Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Look Inside & Outside of THE SHADE #3

Tomorrow's the day for my final issue of THE SHADE, not to mention the end of my reunion with the dashing and superlative James Robinson, with whom I last worked on Malibu Comics' FIREARM in 1995. It's been a blast, to be sure, and I hope I get to work with him again sometime-- and hopefully, it won't be 15 years until then. ;)

Also, I'd like to highlight the absolutely stellar artistic partner I had in colorist Dave McCaig. Coloring comics is often a thankless task, and Dave did whatever he needed to do with sometimes impossible deadlines, and what an amazing job he did.

And I'd be remiss not to throw a nod at Wil Moss, my now-gray-haired editor at DC Comics. A better facilitator doesn't exist, if you ask me.

DC's THE SOURCE blog has posted a couple of previews for the issue. First, the interiors:

Exclusive Preview of THE SHADE #3

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

By Alex Nagorski

In issue #3 of the critically acclaimed miniseries, THE SHADE, Shade’s quest for answers sends him to Australia to locate an old acquaintance named Diablo Blacksmith. But when a dark force who knows all of Shade’s weaknesses appears, will Diablo’s advice be enough for Shade to defeat the monstrous creature?

THE SHADE #3 comes to you from the creative team of James Robinson and Cully Hamner. Look for it in stores tomorrow.


And second, a look at my variant cover:

Cully Hamner’s Variant Cover for THE SHADE #3

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

By Alex Nagorski

Earlier today, we gave you a first look at tomorrow’s THE SHADE #3. Now, since it’s the season of giving and we’re feeling festive, we’re showing you one more exclusive asset from the issue. Below, check out Cully Hamner’s awesome variant cover for the issue.

“This cover’s an example of the results I can get when I’m not allowed to romance the art for too long,” Hamner exclusively told THE SOURCE. “I had an extremely short window in which to get it done, and the idea design and execution came really fast, especially considering that I’m not known as a really fast artist. I did the concept sketch in about a half-hour, and I’d guess from starting the drawing to locking the colors was about two, maybe two-and-a-half hours. I had to stay extremely simple in my design and color composition (which, luckily, I had also done in the two previous covers), and the result is an image I really like. I guess the lesson here is that you can’t go wrong with simple and direct!”

“The first three-issue arc of THE SHADE required an artist who’d be as comfortable drawing battles with armored assassins in Germany and giant lizard gods in Australia as he or she would be drawing conversations between two lovers in a bedroom and between two old drinking buddies in a nightclub,” series editor Wil Moss told us. “Thankfully just such an artist was available — the great Cully Hamner!

Ably abetted by color maestro Dave McCaig, Cully revitalized the look of The Shade and Opal City, depicting anything writer James Robinson could think to ask of him with style and ease. Cully’s set the bar pretty high for the artists who have to follow him, but if any group can hold their own, it’s Darwyn Cooke (#4), Javier Pulido (#5-7), Jill Thompson (#8), Frazer Irving (#9-11), and Gene Ha (#12).

But in the meantime, don’t miss THE SHADE #3, where Cully draws the coolest-looking fight between a giant lizard god and a man made of shadows that you’ll ever see. (Trust me, they’re going to be everywhere in 2012.)”

It's out tomorrow in North America, folks. Thanks for checking it out!