ernie-Colon-CoversJuly seems to be Birthday Month in the ’Warp Central offices! This past Monday we celebrated cover painter Bob Larkin’s 68th birthday; and today, it’s comic-art legend Ernie Colon’s 86th!

I’ve known Ernie since the late 1990s, when I was the assistant editor at book packaging company Byron Preiss Visual Publications who’d been handed the editorial reins on a quartet of science-fiction anthology books for middle-grade (ages 8–12) readers. Ernie provided the cover art and interior illustrations for all four: Bruce Coville’s UFOs, Bruce Coville’s Alien Visitors, Bruce Coville’s Strange Worlds, and Bruce Coville’s Shapeshifters. (Bruce, in case you were unaware, is the award-winning author of the My Teacher is an Alien book series.) Ernie later did an illustration for The Ultimate Hulk, another anthology I wound up editing—and even he gave me the original art to keep!

But I was a fan of Ernie’s work long before that. He was the artist of DC Comics’ popular teen-fantasy comic, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld and a truckload of titles for all manner of comic publishers during the course of his lengthy career. He’s drawn superheroes and adult fantasy characters, but what fans probably know him best for is his work on Harvey Comics’ kid-friendly Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich.

Most recently, he got a “special thanks to…” acknowledgment in the closing credits for the new box-office hit, Spider-Man: Homecoming! See, back in 1988, he and writer Dwayne McDuffie (who passed away in 2011) created Damage Control, the Marvel Comics crew that cleans up all the rubble and ruin generated by superhero battles—and they’ve now made their Marvel movie debut in the latest Spidey flick!

Oh, and he also did a little art wizardry for a little company called StarWarp Concepts…

In The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, Ernie teamed up with fan-favorite comics writer (and my old college buddy) Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Action Comics, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold) to present “After Hours,” an eight-pager about a demon dropping in at his favorite watering hole after a hard day of scaring the crap out of folks. It’s a lighthearted character piece that Ernie told me he really enjoyed drawing, which meant a lot to Sholly, who’s also a longtime fan of his. You should definitely check it out, by ordering a copy today (said the publisher 😉 ).

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

Ernie doesn’t have a website, so to see more of his amazing work, pay a visit to the incredibly detailed fan site, Ernie Colon Unlimited.

Happy birthday, Ernie!

Happy Birthday, Bob Larkin!

Larkin_photoIf you’re a fan of comic books, or movies, or pulp fiction heroes, Bob Larkin is a painter whose work you recognize immediately; he’s provided covers and movie posters for just about every publishing house and film studio for more than four decades.

His covers for Doc Savage, Dazzler, Star Wars, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, The Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian, as well as movie posters for Piranha, Night of the Creeps, and The Toxic Avenger II are just some of the painted images you might already be familiar with, even if you didn’t know they were Larkin’s work. He’s been an inspiration to artists like Joe Jusko and Alex Ross. If you’re a Panatic, then you know him as the cover artist of the Saga of Pandora Zwieback novels Blood Feud and Blood Reign.

And today is his 68th birthday!

SWC_Larkin_SketchbookIt’s not just his painting skills that are impressive—Bob’s also one hell of a pencil artist, as you’ll see if you order a copy of SWC’s The Bob Larkin Sketchbook. It’s a collection of some of Bob’s incredible pencil drawings, and what you’ll discover when you see them is how wide-ranging his subjects are. Sci-fi, horror, Westerns, pulp adventure, crime fiction, movie merchandise, even wrestling stars—as we say on the book’s back cover, there really is little that he hasn’t painted. And the sketchbook features three pieces created especially for it: the Pandora Zwieback cover art; a portrait of Patricia Savage, the fightin’ cousin of pulp fiction’s top-tier adventurer, Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze; and a two-page spread in which Doc faces off against another Golden Age crimefighter—The Shadow!

The Bob Larkin Sketchbook is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages.

And to see more of Bob’s stunning work, pay a visit to his art blog, Bob Larkin: The Illustrated Man.

Happy birthday, Bob!

Happy 85th Birthday, Ernie Colon!

Ernie-Colon-CoversJuly seems to be Birthday Month in the StarWarp Concepts offices! This past Sunday we celebrated cover painter Bob Larkin’s 67th birthday; today, it’s comic-art legend Ernie Colon’s 85th!

I’ve known Ernie since the late 1990s, when I was the assistant editor at book packaging company Byron Preiss Visual Publications who’d been handed the editorial reins on a quartet of science-fiction anthology books for middle-grade (ages 8–12) readers. Ernie provided the cover art and interior illustrations for all four: Bruce Coville’s UFOs, Bruce Coville’s Alien Visitors, Bruce Coville’s Strange Worlds, and Bruce Coville’s Shapeshifters. (Bruce, in case you were unaware, is the award-winning author of the My Teacher is an Alien book series.) Ernie later did an illustration for The Ultimate Hulk, another anthology I wound up editing—and even he gave me the original art to keep!

But I was a fan of Ernie’s work long before that. He was the artist of DC Comics’ popular teen-fantasy comic, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, Marvel Comics’ superhero cleanup crew, Damage Control, and a truckload of titles for all manner of comic publishers during the course of his lengthy career. He’s drawn superheroes and adult fantasy characters, but what fans probably know him best for is his work on Harvey Comics’ kid-friendly Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. And he also did a little art wizardry for a little company called StarWaqrp Concepts…

pan_annual_coverIn The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, Ernie teamed up with fan-favorite comics writer (and my old college buddy) Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Action Comics, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold) to present “After Hours,” an eight-pager about a demon dropping in at his favorite watering hole after a hard day of scaring the crap out of folks. It’s a lighthearted character piece that Ernie told me he really enjoyed drawing, which meant a lot to Sholly, who’s also a longtime fan of his. You should definitely check it out, by ordering a copy today (said the publisher 😉 ).

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

 Ernie doesn’t have a website, so to see more of his amazing work, pay a visit to the incredibly detailed fan site, Ernie Colon Unlimited.

Happy birthday, Ernie!

Happy 67th Birthday, Bob Larkin!

Larkin_photoIf you’re a fan of comic books, or movies, or pulp fiction heroes, Bob Larkin is a painter whose work you recognize immediately; he’s provided covers and movie posters for just about every publishing house and film studio for more than four decades. Doc Savage, Dazzler, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian, Piranha, Night of the Creeps, and The Toxic Avenger II are just some of the painted images you’re already familiar with, even if you didn’t know they were Larkin’s work. He’s been an inspiration to artists like Joe Jusko and Alex Ross. If you’re a Panatic, then you know him as the cover artist of my Saga of Pandora Zwieback novels Blood Feud and Blood Reign. And today is his 67th birthday!

“A prolific and accomplished painter, Bob Larkin ‘owned’ the Marvel magazine format. If you’ve ever seen a circa Bronze/Modern large-sized Marvel painted cover that just took your breath away, you were probably admiring the work of Bob Larkin.”
Gotham City Art

SWC_Larkin_SketchbookIt’s not just his painting skills that are impressiveBob’s also one hell of a pencil artist, as you’ll see if you order a copy of SWC’s The Bob Larkin Sketchbook. It’s a collection of some of Bob’s incredible pencil drawings, and what you’ll discover when you see them is how wide-ranging his subjects are. Sci-fi, horror, Westerns, pulp adventure, crime fiction, movie merchandise, even wrestling stars—as we say on the book’s back cover, there really is little that he hasn’t painted. And the sketchbook features three pieces created especially for it: the Pandora Zwieback cover art; a portrait of Patricia Savage, the fightin’ cousin of pulp fiction’s top-tier adventurer, Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze; and a two-page spread in which Doc faces off against another Golden Age crimefighter—The Shadow!

The Bob Larkin Sketchbook is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages.

And to see more of Bob’s stunning work, pay a visit to his art blog, Bob Larkin: The Illustrated Man.

Happy birthday, Bob!

My Encounter with Art Legend Gahan Wilson

wilson-eye-doctor

Today, legendary cartoonist and monster lover Gahan Wilson turns 86. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, I encourage you to at least do a Google image search and check out his macabre, occasionally disturbing but always outright funny one-panel cartoons (like the one above). I can’t recommend his work highly enough.

And if you head over to the StarWarp Concepts blog, today’s post is about the time when, as a book editor, I got to work with him on a pair of cartoon collections: Gahan Wilson’s Gravediggers’ Party and Gahan Wilson’s Monster Party.

Happy birthday, Mr. Wilson!

Happy Birthday, Bob Larkin!

Today, my friend Bob Larkin—the living art legend whose paintings grace the covers of my Saga of Pandora Zwieback novels Blood Feud and Blood Reign—turns 66, and is still producing incredible images, even as younger generations of horror and comic fans continue to discover his large body of work. Take a look!

LarkinArt04LarkinArt02These days, Bob is busily working for Topps, painting trading cards for their upcoming Mars Attacks: Occupation set, which is a sequel to the classic card series published in the 1960s. All of us here at ’Warp Central are eagerly awaiting the set’s release—and to see what other projects Bob has in development!

To see more of Bob’s stunning work, pay a visit to his art blog, Bob Larkin: The Illustrated Man.

To enjoy some of his amazing pencil artwork in printed form, order a copy of The Bob Larkin Sketchbook from the StarWarp Concepts webstore.

Happy birthday, Bob!

Happy Birthday, Alex Nino!

Today, comic artist supreme Alex Nino turns 75. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, then do yourself a favor and check out his website for some of his amazing art. His most recent projects included Image Comics’ zombies-on-the-high-seas miniseries Dead Ahead (the first-issue cover is reproduced here) and Bliss on Tap’s metaphysical series God the Dyslexic Dog, but his long list of credits include comics for Marvel (Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian, Power Man) and DC (Thriller, House of Mystery) and design work on the animated series The Real Ghostbusters, and the Disney animated features Mulan, Treasure Planet, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

dead-ahead-2008And if you head over to the StarWarp Concepts blog, I have a two-part post—one that appeared yesterday, one that’s up today—that covers the time when Alex and I worked on the graphic novel Sunn, about a teenaged boy with superpowers inherited from his Superman-like father. The twists involved were that the boy was a huge manga fan whose costume is somewhat demonic-looking (based on Japanese oni); that the guy writing the book (me) wasn’t a manga fan; and that Alex, a Filipino artist with decades of credits to his name, was asked to draw in a manga-esque style! Head over to the SWC blog and see how it all turned out.

Happy birthday, Alex!

Happy Birthday to the Late, Great Tom Sutton

Today, monster lover and horror artist supreme Tom Sutton, who passed away in 2002, would have turned 78. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, let me tell you, the man was one of the kings of horror art, especially in the 1960s and ’70s: the original artist of Vampirella; artist for Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider, Werewolf by Night, Godzilla, and Man-Thing, as well as the one issue of Marvel Premiere that starred Alice Cooper; and the writer/artist of many original stories—as well as occasional cover painter—for Charlton Comics (some recently reprinted in the collection Tom Sutton’s Creepy Things), and adaptations of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe stories for other publishers.

marvel-premiere-50

And if you head over to the StarWarp Concepts blog, today’s post details some of the interactions I had with Tom, including one of the last projects he worked on before his death. As the saying goes, the guy was a real character—and that’s part of what made him so awesome.

Happy birthday, Tom!

It’s Cover Painter Bob Larkin’s Birthday!

LarkinArt04

If you’re a fan of comic books, or movies, or The Saga of Pandora Zwieback (and how could you not be?), Bob Larkin is a painter whose work you recognize immediately; he’s provided covers and movie posters for just about every publishing house and film studio for more than four decades. And if you head on over to the StarWarp Concepts blog, you can read a little write-up I did about this amazing artist and his equally amazing career, in honor of his 65th birthday.

Go check it out now!