I had the pleasure of meeting Howard Chaykin last week in Minnesota for the MCBA’s SpringCon. I was particularly interested to hear that he’s been teaching in an unexpected venue: the Marvel Bullpen. He and Klaus Jansen spend 3 days every 6 months in the Marvel offices giving what-for to 5 artists under contract with Marvel.
Kevin and Zander have collaborated on a number of comic books. This wouldn’t be unusual, except that they’ve developed an intensive style of collaboration, where each works on every stage of the comics, from conception to layouts (thumbnails), to pencils, to inks. Like French authors (who famously use a similar system) Dupuy & Berberian, they’ve evolved a consistent combined style where you really can’t tell where one’s work ends and the other begins.
In December of 2006, I had a very interesting email exchange with Jim Valentino, one of the original partners, who served as the company’s publisher from 1999 to 2004. Valentino is the owner of Shadowline, one of the primary Image studios, the author of ShadowHawk, and one of the original Image partners. He has deep roots in self-publishing and independent comics that have clearly influenced his attitude towards publishing at Image.
I feel very strongly that I have a responsibility, in fact, to young artists trying to break into the business. So, when I am putting together an anthology, I now make a point of including someone whose work hasn’t been published before (or, at least, not in any kind of significant way). It’s a karma thing.
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