Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 Zook Convention Piece by Ethan Van Sciver

I remember when Cyberfrog first came out, and fans thought it was going to be the next big thing. I was running a shop by that time, and tossing through the book, couldn't see it. I figured it for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles riff as drawn by a Todd McFarlane clone, and dismissed it. I took note of the name Ethan Van Sciver though, so when he turned up looking a lot more polished on DC's Impulse series, I was impressed by his development. I think I liked his stuff here and there, but it was really The Flash: Iron Heights prestige special that made me recognize this was indeed a superstar in the making. Van Sciver is now one of the biggest and best artists in comics, and certainly the top name at Comicpalooza 2010. He was the first artist I approached to do a head sketch, explaining that I regretted his not finishing his run on the Superman/Batman arc "Enemies Among Us." While he drew excellent classic and One Year Later Martian Manhunters (he's one of the best modern MM artists, after all,) what I regretted was his leaving the first appearance of J'onn's other-dimensional pet/sidekick in decades to replacement Matthew Clark. I was promised EVS, dang it, and I was here after his Zook!

Not only did Van Sciver remember Zook, but he expressed regret at not having gotten to draw him, and thought it was cool to get the chance now. I handed the man a couple of reference pages I'd scanned and something like $40 for a head shot. I was asked to return in about three hours, and doing so, found that I was still a few names down the list. Later still, my friends told me Van Sciver was working on Zook, so I walked over to check it out. Van Sciver had been discussing his history with the character for the benefit of onlookers, and upon my arrival one made sport of me by asking slightly sarcastic questions. I addressed his questions with sincerity, though in a somewhat defensive tone. What I didn't know was that a friend of mine had videotaped some of this on his digital camera, so hopefully I can get that from him and post it here down the line.

The lovingly detailed image takes up better than 3/4th of an 11" x 14" rigid, bright white sketch page provided by Van Sciver. It is a thing of beauty, and I'm very proud to share it with you, not to mention very pleased to finally get my promised Zook!

Ethan Van Sciver was a mighty nice guy who does obviously outstanding work, far more valuable than I was charged. In case you were wondering, a friend of mine leaned in and learned directly from the artist that it's pronounced "Sky-ver." Now you know (and I'll have to remember to stop saying "Psy-ver."

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