Monday, August 9, 2010
OMIT Is Done!
Steve Ditko. Amazing Spider-Man #33, Page 5 Splash. 1966.
I did it! I'm free! After months of monastic dedication, I have finished... 4 books. Whenever I think of the amount of effort required (by me) to produce a single comic book (let alone 4), I am filled with admiration for the creators, past and present, who do it on a monthly basis.
The image above comes from Amazing Spider-Man #33, 1 of 2 Spider-Man comics that happened to be in my household while growing up (thanks, Dad). Of course, it happened to be one of the greatest Spidey stories ever told, but how was I supposed to know? I couldn't drive, and I spent what allowance I had on toys.
Looking back on the issue now, it's hard not to draw parallels between Spidey's dedication and my own work ethic. My adolescent mind was in awe of Spidey's resolve: he "rested" while being pummeled by Doc Ock's henchmen in order to gather strength for the final fight. What? Mind: blown.
People ask me how I can sit in my room for months on end (the "Bat Cave" and "Fortress of Solitude" comments are incessant). The answer is very simple: I love my job. It's extremely challenging, but that's the point. It makes finishing a project feel just like lifting tons of steel machinery off your back to reach the serum that will save your dying Aunt May. Love can give you power you didn't know you had.
Sorry, folks, I get mushy and delirious (and nearly euphoric) when I finish these things. But what I do need to say is thank you to my "pit crew." As the driver, I get all the glory, but I would never have crossed the finish line without my friends.
First and foremost, Orpheus Collar, who alone logged over 140 hours of flatting and coloring to ensure that we hit the deadlines. I was reluctant to accept him as an intern back in the summer of 2007, but I'm glad I took Jose Villarubia's advice.
As things got down to the wire, I called in my emergency crew, Allison Maletz, David Pettibone, and R. Kikuo Johnson, who ruled panel borders, filled in blacks, erased pencils, scanned, cropped, uploaded, and even inked webbing and windows. All dear friends from RISD, they were a joy to work with (and next to) in my Brooklyn home. And although he didn't log any official hours, Stephen Oh, my longtime roommate, has been a source of constant support, levity, and home-cooked meals throughout this and many other projects. Did I mention Kikuo and his girlfriend, Danielle, are gourmet cooks as well?
A huge thanks goes out to my editors and collaborators, Steve Wacker, Tom Brennan, Joe Caramagna, and Joe Quesada. These guys make me feel like Michelangelo every time I turn in work (even layouts) and their enthusiasm continues to spur me on. I couldn't ask for better teammates (but I always ask for more time).
I gotta thank my 'rents, who have made many a Halloween costume to support the characters that live in my mind. It was a pleasure seeing them over the last couple weeks... some of you may have even met my Dad out in California. Both artists in their own right, it's easy to see where my sense of craftsmanship comes from.
And finally, thank you to April for bearing with me for the duration of this (unusually long) Moment in Time. I may work for Marvel, but dating me is like dating Batman... only without the house, or the money, or the car, plane, boat, or butler. Basically, all you get are missed dates. Actually, that sounds like another superhero I know of...
Amazing Spider-Man #639, Page 9, Panel 3. 2010.
Ink with digital color on Marvel board, 11 x 17.25".