Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Moriarty, The Lazurus Tree

 This month I  have an issue of a comic book out on the stands. It is Moriarty: The Lazarus Tree, published published by Image.

Moriarty is the brainchild of  writer Daniel Corey and artist Anthony Diecidue, and of course the central character is the villain from the Sherlock Holmes stories. However, Dan has added a number of interesting twists to the plots and has really explored the character beyond his relationship to Holmes. The series is a fun read and watching both these creators develop over the past couple of years has been a treat. (They also have a trade paperback version of the first series, Moriarty, the Dark Chamber, that is available.)

(Lira posed for a number of Retrowood paintings I did for development.)
Anyway, Anthony had a big wedding coming up to the lovely  actress and model Lira Kellerman, and this slacker actually wanted to take some time off from his schedule for a honeymoon. So I got recruited to do a fill in issue. Because of my schedule, I realized I'd have to do the job very quickly, so I decided to approach the work less as I would a traditional comic and instead draw it as if it were a storyboard. People are always hounding me to have my comics have more of the spontaneity of my boards, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The entire twenty pages took my seven working days, and I don't think I ever worked more than 7-8 hours a day. There certainly is a freshness to the finished work that I really like. Dan was gracious enough to provide me with excellent reference on the stories specifics, so I didn't have to spend much time on that. I was also very familiar with the period so my reference time was kept to a minimum. And I had the excellent help of my assistant Mitchell Reslock, who handles all the hard stuff I didn't want to spend time on, like backgrounds, spotting blacks, erasing, scanning,etc. Ideally, I'd love to just have him do all the work and then I'd just sign it.

Of course Anthony couldn't keep his hands out of the mix, and he ended up coloring the book. A beautiful job that really takes the work to another level. But that was hardly a surprise since I've worked with Anthony on a number of jobs and have always loved the results. (As I finished the comic in record time, it was ready to go months ahead of schedule. Consequently, Anthony also had me do layouts for the previous issue, which you can also probably find at your local comic shop.)

So break open that piggy bank and head down to the comic shop and look this stuff up. You'll thank me.


  1. I'm so glad you started this blog, Mike, because now I can see all these great creations and keep up with you and your doings!

    Keep posting!

  2. Terrific stuff, thank you for sharing the process. I'm going to grab the issues my next trip to the comics shop.