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Christopher Jones Comic Art and Illustration Blog » Kurt Busiek

Posts tagged: Kurt Busiek

Happy Halloween – Don’t let the bed bugs bite

Kirby Genesis - Giant Bugs!

Kirby Genesis - Giant Bugs!

This is from my set of try-out pages for the Kirby: Genesis book at Dynamite. I was one of 4-5 artists on the short list who was asked to do samples for the book. The scenario depicted was based on verbal phone conversations with Kurt Busiek by phone, and is similar to scenes that eventually appeared in the actual book! Click on the image below to see all four pages at higher resolution from that fun not-to-be project!

Kirby Genesis - page 3

Kirby Genesis - page 3

Kirby: Genesis

NOW IT CAN BE TOLD!

So I was considered as a possible artist for the Kirby: Genesis book, based on many characters created by the late, great Jack Kirby. The book was being produced for Dynamite Entertainment, written by Kurt Busiek with covers and layouts by Alex Ross. At the point when I was talking to Kurt Busiek and Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci about it, I was asked to do some sample pages for consideration. There wasn’t yet any script or much design work by Alex Ross for me to look at (beyond a gorgeous promotional poster used to announce the project), but I had a phone conversation with Kurt one afternoon were we talked about what he was looking for and some of the plans for the book. I was asked to demonstrate ordinary looking people in an ordinary looking setting, before the larger-than-life Kirby characters intrude. Kurt and I discussed the everyman hero for the book who would be walking through a park with his girlfriend, having a minor disagreement before insectoid monsters burst through the pavement and the Kirby characters begin to appear, ready to do battle in the middle of the park.

Kirby Genesis sample page 1

Kirby Genesis sample page 1

I’m not a fan of doing samples, although I’m called upon to do it from time to time. I think it always takes more than 2-4 pages and to get the feel of a project and start doing your best work… that’s true for me, anyway. And in cases like this, you’re asked to draw pages that are part of a longer scene that you won’t see but the pages have to stand on their own as though thery were in the context of that larger not-yet-drawn story.

But as sample pages go I like these OK. They use (with permission) the likeness of my friend Joseph Scrimshaw as the everyman character, and would have enjoyed basing the character on him had I drawn the whole series. Although the character probably would have been redesigned by Alex Ross anyway.

It didn’t work out. Nick, Kurt and Alex collectively decided to do the series with Jack Herbert, an artist Alex and Nick had previously worked with at Dynamite on Black Terror. Hopefully another chance will come along for me to work with Kurt and/or Alex, as collaborating with either would be a real thrill for me. As it turned out, a couple of months after the disappointment of not getting to do Kirby: Genesis, I got the chance to do Young Justice for DC Comics with Greg Weisman, so things worked out OK in the long run…

If you’d like to see all four sample pages I did for Kirby: Genesis, click the page above to go to the gallery.