The Armored and the Dead – Color

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Most of the time I have an idea of how I’m going to color an illustration. I’ll make adjustments during the actual coloring process but I’ll try to achieve the image I first saw in my mind’s eye. The coloring on this piece is much different than I originally planned. I was going to color the soldier in shiny, high tech armor – maybe a little dirty but otherwise “normal”.

The night after I finished the inks on this piece I dreamed about coloring it – coloring it as if the soldier’s armor camouflaged him, made him transparent. I woke up, wide awake, at 2:30 a.m. and started coloring with the new image in my head. The result, to me, makes him seem like a ghost haunting the site of the battle.

Three Children and It – Black and White

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The Heap was the first swamp monster to have its own regular series of stories. PS Publishing recently collected all those tales in three volumes under its Roy Thomas Presents series. There are a few good stories in the mix but they are rare and mostly in the last volume. I suspect that my lack of enthusiasm is more the result of when I started reading comics than the stories themselves. They were written during the so-called Golden Age of Comics when comics were expected to be read by children and comics creators were really still learning the form. During its day, The Heap was a rare comic that featured a hero monster. When I started reading comics in the 1970s, monsters were everywhere. Man-Thing and Swamp Thing had adventures much weirder (and longer and better written) than those of their four color ancestor.

Oh well, the Heap is immortal and its legend may yet surpass that of its descendants.

A couple of years ago I did a mock cover for a Heap comic. I had fun but I wasn’t satisfied with the results. So here’s another image using the same characters.