“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud

Monday, February 11, 2008

THANK YOU_update


Done and done. Last line on paper, last panel border, last page uploaded to the FTP. At last.

So....IRON MAN: ENTER THE MANDARIN.

It has been nothing but a pleasure doing this book and by far, in my opinion, it has been the best panel to panel work I've done to date. There were times - and thank goodness it wasn't until towards the end there - when a thought sneaked into my head that said, "Um....yeah, I can't possibly draw that. I don't have it in me. I don't know how. No f*cking way." But I did it anyway - because when the right people ask you to draw Iron Man, you ignore bouts of insecurity, set aside moments of self-doubt and you draw your ass off.

I'm about to talk about those "right people".

From the beginning I was challenged by JOE CASEY. In every script he wrote, in every aspect, on every page and sequence, on all fronts regarding my current work, Joe pushed me because the story deserved no less. He has been a quiet, supportive collaborator who has had nothing but positive appraisal of the work that he saw as I turned them in and he always looked forward to the next set of pages. As ever, I am honored and humbled by my opportunity and for the fact that he let me play along with him. Joe, if you're reading this, you're a wonderful, creative beast and thank you *SO* much for letting me tag along.

DAVE STEWART is, by their very definition, an artist and a professional. Initially, I didn't know that I would be able to work with him and in a pie-in-the-sky request to my editor, I threw his name out there thinking that there would be a very slim chance he'd take me up on it. Six issues later, and five issues deep, he hasn't stopped pulling my artistic fat out of the fire. I've posted a page of color that he did for the series on this blog before believing that's the best I'd ever been colored. I am so happy to realize I was terribly, terribly wrong. Every page and panel thereafter, Dave has rendered my work in such an unbelievable manner, I believe myself spoiled for all future projects. He is the main reason why IM: ETM is a more than bearable visual ride - he save's my ass issue in and issue out and I owe him more than the minuscule KUDOS I'm about to give him now. But it has to start somewhere, so...thank you, Dave. Thank you for your speed and diligence, and for your embellishments. I stumble forward to do my best, but you always made it look better.

People don't realize that as well put-together a project may be on the creative front, the it's only as good as the people fighting and working for it in the front offices. In my case, in the case of my work and oft-times anemic rate of turn-around of my pages, my standard bearers are Editor STEPHEN WACKER and Assistant Editor THOMAS BRENNAN. I don't know how he manged it, but Stephen was the guy who convinced Dave to come on board - a HUGE coup for the series. He's taken the time out to walk me through the massaging of schedules and he fought to keep the creative and artistic integrity of the book in tact. Thomas was tasked with wrangling artwork out of me week in and week out. The guy deserves a gold medal of some sort (or perhaps a crap load of those gold coins that have chocolate in the middle of them), as dealing with me is by no means a walk in the park. The load is less heavy when these two gentlemen are helping to push and pull and they have shown unbelievable levels of patience. They do their jobs above and beyond - they knew when to leave me alone and when to lean on me. But most importantly, they've become extremely proficient at doing the job of the thankless and the invisible. They're the best that I've worked with and if the book is to be credited for any sort of success, I'd have to put them front and center for the reasons behind that. I hope I didn't make either of them lose too much hair or sleep and I hope they invite me back to the big game again some day. I could only hope to be so lucky.

And speaking of front and center, I'd like to thank ALL OF YOU who have bought and supported the series. I've heard tell that the mini isn't exactly 'flying off the shelves', but I think I'm less concerned about that and more concerned about making sure that those of you who *did* buy it felt like you got all for your money. The gentlemen I mentioned above have done nothing short of their best and it is a validation to all of their hard work that you have enjoyed the series as much as I hope you have. I'd like to shake the hands of each and every single fan of the book individually and tell you how appreciative I am for all of your readership (and perhaps at some of the upcoming conventions I'll be able to do just that) but for now, let me say how easy you make my job, how pleasurable you make the late nights trying to meet deadlines, and what an absolute blast and honor it has been to draw this series for you. If I had any reservations regarding the success off this endeavor, I should have given you guys more credit for your unending and loyal support.

So there it is. That'll be the last of that for a bit. Last line, last panel and last page. But if this experience is any indication, this won't be the last time I give my thanks. It's been a quite a ride.

What's next?

26 comments:

Kyle Latino said...

Congratulations. My proud heart of mine will not often allow me to see why some artist get to work in the biz of my dreams. But you really earn your place. Your hard work shows through, and so does your passion for the process.

Now, do Iron Fist.

Chris said...

A great series, I'm excited to see the final issues. As for what's next....

maybe some top-notch covers for some series at Marvel/DC and others, and then maybe a creator-owned project by you and one of your previous collaborators (Ellis? Casey?) for a book publisher and some tall dollars.

ENTER THE CANETE!

arnie said...

awsome simply awesome. you made iron man a visual stunner by leaps and bounds, it saddens me to see it comimg to an end. (at least one person we know of is glad to see you got....)

whatever you move onto next keep us in the loop. and let us know how " Drawing th Marvel Way" has improved your weaknesses ;)

hahahahahah, classic, pure classic.

later Mr. Cah-neh-tee

peace out

Skotti said...

Yay!!! Congrats E!!!


You need to be online more to I can pester you more. ^_^

rico said...

It's been a great ride! You made your sequential comeback a stunner! Maybe when the TPB comes out, these little vignettes can be included? The IM:ETM gang unwinds after a hard day on the set being put through their paces by harsh taskmaster Canete...

weshoyot said...

you're a rockstar and an inspiration! cant wait to see what's next!

TMALO70 said...

Hey Eric,

You made Me (Not really an IronMan Fan) pick this MiniSeries up... The only other person to do that for me was John Romita JR... Keep doin' what You're doin', it's FanFuckin'Tastic...

And Kyle Latino is right... You on an IronFist Mini Series, would be Ridiculously Sweeeeeeet...

Thanks For Sharin' the Wealth,

Tony Maldonado

Jon Tsuei said...

I know what's next! But I'm a jerk and I'm not going to tell, well I will mention [JUMP] because I'm shameless.

Awesome work on Iron Man, Eric. Your come back to the sequential art world was indeed big, regardless of what the numbers say. You're always tops in my book.

j_ay said...

Congratulations!
You kicked my ass with this series and I’m excited to have a new artist to add to my (very small) list of those that excite me.

What’s next indeed. We’re *all* waiting for the answer to that, sir.

Naomi Baker said...

Awesomeness, I hope one day to find out what it's like to finish a huge project like that too

I know you work hard, because of that funky callous on your finger

You should make a small comic about that poor callous, the one that REALLY does all the work... he should get some limelight too dude ~ :P <3

Btw I hate typing out the letters in the word ver. I always get it wrong at least twice o_o but I'll do it for canete hahaha

andy kuhn said...

congratulations, eric. i assume you have one or more new projects in the pipeline and i will gladly buy them all!

Leaf said...

Loving the series, looking forward to reading the last issue and whatever's next on your plates. Cheers.

Aaron Sowd said...

I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!!!*

*It's funny if you've seen There Will Be Blood! Spoiler Alert!

dmcgee said...

I know it doesn't help yet, but when that trade drops I'll be first in line with my cash to start emptying the shelf. I've loved seeing you and Casey together since Majestic, where you were gifted and complex enough a person to make his space dream visions real.

Can't wait :)

Brian said...

Congrats Eric on a job well done.

I'm looking forward to reading the remaining issues and don't be too concerned about sales as a lot of folks tend to wait for the trade and with the movie coming up, I'm thinking the trade sales on this book ought to be pretty good.

Joe Karg said...

This has been such a cool book to read so far man. It's no surprise to anyone that you gave it your all.

Congrats,
joe

potato farm girl said...

Awww....everyone is reward with milkshakes for a job well done. Awwwww!

dustin said...

hey you spelled diner wrong! kidding man. all comics should be as awesome as you draw them, you cant leave, the industry needs you.

Andre Szymanowicz said...

I remember seeing the original pages you brought with you to the Wizard World Philly con last year and being completely blown away. I just remember thinking "Wow, thats how its done."

I picked the series up for your work. And no disrespect to the awesome collaborators you had, but I would almost rather preferred to have that comic B&W just to see your lines better.

Congrats!

Toyebot said...

Congrats! The whole series has been amazing and your work is an inspiration and encouraging. Way to go! Huzzzah!

echoform said...

i really admire your work ethic. i can't wait for the collected edition to come out.

DADICUS said...

By far the best series page for page that I have bought all year!

I wish they would let you do something like Thor where you could re-establish a character. (Doesn't have to be Thor)

I hate a lot of the marvel titles right now, But if you were the penciler on any of the regular titles I would buy it in a heart beat!

I'll be on here until your next project comes out

(Jumper?)

COMIKXGUY said...

NO NO, THANK - YOU

for an amazing funny blog and just for the recogition of all us here

thankx eric :)

look forward to seeing you at SDCC in a few months

jmm said...

Eric, I just wanted to let you know that if sales are below expectations, maybe it's just because there are quite a few guys like me, waiting for a nice hardcover to be released, so you can have and read the whole story from beginning to end without the interruption of those really annoying ads in between, and maybe, just maybe, with some behind-the-scenes sketches thrown in (actually, having the whole book in sketch form as well would be a wonderful treat).
I will BUY that at once. OK, or a mere TPB, if that's what we get.
So don't get discouraged at all. Congratulations on an impressive work.

Pop-Monkey said...

Eric, the series has been fantastic! Congratulations! I usually stick to trade collections nowadays, but I've been buying the single issues of IRON MAN: ENTER THE MANDARAIN simply because I could not resist, and I wanted to support the book. I'll be buying the eventual collected edition as well, and I hope they stick some sketches/extras in the back. Hope to run into you at a convention sometime.

Grant Gould said...

i just picked up the final issue today, and i love it, man.. it's become one of my favorite series in recent memory, and i'll certainly be picking up the trade, too. your art in inspirational and awesome. i'm actually working on the iron man trading card set right now, and i have a few of your issues sitting here on my desk for inspiration. :)

lookin' forward to see what you put out next!