A monster inking job

MikeMonsterPlants colortest

As you know from reading my comics, I try to put most of my creative energy into my own creations. But every once in a while I take a detour into the world of fan art; one such recent time was when my friend Mike Sullivan proposed collaborating on a Halloween project featuring plant-based monsters created by Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics. It sounded like fun and– since I needed to get some more inking practice before I dove into my next project (more on that soon, as it gets closer to publication)– I took a stab at it … and was pretty pleased with how it turned out, even though I don’t often provide finishes for other artists.

[A technical aside to some of the above terms: traditionally, drawings for comics needed to be rendered in black and white for reproduction, so artwork drawn loosely in pencil had to be finished as stark black/white inked artwork (usually by a different artist) before it was then colored for the final product. You can see this progression– from Mike’s pencils, to my raw inked drawings, to my final artwork prior to Mike’s coloring job– below.]


Here’s what Mike had to say about this piece:

“Halloween falls on a Saturday, during a full moon– BEWARE!! THERE MAY BE MONSTERS ON THE PROWL! CREATURES ON THE LOOSE! And these alien entities have assembled from the plant kingdom to seek revenge on the human species this year from way-out in space and from way-back to the past of the 1950s! This double-page spread is an homage to those stories from Atlas and early Marvel Comics by Jack Kirby with Larry Lieber filling in the dialogue (maybe a few words from Stan Lee). Check the key (below) so you can identify these pernicious plants if perchance you should encounter them this weekend! And STAY AWAY from Where Creatures Roam and Where Monsters Dwell!! Happy Halloween!!”

MikeMonsterPlants Guidet

Happy Halloween, indeed!

[January 2023 UPDATE: this post originally appeared on my now-closed Patreon page.]

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