Friday, February 10, 2006

More work by that nice BEN CALDWELL bloke.

The aspect of running this blog I hope never to become blasé about? That would be the warm buzz I get when a creator whose work I've praised get in touch. Yes, in the immortal words of Mick Jagger, I'm a complete star f*cker. Of course, the opposite is true - when I slag off some bubble-headed local media star, and they get in touch to complain, I like that too. Hell, I usually fire off a sarcastic email in the hope that it'll provoke them into mentioning my blog in their newspaper column: after all, no publicity is bad publicity (no names, no pack drill, *cough*, Chr*st*ne Bl**kl*y,*cough*).

Anyway, to pull my pointless rambling into something cogent and resembling a point, the great Ben Caldwell emailed me today. But he didn't turn up at my digital front door empty-handed. Oh, no. He brought a hell of a lot of preview art for DARE DETECTIVES #2. I detected an undercurrent of embarrassment from Ben that the project is so late (approaching 9 months!), but this delay has clearly paid great dividends in one respect: his artwork has taken a hell of a leap forward. In fact, I can't think of too many artists who've ever improved so visibly between two issues of the same project. Anyway, any comic running this late needs all the help it can get (hell, it's bad enough being a fan waiting for the book; now imagine how pissed off you would be if you were the publisher of a book running that late?), so here's some preview pages. Man, look at the depth and richness of each panel: they look like screen grabs from some insanely expensive animated movie. Plus, Ben sent me so damn many preview pages, I think I'll start with a couple, and post a few more next week. In no particular order.

Now, maybe one reason DARE DETECTIVES has proven to run so late is that the guy has been juggling so many projects of late. As well as this gig at Dark Horse, and some freelance illustration work, he's been publishing a series of instructional books under the ACTION! CARTOONING aegis at Stirling Books (out so far: Action! Cartooning, and Fantasy! Cartooning - both highly recommended, with Manga! Cartooning due out next year), and has been overseeing an imprint at Stirling called ACTION CLASSICS, where he and a hand-picked team have been creating a series of adaptations of various classic texts (on the slate so far: DRACULA, MONKEY!, THE ODYSSEY & TOM SAWYER). Looks like the first one to reach completion will be DRACULA: here's some links to some early previews that're up for viewing at Ben's forums: click! click! clickety! click!


Frosty Snowbro said...

That does look cool, Mark. I think I will check it out.