Monday, April 1, 2013

Entry 175: Blast From The Past- Part 13

Greetings, False Skeptics!

Dustin Weaver here. It's time again for another Blast From The Past entry, and this is an important one. In this entry I'm going back to 2003, back to when I quit my job at Blockbuster, moved from Dallas to San Diego, and started my intern ship at Wildstorm studios. This period of time was exciting, surreal, and, well, frustrating. Sounds like fun, huh? Let's do it.

If you haven't read my other BFTP entries, I recommend you do. It will give all of this more context. But just to recap a little and to add a little more context: From when I was 12 years old to when I was like 15 or 16 Jim Lee was my favorite artist, and truly the reason I decided to pursue comics as a career. Then at the age of 24 I got a call from Jim Lee himself asking me if I'd like to come and do an internship at Wildstorm.

Wildstorm studio now no longer exists, but at that time it was the home for many comics creators. In a space that conjoined several offices were artists Carlose D'Anda, Ali Garza, and Lee Bermejo, inkers Rich Friend, Sandra Hope, and Trever Scott, and Jim Lee, who's real office was elsewhere but chose to work in the company of other artists. Also in the building were Scott Williams, Whilce Portacio, Alex Sinclair, and editors Scott Dunbier and Ben Abernathy. There were also a bunch of colorists.

When I came in I got a space in the conjoined artist offices. I was a little familiar with Carlose's and Ali's work, but not very. I was a big fan of Lee Bermejo's and of course Jim Lee was Jim Lee. Actually, at first Jim wasn't around that much, which gave me a chance to get comfortable with the place without his intimidating presence. Amazingly Carlose, Ali, Lee, and Rich excepted me right away, and treated me like I belonged there. I'm so grateful to each of them for being so cool to me.

At the same time, I kind of wish they hadn't been so nice. I think I was a bit too cocky coming in. I thought that this is where I had been working to get for so long and I was meant to be there. I had even become a little snobby about comics at that time. In some ways I thought, on a taste level, Wildstorm was beneath me and that I could really elevate things. The guys there were cool for encouraging me, but I think in some ways they were feeding a monstrous ego. And, guys, I was not NOT as good as I thought I was. And this fact would continue to slap me in the face throughout this experience. I'll get more into that later.

I'm not going to be able to cover my whole internship in one entry. I drew a lot of stuff during this period and there's kind of a lot to say about it. I'm not only going to have to break it up but also heavily edit it.

So getting to the art. At the top of this post is a piece I did early on. Having been a fan of Wildcats, I thought it would be cool to do a Grifter comic. (I had always intended for it to say"Cole Cash is Grifter" but only now have I slapped it on there)

In that vein, some of the guys in the production department had an idea to do a prequel series to Wildcats all about the war between the Daemonites and the Kherubim. I drew a bunch of concepts for this... It never went anywhere.

Here are a few of those concepts.

Just for practice, I drew 3 pages of Batman that I made up as I went. I really hate these pages now. I'll be coming back to why in a later entry. This was the best of those pages.

At some point I was talking with Lee Bermejo about how with DC owning Wildstorm there was a possibility of crossing over characters. He mentioned Lobo/Ladytron and I was immediately into that idea. I started drawing a bunch of sketches of those characters, and I even started sketching out a story with pens and markers.

Here's a bunch of that.

Every time I showed anything to the guys there they were always positive and encouraging... except for Jim. Getting a positive response from Jim never happened, at leased, not for a while.

More on that in future Blast From The Past Entries

Blogged and Blogged


  1. Wow, man. That is SOOOOOO awesome. When is SHIELD coming out?

  2. HA HA HA HA! Good one!
    I've been wanting to do another update on SHIELD. I inked the last 3 pages of Vol.2#5 just the other day.

  3. I love that (mostly) finished Ladytron. Ah, Maxine Manchester...such a strong character that I remember the name all these years later. It took the Chamber concept of half a face and really went with it! I'm human, so I want to hear about the not-so-positive responses you got from Jim Lee!
    - Sean