WHERE DO WE FIND ARTISTS19 Jan | '2018
Greetings Loyal Airmen and welcome to this week’s Flight Log. One of the things we get asked all the time in regards to our Airship 27 Production pulp books is…”Where do you find your artists.” As most of you already know all Airship 27 titles use two artists on each book; on to do the cover and the other for the black and white interior illustrations. The thing is, over the years, we’ve met and recruited some of the most talented artists out there and some from really surprising occupations, i.e. day jobs. Let’s show you a couple examples.
As most of you know, one of the Air Chief’s dearest friends is artist Jeff Butler, with who we produced the Green Hornet comic series for Now Comics long ago. Thing is Jeff is now teaching a local community colleges where he lives. Primarily courses in graphic art. Several years ago he wrote us about a student named Richard Jun that he was really impressed with and suggested we contact Richard; that he might be willing to work with us. So on that strong recommendation we reached out and discovered Richard is actually Dr. Jun, a practicing optometrist who just happens to love comics and drawing. Thus our conversation ultimately led to his doing illustrations for us and to date he’s done several books and is currently working on our second Moon Man anthology. See image above.
And then there’s the story of Brian Loner. Two years ago we were guest at our local comic shop on Free Comic Book Day and during the course of that fun event, a man approached us and said owned a landscaping company here in the city, but had always had a passion for drawing. His name was Brian Loner and when he looked through several of our Airship 27 titles on the table, it was easy to see this was something he dreamed of doing. So we asked him to send us a sample of his work. A few weeks later Brian sent along a pin-up of Captain Hazzard which was really great and showed us he had the skills to be an illustrator. And so we gave him our first anthology featuring 1930s private eye, Marty Quade (see illo above) and as of today, Brian is half finished his illustrations for it. They are all beautiful. See what we mean about these talented draftsmen coming from all walks of life. Simply amazing and wonderful.
Finally we want to end this week’s Flight Log with a little fun story relating to Pulp History. Way back when the Air Chief began writing new exploits of the one-hit-wonder Captain Hazzard, we simply went along what most pulp historians believing for years, that “Captain Hazzard – Python Men of the Lost City” was the only Captain Hazzard novel ever penned by writer Paul Chadwick using the house name Chester Hawks. It wasn’t until we began the new adventures of Captain Hazzard that long time pulp fan Don O’Malley asked us if we had any plans to adapt the second Hazzard book as well? What second Hazzard book we asked? O’Malley then related this story. By the time the first and only Captain Hazzard book hit the newsstand, Chadwick had already penned a second. Which makes sense when you understand how writers had to keep up with the fast pace of monthly schedules. But when the Hazzard book was considered a flop, the publisher was left holding an unused manuscript…which they then returned to Chadwick and instructed him to turn it into a Secret Agent X adventure. Which shouldn’t have been to arduous a task as Chadwick was the primary writer of that popular series and the pen-name of Brant House. And so he did just that, with lots of tweaking turning this Captain Hazzard adventure into a Secret Agent X yarn called, “Curse of the Crimson Horde.” (See original cover above.) Upon hearing all this, we confessed to O’Malley it would be a fun challenge to tackle and so he actually sent us a copy of the entire Secret Agent X book to go by. Over several months, with it on our desk beside our PC, we pounded away taking the story hopefully back to where it had begun. By the book’s last quarter it really was if we were channeling Chadwick’s spirit as we began to deduce what scenes would be coming up long before we read them. In fact, at one point, we decided to take a villainous character and have them become a noble figure by the book’s climax. Lo and behold, upon reaching those lost chapters, it was the exact same ploy he had used…though not to the extremes we did. In the end, we opted to change the book’s title as well, having made it into something else altogether and Airship 27 released what was then our third Captain Hazzard adventure, “Curse of the Red Maggot.” From Hazzard to Secret Agent X and eventually back to Hazzard. Only in the world of pulps, Loyal Airmen.
Ron – Over & Out!!