Monday, November 24, 2008

Miki and Hip in flagrante delicto

Miki and Hip in flagrante delicto


ELEPHANTMEN #18 , originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Here's a sneak peek at issue #18 of ELEPHANTMEN -- "Bad Girl." Hip, Wagner and Miki, what more could you want?


ELEPHANTMEN #20 cover, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Here's Marian's cover for issue #20

ELEPHANTMEN #18 flip cover

ELEPHANTMEN #18 flip cover, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

This is Marian's beautiful cover to issue #18, featuring Miki and the god Horus. Well, a statue of Horus.


ELEPHANTMEN #20, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Hip and Vanity in Tammy and Sally's diner!


ELEPHANTMEN #20, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

And here's a nice surprise. Marian Churchland has completed her second issue -- Marian's work can be seen in issues 18-20. Unfortunately most of the pages I downloaded today were corrupted by the file transfer, but here's a snap of a page I was able to see properly.


ELEPHANTMEN #15, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

And here is Ian's original pencil breakdown for the same panel.


ELEPHANTMEN #15, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Boisterous Boo Cook has almost finished inking and embellishing Ian Churchill's kickass breakdowns for the conclusion of WORLDS COLLIDE. Here's Serengheti looking a little worse for wear...

Monday, November 10, 2008

ELEPHANTMEN #16 spread

ELEPHANTMEN #16 spread, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Here's the double page spread from ELEPHANTMEN #16 by Chris Burnham. It's like Miller and Ladrönn had a baby.

Larry Young at APE

Larry Young at APE, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

As much as I love SF, Larry Young and I cannot possible live in the same neighborhood. there just isn't a city that can contain this much Awesomeness for more than a couple of days.

Wizard photo by that awfully nice chap from, uh, WIZARD

Saturday, November 8, 2008


ELEPHANTMEN #15 inks, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Those of you who might be worried about how far ELEPHANTMEN had fallen behind this year can take comfort in the fact that Boo Cook is already halfway finished inking Ian Churchill's breakdowns for issue #15, which ships three weeks behind #14. Chris Burnham's issue #16 ships two weeks after that and Rob Steen just turned in the last page of #17.

Friday, November 7, 2008


When Ace ELEPHANTMEN Cover Artist Boo "The Boostah!" Cook isn't creating the next eyeball blistering KICK ARSE ELEPHANTMEN cover... he's out... well, what is that you're doing, Boo?

Boo Cook has Guts

Boo Cook has Guts, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Boo Cook has Brains

Boo Cook has Brains, originally uploaded by richstarkings.


DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Just a couple of months ago, Boo's bride to be had never even read THE WALKING DEAD... no she are one.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ELEPHANTMEN #16 cover colour sketch

For the cover of issue #16, I asked our ace cover artist, Boo Cook, to look at a whole bunch of pulp fiction/private detective covers from the 50's and 60's...

Boo's first sketch looked a little too spooky and it was difficult to see exactly who we were looking at in the foreground...

ELEPHANTMEN #16 cover pencil sketch

...but the pencil sketch shown here had everything. Boo admitted that he had just checked out the BLADE RUNNER 5 DVD set and wanted to create his own mini sci-fi masterpiece.

I asked him to rework Destiny's face which looked a little too cartoony, and not Fatale enough for our Femme.

ELEPHANTMEN #16 cover pencils

Destiny is perfect here, but The Silencer, who's character has been established as mean and moody, looks a little too goofy here...

ELEPHANTMEN #16 cover pencil fix

...but one email later ELEPHANTMEN's incumbent assassin is mean and moody again!

ELEPHANTMEN #16 cover colours

Boo's colours are the icing on the cake....

ELEPHANTMEN #16 cover graphics

...and then I cover up as much as I can with graphics! FINI!

Who is she? What does she want from The Silencer? What is his Dark Secret? Pick up ELEPHANTMEN #16 in January... and Find Out!

ELEPHANTMEN #16 page 1 inks

Even though the digital ink is not quite dry on issue #15, I am happy to say that artist Chris Burnham, who delivered the back up strip, SILENT RUNNING, in ELEPHANTMEN #9 has already turned in all the pencils and half the inks for issue #16. Tatto Caballero, who coloured FINAL INCAL for Ladrönn will be colouring this issue, but I think you will agree that it already looks pretty splendid!

ELEPHANTMEN #16 page 2 inks

Crocs CANNOT hold their drink, I don't care how butch they look. Lightweights!

ELEPHANTMEN #16 page 3 inks

The Silencer is a nasty piece of work, isn't he?

ELEPHANTMEN #16 page 4 inks

Gotta love Burnham's work on the city here. Visit his website:

And, hey, write him and ask him why he turned down the Golden Opportunity to work on an upcoming story arc.

ELEPHANTMEN #16 page 5 inks

I'd tell you what was going on, but then The Silencer would have to kill you. Mind you, the storytelling is so good, you can probably figure it out for yourself.

800 DAYS cover

800 DAYS cover, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Here as promised are scans of Rebecca Hendin's 800 DAYS comic. When she offered the book in exchange for copies of the ELEPHANTMEN trades I had no idea that each copy of the comic had cost her $24 at Kinko's. That means you still owe me a dollar, Rebecca! ; )

I *think* the title and Rebecca's name are marked on the cover with a pen, but I could be wrong.

The butterfly motif recurs throughout the book...

800 DAYS page 5 and 6

The whole story is told in verse and the lettering is always embedded in interesting ways much as you see above. Either by circumstance or design, the story comes across as intensely personal and tragic.

800 DAYS page 7

800 DAYS page 7, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

800 DAYS page 8

800 DAYS page 8, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

ELEPHANTMEN #14 page 6 thumbnail

Sometimes I wonder why I don't just pencil the book myself...

ELEPHANTMEN #14 page 6 by Moritat

Before exhaustion set in, Moritat turned in the first 6 pages of #14... I decided to ask Ian to start from page 1 nevertheless...

ELEPHANTMEN #14 page 6 by Ian Churchill

...but it's interesting to compare the two and see the different choices each artist made.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Work in progress: ELEPHANTMEN #14 page 8

Loyal ELEPHANTMEN readers may have been wondering what happened to issue #14, which was supposed to ship in, uh, February. Well, our regular artist, Moritat, who has been the backbone of the book for nearly two years decided that it was time for him to take a break. Hopefully Moritat will return to the series from time to time but meantime I had a problem -- who could fill Moritat's shoes for the conclusion of the story arc begun in #13? Moritat graciously offered to work with the colourist to ensure the book maintained the same style and atmosphere... but who knew the characters...? Who could match Moritat's sense of action and adventure AND capture my sense of humour...

Furthermore -- Who else could posssibly interpret my thumbnail layouts?!

Ian Churchill's Pencil "Breakdowns"

There could be Only One!

Me Grate Mate, Ian CABLE COVEN X-MEN SUPERGIRL TITANS Churchill generously offered to provide pencil breakdowns for both issues #14 and #15. Other artists would not call these pages "breakdowns" -- they'd call them finished art! Interestingly enough, Ian created the pages in much the same way Moritat has worked since #1 -- two pages on a landscape page of 8 and a half by 11 paper. Once each page was ready, Ian scanned each page and enlarged it in Photoshop to approximately 11 by 17.

Boo Cook's Digital Ink Embellishment

ELEPHANTMEN's ace cover artist, BOO! COOK kindly offered to bring Ian's superb breakdowns to black and white life. Ian uploaded high resolution scans of his pencil breakdowns to the Comicraft ftp, virtually 6,000 miles away. Boo, who lives just 20 miles away from Ian, downloaded them to his computer and added weight and substance with digital ink. Both Ian and Boo's familiarity with all the characters meant that they were able to match the quality of Moritat's art on the previous issue.

Gabriel Bautista's Colour Flats

After Ian adjusted Boo's final inks with some fancy schmancy Photoshop electrickery, the pages are downloaded by colourist Gabriel Bautista and rendered in Photoshopin a style similar to Moritat's colour treatment for the last issue.

Moritat's Color Highlights

Moritat's Color Highlights, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Working from unflattened high resolution Photoshop files uploaded to the Comicraft ftp by Gabe, Moritat tweaks the colour and adds highlights to the figures.

Scripting and Lettering

Scripting and Lettering, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Working from lo res jpegs generated from the colour files placed into an illustrator files with copy safe, trim and bleed guides (the blue lines), I script and letter the book SIMULTANEOUSLY! I actually place pages side by side as they will appear in the finished comic to help give me an idea of how the pages work together. Note that the BLAMs are identical to those in the lead story in #8. It's as if I'm paying attention or maybe I have some kind of a plan.

Comicraft Production Tweaks

And finally, John "JG" Roshell makes some tweaks to keep the color scheme consistent with the last issue. Note the red blood in panel one and the addition of a camera in the top corner of the frame.

ELEPHANTMEN on ComicsonComics

This is me on webTV... Thanks to Mike Wellman and the guys at THE COMICS BUG in Manhattan Beach!

I held an Eisner once

Eisner, originally uploaded by mimzilla.

My good friend Mimi took this picture at SDCC 2006 and I just found it on Flickr. I love the interweb.

Ladrönn won the Eisner for Best Painter for HIP FLASK MYSTERY CITY.


ELEPHANTMEN #21 cover magnificence by BOO COOK. Graphics by YT.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Louis' diner! Sutro baths!

Louis' diner! Sutro baths!, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

TIme to go home. One last stop for breakfast on Louis' cliffside diner with Larry Young... Picturesque credibility!

Joe the Lawgiver

Joe the Lawgiver, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

Feeling Lucky, McCain?

Jonathan Chan, MBA, Richard Starkings, BA

Separated by an M

Ladies & Gentleman, Steve Leialoha

Steve is, of course, THE nicest man in comics. And he has THE Nicest sketchbooks in comics. Look for them at his table in Artists' Alley at San Diego Comic-con

Kathryn S! Renta, Drew Gill

And what exactly do you think GØDLAND production artist Drew Gill is full of, Kathryn? Think hard so I can see your thoughts!

Remember, KT, Don't Think of The Elephantmen!

Kathryn S! Renta

Kathryn S! Renta, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

The lovely Kathryn S! Renta stopped by on Saturday afternoon to distract me from those guys from Image who ran out of conversation after about ten minutes. Thanks, Kathryn!

Watch her legendary lettering legerdemain @

Becky Cloonan

Becky Cloonan, originally uploaded by richstarkings.

OFFICIAL! Becky Cloonan IS adorable. Now working on a new DEMO series for Vertigo. Here she is with her mini comic, BURY YOUR TREASURE.