Monday, March 29, 2010

More Rememberances Of Dick Giordano

When I was working for Dick, he always sent to different editors' whenever I was in the office to get another perspective on my art. People like Richard Bruning (who was their art director,and became a friend) Archie Goodwin, Dennis O'Neill,Mike Carlin,etc. Well, the one time he sent me to go see Joe Orlando.Now, for those who don't know. Joe Orlando was another big name artist,working for companies such as EC Comics and DC Comics and Warren and Mad Magazine (also as associate publisher). At the time I went to see him, he was in charge of their Special Projects Department up at DC. He did a "Tales of the Black Freighter" story for Alan Moore's WATCHMEN series. Anyway, Dick sent me to see him so he could give me some criticism of my work. I didn't know Joe at all (other than by his rep, which was quite impressive) and wasn't sure what to expect.(I learned that day that he was a no nonsense type of guy. He gave it to you straight,didn't pull no punches and expected you to take it like a professional.)Now, Let me set the scene for you.The samples I took to show Joe were over an artist named Rob Liefeld. Now, I don't know Rob, and truthfully I don't really care for his work.But I did the samples over his Hawk And Dove series, that he had done for DC a few months before.I wanted to see how well I could embellish his pencils.I thought I did pretty well.
So I took them into Joe's office. BIG,BIG,BIG,MISTAKE. Now to be fair to Joe, I wasn't sure if he was having a bad day or whatever was bugging him, but,HE RIPPED ME A NEW ONE. He really tore apart the work. Pulled out a black magic marker, drew over my vellum samples,and basically destroyed what I had done (and I thought that I  had done a decent job).When I finally got back to Dick's office,he asked me how it went. I didn't say anything,I just gave him a blank stare."Tom, you okay?", he asked.
"I think I want my Mommie now.", is what I said. Dick fell out of his chair laughing. I felt like Linus from Peanuts,needing a blanket and wanting to suck my thumb because of Joe's brow beating and Dick was laughing his ass off. When he stopped laughing, Dick said to me, "So, he liked your stuff?"  W  H  A  T  ?!
Looking at it now, it was funny,and I made Dick laugh. I made him laugh another time,when we talked about grade school and how I thought Nuns were bald under their habits when I was younger. I made him laugh and that made me feel good.He did so much for me,that, if he got to laugh at me because of an awkward situation,so be it. I'm old enough now to appreciate laughing at yourself.
Side note to this story: After Joe got done criticizing the work, I told him that DC had published this work and this artist,and even who had inked the job. Amazed by this fact, he went and searched for a copy of Hawk And Dove.He flipped thru it and just shook his head.He told me to forget everything he just said.He said never to samples over this guy again and not to show these ones around.Told me to do other samples and the next time I was in to come see him and he'll give me a better critique.And he did. He gave me some great advice and tips. And the one time I tried sneaking by him because I didn't feel my samples were up to par,he caught me."C'mere. Show me what you got." And what was even better was that  Joe Orlando eventually  became my friend. And that's another thing I owe Dick Giordano. Thanks Dick.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dick Giordano R.I.P.

I'd thought I'd never write those words. My Mentor and My Friend, Dick Giordano, passed away today. I feel like my father just died.I was Dick's assistant from 1989-1995. I learned so much from him, I can't even begin to tell you. He was always giving me constructive criticism about my work. He made it easy to always want to improve my work, and I guess a little bit to please him too. And he always took time to explain why things didn't work with the art and always told you how to improve it. If I got lazy with something and rushed thru it, he knew. He'd tell me about it,but not it a mean way. He'd say, "You weren't thinking here Tom. You took a shortcut and I know you can do better." He was right,there was no fooling him.He was always the consummate professional.His main talk to me was always about the way to approach each job. "Think it thru." he'd always say. He was always saying to think about what you were doing and not only would you be able to do more, you'd be able to do a better job.Taught me not only the ins and outs of inking comics, but being an artist in general. He told me that you're not just an inker, you're an artist. You bring as much talent to the job and the guy who penciled it.And even though you are inking a job, you are there to enhance but not overpower the other person's art.It was a fine line,but the better you were at the balance, the more work would come your way.And be professional about all of it.He always had answer for any of my questions.Sometimes it seemed he knew what I was gonna ask. He never ceased to amaze me.
As a friend, I couldn't have gotten any better. Made me feel welcome in his home, invited me to parties he had and even sent flowers when my Mom passed away. When I went to the same cons he did, he took time to introduce me to the legends of the comic industry. People like Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Neal Adams, Gil Kane (who we had breakfast with), Paul Levitz,George Perez, Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, and so on.That was at the cons. At his house, it was people like Josef Rubinstein, Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek, Bob Smith, Jerry Ordway,Klaus Jansen,and probably some I'm forgetting due to my memory, please don't be mad.
I'd also like to mention a special person in PAT BASTIENNE. She was always there and I feel, very under appreciated for her contributions. She was like Dick's right arm,that's how closely they worked together.She would always make me feel welcome, whether it was at the offices or at the house.She was always willing to listen too,and help me out with any advice she could give.She was always very gracious to me.
PAT, I'm very sorry for the loss of your very dear and very good friend.
So,tonite,I'm gonna have a Rob Roy on the Rocks,in memory of my friend Dick Giordano.
Salute Dick. Rest In Peace my friend.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Marvel Women 2---Polaris,Mystique,The White Queen,Invisible Woman

More of the Marvel Ladies, hope you like them.

Marvel Women---Krystal from The Inhumans,She-Hulk,M.J. Watson,Tigra

This is a continuation from my Avengers women post from earlier.Just my take on their famous heroines.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Avengers Women---Black Widow,Ms. Marvel,Spider Woman,Scarlet Witch

These drawings remind me of dossier photos that you'd find in a top secret spy folder marked "Eyes Only"