Jim and Ruth Keegan are the creators of The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob, which appears in various Dark Horse comic books. They've also illustrated a bunch of prose books and dust jackets. Their work has appeared in several Spectrum annuals, and has been exhibited at The Society of Illustrators in New York.
This week we received our copies of the first two volumes in the new Masters of Science Fiction series from Centipede Press. These two hefty books (they're each thick as a brick) collect a trove of excellent work from Fritz Leiber and James Patrick Kelly. Centipede publisher, Jerad Walters, asked us to provide the wrap-around covers for both books, and suggested we could find a way to recall the whimsical graphic covers created by Alan Aldridge for Penguin's science fiction line back in the late 1960s. They're both excellent books (beautifully printed and bound), and we had a blast doing them, and Jerad tells us we can look forward to doing more!
In Adventures of Two-Gun Bob news -- for the final issue (#4) of Dark Horse Comics' tremendous mini-series, King Conan: Wolves Beyond the Border (Truman, Giorello, and Villarrubia are SO freaking great), our editor, Philip Simon, allowed us to have an entire page (rather than our standard half-page format) for that issue's Two-Gun Bob episode (our 225th). Apparently, our editors over on the upcoming and ongoing Conan series, Conan the Slayer (Aaron Walker and Rachel Roberts), liked what they saw, and asked us to start creating full-page strips on a regular basis! How cool is that?! Twice the 2GB in every issue starting with Conan the Slayer #1. We're stoked!
Cheer up, Bob, you're getting twice the space from now on!
Finally, we'll leave you with a small Batgirl drawing we did on a comic book backing board as part of a benefit for the Pittsburgh Toonseum -- one of only three comics museums in the USA!
We were shocked today to learn that artist Glen Orbik has passed away. We first met Glen back in the late 90s because we had a mutual friend who ran a tiny comic book shop out of his garage. Every Friday we'd run into Glen there and find ourselves caught up in hours long conversations about comics and illustration. He always struck us as a super-nice guy.
It wasn't until later that we really became familiar with his work. Glen was an amazing painter whose beautiful pictures graced the covers of so many comic books and Hard Case Crime paperbacks. Wow! Every new piece was better than the last. If you're not familiar with Glen's work, do yourself a favor and Google his name. It will knock your socks off.
In 2004, when we were choosing artists to do paintings for The Illustrated World of Robert E. Howard, we immediately thought of Glen, and asked if he would contribute a painting of Skull-Face. He did, and as usual, he hit it clear out of the park.
He was a great guy, a great painter, and far too young to leave us.
Our deepest sympathies to his family, his friends, and his partner, Laurel Blechman.
On May 22—24, we'll be in Kansas City, MO at the Flesk Publications booth (#202) for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 4! We set-up at the first Spectrum Live back in 2012, and it was easily one of the best conventions we've ever been to. It seemed as though almost every living illustrator we admired was there in that room -- plus, the thrill of being introduced to the work of so many new artists for the first time. What a wonderful weekend. If you're able to make it, please stop by the booth -- we'd love to say hello!
Check out the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live website at:
Back in 2008, we did an Adventures of Two-Gun Bob strip based on a dream described by REH (the strip ran in Solomon Kane #1). We felt that the dream imagery should stand apart from Bob's usual waking life, and asked our friend Gary Gianni to draw the dream sequence for us, while we drew the final panel with Bob waking up after having fallen out of bed (a tip-of-the-hat to the great Winsor McKay's classic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland).
In Conan the Avenger #12 (which hit the stands last week) Bob finds himself lost in another dream, and once again we followed the same formula, except this time we asked our good friend Mark Schultz to draw the dream! We were thrilled when he agreed, and Mark turned in his usual beautiful job -- see the two panel sample below.
We should also note that Mark Schultz is this year's Guest of Honor at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains, Texas! If you're a Howard fan, we can't recommend it highly enough. REH Days is always a lot of fun! Mark has also illustrated a special postal cancellation stamp featuring Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft that will be used to stamp all mail sent out from the Cross Plains Post Office on June 12th! So, if you can't make it to REH Days, but know someone who is attending, you might want to ask them to send you a postcard!
If you're a fan of Mark's work, you should also pre-order his upcoming book, Storms at Sea. Mark has been working on this book for years and the result is way beyond outstanding. To paraphrase Carl Denham from 1933's King Kong, "They'll have to think up a lot of new adjectives once this book hits the racks."
Storms at Sea will be released by Flesk early this summer, and is currently available for pre-order from Amazon.
Check out this link at Comic Book Resources, which features an interview with Mark, along with several illustration samples.
Ruth likes to keep sketchbook diaries in which she doodles comics of our day-to-day life, as well as random memories of her childhood. Here's a page she drew back in 1999, remembering her first exposure to Conan back in her high school days (it didn't go well). We color-toned it for the blog. Click on the comic to make it bigger.