A Moment to Breathe

Before I move on to other subjects I want to give raves to David Grilla. He’s the other illustrator on Terrors from Beyond. His work rocks. I’m honored to share the pages of the book with him.

The Complete Annotated Oz Squad is now available from Tumble Tap Press and Amazon. I haven’t seen a physical copy yet myself but it should collect all ten issues of the series as well as Little Oz Squad and the Millenium Special. Plus Steve’s annotations and a variety of pin-ups. If you’ve hesitated to buy either of the previous collections then you might want to grab this one.

The cover on that is also the last work I’ll have on the series for the foreseeable future. Sean Casey has stepped up to be the regular artist for Oz Squad. The poor bastard shares his name with a major league baseball player so don’t try to google him. It looks like Steve, Oz Squad’s creator and writer, is posting some of Sean’s Oz character sketches. Sean’s online gallery can be found here. I wish him luck. He’s got a lively style and I can see him doing a good job.

Steve stuck by me as the artist for the Oz Squad revival for a long time. I really appreciate that. At a certain point that commitment had to be a roadblock more than a benefit. Due to the current nature of my environments I just can’t get the necessary long form concentration to draw a comic. Or write a story. Any letter that runs longer than an paragraph takes hours. The pages for the first issues have been sitting around begging me to work on them for literally years now. I’d manage to work on a panel or two, sometimes a page or two and then I’d be frustrated that work I was doing didn’t match the work that had already been done. So then I’d do some more RPG illustrations. I’d get them done and I’d get paid and they’d get printed.

I’ve been a fan of the series since it came out. I’d wanted to a comic continuation of the original Oz books myself so when I was offered the chance to illustrate an Oz Squad revival I was delighted. Steve’s stories surprise me. They’re both more whimsical and more brutal than anything I’d be likely to write myself. He’s a fan and a reader of the Oz books and children’s literature in general. His scripts are smart and funny and demented. So I not only wish Sean and Steve luck with the revival, I also wish them success. I want to read more Oz Squad!

Check out Steve Alhquist’s weblog for future news and developments. I’ll try to update my fan pages to reflect the changes sometime in the next few weeks.

And finally, I’m going to be taking a little break from posting here. I’m not exactly sure how long but I’ll be back by September 1st at the latest. I’ve got book illustration deadlines looming. I’m got some art in mind for posting but I’m a little behind in getting it all scanned.