Monday, March 7, 2016

Entry 281: Blast From the Past- Part 21

This blog hasn't become exclusively about my older work. I swear I'm working on new things. I've got like three projects that I'll be able to talk about real soon. There are exciting times for any fans of my work right around the corner. But while we wait, let's get another Blast from the Past entry done.

At the San Diego Comic Con in 2004 I was back to spending some amount of my time there trying to get work. I stopped by Lee Bermejo's table to say hi and he told me that there was a new editor named Jeremy Barlow at Dark Horse working on Star Wars Tales and that he was looking for artists. He suggested I show my work to him. So I did.

I soon wrapped up my work on The Tenth Circle. I had also moved out of my Grandparents house and was now living with a girlfriend. I was working on my Wildcats pitch and issue 4 Assassins Guild  pages. I was out of money. I started drawing pieces to sell (I'll show that stuff next time).

But just then Jeremy Barlow and Dark Horse came through for me. I'm not sure how much my connection to Chris Warner and my having done a little fill-in on Alien Vs. Predator played into my getting a job through Jeremy, but I think it must have a little.

Jeremy offered me a 22 page story in Star Wars Tales. At first, I had no idea what the story would be, but in my excitement I started thinking a lot about Star Wars. In typical "Dustin" fashion, I started getting ambitious. I thought I soon would exploit this contact and try to pitch a Han Solo series. I stared drawing a bunch of Han Solo stuff.

But then I learned what my story was going to be. Jeremy sent me an outline or something and I immediately shifted to doing concept art for it.

I wanted to make the lead character a woman of color but I later learned that I couldn't because she was supposed to be related to a white character. I also wanted to have a four armed Jedi (this was before General Gievous) but I later learned that I couldn't because that characters species was already defined somewhere though he had never been seen. I created a ship design that I really liked but I found that the ship hardly appeared in the story, so I didn't use the design. (I later used the design in a different Star Wars comic.)

Also, in the story was a cave dwelling monster that sucked the force out of Jedi. I envisioned it as a giant bat like creature but later learned that it had an established look as well. Here is my original design.

I really loved this bat monster. I had always hoped to use him in a different Star Wars story but the opportunity never came.

I haven't even gotten to the actual comic yet. Let's get to that.

So Jeremy told me that they were hiring me for just pencils and that they'd go straight to color with out being inked. At that time I hadn't seen pencils to color look very good. I firmly believed that ink was the only way to go in comics. (It's ironic seeing as how I've been doing pencils with out ink for the last couple years) So I told Jeremy that I'd ink my own stuff for nothing extra and, because I was really digging working with markers, I asked if I could render the whole thing in grey tones. He was cool with that. I wanted to control the look of my work as much as I possibly could.

My marker rendered pages were colored by Mike Atiyeh and here are the results.

I actually really like this comic and the kind of painterly effect.

This story was published in Star Wars Tales #23 and also appears in Star Wars Tales Vol. 6.

And thus began my time working for Dark Horse.


  1. At this point, did you think of yourself as having "made it" yet? Or did you feel like you were still a zero?

    1. After having gotten jobs that didn't lead to more jobs, and after feeling like I had "made it" a few times before and been proven wrong, I wasn't capable of feeling that way again... I'm still not capable of it.

    2. What if Marvel started listing you as "Superstar Dustin Weaver", would that do the trick?

      I was a superstar once.

    3. I got that "superstar artist" thing on Shield. I remember when you got that. I was like "YOU?? They say YOU are a superstar artist?? It's like those words have no meaning anymore!"

  2. Every time I open Marvel Previews I hope to finally see a solicitation for S.h.i.e.l.d. Volume 2 #5. They renamed the S.h.i.e.l.d volume 3 for and now It's Agents of S.h.i.e.l.d. Volume 1 so there will no longer be any confusion for comic shops trying to order your book when it finally comes out. I have two questions for you.

    1. will you know the book is about to be solicited before it shows up in Marvel Previews?

    2. If marvel decided to someday revisit the Ancient version of S.h.i.e.l.d and they asked you to draw it again would you?

    My favorite panel you ever have done is the splash page featuring Imhotep, Apocalypse, and Moonknight fighting the Brood. That panel would make such an awesome Wall poster. I'd love to see an Ancient Egyptian Broodwar One-Shot. I'm actually writing a Fan-fiction about the details of that fight right now.

    Speaking of the the Ancient Egyptian Broodwar I thought of a third question.

    3. Was it Hickman's Idea or Your Idea to include easter eggs of Apocalypse and MoonKnight in that Splash page?

    1. 1- I won't be saying anything about the last issues of Shield until Marvel is ready to start talking about it. I might have something to say soon.
      2- It's posible, but it would require schedules to work out. Never say never.
      3- It was in the script. Could have been Hickman's idea. It could have come from editorial. I don't know.

  3. Beautiful designs! I hope to see your version of those characters the creature and ship in print someday. Excellent work!

  4. I'm so excited to hear today that you're doing more Bebop and Rocksteady at IDW!

    1. YES! Thank you! I'll do a blog post about it soon.