Friday, May 09, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Union Station Illustration

Several years ago a friend of mine named Ande Parks, then fairly well-known as a comic book inker, began a second career as a writer. At the same time, I, being fairly well-known as a comic book inker, began a second career as an Illustrator. Ande was the first friend I'd made in comics, outside of my buddies from the School of Visual Arts who had become comics pros, and he and I talked frequently. When Ande started writing his outline for a new graphic novel, he shared it with me, and I had the pleasure of realizing that this talented guy was going to be an incredible writer. While he was busy writing, I was busy drawing, and had begun to develop what is now my photo-realistic pencil style. The graphic novel outline eventually became the book called "Union Station," which is about a massacre that occurred at Kansas City's Union Station during a prisoner transfer of Pretty Boy Floyd in 1933. The tale is historical fiction but gives some insight into the beginnings of the F.B.I. as well as a terrific story of love, betrayal, and gangsters and lawmen. When Ande had gotten a few pages drawn by a penciler he knew, he was going to submit the script and pages to some publishers to shop it around. He and I discussed the idea of me doing a pencil illustration as a cover piece for the proposal, and here is what I came up with:

Although it was intended to possibly be used as the frontispiece to the graphic novel, the idea was nixed by the book designer, so it never saw print. However, it's still one of my favorite pieces, and I plan to do at least one more companion piece to it someday. Hopefully, that'll be something for a future Portfolio Showcase.

As for "Union Station," it's a wonderful graphic novel, with beautiful art by Eduardo Barreto. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor and pick it up. It's something I don't think you'll regret.

I'll be back next week with more. Have a nice weekend!


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