Before I could get any regular work with the big two, I landed a cover gig on some Fleetway reprints of a comic called Nemesis.
Above are some lighting doodles i did on the back of the cover.. to dope out how to ink the arm shadows...
It the time I was really proud of these... as I'd never pulled anything of like this yet. However... here's how the colored covers looked ..
So much that I'd put into them... like all these alien faces... had gotten totally lost once colored. That would happens over and over in comics.
Below some of the rough layouts for this cover... notice i was big in blue pencil back then.. I had fun dreaming up alien heads on a wall like deer or elk heads. the little dot on at the bottom was my favorite.
So these original covers.. gives you a second chance to be seen fresh.. notice i threw in one of my 1800s gals too... no one seemed to care.
Looking back, it's glaringly obvious i wanted to show off my inking skills and these suckers. Along with the Epicurus and the Mavel Presents covers, the Nemesis covers were me at my most 'anal', brush stroke and detail wise.
Even though no one noticed them.. when i look at the originals, i'm still kinda proud of them, for what they are.
Weirdly enough, during this same time I was doing the opposite of this... doing things like this little brush one here.
My cousin Dave expressed how surprised he was i did this, and that it looked 'nothing like me' at the time, it seemed so full of energy and unlabored. I always kept this 'Kata' drawing and this a change in my thinking to try something like this..
I also plunged into watercolor too... but my palate was pretty saturated and crude.
I was trying for something ... ELSE... something different than the over-rendered hyper detailed covers... but didn't know how to get there. Yes, i liked those too, but it's like i had to sustain some other part of me.
I found some old sketchbooks from around then and noticed i was starting to doodle bonsai trees even back then.. but still couldn't negotiate the fun energetic (but crude) sharpie notebook sketches with logo like super detailed covers..
also was dabbling with soft lines like this watercolor - this was exciting to me, but i didn't see any comics that looked like this, (this was before the whole painted graphic novels in the 80s and 90s flourished)
Below i tried this too in these story i did with an is in it... almost every panel done with a different style..
It wouldn't be till years later I'd find a way to navigate between all these styles somehow into a cohesive whole, and i'm happy that i still struggle with it. In a good way.
okay, back to finishing up that MOTHer drawing i started.